Is “Google: The Anti-Microsoft”? Impassioned Digital Markets readers joined in “The Great Debate” last month.
My provocative story provoked over 70 “TalkBacks”, my “highest grossing” 2006 story, in terms of reader comments. What inspired the lively debate?:
Life was simple when Microsoft ruled (monopolized) the tech roost: Just hate Microsoft! Many, of course, persist in hating Microsoft. More, however, many more, LOVE Google! Why Google love, but Microsoft hate?
Is Google really on a selfless, world-serving mission to organize its information and make it universally accessible to all its inhabitants with no ulterior motives,
OR: Is Google not a ruthless, profit driven corporation, as is Microsoft?
TalkBacker “defconvegas” started the conversation with an enthusiastic thumbs up for engaging the debate:
Wow, I'm beyond impressed. Someone finally has the courage to stand up and say the truth. You expose the double standards that exists in peoples judgement/perception of companies/world. How blatantly Google does things and gets away with it and whats worse people keep begging for more.
TalkBacker “Carl Rapson” then cautioned against Microsoft “single-mindedness":
The flaw in single-mindedness. That's the problem with so many being so single-minded where Microsoft is concerned. If you only see one evil in the world, all the others will sneak up on you...
TalkBacker “DonnieBoy” countered:
Microsoft earned their reputation with all of the dirty tricks. Also, remember, Google is not a monopoly and earns their money by competing straight up. Google has trust because they earned it. Remember, it takes a user about 2 seconds to change search companies, with NO compatibility problems.
TalkBacker “MikeSchinkel” rebutted:
Google is not a monopoly?!?!?!? You say Google is not a monopoly?!?!?!? Why, because the Bush Administration's pro-business justice department hasn't gone after them yet? Or because you hate Microsoft and everyone else looks good to you?
IMO, Google is a far worse a monopoly than Microsoft. Google can change their search engine results and put entire segments of industry into tailspins or out of business. Microsoft can't begin to control the revenue of so many companies.
Worse from a monopoly point of view, Google does not allow a publisher that uses Google AdSense to use any other keyword targeted advertising service. That is an incredibly insidious monopoly which doesn't allow a competitor a chance to compete, and which I find far more dangerous than Microsoft. Frankly, Google needs to have their blatant anti-competitive behavior stopped.
TalkBacker “Taz_z” pushed back:
Fess up dude. People can stop using Google a lot faster than they stop using Microsoft, and if the quality of their results starts seriously declining, people would stop using them and find something else. Monopoly is related to lock-in, and in no way are people locked in to Google like they are to Microsoft -- the cost of switching desktop OSs is considerably higher than switching search engines in time and $$$.
Read the rest of the debate: “Google: The Anti-Microsoft”
ALSO TAKE THE POLL: Microsoft vs. Google: Who wins?