Microsoft vs. Google: Who commands our 'hearts and souls'?

Microsoft vs. Google: Who is in a stronger position?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer addressed the “highest concentration of CEOs in retail” in New York City Monday, touting Microsoft “retail innovation outlook.”

I attended Ballmer’s keynote to the National Retail Federation Annual Convention; Read my in-depth, first-hand report and analysis in “Microsoft: Steve Ballmer sells to retail in NYC.”

Ballmer was for the most part on message, the Microsoft retail solutions message. In “Google Checkout: Small retail footprint at retail’s big show” I juxtapose Microsoft’s heavyweight presence at the retail industry’s annual mega event with Google’s under the radar Google Checkout pitch at the show:

Microsoft is the leading technology company in terms of market cap, twice the size of Google. Microsoft is doing all it can to maintain its dominance hoping for “Wow,” while Google is doing its Googley best to continue to close in.

Ballmer included a few subtle, but significant, digs at number two Google during his presentation:

Today, I would say we operate in a world that is still relatively primitive. Just take search as an experience, search is a very indirect way today to get at information that people want as they make buying and shopping decisions. You do a search, you find a site, the site may take them exactly to the information, but you don't get there very quickly. 

Just take number one search engine Google as a not so quick search experience?

During the not so spontaneous “audience” Q & A, Ballmer concluded his remarks with an unequivocal affirmation of Microsoft’s determination and intent to continue to dominate worldwide:

Our tools and technologies are the best in the world at allowing, and the most popular in the world, at allowing your employees to access information. People grow up knowing products like Outlook and Excel, they are the natural place for employees to want to get access to line of business information.

Last, but certainly not least, if you take a look at what it will mean in the future  what it means today and what it will mean in the future for you to interact with your customers, the heart and soul of that interaction is likely to be a Microsoft operating system, running a Microsoft Internet browser.

Google sees things differently. Google has told me:

It is possible that people equate the Google search box with their browser window. Google is often used as the gateway to the Internet (as I report and discuss in “Google search PageRank excludes relevant Websites").

Microsoft claims to be the “heart and soul” of technology while Google claims to be the “gateway to the Internet”: WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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