Clash of the titans:Microsoft v Google

The London Sunday Times carries a lengthy article on the ‘battle’ between Microsoft and Google which intensified into a so called clash of the titans this past week, when Google announced a move into operating systems.

Analyst Henry Blodget believes Chrome is a “classic disruption” that could eventually topple Windows. “Disruptive technologies do not immediately replace existing technologies because they are better,” Blodget wrote last week.

“In fact, in the beginning, they are worse. They’re just simpler, cheaper, and more convenient. They appeal to the low end of the market (in this case, netbooks), which doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that the high-end needs. They initially gain share in the low end, and the incumbent doesn’t care about losing it because it’s low-margin share.

“But then . . . the disruptive products get better and more fully featured and they begin to migrate up to the mid-market. And the incumbent is forced to retreat to the high-margin high-end. And then, eventually, the disruptive product becomes mass market and the incumbent becomes a rickety old colossus that crashes in on itself.”

Yet the battle is far from over. Microsoft has immense resources and is used to delivering into the corporate market and supplying customer support;  not something Google is known for.

It will be interesting as well to see how regulatory authorities react, especially as some have ruled against operating systems including a browser and are looking at Microsoft’s operating system and office desktop dominance. Will they want to see another potentailly dominant player?

Let us face the fact that both Google and Microsoft are large corporates focussed on maknig a dollar. Neither are run as charities.

It will be fascinaing to obeserve what hapens in the coming years.

Interestingly it appears that one of the elements in this potential seismic shift is the arrival of the netbook. I posted on Netbooks as Gamechangers back on June 15. Another element is the advent of the “cloud’ on which I wrote some months back.

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2 responses to “Clash of the titans:Microsoft v Google

  1. I vote for Google. Open-source software is the way forward, so is brand new code. Windows has some pretty ancient code still, even in Windows 7 (same kernel, after all).

  2. Technically Google may or may not be better, but from an economic perspective we may exchange one giant for two or another bigger giant.

    Is that good?

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