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Google's Patents Reveal Strategy To Beat Microsoft 453

linumax writes "According to 'The Google Legacy,' history is about to repeat itself. From the article: 'Microsoft today is where IBM was years ago. And Google is in a position to do to Bill Gates what he did to IBM. The result could be a new industry kingpin. Arnold, author of The Google Legacy, said in an interview this week that it appears that Microsoft doesn't understand Google in much the same way that IBM didn't understand Microsoft 20 years ago. "It will be the Googleplex from 2004 to 2020 - a network paradigm," said Arnold. "It will be enabled by Google's approach to innovation."'"
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Google's Patents Reveal Strategy To Beat Microsoft

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  • Yeah, yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nagora ( 177841 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @08:53AM (#13692722)
    Wake me up when Google can deliver a good search engine (I know they currently deliver the best search engine, that's not the same thing at all).

    To say nothing of the fact that Microsoft got a free ride from IBM to their current position; I can't see MS doing the same favour for Google, can you?

    And finally, why would anyone want to rely on a net connection to be able to write a letter, or trust a remote company to hold their data, or basically use any of these web-technologies pundits keep claiming are the next big thing? The world of users was ebullient when it shook off the shackels of having to connect to a mainframe to do work; why would they want to give that freedom up? Normal users, that is - I can see some attractions for stupid PHBs in companies. Google Maps is good, but would I rather have it running on my machine? Damn right I would!


  • Re:and then... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barryke ( 772876 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @08:54AM (#13692725) Homepage
    Indeed, we will bash Google in the (be it near or far) future. I'm perfectly convenient using their 'tools', but when i think of what their future innovations will mean to my privacy it scares me.
  • Re:and then... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kubevubin ( 906716 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:00AM (#13692747) Homepage
    Are you referring to the "privacy" that is already being gradually eaten away at (thanks to the government), anyway? At least Google is a little more upfront about it, and their invasion of our privacy isn't in the same way that the government (and God only knows who else) is attempting to invade our privacy. Google is supported by advertising, and I really don't mind the way that they're going about creating a more personalized brand of advertising. It's not as though they're using any of the information that they're collecting to persecute anyone.
  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:02AM (#13692750)
    By selling advertising? Great for google. But what about me? I'm going to be inundated with advertising and products that never come out of beta? Or will they release "Google OpenSolaris"? Oh, maybe they'll introduce "for pay" google? That's when I switch to yahoo.

    Anyway, if I was Microsoft .. I'd be shitting bricks over Apple.

    When they release OS X for x86 that can install on general computers, people will be screwed. Corporations may switch to Apple because there won't be fear of single vendor hardware lock in (no need to pay $$ for xpensive replacement parts). And most damning for microsoft the overall cost of Windows will have to drop to $49.99 resulting in mad revenue decline.

    Plus due to Napster's totally lame advertising, and mp3 player competitor's lack of design ability, Apple will make buttloads of $$ off entertainment devices like how Sony did in the 80's and 90's. Only way Apple can lose momentum is if the price of flash drops to $1 or less a gig. And they have to compete with $9.99 mp3 players.
  • Re:Yeah, yeah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PGC ( 880972 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:08AM (#13692773)
    "And finally, why would anyone want to rely on a net connection to be able to write a letter, or trust a remote company to hold their data, ... " Because it's so easy and oh so handy ... anyone with half a brain wouldn't trust a remote company to hold their data...too bad most people have less.
  • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) * on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:08AM (#13692777) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft is slowly losing their cash cow of operating systems and office software. Linux and open source software are poised to take over this area. Microsoft sees Google moving into new markets that they feel they should have been able to monopolize as well.

    The good news is that Google doesn't have quite the strangehold on search that microsoft had on OS and office software. The best Google can do to maintain a monopoly is patents which are hopefully less holding than Microsoft's vendor lock in strategy. Nobody has to use the same search as everybody else to be compatible. Any individual is free to choose a search engine. If MSN search and Yahoo get their act together and gave Google a real run for their money, everybody would win.

  • by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:13AM (#13692794) Journal
    Yup. They invented the search engine. And web based e-mail. And keyword based advertising.

    Nothing wrong with using other people's ideas. They have implemented them better than their competition (I use gmail, personalized search, etc). But their products are not revolutionary despite what their fans may thinh.
  • I don't think so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kawahee ( 901497 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:16AM (#13692809) Homepage Journal
    Google rules the web, Microsoft rules the desktop (and has a sizeable arm in the server market). I think it's fair to say that Google isn't all that related to Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft and Google have overlapping interests, but Microsoft's main income comes from Windows, and from Office.
    Does Google have Google OS? No.
    Does Google have Google Office? No.
    Does Google have free email? Yes.
    Does Google have a search system? Yes.

    Where Google competes with Microsoft, it succeeds, where Google doesn't, the industry is owned my Microsoft. And don't say OpenOffice or StarOffice or Linux is going to be killing MS anytime soon. StarOffice 7 was an MS Office killer, what happened to it? Nowhere. StarOffice 6 was an MS Office killer, what happened to it? So was version 5. Linux is meant to be better, but it's not gaining inroads in anywhere but the server market. It might be getting ready to approach the desktop market, but it's not going to do it successfully. And in the server market, Linux servers are used less than Windows servers (35% Windows, 35% Unix, 30% Linux, FreeBSD's in there somewhere SOURCE: /. article). Linux is a Windows killer, we don't see Windows being used less. We see that people are stopping the switch to Firefox, switching back from Linux, staying with Windows and Microsoft Office, despite these "MS-Killers". Google will stay, but it's not going to compete with Microsoft unless it starts an OS war.
  • Re:and then... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cortana ( 588495 ) < minus threevowels> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:18AM (#13692815) Homepage
    You're worried about _Google_?

    Do you carry a cellphone? :)
  • by ty_kramer ( 262524 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:19AM (#13692818)
    Microsoft's paranoia will not be enough.

    Their intractable problem is that they're chained to their Windows/Office franchise. Every new technology they consider must first be 100% guaranteed not to harm Windows and Office. It's a rear-guard action, one that will absolutely cause them to fail in the next five to ten years, assuming the network will eventually trump the desktop. In a world of fast wireless everywhere, it has to. And that world will be here within the decade.

    The beauty of it (and horror, if you're Gates) is that a public corporation really has no choice but to protect its cash cows. If Bill were as smart as he thinks he is, he'd have split his company up a few years ago. Heck, he could have used the antitrust trial as cover and whined publicly while getting his company reshaped in a way where it could compete in a network-everywhere world. Maybe split into Windows, Office, and MSN companies, all free to compete the heck out of each other. Sure the stock would have taken a hit at first. But right now, the Office company would be selling bunches of Linux Office licenses. The Windows company would be coming out with a lean, mean Linux-based Windows. The MSN company would be neck and neck with Google in terms of web-based applications. And the combined stock prices of the three companies would be smoking the currect MSFT price. Gates would be so much richer than he is now, it would be astounding.

    But Bill is shackled to Windows/Office. And he's not brave enough to radically remake his company in a form that can compete in the 21st century. And if he were, he'd probably face 1000 shareholder lawsuits when the stock price initially plummets.

    Game over, it's just a matter of watching it unfold.
  • Re:Yeah, yeah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by metricmusic ( 766303 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:20AM (#13692820) Homepage Journal
    why would anyone.... trust a remote company to hold their data

    I'm not gonna answer why because everyone will have their own reasons but what I can say is theres not a shortage of them. These are the same people who use web based email and they will be the same people Google targets already (but not exclusively).

    As to:
    " rely on a net connection to be able to write a letter"

    I wonder hwo many google/hotmail/yahoo users type their letter in notepad and then paste it into their browser before sending.
  • Their motto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Crixus ( 97721 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:21AM (#13692825)
    Well... let's just hope the Google motto rules the day.

      Don't be evil. (or something like that)

    However, in a market economy where ruthlessness is required to protect assets, I don't see how Google can compete with a company like MS, WITHOUT being evil. The question it, how will the fallout affect normal people. Will the fallout be evil?
  • by oogoody ( 302342 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:29AM (#13692852)
    We are not better off if google beats microsoft. The new boss is the same as the old boss, just different methods.

    For what google is up to: HumanProgramming/2005/09/21.html#a200 []

    "They are building a real time customer profile on your real identity. This is a very valuable commodity as it gives google the ability to sell high value campaigns to advertisers.

    This may are may not seem obvious to you, but it struck me in a tetris like way how all the bricks fit together if you are trying to build up a real time customer categorization system that can be used across all properties. Other companies might do the same thing using a portfolio approach. But google has taken a less direct Sun Tzu Art of War approach.

    If you notice google doesn't create word processors or accounting programs. Almost everything they do is about getting content and getting you to provide an identity to them. ..."
  • Re:Google Patents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whatthef*ck ( 215929 ) * on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:31AM (#13692861) Homepage
    "In a broader sense, Arnold believes Google is building a "patent fence around search" technology as the firm moves to codify its unique competitive advantage."
    It's obviously bad, but do you notice how Google gets a pass from the overwhelming majority of the Slashdot community?
  • by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:32AM (#13692864) Journal
    "According to 'The Google Legacy,' history is about to repeat itself."

    History never repeats itself. I guess this guy is a little optimistic if he thinks folks will pay 180 dollars for a cliche that isn't true in the first place. Ebay is the place to sell cliches, I guess.

    "When you have a problem with Windows, always reformat and reinstall" - what am I bid, $150, $180, $200??!
    "Linux is the wave of the future" - opening at $8, no $10 to the gentleman on my right with the beard and sandals
    "No one ever got fired for buying IBM" - we have telephone bids for $500

    Besides, it's a bit premature to talk about the "legacy" of an outfit that's till in its infancy. Microsoft has $50 billion in cash, annual profits of around $12 billion and a vast monopoly. They aren't just going to roll over, stick their legs in the air and die.
  • Re:Yeah, yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pastis ( 145655 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:40AM (#13692895)
    > why would anyone want to rely on a net connection to be able to write a letter,

    why would anyone want to rely on electricity to be able to type a letter?

    why would anyone want to rely on a typing machine to be able to type a letter?

    why would anyone want to rely on ink to be able to write a letter?

    why would anyone want to rely on rock to be able to carve a letter? ... progress ...

    think universal remote access
    think ultra thin client
    think always connected
    think reduced costs
  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:41AM (#13692899) Journal
    I think there's a couple big points that the author of the article is missing. If this whole network apps replacing local apps really happens, it's not going to happen the way he thinks it is, for a couple reasons. One reason is open standards. Anyone who makes the switch from MS, a big reason for it is likely to be to escape the file format lock-in that MS inflicted for so long. Corporations won't blindly walk into that again. Along the same lines, I don't think any company, or too many people, will allow all their files to reside on some remote server somewhere. That doesn't make sense for a lot of reasons.

    Second is an economic reason. If you're going to buy some software, wouldn't you rather have a copy of it on your desk, installed on your own machine? I would imagine Google trying a subscription style payment system, which i think people will be reluctant to accept. It just takes too much control away from the user, and gives it to the company.

    But even if all of this does happen, I still don't see Google holding onto any sizeable monopoly for long. Open standards will allow just about anyone to offer a competing system. Google won't be able to pull the same underhanded tactics that MS did. And nobody wants to be subjected to another monopoly.

    Google is just intensely overrated. Yeah, they make some cool stuff, and at one time, they had a search engine that was very useful. But I don't know how far that's going to take them. There's two things that they use to make money right now. Search, (which I don't think they do nearly as well as they used to), and advertisements (spam!). While portable email might be useful enough that people will cope with having it decorated with advertisements, I don't think they'll feel the same about word processors, or powerpoint, or whatever.

    Anything that Google does to seriously threaten MS will mean them venturing away from what they're good at, and into new stuff. Sure, they've got smart employees, they might get it right, but they also might screw it up. The strongest thing Google has going for it right now is its brandname, but that's an easy thing to ruin.
  • by idlake ( 850372 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:43AM (#13692908)
    IBM was fully aware of minicomputers and personal computers and the threat they represented, and they did everything they could to stop them taking away market share from them. IBM was paranoid and well-informed.

    In part, that's why IBM picked both a rather substandard hardware design and a rather substandard vendor to supply the operating system (IBM didn't have a choice but to go outside for their software--they were under antitrust scrutiny). This was no secret at the time--how badly the PC architecture and Microsoft's operating system sucked, and what IBM's motivations were, was obvious the day the PC was released.

    And it worked as IBM intended: it took 15 years for PC software to catch up with the state of the art of the mid-80's. That translated into a lot of extra sales for IBM's mainframes, servers, and workstations. Of course, the PC business ended up being bigger and more important, but even if IBM had know that at the time, they couldn't have acted on it.

    And Microsoft is about to repeat this. Microsoft would have to cannibalize their operating system and MS Office businesses in order to move ahead, and there is no way they are going to be able to do that.
  • by Phleg ( 523632 ) <stephen@ t o> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:52AM (#13692951)
    This is modded *interesting*? Google would clearly win a boatload of cash in a lawsuit, Microsoft would have the worst PR nightmare of their career on their hands, and it wouldn't work to begin with since Google can just change the DNS name of their ad servers.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:53AM (#13692959)
    Your concern on speed is valid. AJAX applications could be installed on a local intra-net. Here, the speed issue would be solved.
  • Re:and then... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:02AM (#13692987) Homepage Journal
    Google's has an extraordinary business sense, and a proven ability to completely redefine the market, however it is good that the ridiculous Google honeymoon is finally coming to an end. It is bizarre seeing some of the fawning and admiration for a company that shares a startling number of similarities to the widely reviled Doubleclick.
  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:15AM (#13693027)
    Close. I think you mean WordPerfect never worked properly on Windows. WordPerfect for DOS worked quite well. I remember the Windows version being a buggy beast though. Also wasn't there a version of Lotus 123 that wouldn't work well with a specific version of DOS? That I think was thought to be deliberate as well.

      All things being equal I think it's a case of that was then, this is now. I don't think Microsoft can get away with that in todays world quite as easily as they could back in the day. Today there would definitely need to be some stealth involved because getting caught would crank up the anti-trust machine one more time. Sooner or later if they keep crossing the line someone is going to bust their ass for doing it.
  • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:23AM (#13693059) Homepage Journal
    Why do you suppose a Linux Office would do well ?

    - 1) the facilities available on linux/X windows to make something like office are lacking. It's not an intractible problem, but you've got a lot more richness in the Windows platform that the Office team would need to get from _somewhere_

    but, the much bigger issue is:

    - 2) Nobody is going to pay for Office on Linux. People that run linux on the desktop are not interested in buying anything from Microsoft. They're usually not interested in buying anything at all, software wise.. but certainly not from Microsoft. I don't see Office for Linux driving linux adoption, so i don't see lots of new customers coming to the space either.

    I might entertain the idea that Microsoft would work better split up. But most people that make this argument assume that a split-microsoft will produce Office for Linux. I don't think it will ever happen. To be honest, a large part of the comments on this story are about how google will win with server/web centric apps, etc. How would Microsoft investing heavily to make a thick-client app for a minority player primarily used by a market of people who hate paying for software and hate microsoft more than Stalin, be a good, moneymaking move ?

    It is illustrative to look at the MS products for Macintosh. The availability of Office/Mac has not had some staggering effect on Mac penetration. One reason MS makes mac products is that lots of Mac people are more than willing to buy software.. they already paid too much for their computers, and 95% of stupid utilities for macs have been pay-ware (not as much with OS X inheriting a large unix base and unix attitudes about homebrew development.. but historically speaking), so the Mac user traditionally has been extremely willing to pay for software, thus making it a market worth considering.

    When the # of people willing to pay for Office/Linux, times the selling price (call it $199 (ha ha)) is larger than the cost to develop it, Microsoft will make Office for Linux. I don't see that ever happening.

  • by mosel-saar-ruwer ( 732341 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:28AM (#13693086)

    It could if Google came out with a spreadsheet or word processor that works over the web in something like xml and saves files in gmail. If its made to web standards and works in any platform browser than they they'll be indirectly taking on ms's os as well since people wont have to have windows to use it.

    Anti-monopolist whining and blather to the contrary notwithstanding, the secret to M$FT's dominance on the desktop is COM/DCOM cut-n-paste functionality. You can cut a few rows from an Excel spreadsheet and paste them in a Word document. You can cut a picture from a Word document and paste it in a Powerpoint presentation. You can cut a Powerpoint graphic and paste it in a Paint window. Etc etc etc...

    Last I checked, neither OSX nor Linux had anything that even remotely resembled COM's flexibility or third-party vendor support. Hell, I tried using the Adobe Suite on OSX 10.2 last year [helping some idiot "scientist" put together a conference presentation], and I couldn't even cut and paste simple pictures from one Adobe application to another - I had to save to disk and use "File | Open" instead.

    For that matter, do any of you even know how Acrobat works? All that Acrobat does, and I mean ALL that it does, is simple import Word documents and paginate them [or, to be more precise - spiffify their pre-existing pagination]. That's it. For all intents and purposes, Acrobat has no word-processing functionality whatsoever - all the heavy lifting and straining is done in Word [and the rest of M$Office], and afterwords, Acrobat simply imports the Word document and [re-]paginates it. [For a mere $500? What a bargain!]

    Frankly, I don't see Google [or anyone else] replicating M$FT's COM/DCOM functionality anytime in the near future.

  • Re:Google Patents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by metternich ( 888601 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:44AM (#13693152)
    Indeed, I don't really understand Slashdot's love affair with Google. They say "Don't be evil, don't be evil, don't be evil" a hundred times, then go around and do things that most slashdotters consider evil and somehow we are myopic to this and get stories like Google's 7th Birthday and raw raw raw Google and so on.
    I suppose anyone who is in the crosshairs of Microsoft gets lot of slack on Slashdot, like Apple with their DRM. If it were any other company, this is would be virulently denounced.
  • by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:47AM (#13693172)
    Let me remind everyone of some past MS "failures" and company's that "Couldn't be beat".

    Actually many seem to believe that Microsoft "can't be beaten".

    You want some MS failures?

    • MSN was supposed to crush TCP/IP and HTTP and establish Microsoft's own standards. Oh what happened? Now MSN uses TCP/IP and HTTP/HTML like everybody else...
    • Windows on non-x86 platforms failed: On PPC, on Alpha
    • XBox sold only half as many units in the first 6 months as Microsoft expected and caused about 1 billion of losses per year (oh yeah, I know the MS-fanboys see that as a "success")
    • The "Otto"-project, the "HomeR"-project, etc.
    • And of course MSN never became very successful as a search engine

    Sure Microsoft has insane amounts of money, but they are not as godlike as you want us to believe. They are just mere mortals.

  • by west ( 39918 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:55AM (#13693216)
    Remember that IBM didn't lose it's market, in fact, all the competition in its market segment (mainframes) essentially died out. Nobody cares about anti-competitive practices in that market anymore. IBM simply failed to win the *next* market segment.

    If the analogy really stands up, then Microsoft will own the desktop forever, and all the rest of the competitors in that space will shrivel and die as the market becomes less relevant. The next market (network applications) will overshadow the desktop market.

    It would seem to me that if one was really interested in the desktop market and wanted to see continued competition, then it's quite possible that Google winning the next war could be the worst thing that could occur. Linux could be the next Amdahl :-).
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:57AM (#13693229) Journal
    Every now and again you stumble on a Score 5 post which seems to have been routed in from Bizarro World. And you get tidbits of wit-n-wisdom like this:

    + Microsoft's greatest strength (Windows/Office Monopoly) is actually their greatest weakness. No really. They have a direct channel to push technology into stuff that everyone buys and uses, but it will ultimately fail because they can't sell "Ad-Words" or something.

    + Linux is the answer to all Microsoft's problems -- they only way they can handle the current non-factor of the Linux desktop is by coming out with Linux Office and Linux Windows, which wouldn't really improve their situation but Linux is like cool and stuff and isn't that a good enough reason?

    + 10 years from now, Microsoft will be in trouble. They might make two trillion dollars in that period of time, but I will eventually be proven right.

    Ultimately these sorts of posts sprout directly from the melancholy and frustration you see in the Linux Advocacy world as reality has sunk in. Linux has not been competitive in any meaningful sense on the desktop. Microsoft does not have any huge immediate structural problems that would cause them to collapse (as boldly predicted by ESR and others in the late 90s). In other words, there's no real end in sight. At least not one you can count on.

    Ultimately there's not a lot of insight in "Game Over Microsoft ... eventually". Eventually this will be true, the world will change, corporations rise and fall. But that doesn't change the current situation one iota.
  • Re:that depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolic ( 11752 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:05AM (#13693263)
    If google manages to become as disgustingly predatory as Microsoft was, then yes, history will probably repeat itself. However, it's possible that Google could shepherd in a new paradigm (actually, an older paradigm that has been reworked), and still maintain a decent set of ethics. I'm not certain that being a scumbag of a company is a requirement for success.
  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:25AM (#13693356)
    one that will absolutely cause them to fail in the next five to ten years

    I've been hearing this very mantra out of the Linux/open source community for years. Microsoft is still as strong as they were then. I heard great stories about how an OS called Linux was going to be mainstream and the revolution was going to happen quickly and, seemingly, out of nowhere. Now the same Linux crowd, probably out of frustration, is looking for Google to destroy Microsoft. Oh well, I guess in a few more years I'll still be hearing the samething about some new shinny trinket.

    If Bill were as smart as he thinks he is, he'd have split his company up a few years ago.

    As true as this statement may be (and I'm not even sold on that), why do you take Gates as a fool? You may think Gates is a thief or a fraud, fine, but to underestimate Gates is a bad thing, if you see him as an enemy. It's odd how much of the /. crowd seem to think Gates is an idiot when he's the one sitting high on a mound of gold in his vast empire and those of the slashdot crowd posting are lucky to be moved out of our mothers basement.

    But Bill is shackled to Windows/Office.

    Do you really buy into this web app noise? Not to say that it's not going to happen but not in the next few years. I'm still looking for a web app beyond e-mail that is worth it's time.
  • by e2d2 ( 115622 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:34AM (#13693394)
    Their intractable problem is that they're chained to their Windows/Office franchise

    When you got 40 Billion in liquid you aren't chained to _anything_.

  • Re:and then... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:56AM (#13693494) Homepage Journal
    Many have been concerned about google for quite some time. They have been quiently and not so quietly consuming the advertised-paid-for search market, thier algorithm is aging and increasingly easy to attack, and many portal products, like froogle, seem to be in a constant beta state, while other products like toolbar seem less like a useful and more like an intrusive ploy.

    What is most worrying is that few seem to be worried about the lack of real compitition. Given google declinng result quality, where is the compitition. Though the results seem to be getting no worse, there must be better ways to do searching. However, with MS pushing thier solution, and Google seeming like the new big thing, I gues no one wants to fund it.

    So just like 15 and 20 years ago when many of us were saying that MS was good for some things, not everything, and the market should encourage options, history is now repeating itself when we will give up diversity for some immidiate percieved simplicity.

  • Re:and then... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jacksonj04 ( 800021 ) <> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @12:19PM (#13693583) Homepage
    Or use a credit card? Or store loyalty cards?

    These know far more about you than Google, it's just that Google has the skills to mine the data effectively.
  • Re:Yeah, yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by leshert ( 40509 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @12:27PM (#13693602) Homepage
    Yeah, it always amazes me that we've been talking for years about web platforms, etc. No one wants to have to be logged on to write a quick letter in a word processor.

    You might be too young to remember this, but that was for many years the last reason for many electric typewriter holdouts. "Why would you want minutes for your computer and word processor to start before you can type a letter, then have to wait another couple of minutes for it to print out?"

    Those were valid points at the time, but as office workers moved to a mindset of having the computer powered up all the time, and as printers became shared resources, the objections were overcome.

    So, applying the same ideas, I can see a situation in which being logged in to your PC (or whatever device is filling its shoes) means you're also logged in to whatever distributed applications you use. Microsoft tried this with Hailstorm, but public trust in Microsoft was around its low point at the time (assuming it hasn't significantly dropped since then), and they couldn't pull it off.
  • by mattgreen ( 701203 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @12:43PM (#13693663)
    Nice retort, but I must say it is rather cruel to shove this whole 'reality' thing into people's faces, especially on a site like this one. They might even discover there's more to life than the licensing scheme of their chosen operating system!
  • by mattgreen ( 701203 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @12:59PM (#13693729)
    As much as MS is decried for being arrogant, Google now seems to be doing the same thing. Statements like "we'll topple Microsoft because they don't understand us" and the implication that, "we're the new Microsoft, the dominant player" point to a culture of corporate hubris. That is a dangerous thing, although I suppose it is inevitable when their stock price is as inflated as it is.
  • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @01:13PM (#13693799) Homepage Journal
    We've been hearing about the approaching power of the web app since Java and Netscape first cozied up to each other.

    It hasn't happened.

    Let's be blunt, web apps are slow loading and clunky compared to the average locally installed application, and it's likely to remain that way. Even broadband won't resolve the issue. Actual bandwidth will have to get to 100 MegaBit before most users will consider a web app fast enough to use.

    And even then we hit the old "Switch to OpenOffice" hurdle. Specifically, most users are not going to switch unless there's a good reason to do so. Unless the web apps are clearly better than whatever Microsoft is offering, they'll languish.

    And the we need to face facts. Linux is on the server, and we need to compete in that market. I like my Linux desktop, and will be thrilled if iTunes is ever ported to Linux. Aside from that, even if Linux is ready for the desktop, inertia will keep it out of the market in any meaningful way.

    Most users still see their computers like a stereo, not like a car requiring maintenance, and installing alternate operating systems is a niche activity, no matter how common it seems in this forum.

    Microsoft must LOVE all the time and energy we're wasting on the Desktop, because they know Linux is not a serious threat there. Where are all the Linux companies making their money? SERVER installs.

    The server market is where MS fears Linux, and where it has some advantages. Wasting time on the desktop when Linux needs to go after the enterprise, fortune 100 server is playing right into Microsoft's hands.
  • by DarkJC ( 810888 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @01:37PM (#13693903)
    As far as ad revenue goes, would you people please look at all the things that MS owns that can utilize advertising ... now please ... tell me exactly where google is beating MS at anything.

    Sure, Microsoft can just slap ads into all of their products...Windows, Office, the works. Now who's going to go out and buy Windows, or any other Microsoft product for that matter, when you know it's coming loaded to the brim with pre-installed Microsoft sanctioned adware? I know I'm not.

    My point is that while you can say that Microsoft owns more products to advertise in than Google, the fact remains that Google advertisements are done in subtle, out of your face ways so that most people barely notice them. There's more to advertising than just slapping ads in a bunch of your flagship products, and I think Google has hit the nail on the head with their approach.

    Microsoft has the worlds most used internet browser that defaults itself to as its homepage.

    So are you insuniating that because of this, MSN Search is the most widely used search? I'm fairly sure you're wrong on that account. This "Microsoft products are more popular" bit has been the theme of your entire post as to why Google won't succeed, and yet when you list examples, you compare search engines. This statement makes me take the rest of your argument with a grain of salt, as I think it's fairly obvious who is winning in terms of search engines, and we all know it's not MSN.
  • by po8 ( 187055 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:21PM (#13694118)

    Point by point:

    • Microsoft's greatest strength (Windows/Office Monopoly) is actually their greatest weakness. No really. They have a direct channel to push technology into stuff that everyone buys and uses, but it will ultimately fail because they can't sell "Ad-Words" or something.

      It is starting to fail now, but for a different reason. Governments don't like businesses to control them. In particular, governments don't like foreign businesses to control them. Every time Microsoft tries to use its channel these days, they're hit with sanctions of various kinds. Every time they try to extend their reach into a new market, they're slapped down in various ways. In the not-very-long run, this is a problem for them. How happy do you think Microsoft is about what's going on in China? Europe? Massachusetts?

    • Linux is the answer to all Microsoft's problems -- they only way they can handle the current non-factor of the Linux desktop is by coming out with Linux Office and Linux Windows, which wouldn't really improve their situation but Linux is like cool and stuff and isn't that a good enough reason?

      A relatively easy and inexpensive way for Microsoft to confuse the issue on open formats for data storage and interchange would be to release its office suite for Linux. An incredibly difficult and expensive way to hinder open source in cannibalizing the applications market would be to provide a proprietary module for Linux that permitted running all Windows apps properly. I don't see large benefits to the Linux community from either approach. The office suite has already been re-commoditized by open source. Ditto for the browser. Nothing Microsoft will do in either space can undo that. Microsoft has a reasonable amount to gain from getting their products onto open platforms, and the open source community has little, as near as I can tell. Whether they embrace Linux or fight it, though, they have a genuine problem in the application space.

    • 10 years from now, Microsoft will be in trouble. They might make two trillion dollars in that period of time, but I will eventually be proven right.

      Sometimes changes happen quickly in the computer business. Sometimes they are very slow. When you have more than $80B in the bank, bet on slow. That said, Microsoft is fighting a three-front battle right now, and on every front it's against their own customers or potential customers. The open source folks want to ignore them, at best. Governments want to neutralize them. Google wants to eat their lunch. Any one of these three are a formidable adversary. I think you'll be surprised how much decline you will see in a short time if Microsoft doesn't find a way to quickly and effectively cope with at least one of these three threats.

  • by bushidocoder ( 550265 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @06:08PM (#13694998) Homepage
    You should look into the Terminal Services enhancements in Windows Vista. They are allowing single applications to be remoted, very similar to what you can do with X today only with integrated authentication and session management. Furthermore, the Vista client integrates full desktop integration, including drag and drop support and mapping to file types. On a LAN, you can double click on a Word doc on machine A without a copy of Word installed, machine A will search the domain for a server with open liscenses of Word, AD windows authentication will transparently authenticate the connection for you, and Word will open on machine A - the user likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    I don't know if the next version of TS works like this, but in theory given their new drawing system, all of the rendering for animations could be send as XAML instructions from the server and rendered through on the client, which would decrease server load and make the system more responsive to the user. No server delay when you open a menu because the XAML for the menus was already pushed to the client.

    The way they've put it together, you would be able to distribute Office in much the same way Google could, but with a significantly better user experience. Enterprises would probably still go with MS. Foreign governments are a stretch, but I doubt they'd trust Google any more than Microsoft - if they bail on Office and Windows, it'll be for and an open source desktop.

    From all indications, the Office 12 file format is open enough to satisfy almost everyone's requirements. In a bind, MS could make that file format available to previous versions of Office as a free download to keep people in the Office brand.

    I don't think Microsoft is scared about the competition in the Office space, because they haven't started priceslashing Office yet. Remember - if or Google starts putting them into a bind, they can reduce the purchase cost of Office to beat the TCO savings you get from a competitor. Office 2003 paid itself off a long time ago - they could always offer Office 12 at a premium, and continue to sell Office 2003, only at a significant markdown rate to certain markets if the going gets tough for them.

  • by ty_kramer ( 262524 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:18PM (#13695762)
    I see MSFT chained to Windows/Office to the tune of $275 billion [], their current market cap.

    Wall Street doesn't like earnings your earnings to go up and down, while you try something wacky in the hope that someday it'll be more lucrative than your current business model. Look at Microsoft's financial track record -- always meeting or slightly exceeding earnings expectations. The nice, steady growth rate. No big surprises, up or down.

    It's the same with the music companies. They're afraid to go whole-hog with electronic music delivery in the hope that it might eventually make them more money than selling discs. (Of course, in their case, it won't. Oh darn.)
  • by Darth_Vito ( 693141 ) <> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:14PM (#13696295)
    Do you really buy into this web app noise? Not to say that it's not going to happen but not in the next few years. I'm still looking for a web app beyond e-mail that is worth it's time.

    Although I agree with several of your comments, this one is somewhat narrow minded. There are a lot of things that could be classified as "Web applications" that do not necessarily have an icon on your desktop. Some examples include:
    * Amazon
    * Ebay
    * Google
    * Dictionary
    * Wikipedia
    * even Slashdot

    These "Web applications" are probably more heavily used by people than the aging Microsoft Office. I can use them from my Treo, which also happens to be a mobile phone, an MP3 player, and much more. Microsoft has a lot of work to do in order to keep from becoming irrelevant.

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