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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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  • Not really accurate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arkham6 ( 24514 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @08:46AM (#13692704)
    Comparing MS and IBM is flawed imo. IBM was the big company before the rise of personal computers that felt it was unstoppable in its world, and did not have the foresight to see that personal computing would someday overtake server style computing. They truely thought that only big corporations would need computers.

    MS on the other hand is aware, paranoid actualy that they will be dethroned. While their leaders may act out in stupid and juvinile ways (throwing chairs anyone?), they are aware of the problem and will fight tooth and nail to keep from being dethroned.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01, 2005 @08:46AM (#13692706)
    Microsoft write an operating system and Office suite - their cash cows.

    Google's cash cow is google adwords and google adsense.

    Where's the competition between the two? where's the overlap in markets with REAL income, not late 1990s tech bubble crap that doesn't actually bring in $$ to the companies.
  • Google Patents (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @08:53AM (#13692718)
    From TFA
    "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."

    Is this good or bad?
  • by Nahooda ( 906991 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @08:58AM (#13692738) Homepage
    During my studies in history I've learned that history _never_ repeats itself. Simply because if there's a situation _similar_ to one from the past there are a lot of factors that are simply completely different.


    Dennis B. Schramm
  • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:04AM (#13692759) Homepage Journal
    Simply ship Internet Explorer with a adblock feature that blocks Google's ads, then Google's revenue stream gets turned off overnight.
  • Google and Privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HateBreeder ( 656491 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:08AM (#13692774)
    I wasn't really worried about Google's intentions until I've seen the latest "features" they added to their homepage.

    You might have noticed the: "Personalized Home" thing at the top left of your browser.
    In order to implement this feature, Google, obviously needs to know who is actually looking at the page, so that it could then personalize it - therefore, you need to "Sign In" to use the page.
    To me, this seems like a way to masquerade their true intentions.
    By "Signing in" you're actually letting Google know more information then it requires...
    You're not only "Personalizing" their homepage, but you're actually creating a mapping between a "user" and a "search".
    In other words, Google would now have the ability to know (same account as GMail) which user looked for what - beyond GMail (where they know what each user read).
    If you combine all this data, you get a HUGE database containing personal information.
    You'd be surprised how much one could learn just by looking at another person's search queries.
    I'm sure that in the following years Google would unveil many more features that would practically lead to them having access to ALL of our personal information.
    They're just taking it slowly, one step at a time.

    This seems to me like a privacy nightmare.
    Are we to let Google have all this information, while we sit aside, hoping they'll protect our data based solely on our good faith?

    Remember, that by not using their services, you're private information is not protected.
    It's enough that 1 person would have your contact information on his GMail account, another would have your e-Mail and some questions you asked. Google would just have to cross-refer and find whatever they like.

  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:20AM (#13692824)
    IBM thought they were king because they thought hardware was the real source of value. MS proved them wrong as Windows/Office software became the standard and PCs became commodities.

    MS thinks they are the king because they think software is the real source of value. Google is out to prove that services (search, gmail, froogle, adwords, etc.) are the real source of value.

    MS knows this and is trying to get into services, but I wonder if MSN search et al are the OS/2 of the day -- a dinosaur's attempt to compete on a changed playing field.

  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:24AM (#13692838) Journal
    Companies that do well against microsoft specfically DON'T try to compete head to head with them. Microsoft's strategy has always been to bait a competitor to compete on their turf and then steamroller them.

    It's been proven that if you create a product that's good, that people want to buy AND you don't sit on your ASS while Microsoft copies and then bundles your product with windows, you CAN succeed and flourish. don't have to BEAT Microsoft in order to win.
  • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:25AM (#13692839) Homepage Journal
    Actually, I don't think they do have to be subtle about it. Adblockers are legal, and it wouldn't surprise me if ad/popup blocking was the most requested feature for IE7.
  • Re:I don't think so (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HikingStick ( 878216 ) <> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:32AM (#13692863)
    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

    I believe these questions need some revision:

    Does Google need an OS? No!That's the real beauty and the real threat of Google. Microsoft still assumes that everything needs an OS. Google is proving time and again that the OS is nothing in the long run. Google is acting on something Microsoft considered a threat 10+ years ago--that the Internet may become an OS unto itself (not in the true sense of OS, but in the sense that its platform negates the need to run a proprietary OS like Windows).
    Does Google have the technology to release Google Office? Yes! Blogger already shows that you don't need a client app to have a robust word processor. The same is true for spreadsheets, presentations, and messaging (which they already have). The weak link would appear to be a DB, but the deployment of a web-based database engine would not be too difficult for them.
    Can Google enhance it's email system to provide the functionality of Outlook? Yes.
    Does Google have a better search system? Yes!
  • by Ph33r th3 g(O)at ( 592622 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:40AM (#13692894)
    Easy. You're a middle-aged nostalgist who knows about computers, and you like Buffalo wings. You know you need to work out but haven't quite gotten around to it. You're looking at changing jobs. Your wife is religious.

    The scary thing is it doesn't matter if these conclusions are wrong--just the fact that there's a dossier on each of us that is inevitably going to be sold (think of what value some prospective employers or insurers would place on these kind of data, for example).

  • by mzwaterski ( 802371 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:44AM (#13692915)
    If AJAX apps are going to beat downloaded software they are going to have to get much faster. I don't care if thats some innovation in the apps or just the increase of broadband connections, but I would never use a word processor that forced me to wait while it bolded something (at least not when I have an alternative). I would also be a little concerned about what would happen when the internet connection goes down.
  • by Brad1138 ( 590148 ) <> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:52AM (#13692948)
    We all like to hate & bash the big guy, Microsoft, Intel, Wallmart... Will we hate Google? Is it possible for a company to be the biggest and not be hated, bashed or vilified?
  • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @09:53AM (#13692955)
    I've asked myself this. My opinion is that Microsoft doesn't like to be beat at virtually any game. They have MSN, Hotmail, and Messanger. The idea that someone would beat them out, or in this case stay well ahead of them, bothers them. They're paranoid that Google will enter into other spaces. Also, don't discount the fact that Microsoft has probably put a lot of similar technologies in the cooker that Google has been working on. That being said, I'm still convinced that to a great extent they just don't want anyone out growing them. Google could get big enough to endorse or push their own OS (doubtful) or even an office suite. OTOH, Microsoft is the one benefiting from all of this Google hype. The more Microsoft can make Google look like the bully, the more "journalists" will fret that maybe there's a huge shift coming. What will it mean? What will become of computing? Then the FUD machine from Microsoft can whip the entire technology sector into a frenzy. I'm not sure of the entire strategy, but I'm fairly convinced that Microsoft is glad to see all of this hype.
  • by fprog ( 552772 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:03AM (#13692988)
    Does Google need an OS? No!That's the real beauty and the real threat of Google. Microsoft still assumes that everything needs an OS. Google is proving time and again that the OS is nothing in the long run. Google is acting on something Microsoft considered a threat 10+ years ago--that the Internet may become an OS unto itself (not in the true sense of OS, but in the sense that its platform negates the need to run a proprietary OS like Windows).

    Well, yes, they need an OS and that OS is based on the GNU/Linux kernel.
    However, it's mostly a custom strip down RedHat 6.2 or 7.2 distro
    and using a python/perl/mysql backend.

    Does a "Google OS" exist? not really. [It's a bit of a stretch]

    Does a "Google Linux Distribution" exist? Absolutely. []

    Maybe in the future, a real "Google Desktop Distro"
    would be sold with computers, which would be a basic strip down desktop
    with every desktop applications being on the web, on Google Application Servers.
  • by Asphixiat ( 451920 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:12AM (#13693010)
    for argument's sake - lets assume google make _some_ AJAX word processor..... you'd be able to run the app locally, as perhaps it's open source....bundled with apache? for a local server on the corp LAN? and the public can use the AJAX app on line, and save onto their desktop....on windows, or Ubuntu? Mac or Cell phone, blackberry? Or into their google internet 2Gb storage? Let's hope they use OASIS

    Man, the app - if open sourced - could even be branded with a school logo, or corporate mascot/symbol/porn star :) The webapp doesnt have to save remotely at all if the user doesn't want to, thats why AJAX rocks, POSTs and GETs dont require you to reload the page when you choose an item from a combo box, and other nice UI features that ....until now.... have been taken for granted exclusivly on the PC. Just type away, mail merge from your address book (you have google mail too right?)

    I too am hopeful for the future, but MS could aquire Adobe/Macromedia, and achieve the same result with flash paper....but I would trust Google's webapp over MS's if I was choosing which software to deploy in that type of environment. Add google desktop search, integrated with related searches online.....Google might also have a retail ISP B2B style, where they provide coffee shops with WiMax, but maybe that would be phase 2 :)
  • by craXORjack ( 726120 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:13AM (#13693019)
    They make that much money from OS/2?!

    I kid. You make a good point. Many folks who consider themselves techno-literate seem to think that the computing world is defined by wintel pc's and that everything else is a stunted offshoot of that. I hate to think what kind of genesis story these people would come up with if we had an apocalypse and had to start over: 'In the beginning was the IBM PC and it was good. But the most powerful of the gods, the one called Gates became jealous of the PC and slew it and its body became the Earth and its storage became the oceans and the rivers. And in this new age the Blue Screen covered the whole of the heavens bringing Death to the wicked and uninterupted employment to the community college dropouts. And it was good...'

  • by Ex-MislTech ( 557759 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:19AM (#13693040)
    1) Web based office suite - Web based total office solution .

    2) IpSCSI RAID storage and remote backup or a variant thereof .

    3) GoogleNET - Dark fiber is currently being bought by them nationwide - the extent of this is not known.

    4) GoogleWIFI - currently a pilot project in bay area, may roll out nationwide

    5) Google IpTV - Multicast/Broadcast video streams that work thru their google video player .

    If 3 of 5 of these fly it is a doomsday scenario for more than just M$ .

    They could become the fastest growing ISP in the US, and could displace cable and satellite TV .

    I don't know if they want to go this big out of the gate, but the google video player debut
    of the matrix sequel played smooth as glass here at my house via the net .

    A long shadow could be cast, and the great would tremble, and a new sun rises over google, heheh .


  • by canuck57 ( 662392 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:20AM (#13693043)

    Microsoft has yet to realize that software is now a commodity item. $600++ for the OS and Office is far over priced if they want to remain at the top. The price should be like a book, say $50 like they sell it in China. (less for illegal copies).

    Google is already in the worlds biggest emerging market and presumably making a profit. []

    Microsoft is jealous but it isn't going to change the fact that to compute you do not need Microsoft.

    But imagine if Google came up with that killer app to cluster the whole worlds computer network which is best run on Linux. Or perhaps turn their CPU power into automated remote support for software updates to Linux and charge $19 per year for the service or perhaps free if Google put a single ad banner on the screen. And a user could select from the finest open source to install and run. If their system was stolen they could restore data and setting with their Google account. Now that would turn Microsoft on its end.

    Google has it right, it is about servicing the customers needs for a profit and not DRM butt kissing, perpetual bug fixing, insatiable patching, often crashing and expensive. So unless Google side steps, Microsoft might as well save their dollars.

  • by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:30AM (#13693377)
    And while xbox is a money loser in theory, it is now accepted in the marketplace which is the major hurdle (dreamcast anyone).

    Are you working at Microsoft marketing or are just too young to remember the Dreamcast?

    If you don't know, Dreamcast was made by SEGA, which was one of the most accepted companies in the marketplace, so "acceptance" surely wasn't it's problem.

    The reasons Dreamcast failed was:

    • PS2 came with DVD-player, Dreamcast didn't (just like PS3 will come with BluRay and XBox360 won't)
    • Dreamcast used a cheap-to-develop but expensive-to-manufacture off-the-shelf desing (just like XBox1 & XBox360) while the PS2 used a highly optimized design which is hard to develop but drives down the cost per unit
    • Sega thought that Windows CE and it's APIs would make it sooo easy to port games and there would be a load of games (Oh, yet another XBox-analogy) but in real life PS2 had much more games
    • Sega thought that backwards compatibility isn't important, PS2 is fully backwards compatible which is a bid advantage (Oh, again XBox360 is only compatible to "top-selling-games" whatever that is supposed to mean)
    • And of course Sega had bad timing: They launched only a short time before PS2 and the PS2-hype caused many potential buyers to wait for both consoles and decide then - of course at that time the Dreamcast was already old and PS2 was brand-new. (Microsoft actually believed their own marketing lies and thinks that launching before the PS3 will help them.)

    Of course Microsoft made some stupid mistakes on top of all this:

    • Bill Gates said that there "may" be a HD-DVD version at a later time. Now a lot of buyers will wait for that version, so XBox360 sales will be even lower
    • They pissed NVidia off so badly that NVidia didn't even bid for the XBox360 contract. ATI was the only contender and Microsoft had to accept their terms.
    • They released Halo2 just 1 year before the XBox360 launch. Those who bought a XBox1 at christmas04 are very unlikely to get a XBox360 at christmas05.
    • They gave away their only advantage: The only advantage the XBox1 really had compared to the PS2 was that it was newer and technically superior (at least in some areas). Anyway the PS2 was "old" and the XBox1 was "new and cool". With the PS3 being released *AFTER* the XBox360, XBox360 will be "old" and PS3 be "new and cool".

    XBox360 looks like Dreamcast3 to me. They will continue to lose as much or even more money on it than with XBox1.

    People are drooling waiting for the next one and I imagine by the time the 3rd generation comes out MS will own the market completely (if Sony and Nintendo's blunders continue apace).

    Sony's blunder? PS2 is the most successful console of all time and it sold about 4 times as many units as the XBox.

  • by parryFromIndia ( 687708 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:32AM (#13693386)
    All you said is true - but what prevents Microsoft from playing catch up? They are in a better position - money wise, market share wise, and technology wise, to do all the things Google is thought of doing. They have an OS, an office suite which is already ubiquitous and enough money to buy/build anything which matters and they don't already have. They recently started Windows OneCare which includes antivirus, online backups etc. - How long it would take for them to offer online Office on a pay per use basis? Nothing Google is doing can kill Microsoft - they can only be forced to play catch up and they do that very well. They will continue to earn all the moolah till they can and when they can no longer, they still can afford to play the competitors' own game a little late and still can beat them at it.
  • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:40AM (#13693412)
    No, the matter of the fact is that Microsoft is not aware of the problem. They know that Google is a problem, but they don't know how to solve the problem because they have the wrong question.

    Here are the things that Microsoft does not understand.

    1) It's about the community, not the company. Microsoft believes that if they offer compelling technology then people will buy it. The reality is that people have "good enough" and buy into things that make their lives interesting, (VOIP, Google Earth, etc)

    2) It's about the content and not the software. The Blackberry device was cool because it gave access to email. Take about the email content and the Blackberry device is not so cool. Google understands this, and Microsoft does not.

    3) It's about simplicity and not complexity. Microsoft is about complexity and adding features. Google is about taking a single concept and making it interesting and useful (search, gmail, adwords, etc)

    If you look at the latest announcements Microsoft talked about tons and tons API's that mimic what Google has. Yet it is not about tons and tons of API's. It's about enough API to do the job without becoming complex. The problem is that Microsoft has too much "inbreeding" and likes to listen to itself. Is there a solution to Microsoft? Nope, not really. Microsoft's highwater mark was reached a couple of years back.

    As much as I like C#/.NET (and I really do) they cannot extinguish Java. Java keeps growing and going! Just there is proof that the dominance of Microsoft is waning.
  • Re:$180 for a PDF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jtgeibel ( 919471 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @12:04PM (#13693520)
    This is just some guy trying to sell a book. The "news article" is just some publisher trying to draw on the hype around Google to sell this book. The book is actually only available in .pdf format and according to the publishers site [] is: "Written for business readers, especially senior executives of mid to large-sized, knowledge-based corporations".

    Reading the free sample chapter [] it is even more apparent that most of the claims he uses to back up his argument just don't make sense. For example, he claims "Google's ability to read data from many computers simultaneously is reminiscent of BitTorrent's technology." Honestly, there is probably little similarity between an algorithm optimized for reading data from multiple computers and an algorithm optimized to spread the pieces of a file to many different computers so that they can all share in the bandwidth of distributing the file. Rather, Google's technology tries to organize many copies of data across multiple computers, and then balance the load between the cluster while creating additional backup copies of data when one of the computers dies and stops responding. Such a statement sounds good to senior executives at a large corporation who probably do not understand any of the underling technology, and the author seems to only be riding on the hype of other high profile technologies. I don't see skype mentioned anywhere in the sample chapter, but would be surprised if it isn't mentioned in one of the other chapters.

    Plus his "unauthorized snapshot of Google's computing framework" makes absolutely no sense and the second figure shows the "fission occurring" as Google's "software engineering for higher performance" and "hardware engineering for reduced costs" come crashing together. Is this guy for real?

    What he has is guesses about some of the exciting things that Google might be developing, but I do not believe history is about to repeat itself and turn the tables on Microsoft, or that Microsoft is in any danger of being run of out the software industry anytime soon.

  • by suitepotato ( 863945 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @01:17PM (#13693826)
    I thought so. Google has not exactly gone out of their way to put their applications on Linux as opposed to Windows. Microsoft therefore ultimately leads Google by the nose. As they would be led by the nose by Linus if they focused all app development on Linux. As they would be led by the nose by Jobs if they focused all development on OSX.

    Google is not an operating system and never will be. They will forever be at the mercy of the operating systems they publish on and the web browsers through which their services are accessed. If they concentrated on text interfaces, they'd be at the mercy of Lynx and its maintainers.

    Google claiming they will beat Microsoft or anyone else is just plain ludicrous. It's like an aftermarket auto parts maker stating they will put the auto manufacturer out of business.
  • by managedcode ( 863136 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @01:20PM (#13693840)
    1 MS somehow has the copy of Google's strategy. Their is heavy corporate spying between the two. MS Managers are interviewing at Google just to sniff what's going on ? For example, a Manager working for Jeff Rikes interviewed for Google. It is speculated that Google will launch a product similar to MS Business Solutions but the product will be web based.....
    2 We need an Office online and do you think Bill is sleeping ? LOL, take a dip in your bath tub. I speculate they must have already started their internal testing on the product. Don't you trust managedcode ?
    3 Server-Equals-Service. Its really embaressing the way Ballmer talks. He should first learn to respect Geeks/Developers. Bill has this vision since 2000(web-services). Ultimately it is making money out of it. Gooogle is intimidating MS, trust me now MSN is under direct supervision of Bill and you will see search improve drastically. Bill was focused on Windows for the last 5 years to mature it as a world class product and it sure is now. Do I sound like his technical assistant, oho fuck!
    5 The FAT Layer... As company matures their are people who worked hard once upon a time. They now buy Box tickets to Mariners game and work at Microsoft to socialiaze. Some ambitious men like Lee were frustrated because of this. IBM has the fattest layer who negotiate with governments and they have their own way of milking. Slowly MS is going that way but it would hard to see Bill sitting down and doing nothing.
    6 Product Vs Product(Major Products) Windows/Office - Keep Dreaming about Linux with 1% Market share. (Office story is threatening, but new features are being offered and I speculate that Office will be an Integrated communication system or some value added product to maintain the bottomline).
    SQL-Server - Oracle-Fuck yourself. Google, if you can beat this, I will put a SELL recommendation on MSFT. I have seen the performance of Yukon, it rocks. It will fuck Oracle & DB2 on 64 bit.
    Xbox - So nicely timed. The entertainment division will be in Black this year.
    Web-Services - GOOG leads.......
    7 Morale amongst employees, Very High for GOOG plus the attitude. MS 25% supercharged, another 25% work because they like to develop and another 25% work to earn and another 25% don't care.
    8 Compensation MS bumped it up for all its GMs and VPs. Yes the Box ticket holders so I don't see much difference but will make atleast 25% difference but what else Bill can do now ? Google has the best pay and job satisfaction amongst its employees now. And a sky rocketing stock producing googlainers.
    MS has too much shit internally to deal with and sure Google will see some setbacks too. The clear winner will be the consumer because of innovation and I am glad corporate America is once again innovating leaving China and India behind.
  • (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ebcdicpb ( 548400 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @01:25PM (#13693855) Homepage
    Google seems to have already registered

    ...but through a different registrar, as if they might have something to hide.

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

    by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:06PM (#13694040) Homepage
    Both aim for delivering individually tailored ads to people, but there are some subtle differences.. Google provides those people with a service while doubleclick does not. Google has a pretty good track record with regards to selling your info to others, Doubleclick has not,. I think you get the idea here.

    That said, Google is a company that is there to make money, every other thing they do ultimately serves that purpose.
  • Re:and then... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anthony_dipierro ( 543308 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:09PM (#13694061) Journal

    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 about as upfront about it as the government. You know they have a lot of information about you, but they won't tell you what it is. Actually, in that sense the government is in some ways better - you can file a freedom of information act request to find out just what it is the government knows about you (although they will likely only give you a partial answer). The big difference is that most people have a reasonable choice whether or not to interact with Google. It's much harder to avoid interacting with the government.

    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.

    My main problem with them is their lack of a data retention policy. You don't need the full history of every search a person has made over his entire lifetime just to send some ads.

    It's not as though they're using any of the information that they're collecting to persecute anyone.

    Companies change. The management changes, the ownership changes, etc. Google probably isn't using any of the information in a bad way now, but who knows what they're going to do 5, 10 years from now. Right now, the government probably can't access very much of Google's data unless they have a specific court order. Who knows how true that's going to be 5, 10 years from now. A data retention policy is key. IP addresses, browser information, and anything else which could help identify a person should be decoupled from the rest of the data after a few years. If it is kept at all, it should be limited to how many hits came from a particular IP address on a particular day. Cookie information should be wiped after a while. As much as possible, the information should be aggregated.

    Yes, there also need to be tight controls over who can access the data at all, it should be limited to those with a need to know and audit trails should be kept on who is accessing what. This part is already being done according to the reports I've read. But data retention is key.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:02PM (#13694263)
    Seriously guys, this is a big wanking session. Since when did everybody on Slashdot become qualified to spell out corporate strategy for Google and Microsoft? Stick with technology - no one disputes your knowledge in that space. Its when we start making arbitrary pronouncements that we look like a bunch of fools.
  • by kbahey ( 102895 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:17PM (#13694329) Homepage
    It was not Microsoft who dethroned IBM. It was the minis then distributed computing that did so.

    IBM was the king of the mainframe: highly reliable and expensive centralized computing that is accessed from terminals.

    The trouble for IBM started with the minis with proprietary operating systems, such as DEC VMS and the like. Then it was the UNIX minis made by several vendors like Sun, Pyramid, HP.

    Much later it was client server computing that finally toppled IBM from the position of dominance they had. There was Novell Netware and Banyan VINES there as well, way before Windows networking was something to go by.

    They changed from the arrogant top player to a much humbled, yet respected company. This was in the early to mid 1990s as I recall.

    Microsoft's role in all this is not that great, apart from providing the operating system for PCs in the client server world.
  • by anthony_dipierro ( 543308 ) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:26PM (#13694375) Journal

    Why is google any more different than any other successful IT company?

    It's not, really. I feel pretty much the same way about Google today as I felt about Yahoo years ago. "Geeky name, great products, God I hope they kill Microsoft." Look back in the Slashdot archives. I'm almost sure that Slashdot was saying the same thing about Yahoo, and even Netscape.

    Microsoft (and AOL) killed Netscape. Yahoo just kind of stopped being cool. I'm not sure why, and the management of Google needs to really study that one. One difference is that the founders of Yahoo didn't retain anywhere near the level of control that the Google founders so far have. Right now Google is the big story, and it's really up to them what they're going to do next.

    The company has billions of dollars in cash, some of which they just raised in a secondary offering. No is really sure what it is they plan on doing with that money, and where Google goes from here is going to be largely determined by that.

  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) * on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:53PM (#13694483)
    Remember when the PC was something that was really expensive and that no one really knew what to do with except it could be used as a fancy typewriter and play games?

    You state that like PCs of today are anything more than fancy typewriters that play games. This is how they're seen by a huge percentage of the computer owning public. I'm sorry but Microsoft Windows didn't kick start the PC industry, DOS did. MS-DOS ran on everyone's PC clones, not just IBM's hardware. This put MS-DOS on just about every PC sold that didn't come from IBM. Compatibility with PC-DOS meant that people could buy a PC running MS-DOS from Compaq and run the same programs they had on their IBM PC at work. When Windows got to the point of general usability they simply rolled their DOS contracts with OEMs into Windows ones. Since Microsoft went out of its way to maintain backwards compatibility companies rolling out new PCs with Windows 3.1 could run their old versions of Lotus 123 or WordPerfect.

    I'm not going to do anything catchy here, but lets face it, no one even really remember Word Perfect or Word Star or Star Office, or any of it. They use Microsoft Office ...

    Wow. You have got to be kidding. Maybe in recent years Microsoft Office has become the dominant productivity suite but for a long time it struggled against its competition. Years ago Lotus 123 has a monopoly on the spreadsheet market. It wasn't until Excel 4.0 came out that it really took off, it did so because it could do everything 123 did including write 123 files in addition to having its own featureset. Excel succeeded because it out 123'ed 123. WordPerfect had eaten Word Star's market and ruled PC desktops alongside Lotus 123 for years. Word for DOS was considered an also-ran. When Microsoft figured it was betting the company on Windows the Word team did a complete overhaul on Word. It got a lot of good reviews initially and the team did quite a bit of market research to find out what people hated about WordPerfect and then made those things simple in Word. In both cases Microsoft's Office products had to pry the market away from a monopoly competitor.

    Google has gmail, which is pretty popular. Microsoft has hotmail, which is more popular.
    Google has gtalk (or whatever the hell its called). Microsoft has MSN, which is more popular.
    Google has Microsoft has the worlds most used internet browser that defaults itself to as its homepage.

    Wow again. You're comparing Google's recent releases with Microsoft products and services that have been struggling for years. Hotmail has been around since 1996. Gmail has been around since 2004. Google Talk has been around a little over a month. The MSN homepage is seen by a lot of people but not used by many. Yahoo! is read by more people daily than MSN and as you mention MSN is the default homepage of just about everyone buying a new PC with Windows on it.

The absent ones are always at fault.