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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Emerging Competition Between Google & Microsoft

The NYTimeshas an interesting take on the emerging Google –Microsoft race . Google believes that cloud computing can be a game changer. Henry Blodget has an interesting perspective on this. As I see it, Microsoft appears to be losing customer centricity and their cultural DNA seems to be moving away from incremental innovation –particularly with the windows platform and their inexplicable delay in rolling out Longhorn are clear indications of losing steam. Microsoft will take decades to be out of business as their product basket of offering is wide – and some niches may still save the company.I am still baffled why Microsoft (other than for being selfish about its interest)is not considering providing a hosted solution - when enterprise application software vendors are beginning to provide and stepping up aggression in pushing. Microsoft may end up to be a pale shadow of its present –that would be sad indeed – but the risk is indeed high for Microsoft. Microsoft is lucky that currently there is no one alternative that can dislodge it in key arena's - starting particularly in the desktop segment. While looking at future of microsoft, I wrote that the impending power of Broadband and hosted models are creating a new tapestry very different from what Microsoft is envisaging - one can note that microsoft has lagged behind in most of the new elements in this picture. Many think that hordes of cash, lock-ins and a lack of credible alternative to it would insure microsoft against any downturn in future - I doubt it - while microsoft may be trying to creating froth in the consumer electronics sector- it is appallingly falling behind in its ability to be creative and seems to be losing touch in respect of making new roll outs win in the market - MSN portal, MSN search , declining attraction towards hotmail, the non starter called spaces.msn.com etc - all conclusively point to this. Glorious past is certainly no pointer to great success in future. It is nice to see that Microsoft is planning to take the right moves - Time for Google to pre-empt Microsoft in this move.
Another interesting perspective to be considered here us that given the exponential increase in Internet connected devices, coupled with increased processor power and bandwidth attached to devices, the very definition of "server" may be about to change. With IPV6 about to get rolled out on a massive scale, the nature of relationship between a server and a client undergoes significant shift. This enables creation of an environment ripe for the development of new client layers and application models, operating on a much more distributed scale than we have ever seen and who better than Google could capitalize on this. The Google model of massively distributed computing gets more relevant here and extend this to a new ecosystem of net-enabled devices. Its going to be a different, different world – one wherein Microsoft would begin to get more and more less dominant.

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