Sunday, March 27, 2005

How can Google beat Microsoft?

Interesting article on competition in the Search Industry. It focuses on Microsoft vs Google and in particular on the need to develop a API for search. It recommends Google go all out to develop and control the platform for search. I think the author presents a very drastic view of competition against Microsoft: Slash and burn your own farms and retreat to the hills kind of mentality.

Some great quotes though ... In all of Microsofts successful battles, it has used the same strategies. It undercuts its competitors in pricing, unifies previously separate markets, provides open but proprietary APIs, and bundles new functions into platforms it already dominates. Once it has acquired control over an industry standard, it invades neighboring markets.

The author contends that because Microsoft controls the browser and the productivity apps, it can easily leverage it to gain dominance of the developers platform for search. While this is possible, he ignores the inroads that open source has made against Microsoft on the desktop. Microsoft certainly has a lot of potential weapons but it could also face attacks on many fronts. So my question comes down to: is Microsoft like the Roman empire or is it more like the Mongol Horde combined with the discpline of the Borg?


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