ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : BigTech, OnGoogle, OnMicrosoft, PlatformWars, SearchEngines

BillGates says Google "kicked our butts". And now he's out to take the space. As Gates is still one of the smartest people at this game, it's worth watching how he'll do it.

Microsoft will be displeased, to put it mildly, if Google Desktop begins to supplant the traditional Windows desktop interface and file systems. :


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Marketing War

This discussion with GrahamLally refactored from GoogleHoles

How can you go into a marketing battle against an "organisation" such as Google that doesn't rely primarily on marketing in the slightest, and never has? In fact, that's partly what makes Google so good - all these years later, and still no adverts bombarding you on the home page. Google has never tooted its own trumpet, it just lets its technology do the talking for it. Geeks picked this up, as with most good stuff on the net ;) and then everyone started using it because "it just works".

The article also quotes: "The only way you beat Google is by being 'what's next.'", which is also blatant nonsense. There have been a variety of efforts to come up with something "newer" (and, necessarily, "better" - anything other is a step backwards), and Google has still seen them all off.

I suspect Microsoft have in mind a "full-on" search "experience" that doesn't limit itself to the web. I suspect they'll pull in all their hefty business contacts and in-site networking, their content aggregation deals and so on. They'll want to produce something that gives you everything you can possibly imagine. And then they'll dose it with consumer deals, related advertising, sponsored links and MSN goodies. They're not after the geeks, they're after the home and the business users that just pick whatever search engine they think is cool, because everyone else uses it. Or maybe I'm naive :)

But to actually produce a "better" search than Google would require tactics that Microsoft don't have - a passion for the technology, rather than the market, and a willingness to give up commercialism.


I'm not convinced. I think you're wrong to think that Microsoft aren't geeks with a passion for technology. What's fiendishly brilliant about Microsoft, as opposed to all the other software corporates, is that they still are guided by a truly genius geek. (Who happens to have gone over to the dark-side of commerce but is still a geek.) My take on Microsoft remains that they aren't particularly stupid. Instead Microsoft represents the best you could expect of a ProprietorySoftware? company. When your strategy is to try to win market share through NetworkExternalities? and run every personal computer in the world you a) dumb down for the majority of naive users, and b) your resources are stretched to breaking point.

I don't believe any other company could make better software under the logic of proprietrism. (That's why Apple and Sun have had to embrace OpenSource with OSX, and OpenOffice? / Linux respectively.)

I also think Microsoft are a very empirical company. And they are experts at winning platform wars. One of the reasons they do win platform wars is because they do learn the best tricks of the opposition, and find ways to improve them (compare Lotus / Excel, Netscape 4 / IE 4)

So if BillGates? gets the idea that Google are winning because of their clean design and "don't be evil" policy, no marketing flake in Microsoft is going to fill Moogle with adverts and distortions due to proprietory content deals. (MSN looks like crap because they were copying AOL.)

My prediction is that the M$ strategy to beat Google will go like this :

  • integrate search into a the desktop (somehow ... XP, IE, Outlook)
  • a better API for Moogle, supporting more standards (SOAP, XML-RPC etc.)
  • easy integration with these in .NET, accessable through VB .NET


See also :