Friday, October 14, 2005

Making sense of Google vs. Microsoft

For most of 2005 now, it seems we cannot get through a work week without a new offering from Google. From GoogleMaps to GoogleTalk, Schmidt and his team are stretching further than ever before. And with its new partnership with Sun, there's little doubt Google wants to cast a colorful shadow across the world.

But I've heard many over the past year complain, saying Google should stick to search and just dominate the market. Some say Google should stick to its roots and let retail software companies worry about the consumer market.

I say that is a very near-sighted opinion. The problem is this: Average web searchers don't use an engine primarily because of its relevancy, but because of its simplicity. They simply take the path of less resistance. Google designed a simple, easy-to-use interface that was straightforward and effective, and people came.

Now, Google realizes that Microsoft has every opportunity in the world to make a search interface that is quick and easy (we're already seeing some of this in Windows Vista and Office 12). Currently, Google relies on the browser; people opening IE or Firefox and navigating. But what if the browser, as we know it, disappears?

Google has to get in front of your nose in a proactive way if they want to survive. They have no other option.


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