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The master strategy by Microsoft

To be honest I am a big Google fan. But a master stroke is a master stroke and it has to be appreciated, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

business Updated: May 06, 2006 10:58 IST

The UK Securities & Investment Institute (SII) is all set to launch an office in Mumbai Thursday to accommodate the growing number of Britain based financial services firms' offshoring their operations staff to India.

Official sources here said that the SII Mumbai office would be based in the Commodities Exchange and that a local client liaison manager, Arwa Tapia, had also been appointed.
Tapia qualified as a chartered accountant in India with Deloitte and Touche.

SII Managing Director Ruth Martin said: "We are delighted to be opening our India office in Mumbai and very pleased that Arwa is joining us. Our member firms have made it clear that the training and competence levels of their staff in India is paramount to maintaining high standards of customer service.

"For example, our member firm, the global company International Financial Data Services (IFDS), is one of several firms which has put a number of its staff through our qualifications and training programme."

Members of the London Stock Exchange formed SII in 1992. Its mission is to set standards of professional excellence and integrity for the securities and investment industry, providing qualifications and promoting the highest level of competence to its members, firms and others.
The SII is now the pre-eminent professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK. Over 16,000 members benefit from a programme of professional training and development.

The institute is the principal awarding body for industry qualifications and last year its examinations attracted 35,000 candidates.

The master strategist - the Microsoft move

Google, Google and Google. For the last couple of months it looked like the web was only about Google. I am a Google fan, but even I was almost getting sick writing about the same company acquiring or launching a new application week after week. Google Calendar, Google Finance, Google acquiring the online word processor. It seemed the web belonged to Google.  Some neo-pundits even predicted Microsoft had it days counted and soon everything in the civilization would be Google.  Well folks, the giant has finally woken. The biggest company in the world, Microsoft has made its move. And what a master strategy it is. But first what's behind the moves.

The thought machinery in Microsoft and Google

An electronic civilization it is. Trust me it is.  I just moved to a new apartment and two days without the Internet and now as I type this on my notebook it seems from the ice-age back to the future.  The Microsofts and Googles of the world are the corporations that govern our existence in this electronic age.  Google offers mostly everything for free.  The free attraction and freedom is gone. Call it the subliminal effect of brands in the e-age. The bottom line, the ultimate weapon in this e-age is the thought machinery.

The Stanford - Google connection

The "thought network". The Stanford University Network and the Google connection is well known.  In fact, each Google application is absolutely superb. Right from design to development to usability, Google applications are absolute stunners. This simply isn't possible without the right brains at work. Why haven't the other companies, some bigger giants than Google, managed to get even half the kudos? The answer is the thought network Google has. Absolutely awesome!
Mr Money Bags - Microsoft

If you don't have the brains, no problem. Buy them. Bill Gates and his present avatara, Ballmer definitely aren't the brightest people.  Yet they are the some of the richest souls on this planet.  The power lies in the realisation of what they have. Money.  Money has the power to attract the best brains from the best business and technology schools in the world.  The bottom line is, Microsoft has some of the best brains at work.  Even to think that this company would just take it all without retaliating is a dumb thing to believe.

Google had it coming. And what a move Microsoft made.

The master strategy by Microsoft

But a masterstroke is a masterstroke and it has to be appreciated. The Microsoft move has Google literally gasping for breath at the moment. The core competency of Google is its search. Google search revenue is its bread and butter and Microsoft has given it a huge blow.

An upcoming release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser will contain a search box that in some cases defaults to the MSN search engine. Internet Explorer currently has 85% market share. As a result, Microsoft might be able to persuade more people to use its search technology and potentially win a larger share of the extremely lucrative market for Internet advertising.  Search based advertising revenue in  $10 billion online advertising market is Google's main stake.  An attack there means attacking the very heart of the corporation.

Noteworthy is Google attack on Microsoft two months ago when it acquired Writely, an online processing software. I had written on it (hindustantimes) and had said it is an attack in the heart of Microsoft. That happened on March 14, 2006.  It's May 2 today and Microsoft has retaliated in a manner so strong getting Google almost crying for its very survival.

Call it a case of bad week or simply a case of corporate politics. Another bad news for Google is that Amazon has bid Google goodbye. Amazon has announced that it is dropping Google in favour of Microsoft search technology. Amazon's A9 search engine, which includes web searches, book searches and blog searches, used Google's search technology to power it. Google's contract with Amazon recently expired, and the online retailer has decided to move to Microsoft-powered searches for the future.

Call it corporate politics or a co-incidence, the fact is when the biggest corporate giants fight, their strokes are beautiful and sinful as the best paintings or the best composition ever heard.  While ink will fill pages full of case studies on the Great War of Internet, at the moment while the ink is still wet Google seems to be terribly hurt.  In its very heart...

The Google retaliation

By hook or by crook is the strategy Google seems to be following.  On one hand, Google is cornering Microsoft legally by accusing Microsoft of not playing fair in advertising market and is taking its concerns with antitrust regulators in the United States and Europe.


On the other front, it is trying to use the people power by throwing considerable weight behind the fast growing alternative to Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, which has about 11% market share.

The bottom line

On March 14, when Google had acquired Writely I had ended up by saying, "Well done Google." The war between Microsoft and Google is getting interesting. Let's see who acquires or poaches what in the coming weeks. Trust me to keep you informed.

This week it's the power of money and attack as the best defence. A master strategy by Microsoft. This time it's advantage Microsoft.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at www.cyberzest.com and edits www.thebusinessedition.com you can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com