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Google and Microsoft - The Race or is it a chase?

For years now Google and Microsoft have been at loggerheads. I have lost count but this must be something like my 50th something story on the Google and Microsoft saga, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2010 17:29 IST
Puneet Mehrotra

For years now Google and Microsoft have been at loggerheads. I have lost count but this must be something like my 50th something story on the Google and Microsoft saga. The initial years of the Google Microsoft saga were stuff legends are made of. The world's biggest company, Microsoft, the world's richest man, Bill Gates, versus a startup, Google and an unknown founder and this startup within a few years threatens the very existence of the World's biggest company. The story of an underdog threatening the Empire is the stuff which always appeals to the public mind and creates legends. But is the Microsoft Google story really a legend that a startup goes on to become the biggest company in the World or is it because we like to hear legends? The anti-establishment story always appeals. The revolt, the revolution, the Che factor, the change always appeals. But what after that? The revolt has happened are we going to see a new empire set in or was it that was all it was meant to be?

Air, Water, Google, Microsoft, Food

Try and survive without any of these in times of today and you probably won't succeed. Air, water, food as we all know, Microsoft for everything offline and Google for everything online. If boundaries between offline and online was clear the conflict would never really have happened. Increasing bandwidths, fading boundaries between online and offline and Microsoft goes LIVE online literally and Google Gears it offline again literally. Now it isn't just a territorial dispute but a combination of offline and online merged into one Universe and only the best and fittest can rule this Universe. The revolutionary isn't valid any longer, post revolution what's next? A Kingdom needs a Statesman to run it not a revolutionary.

Google - Power corrupts and absolute power absolutely

I am a huge Google fan and in absolute awe of how it took on Microsoft yet also its critic. Last year I had written a story Why Google Sucks? All those points are still valid except maybe the Chinese dominance one and Google's current stand. Consumer privacy at Google sucks even now. The amount of consumer information Google really has is mind boggling. Would Microsoft ever be trusted with that much information? The answer is no. Then why is Google being trusted. It doesn't really need to Einstein to figure this out that Google does have information about when you last when on a date, what you did, what you ate, when you last fought with your spouse if you have written about in your Gmail.

Innovation at Google

What really drives innovation at Google? Is the driving force of innovation at Google what Google "thinks" is in the best interest of the consumer or is it what consumers really want? The answer probably is Google gives what Google wants and a good case are recent innovations from Google.

Wow! Google Buzz is so cool, it's taken on Facebook. Have you heard that from anyone? What did Google really have in mind about Buzz, was it the consumers or was it what Google thinks best? Or just because half the email population is using Gmail so does Google really think whatever it serves the consumers would consume.

Google Docs updates. Perfectly timed keeping in mind its rival Microsoft Office 2010. Google Docs no longer allows offline access to documents. Is it an acceleration problem or a problem with (Google) Gears? Even though some of the updates are good but the fact is Microsoft Office is the most powerful suite even now. By now more and better was expected from Google Docs.

Microsoft on the other hand came out with Docs.com that allows you share documents in Facebook. Built using Microsoft Office 2010 - Docs for Facebook lets you work from just about anywhere with the familiar Office experience.

The Last Word

Google labs is actually a great place to see innovation. But so are the 1000's of other idea banks, school labs, and 1000's of startups across the world wide web. Do any one them have the steam to take on Microsoft? When was the last time Google came up with an application that changed the rules of the game? Are we going to see another Gmail kind of application ever? Will Google do something to make Google Docs the most powerful online suite? When we can we see a launch of a masterpiece that truly shows the mark of magnificence that used to Google once upon a time.