Could Google Be the New Microsoft?

Today, the New York Times released an article about how Google is becoming an even bigger superpower than it already is. The article came out directly following Google’s announcement about plans to release an addition 14 million shares of stock and the release of their new chat client called Talk. Of course, there are going to be critics of any underdog turn huge but I’m wondering if there is any truth in what some of the folks in Silicon Valley are saying?

At first, I was trying to figure out how exactly they were Microsoft-like. And I have decided I don’t know nearly about Microsoft and/or its history. Nor do I know enough about where Google plans to go. That makes this really hard to compare the two.

Today, I’d like to hopefully open up a discussion regarding the NYT article and whether or not Google can be compared to Microsoft and if folks feel that they’re spreading themselves too thin. I have selfish reasons, I won’t deny. I want to expand my knowledge.

12 Comments

  1. As someone who works for a company that is primarily a marketing and manufacturing operation, I think of google as being a lot like WalMart as well as MSFT: they are the dominant player. Everything that I do that touches the web has to have a google factor. Google’s size and influence changes the way we do business. At the same time, I cannot really say the same thing about MSFT. Sure I’m writing this comment via a PC and using IE as my browser, but MSFT actually makes some of what we do easier; I cannot say the same about Google and WalMart.

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  2. MS owns the desktop. When you sit down at a computer and use one, there’s a 90% chance you’re using MS stuff exclusively.

    Google is trying to own the internet – anything that involves people reaching out beyond their desks, to either search for something or communicate with one another – they’re trying to own.

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  3. When you say the “new Microsoft,” I think of an evil company that pushed competitors out of the marketplace through somewhat nefarious means. I don’t know if that is a fair characterization, but it seems to be the theory among the technocrati.

    To me, Google hasn’t done anything like that. Google has dominated the marketplace by offering a better service and a better product. It has been closed about some things (such as its algorithm), but has also opened up its code for other purposes (such as maps-hacks). This seems to be vastly different behavior than MS.

    On the other hand, if what you mean is simply that Google will be big like MS is big, then, yes Google will be the next MS.

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  4. My big problem with microsoft is their stuff doesnt work very well – crashing, incomapible, etc. I can usually get something up and running on my apple hours before i can on my pc. They pushed all their products out the door and took over the world with crappy stuff. Now google, I have to say, is not guilty of that. Whatever they seem to touch they improve. Google maps is just plain better than mapquest or yahoo, google scholar – i use that constantly, google earth – i was searching for this kind of product for my job, ready to pay a lot of money for it and voila! google earth. and all these products work well.
    I might just be a huge google fan (and I am) but I havent felt that wave of resentment through silicon valley described in the article, and I live here.

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  5. That’s good news, Claudia. If you read the article to the repetitive soundtrack of “Worst. Episode. Ever.” I think it might start to make more sense. At the very least it helps maybe make sense of who is complaining? I dunno.

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  6. Google is great at taking ideas that have already been done and making them their own. I’d say that’s a lot like Microsoft. I will give them credit that, so far, they improve upon the ideas they are taking. They are a little scary though if you think about a search engine going through your email, IM, desktop, and logging where you live, where you’re travelling to, and what you’re searching for online. Hmmm… sounds like a best friend of the Patriot Act to me.

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  7. I have to admit, DeeKay, I have often gotten a bit freaky over the amount of information Google now has regarding each individual computer user (search strings, email, now chats, file transfers, etc). They could potentially know everything. Godle.com.

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  8. They only know what you give ‘em.

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  9. Or what other people who happen to know your name make up about you. ;]

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  10. google also tracks what links you actually click on too – they have an onmousedown javascript event that notifies their server which things you click (cleaner looking than a html redirect page)

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  11. so if i just click obsessively all over the page while i read they will know what im really like?

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  12. And they will find you and beat you with the Internet.
    If that’s the case, paranoia just hit the airways, Miss Claudia.

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