This Looks Like An Official Declaration of War To Me

It appears that Google has finally officially declared war on Microsoft.  I find this completely perplexing, as I’d think a more effective strategy would be to simply sidestep the whole desktop OS / app thing and just continue to innovate like crazy.  Why pick a fight when you don’t need to?

  • Could it be more a feint to keep MS on the defensive there while Google actually engages somewhere else. What to do they lose from this? The CEO’s do a Barney, they both get some good press, MS hates Google anyway and now has to put some focus on what this means to them and Google just keeps doing what it is doing. This announcement does not even say they are buying Sun machines. Do you really think they are going to push Sun Office as an alternative?

  • Feld Thoughts: We Media vs. Web 2.0

    Feld Thoughts: We Media vs. Web 2.0
    We Media vs. Web 2.0

    There are two conferences going on today – We Media and Web 2.0. Both are sold out, have great speakers, and have generated lots of “pre-conference” buzz (whatever that means.)


  • I watched the announcement yesterday, and their comments and body language both said (to me) that they’re still discussing/negotiating an overall deal. That said, Eric Schmidt’s comment associating MS-Word with Gmail’s RTF capabilities provided a window to his thoughts/vision.

  • Advice to Google … from my scoutmaster

    From Reuters yesterday …Sun and Google, a leading Web search company, said they would jointly promote Java Desktop and Open Office, Sun’s operating system and office productivity software systems. Working with Google will make our technologies availa…

  • I don’t get this either. It’s reminiscent of Mark Andreesen’s “poorly debugged device drivers” comment, except by a grownup in Eric Schmidt. (It’s debatable wheter McNealy is a grownup.)

    Google gets 95% of their revenue from one source. I wonder it this is an attempt to diversify revenue or just a pissing contest.

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  • I think that you are reading more into this announcement than is really there. First off, that MS and Google are at war, or put another way, that this is a zero-sum outcome, isn’t new new news.

    Ballmer is already on record, and Microsoft’s record of embrace-extend-extinguish is legendary. Google is flicking them right back with the perennial nod and wink, basically acknowledging the target, and saying, “Right back atcha!”

    In the end, as you point out, this will be about innovation, mindshare and chess.

    As to the particulars of the announcement, I am not the first person to say this, but this “deal” smells an awful lot like a big valentines day card from Eric Schmidt to his former employer, Sun. Sun, after all, has lost its mojo as a cool company and the association with Google has some halo effect for Sun.

    I can see plenty of theoretical goodness scenarios for Sun but not a whole heck of a lot of love for Google. As others have stated, Java is largely irrelevant on the client side, which is what this announcement was focused on. This is even more so with the emergence of Ajax.

    As I was parsing through the details, I thought a lot about how PR really works in large companies. They accrue a bunch of “stories” that can be announced in succession which creates a self fulfilling buzz prophecy.

    Net-net: for Google, this keeps the embers burning, casts further shadows on Redmond about Googles plans to usurp the desktop, yet reveals nothing concrete.

    To be clear, Google’s best path to outflanking Microsoft, which is basically the strategy they are pursuing, is to solve a different problem than MS Office. Open Office is a losing strategy to match MS Office punch for punch and while Sun may have not gotten this, Google seems to completely get it.

  • Feld Thoughts: We Media vs. Web 2.0

    Feld Thoughts: We Media vs. Web 2.0
    We Media vs. Web 2.0

    There are two conferences going on today – We Media and Web 2.0. Both are sold out, have great speakers, and have generated lots of “pre-conference” buzz (whatever that means.)


  • To me it looks logical.

    It’s impossible to kill a leviathan like Office overnight. And rumoured Ajax Office is (1) hard to build (2) will have a hard time standing against full-blown desktop suite. So it is more like a throwing a ‘trial stone’ and seeing what happens.

  • Gator

    The next frontier for search is the OS – watch & know what people are doing while they arent on the Internet and just using their computer. Thats why they embedded search in GMAIL – to see what you’re talking about & know more about you. Watch, next there will be a XML / VOIP search product that “crawls & indexes” your conversations while you are talking about on Skype.

  • Derald Muniz

    I think that a lot of different companies have Microsoft’s attention now — especially Google. A recent article made the argument that Microsoft is on alert and that the competition coming at them from various directions is just going to make them a more focused company. The recent slew of product announcements shows that. I agree that Google should just keep doing what it has been doing — innovating.

  • Kurt Foeller

    I feel exactly the same way…there are plenty of more interesting fights to pick, and certainly many that won’t draw a deep-pocketed market offensive. Guess that next year’s MS launches were too attractive of a target.

  • Jyoti

    Riddle me this, what exactly has google innovated since page rank? gmail? MS and yahoo have been doing that for the better part of a decade, google had a bigger mailbox but everyone followed, very quickly. BFD.

    Gtalk? You mean like yahoo messenger and MSN messenger, only what like 6 years later? BFD. It’s jabber minus some features, yeah they took features out.

    The variations on search are still search, aren’t they? It’s cool, it’s useful, it’s still search and none of it is that original.

    Maps and earth? Again cool and again things that have been done. I’m not exactly sure how they plan to make a billion dollars from this, I like to play with it because it’s free for me, I still haven’t found a killer reason to pay them.

    Free wifi? Where is the profit coming from? Worse, they aren’t even targeting any areas where high speed networking isn’t already available. What’s so special about that? I could respect this more if they were actually solving a problem, if I could get free wifi on my road trip to Alta going through northern Colorado, Wyoming and Utah
    then I could see some real value and something actually unique and fresh. What they are doing is akin to setting up another coffee cart in Seattle. (“but this one is coffee… and it’s not on a corner but in the middle of the block”)

    MS already has them squared up in the cross-hairs, msn search isn’t that bad either, it’s not the same brand but that’s a solvable problem. Punching back at MS is the right thing, plus they aren’t just punching MS, they are aiming at the crown jewels, Google is trying to hit them in the nose and hurt them. I’m a big fan of google and I think they will continue to be cool by doing the hard stuff, not by knocking off what their competitors (yahoo) already do. Are they supposed to fear MS? Let MS slowly build steam and try to fight on google’s turf? Does that tactic work? Has it ever? If google fears them then I don’t see another start-up coming along and doing better and fighting MS. If google fears them then maybe they should pack it in because they are going to fight MS one way or another so long as they are in this industry. It might be easier money to just steal stuff and copy other companies, take some
    opensource and put a GUI on it or something like that but you don’t make a google that way and you sure as hell don’t make an IBM, HP or MS that way. If you’re only a google fan for the quick buck, I think the ride is over or coming to an end, sell the stock now, if you want to see it climb up to 1000 or more then they need to actually do
    something that makes a stock worth that, don’t you think? You might have to actually fight some competition for that to happen too. Seems to me, MS has proven a market, why not get in there, build something better (hey, innovation!) and take it from them? I didn’t go to MBA school but selling a kick ass office suite looks like it’s pretty profitable.

    What about this OASIS stuff? MS isn’t making their people rich anymore either, google is. I put my money on the new rich kids making a better office suite than the MS wage slaves, or at least doing something interesting.

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