Overdoing it on Google

By March 21, 2007 2 Comments

Google v Microsoft 

Historically on this blog I  have been a little down on Google and bullish on Microsoft’s chances of making a dent in their online business.

As time passes, events happen, and I get a little wiser (hopefully…) I am thinking that I may have been too bearish on Google.  This post is about re-dressing that balance.

So this is what is new (to me at least):

  • Scoble blogged on Friday that “Microsoft’s Internet execution sucks (on whole).”  When someone like him says something like that you listen.  He is really down on their ability to beat Google
  • 18 months after launch Windows Live isn’t making the impact Microsoft executives hoped for – Mary Jo Foley analyses some of the shortcomings here
  • Microsoft’s Adcentre is struggling due to their low market share in search
  • Search has got further to go for Google than I thought.  This is mostly a story about international growth – search revenue per head is way lower in countries like France and Germany than it is in the UK (highest search revenue per head in the world) and America.  Then there is Eastern Europe and Asia.

Both companies have their challenges and I would still be surprised if Microsoft fails to make some kind of inroad into Google’s position, but I am now thinking that nothing will happen quickly.  Microsoft’s key advantage remains the ability to search natively from the operating system – if firing up the browser to start a search becomes an unecessary step then Google might be in trouble.

Also, I am starting to believe that to taking search to the next level will take a radical re-design of the search interface – this might throw the competitive game wide open again.  More on this later.

My earlier posts on Google and Microsoft include: