Microsoft has historically been best known for its Windows operating systems and suite of Office products such as Word, Excel, and Outlook. Conversely, Google is best known for its internet search engine. As both companies strive for more market share and computer dominance, they are taking the approach of entering adjacent markets to their core competencies.
Microsoft, abandoning the Live search engine that has taken a beating from Google over the last decade, has launched a new, feature rich search engine called Bing. They are trying to differentiate themselves from the Google search engine by parting from Google’s clean, minimalist look and adding more content to the search page, hopefully reducing the number of clicks for its customers.
Google on the other hand has been relentlessly attacking Microsoft on all fronts, with search, web based e-mail, office, and even an operating system. Arguably one of Google’s most successful endeavors is the cloud based Gmail e-mail service. Gmail has been vastly superior to Microsoft’s Hotmail e-mail service, offering many more features, and, originally more storage space to gain market share. The web based service also competes with Microsoft’s desktop client e-mail service, Outlook, leveraging the ease of accessing online e-mail.
Gmail has changed the way many people use e-mail, by labeling, archiving the messages instead of putting them in folders, and finally offering advance filtering and spam blocking technology. The advantage of the Gmail system is that one message can have many tags attached, versus the old system which required the e-mail to be stored in only one folder. Below are some of the areas where Microsoft and Google are competing for market share:
Software Microsoft Google
Search Bing (replacing Live) Google search
E-mail Hotmail / Outlook Gmail
Document Editing Office Suite Google Documents
Picture editing Paint.NET / Windows live photo gallery Picasa
Operating system Windows (XP, Vista, 7) Chrome OS
Online storage Skydrive Google Documents
Mobile Operating System Windows Phone (replacing Windows Mobile) Android
Google and Microsoft are engaging in an epic battle to become the most dominant technology software company in the world. In the end, one of them may come out on top, but in the mean time, we are all benefactors in the war to improve software, improve services and become more consumer-centric.
Google has relied heavily on a superior search algorithm, on being a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) provider and counting on advertising revenue to fund its business. As Google generates more free services that compete with paid-for applications from other companies, it expands its user base and thus, increases the opportunities to show advertisements to customers. This strategy relies on Google’s ability to bring value-added and innovative products to market that can legitimately compete with established applications. Google has...