Is Google Becoming the New Microsoft?

Google is launching its own operating system, Google Chrome OS. The news came yesterday directly from the horse’s mouth. This development is worth noticing. It might be the beginning of the end of Microsoft’s thirty years of domination in the operating system market. Or is it so? Can Google beat Microsoft in its own game? Everyone is raising toast and welcoming the presumed victory of Google Chrome OS over Microsoft Windows, but I am skeptic about this. Very skeptic about this! I do not believe the new goliath (Google) will beat the old goliath (Microsoft) in the OS Game. Reason? This is what I am going to talk about. Once upon a time, Microsoft was a beast that needed to be tamed. Macintosh failed, so did Linux, which anyway is not one operating system. It appeared then that Microsoft is not just the new black, but it’s the black that is going to color the whole world in its own color. And then came internet and entered into the arena two starry-eyed individuals from Stanford University with Google. The discussion again started revolving around the table, particularly when the Google with its pristine white homepage became a huge success. Year in, year out, Google kept on launching one after another successful products. Google seemed to have the Midas touch. Everything that Google touched, from blogger (acquired) to Gmail to YouTube (acquired) to Picasa to Google earth to what not, was becoming a huge success, and with each product-launch the discussion over the dominance heated up. The fairy tale The story so far seemed like a typical biblical tale: David slowly proceeding ahead with its crusade against the Goliath (Microsoft). But what everyone did not realize or pretended not to realize is this: Google registered almost all its success in the fields where there was no Microsoft or where Microsoft, the elephant sat on its laurels (obviously I am referring to Hotmail), and didn’t attempted to dance. Google did wonderful job in search market. Why? Because despite Bill gate’s prophecy about internet in his book, The Roads Ahead, Microsoft was not very serious about the Internet. Microsoft was too delighted with its Personal computer domination to think about the change in the paradigm. Like many other biggies, Microsoft also became too big to notice small but important changes around. Hotmail is one example: despite being arguably the first company to use e-mail and paperless office (as claimed by Mr. Gates in his aforementioned book), and despite having the first mover’s advantage, Gmail dethroned Hotmail in the game that Hotmail itself started. Why? Because Microsoft became too complacent to innovate. The company remained stuck into its...

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