Over on Om Malik’s blog this morning he has a guest post from Robert Young titled Google, the Ultimate Deflator. It’s Google vs Microsoft, with Google as the "free" Microsoft killer.
Legions of others have died on that hill.
Let’s start out with the assertion that Google’s business plan is to replace Microsoft. Young says that the future is a utility based computing model, with dumb terminals attached, presumably advertising driven, since Google’s big innovation has been the development of a viable ad-supported business model for "free".
How will this utility model handle applications that demand rich clients? Games, media-editing, office productivity? How will it deal with enterprise IT departments who wish to develop in-house IT applications, and control their own data? How will they compensate the channel that supports and maintains the millions of small businesses who have customized in-house CRM requirements, or need support from a local VAR? Google’s biggest business model strength (the advertising model), doesn’t lend itself well to legions of consultants making a living from partnerships with them.
What Google and Microsoft both see is that there is a large market for web-based applications. Developers will support the richest platform, and the winner of that platform battle will win the war. Google is attracting eyeballs today, which will bring developers. What they must do to capitalize on those eyeballs is to develop a rich platform those developers can exploit. What is Google’s answer to .NET?
Google’s strategy isn’t a Microsoft killer. They might blunt, or perhaps even cap, Microsoft’s growth on the web. They won’t displace the OS and office apps already on my desktop.