I've been reading a lot of blogs lately, and I was just thinking the other day about the whole Google vs. Microsoft situation. This got me thinking about Netscape vs. Microsoft and what became of the Netscape browser. The thing about people that use the internet is people choose whatever works. Whatever is easier. Just take a look back and remember ICQ. That was a great application! If you are one of the first people to use IM, you'll remember this application. It worked great. You could search for people easily, find them, add them to your list, send them messages, meet people. Then of course AOL purchased the company, and it became bloated with a million features nobody wanted. Microsoft bundled Windows Messenger, which grew to MSN Messenger, and will not be Windows Live Messenger. Nobody thought twice to switch to MSN Messenger because it was Microsoft... everyone was using it, and it worked very easily, and I could show my mom how to use it. ICQ? Forget it!
Now we have the whole Google vs. Microsoft battle. This could be in the next few years one of the largest software EPIC battles we will see in our time. I used to use Yahoo all the time, it gave me great results! Then I saw google about 6 or 7 years ago, and it was awesome, gave me amazing results, so I switched. Didn't even blink. People on the internet go by these rules:
- They use what works.
- They use what's cheapest, if not free.
- They use what's most simple to learn.
- They hate advertisements and spy ware like applications.
- It provides a easy solution to a complex problem.
- Is convenient to use.
You will notice in this list, there is nothing about loyalty. I use Google Search, but I don't use Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger is MUCH better! I use Google Search because its simple and gives me the best results... but lately.. I've noticed MSN Search is getting better... So I've been using it as well. And after I realized google desktop had a major bug where when i move a file, it doesn't update its index, I switched to MSN Desktop Search, and I love it!
Microsoft has been through the revolution, they know how to build software, and they know how to win a war they are loosing badly. Nobody thought Netscape would crumble to IE, but it did, because IE just plain got better! It has nothing nothing nothing to do with the company. Google's marketing line may be "don't be evil", however, once share holders get involved, its very hard to not be "evil". Just like any fast food restaurant once they go public adds MSG and other preservatives to make foods taste better, Google will start adding more things into their applications to make more money. People will realize that Google, in essence, is no different than Microsoft.
Microsoft knows how to build software, they will definitely have a better search engine than Google in a few months, and it will learn as people use it, and it will be the better engine. Measure one is met. Will it be cheap? Of course, it will be free, because if you are using it, your are probably using a Microsoft computer O/S, or IE, or both. Measure two is met. Simple to use? Of course it will be. It is already, i can add it to my live page, its right in IE 7, which i can switch with Google's if I want but i haven't wanted to. Measure three is met. Advertisements? Probably will be some, but I don't mind them how they currently are being displayed. Measure four is some what met, although the jury is still out on this one. Solution to a complex problem and convenient to use? Finding web pages is insanely complex! MSN Search makes this easy! And it is so convenient to use once I installed MSN Desktop Search!
My prediction of who will win the search war? Microsoft. Will Google still be around? Definitely. Long Term? Definitely. Will they still be "not evil" in the eyes of the free speech / free software / grass routes people, Definitely NOT.