This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Google vs. Microsoft: The Great Tech Debate

It seems like it's getting close to impossible to talk about Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) without sooner or later mentioning Google (GOOG). Or vice versa.

The rivalry sparked a heated debate on this site this past week. First, Doug Kass made the case that "Microsoft will provide the first real challenge to Google," prompting Michael Comeau to counter that any fall for Google won't be caused by "inroads from Gates & Co."

Then Cody Willard argued that "Google still has everyone, including Microsoft, on their heels, and Google's on the offensive rather than the defensive."

Elsewhere on the Internet, John Battelle, the author of the recently published The Search (and, full disclosure, my former boss at The Industry Standard), stirred up a discussion among bloggers by wondering: "Has the worm turned?" For Google, that is, as it did for Microsoft at the end of the 1990s, when its plans for complete domination of online commerce fell apart in the face of antitrust cases.

To summarize, one of these things is going to happen:

  • Google cleans Microsoft's clock.
  • Microsoft cleans Google's clock.
  • Google's clock stops after the growth in online spending peaks.
  • Google is Microsoft, following the same hubris-driven trajectory.
  • Before I cast my vote, let's look at some of the issues raised.

    The Enemy Within

    Vista vs. GoogleNet: If Microsoft has a silver bullet left in its gun belt, it's Vista -- the long awaited, long-delayed successor to Windows XP. But with great potential comes great risk. When Vista comes out next summer -- if it comes out next summer -- the Internet will be less PC-centric than ever. Meanwhile, from Massachusetts to Brazil, Windows and Office are giving way to cheap, open-source alternatives. Desktop toolbars from Google and others will make Vista a less omnipresent search option. That much is certain.

    Much less clear is what Vista will be. Back in 2002, Fortune magazine portrayed Gates' vision for Vista (then code-named Longhorn) as a seamless interface for all text, music, video files on the Net or a local hard drive. Reactions to the first beta of Vista this summer were strikingly devoid of buzz. The search function seemed like a slicked-up version of Google Desktop, not a Google killer.

    1 of 3

    Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

    Action Alerts PLUS

    Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

    Product Features:
    • $2.5+ million portfolio
    • Large-cap and dividend focus
    • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
    Quant Ratings

    Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

    Product Features:
    • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
    • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
    • A custom stock screener
    Stocks Under $10

    David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

    Product Features:
    • Model portfolio
    • Stocks trading below $10
    • Intraday trade alerts
    14-Days Free
    Only $9.95
    14-Days Free
    To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
    Submit an article to us!
    SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
    GOOG $524.05 -1.83%
    MSFT $41.62 -1.29%
    AAPL $124.75 -1.13%
    FB $80.78 -1.86%
    TSLA $206.79 0.04%

    Markets

    DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
    S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
    NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

    Partners Compare Online Brokers

    Free Reports

    Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs