The Why Do You Need That On Your Computer Strategy
Continued From Part 1
Microsoft’s threat to Google comes mostly in the form of Internet Explorer and Microsoft’s control of it. But, a deeper analysis reveals that IE is a threat because of the way it is bundled with the Windows operating system, which an even deeper analysis shows is a threat because the current computing paradigm is that programs are loaded on your own computer. As long as this is the model, Microsoft has a dangerous hand to play. So, Google has been steadily chipping away at the entire concept of computing this way.
The first salvo in this arena was Google Docs. Docs allows you to do word processing and spreadsheet work via Google. Are they better enough to get users to switch from Microsoft? That may be a matter of opinion. But, what they have done is proven that you don’t have to install MS Office on your PC. Consider, the average computer user with both a home PC and a laptop computer. Most of the time, the laptop is used for Internet access and email, but once and a while, there is a critical need to be able to edit or create a document or spreadsheet. Under the old paradigm, this user would have to buy a second copy of MS Office to install on his laptop. With Google Docs, the user could forgo the second copy and use Google Docs to take care of any emergencies. While he is doing so, he might also notice that by using Google Docs he doesn’t have to keep emailing his documents back and forth to make sure he has them with him at all times. Soon, he starts wondering about other areas like this. Why can’t I have stuff on my laptop and desktop at the same time. And, the battle is won in Google’s favor.
Soft Fluffy Clouds and the Basic User
The concepts of cloud computing is not new, but the technology is starting to catch up to the paradigm. Bandwidth to the home is no longer the bottleneck it once was. Storage space has become so cheap there is no need to restrict how many documents, projects, or spreadsheets a user can store on Internet servers. Likewise, processing speeds and server technologies allow power to be added on the fly. All of this adds up to a real ability to host, run, and manage powerful applications. For every application or service that Google provides, you have one less reason to run Windows on your computer, which means you have one less reason to run Internet Explorer.
Today, power users routinely download software, tweak their settings, and update their drivers and programs. But, the reality is that the vast majority of computer users are not power users. The software on their computers is the software that came installed the day they bought it. That is the reason services like Automatic Windows Updates are so critical. These users never update or patch their systems regardless of security threats, or new features. They just learn what they need to use their computers and that is that until they buy a new computer. These are the users that Google has targeted with its long-term strategic battle plan in the war with Microsoft.
While most of the applications and services offered by Google today actually appeal more to the power users, they represent a starting point. While economists can debate the validity of trickle down economics, the concept of trickle down technology is indisputable. Once, any computer whatsoever was considered a complicated technology usable only by the most sophisticated people. Today, seventy year old grandmothers use web cams to see their grandchildren.
Today, Google’s applications are used primarily by those “in the know.” But, tomorrow, the mainstream computers bought at Best Buy or Wal-Mart might be cloud systems. Just think how cheap and easy owning a computer could become. By using all Internet hosted applications and services, the hardware a computer needs shrinks dramatically. A large hard drive is unnecessary since you would much rather keep your data in the cloud where it can be backed up and maintained 24/7 without any chance of a hard drive failure. Likewise, a fast processor is not necessary considering all of the heavy lifting will be done on powerful servers out in the cloud. All the local processor need do is handle the network traffic. Smaller slower hard drives and smaller slower processors equal less heat which means less need for that extra space and those fans. In the end, you are looking at a keyboard, display, and a DVD player- what else would you want? Oh, and by the way, if all the work is being done somewhere else, you don’t need all of that stuff in the $400 operating system that Microsoft company sells.
If that day comes, Google wins.
This post is part of the series: The Ongoing War between Microsoft and Google
Microsoft and Google are the giants in their fields. Microsoft has the lion’s share of the browser market with Internet Explorer. Google has the search engine over 70% of the world goes to for information. They occupy separate niches. Why does most of the computing world believe they are battling?
- Microsoft versus Google - The Battle Lines Are Ever Expanding
- Google versus Microsoft - Google’s Strategic Battle Plan - Part 1
- Microsoft Versus Google - Microsoft’s Strategic Battle Plan
- Google versus Microsoft - Google’s Strategic Battle Plan - Part 2
- Microsoft Versus Google - The Battle Lines Are SO Expanding
- Microsoft Versus Google - Microsoft Battle Plan - Part 2