Microsoft vs. Google

Microsoft once ruled as the computer leviathan that everyone loved to hate, yet utterly depended on. But now in the high-tech world the computing power of individual computers has become secondary to online computing. Now the leviathan is Google, which not only invented the search engine everyone relies on but found a way to make money off the web with omnipresent advertising.

Now Microsoft is trying to buy the one rival search engine and portal website Yahoo. (See
this.) The company’s goal is to compete with Google. Some fear that Microsoft could build into its operating systems elements that could work only with Yahoo.

Is there a good guy vs. bad guy theme in this fight? What technological developments might suddenly make both of these companies obsolete?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WebMonk

    It wasn’t that Google invented the search engine, but rather that they came along and did it better than anyone else had. Anyone remember Altavista, Bigfoot, Dogpile, and Excite?

    It’s not like I have any say in the matter, but I really hope Microsoft doesn’t manage to grab up Yahoo. Yahoo has an excellent set of services, which Microsoft will almost assuredly muck up. Microsoft has demonstrated remarkably little ability to design the sort of online content and capability that Google and Yahoo have made so well.

    As far as bad-guy-good-guy, both Google and Microsoft have done enough to earn “bad guy” monikers, so it’s a bit of a toss up. Google has been quite happy to voluntarily restrict political content available in China. Microsoft is of course the current monster/monopoly business that every loves to hate and gripe about. Even Yahoo isn’t exactly lily-white, but it’s relatively clean compared to the other two.

  • WebMonk

    It wasn’t that Google invented the search engine, but rather that they came along and did it better than anyone else had. Anyone remember Altavista, Bigfoot, Dogpile, and Excite?

    It’s not like I have any say in the matter, but I really hope Microsoft doesn’t manage to grab up Yahoo. Yahoo has an excellent set of services, which Microsoft will almost assuredly muck up. Microsoft has demonstrated remarkably little ability to design the sort of online content and capability that Google and Yahoo have made so well.

    As far as bad-guy-good-guy, both Google and Microsoft have done enough to earn “bad guy” monikers, so it’s a bit of a toss up. Google has been quite happy to voluntarily restrict political content available in China. Microsoft is of course the current monster/monopoly business that every loves to hate and gripe about. Even Yahoo isn’t exactly lily-white, but it’s relatively clean compared to the other two.

  • S Bauer

    I’m a Mac user so don’t get me started on Microshaft.

  • S Bauer

    I’m a Mac user so don’t get me started on Microshaft.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’m no financial expert, but the articles I’ve read make it seem like Microsoft will get Yahoo, one way or another.

    That said, while I agree Yahoo has many good services (photo-sharing site Flickr, “social bookmarking” site del.icio.us), they didn’t create any of them, they just bought the companies that made them. The only thing you can say to Yahoo’s credit is that they didn’t break those services. Now Microsoft is buying Yahoo, but there is less reason to hope that Microsoft will not bungle things, as they have a history of buying competitors just to keep from having to compete with them.

    Microsoft isn’t really “bad” — they certainly do a lot of things well, and there are some very intelligent people working for them. But as a corporation, its way of thinking hasn’t been well-suited to the Internet. It prefers to keep its secrets, rather than operate with openness, and it prefers to dictate trends, rather than allow the people to do so. These days, that puts it at odds with what many savvy users are expecting.

    But for the average person, it’s not very important.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’m no financial expert, but the articles I’ve read make it seem like Microsoft will get Yahoo, one way or another.

    That said, while I agree Yahoo has many good services (photo-sharing site Flickr, “social bookmarking” site del.icio.us), they didn’t create any of them, they just bought the companies that made them. The only thing you can say to Yahoo’s credit is that they didn’t break those services. Now Microsoft is buying Yahoo, but there is less reason to hope that Microsoft will not bungle things, as they have a history of buying competitors just to keep from having to compete with them.

    Microsoft isn’t really “bad” — they certainly do a lot of things well, and there are some very intelligent people working for them. But as a corporation, its way of thinking hasn’t been well-suited to the Internet. It prefers to keep its secrets, rather than operate with openness, and it prefers to dictate trends, rather than allow the people to do so. These days, that puts it at odds with what many savvy users are expecting.

    But for the average person, it’s not very important.


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