Dirk Knemeyer

Microsoft’s decline and Google’s Rise II

Microsoft’s decline and Google’s Rise II, February 15, 2010

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

With apologies to Apple and Microsoft, Google is the most important company in computing. Their rise over the past decade has been meteoric: from a struggling start-up operating out of a small office in downtown Palo Alto, California to today representing the present and future of computing. To call this ascension improbable is a gross understatement. After all, this is a company Yahoo! declined to purchase for a song, yet today could buy and sell Yahoo! many times over without breaking a sweat. It begs the question: how did it [Microsoft’s decline] happen?

1. Weak market leadership.
The past decade was not nice to Microsoft. While they made a myriad of mistakes covering virtually every major product line, their essential mistake was clinging to a desktop computing paradigm while the rest of the world was moving toward the cloud. The hubris of their past success led them to believe they could simply overwhelm the market as they had in the past. They were wrong. […]

2. Search needed a facelift.
[…] When Google came out with the innovative search solution of having a page that simply allowed people to search – with none of the junk, clutter, and crap that marked the offerings of the existing leaders – it was a revelation […]

3. Search became the Internet.
[…] [The] en masse migration of user behaviour onto search coincided perfectly with Google’s emergence and their clean and simple interface that put the focus solely on helping people get where they want to go. […]

4. A real business model.
[…] Google’s AdWords was an ideal way to monetize the increasingly popular service without being intrusive and alienating users. […]

5. An unlikely IPO.
[…] they were one of the only Internet-related IPO’s to get excited about, the process proved a springboard that took Google from being an important player to the absolute stratosphere. […]

6. More than just search.
[…] Like many of the Internet successes of the decade, Google took a “bottom up” approach to expanding beyond their core business of search. While Google had far more failures – Orkut, Froogle, Google Video – than successes – Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps – Google continued steadily diversifying their software services to approximately cover every imaginable Internet service. […]

7. “Do no evil”.
[…] Google also invested significantly in creating a unique and widely-publicized culture. Built around “capturing” their employees on campus to work long hours, thanks to all of the comforts and conveniences, Google’s audacious spending on perks of every colour led to their shooting to the top of many “best places to work” lists. […]

8. More than just software.
[…] they are kings of the Internet, well diversified into software services of all kinds, and are even releasing consumer computing devices that objectively could be competitive with the market leaders – right from day one. The Age of Microsoft is over; the Age of Google has formally begun.