Dirk Knemeyer

Microsoft’s decline and Google’s rise

Microsoft’s decline and Google’s rise, January 12, 2010

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

Depending on which gushing analyst you listen to, Google’s release last week of the Nexus One “superphone” is going to change the computing industry. Some are pointing to the phone itself and the fact that Google is now officially a hardware company. Others are pointing to the Google ecommerce store and approach to selling the phone and calling that the true harbinger of future dominance. Wrapped up in much of this excitement is a sense of surprise, as if Google’s doing these things wasn’t something that—at the very least—should be seen as a predictable result of Google’s expanded impact in the industry over the past decade. This very short-sighted breathlessness makes me wonder if the people who are telling us what to think really know what they are talking about.

I foresaw Google’s emergence into all of these spaces five years ago, even suggesting in an article that their path into this diversification would be an acquisition of Apple. While that idiosyncratic prediction did not come true (yet!) I’ve had a pretty sanguine view of where Google was headed since 2003 and want to share my take on what the Nexus One means and where Google is headed next.

The bottom line is that Google is in the process of taking over as the “Evil Empire of Computing,” supplanting the decade-in-decline Microsoft.

[…] Microsoft succumbed to the classic error of clinging to an outdated business model, of being too fearful of losing a massive, proven market and revenue stream as opposed to introducing innovation. By ignoring the larger, underlying changes to computing that the Internet necessarily represented, Microsoft entered a decade of slow decline and, as importantly, opened the door for Apple’s very survival (it wasn’t all that long ago this was seen as tenuous), the rapid and somewhat unprecedented growth of the open source movement, and most ominously for Microsoft’s future, the emergence of Google as the true giant—if not yet bully—of the industry playground.