Sometimes it is very is had to comprehend the awe-inspiring scale of the ambitious battle between two technological giants in internet and desktop; Google and Microsoft. These companies are spending million to billions of dollars to remain valuable on the market and this is creating making the whole industry to be at stake. Giving this case as critical look, these companies are very strong having been in the market for over ten years and are now the Titans in this industry even if they have had very difficult moments in the past. Google grew to become the most pertinent firm in internet service, ranging from anything the involved the web with amazing speeds in a very short time just like virus spreading.
The company has dominated the web, video, books, cell phone and some new operative systems and is set to enter the television. It cold be just in few years that the gaps Google is facing are filled. The 1990s, Microsoft grew to become the hegemony factor invading almost everything. All the department of any industry embraced Microsoft tools. From justice systems, accounts and all places that involved computing, was having Microsoft. Basically it’s the future of these companies and their technology that is at stake. Microsoft believes that computing should still be intimately linked to the desktop while Google’s vision is to enable everything else to be done via the internet.
Business Strategy and Model
Google and Microsoft companies are on the verge of finding dominance on the internet, technology environment and the various workplaces. The two firms have been able to dominate their respective areas of business expertise where Google rules the internet while Microsoft is the king of the desktop (Guth et al, 2008, p. 23). However, recently these companies are feeling the need to expand and cover wider markets that are hence entering into each other areas of specialization.
These great technological companies have business strategies that are very unique and different. Experts now believe that the technological future will be determined by the strategies and the business models that will be used by every company. Google as a company started its business mainly to serves as a search company among other related services and its success is attributable to the online marketing strategy (Guth et al, 2008, p. 23).
The firm also emerged as having the greatest minds in the industry as it has a unique way of attracting and recruiting the beset brains in the industry. In this manner the firm became very prominent internationally. The firm was able to develop very unique infrastructure offering greater speeds where clients could access fastest searching speed and an assortment of internet based services (Luis et al, 2009, p.78).
Microsoft on the other hand emerged from an operating system firm to a giant firm based on the strength, convenience and usability of the windows systems. The windows operating system has increased its application on the desktop and over 500 million people currently use windows all over the world (Buyya et al, 2008, p.602). Their clients are in fact looking forward for better operating systems versions from Microsoft since these have proved to be very reliable and convenient for almost every industry.
Currently, these companies have developed different visions for the way forwards for the technology in internet and PC usage (Guth et al, 2008, p. 23). This has been propelled the advancing development of the internet services and broadband applications. According to Google’s plans, as the internet market matures, most of the computing tasks will need to be carried out on the internet where users can make use of these tools in data centres rather than having to do it on their desktops.
This type of dealing is termed as cloud computing and it has become the dogma to the Google’s business model to stir it into the future and enable its survival. On the other hand, Microsoft’s success has been around desktop applications which are basically referred to as the desktop computing model (Luis et al, 2009, p.78). This has made the ultimate goal of Microsoft to be embracing the internet and at the same time convincing their clients that retaining use of desktop applications as the main focus for the computing duties was appropriate.
A major challenge to achieving cloud computing are that very few firms can afford the resources that will be required for maintenance and management of a cloud. Google and Microsoft are however among the few that can afford this cash and personnel needed (Buyya et al, 2008, p.602). Google is pioneering the cloud computing which comes with a vast range of web-based application and online tools that can allow digital radio, digital management of photographs, internet advertising, watching video, and even digital mapping (Luis et al, 2009, p.78).
It is feared that if these web-based applications succeed, then they are likely to supplant the desktop computing as the best and famous way of working with internet on computers. Clients will only be required to access the relevant applications from their remote servers and make use of the applications stored in data centres rather than having to operate locally from their PC’s (Luis et al, 2009, p.78).
Cloud computing has been linked with one great advantage which is that the users will not be attached t a specific computer to function or access certain information. Another advantage is that users will not be faced with the maintenance costs as this will be the responsibility of Google. However there is one major concern which is about information security considering that Google will be the one handling people’s data. On this note, Microsoft has several strengths that can assist in maintain gist relevance even when cloud computing became successful (Buyya et al, 2008, p.602).
Many of its applications are far much deep rooted and popular among users and many organisation are very much comfortable with Microsoft applications. Basically if another Microsoft product is launched, there is a very high possibility that users will embrace it with a notion that they will also readily learn how to use it. Or that the product will be very compatible with their systems (Bhargava, 2009, p.291).
Has Internet Taken Over the PC?
Google claims that its ambition is actually not to replace or displace Microsoft rather to offer products and services to their clients that will find tandem use with other Microsoft applications (Buyya et al, 2008, p.602). Google Enterprise President evens states that the clients will use both Google and Microsoft products depending on preference or the tasks to be done and the relevance of the applications with the job at hand. Still, cloud computing is a major threat to the business model adopted by Microsoft and this means that internet could take over the desktop applications for computing (Bhargava, 2009, p.291).
Basically, if purchasing software to be used for desktop computing from Microsoft would be very expensive, and on the other hand users can easily access these applications on the internet at cheaper expenses, then buying and installing the software would cease to be the centre stage of computing (Kim, 2009, p.66).
Microsoft was able to expand its market because its windows application grew to become very popular as operating systems where about 95 of the PC’s in the world has windows applications. With such strong force, other operating systems like word perfect and lotus-1-2-3 were edged out. Google strongly believes that many of the computing tasks about 90 percent can be done over the internet in their cloud computing technology (Kim, 2009, p.66). Microsoft claims otherwise that these claims are overly overstated.
It’s also evident that Microsoft wants to strengthen its internet presence just in case, internet craze gets their clients towards cloud computing. Recently, the company has made attempt purchase Yahoo! Portal for internet purposes. Since 2007 the attempts of attaining cloud computing is gaining greater momentum with other firms like IBM joining Google in leading these project stating clear vision of the model for future applications (Kim, 2009, p.66).
This move is assumed to signal an imperative shift in the way people handle their information. Basically firms will stop purchasing their own applications and instead plug into a web portal and without much thought, people could end up using web computing that ever before (Luis et al, 2009, p.78). The model is seen as an economic potential for many organisations since it will be able to offer very important resources to every organization even the smaller ones. A privilege that was previously unavailable to them.
Just like the Microsoft applications, an average user will be able to use cloud to access the personal services including emailing, data management and other services that are traditionally attached to a desktop’s fixed location (Kim, 2009, p.66). These resources will hence be available for the user at any place of access. Be it at workplace or at home or on the beach on an notebook and some are available even on iPhones and blackberry.
Microsoft’s Attempt to Acquire Yahoo
Cloud computing posed a serious challenge to Microsoft considering that internet use has increased a great deal over the past decades. This means that the customer base is very high and worth concern when competition is doing fine. This has been the major worry for Microsoft since Google is using its dominance in the internet industry to venture into desktop applications on the web (Kim, 2009, p.68).
This technology is well integrated and the users will not be faced with the trouble of having to purchase operating systems installing them, on their PC’s when they can readily access them at cheaper costs. Furthermore there is some kind of convenience that can be found which is not possible on desktop computing in that the applications can be accessed from virtually anywhere as long one is connected to the internet. With this in mind and the fact that Google controls about 60% of the internet market, Microsoft faced very stiff competition should cloud computing be successful(Bhargava, 2009, p.291).
The acceptance level can be very high since the applications of Google are much simpler than those on the internet than Microsoft operating systems. In this way, the only way to contain Google’s strategy was to venture in a similar market so that there is an alternative to those clients who are so much used to the Microsoft products and are loyal to it. It this way, Microsoft was bound to compete fairly against its competitors.
By acquiring Yahoo, Microsoft would have a tool that would be very important in improving its efficiency and availability on then internet considering that it has already dominated the desktop(Kim, 2009, p.68). There has to be scalable software and hardware infrastructure that will enable better service delivery. Since data centres are growing very fast in size, Microsoft realised that there was the better place to seek a new market as the company slowly shifts from software to software-plus services model which is a strategy that in future will allow the firm to offer cloud computing. This just in case Google succeeds in conniving also of users that many of the desktop applications could be done on the internet-based applications (Bhargava, 2009, p.293).
Microsoft and other players in this business now understand that that their survival in future greatly depends on the ever-increasing use of the internet and the subsequent larger network of immense data centres. Many of these resources that are used are very costly and this means that a collaboration like acquiring Yahoo! Would be the only way to help Microsoft measure up to its competitor.
On the whole, the attempt to acquire Yahoo! Was meant intending to categorize, create and assess potentially sellable cloud model to allow new software and other applications for customers while at the sometime cutting down the costs of building new systems for cloud service operations (Kim, 2009, p.69).
Microsoft would have been able to achieve its goals of making data centre services integrated so as to be Holistic and at the same time optimise al the elements of hardware and software. As result, the ultimate outcome would have been to deliver a wider variety of better and innovative services in a more efficient fashion. By attempting to acquire Yahoo!, The business model initially used by Microsoft was slightly affected (Kim, 2009, p.69).
The company was seen as shifting from delivering software to a model that allowed delivery of the software and the services for application. In this sense, services are described to include a wider range of internet tools that extend far beyond browsing in local sites (Bhargava, 2009, p.293).
In this way Microsoft could be able to offer applications like playing games online, messenger services among other sophisticated applications. The new features that would have come by acquiring Yahoo would be very new which would then call for larger numbers of computers housed in several data centres. Cloud services together with the support infrastructure as developed in a modern way. Currently they are collections from several computers and are packaged in slightly different ways but connected by the same network that deliver the internet (Naone, 2007, p.67).
This is great idea as internet is booming. Microsoft business model is therefore not basically about desktop but rather integrated systems that are compatible and applicable to a broad range of hardware and software. As a matter of fact, attempting to acquire yahoo was a very smart move considering that Yahoo! Dominated about 20 of the internet market and Microsoft itself was having a 10 percent. This would have brought the market share to about 30 percent which is half of that of Google (Bhargava, 2009, p.294).
However, it’s worth noting that when there is a merger, the market increase would not just be simple addition mathematics to 30 percent rather, other factors would contribute a great deal to the outcomes and this is likely to reach even 40 percent or more(Kim, 2009, p.69). Such factors include combined expertise, larger resources, and impact advertising would have. Furthermore, since Microsoft is already dominating the desktop, its move to interne based software would be readily accepted in the market if the collaboration with yahoo would have been successful. This is because of about 95% of people using Microsoft applications, a similar percentage also use the internet meaning that they would be comfortable accessing the internet through Microsoft-Yahoo and maintain desktop applications as well.
Significance of Google Applications to its Future success
Though Google has constantly denied this fact, cloud services are just some form of disruptive technology on the market. Nonetheless, they can be very successful if their inception is greatly accepted by the users. In actual fact, this technology has not been proved to be good enough for use by the consumers yet. Still it holds as very clear potential to cause turbulence in the internet and computer technology market. Some analysts have claimed that the aspects that are offered by the Google applications on the web no not entirely satisfy the need of the large businesses though they could be used temporarily (Bhargava, 2009, p.294).
The technology is more like instantiation of many seller dreams of something called data centre that will be very prominent in future(Kim, 2009, p.69). The ideas are still unclear, abstracted and fabric-oriented infrastructure that is deemed to allow dynamic manipulation, expansion, protection and provision of services payable as in utility. The disruptive aspect of this technology is that it is designed for new business and small scaled one.
There are many gaps that exist between the cloud technology and the current technologies that are in use. The hosting services for instance are based on consumers and the infrastructure is optimised to host several clients. Google’s argument are that most of the customers in various offices do not necessarily need the advanced features that are currently offered by Microsoft applications in excel, word and access among others (Kessler, 2008, p.34).
Rather simple applications which are cheaper, simple to execute versions of word processors, database and spreadsheets. However, it’s important to appreciate that Microsoft’s applications have been developed over years of research and innovations to meet consumers’ needs meaning that these applications are exactly what consumers actually want (King, 2008, p.86 ). Even many businesses admit that they are hesitant to leave Microsoft since its applications are convenient. Another issue about Google applications is about the privacy of the data stored by the users. This could lead to some forms of infringement of privacy and confidentiality (Kessler, 2008, p.34).
Data and information is very critical in this information technology era and many organizations are reluctant about compromising their secrets by adopting Google application over the internet. And as such they porefered the office applications offered by Microsoft where they believe that their information would be much safer.
Google applications have a potential of growing large in future considering the services that will be offered ranging from email, Instance messages, and spreadsheets and so on. On the other hand many organisations intent to retain internet technology with more subscribing to these services, Email being a key introducer to the internet the Google emailing will be accepted readily and subsequently lead to adoption of other applications (Kessler, 2008, p.34).
The business model that is likely to survive in the epic struggle is that of Google because it could be a matter of time before all the gaps and loopholes that have been seen the applications are taken care of. Considering that the company dominated the internet market, and then launching applications that will be used on cloud computing would boost its market share. Furthermore, Microsoft has been turned down by yahoo meaning that it will have a hard time building new infrastructure of counter internet provision by Google (Kessler, 2008, p.34). Adding insult to Microsoft’s blow, yahoo teamed up with Google to make more adverts for their new venture. It is hence a matter of time that will see to it whether Microsoft will stand up to the fight or will succumb to the possible paradigm shift.
Despite the greater potential presented by Google model of business, single computing model has never been a panacea. Many user view cloud computing as a very different way of working and they often resist when change is suggested. Another concern is about reliability and security. Many businesses will obviously not implement such applications based on downtime issues. Issues like power consumption, recovery, and other forms of management are critical for success of cloud services.
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