Microsoft vs Google, this topic has been widely discussed across many portals, web, forums etc., in fact even in my blog a couple or more times.
Following are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on this topic:
Is it the late entry to web by Microsoft? Is it the pc centric approach? IS it becoming tough for the giant to move?, All sort of questions trying to answer why is Microsoft trailing behind Google.
To me the key things happen to be the difference between a raw material producer to the finished product maker, the former is Microsoft and the later Google.
Raw material and finished product stuff here?-yes but how?
Web development could be done either based on open source(Java-J2EE/PHP) technologies or Microsoft .NET technologies. Adding multimedia capabilities on web is possible based on Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight. So if you think of the infrastructure for building huge websites you can use Microsoft technologies end to end. Sql server -> IIS -> MSMQ -> client browser as Internet Explorer and the client web pages developed on ASP.NET. MySpace one of the top most hit websites in the world, built it's entire infrastructure on top of Microsoft technologies. So we see Microsoft as an enabler and a raw material provider here. End users knew the final product better than the raw material. Protector & Gamble (P&G) produces numerous products used daily by all of us but we never know or care about the raw material suppliers to P&G, and the profit made by P&G is huge compared to it's suppliers. The same story is happening with the technology sector, it is one who has the final product gets the most out of the technology. Microsoft did not have a strong web presence (despite it's early entry by hotmail, other MSN websites and now Live)in terms of the list of users. And being eaten away by the popularity of search engine Google.
Not to forget Windows OS and office are still finished products to the end user and also only a section of Microsoft is competing against Google as Microsoft is so diverse with the product. But not every day one changes these software, it is once a year thing!! It is very easy for one to forget the once a year stuff and embrace the others.
But it will be very interesting to see how both the companies are going head to head. On one side Microsoft is playing the catchup on search and advertising with Google. Google is expanding its empire in the new areas where Microsoft has a strong hold.