Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Google becomes Microsoft

Probability: 70%

Timeline: 5 years

Google has been one of my favorite companies for a long time, but lately they seem to be losing their edge.

Google Apps started out as an amazing new business platform, hosted "in the cloud" with many features that couldn't be done with traditional office applications (ie. Microsoft Office).

Lately, however, the Apps team(s) seem to be trying to copy Microsoft's features one by one.

They're trying to duplicate VBScript (Apps Script) and Visual Basic (GWT). They're trying to match Office feature by feature.

This is the same path that Microsoft used with WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3. It did eventually lead to their dominance (because they owned the operating system) but Word and Excel aren't really much more innovative than their ancestors.

I don't think this is a great strategy, because the web/browser environment lends itself to something that could be much better and much more powerful.

I'm guessing they have long lists of companies that claim they will switch "as soon as they have features A, B, and C" but they might be missing the point.

To avoid this fate, they really need to clean house, and refocus on a large scale.

Otherwise, we will have to wait for "Company X" to emerge and start challenging the new "corporatized" Google...

1 comment:

  1. This, to me, is proven by their decision to disallow HTML and CSS editing in the new version of Docs. That was the single feature that had me using Docs, so I no longer use it.

    Excellent post.