OP: The Differences Between Google & Microsoft

Late last night Google announced that it is working on a Chrome operating system. As was the case with the Chrome browser, the company plans to focus on speed and simplicity. Users want to boot up their computers and get online as quickly as possible and Google wants to help them do that. Similar to Chrome, its all open source and like Chrome, all anyone can talk about is what the news will mean for Microsoft.

You guys don't need the history lesson, so I'll skip the part where we go into huge detail about Google's launch as a search engine before it moved onto Gmail, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Calendar, Gtalk, Google Docs, Latitude and everything else Google does and just ask you this, what's the difference between Microsoft trying to be everything at once and Google trying to be everything at once?

Over the last two years, people have been getting more and more excited about the prospect of a Google operating system. With the arrival of Android, that chatter has died down a little and instead, we're waiting with bated breath for the first Android-powered netbook or laptop, not to mention all the Android handsets on the horizon. That said, the eager anticipation is still there; we're still waiting for an OS from a company that made our search engine.

Then there’s the flip side that; a significant amount people criticize Microsoft for trying to be too many things at once. Windows, Bing, Internet Explorer; they hate monolithic Microsoft, but monolithic, colorful Google is a great idea.

Both companies have a ton of great products. Google supplies my browser, personal email and calendar and Microsoft supplies my word processor, office email client and OS. That said, to me it seems like Microsoft's efforts have made the company spread itself too thin, but Google's efforts give the impression of the company slowly but surely spreading out like some gross blob in a horror movie. It won't be long before the company enters another market, and then another, but why is it that no matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to have a problem with it? I gave my brother a bell and asked him his opinion on this. Being a tech blogger, anthropologist and social networking guru/PR at a large European e-tailer he had this to add: It's not about perceived value, it's about perceived cost. Google offers the vast majority of its services for free, Microsoft charges you cold, hard cash. If a Google service stops working, it's not a tragedy because you weren't paying for it anyway. The opposite side of the coin is you spend a lump of cash putting MS Office and Windows on every machine in your house, an update knocks the whole thing down like a house of cards and you wait x amount of time for a fix. While you're waiting you think about the money you spent on the product that should be working but isn't.

What do you guys think? This one is definitely personal opinion. So, are you celebrating Google's foray into the OS market or are you fashioning yourself a tin-foil hat and refusing to let Google into yet another area of your computing experience? Further, do you think there's any difference between what Google is trying to do and what Microsoft is trying to do and most importantly, do you have a problem with the whole "one company for everything" concept? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • fulle
    People are going to hate this analogy, but I see Microsoft as this...

    Microsoft is that old guy in your office, who's been around forever. He's not the best, mind you, not even close, but he keeps anyone from entering his niche areas through ruthless office politics. Nobody likes this guy, he's out of new ideas, and barely gets the job done... but, we keep him because there is no other alternative, since nobody can replace him without someone, magically, figuring out all the very specific niche things he knows.

    Like the old bastard, Microsoft has its claws sinked in and isn't going anywhere. We can loath them, love them, its really irrelevant, and thats what bothers me. They have such a monopoly on the OS and Office software markets, that competition with them isn't really competing, its more like fighting over kitchen scraps.

    Google... well, Google feels different. They're getting huge, but they're not a Microsoft yet, and at least they have some new ideas left. They dominate the internet add space, in a near monolithic fashion, but slight competition from Yahoo and Microsoft keeps this from making me lose sleep. But, Google's definitely worrying me with their data mining practices, which are even worse than Microsoft's.

    Both companies, to me at least, are a testimate to how damaging the US patent system is, and excellent examples on how a company can leverage patents to become a monopoly power in different markets.

    So... my TLDR version: Fuck them both, but I hate Microsoft more.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • duckmanx88
    chrome still needs to let me open a new tab to any page i want instead of this most visited page and not display my passwords in my settings so that anyone with access to my pc can see them. or at least let me set a master password to those passwords.

    oh and more OS's is good. maybe then i won't have to pay $200 for an OS.
    1
  • dravis12
    #1 difference:

    You don't pay for Google's software. (yet)

    People like free stuff.
    5
  • batkerson
    Any serious competition with Micro$oft should be better for the consumer. The real difficulty, as I see it, is drivers and compatibility of existing software -- will my old copy of CloneCD still run?
    P.S. -- I'm still upset that he Justice Dept. didn't "break up" Micro$oft into two companies: operating system and apps. I think that would have been best for everyone, including Micro$oft.
    -2