Microsoft Keeping Google Honest
I'd venture that Microsoft can actually give Google a run for its money if they wanted to, but why would they want to try? It doesn't make much sense. Microsoft can never pass Google in advertising revenue because what they don't get is that it isn't Google's technology, its their brand.
There are tons of stories out there about Google's technology, and how they are pioneering there, but I think people should be writing stories about their incredible marketing group, and vicious brand protection. Microsoft is associated with monopolistic greed, their brand can never best Google, unless Google were to slip.
I think that their recent complaints about Microsoft have uncovered that the peace treaty between the two companies that has been in place for the past few years has been abolished. I think that Google is wrong for complaining about Microsoft setting their default search engine in IE 7 and Vista to MSN. Microsoft has the complete right to do that. If Google doesn't like it, they should create their own operating system.
Of course that is what they are going to do. I think especially now that they realize that Microsoft is serious about going after them. I also think that this is exactly what Microsoft wants them to do. Google's specialty is marketing, not software. They have some cool software products, but that's a whole different ballgame for Google. They can do that sure, but they will have to take their eye off the ball for search in order to make that happen. Microsoft has had both for years, and they have the infrastructure to sustain it.
Google is about to make a mistake by trying to manage some sort of OS development from scratch, if they are. Even if they were to base it on some Linux distribution it would be problematic. If they were really interested in competing with Microsoft, their best bet would be to either
a) Partner with or buy Apple
b) Heavily fund Ubuntu Linux, and open office development.
The later being way more likely than the former. If they were to do this, they could, in the same way that Microsoft is going to disrupt their business model, disrupt Microsoft by forcing it to focus on its operating system, and productivity suite more than they expected.
Still, this being speculation, a joint Apple Computer / Google spin-off could be just what the doctor ordered. You could take the two greatest brands on Earth, combine them, and you instantly have the worlds most prestigious computer maker. I'd probably buy one.