Google Ahead in Innovation?

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-11-07 Print this article Print

Even before Bill Gates had finished explaining Microsoft's new Windows Live and Office Live offerings, industry observers and analysts were saying that Google still has the upper hand and warning that Microsoft needs to overhaul "its culture of deri

Even before company Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates had finished explaining Microsoft Corp.s new Windows Live and Office Live offerings, industry observers and analysts were already saying that search giant Google Inc. still has the upper hand and warning that Microsoft needs to overhaul "its culture of derivative innovation."

In his Oct. 31 online commentary, "My View: The Google Future," Forrester Research Inc. Chairman and CEO George Colony said his Cambridge, Mass., company is predicting that Web pages will be replaced by a new software model known as the executable Internet, or X Internet, that will allow users to do much more than is possible with old, static Web pages.

"Google will be the company that leads this revolution," Colony said. "It is already writing programs like Google Toolbar and Google Desktop Search that run on your computer but blur the divide between your desktop and the Internet." Ray Ozzie, Microsofts chief technology officer and the person tasked with executing a software services strategy across the Redmond, Wash., companys three new business divisions, last week admitted that Microsoft has learned much from Google, especially around online advertising.

"Weve all learned quite a bit from [Google], and all of us together have begun refining at an aggressive pace," said Ozzie at the launch event for Windows Live in San Francisco. "We really believe they and we have barely scratched the surface in how technology can match people who want to buy things."

If Windows leaves Korea, Linspire offers to move in. Click here to read more. Philippe Courtot, CEO of Redwood Shores, Calif., security vendor Qualys Inc., said that introducing Windows Live and Office Live shows "Microsoft has clearly realized that once again its market dominance is threatened by the emergence of new technologies that will make the Internet the primary delivery mechanism for applications that will be delivered as a service."

Colony said Microsofts upcoming Windows Vista "had better be fantastic, and Microsoft had better be able to re-spark its culture of derivative innovation. The coming of the X Internet fundamentally changes the software and Internet landscape, with Microsoft an obvious loser. That is why Google may be so dangerous for its Internet brethren—it knows programming, and they dont."

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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