Even before Google announced real-time search on Dec. 7, the battle between the search giant and Microsoft was heating up. But the addition of real-time search has propelled that battle into another phase that will undoubtedly have a major impact on every Web user. It also ensures that from now on Google and Microsoft will have their sights firmly set on each other.
But that's not a bad thing. In fact, it might actually mean a far better experience for both the consumer and the enterprise. And now that Microsoft has inked a definitive deal with Yahoo, it's only a matter of time before the software giant becomes a far more disconcerting online presence for Google. I can't wait. The future of the Web will be dominated by two major companies with equal success, huge coffers of cash and the talent they need to innovate far beyond our expectations. That can only mean one thing: We benefit.
Let's take a look at why Google's battle with Bing is bound to be beneficial.
1. Microsoft can't stand Google
If Microsoft were friendly with Google, its battle with the search giant would mean little. The company would likely play nice with Google, rather than doing everything possible to inch its way into areas where the search company has been successful. But luckily for us, that's not the case. Microsoft can't stand Google. It wants to destroy the company that Sergey and Larry built. And it wants to do it online. That can only mean better services from Microsoft.
2. Google can't stand Microsoft
At the same time, Google can't stand Microsoft. Ever since the company decided to break out of the online world, it has consistently targeted areas that Microsoft has called home. It got into the browser business with Chrome to beat Internet Explorer. It has entered the mobile space with Android to take on Windows Mobile. It has even staked a claim in the operating system market with Chrome OS. Google wants to destroy Microsoft. And once again, we will benefit.
3. There's a lot at stake
Both Microsoft and Google know that the stakes are high in the battle for online dominance. If Microsoft loses, the company will likely lose much of its power and influence in the tech industry as more services move to the Web. If Google loses, it will join a long list of companies that tried, and failed, to beat Microsoft. And when that happens, those companies don't typically stage a comeback. Considering that, both Google and Microsoft will work even harder to attract Web users. I can't wait.
4. Innovation will be everywhere
The problem for Google and Microsoft is that if they want to be successful online, they will need to find a way to attract Web users. In order to attract users, both companies will need to go above and beyond what they've done to this point. That will undoubtedly lead to more innovation in the marketplace. And that, in turn, will lead to happier users.