When Giants Fight, Users Win

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-08
 
 
 

10 Reasons Why the Google, Bing Battle Is Good for Everyone


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. 

When Giants Fight, Users Win


5. Say goodbye to dominance

Once Microsoft jump-starts its online strategy, Google's dominance of the Web will be reduced. That's a key benefit for any Web user. When one company dominates, the impetus to do more than the bare minimum isn't always there. Granted, Google has done several great things already, but now that it faces more competition from Microsoft, you can bet it will be doing more than the expected. Dominance breeds complacency in any industry. Remember that.

6. Operating system integration

Prior to the battle between Microsoft and Google, neither company really felt the need to combine the Web with the desktop software space. The two areas were mutually exclusive and that was fine. But all that has changed. Google's Chrome OS proves that the search giant wants to make the operating system an extension of the Internet. Microsoft has also made strides to incorporate its software into the Web. The future of computing is based in the Web. With a real battle being waged between two tech heavyweights, operating systems from both companies will be much richer.

7. Mobile OS integration

Web integration won't stop at the operating system. Microsoft and Google will integrate their Web presences into their mobile platforms. The problem for Microsoft is that its Windows Mobile will likely not be able to compete with Google's Android in the near term. But Microsoft can quickly improve that software with the help of its online services. That said, Google realizes that, which will undoubtedly motivate Google to integrate its online services even more effectively into its own mobile software. It's a give-and-take that will only benefit us.

8. The move to the Web will come sooner

There's no debating that the future of the tech business is on the Web. But there's also no debating that we have a long way to go until we get there. With Microsoft and Google competing for online dominance, it's clear they both realize that the next frontier is in the online OS. If either company can solidify its position with a Web-based OS, it will be ideally placed to capitalize on the market. Look for the Web-based OS to come along sooner than expected.

9. The best company will win

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of Google and Microsoft's battle for the Web is that in the end, the best company will win. Web users will respond to the products that are the best. They will use the services that they find the most value in. Those products and services will come from the company that best understands and appeals to their desires.

10. New, useful apps will come to the forefront

Since Google and Microsoft can't win the online battle alone, they will undoubtedly dig deep into their pockets to acquire companies that do something that would be too costly or time-consuming for them to do on their own. That means one thing to the Web user: More lesser-known applications will find their way to us. And, in the process, we will enjoy a much richer experience than we would have had simply using applications designed by Microsoft and Google. Acquisitions put really neat apps in front of more people. Look for more acquisitions (and more happy users) in the future.

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