Google, Microsoft Wage War of Words in Search, Cloud Apps Markets

NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft and Google have steadily ratcheted up the negative advertising and rhetoric as they try to infiltrate deeper into their respective core markets, search and cloud applications.

The commercial is entertaining. A man brags about the great deal he just got on a pan he found using shopping results from Google. Then the pan bursts into flames, and the woman with him quickly puts out the fire with a handy industrial-strength fire extinguisher.

"You just got Scroogled," she said. The ad then features a Web address that takes you to a Microsoft-sponsored Website, The site has a link to the commercial, and a series of points on how Google has changed from reporting unbiased search results to featuring paid results.

The ad also offers to make Bing your home page, provides a link to the Bing Facebook page and provides examples of Google's alleged search engine bias. You can also watch other Bing commercials, none of which are quite as entertaining as the one with the combustible pan and the handy fire extinguisher. So far, I haven't seen any commercials touting Google's search engine, probably because it's far ahead of Bing in mindshare and users.

Meanwhile, Google is busy dissing Microsoft. First Google's product manager for Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said that the company won't develop apps for Windows Phone 8. In one interview Bavor reportedly said that nobody is interested in Windows Phone.

Next, Google's vice president of engineering, Venkat Panchapakesan, said his company would stop supporting ActiveSync for free to new Google Apps customers, although he did say that existing users would be able to keep that capability, and that the feature would still be offered to paying customers. Microsoft responded by inviting Gmail users to move to Outlook's cloud version.

Microsoft is also pushing its cloud-based SkyDrive, which is notable mostly because it competes with Google’s Drive app that is available everywhere except on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. While you can go to the Google Drive site to install Google Drive and have its icon show up on the Windows 8 Start Screen, it won't actually run. On the other hand, Google does provide a search app that is designed for Windows 8.

So apparently Google has decided to withhold its apps from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, claiming there's not enough interest. But it has created a search app, because that's where the money is. Of course, you can still log in to Google Drive and other Google applications by using your Web browser, but that's not as convenient as having an app on the start screen.

Considering that most desktop and laptop users just go to their browser to reach a search engine, this is a curious choice on Google's part. But the company must feel that it achieves some sort of marketing objective. In the meantime, it makes using Google slightly less convenient for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 users than using Bing.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...