Top 20 Tech and Channel Trends of 2009
5. Microsoft vs. Google: Open Warfare
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the beginning of the decade couldn’t spell Google. That evolved to dismissive attitude to open disdain to – as it is today – open warfare. Microsoft is under assault by Google on several fronts – mobile operating systems, desktop operating system, cloud computing and search. While Microsoft is still more than three times the size of Google, the score in this battle of the veteran software giant against the upstart Web pioneer is heavily weighted in Google’s favor. But Microsoft – now openly acknowledging and painfully aware of the competitive threat posed by Google – has a few tricks up its sleeve. Bing is showing signs of success in search; Microsoft's cloud-based services are building rapidly; and Windows 7 is re-energizing a stagnant PC industry. Google, on the other hand, is relentless – it’s launching its own operating system, building a channel around Google Apps and, it appears, will market its own smartphone. The war is far from over, and it looks as though it will get bloody.