free html hit counter Google Will Be Bigger Than Windows - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Will Be Bigger Than Windows

By - May 13, 2008

Steve Ballmer might throw a chair after reading this:

Google’s search business will pass Microsoft’s Windows business by early next year (at the latest). Good thing Microsoft has another huge, wildly profitable monopoly: Office. Add that to the calculation, and Microsoft can breathe easy for a few more years.

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11 thoughts on “Google Will Be Bigger Than Windows

  1. The big difference for consumers is that Google is not using it’s near monopoly status to gouge consumers- searching is still free for everyone! So as long as the search product remains strong, it will retain it’s lead, as advertisers chase the eyeballs.

    Whereas with Office, the danger for Microsoft is that the price has risen and consumers are seeking cheaper alternatives- of which there are now quite a few that are actually free with Google Docs and OpenOffice.

    The nature of the web seems to be driven towards free- free music, free video downloads, popularity of coupon sites, free shipping at Amazon, the WSJ. It’s what did in AOL and the music industry. Adapt towards free or die.

  2. nmw says:

    Google is the opium of the masses.


    😀 nmw

  3. dumbfounder says:

    How is MS Office a monopoly? I can use Open Office to make ppt’s and .doc’s just fine, and it is FREE.

  4. It seems that Google gets the Long Tail and understands the value of delivering every time (or almost every time). Google has earned its trust, and in a world where information is becoming perfect, trust equals wealth.

    I agree with you that Office will help Microsoft. But eventually the free productivity wares will finally be sleek enough that users will adopt apps like Google Docs. Microsoft may breathe a little easier, but it’s got a lot of work to do.

    Do you see Google pushing Docs to the point of being so sleek and “Office-y” that it may even topple MS Office?

  5. J s says:

    The “Free” office productivity suites are already quite “officy”. I use Open Office daily in my consulting work to keep costs down in a competitive field (automotive). I trade files frequently with OEM and Tier 1 clients and co-workers using MSOffice without issue. While MS could always make their file formats more proprietary there is a wide enough user base that sees through that and will migrate to other options that are there – plus the installed base of MSOffice users getting forced to purchase the “upgrade” – an old tactic users are wary of. All you’ve gotta do is go to and try the programs out (installs on both Windows and Linux) – you’re always free to go back to MSOffice…

  6. nmw says:

    haha — when I mentioned that “applications don’t matter” during a recent Facebook conference I got a shocked reaction. But here, on the contrary, people seem to recognize that software applications are quickly becoming a commodity market.

    What I find amazing, though, is that people still seem to believe that there is money to be made from giving away software for free — kinda reminds me of those “Crazy Eddie” commercials I used to watch as a kid!

    Maybe someone could explain to me how giving stuff away for free is an easy way to “get rich quick”? (unless, of course, Google is mining your data and selling it to the highest bidder — in which case it would not really be free, would it?)

    😀 nmw

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  8. Anton says:

    Let’s wait for “Google office”

  9. dumbfounder says:


    How to give away stuff for free and get rich: advertising.

  10. Frymaster says:

    I was an early-ish AdWords users and, for me, it’s not THAT Google does advertising with search; it’s HOW Google does advertising with search.

    1-Highly controlled content
    2-User interests served first, advertiser LAST

    My campaigns were so easy, so ‘budgetable’ and so effective, I was certain they were gonna make a killing and I got me somma that GOOG shortly-ish after it went IPO.

    These three principle applied to the content base on YouTube and the client/publisher base on DoubleClick = Game Over.

    I just today clicked to immediately close my first mid-roll video overlay ad. It was on the Internet Superstar ROLFcon show. It was exactly as the Internet gods had intended.

    When Google can apply context relevance to the bajillion dollars of pointless banner ads running through DoubleClick, this whole discussion of “how do I monetize my website” will be over. Hells, Google’s got more money than Haliburton and they do the least sexy thing there is to do on the Internet: search. (Didn’t say you’re not sexy, JB 😉

    Oh, yeah, and give us a snazzy web-app interface, ‘cuz using current DC tools is teh suck.

    Whoa, how did that happen? #endofrant

  11. Michael says:

    I agree with you that Office will help Microsoft. But eventually the free productivity wares will finally be sleek enough that users will adopt apps like Google Docs. ilan
    Microsoft may breathe a little easier, but it’s got a lot of work to do.