Did Microsoft & Google Switch Places?

Microsoft & Google

Is it just me, or did these two giants start adopting each other’s more classic tactics?


Big times are ahead. Just this month, we have the release of the company’s snazzy new operating system: Vista for businesses, the iPod contester: the Zune, and the release of Xbox Live Marketplace: movie and TV downloads and rentals.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates is complaining
that Symantec & McAfee are ganging up on the poor software giant by
trying to get the company into anti-trust hell via the European Union.

So why is Microsoft acting like Google (at least temporarily)? Microsoft used to pick on companies, not complain about being picked on by other companies. And Microsoft is a first mover with Xbox Live Marketplace, likely to be the first company you think of for entertainment in your living room.

And it doesn’t stop there. Microsoft is on the verge of releasing more products innovated from the inside including Vista for home, Office 2007, Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune, VoIP software, etc. None of these next generation innovations were acquisitions but rather in-house developments.


Google releases Google Mobile, software for Gmail to be more user-friendly on your cellphone, too bad it comes well after Microsoft & Yahoo already have their own cellphone email software.

After not-as-successfully attempting the same services through Google Video, Google acquires expensive innovation by purchasing YouTube for $1.6 billion.

And lastly, small businesses that rely on an online presence / traffic through Google have recently been complaining that one tweak of the algorithm by big brother Google can ruin everything. Google responds by saying it’s for the common good.

Further Comparison

How did this happen all of a sudden? When did Google become “the man” that buys things instead of makes them all while pushing the “common good” rhetoric in an attempt to appease its loyal subjects? And when did Microsoft become the “little guy” feeling picked on while simultaneously releasing in-house innovations as a first-to-market mover?

I feel like I’m in that episode of the Simpsons where Bart and friends discover the bizarro-everything-is-backwards city Shelbyville, which resembles Springfield with everything off. Or the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine meets bizzaro-Jerry and his care-for-each-other friends.

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