Google-A threat to Microsoft?

Year 2005 was a year of Google. Google has been churning out software at an amazing speed. But more importantly it has been churning out news at phenomenal pace even faster than software. The result, Google’s stock is continuously touching new heights. The meteoritic rise of Google has caused many people to say that it is fast becoming a threat to Microsoft. Is this a reality?

Let’s evaluate the threat and see if it is real or just hype

Google’s speed: Yes, this is true. Each day we see a new product from Google going into Beta. Amazingly, a lot of Google software is in Beta. Google is even better at delivering news. The result, Google seems to be the most efficient and competitive company. What most people don’t realize that most Google applications are web based, hence it is easier for them to keep updating their servers with new versions if they find some bugs. Even when applications are desktop applications they are not enterprise level or critical application hence even if they have bugs it is not critical. Microsoft cannot do this with their applications especially with OS and other enterprise level application servers. I am not saying Google is not efficient, what I am trying to say is that Google can afford to have application in beta and with bugs, so lifecycle of these applications should not be compared with lifecycle critical applications. I would say today Google is doing the same thing what Microsoft did a few years back when they could afford to have buggy OS and applications as most its users were not enterprises.

Google’s stock: Another reason why people think Google is threat is rise of Google’s stock. Let’s go back a few years. In year 1990 Microsoft traded at split adjusted $0.62. Today its stock is at 27$, a rise by 43 times. In fact I am not even taking into account the golden days of year 2000 when it was much higher. Let’s see another stock EMC. In year 1990 EMC traded at $0.12 and today it is almost 14, a rise by 116 times, again I am not taking in to consideration days when EMC was 100$. Hence rise like Google is expected of good companies. What has made Google’s rise spectacular? It is rising in more or less stagnant market and full marks to Google for that.

Sustained Growth: Google is really growing at a phenomenal pace, no doubt. But is growth as such rate sustainable? I don’t think growing at such a pace is possible for long period of time. This happens with all the companies, probably almost with everything. Companies grow quickly when they are young just like humans, then they reach maturity become stable and don’t grow like they were growing earlier. Finally become old and die off. Probably, Google is still in its childhood.

So, Is Google really a threat to Microsoft? Not really. It is very good company which is growing very quickly but over the time it would stabilize and there would be new kid on the block which would be growing like Google is growing today and I will write a similar story about it. Only names of threat and threatened may be different


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