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good comments. A couple other things to consider:

1. there is a tight relationship between MS and Google. 90% of the people that use Google are using MS platform to access it. Isn't that ironic? How can Google begin to integrate into the desktop? Because there are only a couple browsers and desktops you need to deal with before you have 98% of the configs. Monopolies enable other technologies.

2. MS has had desktop search for years only instead of making it work really well, they opted to put a stupid animated dog below it. And, you can change to an animated paperclip if you want to! MS seemed more interested in making the desktop more user-friendly and completely dropped the ball on making things actually work better. Google will shock MS back into true innovation which will benefit us all.

3. Danger - Google isn't evil but if it becomes the world's gatekeeper to information, then it becomes all powerful. What would we do if the Chinese National Gov't decided to buy Google?

You're forgetting one really important piece of Microsoft's capital. Technology. Windows, for example, incorporates certified drivers for over 20,000 other products. Try to wrap your mind around the size of a 20,000-way test matrix!

Microsoft's dominance is fundamentally based on control of a large, valuable, technology asset that consumers and businesses worldwide rely on. They understand that creating an ecosystem of partners in a co-dependant relationship with Microsoft is key to their success. And so they court the hardware vendors and the software vendors, to mutual benefit, to support them in that co-dependant relationship.

Apple's MAC doesn't do this. Apple controls the hardware specification. Linux doesn't do this. Instead, it relies on you to search out and find the drivers that work with your hardware.

If I were Microsoft and wanted to take Google on, I would build a .NET search "service" API into the OS, include a personal search service on every desktop, and build a large, QUALITY, search engine on the network -- both of which rely on the same API. Quality is key -- Google succeeds on many counts, but one of the most important is the quality of the results you get. That search capability needs to be integrated into the OS at a fundamental level so that search becomes transparent across multiple sources. Finally, I would evangelize that .NET interface heavily and encourage other software developers to make use of it (starting with Microsoft's own Office products) building that all important ecosystem again.

Brand advertising, contractual arrangements, and patents are nothing more than tactical implementations of a much larger strategy, in my opinion.

Personally, I don't think Google has anything approaching a monopoly on search right now. I think they're a wonderful company, but they're perhaps much more vulnerable than many people think. Google has a start with their desktop search, but it's nowhere near where it could be in terms of user experience and integration. Right now it's a horse race with Google in the lead, but they could easily fall behind if Microsoft leveraged its existing ecosystem of developers.

One key to Google's success is how value good engineer talents versus guerilla marketing and exuberant content. They allow their engineers to innovate and drive the business ideas. Companies such as Yahoo concentrate more on content and marketing and much toward the engineering side of their business.

http://www.event-planner.com/wwwboard/messages/15924.shtml complimentwhosewondered

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