Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nytimes: GOOG rumbling with Microsoft

"TO Mr. Raikes, the company’s third-longest-serving executive, after Mr. Gates and Mr. Ballmer, the Google challenge is an attack on Microsoft that is both misguided and arrogant. “The focus is on competitive self-interest; it’s on trying to undermine Microsoft, rather than what customers want to do,” he says."

"Microsoft, Mr. Raikes notes, has spent years and billions of dollars in product development and customer research, studying in minute detail how individual workers and companies use software. What they want, he says, is the desktop programs and features of Microsoft Office, and the proof is in the marketplace. “I mean, we have more than 500 million people who are using Microsoft Office tools,” he says.

Indeed, Microsoft is the wealthy incumbent with a huge lead in the market for personal productivity software, with a share of more than 90 percent. But the Google challenge, industry analysts say, is not so much a head-to-head confrontation with Microsoft in its desktop stronghold as it is a long-term shift toward Web software, which operates with different principles and economics."

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