Microsoft: They had to do something drastic to compete in search, and they did with their recent launch of Bing (). It’s received a lot of press, a lot of positive reviews, and has clearly caught Google’s attention. But does anyone seriously think it will overtake Google’s dominance in search anytime soon?
Advantage: Google. By light years.
Google: Google Docs have been growing in features and users. They provide a level of collaboration that Microsoft documents simply don’t offer. But they don’t provide as many options as Microsoft Office and they just don’t have nearly as many users. This is one area where the majority of users still prefer the desktop to the web.
3. Communication, Email, and IM
Microsoft: While Google’s probably more revered for Gmail () and its communication suite, Hotmail is still bigger, and Live Messenger is heavily used. Microsoft also produces the popular Outlook software and has software in a variety of arenas, such as Windows Live Meeting, giving the company an edge in the enterprise.
Google: The search giant has a suite of very popular communication products – Gmail and Gtalk ()being the best known. The X factor in this debate though, is the upcoming Google Wave ()communication platform, which has impressed us so far. There’s also the intriguing Google Voice ()offering to consider.
Microsoft: Windows Mobile still shipped tens of millions of units last year, far outpacing Android. It also has apps to run Office, Outlook, and Windows Media Player. We think the long-term trend favors Google, but as of right now Microsoft is the leader.
Advantage: Microsoft, but perhaps not for long.
5. Operating System
Microsoft: This is Microsoft’s bread and butter. Windows is the reason Microsoft makes $60+ billion in revenue every year and has stayed on top for so long. Its stranglehold is legendary. Yet Windows Vista proved that it is not invincible.
Google: Let’s say this: we can’t wait to see what Google has in store for Google Chrome OS. We’re skeptical that it could ever kill Windows, but Google will be Microsoft’s most powerful challenger yet.
Conclusion: We look forward to the upcoming war.