Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Despite the fears of some, Google ain't going to rule the world. Sure, they're making a bunch of money selling ads on their search results, they have a bunch of cash and they're treated like rock stars.
But... it's not going to happen.
All of their revenue is dependent upon people using Google to conduct searches. And, just as Google replaced others as the search engine du jour, so too will Google be replaced someday by someone offering a better way of doing things. Perhaps it will be someone with a better search algorithm or a company that provides search results that are more relevant to what the user is looking for. Perhaps it will be Microsoft themselves (gasp!), once they finally figure out a way of better incorporating search features into the applications (Word, Excel, Outlook) that people use, making it easier to use Microsoft search than to go to Google. And, once people no longer flock to Google to conduct the search, watch their revenues... and stock price... and plans to rule the world come crashing down like so many others before them.
Even if Google had legs as the fad search site, there are many, many examples of someone coming along and predicting Microsoft was on the way down. Remember the days when (I believe) Sun announced plans to introduce an 'Internet PC' that would make Microsoft as relevant as buggy whip manufacturers? With everybody rushing to the Internet, the sages of Silicon Valley proclaimed the day would come when all of a person's computer needs would be handled over the web... no more operating system, no more applications. And what about when Netscape was going to do the same thing as what people are now predicting of Google? Netscape was going to replace Microsoft as the key to the whole computing experience.
Well, neither of those great plans came to fruition.
The important thing to remember is that Google is something you do with a computer. It is a feature, akin to RealPlayer or SpellCheck. Very rarely is Googling something an end in itself. People Google to find a web site to make a purchase. They don't buy a computer because they want to Google. They Google to find information to include in a report. Once they've Googled, they move on to the application that really matters to them. And, except for people looking to buy something, people don't start with Google (let's see, I have a proposal to write for my boss... let me start with Google? Nah.).
I know it's the in-thing to bad mouth Microsoft. Their programs do have too many bugs. They don't always play nice with others. But it's also important to not get caught up in the hype... hype that has been wrong many, many times before.