my previous post
, I noted how the new Gmail/Google Docs & Spreadsheet integration
feature threatens Microsoft. There’s also some high level discussion going on in the tech
sphere about how Microsoft’s continued loss of search market share and
confusion over the Live branding
means they are losing the “web war”. Infamous Dot
Com analyst Henry Blodget goes as far as to
say that Microsoft is sliding into “Web Irrelevance”. I very much disagree with that
prognosis. Like John Battelle,
I think there is a lot more Web innovation to happen yet. Google certainly won the battle
(with search and online advertising), but they have not won the war.

Let’s look at the threats to Google. As Greg Linden pointed
, Microsoft has a prime opportunity to “control the search experience in Windows”.
So desktop/web search may be Microsoft’s best hope to challenge Google in search. Also as
the Read/WriteWeb crew has written about many times on this blog, there are a lot of very
innovative search solutions being worked on by startups – any one of which might rise up and surprise
Google. Check out Charles Knight’s list of top
100 alternative search engines
, for a taste of the amazing innovation happening right
now in search.

Also I think Microsoft is in a strong position with multimedia across devices and
potentially they could end up controlling the living room and TV/entertainment with Media
Center and Xbox – all tied into Vista of course. Apple is also a strong contender in this
media/devices/tv domain. These are things that Google is relatively weak in right now. So
Google doesn’t have it all going their way in the Web world, even though they appear to
be dominant at this point.

Note: I’m not sure of the relevance of the stormtrooper pic, I just thought
it was very funny!

richard macmanus