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Let me see you do that switch-a-roo May 29, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, technology.
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This week: Microsoft unveiled a new search engine, and Google unveiled a new approach to email. This is akin to Cadbury launching softdrink and Coca-Cola creating chocolate bars.

Microsoft’s Bing

Google’s Wave

Ok maybe not that drastic, as Microsoft and Google already play in each other’s spaces, what I find interesting is each company’s desire to innovate in the other’s space, potentially at the expense of the things that got them to where they are.

I have a number of clients at Microsoft and I like to think I challenge them regularly to try and build new markets as opposed to steal other people’s; if Google is going down the same path then that disappoints me greatly. What I do find interesting about the above scenario though is Google’s new email idea, called Wave, doesn’t seem to have monetisation built into it beyond advertising, whereas Microsoft are obviously making a big bet on increasing search revenue via Bing, their new search engine.

Google’s play seems to be closer to an idea where everything is contained in a single space, a move I like, away from distinct destinations. Much like Facebook, they’re seeking a single dashboard from which they can control a user’s experience. Microsoft meanwhile are chasing a better mouse trap. It could potentially be a more lucrative mouse trap, but I don’t think it aligns with where user bahviour is going.

And as we all know now, disruption is never about a better mouse trap.

Go see Tim O’Reilly for more on Wave.

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