Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft employee and a key Windows architect, who quit for Google in 2004 made the claim that Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer vowed to “kill Google” in a tirade against the company when the former Microsoft executive told Mr. Ballmer he was quitting for Google. This growing war between Google and Microsoft began when Google hired away a Microsoft executive in China. Microsoft claimed Google violated confidentiality agreements while Google charges Microsoft was trying to intimidate its executives by making them think twice before jumping ship.
Microsoft it seems can’t stand facing competitors who actually stand and fight dirty. Perhaps it had thought that after cutting off Netscape’s legs and steamrolling through the former Internet browser’s dominant market share that they could do the same thing with Google. The irony of the situation is that Google had stolen the search engine crown from right under Microsoft’s nose who was in the market for a longer time with its clunky MSN search engine. In recent months, MSN has looked more like Netscape and Google more like Microsoft in 1995. While Google innovated and won praise with its earth.google.com and maps.google.com satellite map services, g-mail, and a host of new features, Microsoft’s on-line services looked downright dated and clunky.
Hotmail accounts are still capped at 25 MB, while rival Yahoo already offers 1 Gigabyte free mailboxes with G-mail topping both with 2 Gigabyte + mailboxes. Microsoft’s answer to Google’s maps.google.com was nothing short of hilarious. Many users quickly pointed out how Microsoft was forced to use dated (often 30 year old) aerial photographs rather than satellite images because rival Google had bought up all the rights to use recent images for its earth.google service. This had the hilarious side effect of showing many existing houses as empty lots. Google fired the latest shot attacking the Microsoft’s messenger service with Google Talk, an on-line chat program allowing users to send e-mail, instant message and even talk anywhere in the world for free under the umbrella of a single chat program. It has been speculated that if Google decided to start an Internet service, it would be free and funded entirely by targeted local advertising.
The most important of all, Microsoft can’t take away Google’s revenue stream the way it did with Netscape. And the fact of the matter is, Google is doing everything for free and doing it better and faster than Microsoft. Microsoft’s old strong suit of slow and steady copying and pasting a rival’s features into its products seem broken and unwieldy when faced with Google. When Microsoft has copied something, Google has moved onto the next and is still doing the old thing better. Google’s plain, functional designs are superior to Microsoft’s elaborate but Byzantine and unstable programs.
If Microsoft wants to kill Google, it would have to do a lot better.
P.S. Don't forget to download Firefox.