NYT: Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft

Microsoft has quickly dispatched many companies that have not had enormous technical and financial resources. However, Google has all that and more in this looming battle, according to the New York Times on Sunday.

All eyes are on Eric Schmidt, the C.E.O. of Google. Back when he was the C.T.O. at Sun Microsystems, he watched Scott McNealyis struggles against Microsoft which often led to frustration and name-calling. Later, as C.E.O. of Novell, Mr. Schmidt seemed wiser about how to pit a company against Microsoft, and said it was folly to "moon the giant."

Now, Eric Schmidt is positioning Google for a titanic rumble with Microsoft that depends on a new paradigm for computing -- the network cloud of applications and data. "For most people," Mr Schmidt said, "computers are complex and unreliable." Googleis vision is to deliver all essential services over the Web. The only thing that canit yet be done is local, high-speed graphics processing. Other than that, everything can be done in the cloud. "It?s a 90-10 thing," he said. In the Internet cloud is "almost everything you do in a company, almost everything a knowledge worker does."

Microsoft and Google Market Cap (Credit: New York Times)

Microsoft, however, doesnit see it that way. They claim theive spent years and billions of dollars listening to customers, in detail, to what they really want. Microsoftis third leading executive, Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft?s business division pointed out that their customer focus has lead to Microsoftis sucess with the Office series. "I mean, we have more than 500 million people who are using Microsoft Office tools," he said.

Moreover, Microsoft believes that Googleis fight isnit about just satisflying customers. [Their] "focus is on competitive self-interest; it?s on trying to undermine Microsoft, rather than what customers want to do," Mr. Raikes said.

Independent of each companyis motives and interests is the fact that no other competitor to Microsoft has had the wealth, vision, and talent to take them on. Microsoft may be too set in its ways, happy to cater to the local desktop while Google jumps on the express ride to the future of technology, armed with a serious investment in network hardware.

Even so, Microsoft is ready for the challenge. "Needless to say, we are going to do everything we can to remain the leader in this space," said Chris Capossela, a vice president in Microsoftis Office group. "And whoever comes our way, we?ll certainly be waiting for them."

Note: Eric Schmidt also has a seat on the Apple Board of Directors.