Bill Gurley writes correctly that Google is positioned to take over the world. I am certainly paraphrasing and adding some personal bias – he describes in detail how the company invested great sums of money to assemble a superior turn-by-turn GPS database which includes a street view and in so doing is now able to take marketshare from competing mapping vendors by using advertising to subsidize the cost of acquiring this information.
Advertising revenue in fact will drive the company’s operating system, software as a service and just about everything else.
As the company shares part of this revenue with partners you have seen wide adoption of Android by wireless carriers and no doubt hardware vendors installing the Google Chrome OS are next.
Expect the company to continue going after Microsoft products – by giving services away and supporting them through ads.
Any competitor which has an inferior ad network and generates less money from advertising (this is all of them) is pretty much domed.
The only way to stop the onslaught is to build a far superior search engine and hope the world switches. At this point the sheer marketshare Google commands in search allows them to utilize their massive database of user behavior as a massive focus group allowing them to improve by the second.
I just can’t see anything stopping this company besides, a scandal, high level departure, illness or something similar. Even then, the company is a monopoly at this point and perhaps momentum will ensure their future success.
Is the company using its power in a way which warrants them being broken up by the DOJ? Possibly, but Google reminds me a heck of a lot of Wal-Mart as the larger it gets, the better consumers do. Giving away free GPS for example is a pro-consumer behavior and as long as the company keeps breaking into new markets and giving things away, it is tough to see how the Google could be considered to be harming customers.
Getting back to the headline of this article — do I really think Microsoft is doomed? Yes. Immediately? Obviously not. But any time a company with a quality name in the market can make money while giving away good products which you charge for, you are done.