Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Google, Microsoft and Disruptive Business Models

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admits that he's worried -- less about competitors and more about being blindsided by a new business model. He should be worried about the combination -- an innovative, resource-rich competitor building a new, disruptive business model (and the infrastructure to deliver it).

In a recent interview, Ballmer noted that Microsoft is playing catch up in search. That isn't news. Google has effectively won that battle. Ballmer also mentioned open source as a worrisome threat. That isn't news either, though it is not only the pricing pressure created by open source that should worry him. Open source has other powerful drivers behind its adoption globally.

However, Microsoft should be most worried about plans accidentally revealed during a Google presentation. Google is building the capacity for "infinite storage" -- meaning the ability to mirror someone's hard drive online and store all of their files, every e-mail, photo, mp3, web history, bookmark, and make them accessible on demand, anytime, anywhere, from any device.

Now that would be a disruptive business model.

Categories: Microsoft, Google, business

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