How Microsoft Is Missing The Online Dominance Race … Again

So, every now & then the intellectual me comes up with an analysis-types article, last time it was Windows, Chrome & Piracy. This time it’s the web. Since the last article a lot has been done by Microsoft India. However, lets face it, Microsoft even with Bing behind Yahoo is no where near Google, of course they’ve managed to salvage some pride but from what I see, it’s nothing. Business Today has run a definitely-worth-a-read cover story on Google’s newly appointed 4th president – Nikesh Arora (the other 3 being – Schmidt, Page & Brin.)

For Google, countries like India are the next target. And they’ve already got the ball rolling. Here are some indicators from the article:

  • Google owns 4 of the 5 top web properties in India (Gmail, YouTube, Search, Orkut). 5th is Rediff. Live who? Bing what?
  • Google’s online advertising revenues have tripled in the last 2 years.
  • India’s online advertising budget is ~25,000 Crore & 80% belongs to Google! 80 friggin’ %!
  • Around 6.6 Billion Internet users with 13 Million active Orkut users.
  • Companies like Hyundai are going for online-only product promotions.
  • Google India has the 2nd largest employee base.

Though the article also pointed out that in 2008, of the total $21.7 Billion only $200 Million came from India. That will change. Drastically. In the coming years. Yes. It will.

Clearly 3G on the anvil and being one of the biggest cellular market, India is a huge user base. Google’s all over Microsoft even in India! And, what’s Microsoft doing? Giving us a Bing by replacing ‘Live’ by ‘Bing’ everywhere! Microsoft definitely doesn’t seem to realize a simple fact that though the Western markets belong to Google, there’s a huge user base that even Google is trying to gain full control of & while Microsoft continues to strive to regain position in the Western world, by the time they make any significant dent in Google’s share, Google will have taken over markets like India. The result? Microsoft meets the same fate here as they did in the US.

Bing Maps keep updating the blog with x TB of images added to Bing this and that but when you try to find a location, you end up going to Google Maps. For some reason Microsoft hassn’t figured out that images come later, finding the God damn location is what a friggin’ map is used for!

Also, as I mentioned Microsoft’s ad platform AdCenter is still US only.

There’s an article by TechCrunch on Bing’s presence beyond the shores of United States of Barack Obama.

I’ve tried to talk to the Zune team by attending team/MVP discussion uninvited only to get the same old PR crap. Microsoft plans to dethrone a product that is available world-wide with a product that will be(?) available in not more than a handful countries, they can continue fostering dreams that won’t materialize till they understand that the world is beyond US. And if they plan to regain lost ground, the battle field has moved to countries like India.

Microsoft Translator (online version, not the website widget) gets its ass whooped by Google Translator & Google Transliteration! I won’t be crucifying Microsoft’s online Office sutie just as yet, but something tells me it won’t be as awesome as Google’s, simple reasons: Google Forms with Excel-like Sheets at the backend & a brilliant PDF reader.

Talking about the Internet, you have to talk about the browser as well, while IE8 is a huge improvement over its predecessors, it’s still not there. Various UX issues continue to plague it.

The basic point is that while Microsoft is doing whatever it is that it’s doing, Google hasn’t been doing nothing. In fact they’ve had a change in market focus. A very predictable change, something you don’t need an IIMA grad to figure out. (Ed note: Hire me.)