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and technology


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Google vs. Microsoft: Not just yet

As usual, Nicholas Carr is the smartest guy in the virtual room, explaining that Google's new spreadsheet app does not and is not meant to compete with Microsoft Excel. Rather, it is just one more service meant to drive traffic into the Google advertising universe.

Microsoft's Scoble sees it as competition, but he is also able to see that a bigger battle is just around the corner, in what I would like to call the post-HTML web. I predict the real battle is not going to be Microsoft's .NET/WPF/XAML versus Sun's Java applets versus something new from Google, as Scoble suspects. The last thing Google wants to do is engage Microsoft in an API war: Microsoft will always win those so long as they own the desktop. Instead, the Microsoft API is destined to become the de facto standard with the ascension of Vista next year, and then we will witness the first battlefield on which Google and Microsoft meet face-to-face: Microsoft Live versus the Googleplex. As I've said before, my money (rhetorical!) says Googlenerds have been secretly developing WPF apps for some time.

Update: A quick and useful run-down of what the hell is WPF anyway -- although the author didn't seem to know about WPF/e, which will be a watered-down version of WPF for running in non-IE browsers. Extra points for paying due respect to Charles Petzold, the star author of Windows programming books, before such training got confused with being "cool."


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