Fortune.com has an interesting piece on Gates VS. Google .
I read this knowing it has to drive Gates crazy that his Microsoft is doing all of the heavy-lifting while Google gets all of the credit. In the article you can see why MSFT keeps slipping up though. Microsoft missed auction (eBay), they missed travel (Expedia, Travelocity)and they are missing search (Google).
Will they miss the next major applciation?
What is the next major app coming down the road that MSFT should be focusing on...
What device will handle more internet traffic volume than the PC?
What computing device is owned by EVERYONE and carried EVERYWHERE, EVERYDAY?
Simply put, Google has become a new kind of foe, and that's what has Gates so riled. It has combined software innovation with a brand-new Internet business model—and it wounds Gates' pride that he didn't get there first. Since Google doesn't sell its search products (it makes its money from the ads that accompany its search results), Microsoft can't muscle it out of the marketplace the way it did rivals like Netscape.
If the guys at Microsoft started thinking like a consumer, instead of a corporation, they would have this space locked. When you do start thinking this way, the advertising dollars will follow. The search space wasn't driven by brands, it was driven by consumers, and then the advertisers followed.
For example, when I'm out with my cell phone, I think of it as a mobile PC. "What would I use my PC for right now if I had one". I then think about how I would make my cell phone a "for more info" resolver.
"What would I do a Google on right now?"... You see where your opportunity lies Microsoft?
Solve that problem and you own mobile search. Throw in the ability to spot a mobile phone via GPS for location based services and it's game over. For example, every SMS info service I see requires that you type in your zip code or street location to determine results.
Can't a GPS service do this for you? Eliminate all that typing. Wouldn't that be of value to a consumer?
The mobile internet is going to be enormous and offer endless opportunities. The mobile internet WILL NOT BE SURFING with your cell phone, it will be NAVIGATING IT.
The cell phone has a major function that even the lighest laptop with the strongest wifi/wimax signal can never have...the cell phone now has optical character recognition.
Optical character recognition (OCR) does the lengthy website address typing and connecting for you. You may be able to see it (barcode, logo, number),or not (RFID tag). With each identifer, the cell phone sees it and directs you to a specific website. That provides interaction with the physical world.
OCR will become your mobile browser. So the mobile browser players are under attack already.
I see every barcode, logo, phone number as a physical world hyperlink. What am I going to get when I click on it.
When I'm out and want to find the closest TCBY, I dont want to type in my zipcode (providing I know it in another city) or street address. I want my phone to know where I am,and give me relevant results. That's an app that will be consumer driven.
I imagine TCBY will want to know I was looking for their store and be willing to pay Microsoft a buck for this info too.I have many ideas I WILL WANT on my cell phone. Care to know what they are?
Microsoft. it's time to think outside the box. Literally.