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Steve Ballmer: 'One-hit wonder' Google could disappear in five years
walkman




msg:1540066
 3:38 am on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

[businessweek.com...]

"Speaking to a packed auditorium at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 12, Ballmer trumpeted the ripe opportunities around Microsoft's sprawling business and questioned the ability of Google to maintain its edge. Clearly alluding to Microsoft's key Internet search rival, Ballmer said: "The hottest company right now -- the one nobody thinks can do any wrong -- may just be a one-hit wonder."

-------
Personally I think G needs to diversify it's revenue source. Right now everything is going great, but if the economy starts to slow, the first thing companies do is cut advertising (and business travel). It happened a few years ago and it will happen again...leaving Google exposed.

 

zeus




msg:1540067
 12:28 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do think Ballmer is right here, Google is a great company, but lately it looks like they are getting a little loose on there core business the search and they DO have to get a OS system online or software CD, it a must because Microsoft new OS with build in search will rule this business, not many will type google and then make a search there.

mrMister




msg:1540068
 12:35 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Personally I think G needs to diversify it's revenue source. Right now everything is going great, but if the economy starts to slow, the first thing companies do is cut advertising (and business travel). It happened a few years ago and it will happen again...leaving Google exposed.

I expect they have enough cash reserves to weather the longest of recessions.

I didn't see any big TV stations going off the air during the last advertising slump. The market leaders tend to do well long term after a slump in the industry. Once the slump is over, there's less competition as all the smaller fish have gone out of business.

I agree to some extent with Ballmer. The technology industry is an incredibly fickle one.

IBM, market leaders, remeber them?
3dfx, market leaders, remember them?
Altavista search, market leaders, remember them?

I think the same can be said of Microsoft as well as Google though.

Namaste




msg:1540069
 12:36 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

they look like a one hit wonder...I just don't see the vision thing in them

bostonBeans




msg:1540070
 12:38 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting comment by Ballmer. It seems to me that MSFT was a 'one-hit wonder' (the OS) for almost their first 15 years until they started to make headways into word processing, spreadsheets, and programming languages in the early 1990s. This was enabled by their cash reserves from the OS business for reinvestment in other businesses (and the fact that they controlled the OS of course). Google may not have the benefit of controlling the OS, but they are building the cash reserves. And I would argue that directing the portion of the internet traffic that they currently do is a sizeable advantage that could at least be compared to controlling the OS. My money is on Google having a few more hits and that this was more recruiting rhetoric by Ballmer than anything else.

-Bb

mrMister




msg:1540071
 12:39 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do think Ballmer is right here, Google is a great company, but lately it looks like they are getting a little loose on there core business the search and they DO have to get a OS system online or software CD, it a must because Microsoft new OS with build in search will rule this business

Google's Operating System will be a next-generation operating system. They're not just going to copy existing OSs. If they do create one, it will be an Internet based thin client OS like nothing we've seen before.

It's not Longhorn where the battle will be, it's Microsofts next OS where they will compete.

trillianjedi




msg:1540072
 12:43 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

While I wouldn't normally pay too much attention to this typical MS hype statement, Google's 100% reliance on the web could well be their downfall.

New technologies are emerging which aim to put media content on the desktop rather than a browser. Hence google's move to get Advertising into feeds as quickly as possible.

The web may not represent the bulk of media related internet traffic in 5 years time.

Google currently do not have the tools to adapt to that change.

Microsoft do.

TJ

Lord Majestic




msg:1540073
 12:49 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the same can be said of Microsoft as well as Google though.

Microsoft is pretty much one of the few companies that survived and doing well, where as many others who were hot at their time gone bust. Bill Gates and his minions have proven that they can be very sharp when necessary.

TypicalSurfer




msg:1540074
 1:06 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I enjoy the google internet but I will definitely try the Longhorn version when it comes out.

momotan




msg:1540075
 1:13 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gates will make sure that in 3-5 years Google and Yahoo are dead and buried. Remember Netscape? Now just a brand name used to hawk cheap dialup. Same strategy, pour millions into gaining market share and squeeze them out until they are an afterthought. We are talking about a war chest of serveral billions versus one of almost a billion. Big difference.

Namaste




msg:1540076
 1:14 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

quick question, other than Google search, do you use any other product of theirs:

- Gmail (most will say yes, but how extensively?)
- Froogle
- Google News (one of their great products)
- Alerts
- Catalogs (a big investment produt)
- Groups
- BLOGGER
- Maps
- Mobile
- Special searches
- adwords
- Picasa

mickeymart




msg:1540077
 1:17 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

google called me for a job yesterday... no thanks I'd rather go back to MS

bakedjake




msg:1540078
 1:24 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

- Gmail (most will say yes, but how extensively?)

Ad Supported.

- Froogle

Ad Supported

- Google News (one of their great products)

Ad Supported

- Alerts

Kind of ad supported, but not really.

- Catalogs (a big investment produt)

Free.

- Groups

Ad Supported

- BLOGGER

Free

- Maps

Free (unless you count local, which is ad supported)

- Mobile

Free

- Special searches

Ad Supported

- adwords

Their main revenue product.

- Picasa

Free

Google's sole source of revenue is AdWords advertising (I'm not counting the search appliance - from what I understand that's a pretty miniscule portion of their revenue). That base erodes, and they have a problem, no?

Microsoft and a lot of other companies have commented on this fact before. For some reason, Wall St. keeps missing it .

Unfortunately for a lot of people, cool websites/features on the web = free. I question whether or not someone would pay to use any of Google's features.

TypicalSurfer




msg:1540079
 1:34 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately for a lot of people, cool websites/features on the web = free. I question whether or not someone would pay to use any of Google's features.

no way.

Lord Majestic




msg:1540080
 1:36 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gates will make sure that in 3-5 years Google and Yahoo are dead and buried.

Microsoft produced a better browser - I switched to IE5 because it was better than NN4. Now I am using Firefox because in turn its better than IE6, but browser no longer matters that much.

Same is happening with the search engine - I find that MSN search is not bad at all, in fact they have indexed my new genuine site fast and without any stinking sandboxing.

Huckleberry




msg:1540081
 1:44 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am not so sure that Google will be a one hit wonder... that is of course pending a branching out of their business model... but because of their current hype they have attracted a large talent pool that will hopefully have the vision that can bring them into the next generation.

Right now though, I agree with Ballmer, I think Google could easily collapse if they continue to focus on their current model.

Of course if we could all predict the future we would all be rich.

TomWaits




msg:1540082
 1:44 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

There are several Google products that I'd absolutely pay for. Typical MSFT vapor.

Chndru




msg:1540083
 1:49 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

this was more recruiting rhetoric by Ballmer than anything else.

I think so, too.

mrMister




msg:1540084
 1:54 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

New technologies are emerging which aim to put media content on the desktop rather than a browser

LOL, Microsoft was well ahead of the game there with their vulnerability to messenger spam since about NT4!

aleksl




msg:1540085
 2:03 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

New technologies are emerging which aim to put media content on the desktop rather than a browser

:) and these new technologies are called Open-Source Software on Linux.

Microsoft has now a big battle on their hand. From one side - OSS and Linux is taking up on their revenue, especially on the server side. Microsoft is a mature company with a mature product. The cost of development is high, the innovations in new versions of their product are far and in between. They need to reinvent themselves or slowly die out. Microsoft understands it, they need new and exciting product. That product is Search. I bet they are VERY aware what is at steak.

Google, on the other hand, plays with fire - SERPs are now only marginally better than competitor's, and still only one revenue source. Talks about an OS are IMHO wildly imagined.

Edge




msg:1540086
 2:09 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

The world is full of one hit wonders, take a hard look around. Look at the hospitality industry, McDonalds, hotel chains, etc. Travel, like airlines, rental car, etc. What do you think small business is, which is the bulk of where people work in America. All industries have fluctuations.

Focusing on ones core competency is always a good idea. Taking advice from your competitor?

Obviously, diversifying is good generic advice for everybody.

Namaste




msg:1540087
 2:23 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

BJ said it. Thats what I was hinting at.

How far can you text ads? How deep is the ocean? Does it justify the valuation?

What next? Can they make people pay for products?

jaffstar




msg:1540088
 2:30 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Micrsoft seem to be strong in the following:

Hotmail
World Wide OS use
Instant Messenger
IE
(to name but a few)

Desktop search and integration into the above make winning the war just a matter of time, it might not be 1-3 years, but eventually they have to win.

charlier




msg:1540089
 2:35 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

No one has mentioned adsense, I think that will be the biggest moneymaker for Google in the future. If you are placing money making ads on third party web sites what does it matter whos search engine the surfer uses to get there. The adsense program has a number of problems that need to be addressed but Google is making big improvements all the time (Adlinks, CPM, advertiser selected sites, advertiser blocked sites, RSS ads., etc) and so far it has no real competition.

walkman




msg:1540090
 2:41 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I expect they have enough cash reserves to weather the longest of recessions"
I don't think it's a question of going bankrupt, it's a question of going under the radar, of not being "google", the darling of everyone. From there one thing leads to another. For example, eBay has plenty of cash, look what happened to their stock now. Stock price falls, employees get all in a bad mood and shareholders who bought it at $200 demand results. Even if they can't change direction via vote, they make enough noise

---

McDonalds is extremely diversified: they have over 30,000 locations. People in China want rice instead of freedom :) fries they can have them. Health conscious people want salads, they can have them. If sales go down in South America, they pick up in Africa and so on. They are diversified.

"The world is full of one hit wonders, take a hard look around. Look at the hospitality industry, McDonalds, hotel chains, etc."

---
about MSFT: not a big fan but credit where credit is due, they rule the computer world. 95% of the world's PC run their OS software and they have tons of other things going on, including xBox. Browse here (a few categories deep) and see: [microsoft.com...]
Remember one thing: there's nothing Google has that MSFT can't do, or doesn't do already (maybe not as good but it can be improved). Can you say that about Google?

Search is all math, and common sense apparently. Both have robots /raw data, it's all how you sort it. What's to stop Bill Gates from saying, we'll use $5 billion to catch up, and hire anyone he wants to outdo Google? Nothing and this is a huge country and it has brilliant minds looking for a challenge and jobs. People will move to the "best" search ngine. if ads are needed, the money is there.

---
what's to stop MSFT offering that, and pay owners much more than Google, at least to start? Nothing!

No one has mentioned adsense, I think that will be the biggest moneymaker for Google in the future.

patiodragon




msg:1540091
 3:01 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Microsoft may be a diversified company, but the last time I saw any numbers, the ONLY 2 products that were turning a profit were Windows and Office.

People are getting tired of paying for a product that doesn't improve much any more and still keeps its 60% profit margin. Buy $200 worth of computer parts, then pay maybe 50% more for and OS?! Twice that for an office suite?! That doesn't seem sustainable either. In 10 years, China will be telling US companies what format to send them their documents in!

my 0.02

np2003




msg:1540092
 3:24 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Remember Netscape?
Remember Word Perfect?
Remember Apple? (ok its still around but MS made PC #1)

Goodbyes before 2008

Norton Antivirus/Spyware products..
^ MS will integrate antivirus/firewall and spyware tools in longhorn, users wont need to buy symantec/norton products.. bye bye

Google/Yahoo..
^ MS will add a search bar by default in Longhorn, Google/Yahoo/etc will lodge to sue, goes on for a few years, by that time Yahoo/Google are hard hit and MS wins. MSN search becomes #1 search engine worldwide. Yahoo survives because of its extensive reach and the variety of content it offers. Google may survive if it has other sources of revenue but its search is dead. Advertisers flock to where users search, in this case it will be MSN.

Now people, just watch it happen.
Remember the days when Netscape had 85% of the browser population and this moved to 85% MSIE within 2years..

np2003




msg:1540093
 3:27 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

GMAIL is not as popular as people make it out to be.

Check its traffic ranking.
[alexa.com...]

Traffic Rank for gmail.com: 9,107

[alexa.com...]

Traffic Rank for hotmail.msn.com: 2

Guys, my website along gets more traffic than GMAIL.

Now let's check GOOGLE:

[alexa.com...]

Traffic Rank for google.com: 3

As you can see GMAIL is not that popular...

Rogi




msg:1540094
 3:46 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

np20003, take Alexa rankings with a grain of salt.

I think Microsoft is under more attack than anyone else at the moment, regardless of what Ballmer says.

It would appear the MSFT has tried to over-diversify.
As mentioned, they're losing market in the OS and Server markets because of open source, they're slowly losing their share in the browser market because of open source, etc - instead of regaining they diversified to other markets

MSFT may try to make it seem like they are the all powerful and they are controlling the war, but I think they're slowly losing each battle, on all fronts.

if : IBM, Google and the Open Source community all made a deal together, to product an Open source operating system as easy to use (for the average user) as windows, integrated with the Google Search (and gmail, etc etc) with office applications and all.
Where would MSFT be then? If PC's came out OEM with Linux or other operating system?

Personally, I think it's only a matter of time before these 'battles' are taken to the next level and MSFT begins to feel a lot more weight coming on their own primary turf (the operating system market).

Then again, what do I know? :)

NickCoons




msg:1540095
 3:49 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

walkman,

<95% of the world's PC run their OS software>

That number is a bit outdated. I'm assuming you're referring to desktops (for servers, it's far less). Mac is at 5%, Linux surpassed Mac earlier this year at 6%, so Windows can't be more than 89% (and it's still falling). If you don't include Mac, it's still lower than 95%.

Linux usage on the desktop is estimated at 15% by 2008, and it's far more popular on the server-side (more popular than Windows). It sounds like Microsoft is trying to get hype going in hopes that they don't disappear in five years.

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