Why is Google afraid of Microsoft?
The story about the YouTube app for Windows Phone may seem trivial but under the surface it shows all Google's weaknesses. It goes like this, in short: Microsoft made YouTube app for Windows Phone and Google said that the app violated its terms of service. The two companies worked together and Microsoft made another app according to Google specifications and - Google put a block on it.
Here's an explanation from Google: "We're committed to providing users and creators with a great and consistent YouTube experience across devices, and we've been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service. It has been disabled."
Now, Google PR should pay more attention to wording since "great and consistent YouTube experience" means exactly nothing. We are talking here about watching a video, not about some rocket science software spread across the globe and hosted on multiple servers.
So, where's the problem? Microsoft confirmed that Google is blocking their new app and added that Google set roadblocks that are impossible to overcome. Now, let's see other side, what Microsoft did? The company said it needs more time to write an HTML5 application and experts from both companies came to the conclusion that an HTML5 app would be technically difficult. So, Microsoft published a non-HTML5 app and Google is not happy with that. But - YouTube iPhone and Android apps are not-HTML5 applications too.
Microsoft did everything, enabled Google's advertisements, disabled video downloads, eliminated the ability for users to view reserved videos... So, where's the catch?
The catch is in a simple fact that Google depends on search engine and things are not going well lately. First, here's Panda, a new search algorithm - based on its behavior we believe it's a form of artificial intelligence software - that brings inconsistent results.
Some spamming websites are still No1, good websites are buried down, and search can bring different results in different times of day. Nobody exactly knows what Panda thinks and that's understandable - nobody knows how it's written - but search results are so confusing that there are more and more comments "Do what you are doing and don't pay attention to Google".
For Google, this is a very bad situation. The company depends on the search engine and without it all other products are worth exactly nothing.
That search inconsistency and big expenses companies have while hiring SEO experts trying to figure out what Google is doing are good for Microsoft: Google search market share fell from almost 90% to 67% and Bing in July had almost 18 percent. Bing results are improving, as a matter of fact they are comparable to Google's, and that's what makes Google so nervous.
Microsoft is a software and hardware company, it is involved in operating systems, office software, and gaming and they are not keeping all eggs in one basket. They are constantly improving Bing search engine adding new voice and mobile features and users are responding well. Google's nightmare is slowly becoming reality: Users are becoming aware that Google is not the only search engine on this planet.
Microsoft is a giant that moves slowly but it doesn't stop. When one project fails they will start another because they have enough resources to do that. In the meantime Google can't make any single product not depending on its search engine and in it's nervousness it opened new battlefields (such as "User can't expect privacy when using Gmail") that will only weaken the company.
At the end, all recent events can be described in a cruel but true way: Google reached its top and it started to fall down. It will take a while because it's big but Google's stellar days are definitively over. ■