You can look at Google's growing market share in Android, its dominance in search, and elsewhere as signs that it's winning in its markets. But for me, the best indicator that Google is winning is the increasingly vitriolic attacks piled on it.
You can always spot a winner by the bull's-eye painted on it. No one bothers to diss a loser.
Or sue them. Red Bend Software has launched what appears to be a specious patent claim against Google, alleging that Google's Chrome browser violates its patent (6,546,552) by including the Courgette algorithm, which enables Google to push compressed software updates to the browser.
As Microsoft learned years ago, success breeds patent lawsuits. Microsoft rarely sues over intellectual property infringement, but has endured hundreds of patent lawsuits, nearly all of them ultimately found worthless.
But it's not just patent trolls that are on the scent. Symbian, the one-time leader in mobile phone operating systems, has gone on the offensive, claiming Google is "evil" and fear-mongering about what Google will do with consumer data gathered with its Android software.
Is this an indication that Symbian can't compete in the market and must instead resort to FUD?
Google may ultimately be able to get out of the Red Bend lawsuit cheaply, and it's unlikely that Symbian's noise will unduly distract it. It may not end up dominating mobile, for a variety of reasons, but it's going to be a significant competitor, just as it is in search and increasingly in enterprise computing.
After all, Google is innovating in Android,, and generally pushing the envelope on what's possible in computing: mobile, "desktop," and cloud/server. Importantly, open source is a central strategy in each of these areas, which may be one of the things that most riles the incumbent competitors in its markets.
For Google, the increasing vehemence of the attacks on it should signal that it's doing something right. In fact, many "somethings" right.