To beat Microsoft, use the Web. To beat Google, use the mobile Web (?)
Google has its biggest opportunity yet in mobile, but it's also falling behind in the race to monetize the mobile Web.
I think ReadWriteWeb is onto something: Josh Catone is suggesting that the mobile Web may be the key to beating Google for the next generation of the Web. Just as Google is upending Microsoft's desktop dominance by making the desktop operating system irrelevant, so, too, could Google's desktop-based advertising be made irrelevant by moving the Web experience to mobile devices:
...[T]he mobile web is likely going to be a significant part of our future, which is good news for advertisers because there's one other thing we've been learning about the mobile web: people using the web on mobile devices are much more likely to interact with advertising.
Google, of course, isn't lying down on mobile, but it has stuttered to start with Android, with Android not looking nearly as cool as most of what Google does. Google SMS and its other mobile offerings are very cool, but so far don't incorporate the secret Google advertising sauce in a big way.
As Volantis and others make the mobile Web easier to use, and as Apple makes the mobile Web less crimped, Google will need to keep pace to embrace the world's largest advertising opportunity: mobile phones. Fortunately, its design aesthetics (minimalist) fit well with screen real estate. But is Google's Achilles' heel mobile?