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Microsoft, Google: Showdown on speed

Microsoft has long been its own worst enemy: It has frequently been criticized for taking far too long to develop new products, then releasing them all at the same time--losing critical first-to-market advantages in doing so. But if the software giant truly has a new philosophy of urgency, as its actions with Windows Live indicate, then the technology industry may be in for a spectacular shoot-out.


Conventional wisdom has assumed that . And Google is known for its Wild West approach to its products, rolling out everything from enterprise search tools to music services seemingly overnight.

At its worst, a relentless stream of products could cause confusion in the marketplace. (Can anyone name the top five products both companies have released lately?) But at its best, the rivalry will create an energy and pace of development not seen even in the boom years of the 1990s.

Blog community response:

"Google acquired Writely, an online word-processor with support for Word, OpenOffice, HTML, RTF, and text files. As with so many other releases, the high demand is causing Google to open up a wait list for new accounts. This is a huge move for Google. They are positioning themselves squarely in competition with Microsoft."
--The GoogleSphere

"The new Windows Live Search features new capabilities for image search, news search, RSS feeds, mail, local search and shopping. Ya, ya, ya, we know all that, it's coming up to standard with Yahoo/Google, finally. Those aren't as interesting to me as some of the new UI features and cool new 'Web 2.0' tools."
--Jeff's Search Cafe

"Once again, the pace of Internet innovation is on the rise. Markets are being changed, and fortunes are being lost. And in that sense, Web 2.0 is very much like Web 1.0."
--Pradeep SV