Google's Loss in China is Microsoft's Gain

Google's game of chicken with the Chinese government could be a windfall for Microsoft.

Big topic this week… Google retaliates against China's government attacks on Google's intellectual property and human rights activists email accounts. Ballmer say's we'll stay and obey Chinese laws. There's an old saying; "don't get in front of someone trying to commit suicide" and I would say that's exactly what we have in this case. Microsoft is happy to let Google make a Tiananmen Square analogous stand against China's censorship and government sponsored cyber attacks. Google's loss is Microsoft's potential gain.

Two questions will be answered in this technology giant vs. communist government standoff; how committed is Google to making an ethical stand against the Chinese government, and how much of the Chinese market is Google willing to let go of and lose to Microsoft and others? This could be Ballmer's watershed event to really give Microsoft a boost of momentum, significantly accelerating their business in China while Google blinks.

Or could Microsoft be playing right into the hands of the Chinese government, handing them a target rich environment of Microsoft Windows machines notorious for their vulnerabilities vs cloud-based services and browser software which present a smaller footprint for the Chinese government to attack? I feel like I'm writing the background for a novel, not a blog post. lol.

Obviously, I'm very intrigued to not only watch the Google vs. China tussle, but also how Microsoft and others could slip past Google while they're busy fighting a battle they're not likely to win. I very much admire Google for taking this stand against China, and Google's unprecedented openness about getting hacked. But it's hard to see how Google wins against a government willing to exploit capitalism on the one hand and continue to practice oppressive, anti-human rights behaviors on the other.

Maybe I will write that fiction novel.

Like this? Here are some of Mitchell's recent posts.

Recent Podcasts:

Mitchell's book recommendations: Also visit Mitchell's other blogs and podcasts:

Visit Microsoft Subnet for more news, blogs, opinion from around the Web. Sign up for the bi-weekly Microsoft newsletter. (Click on News/Microsoft News Alert.)

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)