Microsoft Trying To Out-Google Google

It seems like almost every day that Google makes some seemingly small, incremental move to gradually turn up the heat on Microsoft. The frog, Microsoft in this analogy, though knows Google is sticking it to them, but they're just too big to make the leap out of the pot in one jump.

Google just made available Google Calendar Sync, a windows app that lets you sync your primary Outlook calendar with Google Calendar. You can choose to sync calendar events between both Google and Outlook calendars bidirectionally, or in either direction only.

Like most other Google apps, Google Calendar Sync is labeled as beta software. But, as my friend and co-worker Dan reminded me today, he's been using GMail over for over two years and GMail is still labeled beta software. Maybe someday Google will suddenly leap from hiding behind the bushings declaring "We're GA (generally available) now!" and we'll say, "Huh? I always thought you were."

Google isn't making some grand, mega announcement about their strategy to take on Microsoft. They barely make small announcements about it, opting to just release basic applications, small tidbits and tools, and then incrementally improve them over time. It's hard to consider this a sneak attack on Microsoft because Microsoft knows it's happening. Most everyone else knows it too, at least I think they do, but some of the comments to past blog posts show that not everyone sees it. (Hard for me to believe.)

I've been doing some research and thinking about Microsoft's Software plus Services strategy and I actually think there's a lot more to this than Microsoft is letting on. Microsoft is trying to out-Google Google by quietly executing on their own strategy, giving all of us the appearance that Software plus Services is just a lame attempt at rebranding a slow and lumbering Microsoft, more interested in protecting Microsoft's embedded software base. But I think that's the appearance and belief Microsoft wants us to have for other reasons. I suspect this is also why Ray Ozzie has been so quite and not in the public eye. If what I suspect is true with this strategy, the Ray Ozzie naysayers will be wrong .

As I get my thoughts further together, I'll blog about what I think is really behind the Software plus Service strategy. For now, the temperature is slowing building, but actually both the pot for Microsoft and for Google.

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