USA Today has an AP story which looks at how Google and Yahoo are mounting a challenge to Microsoft on the desktop:
Microsoft faces two rivals Google, the world’s most popular Web surfing vehicle, and Yahoo, the Internet’s most popular destination.
Microsoft’s dominance may seem unassailable, given that its Windows operating system controls all but a small fraction of the world’s personal computers. But as the Internet consumes an increasing amount of people’s computer time, the plumbing provided by Microsoft is becoming less important than the online agenda that increasingly is being set by trailblazing Web companies like Yahoo and Google.
“The Web has created the equivalent of an operating system layered on top of the computer’s operating system,” said John Battelle, a former high-tech magazine publisher who is writing a book on the rise of online search. “There is some question how important that underlying operating system is going to be in the future.”
By establishing their products as essential services on personal computers, Google and Yahoo are vying to become even more ubiquitous as wireless technology proliferates and encourages more people to connect to the Internet wherever they are.