Om Malik has a guest post by Robert Young, who theorises that “Googles recent moves show that they are using ‘free’ to gradually devalue of Microsofts assets, and thus its market cap.”
So what is Googles master plan? I believe they are once again going counterintuitive, but in a manner that hits Microsoft where it hurts most. Google will make Microsofts entire strategic plan and mission, which revolves around the continued proliferation and dominance of the desktop PC operating system, obsolete by making Google itself the operating system. The model they are pursuing is very similar to Sun Microsystems (Jonathan Schwartzs) vision of turning computing into a utility, like electricity. The only difference is that Google is already almost there.
To some extent, Google is bringing back the architecture of the mainframe to render Microsoft obsolete. In the future, all computing devices, whether it be the PC, mobile phone, TV, etc., will simply be terminals that plug-in to Googles massive server grid and application services. With the increasing price/performance of CPUs, memory, bandwidth, and storage, Googles strategic edge will be based on their advantageous cost of processing bits. And as long as users are comfortable sharing their private data and behavior with Google, all services will remain free (and supported by advertising).