Sramana Mitra has an interesting point in the ongoing discussion about the Google-Microsoft rivalry:
My assessment, however, is that Googles opportunity to hit Microsoft (and other large players) where it hurts is much more in inherently subscription-based product or service areas like Security, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Anti-Spyware, Online Back-ups, etc. which could be rolled out to their widely and easily accessible user base, and immediately monetizable.
Now, that would hurt Microsoft ($40 Billion Sales; $273 Billion Market Cap), but it would destroy Symantec ($2.6 Billion Sales; $27 Billion Market Cap), and McAfee ($1 Billion Sales; $5 Billion Market Cap).
What would it do to Google ($5 Billion Sales; $87 Billion Market Cap), if a fast growing but diversified, and also highly profitable revenue stream were introduced, and it were not Office (which would generate only hype, not high velocity $$$)?
Microsoft trades at 7 X Sales, Google at 17 X.
Entry into Security, I submit, will be the fastest way for Google to overtake Microsofts Market Cap, because besides enhancing its own, it will also deliver a blow to Microsofts futures.