I was just looking at all the blog writing about Google’s new announcement. Hey, what an awesome PR machine Google has. They don’t talk to a single blogger and we all talk about them anyway. I think bloggers like the abuse!
Anyway, Dare Obasanjo, who works for Microsoft just wrote his reactions and in the middle of all that wrote this line: “As usual, the technology blogs are full of the Microsoft vs. Google double standard.”
Absolutely 100% true. Bloggers will hype up Google stuff over Microsoft’s stuff almost everytime. Why?
A few reasons:
1) Google isn’t yet on top of the mountain. They don’t own a monopoly. They are getting close, yes, but they certainly don’t have the market share even there that Microsoft has on the desktop.
2) Google’s offerings are focused 100% on the Web. Microsoft is only about 5% on the Web. Lest we forget the biggest parts of Microsoft are Windows, Office, and Xbox. We cheer companies that pour themselves into supporting what we like. Bloggers are VERY Web-centric.
3) Office Live didn’t have a position of strength to get us excited by. Google has Gmail. Nearly every blogger I know uses Gmail. When I asked a room of Pepperdine MBA students every hand went up when I said Gmail. Yeah, a few had Hotmail, but they said they liked Gmail better. So, until Microsoft completes its rollout of the new Hotmail, er Windows Live Mail (which is very nice) then Google will continue getting the hype for its office suite.
4) Google gives us a LOT of cool free stuff. That turns into hype later on. We cheer a company on that gives us free stuff without putting a bunch of ads in our face. Microsoft still hasn’t quite figured this one out yet.
5) Expectations. When you say “Microsoft Office” to us we have a certain image of what that means in our heads. But say “Google Office” and most of us aren’t sure what that really means. That means that Google, while it explains its story, will get more attention as we all flail around and try to figure out whether it’s better or worse than what we already know, which is Microsoft’s stuff. And, Microsoft’s “Office Live” fell flat because it didn’t match our expectations of what Microsoft should do in this space.
6) Branding. Microsoft doesn’t have a cool Web brand right now. In fact, the one that they had, MSN, is being thrown in the trash and they are switching over to Windows Live. That probably will turn out to be the right decision in the long term, but in the short term Google has the better naming team — by far. Calling Google Maps “Google Maps?” Sheer brilliance! Who came up with the name “Windows Live Local?” Blllleeeeccchhh.
Anyway, we don’t cut the guy on top any slack. That’s gonna be a problem for Microsoft to get its stuff noticed. On the other hand Microsoft can get our attention the old fashioned way: it can spend its $60 billion in cash. There are plenty of bloggers out there who’ll write about you if you send some cash into the system.