Word is that Google is looking to pay Dell up to $1 billion to allow them to load their software onto Dell PC’s as the default applications ove the next 3 years. At first blush this didn’t seem like such a big deal to me. Who cares whether Google is the default search engine, and that the Google toolbar is loaded by the manufacturer? But when you realize that Google is closely aligned with Mozilla’s Firefox and has a number of other software products they have supported, you can see how quickly something like this could mushroom intoa headache for Microsoft. The last thing Microsoft needs is for a company with the assets and name recognition that Google has to come barging into a space that they have basically owned to this point.
According to BetaNews, one of the primary worries of this approach is that as their pre-loaded applications become useless, or at least duplicative of other software on the computer, the value of the OS will decline. And with Dell owning a large portion of the worlwide PC market, Microsoft’s captive market would dwindle quickly. A large number of users will use what they are given, and not worry about changing the default applications.
Of course, in the end, it will only benefit Gogle if they can put together a suite of applications that the user feels is the best available. I would have to believe that with a $1 billion investment, and the resources they have to draw on, that they could do it. They do have to be careful and not release applications that are not well received. Their sterling reputation could take a large hit if they deliver sub-par app’s (remember how the Google Video service was received). At the very least I would hope this would drive both Google and Microsoft to deliver more innovative and feature rich software in the future. Nothing like competition to push them both.
Posted by Jeff