G-Wizards Dance While The Emperor Feasts

In today’s Sunday Business section, one will find a long article about Google’s “cloud computing” strategy. Google is betting that consumers and businesses will move from being chained to one’s desktop to a more flexible internet-based system of working.
cartoon by Tom Bower
With the proliferation of mobile internet tools, and the fact that one will increasingly rely a handful of devices, rather than one desktop computer, Google’s direction seems logical. But Microsoft scoffs at such an approach.

“It’s, of course, totally inaccurate compared with where the market is today and where the market is headed,” says Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s business division, which includes the Office products.
To Mr. Raikes, the company’s third-longest-serving executive, after Mr. Gates and Mr. Ballmer, the Google challenge is an attack on Microsoft that is both misguided and arrogant. “The focus is on competitive self-interest; it’s on trying to undermine Microsoft, rather than what customers want to do,” he says.
Microsoft, Mr. Raikes notes, has spent years and billions of dollars in product development and customer research, studying in minute detail how individual workers and companies use software. What they want, he says, is the desktop programs and features of Microsoft Office, and the proof is in the marketplace. “I mean, we have more than 500 million people who are using Microsoft Office tools,” he says.

Raikes statement seems off to me. I can’t help but think he sounds like an old school ad exec saying, “But we make a shit load of money producing television commercials.”
He claims that Google is arrogant and misguided, but I wouldn’t toss those particular words around when they could so easily be applied to his own situation.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I think the attitude may have something to do with Microsoft’s own failure to do exactly what Google will do. With all the money that Microsoft has to throw around for R & D they sure do shitty programming. Anyone have something Microsoft on their wish lists? I thought so. Google will get this done. Whether it will be a success, well that is for the market to tell. Good Luck.

  2. hi ,
    i’ll go for google