Google (GOOG) and Sun (SUNW) p4wn Microsoft (MSFT)Google and Sun's anticipated announcement today and the impact on Microsoft's price will demonstrate the pitfall of trying to go it alone in a market where global access and standards are tearing apart proprietary ownership defenses. Microsoft's biggest defense against OpenSource office suites is that it's been relatively difficult for the average consumer to get their hands on a copy and try it out. The general public isn't really interested in going to download site, downloading the install kit, putting it on their computer and taking an office suite for a spin.
But what happens if Google decides to take one of the robust offerings that is supported by one of the major players in the market and make it widely available as a net offering? And what happens if Google decides to do this over a proprietary and robust Internet access network that they make almost universally available?
Answer: Nothing good for Microsoft (or companies that have economics related to offering Internet access for that matter).
Microsoft is a perfect example of the difficulty of managing complexity in today's rapidly innovating and evolving world. They're trying to control everything about the PC platform and the irony is that they're rapidly losing control of even their base - the Office suite. This is happening because they're still a 'command and control' type of organization in an era where collaborative innovation and ecosystem development rules.
Google will eventually wind up in the same situation, but it will probably take 10-20 years to get there. It's the ol' Innovator's Dilemma issue. Happens to every company that has economic turf to defend. Luckily, the process if continual renewal allows for upstarts to capture the flag every once in awhile.
Consider Microsoft p4wNed.