Can Microsoft Boot Google Off Its iPhone Pole Position?
As the old saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." As Microsoft attempts to partner with Apple to replace Google as the iPhone's default search engine, the question hovers: is Apple Microsoft's friend, and is Apple Google's enemy? The user experience of the iPhone may hang in the balance.
In fact, at the bottom of the article linked above, there's a comment from Douglas Moran that reads: "Aaaaaauuuuuuggggghhhhh! *Anything* but a Microsoft product! God save us!" Apple may want to think twice before fixing something that isn't broken. (See: Leno, Jay; Coke, New.)
It's easy to see what Microsoft gets out of this: a dramatic increase in users who have Bing shoved in front of their faces, with an attendant increase in visibility and a potential surge in advertising profits. It's not so easy to see what Apple gets out of the deal. Users have not expressed substantial dissatisfaction with using the world's most popular (by far) search engine.
One principle of business "warfare" is to attack with maximum force at a point where the enemy is weak. Google's position as iPhone's default search engine is far from weak. Microsoft can engage in a bidding war, but so can Google. In fact, one could easily argue Google is better positioned to win a bidding war than Microsoft. After all, Google already occupies the center of the chessboard; Microsoft has to dislodge it. Furthermore, a consumer backlash against Apple for partnering with Microsoft is not out of the question.
Can Microsoft overcome these disadvantages and convince Apple to ignore all naysayers, snub Google, and embrace Bing? It won't be easy. Microsoft first needs to convince Apple that Google is a threat, which it currently is not. The next step would be to to get Apple to agree to combine forces in a mutually beneficial coalition to halt Google at the iPhone pass.Continued on the next page