Has Google Grown Too Big?

Google is starting to look like Microsoft in the mid-1990s, say some business experts, and that may or may not be a good thing.


"There are many parallels between Google and a young Microsoft when it was a hip teenager," says Andrea Matwyshyn, Wharton School professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "The risk to Google is not learning from Microsoft's mistakes."

Google Challenges Technology Services Leaders

In 1998, Microsoft lost a lawsuit to Netscape when Microsoft attempted to strangle the competition by bundling Internet Explorer into the Windows operating system. Then, in 2002, an antitrust suit against the software giant forced Microsoft to share its application interfaces with third parties.

Now, Google is tangling with Microsoft by playing the same game. Google’s recent expansion into productivity software combined with its dominance in the search business has pushed Microsoft and Yahoo together into creating a competitive search engine, Bing. That venture is now under review by the U.S. Justice Department.

And now, it appears that Google is taking on Apple.

Apple refused to approve Google Voice to run on it’s popular iPhone because, Apple said, it replaced iPhone's distinctive user interface with Google's own interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.

The Key to Search Engine Advertising is Mobile

The mobile market is one that Google cannot afford to ignore. According to recent statistics, mobile phone users accessing a search engine through their device has increased by approximately 71% in the last year and use of a mobile to access internet content has doubled in the same time period.

Access to the mobile market is vital because most businesses see the future of advertising there, says Eric Bradlow, a marketing professor at Wharton. Mobile access is the means to access consumers often and while the are more likely to be in the mood to purchase.

What makes Google different in this competition is that Google comes at everything it does with advertising at its core, say technology experts at Wharton.

Google isn’t interested in the hardware business, says Wharton management professor, David Hsu, Google just wants the information and advertising.

“Google is very much in business against any company that may interrupt its core search advertising model."

The Saving Grace of Google’s Search Engine Popularity

This ambition of Google’s could be good for the consumer. As the technology giants battle for market share, consumers will reap the benefits of more options becoming available to them.

But, since the Google collects so much information, it’s possible that one day it will be able to guess a user’s intentions from search behaviour, emails and text messages, and with that convenience comes privacy concerns.

Eric Clemons, an operations and information management professor at Wharton, says that Google’s brilliance lies in its popularity. It may never know any backlash from regulators or consumers because of its popularity.

"Google is as beloved as can be," Clemons says. “And now Google has created the illusion that Google is giving you something for free. But nothing is really free."

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    Google Voice

    Google Voice

    According to PC World's annually published article “100 Best Products of the Year,” in 2016, the product to rank in at #2, just behind the #1 Apple App Store, was Google's free call forwarding service, Google Voice. Google Voice's myriad of useful features, straightforward setup, and price tag of zero all contribute to why this service deserves its number two ranking.

    A Single, Convenient Phone Number

    Google Voice's concept is a simple one. Users sign up, they get a free, unique US phone number of their choosing, and then never have to give out multiple phone numbers again.

    With this service, users get a unique phone number that, whenever called, rings all of the phone numbers that they specify. No longer does someone need to manage his or her home phone, cell phone, work phone, and work cell phone numbers, because when the user's Voice number is called, all of his numbers will ring, ensuring a connection the first time.

    Great Call Quality

    Since Google Voice only acts as a proxy for phone calls, not as an actual phone service provider, call quality is just as clear as the user's cell phone or land line call quality. After someone dials a Google Voice number, the Voice system prompts him to state his name to be announced to the subscriber.

    The Voice system then connects to the phone number that the subscriber specifies and the Google Voice system leaves the call. The caller is then speaking directly to the subscriber, the Voice system only intervening if the subscriber chooses to use one of Google Voice's in-call features.

    Huge Range of Features

    One of the best things about the Google Voice service is that Google provides many, many free features for subscribers to use. From Voice's call recording feature that allows users to record a consersation mid-call and play it back later, to the accurate voicemail transcription feature, this service is worth using just for all of the extras that Google provides.

    With Google Voice, a subscriber gets a voicemail inbox with free voicemail transcription, free text messaging to any mobile phone, call screening, conference calling, and the ability to block calls at a whim. All of these features are completely free, making Google Voice the best call forwarding service money can't buy.

    Google Voice's call free service is without a doubt the best free call forwarding service on the internet or otherwise. With a myriad of useful and effective features, quick and easy setup, and no hidden fees, Google Voice certainly simplifies its users' lives. Anyone looking to make his life easier with the convenience of one central number and dozens of straightforward features should definitely check out Google Voice.