Over at TIME.com, my Technologizer column this week is about growing debate over the question of whether Google’s dominance of the search engine market raises antitrust concerns. It’s reminiscent of the debate that went on for most of the 1990s whether Microsoft was a monopolist–a debate that eventually led to the court case known as United States v. Microsoft. And yet, I came to the conclusion that Google’s position on the Web is a lot more fragile than Microsoft’s iron grip on the PC market once was, which is why I called my piece “Why Google Isn’t the New Microsoft.”
Other observers are, of course, free to disagree with me–and many do. After I finished writing about the topic, I idly Googled for the phrase “google is the new microsoft” to see how often the meme came up, and found nearly a million results. Then I Googled for “microsoft is the new google.” Then I kept on Googling.
Executive summary of what I learned:
“google is the new microsoft“: 966,000 Google results
“twitter is the new facebook“: 408,000
“google is the new apple“: 274,000
“apple is the new microsoft“: 222,000
“microsoft is the new apple“: 281,000
“facebook is the new myspace“: 154,000
“samsung is the new sony“: 71,800
“facebook is the new aol“: 68,800
“sony is the new nintendo“: 41,300
“microsoft is the new ibm“: 35,000
“nintendo is the new sony“: 16,900
“nintendo is the new apple“: 15,600
“facebook is the new friendster“: 4000
“youtube is the new napster“: 1700
“hp is the new dell“: 10
I could go on–doing this is weirdly addictive– but you get the idea.
Still unknown: If Nintendo is the new Apple, and Apple is the new Microsoft, and Microsoft is the new IBM…does that mean that Nintendo is the new IBM?