Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Much continues to be made about the Google market cap. Followers note that the market cap is now 1/3 the size of MSFT. Why not half? MSFT no longer has an iron fisted lock on the PC and millions of us use Google routinely. Google is just starting to role out products and MSFT is in the process of changing its business to the Google model.

No doubt, MSFT, a big and powerful company, is willing to throw its weight around. It was able to demoralize the mighty IBM and to take over businesses established by Netscape, Lotus and others. But all of that was then and this is now. After taking over the business, MSFT did little to innovate. The browser of today is little different from those of yesterday. The failure to block out viruses and spam are MSFT failures. Besides, the PC is no longer the key, the network is.

I am truely excited about Google Base and the prospects of other products in development. These products will connect me in infinite more ways to the world around me. While Google has made it much easier to find something I have stored on my computer, it continues to dramatically add to what I can find stored on other computers. The information age is finally hitting another gear.

To be sure, I am frustrated daily when I can't find information. This morning, I was looking at US Government Census and other sites. They are not indexed by Google and have no search facility at all. I spent an hour going from tables of content to various pages and never did find the information I wanted. It would cost the government nothing to allow this information to be indexed! The benefit to the world would be the savings of millions of hours annually.

A recent article told of the scanning project being performed by those opposed to the Google book scanning project. One lady told how much she is enjoying scanning the books. She said it is not as boring as it looks as she reads a lot of material as she goes. She earns about $10 per hour. Contrast that to the large machines used by Google to scan. The machines use special vacumns to carefully turn the pages of 500 year old books, takes care of the books and scans them in a fraction of the time.

Libraries were invented to share information, not to hoard it. Google is all about sharing information. Google is not out to steal any information but is out to catalogue what information is located where.

When a fellow told me in horror that Google is now worth more than Coke, I said that I don't drink a hundred Coke a day but I use Google more than a 100 times a day. The profit margin on a Google advertising link is about 4 times as high as the profit margin on a Coke. MSFT has suggested that it averages making $9 per year on its average sale of software. It has further suggested that $9 is not a huge hurdle to jump if the firm switched to an advertising supported plan. In five years, which software will you be using most, Google or MSFT?

At its peak, MSFT had a market cap of $400 Billion and currently has a cap of $300 Billion. I project that the next 5 years will be good years for MSFT and the stock has an excellent chance of doubling in value. During that time, Google will make up a lot of ground. It may not catch MSFT in 5 years but it should at least come close. If MSFT is a $600 billion company in five years and Google is a $500 billion in five years, MSFT will be selling for about $50 per share and Google will be selling for about $1,600 per share.

A lot can happen and there are no guarantees. What I know is that there are so many ways the computer and the internet could be making our lives better. My church struggles with the internet are illustrative. Our web site at MapleSprings.org is a fine site and if you live near Winston-Salem NC you should come to visit. However, the potential for better communication of the members through new services such as Google Calendar is huge.

Email has helped church members be in touch and stay in touch; email is a good start. The church newsletter and website serve great purposes but much more information needs to be made available to the members. All members should have an easy way to add a person to a prayer list, to give the details of when and where a member will be in a hospital, to add a meeting to a common schedule and to find-out what is happening at the church at any point in time. It may sound silly but members should not need to go to a web site to find information but the information should be made available routinely through an RSS feed to the member.

Schools, churches, businesses and all other groups need better communication solutions. As a scout leader, I learned how much work goes into preparing for one weekend camping trip. What a blessing an online registration and infomation system would be for the scouts. An interactive list for transportation needs, grocery needs, equipment needs, a map to the location, a departure and arrival schedule, etc. Expand this interactive system to the entire scout program and keeping up with which boy needs what would be a scoutmasters dream come true.

The computer is a great tool but right now it is like a dull ax. The good news is that Google is putting a file on the ax and progress is going to be made. Billions of people are benefiting from the new tools and many more are on the way. One of the many exciting areas offering great promiss is in the area of heath care. Much information will be shared, many problems will be concured. Google is on a path that could lead it to do more good for more people than any other company has ever done. Yes, Google MSFT!