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Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur known for his role in the creation of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia launched in 2001. He serves on the Board of Trustees[…]

Jimmy Wales on the Microsoft-Google Rivalry.

Question: What do you make of the rivalry between Google and Microsoft?

Jimmy Wales:  Well, it’s interesting, because they’re very different corporate cultures, they’re very different companies.  Microsoft still has this massive cash cow business of the operating system that doesn’t look likely to be dislodged all that much in the near future.  Certainly, I would expect to see, you know, a drop in their market share from-- I don’t know, what is it now?  90 percent plus?  To 85 percent, or 80 percent.  But that hardly means the death of Microsoft.  And they’ve struggled on the web in lots of different ways.  You know, when I talk about the quality of search, I always say, “Yahoo!, Google and Ask seem to be very similar quality,” but I don’t mention MSN because their search sucks, right?  And I think it’s gotten a little better.  I need to look at it again every few months just to see, but yeah, I keep looking, and it keeps sucking, so they’ve struggled in that area, but they’ve got tons and tons of money.  They’ve got a really-- they’re tenacious, right?  So never count Microsoft out.  On the other hand, I think a big part of what is a problem that Microsoft faces is that the internet is a consumer brand space.  And as such, Microsoft is gonna have trouble, because their brand image doesn’t’ really fit the web very well.

Recorded on: 04/30/2008