With the launch of Microsoft Vista today, I was called upon to do some TV punditry this morning on ABC News Now (video link), as well as last night on CNBC (video link). Consumers might be slightly less than enthusiastic about Vista's launch, but that's not stopping the TV networks from covering the launch non-stop. And I was only too happy to help them.
As you'd expect, the ABC interview was more consumer-oriented, while CNBC was more interested in the stock and the competition from Google. The CNBC appearance was set up more as a talking-head debate between VC/blogger Paul Kedrosky and me.
It wasn't really much of a debate. I think we pretty much agreed that you'd rather be Google (GOOG) today than Microsoft (MSFT). But I was cast in the unenviable role of arguing the case for Microsoft, while Kedrosky got to be the Google bull. (Yes, these things are partially manufactured—that's how TV works). So I gave it my best shot.
While this TV format is certainly lively and can be entertaining, I always find myself wishing I had brought up some crucial point as I am walking out the building looking for a cab. Oh well, that's what blogs are for. Just for fun, here are some contrarian arguments for Microsoft and against Google:
—Google's stock is priced for perfection, while Microsoft's is priced for disappointment. So Google's stock is risker, and Microsoft's has more potential upside.
—Microsoft can take a Netflix approach to staving off Internet disruption by countering the long-term threat of Google's Webtop spreadsheets and word processors with its own free online versions of Office (a true Office Live instead of the confusing Web hosting offerings of today).
—The half-life for market dominance seems to be shrinking. IBM had 30 years, Microsoft had 15. How long does Google have?