The final straw that broke the camels back had to have been when Microsoft wanted to charge film studios for displaying images of software running on Microsoft Windows. Basically, that was the first nail in the coffin as movie studios moved to display Apple desktops in popular movies and the Apple brand was subliminally imprinted on an entire generation.
Of course, the marketing of the dominant IE and the unfair shipping of Internet Explorer with each Windows operating system only served to underscore the image of Firefox as the underdog. I recall vividly during 2004 explaining to an MCSE that one day Firefox would be the dominant browser, I do recall that he laughed so loudly and so deeply that his laughter became viral and even I cracked a smile. But I was being totally serious, even then I knew that such open display of dominance was not only rude but that in the quiet back rooms, rumblings were taking shape that would see Microsoft unseated.
Similarly, I note that Google is doing exactly what Microsoft did, they are not only dominating search but wishing to dominate website hosting for businesses, they want to dominate mobile and not only hardware, but software and well everything. But Google is far more dangerous than Microsoft ever was. It is interesting to note that those that are so close to the giant monopoly that they are unable to see that the sheer size of it is becoming so very threatening, warned against the evils of a non sharing Facebook.
The very strength of Google is exactly that it does not enter a market bombastically, Google enters quietly, without much fanfare and then almost at a whisper grows slowly but surely to dominate. Will Google dominate the social networking space? Probably not. Will Google dominate mobile? No, Apple is too far ahead, too well loved by users and techs alike. Not to say that Google will not own a serious percentage of the market, they will most assuredly, but Apple will never disappear.
Of late Microsoft has been making inroads with Bing, surprisingly so as Google all but obliterated the once greedy multinational in all things Internet.
Microsoft is quietly working on improving what is important in terms of search: Providing the right answer quickly. Microsoft calls their new big data sorting, Flat Datacenter Storage, which basically decentralises the computational sorting with each node sharing data in its cluster. Don’t get me wrong, Google is a fantastic search engine, but nothing yet indexes and adjusts search results close to real time.
Does Google have enough brand loyalty that people will not just quietly start moving over to a more efficient Microsoft Bing?