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Google is scared, and they have every reason to be. Technology isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and just because you’re on top for a year or two doesn’t mean you’ll always be on top.

Not even “almost”. Apple doesn’t threaten Google, for a couple reasons. First, Apple will never drastically reduce its prices. The iPhone 5C is a $50-cheaper version of the 5S and for that $50 in savings, you get plastic instead of the build quality of the 5S. Google knows that Android will continue to dominate the low- to medium- budget market. But wait! What’s this? A new competitor has entered the arena! The Lumia 52x series (and the 62x and 72x in the mid-range) have done very very well for themselves as a budget phone that doesn’t lag, stutter, and overall suck wind.

So you start to see Google’s reaction (e.g. Kit Kat focusing on reducing resource requirements so Android can be outfitted on budget phones like the Moto G, and so forth), coupled with preventive measures, like the take-down request for Microsoft’s brilliant YouTube app, and Google’s refusal to publish Google Maps, Google Voice, Chrome, etc. for Windows Phone.

There is a four-letter word that is behind all this, and I know most people don’t take it seriously still, but that word is Bing. Apple doesn’t have its own search engine that is a direct competitor to Google’s core revenue stream, but Microsoft does.

Now, let’s take a moment to suspend disbelief and imagine the world in 2-3 years. Let’s just suppose for a moment that Windows Phone 8.1 is the beginning of WP’s climb to #1 or #2 in the phone market. Now you have 100 million users in the US, and potentially 1 billion or more globally, all using a mobile OS that is centered around Bing (Cortana is powered by Bing, for example).

The way search engines work is that they get refined and improved with increased use, because there is a significant amount of machine learning going on “in the cloud” (this is true of Google and Bing both). So now let’s suppose you have 1 billion users globally pounding away at their ping-pong-ball keyboard on a Windows Phone searching for cat pics and doge memes, and suddenly Bing accuracy and relevance skyrockets and starts really closing in on Google. Maybe Bing never overtakes Google, but where once Google owned 90% of the search advertising market, Bing is now really eating into that, and Google is down to 70% or 60% with Microsoft right behind them at 30-40% of the global search and display advertising market.

That is the reason Google plays pissy-pants with Microsoft over Windows Phone, and even over Windows 8. Why do you think they refuse to build a Windows App Store version of Chrome? Because they want Windows 8 to fail, and fail hard. Why? Because again — Bing is deeply integrated into Windows 8. Unless you change your default settings, when you search for files and apps and cat memes and whatever from the Start Screen, you’re feeding Bing and helping it become better at finding things that you care about.

If I were Google, I would not only be shaking in my boots, I would be actively developing an alternative OS to give people an option that isn’t Windows. Oh wait! ChromeOS! Yet another example of how (and why) they are afraid of Bing.

If Bing were a startup, Google would have bought them already, or just crushed them into the dirt by out-spending them. But because Bing is a Microsoft product, there is an almost bottomless pit of money that Microsoft can use to help fuel Bing until the kind of market surge I’m describing happens — and it will happen. Windows 8 is a slow upgrade for folks because there is no real compelling reason to upgrade from Windows 7 in part, and because PC sales are sluggish due to the longevity of today’s hardware. Windows 9 will land at a time when folks may yet be ready to upgrade (it’ll have been 6 years since Windows 7 launched).

By the end of 2016, my prediction is that Google and Bing are neck and neck, and Windows Phone will overtake the iPhone globally, with Android still on top, but only marginally.

TL;DR Teorinya, “pesaing” atau “ancaman” utama bagi Google bukanlah iOS, tetapi Windows Phone dan Bing nya. Not sure if serious or… -_-