War Is Hell — But for Whom?

It seems war is near. With Microsoft and Google coming to blows, and AOL caught in the middle, who really benefits? Obviously the victor’s stock will rise. I’m not sure the public will benefit from this, though.

The conflict between the two giants could result in huge innovations for each. Or the companies may get tunnel vision. Their new products or services could exist purely to defeat the enemy, putting the user second. Do we really need Microsoft Image Search? Or possibly a Google Explorer? There’s healthy competition, and then there’s vicious rivalry. It seems Gates & Co. would buy a piece of AOL simply to deprive Google, not because the purchase would strengthen Microsoft.

What do you think will come out of this?