Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Google provides the world’s most popular search engine as well as cloud computing, Google Chrome, Google Maps for GPS users, Google Earth, Google Analytics for keeping track of hits and traffic on websites, and YouTube. Many of Google’s products are supported by heavy advertisements, helping to produce record revenues of $38 billion for year end 2011. Google produces Android, the world’s most popular smartphone platform.
About 96 percent of all Google revenues are derived from advertising programs, with the balance coming predominantly from licensing agreements. Using technology from a firm named DoubleClick, Google can better determine user interest and effectively target advertisements, thus enabling Google to charge more for their service.
Google’s Android operating system used for touch-screen smartphones and tablets currently enjoys a 75-percent market share in the smartphone marketplace. One of the key benefits of using Android products is that they are open source, meaning the software can be modified and distributed to anyone. Phone manufacturers such as Samsung or wireless carriers such as Verizon can alter the software to meet their specific needs. In addition, enthusiasts who enjoy developing applications for use in mobile devices can also alter the platform to fit their needs. The popularity and open source nature of Android has led it to becoming the top choice in the world for smartphones and tablets. The future of Android’s use may eventually extend away from solely phones and tablets into television, games, and consoles and virtually any electronic device. This could potentially put further pressure on Microsoft with their Windows 8 operating system and Xbox consoles.
Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Oracle is a producer of middleware software, application software, application server and cloud application, data integration, development tools, Java, and much more. Oracle also provides consulting services in business and information technology (IT), strategy alignment, and ongoing product enhancements. In 2012, Oracle acquired RightNow Technologies, Inc. (RightNow) and Taleo Corporation (Taleo). Oracle’s stock hit a new 52-week high of $35 in January 2013.
As an example of Oracle’s software products that compete with Microsoft, one of the largest Australian Supermarket chains is Coles with more than 100,000 employees and 2,000 stores throughout Australia. Coles recently installed Oracle’s Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c running on Oracle Linux to enable critical trend reporting during retail seasonal spikes. By implementing the Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Coles’s processes improved three to four times out of the box, with four to six times faster query performance so that Coles’s can now meet SLAs and drive customer satisfaction. With the Oracle software, Coles can now also store 20+ TB of trending historical data, enabling new, complex analytical reports to help better predict the needs and potential issues for Coles’s stores.