Conventional wisdom says Google -- armed with open source, software as a service (SaaS) and Web 2.0-centric tools -- will trounce legacy players like Microsoft. If that's really the case, then why has Microsoft's revenue grown more than Google's since 2002? Skeptical, take a look at this chart and some data culled by The VAR Guy.

Sure, in terms of pure percentages, Google is growing much faster than Microsoft. Revenue at the search giant surged from roughly $439 million in 2002 to a lofty $16.59 billion in 2007. Absolutely amazing.

But Microsoft actually has Google beat. Thanks to some dominant brands (Office, Windows, Exchange, etc.), Microsoft's revenue has surged from $28.37 billion in 2002 to $51.12 billion in 2007.

Here's a chart showing both company's annual revenue (in billions) since 2002:

Google vs. Microsoft Revenue

Translation: Microsoft's top-line has grown roughly $23 billion since 2002, compared to Google's top-line growth of about $16 billion.

So, a few takeaways:
  • Yes, Google is growing faster than Microsoft in terms of pure percentages
  • Yes, Google's annual revenue growth (in terms of actual dollars) may beat Microsoft's revenue growth this year
  • Yes, the world is infatuated by open source, SaaS and Web 2.0
  • But sorry, Microsoft bashers: The software giant isn't collapsing.
Much like IBM's transformation from mainframe monopolist to a successful company on multiple fronts in the 1990s, Microsoft increasingly resembles a solidly successful company that continues to grow in numerous areas.

The VAR Guy is no fan of Windows Vista. But there's no denying Microsoft's fiscal power.