free html hit counter Google Slams Microsoft | John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Slams Microsoft

By - February 03, 2008

In a blog post that will be its only response, according to an email I was sent, Google fires pretty much everything it has at the Microsoft/Yahoo deal.

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and

illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the

Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to

establish proprietary monopolies — and then leverage its dominance into

new, adjacent markets.

Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft — despite its legacy of

serious legal and regulatory offenses — to extend unfair practices from

browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus

Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email

accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily

trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take

advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of

consumers to freely access competitors’ email, IM, and web-based services?

Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions — and consumers

deserve satisfying answers.

This hostile bid was announced on Friday so there is plenty of time for

these questions to be thoroughly addressed. We take Internet openness,

choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We

believe that the interests of Internet users come first — and should come

first — as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and

alternatives explored.

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15 thoughts on “Google Slams Microsoft

  1. Jeremy Palmer says:

    If that’s not an example of the pot calling the kettle black I don’t know what is – (e.g. FUD over paid links). It’s hard to take them seriously when they own more search marketshare that YHOO/MSFT combined.

    I don’t know what Google is so worried about, even if the takeover happens they’ll still be light years ahead of them.

  2. nmw says:

    “Could the acquisition…”

    No, it couldn’t.

    We are free to choose.

  3. Markus says:

    Couldn’t this be just Google pretending to be worried about the deal? Pushing MS towards a deal they consider disastrous to MS for some reason obscure to us mere mortals?

  4. Alex E says:

    If this merger happens, every Windows machine will come with every Yahoo and MSN internet utility mutated into a Microsoft proprietary product and installed as the default on every Windows machine, ie, Yahoo Mai and Hotmail, Yahoo and MSN search, Yahoo and MSN Messenger, Yahoo News, Yahoo Shopping, Flickr, etc. Many of these are great services, but the Internet is still young.

    I really don’t want to see this merger happen. Microsoft will use their new market share to force proprietary technology onto Internet users. Consumers will not get a choice in this matter, as they haven’t in the past. Microsoft will stagnate a lot of the innovation that is going on right now through their typical anticompetitive measures, destroying competition through whatever means at their disposal, whether it be lawsuits, proprietary software, or hostile and non-hostile of competing businesses. Look at how they set back innovation in web browser software . It took an open source project like Firefox to bring us back out of the dark ages that Microsoft placed us in.

    I hope Yahoo refuses the offer, as they are still a solid company that doesn’t need Microsoft. They have lots of strength and growth in Asia, and the recent downtrend in the US is likely to mislead shareholders on the actual worth of the company.

  5. vv says:

    didn’t think i’d see this. Google’s gone from the imperious “bring it on” mindset to sounding scared.

  6. JG says:

    Google’s right hand: We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We believe that the interests of Internet users come first

    Google’s left hand: The Google Services are made available for your personal, non-commercial use only…You may not take the results from a Google search and reformat and display them…You may not “meta-search” Google. (link to Google’s site)

    So, let me get this straight. If I, the Internet user, want to make my OWN Internet experience better by creating my own, local firefox plugin to metasearch, Google says I cannot. All the plugin would be doing would be running my query against Google, Yahoo, and maybe 3-4 other engines and then use standard data fusion techniques to come up with an even better list than any engine, individually. And Google still says no to this personal, non-commercial use.

    If I have the skill and the talent and the fire and the drive to make my own internet experience better, by utilizing Google’s services in a novel, innovative way, Google will not let me. Even if I am using those services exclusively for my own benefit, and not sharing them with anyone and not building a company on top of them. Still, Google says I cannot.

    And yet they claim on the one hand that they take openness, choice and innovation seriously, and on the other hand deny me the ability to make innovative, choice-filled, and open PERSONAL uses of their service.

    Give me a frigging break.

  7. Doris Pelger says:

    Comment Posted by: JG
    I confirm what you say but there is more. Entering China they accepted to make the Internet a censored medium. They collaborate when people break the Chinese restricting laws. They banned Yahoo from their search results for a while because Yahoo has a paid directory. They are the dictators of the Net and if you depend on E-Commerce you have to comply with their rules. They have a software that functions on PR so people have to buy links otherwise their business disappears in the black hole of the Internet. When they do so however they are punished and taken of the index. Links to other web sites require to have a rel=”nofollow” tag otherwise your PR drops, which again restricts the organic link grow. So in fact all advertisement for web sites on the Internet is claimed by Google self, without saying this publicly but their search engine works like this. AdWords turned out to be a financial bottomless pit for people – and click fraud could not be ruled out. So, my conclusion is: put a search engine on the Net that is able to differentiate between bad and good quality coding. Stick to W3 standards. Is able to check the content and evaluate it. Just think of AdSense advertisement, it too often seems to be a part of the web site and when clicked your taken somewhere else, which is misleading. But isn’t the total of Googles’s concept misleading and serves only one goal, to make as much money as possible? Idealisme is gone when money has their priority!

  8. Borneoguy.com says:

    Everything is about money these days. Who racks in the most money rules. Gone are the old days of using a browsers thats totally free of ads …

  9. John says:

    I use alot of Google features but am a bit unsettled by their business practices. They will become much more controlling and draconian that Microsoft ever was.
    I find there article whining about the Microsoft Yahoo takeover comical.

  10. nmw says:

    Now here’s what’s news: Google CEO Eric Schmidt offered Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang help in any effort to thwart Microsoft’s unsolicited 44.6 billion dollar bid. Though regulatory concerns make a bid by Google unlikely, it could play a role in bids by others. Microsoft’s likely first focus if the deal goes through would be ad delivery systems — where it’s trying to battle Google.

    podcast.mktw.net/wsj/audio/20080204/pod-wsjwns/pod-wsjwns.mp3

  11. TIM says:

    Personally I think Google lost it’s “openness” when it started takingover YouTube and giving it preferential top ten rankings, lost it’s “openness” by takingover an SEO company, a serious question of ethics, etc etc etc…

    Frankly Google has become the Microsoft of Search and it would be nice to see them get knocked back a peg or two – or better yet all three sink low and a new coporately uncorrupt engine to emerge like Google USED to be.

  12. Robert says:

    All this really signifies is Google’s fear at losing more of the search market. Even if you add MSN/Live and Yahoo! together they don’t quite have the share of the market that Google do. So are Google really afraid, or are they simply trying to make life difficult for competitors?

    I would welcome the merger. Possibly a new search option that truly would compete with Google as opposed to just taking the scraps.

  13. dawn says:

    Google only cares about “openness” when it serves them (like failing in the social networking space – orkut, anyone?). Google is just as evil as any other advertising agency. They are different only in their PR engine’s ability to claim that the company is about helping the world organize information when it’s really about squeezing as much money as possible from their AdWords program. I think it’s time (or perhaps past time) to short Google.

    Who knows if the merger would be a complete disaster, but obviously mismanagement at Yahoo is not working to provide good competition with Google.

    Please stop the Google-opoly.

  14. real world says:

    I just want to say the merger if it happens, that is life. In America we allow huge companies to dominate our consumer behaviors all the time. So what is the problem with Microsoft doing what it does best, make lots of money. That is what we do in America. Second of all, for all the terrible things that people have to say about Microsoft and all the silly lawsuits, that should have been thrown out of court in the frist place, a company has the right to pursue its business for the benefit of the business, especially when the business itself is not doing anything to harm anyone, IE, Bill is the most chartiable person in the world.

    Lastly, i think that people need to apply morals and beliefs to their entire life, why should microsoft not be allowed to grow to its full potential? because they are so huge already??? i think not.

  15. Bill Hazelton says:

    In terms of market presence, Google is simply a new version of Microsoft. There slogan of “don’t be evil” is simply hogwash. As a publicly traded company, they simply cannot be trusted anymore.

    As an advertiser who begrudgingly spends obscene amounts of money in search since 2003 (the lion’s share of which is with Google), I trust Google far less than I do Microsoft right now and for the forseeable future. With Google’s market share dominance, I have seen accelerated erosion in ROI from our ad buys with them in particular. Yahoo’s paid search platform is quite simply an inferior product that has never produced meaningful ROI, but Microsoft has albeit with very low volume. So bundling a Microsoft/Yahoo search offering that could potentially create a more effective platform for advertisers while also providing additionally substantive paid search volume just makes my naught parts tingle. Seriouslya though, we need it.

    Without a legitimate competitive alternative, search advertisers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Having a legitimate #2 competitor in search is absolutely essential for users as well as advertisers. Without it, we will see inferior products, far less incentive to innovate, even higher advertising costs resulting in even lower margins and even more accelerated shrinking ROI. Shudder to think…

    All in all, Google’s present market share dominance is simply not good for the market in general.

    No matter what form the deal takes, it HAS to happen.

    I’d be much more worried if it didn’t happen.