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Google-Microsoft Crossfire Will Hit Consumers 336

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-i-wear-kevlar-when-searching dept.
theodp writes "Newsweek's Dan Lyons doesn't know who will be the winner in Google and Microsoft's search battle, but that's not stopping him from picking a loser — consumers. As we head towards a world where some devices may be free or really cheap, consumers should prepare to be bombarded by ads or pay a premium to escape them. 'The sad truth is that Google and Microsoft care less about making cool products than they do about hurting each other,' concludes Lyons. 'Their fighting has little to do with helping customers and a lot to do with helping themselves to a bigger slice of the money we all spend to buy computers and surf the Internet. Microsoft wants to ruin Google's search business. Google wants to ruin Microsoft's OS business. At the end of the day, they both seem like overgrown nerdy schoolboys fighting over each other's toys.'"
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Google-Microsoft Crossfire Will Hit Consumers

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  • Business as usual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:48AM (#30261680) Journal

    The sad truth is that Google and Microsoft care less about making cool products than they do about hurting each other,' concludes Lyons. 'Their fighting has little to do with helping customers and a lot to do with helping themselves to a bigger slice of the money we all spend to buy computers and surf the Internet.

    For anyone else joining the real world, enjoy your stay. A business making money? This is madness!

    This seem to be just an another story of a Google fanboy in his basement discovering that their do-no-evil "friend" is a normal company, a normal business which purpose is to generate revenue. He hasn't yet understood that money doesn't grow in trees and this is how our economy works. For him Microsoft seems like a bad guy because they dare to sell products at a price. Google is the 'cool and hippy' friend who offers everything for free. And what he doesn't understand is that the revenue is just generated other way, and he loses her privacy to an advertisement company. Google is not a search engine company, it's an advertisement company that uses internet searching to 1) gather very detailed information and usage statistics about people all over the internet 2) sell targeted ads to advertisers.

    It's unnecessary to blame the companies how it is. "Making cool products" and not caring about business sounds more like a public service or some teenagers naive thinking before he comes contact with the real world. Of course two competing companies are going to.. eh, compete. That's how it works, that's how they generate income, but that's also how they're always on a run to improve their products.

    If there weren't competing companies, it would be a lot worse situation. Just look at how the adsl and cable internet is in USA. People pretty much have only one choice of operator, and it's shitty. In lots of European countries there's many competing ISP's and you get faster and better service.

    At the end of the day, they both seem like overgrown nerdy schoolboys fighting over each other's toys.

    They're the exact opposite. They're businesses that have a clean plan and understand what they are doing. Microsoft wants more marketshare on search, Google wants more users locked in to their services to keep their 70% marketshare. Oh, you though Google wants to fight for OS marketshare? Just see how limited Chrome OS is. It's designed to offer people Google's services so they will be locked down in them. That's the whole idea behind it, not fighting to destroy Windows.

    • by chabotc (22496) <chabotc AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:04PM (#30261772) Homepage

      One slight detail that I hope wont get in the way of your ranting:

      ChromeOS is a web OS, and in the browser you can do everything you can do in your regular browser, like changing your search engine to 'Bing', using MS Office 2010 online or Zohoo office, Yahoo mail, and any other competing web service you desire.

      Web is the very opposite of a vendor lock-in, there's an unlimited amount of choice and Google always seems to do their best to allow for competition, the best practical example of this is how easy it is to change the search engine in Chrome to Bing vs the hiding of the Google search option in IE8.

      Sure, Google does believe that 'anything that is good for the web will also be good for Google', so having powerful devices and browsers that make the web an attractive platform will also be good for Google in the end (more searches, more ads, more docs, more maps and location services, more waving, etc), but in no way are they locking people into any platform or product

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mellon (7048)

        Er, no, the whole point of getting your data out into the cloud is that it's stuck there. Once you're invested, you can't let go. From Google's perspective, this is a big win--no matter what computer you have, you're still going to be going to Google. From Microsoft's perspective, it's a big lose: they don't want you to be able to choose a non-Windows computer.

        Google doesn't care that you can switch to Bing, because in fact you are locked in to Google, so you won't switch. The good news is that a lo

        • Re:Business as usual (Score:5, Informative)

          by cgenman (325138) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:29PM (#30261956) Homepage

          http://www.dataliberation.org/ [dataliberation.org]

        • Re:Business as usual (Score:5, Informative)

          by chabotc (22496) <chabotc AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:55PM (#30262142) Homepage

          As the other poster pointed out, Google makes a serious commitment to not locking you in, so much so that there's an internal team that works with all product groups to make sure the end users retain those essential freedoms, the result of that is available at http://www.dataliberation.org/ [dataliberation.org]

          I personally know of no other company that has such an initiative (would be awesome to see MS do the same though, but somehow I'm not entirely hopeful that we'll see that day).

          So what exactly are you basing your information on? I mean, I know it's the year of 'bashing Google' in Chinese astrology or something, but I mean cmon, lets keep some facts in the discussion or all we're doing is random trolling

        • by tbannist (230135)

          Umm. I hardly think that's the point of getting your data out into the cloud. It might be a big side effect of doing that, but I think the point of getting your data into the cloud is something along the lines of reducing hardware expenditures and increasing availability to your data.

          To me it still appears that Google is engaged in self-defence. Microsoft is still a predatory monopoly, and they've been very vocal about wanting to ruin Google, under those circumstances it's only common sense for a busines

      • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@D ... com minus painte> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @01:32PM (#30262422) Journal

        the Web is the very opposite of a vendor lock-in,

        No when you're using ChromeOS the way google describes it deployed on the ARM-based netbooks ... everything climatologically signed, and no unauthorized software, no local applications, not even an installed print driver; if the netbook detects tampering, it re-images itself "from the cloud."

        I'd rather pay the $25 Microsoft tax and buy a netbook that I can wipe down and install what *I* want on it.

        Netbooks are $250 ... by Christmas 2010, they'll be $200. The only people that are going to want a "free google 'welfarebook' with your 24-month wireless internet data contract - some conditions apply, yadda yadda yadda rip-off contract" will be those who can't come up with $200. Far from "do no evil", this will be "gouge the poor."

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by tomhudson (43916)

          s/climatologically/cryptologically/'

          Sorry about that ...

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          I would imagine the "free google netbook" promotion would/will only happen long enough to appease stockholders and appreciably raise their stock price. After a few tens of thousands are given out in a beta/labs situation, cut the program's cord and move on. It's a good enough idea that they'll probably have to follow through with it, but as you point out, it's probably an internally corrosive program and would bleed them too badly if they kept up with it. In otherwords, expect to see a post about it on thei

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @02:00PM (#30262656)

          The only people that are going to want a "free google 'welfarebook' with your 24-month wireless internet data contract - some conditions apply, yadda yadda yadda rip-off contract" will be those who can't come up with $200. Far from "do no evil", this will be "gouge the poor."

          I don't see how you can call providing a free $200 device to use a service they want anyway as "gouging". Sounds like a damn good deal to me. It's going to cost them around $600 a year to connect to the internet anyway, how is offering a portable service plus a $200 device "gouging"?

          Nobody needs a portable laptop with wireless internet. People want such a thing, but people also want Ferraris. You can hardly say Ferrari gouges the poor because their cars are so expensive. It would be especially hard to argue that Microsoft gouges the poor by offering to lease a $1 million car for $1k per month if you agree to drive it around with their logo on the side for as long as you kept the car. I WISH they would do such a thing, everybody would be able to drive Ferraris then!

          That's pretty much what you're calling "gouging" here. It doesn't make any sense.

          Do you even understand what gouging is? It's certainly not bundling all kinds of free goodies with a service, that's basically the opposite of what gouging is. Gouging is when you know consumers MUST buy your product, so you jack the price up far more than it costs to produce the product and offer a low level of service. It's pretty much impossible to "gouge" on a product that people don't need to buy at all. It usually happens with things like utilities, gas, groceries, and other regular necessary consumables.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        in no way are they locking people into any platform or product

        Not yet. Embrace comes before extinguish.

    • by TropicalCoder (898500) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:09PM (#30261816) Homepage Journal

      You make it sound like it is just two companies fighting it out in the market place, with Google being evil because they have the dominant position in search. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

      Microsoft already dominates the desktop where they enjoy a monopoly. They got there using Machiavellian business tactics and and in fact were convicted in the USA for monopoly practises. They have been fined in Europe for the same kind of thing. They are the last company we want to see gaining a strong position on the internet. We have seen what they would do once they get such a position. People are still curing about non-standards compliant IE6. The sad thing is they will get there eventually unless we discourage them by avoiding things like Bing and Silverlight. The fact is that they have made Bing the default search in IE8, and ensured that it is not easy to switch to Google. They have included Silverlight in Windows Updates - at least on Windows 7. They have a package called "Windows Essentials" on this platform as well that installs all these things, plus a tie-in to Messenger and MSN. Make no mistake who the enemy is here - it is Microsoft by a mile. Now, you may have reasons to be concerned about Google's strength in search, but promoting Microsoft is not the answer.

      • by lalena (1221394)
        If you bring Silverlight into the discussion, then it is a 3 way battle.
        Adobe Flash vs. Microsoft Silverlight vs. Google backed HTML 5. Here Flash has the dominant position.
        This is another front on the OS battle where Web Apps + cloud computing makes it possible for a Browser-based OS do everything most people require of an operating system.
        • Re:Business as usual (Score:4, Interesting)

          by DJRumpy (1345787) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @01:04PM (#30262200)

          Until you lose your internet connection..

          I don't think the consumer will lose here. Ads are easily blocked these days. Any competition is a good thing, although I have serious doubts about Chrome and the 'cloud'. Even more so with all of these data loss reports from various vendors you would never suspect would screw up something that is so seemingly simple: A backup plan.

          I also have serious doubts about Chrome as a contender in the OS market. What provisions does Chrome have for no internet connectivity? For instance, what if your a business traveler who spends a lot of time flying, or when your drunk neighbor hits the cable box with this truck and your stuck without internet for a week.

          All of that said, I still think competition in web search is a good thing, no matter how you cut it. It will keep Google on it's toes, and that's a good thing.

          • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

            For instance, what if your a business traveler who spends a lot of time flying,

            You know they have the internet on airplanes now, right?

            ...or when your drunk neighbor hits the cable box with this truck and your stuck without internet for a week.

            Has this actually ever happened to you? And if you are so unlucky, has it ever happened more than once? It's probably far more common to forget to backup your data and have a hard drive failure, in fact I'm pretty sure it is. It's almost impossible for your drunk neighbor to hit the cable box in most situations, as they generally aren't placed in an area where people will be driving too incredibly close to. At least in my experience, anyway.

            I'd be

    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:13PM (#30261842) Homepage

      ...and he loses her privacy to an advertisement company

      I was particularly moved by how the despair of realizing that Google isn't a hippy friend drove the basement nerd to suddenly get a sex change.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:28PM (#30261950)

      At the end of the day, they both seem like overgrown nerdy schoolboys fighting over each other's toys.

      They're the exact opposite. They're businesses that have a clean plan and understand what they are doing.

      I really have to question that. For the longest time, it seems like Microsoft has been in reactionary mode, swinging at whoever was making money with electronics. Sony PS1 was the most popular for a generation and really making them money, Microsoft decides to go into video games as well (before Sony, video games consoles were generally designed/made by companies that only did video games, not electronic giants). Apple came out with the iPod and popularized (not invented) the mp3 player, Microsoft decides to jump in with the Zune. Google became the king of search, Microsoft wants a piece of the action with first msn and now bing. They swing at any other megacorp making good money at something.

      It isnt to say they aren't going anywhere with it (Xbox seems certainly to have to net them something), but "clean plan" and "understand what they are doing" doesn't come to mind. More like FDR's concept during the great depression to throw a bunch of darts and see what sticks (and besides WW2, those plans weren't really working).

      Maybe they cleaned up their directionless act with Windows 7, but that is only one component to their empire. Can't say their whole company has gotten better.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) *

        So, why did you post AC? This post deserves a couple mod points, but no one is going to waste them on AC . . . . .

      • Microsoft, with stable income from Windows and Office, tries to diversify with the XBOX and Zune and that makes them reactionary? Why isn't Apple and Sony, then?

  • by PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:52AM (#30261696)
    I spent my childhood living in Naples, Italy. The city and community was filled with competition. My dad owned his own pizza place next to his cousins pizza place. They were angry at each other, many times going to the street in their white cooking clothes and yelling at each other. Other one took off customers from the another. They could had sold many more delicious pizzas, but couldn't because there just wasn't enough customers. What I learned from it was that you need a clean playing field, so I moved to New York and started my pizza place on the fifth avenue. But competition came there too. Then I decided to become a pizza consultant and just make pizzas for the fun of it. I've never been happier.

    What I'm saying here is that in the end customers won't get hit by competition. It will be bad for the pizza place owners, but there will always be pizzas for everyone. And they will be even more delicious, because the pizza place owners have to fight harder.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JoshuaZ (1134087)
      While I severely doubt the truth of the above anecdote (especially given your username) the basic point is correct. In the vast majority of circumstances more competition in a market is better for consumers not worse. This is one of the major reasons the United States has anti-trust rules. Consumers should be far more worried about a single monolith controlling an entire industry.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aurispector (530273)

        None of this stuff is surprising in any way. You're right that consumers should worry more about monopolies, yet this competition is proof that the monopolies are weaker than ever, which is a win for consumers. Google has been deliberately undermining MS for years for example by supporting firefox in order to wrest the browser market from MS. Once they went public with the Chrome browser, android and the chrome OS it became obvious that Google feels strong enough to go head to head with MS in a far more

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mellon (7048)

      If that were true, then it would be true that pizza in New York was uniformly (or at least usually) good. In fact, though, most pizza in New York is edible, but not very good. That's not to say that there isn't such a thing as a good New York pizza--there is. But there's a phenomenal amount of mediocre pizza in New York. So your analysis doesn't apply. Why? I suspect that cheap pizza out-competes good pizza. So if you can predict the future of computing from the New York pizza situation, the f

      • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:43PM (#30262068) Journal

        I suspect that cheap pizza out-competes good pizza.

        This is actually a fairly common thing in Europe too. There's lots of kebab/pizza places that are run by people coming from Turkey or the area around. They directly compete with prices; cheap prices, but also cheap ingredients and somewhat bad service (there are exceptions tho, but in general). Those pizzas aren't that good, you'll find a lot better pizzas in the actual italian like pizza restaurants or the local pizza chain. But many people still use those because it's cheap, even if its just a $2-3 difference.

        People are stupid when money comes in to question. Many choose a little bit cheaper, but more crappier thing over a quality product. That will probably happen to computers too, and is most likely already happening.

        • It possibly has something to do with marketing too. I used to get pizzas delivered from a local place that we found online (with a horrible web site. If you made the mistake of looking at it in IE you got PowerPoint style transitions when you clicked on every link). They were cheap - around half the price of the big chains - but similar quality. They didn't advertise though, so the likes of Dominos and Pizza Hut that put adverts on television got more business. Almost everyone I knew who tried their pi

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by slim (1652)

          People are stupid when money comes in to question. Many choose a little bit cheaper, but more crappier thing over a quality product. That will probably happen to computers too, and is most likely already happening.

          Maybe people buy at exactly the price/quality point they want. Am I stupid for buying a cheap Seat Ibiza rather than an expensive Ferrari Testarossa? I don't think so. The difference in utility I'd get from the Ferrari is worth less to me than the money I've saved.

          Given the choice between a $200 netbook and a $1000 high-spec laptop, one has to ask, is the extra stuff you can do worth $800? Different people will have different answers to that question.

        • by dangitman (862676) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @05:27PM (#30263862)

          That will probably happen to computers too, and is most likely already happening.

          Where have you been for the last 20 years? That is exactly what has been going on. Did you not notice that Microsoft and Intel have become industry giants on the back of crappy clone hardware?

          The computing industry is plagued with this problem. For some reason, when it comes to cars or clothes, people understand that sometimes it's better to pay more to get a quality product. But when it comes to computing, it's almost always a race to the bottom, to buy the cheapest junk possible. We even have the situation where people are infecting their own machines with dangerous malware because they are too cheap to buy software.

          Things are changing, though. I think this has been the case in the past because people didn't really like computers, or identify with them. They were just necessary evils that one had to buy for work or study. But now that computers are an essential part of daily life, and increasingly status symbols or social identifiers, people are starting to recognize quality in both hardware and software.

      • by Zakabog (603757)

        But there's a phenomenal amount of mediocre pizza in New York. So your analysis doesn't apply. Why? I suspect that cheap pizza out-competes good pizza.

        You live in NY and you think good pizza is more expensive than the mediocre pizza and that's why there are so many mediocre pizza places around?

        That's not quite it, most of the really good pizza places I know of offer pizza for the same price as anywhere else. There are a few reasons I know of that so many "mediocre" places exist around new york. One is that not everyone considers that pizza to be "mediocre." Most people will favor their neighborhood pizza place that they grew up with as a kid. Pizza pl

    • How 'bout a white pizza with calamare? (Oh-kay, I can't spell, but we both know what I want, right?)

  • History lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:54AM (#30261708)
    I don't recall this so called consumers loosing, when Microsoft tried to compete with Google with their last 2 (or was it 3) search engines. The only way you might loose is if you inflict pain upon yourself by using Bing. I give it a year maybe 2 before Bing is gone.
  • by E-Sabbath (42104) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:55AM (#30261720)

    If you've been following Groklaw over the last few years, I should point out that Mr. Lyons is a huge SCO supporter. I can not say Microsoft pays him money, but anything and everything he says is designed to hit Microsoft's opponents from the side. He likes to say bad things about both Microsoft and Microsoft's opponent of the day, but in a way that Microsoft comes off the better of the two.

    I'd put more trust into something John Dvorak had to say than Mr. Lyons.

    • I can not say Microsoft pays him money

      Then don't.

      The geek drags his conspiracy theories around like Linus and his blanket. It becomes a substitute for thought. It becomes a substutute for proof.

      • Re:Enough. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dbIII (701233) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:58PM (#30262152)
        It was very clear in his writing - overt PR and not journalism. There's no "conspiracy theory" here since it was all so blatantly obvious in the SCO situation.
        I don't know about his relationship with Microsoft and don't really care like the above poster does, all I consider is that this person has written a lot of very obvious lies in the past and cannot be trusted as a technical journalist. Using the fake Steve Jobs blogs to push an anti-linux agenda hard was also somewhat unprofessional and ultimately made it obvious as to who was writing it since he was doing SCO pieces at the time as well that overlapped.
    • Agreed. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by schon (31600) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:26PM (#30261920)

      What I took away from this story is this:

      "MS is worried about Google, and so they're paying someone to say that Google is just as bad as MS is."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sznupi (719324)

      Even totally not knowing who he is, my first impression from the summary was just in that vein.

      "Remember, Google starting the fight with MS (//it is presented a bit like that...) will be only bad for us"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233)
      If he wasn't paid for all of that PR work with SCO then he's an idiot. Note that he also used the fake Steve Jobs blog to push that agenda hard. "Entertainers" pretending to be journalists are a blight on the net.
    • by fwr (69372) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @01:01PM (#30262180)
      I was thinking the same thing. "Dan Lyons," where did I hear that name before? Oh yes! He's that shill. He irreparably damaged his reputation in the SCO fiasco, and anything he says now, or writes, will be forever tarnished. The only reason I read this Slashdot story was to see if anyone else recalled his involvement. I certainly won't be reading his actual article, or even participating in the "debate" over it's contents, as that is actually what he wants to foster. I'd say let this story die.
    • by andydread (758754) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @01:36PM (#30262468)
      AMEN. Dan Lyons is a buffoon of the highest degree. Right up there with Rob Enderle, and Maureen O'Gara. These clowns will say anything to make Microsoft look good in any situation. How in the world did he get a job at Newsweek is beyond me. He used to be at Forbes spreading anti open source propoganda. Calling people who use open source and free software freetards and the like. His trying to equally blame Google for the fight that MS and Google are in is ridiculous. MS started this fight by trying to kill Google's search business. Google has retaliated with great products and will continue to do so.
    • I just think he's a terrible journalist. Earlier this year he wrote a blog post about my employer that was so poorly researched, so overtly biased, and just plain wrong, that it boggled my mind. Had nothing to do with Microsoft. He's just bad. He got the gig at Newsweek because of the popularity and visibility of Fake Steve Jobs. And I have to say that I loved to read Fake Steve when it started. Dan is a very good writer, especially when he has free reign to just make stuff up. The big problems come when he

  • by chabotc (22496) <chabotc AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:57AM (#30261726) Homepage

    Anyone who thinks that a device will be free underestimates how willing people in 3rd world countries are to build houses out of such devices, or nerds willing to wall paper their rooms with it, well you catch the drift I'm sure :)

    On the other hand being able to have a 13" device without running into the fact that that requires a full Vista/Windows7 license (there's restrictions in the xp & cheaper netbook versions that limit them to 11" screens on netbooks) does make them a lot cheaper, but I fail to see how that would hurt the consumer?

    Also some competitive pressure on Microsoft/Apple to lift such artificial restrictions that are designed to maximize their profit margins seems like a win for consumers in my book, or did we loose faith in this whole competitive market thing?

    The only thing that does slightly worry me is the whole Murdoch / Microsoft assault on the open web, the alternative to robots.txt they propose (which allows partial pages to be indexed without being allowed to read the text around it) would allow spammers to create pages where only a popular search term bit of text would be surrounded by virii, scams and spam. It just won't work and it won't bring back the distribution monopoly's that Murdoch enjoyed for most of his (very long) life.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:59AM (#30261744)

    Normally the reaction to someone saying this kind of pinko commie crap is to laugh and tell them to go fuck themselves back to Russia.

    But Lyons has a point. Competition, in this particular case, may not be the best thing for customers. Why so, you may ask. It is because of the lopsidedness of the market that makes this situation so precarious.

    From the end of WWII until the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were two sides to every geopolitical debate. The side of good, right, and the American Way and the side of the Soviet Union. Countries aligned themselves along these very clear geopolitical boundaries. Though it was easy enough to declare allegiance to one side or the other, many countries found their own geopolitical aspirations dashed to smithereens on either the broad wings of the American eagle or the hard, solid face of the Iron Curtain.

    However, with the end of the Cold War, vassal states are now finding their own voice. Countries that were previously shackled now find that the lack of a superpower competition has resulted in more opportunities for growth. Take two countries that America fought wars in as examples. Korea and Vietnam are now booming with economic and technological growth.

    These opportunities don't come because they are subservient states to a particular superpower, but because they no longer need to pledge allegiance and are able to make their own way.

    So when two superpowers like Microsoft and Google start duking it out, the fallout is going to hit partner companies AND consumers alike.

    • But Osama sure did well out of it, the cold war was a boom for many leaders (good and bad) used the cash both sides were willing to dole out to hurt the opposition to launch themselves. Would Mozilla be where it is today if it weren't for google?

  • Its clear which of these nerdy school boys "started it":

    Microsoft

    The network externalities locking in Microsoft's control of the OS standard are exceeded only by the Federal Reserve's control of the world's reserve currency.

    Google has nothing comparable to Microsoft's network externality.

  • by danlip (737336) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:13PM (#30261848)

    Microsoft has always cared far more about crushing competition than providing anything of value to consumers. They buy up cool products just to shut them down, have a massive FUD engine, and promise the next version will be better but instead deliver Windows ME and Vista. Even if Google is just a money-grubbing competitor, it is a real competitor that Microsoft can't crush. Which means both companies will have to compete by offering something better to the consumers. Consumers win.

  • Bollocks! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThePromenader (878501) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:23PM (#30261900) Homepage Journal

    Really. Google has never wanted to damage Microsoft, but they sure want to take every step possible to make sure that they 'play nice'. Yes, I suppose that this could be 'damaging' to MS's usual business methods.

    Already Microsoft is swinging deals behind the scenes to better promote their new search engine (ref: Murdoch/MS search exclusions). I say let's get rid of the 'behind the scenes' deals - for both of them.

  • by mweather (1089505) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:35PM (#30262010)
    Hurting Microsoft IS helping consumers.
  • Yes it would be awful it companies competed with each other, and made alternatives to each others' products. That would be disastrous. Consumers would be the ultimate losers from that kind of infighting.

  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:43PM (#30262060)

    Dan "lyin'" Lyons figures out that companies aren't the warm fuzzy things he thought they were.

    Dan also figures out that water is wet.

    --
    BMO

  • by peragrin (659227) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @12:46PM (#30262086)

    people this is Dan lyons he is the guy who said SCO not only had a case but would win.

    I would trust him being right about as much I would trust darl mcbride to be right. once a liar always a liar. Some people can change but the most will not have the strength to.

    Besides it is almost anti-gogle for google to push even more ads on people. Google ads are almost always simple text based items that are off to the side. unlike MSFT which brands everything it touches two or three times.

  • by JHL (699814)
    Speaking as a consumer of netbooks, I am fed up paying the Microsoft tax, having them puke windows Vista all over my hard drive and vandalizing it with nasty plastic stickers on it. I format the drive, pull off the stickers and install Ubuntu. I hope Google wins and wipes MS out. Hardly fair when you cant choose not to have windows and are forced to pay for something you dont want.
  • Google will win the search engine war because you don't tell your friends to Bing! the latest flash game or Yahoo! that one sports video.
  • I don't know or care if Lyons is a shill or an idiot. It's always good for consumers to be reminded that there is no free lunch and that companies are trying to make money. Corporations serve the shareholders and/or management not the people. People need to think about the trade-offs they are making. This good versus evil view of vendors is naive and self-defeating. Understand what a company is offering you and what they expect to get from that and then make your decision on your own self interests. E
  • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @02:58PM (#30263012) Homepage

    Google might be an advertisement company and not a search company, but they created and implemented the whole concept of unobtrusive text ads. Remember what the web was like before Google ads (and AdBlock)? You couldn't type in a url without a dozen pop-ups or a punch the monkey game. Can anyone really envision Microsoft or any other advertising company making ads LESS obtrusive if Google hadn't done so first?

  • hosts file (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gobbo (567674) <{wrewrite} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @03:29PM (#30263208) Journal

    The "premium" this particular consumer will have to pay will be a refinement of the Purgatory section of my hosts file.

  • False equivalence (Score:3, Insightful)

    by toby (759) * on Sunday November 29, 2009 @04:03PM (#30263422) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft wants to ruin Google's search business. Google wants to ruin Microsoft's OS business.

    Uh, no. Microsoft's objective has always been to eliminate competition and choice - by any means, legal or not.

    In the other corner, Google wants to give people more choice in operating systems that doesn't presently exist. (The idea that Google (or Apple) aspire to "eliminate" Windows is not credible.)

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