Google: Is Microhoo all that unnerving?

Google: Is Microhoo all that unnerving?

Summary: Google co-founder Sergey Brin finds that thought of a Microsoft-Yahoo combination "unnerving." Welcome to the semi-subliminal part of Google's 'let's annoy Microsoft and win over regulators' campaign.

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin finds that thought of a Microsoft-Yahoo combination "unnerving." Welcome to the semi-subliminal part of Google's 'let's annoy Microsoft and win over regulators' campaign.

Here's what Brin had to say in an AP report that sparked a little discussion:

"The Internet has evolved from open standards, having a diversity of companies. And when you start to have companies that control the operating system, control the browsers, they really tie up the top Web sites, and can be used to manipulate stuff in various ways. I think that's unnerving."

It's all a bit comical. As if Google doesn't control most of the search advertising out there. And it sure wouldn't mind being the Web OS of the future.

These little comments are going to be flying fast and furious as Google tries to rally regulators to thwart Microhoo.

The bigger question here is whether Google has anything to really worry about. Let's see:

  • Microsoft would take at least a year to integrate Yahoo;
  • Microsoft could take its eye off its core Office cash cow and give Google an opening;
  • And Google could take advantage to grow its market share in search and display ads with Doubleclick.

Add it up and Brin has little to be unnerved about.

Topics: Microsoft, Google, Government, Government US

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44 comments
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  • Maybe, maybe not

    There's an assumption that M$ would have its eye off the ball. Having seen what they
    did with aQuantive, I'd be surprised if that's the case. They *could* get an online suite
    out the door very quickly, using Y! as the mechanism. Sure, integration takes time but
    it's not the only game in town. They could also use the time to show they're playing
    the 'good guy'
    dahowlett9
    • Personnality of the Players is how these Giant post the "Big Accounts" !

      Mr. Bren has some merit on how his view is to go right into the values here. None of this is a moniquer of expantion for all three of these companies interest. It's the employees who will suffer.
      rtirman37
    • Intersting you mention that

      [i]They could also use the time to show they're playing
      the 'good guy' [/i]

      I just read an article last night online labeled "Microsoft: 97% Less Evil", so it may be they really are working on that perception these days
      GuidingLight
  • Probably the biggest thing for MS, is that they want to convert all

    Yahoo applications over to Silverlight. MS can afford to throw away 50B, if it will keep the cash cows running longer. And, if even 1% of the internet is not available without Windows, and another 1% does not work exactly right, that is a HUGE lock-in value - and people blame those problems on the alternative OSes / Browsers.
    DonnieBoy
    • You called that one spot on!

      The part where Google is just sitting back and snickering ;)

      But I can understand Google's nervousness: The impact to [i]their[/i] twin cash cows is an issue, but what kind of lock in are you talking about?
      GuidingLight
      • Behind closed doors, many at Google are snickering, but, of course they

        will hold Microsoft's feet to the fire, and try to prevent them from leveraging the monopoly to gain market share at Google. Though, there are so many things wrong with the MS/Yahoo merger that it is questionable that even leveraging the monopoly will make it successful.
        DonnieBoy
        • For what it's worth.....

          My neighbor's son works for Google as an engineer and the talk and mood among the employees is one of true nervousness. Rumours of layoffs due to losing too much ad revenue abound at Google right now. And for good reason. <br> <br>
          I don't see how anyone can be a Google apologist as they are on track to monopoly status quicker than any company in history on very questionable moves and techniques around the globe. So much so the "do no evil" slogan has become nothing more than a industry joke. <br><br>
          Until Google has more than it's one or two forms of income, they obviously have a reason to be unnerved. <br>
          <br>
          This is based on the words of a Google engineer who will remain nameless, and sure it's anecdotal but it's true.
          xuniL_z
          • In what way are they in monopoly status?

            Do you mean by Internet search usage?
            Do you mean in selling search appliances?

            If you are implying that they will get into the same situation as Microsoft did (resulting in no less than 4 Anti-Trust/competition cases in no less than 4 markets), that may be a stretch.

            Which building does this nameless engineer work in?

            Be specific.
            B.O.F.H.
          • I didn't say they ARE a monopoly

            but headed that way faster than, say, Microsft. <br>
            When did the EU first investigate a Microsoft move or actions? <br>
            Obviously Google has been in the EU radar for some time already. That's news, not my opinion. <br>
            <br>
            And search/web advertising would be the main areas of concern for Google. <br><br>
            Why are you a defender of Google's practices? <br>
            I don't know what "building" he works in, all i know is he is in CA. My neighbor just moved in next door less than a year ago. We met on the front walks of our adjoining frontage sidewalks while shoveling out after a storm and it was the first time we'd talked at any length. I didn't grill him on it nor did i even ask any questions about Google, he offered it up while telling me about his family and children. He went as far as to say his Son and others there, whichever building on the main campus, have reason to be somewhat worried.
            xuniL_z
          • Ok, this is amusing...

            [i]I didn't say they ARE a monopoly but headed that way faster than, say, Microsft.[/i]

            So Google is becoming a monopoly faster than Microsoft (which was found to be in the EU, South Korea, Japan and the United States)? Did you miss the last decade?

            [i]And search/web advertising would be the main areas of concern for Google.[/i]

            Ok, how? It is very easy to start a company doing web advertising. A woman in Washington state (I have mentioned tis several timed in these forums) started a venture several years ago (scraped by on $80,000 a month for a while)m several other sites have done this. As per [b]Search Advertising[/b], just by sheer usage stats, Google appears to be the way to go (and for Webmasters, Google and Yahoo appear to know what they are doing while Microsoft has been lagging for over 10 years, Ask also appears to know how to do this and they are in 5th place behind MSN and Live Search percentage wise, go figure).

            [i]Why are you a defender of Google's practices?[/i]

            Which practices are you referring to?

            [i]I don't know what "building" he works in, all i know is he is in CA.[/i]

            You could probably go as far as to say Mountain View, California (that is where the corporate offices are, slightly north of Yahoo and the Silicon Valley campus for Microsoft). There are several buildings on the main campus.
            B.O.F.H.
          • You really needed the word.....

            "did"? <br><br>
            When i say they are heading toward monopoly faster than ms, i (obviously i thought) meant faster than ms did, but that's wrong as well, at least in the U.S. They were never convicted of being a monopoly. That would be impossible anyway since any definition of monopoly only includes words such as "exclusive ownership", "only provider", "100% ownership" and not ones such as "somewhere below exclusive ownership" or "pretty much full control of an industry, but not quite".
            <br><br>
            sheesh. <br><br>
            I said in CA, didn't I? Need i really be anymore specific cause he didn't actually say Mountain View, just CA. I suppose there should be no assumptions made. Maybe I'll call him up and get detail just for you.
            <br><br>
            Well, since the EU was looking at the double click deal, it would appear it was more than just SEARCH.
            xuniL_z
    • yes, converting to SIlverlight is dumb idea

      Microsoft tries to own entire stack. Google is smarter in that it leverages existing ubiquitous internet infrastructure. Microsoft should build or acquire a Flex-based RIA suite before Google does, to leverage the widely-installed Adobe base.
      killerbunny
  • I question Brin's intelligance?

    I am suprised to see a company like Google go after MS for controlling markets. So I guess Google is just fine with having 70% of the search market because if they go any higher they will be defending the same thing they are trying to go on the offensive about? I love the fear monguring, it really is comical, just like MS controlling the market so much that Google has thrived in it, how the hell did that happen, I thought MS had brain washed us all at this point. I want to see competition based on their products merits and not what some founder thinks is un-nerving to him because he is scared. The tech world is full of smart people that really never realized what the people really want and that is good products and less hoopla. Google search is the best, so why can't they play to their strengths and continue on? I guess really he is mostly nervous about a combo of the two.
    OhTheHumanity
    • yes, Brin is just fear mongering to the masses

      meanwhile he and Google are quietly working on more goodies under the radar
      killerbunny
      • What's good for the goose...

        you can finish the rest. Microsoft has just about perfected the concept of the FUD campaign. Now it's being used against them and some people don't like it. I see it as a real "what comes around goes around" moment. Next thing you know, Google will start funding their own studies showing how Google product X shows huge ROI advantage over a comparable Microsoft offering. It's like deja vu all over again.
        jasonp9
    • I question yours!!!

      GOOG hasn't gotten its dominance through shady dealing, OEM requirements and practices that induce lock-in! They have large share because they have long had better search algorithms. And since branching out, they've had *innovative* products - Maps, Earth, etc., the list goes on.

      There's nothing wrong with being dominant because you are the best and good at innovating. M$ has not been either in a very, very long time!
      Techboy_z
      • funny

        "GOOG hasn't got it's dominance through shady dealings"<br>
        funny stuff man. I could post more links here, not to shady dealings, but outright crimes against humanity by GOOG. But i'm sure in some way, whether it's "Others do it too!!" or "they have to obey the law" (sure, the law, not their ethics, the law. I suppose a parnership with Al Quaida would mean they'd have to kill anyone living in a democracy, it's just business and following the law"). <br><br>
        Give the MSFT is evil thing a break. That is dead and gone. GOOG has ridden on MS's coattails more than MSFT rode on IBM's. Proof being MSFT only needed IBM for a short time before taking it's OS and building it's own platform partners to world wide dominance. It has way less to do with IBM than GOOG has to do with and desperately needs MSFT/Windows. When GOOG no longer needs MSFT to entirely sustain itself, then you can come back and talk about doing in "on their own". <br><br>
        I wonder why they spend millions just on their legal team if they "do no evil". And it's not to "protect" them, but to snuff out every company that already had IP they want, and they usually succeed. Around the globe they do this and make no secret of it. But it's never in the headlines. If MSFT took a small business to court because they had a product called Kidztalk, it'd be all over the front pages of the blogs for a week. Google does that as part of their business plan. They've stated so themselves, so it's not an opinion piece.
        <br>
        please can we get by the MSFT is evil and all other for profit companies have played the benevolent and super ethical part in the industry. Sounds like something you might read your children at bedtime, ending in "they lived happily ever after".
        <br>
        It really dates everyone that does it. I still see some poor saps using M$ to this day. GOOG has yet to produce something that didn't already exist (search engine algorithms) to this day, so that sappy bit about that is pure fiction. <br><br>
        On the other hand, Microsoft has written an entirely new system including new kernel and it's building a huge marketshare with business uptake rising sharply starting in late '07. The "problems" with Vista are so inflated and not above those of Leopard or Linux in terms of apps and conficts and flaws, but party on dude. True objective professionals are watching, and laughing at you, not with you.
        xuniL_z
    • I question Brin's intelligance?

      One thing you can't deny is that GOOG came by its market share honestly, with quality products - not shenanigans.

      I include myself in the 70 percent. Googles search is just superior. And if it falters I could decide in an instant never to use GOOG again. That makes it's market share even more impressive. GOOG has to earn it every day.

      [i]I want to see competition based on their products merits...[/i]

      How else do you compete for online search? It's not like GOOG has a deal with my ISP to block other engines...






      :)
      none none
      • It can very well be likened to....

        Microsoft's rise on the IBM clones. Google has obviously needed a platform from which to find success. They don't have a "standalone" product like an OS(does need hardware but getting to that in a bit) and are completely dependent on Windows for their bread and butter. <br><br>
        The biggest difference is, love 'em or hate 'em, Microsoft very early on was smart enough to break away from their reliance on IBM and built themselves an entirely new platform from which to lauch their product. This makes for a huge distinction in that for Google to claim the same autonomy, it would need to develop it's own partner's to host it's products and not continue to feed from the huge Windows ecosystem.<br>
        I'm not so sure you can call it a "product" anyway. Google's revenues are still mostly ad related as they receive very little revenue based on any product they've managed to sell or license. Google apps have found that the world is not quite ready and the list goes on. Nothing against Google, but you have to look at this in the right perspective. <br><br>
        If people are going to claim Microsoft rose to power on the back of IBM, then it's clear Google has done the same on the back of Windows. In fact Google had the upperhand all along due to the anti trust trial. At every turn Microsoft has had to put Googles products at the fore front, even putting them above their very own in the list of search providers in their browser. <br><br>
        Just thought a little reality might be needed here. Google's rise has much to do with the Windows ecosystem and regulators (Microsoft being forced to make Google and any other search available w/o even the customer needing to build their own provider link. It's just there. Windows and regulators = Google's success so far.<br><br> In addition to a great seach engine but they are a dime a dozen now, it's just the Google has leveraged it's dominate revenues and ability to control a large majority of web providers to use it's ad products, based on it's near monopoly of search and it's series of legal matters where it's taken it's army of lawyers to defeat all comers who already had claims to: names, products, likenesses etc. and have publically stated much of their business model depends on their legal team to win more than lose, those kinds of things. In other words, it's been using it's muscle and the courts to spread it's name and everything remotely associated with it, worldwide, at the expense of many many little guys. That gets lost in the picture. Google has acted no better than how many believe MS had acted, in it's rise to dominance in search. <br>
        <br>
        And of course it was nothing revolutionary nor a "new" product as search has been around since the earliest OSes. <br><br>
        I find live search to be entirely on par with Google now, but it's fighting against a near monopoly. It's OS gives it NO advantage as it's not allowed to highlight nor push just it's search. If it could, there would be no contest. (back to regulators + windows = Google success) <br>
        In fact, Live Search has a better interface and more functionality than Google which is the same old interface. <br><br>
        The biggest thing is Google's search results are bought and paid for and not the best match based on a good algorithm any longer. There are many many windows shops that use Google (most windows site owners are surely open to tools that do the best job and contrary to what abm sources want everyone to believe, they are full of machines loaded with Google desktop and Firefox.) but Google is betraying them, out of hatred?...not sure...but troubleshooting issues on a windows network is now very difficult with Google. Many if not most search phrases that contain "windows" and "troubleshooting", not JUST these terms as that would be shot down, are bringing up pages of alternatives rather than links to help with the problem entered in the search string. <br><br>
        Live has picked up ground and most reviews put in on par with Google in terms of functionality and algorithms, some put it's search as better, as do I. <br> <br>
        So there you go. ;)
        xuniL_z
  • about "controlling the browsers"

    Google may not control the web browser, but it has set up relationships with internet players that help its search dominance. 1. Even though Mozilla is independent company, Google is a funder of Mozilla, shares engineers with Mozilla, and is default search engine in Firefox. You can change the default search engine in Firefox, but if you enter non-URLs in the address bar -- basically use the address bar as a search text box -- Firefox always sends the words to Google search, regardless of the default Firefox search engine. At least in IE, if you change the default search engine, normal searches and these address-bar searches use the selected search engine. 2. If you install or upgrade Adobe Reader or Adobe Flash player, there is an option to install Google Toolbar and that option is selected "yes" by default, so perhaps many millions of users of Adobe viewers/players install Google search bar by default.
    killerbunny