The Definition Of Evil: Microsoft’s Search Wars Hurt Us All

The Definition Of Evil: Microsoft’s Search Wars Hurt Us All

Microsoft may pay Murdoch to de-list from Google. If it happens, it sets a bad precedent. Imagine if all the world’s content is exclusive to some engines and we have to search them all to find what we want? Hell!

This started when Microsoft and Google paid for access to Twitter’s millions of tweets and Bing paid Facebook and Twitter for access to their pages. Think about this perspective, if you ran Fox the WSJ and other major content makers, wouldn’t you think that your content is worth more than all those 140 character posts? Right, you would. And if those sites are charging hundreds of millions for their content, wouldn’t you ask for a lot more? You probably would, and if you’re Murdoch, the most powerful man in media, you’d probably get what you want and then set a nasty precedent for the rest of the short tail of mega media companies to get a lot of Google’s cash. Maybe a lot of these companies value Google’s help in promoting their stuff, but it never hurts to ask for money, especially when media and publishing are super duper hard up on cash these days, in general. I’m not an investor in big media or any tech companies, so its not a problem for me necessarily in that way. But it is a problem for me as a guy who lives and works through search engines.

Microsoft is just being evil again. Now, this isn’t typical Microsoft bashing – someone has to fight Google. And in a way, you have to hand it to Microsoft. They’re the underdog here fighting a Google that grows in power every day, and their Facebook content deal won’t likely be matched by Google any time soon. But this is so typically Bad Microsoft, because they’ve cleverly shortcut the straightforward fight for market share by features and gone for a deal-based solution to the problem. Like the PC and OS fight in the ’80s they’re competing with business tactics instead of quality. (And Bing is great, so I’m not making a complete 1:1 comparison to Windows.) We’re sort of left with – instead of a David and Goliath – a Clash of the Titans situation with pieces of rock and lighting falling from the sky and crushing us. Microsoft fails to see/care that the fragmentation that Microsoft is trying to achieve is not only going to hurt Google – it is going to hurt YOU AND ME.

This is the Microsoft we know from the last century, before great underdog products like Xbox and Zune. This is from a company whose CEO recently told us that sales are more important than critical acclaim, preferring profit over better product. And this is a company that gets in its anticompetitive digs when it can: For example, in Internet Explorer, it’s really hard to set Google as your default browser, not being listed in the alternative choices to Bing. Yet, in Google Chrome, it’s easy to set Bing as the default search.

Again, imagine that half of the top 500 media companies are delisted from Google. And imagine that Google stoops to this strategy and buys out the other half of that 500. Now imagine you have to search for something and now have to type it in twice because who the f—k is going to remember (no-one) which search engine covers which content?

People, I’m telling you, this is bad news. People talk about net neutrality like it’s only about the data’s prioritisation over the pipes. But what good is equivalence in data speed and prioritisation if you can’t find it in the first place?