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Why Microsoft wants to buy - then trash - Google

Letter of the day
Tue Nov 11 2003, 10:28
* QUICK NOTE This article has recently been linked to by Slashdot. Please also see later letters about this, here. Ed.

Subject: Imagine Life Without Google


Microsoft really, really wants Google. It wants Google for one reason, namely, to strip it naked and to castrate it. Microsoft wants to put an end to people being able to use the power of Google, especially as to the way that we all can use Google as a tool which makes the Internet particularly useful in helping us all to get through our days without depending on Microsoft.

Here's an exercise for all to try. Search Google for Linux Windows That gets you about 14 million pages, even with the English preference or filter turned on. Now, got to and search the Microsoft way for the same two words. You get exactly 18 pages. The word censorship doesn't seem to do justice to what Microsoft has done to a msn user who wants to compare Linux with Windows, does it?

Here's another exercise. Search msn for Linux. Note that the third item returned is and that the page no longer exists. The fourth item deals with this topic "Alternatives to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP Learn about the Microsoft alternatives and how to move to them from open source products."

The mind boggles at the amount of fear that Microsoft has that people who search the Internet for knowledge, answers and understanding. Microsoft's fear is so great that it is willing to subvert what is truly one of the great inventions of history, searching the Internet, to a mere tool with one purpose, namely, to trick us all into buying Microsoft's software.

I am compelled to describe that this particular Microsoft stunt is patently, totally, absolutely, completely perverse. I can well imagine that the founders of Google could not have been able to sleep at night for the rest of their lives if they had allowed Microsoft to buy and cynically subvert their creation. After all, they already have more money than they can possibly spend in their lifetimes, they have a fantastic life of creative fulfillment ahead of them and they do have, well, their pride.

A hearty thanks to the founders of Google, then, for not selling Google to Microsoft, whatever their specific reasons were for not doing so. And, for the rest of us, a lesson in what the Internet and its resultant technologies would end up being used for if Microsoft had its way. To all the users of msn and its so-called "search" feature, I have to say, wake up & smell the coffee, kids.

Harry Fletcher


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