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The Back Page
by Bryan Chaffin

Microsoft Wants To Buy Google; For The Love Of Everything That Is Good, Let It Not Happen
October 31st, 2003

What's the best search engine on the Internet? Google, according to most. The search engine technology developed by Google revolutionized the way people look for information on the Internet, and largely put the big hurt on most of the other search engine companies.

Microsoft has long been rumored to want to compete with Google, and has also been reported to be working on developing its own bitchin'-from-the-ground-up search technology. The only problem with that, as any Microsoft watcher will have known ahead of time, is that Microsoft couldn't develop anything that really works if its life depended on it (at some point, its life will depend on it). The idea of Microsoft putting together a search engine that is as elegant as Google, that works as well as Google, and has as much integrity as Google, is laughable, at best.

Well, maybe if the company put the Mac Business Unit on it. Those folks would do a far better job the Windows goons at Microsoft.

So, what's a poor predatory monopolist to do when it really wants a piece of the search business? Why, throw its ill-gotten wealth at the problem, of course. The New York Times is reporting today that Microsoft wants to buy Google, and that the two companies have been in talks. Fortunately, it seems that Google isn't interested in being bought, however, and that the company is likely to pursue the IPO route. From the Times:

Google, the highflying Silicon Valley Web search company, recently began holding meetings with bankers in preparation for its highly anticipated initial public offering as it was still engaged in meetings of another kind: exploring a partnership or even a merger with Microsoft.

According to company executives and others briefed on the discussions, Microsoft - desperate to capture a slice of the popular and ad-generating search business - approached Google within the last two months to discuss options, including the possibility of a takeover.

While the overture appears to have gained little traction - Google indicated that it preferred the initial offering route, the executives said - it demonstrates the enormous importance that Google represents as both a competitive threat to Microsoft and as Silicon Valley's latest hope for a new financial boom.

Though seemingly spurned, Microsoft may still be interested in pursuing Google at a later date, according to an executive briefed on the discussions.

Both Google and Microsoft executives refused to comment.

Note to Google: Please, for the love of whatever gods do or don't exist, please DO NOT SELL YOURSELVES TO MICROSOFT!

The idea of Big Redmond owning one of the best technologies on the Internet, moving the system from Linux to Windows, and corrupting what is currently one of the few trustworthy experiences on the great big World Wide Web is disturbing, to say the least.

Please, let this be one situation that Microsoft can not simply buy out from under those of us who depend on it!

Fortunately, the Times piece really makes it seem as if Google isn't interested. Let us hope that is so.

If it should happen, though, kiss Google as we know it today goodbye.


began using Apple computers in 1983 in a high school BASIC programming class. He started using Macs in 1990 when the Kinko's guy taught him how to use Aldus PageMaker, finally buying a Power Computing Power 100 in 1995. Today, Bryan is the Editor of The Mac Observer, and has contributed to the print versions of MacAddict and MacFormat (UK).

You can send your comments directly to him, or you can also post your comments below.

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