The news that Microsoft would buy, or ‘strategically partner’ with, Google makes my head spin. Microsoft barely dodged the antitrust death knell remedy (e.g. “breakup”) in its recent brouhaha with the US Dept. of Justice, a remedy which was only proposed because of Microsoft’s searingly obvious monopoly position over the PC desktop operating system.
Meanwhile, Google has become so dominant as a search engine that some people propose that it should be regulated as a public utility. One of the reasons that Google has become more successful than, say, MSN’s search engine is the perception that Google’s search results have integrity. But, even here, we see controversy, especially as Google starts to deliver adjusted search results based on advertising payments. People still mostly trust Google, otherwise the notion that advertising payments were in any way connected with the results displayed after a search was entered would cause mass outcry.
How is it possible that Microsoft could think it could buy Google –or even engage in some form of ‘strategic partnership’– without setting off a nuclear bomb of controversy?
I don’t know. I’d like to think that Microsoft would see that it could only damage its already tarnished public image by aligning itself with Google. Then again this is the company that thought it could convince a federal judge that: (1) it didn’t have a monopoly over PC operating systems; and (2) it wasn’t technically possible for it to separate its browser from its operating system.
So you can’t assume that rational thought will automatically prevail over at Mount Redmond.