Clash Of The Net Titans: Google V. Everyone
The race for Internet supremacy is getting more intense by the day. Internet giants, especially Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, are fee-fie-foe-fumming and smelling blood everywhere as they retool their strategies for complete omnipresence. But they’ve also decided not to go it alone as they form supergiant alliances.
|How Many Fronts Will Google Fight?|
The day after Yahoo! and eBay laid a swift rabbit punch to Google’s kidneys by announcing an advertising partnership, news hit the circuit of Google’s befriending of Dell Computers to slap its other rival Microsoft. This comes just weeks after Microsoft wooed Amazon away from Google – the Beast of Redmond still steamed from being jilted by AOL and maybe soon by MySpace.com.
What was once a feud over the quality, speed, and reach of search technology and the size of each company’s respective index has become a contest to see who can out-saturate the other. Hands down, Google won the search market and though its rivals are still working to take its title, they may have realized they can’t beat Google head on. As the troops rally around Mountain View, Google is fully aware that defense is no longer the best course.
A Review Of What Has Happened Already
Google and Dell team up: Computer manufacturer Dell agrees to install Google software on millions of computers. New Dell systems will come preloaded with Google’s desktop search software, and possibly in the future with Google’s browser buddy Mozilla Firefox. Dell users will also be directed to a webpage co-branded by Dell and Google.
The Associated Press reports that Dell will also reserve some space for the search engine in a side panel of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6. Interestingly, the arrangement, though rumored for months, comes very soon after Google failed to persuade the US Department of Justice to block Microsoft from making MSN the default search engine in the forthcoming IE 7 amid antitrust complaints.
Google and AOL: In late 2005, after talks with Microsoft and Google, Time Warner strikes a $1 billion deal with Google giving the search giant a 5 percent stake in America Online. After months of negotiations, the deal left Microsoft again in a position it wasn’t used to: the losing position.
Microsoft strikes back with Amazon: Earlier this month Amazon dumped Google, which had been supplying the underlying technology for Amazon’s A9.com search engine and Alexa search services, for MSN Search and Windows Live Search.
Mr. Softy heads off Google and MIT: Microsoft didn’t like it one bit that MIT chose open source operating system Linux to run on laptop computers for shipment to developing nations in the ambitious (and partly Google sponsored) One Laptop Per Child Program. Gates undercut it first by suggesting that cell phones were a better option with Windows CE, but just this week Microsoft announced a pay-as-you-go system for buying PCs in those nations, similar to prepaid cell phones.
Yahoo! and eBay cut off Google at the pass: eBay was definitely concerned about Google Base and remedied that concern a bit with an exclusive ad partnership with #2 search engine Yahoo!. It’s not just a partnership, but an all-out assault, as the giants conspire to take market share from Google by increasing eBay listings in organic and sponsored search results on Yahoo!, by powering Yahoo! Wallet with PayPal, by co-branding an eBay Toolbar, by adding click-to-call advertising through Yahoo! Messenger and eBay-owned Skype, and by Yahoo! serving up ads on eBay’s site.
What’s About To Happen
MSN jilted again?: The Financial Times reported that social-networking juggernaut MySpace.com was looking for a search company to take the reins of its search technology and search marketing. With nearly 80 million members with lots of loose change to spend on things like music and movies, MySpace is the choicest Internet real estate there is. According the FT article, Google and Microsoft have both courted the site, but Google will probably win out again.
Microsoft takes ball and goes home: The same day Microsoft boasts that MSN Spaces became the most widely used blogging service worldwide with some 100 million unique visitors, the company informs the public of its intention to launch a more robust social networking service called Windows Live Spaces to capitalize on the meme.
The Fabled GEMAYA On The Horizon?
Fortune.com writer David Kirkpatrick may indeed have set himself up as a prophet. In October of 2005, Kirkpatrick coined the term GEMAYA, an acronym representing a futuristic super-conglomerate consisting of Google, eBay, MSN, Amazon, Yahoo!, and AOL. It may be a safe bet that some form of that will one day be a reality, even if those exact players don’t decide to follow the “can’t beat’em, join’em” mantra.