Google, Yahoo Vie For India’s Attention

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It looks like one lucky American search engine may soon cozy up to the Indian government – both Google and Yahoo are in talks with India’s National Informatics Centre.

JGoogle, Yahoo Vie For India's Attention
"Google, Yahoo Vie For India’s Attention"
JGoogle, Yahoo Vie For India's Attention

The reason behind these talks is, as you might have guessed, search.  Neha Kohli and Joji Thomas Philip of the Times News Network write that the NIC is interested in “improving its search facilities across government websites.”  And for those of you who didn’t know, Kohli and Philip add, “NIC . . . is a network provider to state and Central governments, and currently hosts over 5,000 websites which offers different search engines.”

A quickly-formed guess (mine) would have given Google favorable odds of getting selected.  After all, we tend to hear a lot more about their operations in India than Yahoo’s; Google has shown interest in both urban and rural life.  But then again, we tend to hear more about Google than Yahoo in every part of the world, and it looks as if the NIC may have found a problem with the Mountain View-based company.

“We are examining what Yahoo has to offer, and so far Google only supplies search engine hardware outside the country,” one unnamed NIC official told Kohli and Philip.  Yet there’s still hope for Schmidt, Page, Brin, and the gang: “We are asking Google if they would consider selling their products in India,” the official continued.

It seems that the NIC’s current search provider is satisfactory – just not great – so it may be some time before this matter is concluded.  In the meantime, India’s a popular place to be, and both companies are surely fighting hard for the NIC’s affections.

Google, Yahoo Vie For India’s Attention
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