Google’s Sergey Brin seems to think that he needs to speak out against the MSFT/Yahoo! merger that may or may not happen in the near to distant future.
“The Internet has evolved from open standards, having a diversity of companies. And when you start to have companies that control the operating system, control the browsers, they really tie up the top Web sites, and can be used to manipulate stuff in various ways. I think that’s unnerving,” Brin said.
I had to chuckle a little when I read that. I agree with Brin, but that could just as easily describe Google as it does Microsoft. The only real difference is that Google doesn’t have a retail version of the GooglOS that they run in the Googleplex. They certainly control some browsers. Just as many as MS does with IE I’d wager. And as far as tyeing up the top web sites, take a close look at the Digital Point forums next time Google does an update of their PageRank. When you tie up 60%+ of the search engine traffic, that affects the top Web sites much more than a simple difference in browser engines. And lets not get started on manipulation that is possible.
All of this is a play on people’s fears of a Microsoft Monopoly. The problem with the logic is that a merger of MSFT and YHOO doesn’t create a monopoly. It eats into one. It creates a very valid competitor in the search venue. And after a few years of Google encroaching on Microsofts territory (see Google Docs), it scares Google to see the giant awakened.
You see, the old business folks know that if you find yourself toe to toe with a competitor and you don’t possess the tools to fight that competitor, you partner yourself with someone who does. Microsoft has been struggling to keep up with Google and other online innovators for quite some time. The problem is that Microsoft had been mostly content to leave Google in it’s place of power for search and go about their business struggling to move into that arena. Then Google started getting into Microsoft’s neighborhood with Google Docs and next thing you know, Microsoft is on the attack.
If you ask me, Google should have just let sleeping MSFTs lie.
Disclaimer: I own MSFT shares, but not enough to care…