Saturday, October 16, 2004

Microsoft Reaching out to Google

So right now, Google is rekindling the fires of wicked competition in
Microsoft. Microsoft's response to Google was the focus of questions and
angst during the Microsoft Company Meeting. We recently held an MSN Search
Champs evangelical NDA meeting to start sowing the seeds of nodding
consensus for when we manage to start shipping our search solutions.

But what if we went and partnered with Google?

Or at least, stepped
back, slapped them on their corporate butt, and said, color="#000080">"Alright then, go get 'em, Tiger! Tell us what you

I was ambling through the forest recently thinking about this, especially
given Dare's comment to the href="">Googl
e Desktop post:

Responses like this is why Microsoft
will continue to engage in misguided efforts. I don't see why the fact
Google is actually fixing our crappy OS search feature is taken as
competition instead of symbiosis. After the billions of dollars the company
spent on IE (I'm including lawsuit payouts) does the fact that the Web
browser most people use is named "Internet Explorer" not
"Netscape Navigator" really make a multi-billion dollar difference
our bottom line? Here we go again...

What if BillG called up the Google Boys and said, color="#000080">"Let's work together." Eh-yeah, I don't see
that happening either. However, I know people who work at Google now (in
the past few months especially!)
. You probably know folks who work
there, too. Right now we're at a fork in the road as to how we'll respond to
Google, and one way is to team up with them for something productive that
will benefit our users big-time.

Should we take the reigns of this relationship into our own hands and
say, "No!" to frenzied
We-can-do-better-Now-that-we-see-What-we-must-do'ism? Do any of you
remember the Marc
photocopies with his dork-ass quotes plastered around the IE
hallways back in the 1990s? That "motivational" atmosphere wasn't
too cool. Let's not repeat that. Great software is not forged out of
pissed-off anger and fear.

I'm going to drop some emails off over the
next few weeks, asking my Nooglers how Microsoft can do better to support
Google and try to sow some different seeds.

(And all of this jives nicely with my deepest desire: one reason we can
compete with such blood-thirsty frenzy right now is that we have way too
many employees. Most are under-utilized in money loosing endeavors. But,
when a building threat like this arises they are just resources repositioned
with new competitive goals. If we had less people underutilized that were so
easily redeployed, we would be a leaner, meaner, and smarter organization.
We would also develop strategic alliances and not feel that Microsoft had to
do it all in one big entangled, mediocre mess.)

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