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12.30.09

“Boycott Bing” Revisited, Google Makes It Obsolete Anyway

Posted in Asia, Google, Microsoft, Search at 8:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boycott Novell note

Summary: The New York Times’ (NY Times) call for a Bing boycott worth another look now that Microsoft strategises on China

About a month ago, the NY Times took an unusual stance when one of its writers called for a Bing boycott, noting that it provided a biased/warped reality that happens to exclude not only Microsoft competitors but also competitors of its partners, who include the notorious Chinese regime. The short story is that Microsoft was censoring for the Chinese government, leading to calls for a boycott. Later on, Microsoft acknowledged the problem (when calls for a boycott became too widespread) and blamed it on a “bug”.

Microsoft has problems in China. It has already lost Lee (so has Google) and a prior manager (mentioned here). Rather recently it fired 300 employees over there but it is still moving to cheaper labour and hiring from the outside, which leads to blunders [1, 2, 3, 4]. According to Reuters and Microsoft Nick, Microsoft wants more control and favouritism in China. Playing along with the suppressive government is maybe their strategy.

The posting from the NY Times by no means mean that the publication is against Microsoft; it’s usually the opposite because NY Times works for its clients, who are advertisers, not subscribers [1, 2]. That’s where all the big money is.

TechDirt accuses the NY Times of “Running A Ridiculous, Conflicted Op-Ed Against Google”:

It makes you wonder why the NY Times would allow such an OpEd to go forward. Kedrosky has his opinion: “apparently NY Times OpEds over the holidays are vetted by malnourished monkeys.”

It’s about this article, calling for “search neutrality”.

Today, search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s new Bing have become the Internet’s gatekeepers, and the crucial role they play in directing users to Web sites means they are now as essential a component of its infrastructure as the physical network itself. The F.C.C. needs to look beyond network neutrality and include “search neutrality”: the principle that search engines should have no editorial policies other than that their results be comprehensive, impartial and based solely on relevance.

While it is true that Google needs to be watched carefully (not just for privacy reasons but also for its occasional misuse of Free software), to pretend that Microsoft is better than Google when it come to ethics is totally laughable. See Verizon for example. On the issue of privacy, there is this new article:

Government data, our data, now held by Google

[...]

You see Google has been running a bit of an advertising campaign built around the fact that over 60% of the United States state governments are using part or all of Google’s Apps. I realized that the open source and freetard brigade will argue that this is a great thing given that it boost the whole idea of free and open source software in the public eye but stop and think for a minute.

60% plus. That’s 60% or better of states who are storing supposedly private and extremely personal data of ours on a third party server of a company thats sole purpose is to index all the information in the world.

It is better to have this data in Google’s datacentres than in Microsoft’s. But ideally, as we said before, no public institution should ever outsource data like this, specially to foreign entities. If private businesses choose to do it, then the matter is altogether different in nature. When it comes to Web-based software, Google is also said to be ahead of Microsoft. As someone from Fonality has put it this month:

I just took a moment to re-read what I have written. Sounds like I work for Google. I don’t. But this blog is about what works for business and I feel that Google made a bold move to make businesses work better. I actually am not a Microsoft Hater anymore. Outgrew that when I put away the code. I just think they are an old and overpriced model. It will be interesting to see how good their response to Google Docs is: Office Web Apps. I bet MSFT isn’t used to playing catch-up on one of their core businesses!

Google will hopefully turn out the lights for Microsoft.

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18 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    December 30, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Gravatar

    “But this blog is about what works for business and I feel that Google made a bold move to make businesses work better.”

    Seriously – this is why a lot of business people still respect Microsoft. They remember the bad old days before generic PCs, when hideously overpriced vertically integrated stacks were the order of the day. Microsoft was *good* for businesses in general in the 1980s.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Through web standards the same thing is happening right now. Microsoft and Novell are harming it with Moonlight, OOXML, etc.

    NotZed Reply:

    “Seriously – this is why a lot of business people still respect Microsoft. They remember the bad old days before generic PCs, when hideously overpriced vertically integrated stacks were the order of the day.”

    That’s just revisionist bullshit – it had nothing to do with Microsoft. it was due to the microprocessor and the literal explosion in new vendors and devices and COMPETITION. Competition which vanished in the 90′s due to criminal activity and is only just starting to return now.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Many businesses did not welcome Microsoft at all. They were getting a bad deal and getting back-stabbed too (those who competed).

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Gravatar

    David, I remember very differently. CP/M and AppleDOS were the operating systems that broke that vertical stack. You had WordStar and ElectricPen, to name two word processors. You had VisiCalc and Lotus-1-2-3 to name two spread sheets. You had dBaseIII as the *big* time saver. In general, re-engineering old tasks to eliminate steps and keep them in the spreadsheet or database could cut onerous, time-consuming necessary chores from costing days to hours. Even something simple like mailmerge could save a week of work.

    The ‘business’ people I see that appear to admire (can’t say about respect) Microsoft tend to be little wannabees and small bullies that either figure that somehow they will find a way to ride on Bill’s coattails or somehow get a kick out of watching illegal and anticompetitive behavior.

    Most of the other business people are more concerned about taking care of business and want stuff that works, regardless of whiskey or hookers.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yep, it was sad that DR did not win the IBM PC deal, otherwise today’s computing world would be much different and probably better.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Didn’t Gates’ rich family manage get a contract, using favouritism? The legend says that Bill’s mother knew someone from IBM while his dad did a lot of other work with his “super-important” colleagues and friends in high places.

    Microsoft’s was never the better product (compare to DR or OS/2).

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yea, that helped MS get the contract for BASIC in the IBM PC, and if it was limited to that it wouldn’t be so bad.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft invented neither product. Those were imitations.

  3. your_friend said,

    December 31, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Gravatar

    Criticism of government use of Google by Microsoft fans is an exercise in extreme hypocrisy. Microsoft has both the EULA and technical means to inspect and analyze every user file on every Windows system. Vista goes so far as to make a database index and send encrypted communications back to Microsoft daily. Governments should use Google before Windows and no sane organization will use Vista or Windows 7. Microsoft has a track record of general lawlessness, Google does not.

  4. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 31, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Gravatar

    “but also for its occasional misuse of Free software”
    To be honest, in that particular case, that addition to the MIT license was very questionable. Even without making the software non-free, the vagueness of the word “evil” has been discussed on BN.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Evil” can be criminal activity for example. Like the misuse of Plurk code, for instance.

  5. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 31, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Gravatar

    BTW, by the title of this article, I thought you would mention Google Caffeine, but looks like you didn’t. Here is the latest update from Google on Caffeine:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-caffeine-update/

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s just another update but with a code name (dating back to when Google needed to counter Microsoft’s $100,000,000 Bong [sic] hype machine).

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    And since you mentioned it in the title and said Google makes it obsolete, I thought you would mention it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    No, it doesn’t add much value, but in retrospect you make a good point.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    No one is getting hits from Microsoft’s Bong. On the technical side, it’s an ad filter for WolframAlpha, which M$ kept completely out of the media for weeks. Bong is an excuse to completely gut Yahoo, dismantling it more or less to the ground.

    The gutting of Yahoo warrants a closer look. Many executives were gotten rid of and many were replaced with Microsoft’s blow hards. But the part that warrants the closest look is what happens to Yahoo’s contributions to FreeBSD development and PHP development. The FreeBSD development at least affects a great many other businesses. Microsoft was able to put an infiltrator into Juniper and put an end to that company. Cisco is still alive and kicking, but was the monkeywrenching of FreeBSD aimed at Cisco and how long is Cisco gonna keep smiling at Bill and pretending they’re friends?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft was able to put an infiltrator into Juniper and put an end to that company.

    Actually, at least 3.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/10/19/aquantive-adready-juniper/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/10/more-insider-possibilities/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/08/16/juniper-nss-labs-madrona-telstra/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/06/26/gerri-elliott-anti-linux-juniper/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/04/19/vmware-and-juniper-cronies/

    Cisco is still alive and kicking, but was the monkeywrenching of FreeBSD aimed at Cisco and how long is Cisco gonna keep smiling at Bill and pretending they’re friends?

    Cisco is like juniper in a way. Latest example:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/09/28/chrapaty-jumps-ship/

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