Googles Other Challengers
Microsoft, EU Ganging Up on Google Earlier on Feb. 18, Microsoft and Yahoo got the green light from the European Commission and the Department of Justice for their joint search deal, giving the companies a combined 28 percent of the search market with which to combat Google.If Microsoft and Yahoo can pull off this integration and Bing continues to gain market share, it could be a great coup versus the incumbent.Google Buzz Battered By Privacy Backlash Google released its Google Buzz social networking service in Gmail Feb. 9. Since then it's been one privacy complaint after another, including a formal complaint from the Electronic Privacy Information Center to the Federal Trade Commission, a class-action lawsuit, and the revelation that children may be exposed on Buzz if their parents let them at it. Google has parried every lunge with aplomb, made numerous changes and apologized even as it revealed some of the ignorance about how protective people outside of the company view their privacy. Nevertheless, the privacy hounds are slavering over the chance to take Google down a few notches over Buzz, which users are actually using to great degree. Google in China Or should we say, the absence of Google in China, as the company has been backing off from product launches there. On Jan. 12, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said that Google will cease censoring results on Google.cn, and will discuss with the Chinese government whether or not the company can continue to offer its search engine in China after a hack on Google's servers was revealed. Exactly one week later, Google postponed the launch of two Android phones in China. On Feb. 24, Reuters revealed that Google was also abstaining from unveiling its Nexus One smartphone in Beijing. These are small setbacks that may be a precursor to potentially huge ramifications if Google exits China entirely. That's a lot of mobile phone users and mobile searchers to miss. Obviously, we are only two months into 2010, but Google has its hands full battling enemies and putting out fires. This is probably not what the company envisioned, but Google has to deal with each issue with care lest it suffer additional blows to its image, let alone its business.