Google, Microsoft Wage War of Words in Search, Cloud Apps Markets

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-12-19 Print this article Print

But perhaps Bing is the real problem and the squabbling about apps is just a side show. After all, Microsoft has had cloud-based products out there for a while and Google didn't seem to feel threatened until Microsoft started really pushing Bing. Now that Microsoft is really turning up the heat on Google, the search giant is responding in the only way it knows how, by refusing to build apps.

Having Google in a snit over Microsoft's attack on apparently commercialized search results does make things a little less convenient for Windows Phone 8 customers, but only a little. Microsoft includes a Gmail app on Windows Phone, along with apps for most other Webmail providers. You can search with a Google app on your Windows phone. But you won't find Google+ or Google Maps.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is dealing with the end of new free users of ActiveSync from Google by pushing, which along with Windows 365 does a credible job of challenging Google Apps.

So is this all a fight over nothing? To some extent it is, although Microsoft is spending a lot of money on mobile mindshare these days. The product placement budget seems to be sufficiently well funded for a Surface tablet and a bevy of Windows Phones to show up in pretty much every CBS drama I've seen recently. The "Scroogle" commercials were all over television the week before Christmas. Clearly, Google is under attack.

So the next question is this. Is Microsoft right when it charges that Google's search results are tainted by browser bias? They are. Google even admits this if you read far enough into the fine print. But does it really matter?

My experience is that when I search for something non-shopping related, I still get different results on Google than I do using other search engines including Bing and DuckDuckGo. Is it the result of search engine bias? That's hard to say, although I find the results from Bing and DDG more useful in my work than Google's.

The downside of this corporate pushing and shoving is that it hurts the customers from all of the companies concerned. Google's once famous claim to fair search results is clearly overcome by its own marketing department. Microsoft is looking like it learned about negative ads from the recent presidential election. But we don't need marketing to run amok, and we don't need negative ads. But I guess I should be used to it by now. After all, it's just like being in Washington all the time.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel