Jason Lee Miller | Staff Writer
The race for Internet supremacy is getting more intense by the day.
Internet giants, especially Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, are
fee-fie-foe-fumming and smelling blood everywhere as they retool
their strategies for complete omnipresence. But they’ve also decided
not to go it alone as they form supergiant alliances.
The day after Yahoo! and eBay laid a swift rabbit punch to Google’s
kidneys by announcing an advertising partnership, news hit the
circuit of Google’s befriending of Dell Computers to slap its other
rival Microsoft. This comes just weeks after Microsoft wooed Amazon
away from Google – the Beast of Redmond still steamed from being
jilted by AOL and maybe soon by MySpace.com.
What was once a feud over the quality, speed, and reach of search
technology and the size of each company’s respective index has
become a contest to see who can out-saturate the other. Hands down,
Google won the search market and though its rivals are still working
to take its title, they may have realized they can’t beat Google
head on. As the troops rally around Mountain View, Google is fully
aware that defense is no longer the best course.
A Review Of What Has Happened Already
Google and Dell team up: Computer manufacturer Dell agrees to install
Google software on millions of computers. New Dell systems will come
preloaded with Google’s desktop search software, and possibly in the
future with Google’s browser buddy Mozilla Firefox. Dell users will
also be directed to a webpage co-branded by Dell and Google.
The Associated Press reports that Dell will also reserve space
for the search engine in a side panel of Microsoft’s Internet
Explorer 6. Interestingly, the arrangement, though rumored for
months, comes very soon after Google failed to persuade the US
Department of Justice to block Microsoft from making MSN the
default search engine in the forthcoming IE 7 amid antitrust
Google and AOL: In late 2005, after talks with Microsoft and
Google, Time Warner strikes a $1 billion deal with Google giving
the search giant a 5 percent stake in America Online. After months
of negotiations, the deal left Microsoft again in a position it
wasn’t used to: the losing position.
Microsoft strikes back with Amazon: Earlier this month Amazon
dumped Google, which had been supplying the underlying technology
for Amazon’s A9.com search engine and Alexa search services, for
MSN Search and Windows Live Search.
Mr. Softy heads off Google and MIT: Microsoft didn’t like it one bit
that MIT chose open source operating system Linux to run on laptop
computers for shipment to developing nations in the ambitious (and
partly Google sponsored) One Laptop Per Child Program. Gates
undercut it first by suggesting that cell phones were a better
option with Windows CE, but just this week Microsoft announced a
pay-as-you-go system for buying PCs in those nations, similar to
prepaid cell phones.
Yahoo! and eBay cut off Google at the pass: eBay was definitely
concerned about Google Base and remedied that concern a bit with
an exclusive ad partnership with #2 search engine Yahoo!. It’s not
just a partnership, but an all-out assault, as the giants conspire
to take market share from Google by increasing eBay listings in
organic and sponsored search results on Yahoo!, by powering Yahoo!
Wallet with PayPal, by co-branding an eBay Toolbar, by adding
click-to-call advertising through Yahoo! Messenger and eBay-owned
Skype, and by Yahoo! serving up ads on eBay’s site.
What’s About To Happen
MSN jilted again?: The Financial Times reported that
social-networking juggernaut MySpace.com was looking for a search
company to take the reins of its search technology and search
marketing. With nearly 80 million members with lots of loose change
to spend on things like music and movies, MySpace is the choicest
Internet real estate there is. According the FT article, Google and
Microsoft have both courted the site, but Google will probably win
Microsoft takes ball and goes home: The same day Microsoft boasts
that MSN Spaces became the most widely used blogging service
worldwide with some 100 million unique visitors, the company
informs the public of its intention to launch a more robust
social networking service called Windows Live Spaces to capitalize
on the meme.
The Fabled GEMAYA On The Horizon?
Fortune.com writer David Kirkpatrick may indeed have set himself
up as a prophet. In October of 2005, Kirkpatrick coined the term
GEMAYA, an acronym representing a futuristic super-conglomerate
consisting of Google, eBay, MSN, Amazon, Yahoo!, and AOL. It may
be a safe bet that some form of that will one day be a reality,
even if those exact players don’t decided to follow the “can’t
beat’em, join’em” mantra.
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