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Its like a politician running for an election. He can go to each voter and seek his/her vote. But a smart politician will take into confidence the community leaders, influential personalities, movie stars that hold a sway over the masses and make them endorse his candidature.
MS, as we all know, is a good politician of the corporate world :-)
I have to go with Whitenight here. The arrogance and lack of respect from Google has been clear for a while. Time and time again I've seen sensible people, with sensible questions/issues, trying to contact them, only to be totally ignored.
Combined with the improved search performance from Microsoft, and there is bound to be a shift in the waters.
Id love to see a much more fragmented search arena/market while it would be naive to think that this is going to be it - itis a step in the right direction.
Flipping the calendar back to the pre-Google days, we had:
...plus a few other search engines whose names escape me now.
I don't know that we were any better off then, though. Or at least users weren't. There was an enormous quality spread between the best (AV and Infoseek) and the rest, and a lot of users searched with the crappy engines (such as Excite and Lycos) simply because they weren't aware that they had other choices.