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And within weeks Google would be truly awful as well. MSN search is the way Microsoft want it - slanted to their own products/properties, dependent upon payment (essentially to them via puppets like L$) for placement, etc.
All they care about is increasing revenue, NOTHING else matters. They clearly have no shame about what they are prepared to do to acheive that. They will squash anyone at all who gets in their way without a second thought or ethical consideration... if they are allowed to.
All the protective legislation and regulation in the world was created to curb the likes of M$. They are more or less the worst case scenario in terms of unbridled uncaring and aggressive capitalism. Real ugly in the extreme.
Ask Netscape, Sun, or anyone who has ever stood in their way.
By the way - the above is the highly diplomatic toned down version!
The datacenters are full of linux machines.
Google is currently full of owners that are holding stock in a company that has the possibility of growing even after its IPO, at growth stock rates. And people were hired with the promise of "Pre-IPO Stock Options".
Microsoft would find it as embarassing to own google running linux as they did to own hotmail running freebsd. They would also be concerned that they would get bad press once again when everything would crash when they try to switch it to windows.
The current commodity machines that they use would have to be upgraded to support windows AND still be able to run the search software.
Microsoft stock is no longer really a growth stock in most people's minds.
Many of the extremely bright people that work at Google would prefer not to work for Microsoft.
And why would MS not bid for Google?
1. To prevent it from falling in the hands of competitors...I can think of 50 companies that would love to get their hands on Google
2. It will change their portal game around
3. It will give them access to some great people
4. It's pocket change for them
And it is great for Google...they will have access to unlimited money and a lot of other resources. Further in the event of a bad patch, MS will carry them through. It is the safer, cheaper bet.
Lets look at this another way. Lets say you were the investor, what steps would you take to recover your money? And lets say you were the promoter, what would you do to ensure that you remained in business over time?
Currently the search engine business is witnessing mergers with portals and also amongst themselves. Do you think Google should go it alone? Don't forget one of Google's major source of revenue comes from supplying searches to the portals. If that business dries up, can Google go it alone on advertising only?
Personally, I believe that an IPO for Google would be a huge mistake.
Stockholders as a general rule don't care about the product - they want fast returns on their investment. I believe that google would go straight down the toilet within a few years if it went public.
Still, Yahoo has done an awful job of search since they went public, but now are turning an excellent profit regardless, because they have chased other revenues.
Google search quality may suffer as a result of a float, but it's not a foregone conclusion that profit will suffer. We shouldn't confuse the Google we know, focused on seach, with the possibility of the most profitable Google, perhaps focused on highly profitable specialised applications for niche players, which would be far from the current owners' desires.
Exactly why Google should avoid Microsoft - to allow it to remain idependant to some extent - do you think AOL or Ask Jeeves would continue using Google if it were a Microsoft owned property?
In a few years time AOL maybe an MS owned property. I doubt MS would want AskJeeves!
Whether MS wants Google is really a question of whether MS sees a financial advantage to buying Google, verses a financial advantage to killing Google.
The same is of course true of AOL, and I currently believe MS thinks it can kill AOL for less than the price of buying it.
Be in no doubt MS controls the internet search market, you may not see that right now.....but how many of you are reading this post in IE? So you really think MS can't use that fact to its advantage anytime it determines is appropriate?
MS will prevail in the Internet search market, and can do so anytime it chooses.....it is just waiting in the wings for the prey to let its guard down.
Someone earlier in this post valued Google at 30xPE=$3 billion, MS has $40 billion in cash, originally set aside for the purpose of scaring the s*it out of the US Justice Department, but as the DOJ folded their hand with little resistance MS now needs to find ways to spend that money for profit.
If you think Google is a good investment, then is it possible Gates agrees? All those willing to outbid Billy say "I"!