Thursday, November 06, 2003


Microsoft Plays a Waiting Game  

An anonymous source at Microsoft confided in me that Microsoft may just be playing a waiting game. As we all know, Microsoft tried to acquire the masters of search technology Google. And, for once, failed. I've come across any number of people who are almighty pleased about that, preferring a more diverse computing world, where Microsoft is NOT the only game in town.

But that might be more of a struggle than we thought, if Microsoft gets its way. Another thing we are fairly certain of is that sometime around the first of next year, Google will go public with a much-anticipated IPO. And standing in the wings with a BIG bag of cash is good old Microsoft. The 'hint' that came my way was that if Microsoft couldn't buy Google outright, they may try to but it piece by piece. They could wait until the IPO and buy up every share of stock that comes out the door.

Other possible scenarios floated included a business partnership or merger. One thing is certain- Microsoft has no intention of actually developing their own search technology unless they fail to get a piece (or ALL) of Google. The attitude was more of 'if someone has made a real success of a technology, then it makes sense to go for that instead of wasting big gobs of time and money trying to do better'. They may have failed on their first attempt to buy Google, but their current push to reinvent the wheel has more of the flavor of 'insurance' or possible preparations to extend Google's already impressive abilities.

We'll see how this plays out. One thing is for certain: Microsoft has the deepest pockets in the PC universe and if they want something bad enough, they generally get it.

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