May 10, 2006 3:40 PM PDT

Google has its eye on Vista search

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Google executives downplayed their legendary battle with Microsoft but said they were keeping an eye on their larger rival's plans for embedding Web search functionality into Vista, its delayed next-generation operating system.

Asked during an executive question-and-answer session here at Google Press Day about the company's concerns about Vista, co-founder Sergey Brin said Wednesday that Microsoft had behaved anti-competitively in the past when the Netscape browser was giving Internet Explorer stiff competition in the mid-1990s.

"We just see the history of that company behaving anti-competitively and...not playing fair," he said. "So I think we want to...look at the areas where that power can be abused."

In general though, Google is too busy creating new products and services to pay much attention to what Microsoft is doing, executives said.

"We try not to focus on what they (Microsoft) are doing," and are concentrating instead on innovation, said co-founder Larry Page. For example, Google released free Web-based Gmail and "everybody had to react to us. We didn't have to react to them."

Media who pit Google's Web-based services against Microsoft's dominance with its operating system are missing the broader picture, said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

"There is room for more than one winner," he said. "Each of the strategies can coexist independent of the others."

Meanwhile, the company is investigating recent complaints by Webmasters about sites disappearing or dropping down in the index, Brin said in response to a question about the company transitioning to a new index, dubbed "Big Daddy." "Overall this new index is significantly more comprehensive" than the old index, he said.

Asked about Google's plans for television, Page said, "We're excited about taking the properties of search-based advertising...and applying that to the video space," he said.

"I think it would be great if there is a marketplace for television like there has started to be for music," he said. "It would be great if a lot of companies participated in that (and users could) get any kind of content on any kind of computer in any place you are. The reality is there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make it work transparently."

Asked why the executives cashed in so many of their shares in the company in automated prearranged plans since going public in 2004, Brin said the amount he sold is minor compared with what he still holds.

"I ended up selling about 20 percent of my shares. I'm holding 80 percent (and) I'm pretty happy about it," he said. "I don't think most people would keep 80 percent of their assets in one" stock.

"I just took off that chunk, but the vast majority I intend to keep forever," Brin added.

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9 comments

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Microsoft doesn't play fair??? WAAAAAAAA!!!
What a crybaby! Microsoft has a history of competing with their competitors. Obviously, something criminal is going on here. What about Google's "anti-competitive" behavior? They're trying to compete with Microsoft but it isn't OK when Microsoft tries to compete with them? Hey, Google, continue to suck up to your communist Chinese bosses and help them oppress 1200 million people.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
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unfair
everyone, including microsoft and apple, want access to the chinese market. what's your argument? for the ability to reach a single market containing 1/5 of the world's population, most companies would do just about anything. so again, what's you point?
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
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I like Microsoft
I really do like microsoft, I know they don't do a lot of things as well as they should but really. Say there where 3 equally popular and equally used operating systems out there, then which one do software developers work with? point is its nice having just one
Posted by yellowhat5 (1 comment )
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Microsoft is still ahead by much over Google
It is interesting to me that so much emphasis and hype is placed on Google these days. Yes, they have the most comprehensive search engine available, but what about all of the other business components necessary for businesses to function and be productive? Microsoft has so many other tentacles at different fronts, and who won the war between Netscape and Microsoft? I am still not convinced that Google is as vital as it is portrayed. The other products that Google has are still a ways from being adopted in a production setting in my opinion. As long as company's like Intel and AMD continue to make processors for the PC, consumers will continue to buy them, which will continue to carry the Microsoft operating system. This is more powerful to me than going back to dummy terminals that run exclusive web applications, unless the culture has a great shift in moving to such arena. If anything Google should watch for Microsoft on maintaining the edge in searching capabilities and the marketing of it.

My 2 cents
Posted by (1 comment )
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Google vs MS
I like this comment:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://spaces.msn.com/techmoments/Blog/cns!B874277322574975!193.entry" target="_newWindow">http://spaces.msn.com/techmoments/Blog/cns!B874277322574975!193.entry</a>
Posted by sanjayb (538 comments )
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GOOG vs MSFT
IMHO the *public face of the war* hasn't even been displayed yet but it certainly will be more and more over the coming five years until Google has replaced Microsoft as America's most powerful and leading software firm once and for all. All that's left really is for Google to get the nonsense over with and get on with the inevitable by partnering with or buying out (1) a leading o/s maker like Sun or one of the leading Linux distro's (2) a leading American ISP like EarthLink (3) maqking 100% concrete their ownership of Mozilla Inc (not Org).

The rest is already really in the bag. And contrary to public opinion which is based in large part on Google's shrewd public commentary misdirection, Google ain't about mere search anymore. They left search engineering advancement efforts and heavy R&#38;D investment in same far behind a couple years ago in reality and have movged on to much bigger and better things now that they've clearly conquered the global search mass market. Pls do not not flame me for stating this ~ I am NOT making the case that GOOG offers the *best* search product ~ I am only stating statisical business fact ~ GOOG commands such an exceptional market position in search that it is not worth their investment at this point in doing anything more than *tweaking efforts* on their search product ~ no matter what GOOG states for public consumption about search remaing their focus. Of course it remains their focus in the literal sense of current income stream but it is not at all their future primary income stream and Mountain View has known this for the past two years. It's one of the major reasons they quite shrewdly leave all their other excelling software progs like IM, webmail, mapping, media player, virtual hard drive etc etc in the purposefully deceptive BETA catagory in order to throw public attention from these critically brilliant ALPHA-in-reality progs til they've put the whole google package of software together replete with security suite and office suite etc etc in order that they may take on MSFT full frontally all at once.

It is a brilliant and wickedly aggressive stratgey - it is business and nothing more and they have trumped MSFT on all fronts on that score. They have most shrewdly learned their lessons well of how to NOT proceed based on MSFT's lousy global p/r track record. Google is a master at brilliant p/r ~ a critically important part of any marketing machine.

As many have already said before the likes of me lol, like it or not we may as well get familiar with GOOG's progs now and current strategic partnerships in the industry because that *whole package* will be the leading way the world computes by 2011.

And that package definately excludes Windows inclusive of its bundled IE browser as a marginally supported second-seat o/s player.

So that's my silly two cents. And Wall Street's silly billions of investment dollars.
Posted by i_made_this (302 comments )
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Google's Not-so-New Products
See <a href="http://www.dailyrevolution.net/2006/05/geek-wednesday-new-empire.html">this analysis from Nearly Redmond Nick</a> for some insight into how Trends, Co-op, Desktop, and Notebook aren't as new as Google may want you to think they are.
Posted by bdonohue1 (25 comments )
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