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Microsoft Businesses The Internet

Google Rebuffs Microsoft Takeover Bid 376

Chris Gondek writes "The Sydney Morning Herald has posted that Internet search leader Google has rejected a takeover bid from Microsoft in favour of selling its shares directly to the public. According to The New York Times (Login Required), Google wishes to sell only about $US2 billion worth of shares to the public."
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Google Rebuffs Microsoft Takeover Bid

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  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:33PM (#7373499) Journal
    It's turns out that Google IS being bought by Nestle!
    Here's the link to the story [newsforge.com]. I guess Nestle just offered too sweet of a deal to pass up.
  • by Benneh ( 709476 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:33PM (#7373504)
    Only $2 billion dollars....if only i could talk about money like that
  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The One KEA ( 707661 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:34PM (#7373509) Journal
    Looks like the management at Google understand the situation. Only selling about $2 billion USD will get them the funds they need to expand, but without the risk of a hostile takeover. Let's just hope that the voting shareholders don't defect to Microsoft. Or to anyone else.
    • Re:Good (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ezh ( 707373 )

      Google now is in quite desperate situation: their PageRank's are undermined by link spammers and bloggers [google-watch.org], Yahoo! and Microsoft are actively developing their own search technologies and buy other companies

      Google also swallows its small competitors and thinks of personalizing searches [theregister.co.uk], essentially giving RIP to its PageRank(tm) technology.

      What keeps Google afloat nowadays is just its name.

      • Re:Good (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jugalator ( 259273 )
        Yahoo! and Microsoft are actively developing their own search technologies and buy other companies

        That doesn't say they'll come up with anything good. MS has been unable to so far.

        What keeps Google afloat nowadays is just its name.

        Why not point us all to an engine with better search results then?
        • Re:Good (Score:2, Informative)

          by ezh ( 707373 )
          Teoma [teoma.com] does sometimes search better than Google, and so does, surprisingly, AltaVista [altavista.com], if you skip the advertising crap.
          • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

            by Bodrius ( 191265 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:45AM (#7375929) Homepage
            Doing "sometimes better" does not cut it. The local psychic network or a fortune cookie is "sometimes better" at predicting health issues than a doctor, but people tend to trust entities with the best average results.

            They switched to Google for reasons other than name, they will only stick to it as long as those reasons are valid.

            The name didn't keep Altavista "alive", even though it was THE engine for long time. It still works, and I do use it every once in a while (for very specific searches), but the fact is its brand name value has been quickly nullified.

            Yahoo couldn't survive on brand name alone either, even though they have the advantage of being an Internet historical landmark of sorts. And yet, for most people I know these days, Yahoo as a brand is more of an email/newsgroups service than a search engine.

            "Name alone" does not keep a company alive in the Internet. There is little or no customer loyalty, specially in something as competitive as the search engine service.

            Google will be successful only as long as it is consistently better than its known competitors at what it does, and competitors become known very quickly... Whenever a new search engine becomes distinctly better than Google, it will take over. That's how Google took over in the first place.

        • Re:Good (Score:3, Interesting)

          by autopr0n ( 534291 )
          Why not point us all to an engine with better search results then?

          here you go [alltheweb.com]

          There are a lot of searches that work better on ATW then google these days. The most obvious to me is Autopr0n [alltheweb.com] Autopr0n [google.com] Now, I'm not just being narsisistic here, When I started AP google returned not a single result for "autopr0n". Now there are thousands. Google's first result is my slashdot info, it's second Is my live journal, then my k5 info. All of those sites link to Autopr0n.com. After the main link, Alltheweb li
          • Re:Good (Score:3, Informative)

            by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
            I've had weird results from Google recently. Every time I search for some combination of words, there's already a page existing with that combination of words, the page being another search engine which has published a page with that combination of words.

            Do these search engines publish that many pages, or are they generated "on-the-fly" with perhaps a deal with Google?

            For instance, I'm converting some of my DVDs to VCDs (so I can store the DVDs in case they break -- little fingers and all), and searche

    • Microsoft would be insane to launch a takeover bid at that valuation ($20 bln).

      In fact I don't see why Microsoft needs to take over Google at all. Developing their own technology would be far cheaper even including the promotion costs.

  • Thank God... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KD5YPT ( 714783 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:34PM (#7373515) Journal
    Well, looks like Google just throw down the gauntlet against Microsoft. Now, it is time to see whether public support or big money business will win out.
    And as a side note, let's buy Google stock when they come out to show our support.
    • Re:Thank God... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Davak ( 526912 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:39PM (#7373573) Homepage
      I thought that way too... ...then I bought yahoo. [yahoo.com]

      Google will open very, very strong... and then lose down after the fireworks are over.

      Once it settles, then buy! Look at the yahoo chart above to see about what I am speaking.

      I agree buying google... just wait until the right time.
    • Re:Thank God... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BigRedFish ( 676427 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:59PM (#7373748)

      time to see whether public support or big money business will win

      Methinks accurate results relevant to the search performed will always win. The search engine landscape is littered with 'portals' that don't do jack - when I search for, say, 'KDE 3.2 beta KWin C++ API' and get back 'Buy books about C++ at Amazon.com!', 'Microsoft Visual C++ Studio 50% off!' and so on for the entire first page, I'm outta there and will never go back. Point being, when I hit a search engine it's because I'm looking for links to specific information, not someone to 'manage' my 'internet shopping experience'.

      I wonder how many hits on Google are from research assistants, paralegals, programmers, etc. compared to how many are looking for an 'internet shopping experience?' Does Yahoo! think everyone's going to Google because they don't have enough paid links and useless portal categories cluttering up the page at Yahoo!?

      I have no idea who the target market is for so many of these sites. There must be someone who sits down at the computer, credit card in hand, hoping a window will pop up allowing them to buy something - anything! - on the Internet. I think this someone only exists in the marketing department's imagination, though. I've never met that person.

      Kudos to Google for just saying no. Both to intrusive advertising, and to the do-it-all portal concept that ends up donig nothing well.

  • Evil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Davak ( 526912 )
    I can not imagine anything more evil that microsoft + google. Microsoft would be unstoppable.

    Fear.

    Davak
    • Re:Evil (Score:4, Funny)

      by cgranade ( 702534 ) <cgranade@@@gmail...com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:39PM (#7373580) Homepage Journal
      Search: syslinux.
      MSGoogle: Why would you want to see that? Here, have an pre-order form for WindowsFX/Longhorn instead!
      Search: lindows.
      MSGoogle: TRADEMARK INFRINGMENT! YOU ARE BEING REPORTED TO ASHCROFT! ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!
    • Re:Evil (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:23PM (#7373905) Journal
      OpenGoogle.com would become a reality if that ever happened. Microsoft would simply push users away to a free, opensource service using possibly better algorhythms.

      Remember folks... the only reason people use Google is because it's not bastardized with corporate greed (or at least it has engineered the proper tact levels to offset any money-making going on!).
      • Re:Evil (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:40PM (#7374009) Journal
        Remember folks... the only reason people use Google is because it's not bastardized with corporate greed

        Not me. I use Google because it's the most useful search engine I've found. Very good search results. Very good other features I use daily (e.g. Google Groups)
        • I have to say I agree with you, even if you re-read what I posted. Google returns good search results, but also isn't populated with bad marketing concepts that ruin your day. My point was that if Microsoft took over, it would certainly populate google with the same kind of advertising that Microsoft used on Hotmail, when it bastardized *that* service.
          • I think that it is more likely that microsoft would absorb google into the windows package. Google hooks would be built into everything!

            Like most Microsoft borg activity, a lot of these google hooks would be helpful and appreciated. On the other hand, microsoft would have access to a huge database of information that we don't want them to have.

            Microsoft would know your every search... your every desire.
            Microsoft would know all the things google knows--information to the extreme.

            Google is a search compa
      • Re:Evil (Score:5, Insightful)

        by HuguesT ( 84078 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:48PM (#7374092)
        And who would pay for the thousands of servers, the huge quantity of RAM, the electricity bill, the rent, etc? Google is a lot more than just clever algorithm, it's also a very fast caching system of pretty much the whole internet, and the two go together.

        I don't think a distributed effort like SETI@Home would cut it there.

        Cheers.
        • Re:Evil (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
          Hmm, Google@Home (or Googol@Home to avoid copyright infringement ;-) -- I wonder if it could work?

          Seems like Google is themselves using a "distributed effort" (just that it's distributed only among their machines, and most likely with far less latency than an @Home arrangement would have). I bet, though, that given sufficient interest (an angel VC perhaps?) a good product could be made. One with moderation/meta-moderation and rankings of moderators so that chaos mods would dwindle to less than ambient n

    • And this just in, UPDATE: Microsoft is unstoppable.
  • good to hear (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:35PM (#7373533) Homepage
    It's good to hear that the people running google have as much practical business sense about them as the people running the machines have technical sense. This is how things should be done - don't put your entire worth out there on the market for investors to decide, hold back and prove your company worth through your product.
  • by simp ( 25997 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:36PM (#7373537)
    Damn, if i'd had 2 billion dollar I wouldn't need Google. I'd had some naked petrified girls doing all the searching for me...
  • It's questionable (Score:2, Interesting)

    by prostoalex ( 308614 ) *

    Remains to be seen how real the takeover offer was in the first place. Microsoft has thousands of employees and 50 bil in the bank, which pretty much allows them to develop any search technology they want and hire the best people in the industry.

    Even the purchases that Microsoft has made usually reflect either small companies with little capital and some interesting technologies (Connectix), or medium-size companies with tons of clients that Microsoft wants access to (Great Plains, Navision). Seeing Micros
    • by KD5YPT ( 714783 )
      I don't think they have a choice letting people know that Microsoft is trying to buy them. Sure it boost their profile well, but I think the media would have dug this up even if they don't announce it. Google might just be trying to come out clean so no one would speculate about anything. Of course, the announcement helps with their IPO evaluation price, two birds with one stone.
    • Re:It's questionable (Score:5, Informative)

      by donnz ( 135658 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:56PM (#7373714) Homepage Journal
      Except I read that Google was valued at 9 billion which would sure eat into MS' reserves.

      Here's the Guardian story [guardian.co.uk].

      • "Except I read that Google was valued at 9 billion which would sure eat into MS' reserves."

        Don't worry, I'm sure Microsoft could have made up the shortfall with their Xbox sales.
    • by Alomex ( 148003 )
      Microsoft has thousands of employees and 50 bil in the bank, which pretty much allows them to develop any search technology they want and hire the best people in the industry.

      Only problem with your theory is that I'm personally aware of nine previous failed search engine efforts from Microsoft.
  • Whats to keep MS from buying all the shares when they go public? From what I've heard, google wanted to do some sort of bid thing to sell shares to people. So if they were to ebay them, MS could just create a few ebay accounts under people's names, billg@microsoft.com, steveb@microsoft.com, etc, and buy up all the shares.
    • Nothing. But google isn't offering up enough stock to allow anyone else to get even remotely close to a controlling share. Just because you are offering stock doesn't mean you are selling out your entire company or controlling interest, in this case, google is selling some of it self to the public instead of VCs.
    • They and other senior executives have in recent weeks been interviewing investment banks with a view to taking the company public at a valuation of $US15 billion to $US25 billion ($21 billion to $36 billion).

      Selling 2 billion of a 25 billion company isn't going to change any control.

      However, if Microsoft were to buy all 2 billion, it would accomplish two things for the beast:

      1. It would give them some input into the company. Not enough to change things... but perhaps enough that google would be pressu
      • I'm not an investor, but it seems like MS investing in a competitor would be a bad idea. If the competitor does really well and MS gains some money off the investment, they are likely no longer in a position to compete with that company. If, on the other hand, MS destroys the competition, they lose money on their initial investment.

        Either way, it appears that they lose on some front. Seems like a better idea to invest that same money into their competing product (ie, MSN in this case).
  • I cannot begin to tell you how horrible that 'merger' sounds to me. Reading one of the articles about the decision by the two Stanford graduates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page (who created Google) to have a limited public offering to reward initial investors and company workers once again confirms that Google continues to show why Google is the best.
  • I wish rav antivrus [ravantivirus.com] had done the same.
  • you know (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) * <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:38PM (#7373565) Journal
    you know, google is the first thing on the internet (not just the web) that i think has actually changed my life is some way. i use google probably 30 to 40 times on a regular business day, searching for certain strings and letting it do the hard part for me. if i didnt have google, or anything exactly like it or better, i would be really grumpy for a very long time. if google ever sold out and became a crap factory, it'd be a dark day on the intarweb. fortunately i didnt get the vibe that's about to happen from the nyt article.
    • You mean to say email didn't change the way you do your day to day business?
  • Shares on eBay? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Qweezle ( 681365 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:41PM (#7373598) Journal
    Google will be an immensely popular stock-selling only 2 billion in shares will create a gigantic demand, with a smaller supply, and thus I'm wondering if Google's going to just open up their shares for trade on an exchange like most companies do...

    Something I certainly see as being possible is that Google could put up shares for sale in public auction. Think about it, why wouldn't they? It would make sense-the shares would be worth more because of the supply/demand aspect, and in addition, it would be dually serving eBay, which I believe Google has some ties to(as they do to most web companies).

    In addition, Google could put up shares for charity--what a better opportunity for them to showcase themselves, and benefit some organization at the same time?

    The most important thing to remember about Google's IPO is that they are worth quite a bit, and they may just sell their shares in a most unusual way.

    Besides...it's Google!

  • I think we should rename Sundays on Slashdot Duplication Day.

    This is the same story that was posted on Friday [slashdot.org]. I know that Sydney is on the other side of the International Date Line from New York, but this is a three-day old story!

  • Too bad: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Momomoto ( 118483 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:53PM (#7373697) Homepage
    There's a good piece [theregister.co.uk] up over on The Register [theregister.co.uk] that talks about how Google and Microsoft would make great partners.

  • by squashed ( 664265 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:54PM (#7373700)
    O.K., perhaps Google has "changed the world" in terms of search and the Internet.

    But their announced ambitions to "reinvent" the IPO market, avoiding classical underwriting and directly auctioning their shares, really is too much. The comments are more than presumptuous and pretentious. They are sophomoric.

    Isn't it enough to be the first company since 2000 to mount a successful IPO of an Internet-based business, with enormous multiplies applied to forward revenues, toward a $10 billion plus valuation? The idea that an Internet company, among all the companies out there, will fundamentally reinvent the way that public offerings of this magnitude are done in the U.S. is laughable.

    As Google is run (and currently owned) by smart people, I think that the company's discussion of auctioning its shares is a way of making a lot of noise, and heightening speculation -- in the face of obvious interest by the Microsoft Corporation. It is intended to raise the issue of its valuation in a big, very public way, and enhance the prospects of a Microsoft acquisition at the highest possible cash amount.

    It is certainly not intended to build good will on Wall Street. It's hilarious to think that the way to exert influence on Wall Street is to suggest ways to fundamentally undermine the revenue streams of the leading investment bank underwriters.

    • I think you've got it all completely wrong. Google despite not being a public company is THE hottest ".com"/company on the internet in terms of usage and customer loyalty; and it's only a Service company.

      The fact that it's survived along the sides of Amazon who's first profit was not until 1/2002 and E-bay who's a different beast altogether show that the companies that are doing 'the different' are the ones who are setting the pace and maintaining their own quo's without Wall street intervention.

      If you r

  • I just thought what a cluster the size of google's would be like running windows... imagine the spread of viruses, worms and spyware... every single person on the planet searching via an engine which is helping to spread the love....

    the end of the world would truly be nigh.
  • I'm guessing that investors will go crazy once again having an Internet stock to bet on. This will push the value of the stock up through the roof as we've seen happen with past companies. By only putting out a small percentage (less than 1/10th of the company) it will also unduly raise the total percieved value of the company exponentially.

    The problem is that though most industries have a set valuation on shareholders equity in regards to a multiple of earnings, Google is in a league of their own. This
  • by gregwbrooks ( 512319 ) * <gregb AT west-third DOT com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:01PM (#7373761)
    A few assertions about why Google is playing this smart:

    • Google is not worth the $15 billion that was being bandied about. It's a very, very safe bet that they're worth more than $2 billion, however, so issuing the smaller portion of stock gives the owners and primary investors comfortable control of the company while at the same time reducing the future volatility of the stock by some measure because there's only so much of the company that can be bought in a hype or sold in a panic.
    • Denying MSFT the right to buy denies them their primary business strategy. Microsoft's history is rife with buying an innovation and then tweaking it to fit their overall business model and product line. They're not innovators nearly so much as they are purchasers and tinkerers. If Google isn't on the menu, then getting a leg up on search means they'll have to buy someone else or invent something more compelling than Google internally. History gives better odds to the former than the latter.
    • Search today is like the 386 processor was a decade ago, and Google understands this. Ask Microsoft what they want from search, and they'd probably point to more ad sales, integration of a core web functionality into the OS or something similar. Ask the Google folks about search and they want ad sales too -- but the also have a building full of smart people thinking about what search is going to be like 5, 10 and 20 years from now. And guess what: It's going to be pervasive as hell, a whole lot smarter and a whole lot more vital to your day-to-day life. I wouldn't understimate the cluefulnes off the Google folks on this front, which is why I think it's grand that they're choosing to control their own destiny for now.
  • by dlippolt ( 100881 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:02PM (#7373774) Homepage
    admittedly i have some strange ideas about our economic/social systems. i'm a fan of debian and spend time every day trying to figure out how to get rid of corporations as legal entities with no real personal liability.

    caveats aside, i really think the US Gov should buy google. maybe i'm just a mindless stallman bot, but i regard the google service as a public good. in fact, if google were to go away tomorrow, i'd become immediately unemployable. i've heard the same thing from other techies, non-techies, and even anti-techies.

    just the thought/hoax of microsoft buying google would ruin me, and i'd have to make good on my promise after hearing bush won the election and actually leave the country.

    i've seen too often on slashdot similar "i can't live without google" commentary so i know i'm not alone.

    i'm not here to tell you that the US Gov should entertain buying companies lightly, or that there isn't a good chance that they would ruin google on their own. as i understand it, google isn't really offering itself for sale anyway, buy why screw around? what i am saying is that google has bought itself alot of time with such a great service. however, it will eventually fall prey to abuse on the street if they go that route, or some other bad economic time.

    i'm not the only person who was disappointed at redhat's decision to end-of-life their free products after only months (12? i'm sure some slashdotter will correct me). it was the motivator for me to convert hundreds of machines i supported from redhat to debian. i understand the decision by redhat, the _company_, to earn and maintain a profit. if they go away eventually sobeit. if we lose sun, no problem, it will happen anyway.

    i'm not so cavalier about google. its a public good and we need to protect it.

    thoughts?
    • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:13PM (#7373839)
      the government would ruin it (whether liberal, moderate or conservatives in power at the time)..."naughty" searches (by whatever definition) being flagged, "naughty" results being censored, etc.

      RedHat is still giving away a "free" (as in gratis) distribution. But maybe Federa seemed too "bleeding edge" for you? I'm giving it a test spin on my home box & it's pretty good so far.

      The other search engines are useful, though google is my favorite. It is interesting sometimes to compare the results each give on a topic. The world would not end should something happen to google.

    • This guy is making some valid points, and while you might not agree, I dont' see any links to goatse.cx or any "Linus is a stupid mangina" comments thrown in randomly.

      Someone please mod the parent up, it's actually an interesting discussion.
    • You do realize that you're talking about the same US government that gave the com domain to VeriSign, right?
    • "ok, let's see here, sir. Please enter your search request on three copies of form 1144-EZ and you'll get your results back in 4 to 6 weeks. Neeeext!"
    • What about about all the folks outside the US that use google(e.g. www.google.de)? Would the US gov be interested in maintaining the foreign language sites?

      How about all those other search engines that work reasonably well? Would it be fair to these other companies to have a government subsidized search engine?

      -jq

    • What about those of us who do not live in the states? I would not like that all this power goes to a country. US is not better to me than MS. What about a more neutral entity, which is supposed to care about us, and not only about you?

      What about the UN? What about the UNESCO? If it is a public good, then why shoud it be public=US, and not public=humanity?

      (Just a thought).
    • by kalinh ( 167661 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @06:48AM (#7376482) Homepage

      Oh, I had the exact same idea as you! Except the year was 1996 and the site was Altavista [archive.org]. Couldn't live without it. Thank Goodness the government didn't nationalize and subsidize them making the emergence of Google as a successful, profitable, private, limited liability corporation next to impossible. But now that we have Google maybe we should reconsider your plan, I mean, nothing could ever get better than this, right?

      Sure, Google may have come from nowhere to become profitable while providing a huge amount of value not only to the people who risked piles of time and money on the enterprise, but also to the public at large and their customers. But of course mutual benefit through voluntary association and private property just usually isn't possible in a capitalist system, this is an anomaly and it must be protected.

      I also rely on Debian daily for job related activities; I know a lot of people who do. Maybe final decision making power for Debian should be removed from the technical committee and developers and transfered to an appropriations committee of the US Dept of Commerce. I mean, can we really risk such an important piece of technology to a bunch of private individuals. I even heard that one of the former DPLs played a major role at a major corporation in the motion picture industry, while he was involved with Debian!. We all know how greedy and untrustworthy that type [perens.com] is; there is no way of telling how he may have subverted [togaware.com] Debian when he had control of it.

      Ok now that I've pulled my tongue out of my cheek, could I ask you to put down the Adbusters and spend time every day really thinking about these wonderful things that we rely on and where they came from? Also think about the real freedom to innovate and how that could start to be lost.

      And if you do the honourable thing and keep your emigration pact with Alec Baldwin, please don't come to Canada.

  • So we managed to dodge one bullet, forgive me if I am not jumping up and down. Not only could M$ still try to gain controll over google, We all saw problems with google earlier when they fanagle search results for no good reason.

    We all love google we use it every day, but it must be replaced. Replacing google has two problems the software and the hardware. The software is by far the easier one, the general techniques that google uses are well known, and the good guys don't have a shortage of good programer
  • You heard it here first and it's worth what you paid for it.

    In the next "mandatory super ultra-critical security update must install service pack" from MicroSchlock, IE will be made incompatible with Google. Of course, it will all be an "innocent bureaucratic SNAFU."

  • I can just imagine the .NET nuthouse code added on, for MSN users. Then again think of all the fun the script kiddies would have at the expense of MS users. Might put a whole new meaning to surfing the .NET. It would surf you!
  • Where did this number of $21-$36 billion dollars of worth come from? Alot of tech companies are drastically overvalued because someone is out there trying to hit the jackpot game and make a bundle. However there is no basis for this valuation of Google. For a regular company to have this sort of valuation it would need to be earning $250 MILLION a QUARTER! This would result in a, at best, mediocre company earning 5% a year.

    A am not saying that they should not go and run for the dough, but anyone who co

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It must have been all the geeks of the world simultaneously exhaling sighs of relief.

    Ok, so I guess now that Google has declined the buyout, Microsoft will declare war on them. They'll probably buy one of the lesser search engines, church it up a bit, slap some generic name on it like "Pinpoint" or "Searchlight" or some shit like that, market the hell out of it, and make it the default for every possible search function that exists in Windows.
  • I actually read the NYT article in the print edition a few days ago (nice scoopin' /.!), and my understanding of the article was that Google planned to do an IPO that would value it at about $15B, and later issue about $2B more of stock that would be sold through alternative means.

    The idea being that the $2B issue gets you a lot of individual investors who are passionate about your company, as well as $2B in cash if you're lucky.

    The $15B is sought from the IPO because, Google being a hot property, buzzwor
  • Google will be taken ove and made "platform specific" or pay to play ... and an "open source" google does not exist and would be impossible to create.
  • what's the deal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dh003i ( 203189 ) <[dh003i] [at] [gmail.com]> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:21PM (#7374361) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad that Google decided to maintain their independence, but what would be so bad if they were taken over by MS? After all, it is the decision of those who currently own Google, not ours. They're going to make a decision based on what they think is good for them and their company.
  • control (Score:3, Funny)

    by gid13 ( 620803 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:33PM (#7374435)
    If I buy stock, do you think they'd take my suggestion to offer a torrent search (similar to Google Images, maybe) more seriously?
  • remember hotmail. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dark Fire ( 14267 ) <clasmc@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:40PM (#7374471)
    hotmail was a great service and I had an account when I was in college. I remember the day that I found out that microsoft was taking over hotmail. I signed up for a yahoo account. I held on to my hotmail to see if the quality of the service would drop. It was ok for a while, then I saw rumors of microsoft trying to convert hotmail over to its technology. The service started becoming very unreliable, it sometimes took 3 months to get an email through. To this day, the service still has problems, it took many years for them to get the service to the point that you could rely on it again. Microsoft has never release any information on the hardware required to run hotmail. I would speculate that the cost of the software/hardware to run hotmail most likely would make the service infeasible by anyone but microsoft since hotmail probably either gets the software for free or at a discount. The hotmail switch was made in order to prove microsoft's technology to other people. The amount of $$$ spent getting it to where it is today must have been staggering.

    Now look at google. They use about 8000-10000 linux 1u servers to run their software. Imagine how long it will take microsoft to switch google's software over to their technology. And the cost? Will it even be possible with 1u servers? Or will they need huge 32 processor unisys servers running windows datacenter? google will go down the tubes if microsoft takes them over because they will try to port google's software from the linux platform to the windows platform, and money will be no object.

    Hopefully, google won't sell out.

    On a side note, it makes microsoft look pretty desperate since they were bragging about working on technology to defeat google just the other day. Apparently it must be a much more monumental task than they originally envisioned...
  • Clean as Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by presearch ( 214913 ) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @11:31PM (#7375267)
    Google needs to stay clean and as independent as possible until
    the grow about 10x. At that point, they've got something that's
    -really- interesting.

    If they have even the smallest partnership with M$, it will poison
    them and they will die, as it has poisoned all of those companies in the past.
    M$ involvement would only be good for M$, not for Google's users,
    it's customers, or the company itself.

    It will be difficult to resist temptation up to the 10x point, but by
    then even M$ will be marginalized. Should be fun to watch.
    Good luck guys. Keep it pure.
  • by ratfynk ( 456467 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @11:59PM (#7375369) Journal
    Just for a laugh I decided to try the acid test. I searched Google for linux Results; (top 6)

    News: The Linux Documentation Project Turns 10 - Slashdot - 31 Oct 2003 Motorola Launches Linux-Based Phone - PC World - 31 Oct 2003 Try Google News: Search news for linux or browse the latest headlines

    The Linux Home Page at Linux Online Linux Online, ... Linux is a free Unix-type operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers around the world. ... Description: Comprehensive information and resources about the Linux Operating System. Category: Computers > Software > Operating Systems > Linux > Directories www.linux.org/ - Similar pages

    Linux.com: Linux news, information, software, documentation, and ... Linux.com, New to Linux? Start Here. October 31st, 2003, ... Click Here. Linux News, section sponsor. IBM eServer xSeries + Linux: get IDC report. - Latest News -. ... Description: A Linux portal and directory. Category: Computers > Software > Operating Systems > Linux www.linux.com/ - 58k - 1 Nov 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

    Red Hat -- Linux, Embedded Linux and Open Source Solutions Red Hat is the destination for Linux, Embedded Linux, and open source solutions. We provide Linux-based support, documentation, downloads, training. ... Description: Official site; news, support, documentation, whitepapers, downloads, consulting, training, embedded... Category: Computers > Software > ... > Linux > Distributions > Red Hat www.redhat.com/ - 29k - 1 Nov 2003 - Cached - Similar pages - Stock quotes: RHAT

    Debian GNU/Linux -- The Universal Operating System Debian GNU/Linux is a free distribution of the GNU/Linux operating system. It is maintained and updated through the work of many ... Description: Official site. One of the most important distributions, uses only Free Software as defined by FSF.... Category: Computers > Software > ... > Linux > Distributions > Debian www.debian.org/ - 17k - 1 Nov 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

    The Linux Documentation Project is now on tldp.org The Linux Documentation Project is working towards developing free, high quality documentation for the Linux operating system. The ... www.linuxdoc.org/ - 16k - 1 Nov 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

    The Linux Kernel Archives The Linux Kernel Archives. Welcome to the Linux Kernel Archives. ... Many thanks for your support! The Linux Kernel Archives Mirror System. ... Description: This is the primary site for the Linux kernel source. Category: Computers > Software > Operating Systems > Linux > Kernel www.kernel.org/ - 18k - 1 Nov 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

    Then I searched MSN

    RESULTS (TOP 6)

    FEATURED SITES - ABOUT # Amazon.com Buy Linux software at the Amazon.com software store. www.amazon.com

    # eBay Find great deals on Linux software and accessories. Also find millions of other items in over 18,000 categories. www.ebay.com

    # Introducing Linux Find the latest news and information on this operating system. tech.msn.com

    # Alternatives to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP Learn about the Microsoft alternatives and how to move to them from open source products. www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/migration

    WEB DIRECTORY SITES - ABOUT # Linux Online Provides support, advice on getting started, a bookstore and sections for downloading applications, hardware, and distributions. www.linux.org

    # Linux Journal Previews the upcoming issue and presents selected articles from past issues. Includes subscription details and related links. www.linuxjournal.com

    If you follow the google links you can actually easily find out linux distros and learn about lots about linux. All and all it goes to show how a search engine can slant results in favour of a company. To alow MS to take over internet search is like sending the mouse to see the cat.

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