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Google Muscles Into Microsoft's Turf 246

gollum123 copies and pastes: "AP has a story on how as Google rapidly rolls out new products, the company best known for its wildly popular search engine is muscling into the software giant's turf, including its stronghold: the computer desktop."
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Google Muscles Into Microsoft's Turf

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  • ... then get back to me. Until then , plu-lease, the're just another application , albeit online.
    • It'd be very interesting to see what would come of a Google operating system. I would assume they have the capital and resources to make a viable competitor to Windows. It's a hell of a big risk to try and take them on though.
    • Please remember: an OS is just another application as well.

      If Google pushes the OS into the background then the y do become the "OS", at least in the user's eye.

      This is why M$ wanted to "cut off Netscape air supply". Netscape was pushing the same way.

      As an off shoot look at any browser today, they all support "file:". This was popularized by Netscape, it was also a corner stone to why M$ IE is part of the OS.
      • Please remember: an OS is just another application as well.

        Uhm, what college have you studied at? Please share so that others know to avoid it.

    • So you don't think that Google have ever submited any patched to the linux Kernel or drivers then?
  • Google (Score:4, Funny)

    by oexeo ( 816786 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:04AM (#10887179)
    the company best known for its wildly popular search engine

    That's what Google do! I've always wandered.
    • Re:Google (Score:5, Funny)

      by Teknorat ( 775491 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:05AM (#10887187)
      I used to wander but then my legs got tired so I sat down and began wondering.
    • Re:Google (Score:2, Funny)

      by madaxe42 ( 690151 )
      Yep, if you use google, no more wandering around the internet for you, they'll tell you exactly where to go!
      • Unless you're looking for a review of a product - then, you'll generally get hundreds of links to shopping comparison sites, almost all of which match the word "review" because they say something like "no reviews yet".

        (Yeah, OT, but it's been bugging me for a while)
        • TimC - Wow. I haven't had to teach anyone how to use a search engine since... '94? Say you're looking for a review of the Whizmatic7000. You might start with something like...

          Whizmatic7000 review

          ...Hm. The results are pretty relevant, but there are lots and lots of bogus entries -- they say "no reviews yet" ... Hm. Wouldn't it be great if I could ask google to filter those out for me?

          Whizmatic7000 review -"no reviews yet"

          Simple, eh?

    • Oh well Im the type of nerd who will never settle down

      Where pretty (anime) girls are well, you know that Im around

      I spy on em and I loveem cause to me theyre all the same

      I want to hug em and squeeze em they dont even know my name

      They call me the wanderer yeah the wanderer

      I roam around around around...

      Oh well theres Syn thia on my left and theres Ack tavia on my right And Serena [google.com] is the girl with that Ill be with tonight

      And when she asks me which one I love the best I tear open my shirt I got TUX on

  • Netscape (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nycsubway ( 79012 )
    I thought Netscape was going to do this... about 6 years ago. It hasn't quite happened yet. Firefox is getting much better and has many extensions, but it hasn't quite replaced the windows desktop.

    • Re:Netscape (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ianalis ( 833346 )
      firefox and mozilla does not intend to replace the windows desktop
      • Re:Netscape (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Finuvir ( 596566 ) <rparle&soylentred,net> on Monday November 22, 2004 @10:11AM (#10888055) Homepage
        Firefox and Thunderbird, and their like, may not be replacing the Windows desktop, but they can facilitate the move away from it. Before I moved to Linux this summer I was using Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, the GIMP and Gaim on Windows. That made it a lot easier to move away from Windows than if I was used to IE, Outlook, MS Office, MSN Messenger and Photoshop.
    • Re:Netscape (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ninwa ( 583633 )
      Which goes to show one single person isn't to take entire controll but several companies which specialize in what they do. Isn't that what the market was supposed to be like?
    • Ahem, cough, ahem - Google isn't behind Firefox (though it might be one day if the rumours are true). Google has a desktop search utility...
    • Re:Netscape (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @10:22AM (#10888139) Homepage Journal

      Firefox is getting much better and has many extensions, but it hasn't quite replaced the windows desktop.

      Replacing the Windows desktop is a harder thing to do than to provide adequate and reasonable applications that offer the same functionality as Windows.

      While FOSS, particularly something like Firefox+Thunderbird+OpenOffice, offers virtually all of what people need, the slight differences in user interface and the comfort level with existing Windows applications in most corporate settings will slow growth of Windows competitors to only the most cost-conscious segments of the market.

      That would include universities, the developing world, full of talent and lean on money, and small business owners with more time and expertise than money. People with ideas instead of money.

      Of course, if I wanted mindshare, that's exactly where I'd want it to start. Risk-averse corporate IT departments will eventually climb on board once they see the bandwagon go by without losing a wheel.

  • by m00nun1t ( 588082 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:05AM (#10887185) Homepage
    The abstract suggests (or did to me) that Google are doing something new. No such thing (at least in this article). It's just an editorial piece that basically says "boy, aren't google doing lots of stuff - I guess Microsoft must be getting worried".
  • by thewonderllama.com ( 828359 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:05AM (#10887186) Homepage Journal
    ...they can rely on the quality of their products and their customers' loyalty.
    They shouldn't have any problem competing on a level playing field.
    /painfully straight face ~BS
  • Google Office (Score:3, Interesting)

    by invid ( 163714 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:06AM (#10887196)
    I won't be impressed until I see Google Office. And Gwindows. That will be something.
  • Hyperoffice.com (Score:5, Interesting)

    by madaxe42 ( 690151 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:08AM (#10887211) Homepage
    I wonder how long it'll be before google snap up HyperOffice [hyperoffice.com]. They're based around the apps the guys who made WebOS made, and, to tell the truth, their products are pretty good, it just seems a shame that no-one uses them.

    I'd make a bet that google will buy them out, and ruthlessly remarket, rape, and pillage their software.
  • Ironic .... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:11AM (#10887220) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one who finds it ironic to read about Google's World Domination plans on Yahoo news ? :)

    Google Search - ?
    Gmail - Hotmail
    Desktop Search - ?

    That's how the tally stands for Google ... I won't waste my time explaining what MS has that Google doesn't :)

    But I gotta love http://www.google.com/firefox :)

  • by oexeo ( 816786 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:13AM (#10887228)
    From article: Microsoft launched an Internet browser toolbar that blocks pop-up ads and enables search, years after Google had created its own.

    Get a clue Microsoft! The Google Toolbar supplements basic lack of features in IE (such as auto-complete, search box, and pop blocker). When it's your product, you don't need to add a toolbar extension, you just add the features to to the goddamn browser itself!

    • by SnowWolf2003 ( 692561 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:30AM (#10887327)
      Get a clue Microsoft! The Google Toolbar supplements basic lack of features in IE (such as auto-complete, search box, and pop blocker). When it's your product, you don't need to add a toolbar extension, you just add the features to to the goddamn browser itself!

      actually, MSN released a toolbar that added similar features to the Google toolbar. Microsoft, in XP SP2, did actually add the popup blocker to the browser itself. Although MSN is part of Microsoft, it acts much more like a seperate company, another example of this is MSN Messenger vs. Windows Messenger.
      • Actually, MSN released a toolbar that added similar features to the Google toolbar. Microsoft, in XP SP2, did actually add the popup blocker to the browser itself.

        From before:

        When it's your product, you don't need to add a toolbar extension, you just add the features to to the goddamn browser itself!

        So I think we can revise this statement to be something like:

        When TWO companies have added features your browser lacks via toolbar, you REALLY need to add these features - not just the most obvious one l
      • Although MSN is part of Microsoft, it acts much more like a seperate company, another example of this is MSN Messenger vs. Windows Messenger.

        And what a clusterfuck that turned out to be. Here you have two clients, with different capabilities (MSN has logging, Win has Remote Assistance), running over one network, and requiring that you only be logged into one client at a time. And if that wasn't enough, their default behaviour has them fighting to see which one will log in last (and kick the other client
  • by NivenMK1 ( 755271 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:15AM (#10887239)
    It's imporant to consider that web-based storage of information won't become viable for information other than the odd picture and written document until current internet connections get drasticly faster and more reliable overall.

    It's also important to keep in mind that there are several key differences between web-based software and technologies and system-based software and technologies, especially with regards to an operating system.

    The third consideration is that while Google is making progress, so is Microsoft. Granted, the G-man could catch MS, but I don't think it's quite as immenent as the article intones it to be.
    • It's imporant to consider that web-based storage of information won't become viable for information other than the odd picture and written document until current internet connections get drasticly faster and more reliable overall.

      Of course, a web based word processor with a gig of storage at the back end might make a few people interested - its not that different from a gMail app when you think about it.

      Michael
      • No one, and I mean no one, would use it unless it had two features. I'm just naming these two because I haven't seen any web application that has them.

        First, when you click the close button, it has to pop up a dialog box and ask, "Document has been changed. Would you like to save your changes now?" The possible responses must include the standard choices of yes, no, or cancel.

        Second, when your browser crashes, it has to attempt to save the file and automatically recover it when you start up again. If it

        • HTTP is supposed to be stateless. Cookies violate that

          <pedantic>
          HTTP is stateless. Cookies just make it possible for an application to store information on the client box. The actual state is held on the server, the cookie is just a key telling the server the index into its collection of saved states. HTTP itself doesn't track any state.
          </pedantic>
  • by Fr05t ( 69968 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:19AM (#10887258)
    A few weeks ago I was looking for a document on my company's very large file server. In fact it was a document with notes on a completitors product. So I did a document containing "company name" search. To my surprise it seemed almost ever document in our marketing department and sales departments had mentioned this company in like every second document.

    Several hours later I have a very unhappy looking network admin show up at my office curious about why I have so many documents open. Apparently S&M were trying to open some docs and they were locked by me. So I close the 5 documents I had open and give him the ok. He comes back 5 minutes later. 1500 documents were "locked" for my account. MS's search told had opened, and locked every document it listed in the find window and wouldn't release them until I had shutdown my PC.

    Now the moral of the story is google isnt going to need to do a lot with a desktop search tool to impress me. Maybe I just ask too much of MS :P

  • by jmcmunn ( 307798 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:19AM (#10887259)
    Rather than write an OS, they will just buy someone out who already wrote an OS. Then they will take the code base and the technology and add some Google flare to it. They will make one hell of a search feature, to be sure. Oh wait, it's called Google desktop.

    Just look at what they have done lately. Picaso anyone? Keyhole viewer anyone? They are just taking these little companies in for the base apps to their upcoming OS in my conspiracy theory. After all you can't have a good OS without the bloat that comes pre-installed with it.

    Watch for Google to buy things like an IM chat client, some cheesy MineSweeper game, and some sort of CD burning software. That gives them basically the core of what you get when installing Windows. All they need is the OS...

    Hey, I'd install it when it comes out. Then go straight back to Windows when I need to game. That's the key for anyone trying to contend...make sure you get 100% software compatability, games included. Without that you just won't take over.

    ....End Conspiracy Theory....
    • Google already has an IM client, Hello. Here [hello.com] is their website.
    • [I]That's the key for anyone trying to contend...make sure you get 100% software compatability, games included. [/i]

      Cue Mission Impossible music.
    • If Google wants an OS, why wouldn't they just go with Linux? It's free and they already use it internally so it would only make sense. Though I don't think they want the OS market. At least not any time soon.
    • What's the incentive? Picasa manages photos much better than other free-ish windows tools. Keyhole blows terra way. At the time, the google toolbar was the best pop-up blocker, etc. Its kinda qauint now with Firefox and SP2. Not to mention its spyware (unless you opt for the non-spyware version).

      I don't see how you can go from handy apps, to throwing out the entire OS (and perhaps the PC). To get into the OS game effectively you also have to play the hardware game and even then you gotta fight all those
  • by mordors9 ( 665662 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:20AM (#10887264)
    The question, Garrity said, is whether computer buyers may one day decide that they no longer even need a Microsoft operating system.
    I haven't needed it for years. Used to have a Mac. Now I have been using Linux for several years.
  • by KrancHammer ( 416371 ) <GunseMatt@hot m a i l .com> on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:20AM (#10887266)

    This is the part where Google wakes up in bed with the motherboard of its best server under the sheets with it.

  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:23AM (#10887281)
    The article does not really say. I dont think having a Google search on the desktop means the end of Office. The masses are not ready to commit everything to web based applications just yet. For the forseeable future Google and MS are not (in my opinion anyway) going to be direct competitors on the desktop, unless Google decide to bring out their own Linux distro, or write an OS from scratch. Searching the desktop is just low hanging fruit for Google. Their own distro would still require several years to gain acceptance to the level where they become even a remote threat to MS.

    Even if they were moving in this direction surely a Google web based desktop/app suite poses a far greater threat to Linux then the massively entrenched MS. Its the small players who get killed first in these battles.
    • The masses are not ready to commit everything to web based applications just yet.

      No? Why not? Just about everyone I know uses web based mail today, though there are still a few leftovers (who also happen to still use dial-up so I don't think they really count). People are getting more and more used to doing everything online; really, is there that much difference between writing an email to your friend and writing a letter via "GOffice"? Sure, it's online, but with a broadband connection you probably ca
  • Sensationalist? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ggeezz ( 100957 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:23AM (#10887282)
    The article makes a bold statement that it doesn't really back up. While Google does have the largest market share in web search and will be taking some of the share of desktop search soon, that's a long way from taking over the desktop. And an even farther stretch from making Microsoft's OS obsolete.
  • Aieee! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chess_the_cat ( 653159 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:25AM (#10887300) Homepage
    And after Google announced plans for Gmail, a free e-mail service touting massive amounts of memory, Microsoft said it would boost free memory on its Hotmail accounts.

    This guy doesn't even know the difference between memory and storage so why should I listen to him?

    • Re:Aieee! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Flyboy Connor ( 741764 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @09:21AM (#10887631)
      This guy doesn't even know the difference between memory and storage so why should I listen to him?

      Actually, there is no real functional difference between memory and storage.

      The only difference is, basically, access speed. And since storage nowadays is a lot faster than memory was a decade ago, that difference is only relative.

      You may add that memory is wiped when a computer is turned off, but that is not the case for all kinds of memory, besides the fact that many computers are never turned off.

  • by yorkpaddy ( 830859 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:26AM (#10887303)
    I'm impressed with what google has done. They definetly (?) have a bright core group of people. But they don't have all that much money compared to other players in the computer industry, and those companies haven't succeded in thwarting M$. I think if google made an OS it would be like their website no frills and FAST. I wish them the best of luck.
  • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:27AM (#10887311)
    "If successful, Google could help refashion computing, making people less reliant on storing information on the Microsoft-powered PC on their desk and more dependent on free Web-based e-mail and search functions that can be accessed anywhere from any device regardless of the operating system." - Associated Press, 2004

    "Sun has always believed that a computer connected to a network is much more valuable than a disconnected one. The network is a resource with far more information and service capability than any one computer. It can provide access to its information and services to anyone, anyplace, anytime, on any type of device... The network does not replace the desktop; it extends it, makes it easier to use and much more ubiquitous. It's no longer a question of whether the complexity of software and computing will be moved onto the network. It's a question of how fast will it happen." - Pat Sueltz, Sun Microsystems, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal Nov 15, 1999.

    To think that five years later we're discussing a search engine as a competitor to Microsoft. I can't think of anything that sounds more 1999 than that. The main difference here is, of course, that unlike Sun, you don't need to buy a Google "server" to run these services. They already exist. If Google acquires other web-based businesses (let's say, a direct Salesforce.com competitor or Salesforce.com itself, it's only a billion dollars), then they can very rapidly muscle into this.

    Unfortunately, as someone else mentioned, there isn't much news in this article. I guess it justs gives us /.ers the chance to discuss Google which we haven't done in 4 days so we're getting a bit antsy. Larry and Sergei, by the way, are cashing out stock to the tune of $1bn each [bbc.co.uk]. For those not following the stock, it's up about 65-70% since it's debut [msn.com].

    I'm just waiting for Google to release the "true iPod killer" which can index 5 Libraries of Congress in a minute and weighs less than 1/1000th of a Volkswagen.

  • This is bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prisoner ( 133137 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:30AM (#10887322)
    First of all, let me know when Google finishes their "Google OS". Second, let me know when it will run Half-life 2. Granted, Google has a great search engine and that desktop thing ain't too shabby either but it is, with the exception of mail, variations on a theme. Google isn't so much in the business of coming up with new ideas and bringing them to market, they are just perfecting what others do. I'm not saying it isn't valuable (what other website name has been transformed into a verb) but to compare their handful of products with the breadth and depth of the Ms product line is laughable.
  • objectivity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krayfx ( 694332 )
    one thing striking about google is thier objectivity. every technology has been about bringing the results to the fore. no nonsense. be it email, search, ads, catalog search, picture search, news. i use each of these services almost every single day, and some of it several times a day. and they do it all free- now thats one hell of a company. microsoft does a remarkable job of thier offering - but they are always mired in controversy in more than one ways. dubious methods, and always biased. not that thats
  • Deja Vu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2004 @08:55AM (#10887458)
    Not so long ago, a small technology company made a software that made a specific document format ubiquitous. Technophile pundits hailed it as the end of the Microsoft monopoly. Not long after, a software giant followed up with a software platform that would make programs run on every operating system, and pundits predicted an end to the Windows era. These pundits of course, continued without qualms about their use of Microsoft software, and nobody questioned why anybody would use anything else.

    Fast forward a few years. Microsoft continues to reign supreme. A fad operating system now plays contender, and pundits hail it to take over Windows one day. Nonetheless, everybody, including these pundits, continues to use Microsoft products without qualms. And this has been the status quo for more than 6~7 years, without Microsoft domination subsiding even a wee bit.

    Wake me up when the pundits themselves start to migrate away from Microsoft products.
  • XUL is the sleeper (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sai Babu ( 827212 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @09:02AM (#10887501) Homepage
    Is Microsoft paying attention?

    XUL makes web based application servers practical.
    User gets his desktop but all his 'stuff' resides elsewhere on the net and economy of scale takes general management functions like automated updates, backup, disaster recovery, etc. availabel to the 'small enterprise'. With Suns new biz model of paying for non-security related patches to it's 'free' OS, Sun better watch this as well.

    If there is one threat to Mr. Softie and Sun, it's sleeping through a killer XUL app or two.

  • Gindows will be a modern cluster only operating system that can find what you want before you know you want it. Comes complete with a minibar.

  • A dream (Score:3, Funny)

    by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @09:06AM (#10887527)
    Google has oogles of cash, buys MacOS, releases it on PC. Wanna puff?
  • Get In Line Google (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stinkyfingers ( 588428 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @09:25AM (#10887664)
    We're still waiting for these to come to pass:

    September 3, 2002 [theregister.co.uk]
    November 23, 1998 [cnn.com]
    December 5, 2002 [zdnet.com]

    How long have people been saying the end of Microsoft is upon us?
  • by 16K Ram Pack ( 690082 ) <tim.almond@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday November 22, 2004 @09:28AM (#10887693) Homepage
    We can talk about equivalents, but a high-speed internet is to the desktop what the motor car was to the horse and cart.

    There are already desktop-killing applications out there. The IMDB wiped out certain CD based movie databases. There are route finders that mean I don't have to have autoroute installed. There are CRM systems where you use a web interface and rent the service.

    I'm using Gmail, and I can search for messages as quickly as I can search messages locally.

    This is all the result of more users and faster networks. There's some nervousness still about "my data is online" but it's going to change. People will just do it because the benefits outweigh the risks.

    As 3G grows, hi-speed will be accessible almost anywhere.

  • by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @09:43AM (#10887806) Homepage Journal
    As high speed network connections become more commonplace the mobile public will gravitate towards the best platform to keep their information at their fingertips and not stored on their home pc's which for many are inaccessible from abroad.

    Google's email system is a good example of what thin clients should of been in the first place. The interface is slick, easy to use, and you can click from one function to another and it responds nearly as quick as a desktop based application. And this is over a 155k wireless connection. On my home FIOS system where I have 15mbit downloads it's faster than Thunderbird (Tunderbird however maintains my IMAP folders)

    Regardless. Nx broke some ground with a network accessable desktop that ran Linux. No doubt that once it went Open source Google's engineers laid their hands on it and we may see something really productive.

    Google rolls out a usbkey or firewirekey based product that keeps enough software to boot a network connection and windowing system to open a nx based desktop from any networked pc anywhere in the world. Yes then M$ should be worried becuase Google would of then presented the ultimate thin client that would be far cheaper per seat than any product currently produced so far. And if you think that the backend couldnt handle it you have to remember Google's search engine is ran by huge wharehouses of computers we hardly consider using for fileservers nowdays in one huge grid application.
  • no... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PerlDudeXL ( 456021 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ekcideul.snej>> on Monday November 22, 2004 @10:13AM (#10888068) Homepage
    Google just uses their knowledge in the field of searching and data-mining to create new services for its users.
    plain old google to search the web, gmail to search and archive your mail and a desktop search to search and
    manage your office/media files. it basically all comes down to the management of data.

    Mircrosoft does everything. they want to provide everything for everybody. this is pointless.
    they copy other peoples ideas and sell it as their own.
    ok, they do own research as well. the only area where Microsoft seems to be good in is marketing.
  • by saddino ( 183491 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @10:14AM (#10888082)
    Microsoft denies that Google has been the impetus for improvements in its products. Sohn says the company is simply responding to customer feedback.

    That's a clever dodge given that "customer feedback" is most likely: "Increase Hotmail storage to match Google. And make Hotmail more like Gmail. Oh, and make desktop search as good as Google. Thanks."

    So on one hand, Microsoft defends its entry into markets as "competition is good for the customer" meaning competition pushes innovation, but on the other hand, when others (read: Google) enter its markets, the competition apparently has no effect on its development.

    Nice try, Microsoft. As a market leader its important to deny that competition is even possible, but when you're clearly playing catch-up, comments like these belie your insecurity about your own ability to "innovate."
  • Bottom Line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesl ( 106902 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @11:01AM (#10888475)
    The Google-Microsoft competition is good news for consumers because it means more choices and better products.

    Everything else in the story is just fill.
  • Wonderful Merger. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jhuggart ( 754801 )
    Since google is not planning on releasing their own browser, they could just merge with mozilla. Imagine what could happen if that merger occured. Then Microsoft would have even more to worry about.
  • All this searching just makes me increasingly baffled as to why MS didn't include some cutesy GUI'd analog to slocate in XP. It seems like such a simple, straightforward technology: there's a perl port of it that's like 70 lines.

  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Monday November 22, 2004 @04:55PM (#10892132) Homepage
    From the article:

    The Google-Microsoft competition is good news for consumers because it means more choices and better products

    Ah, right. Thanks. Just like the browser wars!

    Cheers.

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