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Amazon Dumping Google for Microsoft? 126

theodp writes "How do you reward Google for letting your CEO buy stock for six cents a share? If you're Amazon, you dump Google for Windows Live Search to power subsidiary Alexa, who has not yet commented on the switch. Other Windows Live Search sightings are being observed at Amazon subsidiary a9.com." From the Search Engine Lowdown article: "The Alexa toolbar's gotten Alexa a bad rap from privacy advocates, though in function it's effect on search results is similar to click stream data that Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask may or may not be using in their determinations of relevance. Wall points out that 'A9 is still powered by Google...' A9 is Amazon's primary search project. Wall wonders, however, if the change in Alexa indicates a larger coming change in Amazon's relationship to Google. I agree. In fact, I see the move as the first Google Dump in the post eBay's-seeking-partners-against-Google era."
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Amazon Dumping Google for Microsoft?

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  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:33AM (#15235942) Journal
    The Alexa toolbar's gotten Alexa a bad rap from privacy advocates, though in function it's effect on search results is similar to click stream data that Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask may or may not be using in their determinations of relevance.

    While that may (or may not) hold true, the key difference there involves how much we trust the company getting the data.

    Google has proven itself, time and again, to act in the best interests of its users, even going up against the DoJ to fight for our privacy rights. Yahoo and MSN don't quite have the same good track record, but they at least don't have a reputation as outright spyware.

    But Alexa? C'mon, Amazon, give us a frickin' break here!
  • Google or MS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:33AM (#15235944)
    Google or MS
    Sony or Toshiba
    Reps or Dems

    Is it me or does pretty much any "choice" we have look like choosing between hanging and shooting?
  • Disgusting. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rachel Lucid ( 964267 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:38AM (#15235957) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone actually FOLLOW Alexa?

    My guess is that this is (the first of) a heavy-handed backlash at Google, orchestrated more by Microsoft and others trying to regain their momentum versus any actual competence for a change on Microsoft's part.

    With the exception of Google Calendar, almost everything Google's done has been high-quality, search-related, plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face applications, and to dump Google for their core product (indexing the internet and keeping track of data, something that Google should PERSONALLY be in the best position to execute, is at best a misguided executive decision to get a kickback from Microsoft and at worse a direct pimp-slap to Google for pure spite.
  • by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:57AM (#15235999) Journal
    "How do you reward Google for letting your CEO buy stock for six cents a share? If you're Amazon, you dump Google for Windows Live Search to power subsidiary Alexa, who has not yet commented on the switch.

    Jeff Bezos is not the sole proprietor of Amazon. It would be unethical for Bezos to award business to Google in exchange for a personal favor that made him more wealthy. As head of Amazon, Bezos has a responsibility to the other shareholders of Amazon. If dumping Google for Windows Live Search to power Alexa is going to maximize shareholder value, then so be it.

    Just because Halliburton gets no bid sweetheart contracts from friends in the government doesn't mean that this is how business should be run.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:25AM (#15236087)
    wrong. google wasn't protecting the privacy of its users, it was protecting itself from the potential public backlash once it was revealed the amount of detailed information they held on each user. And yes, if you use gmail, they can probably predict what you're going to do this upcoming weekend with accuracy.

    they were protecting themselves. you write as if you still believe in the tooth fairy. google has a great marketing strategy, and it's to let naive geeks like you spread misinformation about an angelic company that is in the most EVIL business ever... ADVERTISING. The very goal of advertising is to make people feel insufficient - in short - to make them unhappy. Then it promotes a solution in the form of the pitched product. THERE IS NOTHING MORE UNNECESSARY AND EVIL THAN ADVERTISING.

    Alexa was installed spyware. Google's pimping is so strong that you give them that information for FREE without coercion - then you turn around and proclaim them the second coming. Those google guys are geniuses indeed, but not in the way you think.

    Then you assholes complain when the government, which arguably has no self interest in your information, decides to pass new anti-privacy acts - then you all go search for everything through google, when they need to pass no law to log what you search for - how you search for it, when, where, and to what end. They KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU. And you give it to them for free. not smart, geeks. not smart.

    get your head out of your ass. google is the enemy. they are more insidious than microsoft because there is a desperation in their efforts - they have to scramble and hustle and scratch and claw to stay alive. Once search parity is achieved - they could be in serious trouble.
  • How to detect loonies:

    "the most EVIL business ever... ADVERTISING"

    Ok, now step back, and think about that statement. In a world full of people who build nuclear weapons (e.g. G.E.); research fragrances by injecting bunnies with toxic chemicals; patent genetic sequences; squeeze the third world for cash in exchange for patented, life-saving drugs; grind up tons of sea life per day; build systems to gather all Internet traffic for domestic spying; etc. ... this guy chooses to point the finger at people who attempt to sway your opinion about what to buy as the "most EVIL business ever".

    Think about that.

    And why does he say this? Because it pains the average paranoid to have a large business that spends its time worrying about the impact of its actions.

    Keep in mind, Google has:

    * Moved the banner ad from Internet dominance to second-class status.
    * Contributed substantially to open source development efforts.
    * Countered the growing dominance of Microsoft on many fronts.
    * Revealed government efforts at privacy invasion (did MSN or Yahoo!?)

    Complaints about Google amount to: well, they could do MORE for me!

    If Google bothers you, you need to serious look at your priorities. Sure, they're large and public which makes them more of a source of concern than your average convinience store, but there are companies that spend their time and effort trying to KILL PEOPLE. Google doesn't show up on the evil company radar because there's already too many companies fighting for the right to be there.
  • Re:Google or MS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LilGuy ( 150110 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:38AM (#15236421)
    Hot or Cold
    Bright or Dark
    Sane or Insane

    There are always two extremes to any choice but that doesn't limit the gamut of your decisions.
  • by typical ( 886006 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:00AM (#15236562) Journal
    I've decided that Google-bashing comes down to largely two areas:

    * SEO people and website proprietors bitter that they don't have a higher ranking.

    * People who are alarmed by the growing influence and power of Google and want to cap it.

    The "China thing" was possibly the most absurd slam I've ever seen, where people were complaining that Google was horrible because it followed a country's laws within that country. Good lord. Google doesn't finance private armies to overthrow China's leadership, either. Darn them for not forcibly spreading democracy and promoting revolution. [rolls eyes] I'll take Google's approach over Bush's approach any day, and let the mass of the Chinese people decide whether to revolt or not on their own.

    Google is making an incredibly useful set of products in a highly competitive market and still stomping the competition. While doing so, they are not using underhanded business tactics, they are providing funding to a number of highly-cost-effective open source efforts, and so forth. They have generally done a better job of advocating the privacy of their users than their competitors. They promote interesting CS development. They helped reverse the slide into unusable "media-rich" flashy, slow websites.

    As you said -- they may not be perfect, but they're one of the best things you're going to run into. Maybe someday, when the growth slows and they hit a (real) scandal or two, there will be good reasons to dislike them. Until them, I'm going to sit back and enjoy.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@nOspam.ajs.com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:54AM (#15236990) Homepage Journal
    "So if a company follows the law of a country they operate in, they are free of any ethical considerations?"

    Absolutely not! However, look at what Google did.

    They have agreed to provide a limited version of their search service to China. They didn't agree to modify the information in any other way.

    That's something that I would not be comfortable doing, but it's the only way they can be of any use in China, so it's one of those ugly sorts of situations that you just hope does more good than not.

    On the other hand, look at Yahoo! They're activly supporting the government's efforts to discover and jail reporters who tell the truth.

    I think Yahoo! has crossed the line between complying with the law and being complicit in state-sanctioned wrongdoing.

    Of course, if you're someone who freaked out the moment a company claimed that it would "do no evil" and decided that that was worse than all of the sins of mankind, the China agreement was mana from heaven as it gave you some thin justification for your paranoia.
  • by TheCrayfish ( 73892 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @11:12AM (#15237126) Homepage
    So if a company follows the law of a country they operate in, they are free of any ethical considerations? How bad must they get before it's enough?

    From an ethical perspective, companies, like governments and individuals, must consider which actions result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In the case of China, most governments and companies have decided that engaging the Chinese government and its people helps more Chinese people than leaving China "to its own devices" would. Many people believe they are acting ethically when engaging in commerce with repressive regimes because they believe the exchange of goods and ideas will lead to more openness and less repression over time. Sure, you can question these beliefs -- and you may choose to believe that disengagement and isolation helps more people than engagement does. The point is, if you can on your beliefs as to what will cause the greatest good, and Google acts on their beliefs (though different from your own,) you are both acting ethically.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire