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« Clearing Up Some of the Confusion Over HDTV | Main | Listening to Sirius Radio on Windows Mobile »

February 04, 2008

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Chris Carlin

Google's concerns have little to do with protecting its search and advertising dominance from competition. Instead, it's voicing questions about other areas of the deal: email and instant messaging.

It's not seeking to lock others out of its market through political wrangling. Instead, the company, which knows it needs to expand, is trying to make sure it won't be locked out of other markets itself.

Now to be fair, Google's no saint. There are plenty of instances to call Google to task over its behavior in protecting its market. This just doesn't happen to be one of them.

Stephen Skarlatos

I disagree with Google's and your assertion. On the IM front Microsoft + Yahoo is still smaller than AOL. On the email front, this is a free service subsidized by advertising. Google advertising revenue is much greater than Yahoo and Microsoft. I think there are enough players to balance the playing field and let the best innovator win...

Chris Carlin

The distinction between email and IM is inappropriate as Microsoft, Google, and others are headed toward a seamlessly integrated platform. Total accounts is what matters, not email or IM, and the one with more has a serious high ground.

Also irrelevant is the source of funding. That advertising supports these offerings has nothing to do with it: the company still wants and needs users regardless of who writes the checks.

One distinction you neglect is the fact that one party owns the gateway. As we saw in the various platform wars of the past (office, browser, etc), MS isn't afraid to use its position as the source of the dominant PC OS to stand in the way of its competition. Combine that with the fact that MS-Yahoo isn't far behind AIM in terms of IM users and the huge inertia of such a social platform and there's plenty of reason to worry.

Again: this is Google looking to enter a market soon and seeing Microsoft, the company who's known for playing dirty, making moves that will, at best, make it slightly harder to find a level playing field.

There's no doubt at all that innovation is at least threatened by this environment.

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