Gun Shots and Knives: Wizard Suggests the Google Is Dangerous

March 28, 2009

As an addled goose, I ask quite a few questions about the articles I read. I try to be frisky, or as frisky as a fat, dumb, half deaf, poor sighted addled goose can be. I let out a bewildered honk when I read “How Google Shot Microsoft after It Took a Knight to a Gunfight” here. The headline interested me. I noticed the “it”, and I was not sure which antecedent applied. Next I remarked on the use of words routinely filtered by some of my more interesting customers; specifically, “knife” and “gun fight”. Needless to say, I paddled over to the article and dipped my beak.

The story pivots around the behavior of Google and its softened nemesis Microsoft. A Microsoft executive pointed out that the GOOG, as it ages, loses some agility. I too have remarked on the Google’s somewhat tame response to Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. I am not Microsoft, so Google’s sleek and savvy wizards ignore me the way I overlook plastic bottles floating in this addled goose’s mine drainage filled pond.

The Google did notice Microsoft’s jab. And Googzilla roared. The article summarizes what the GOOG did and offered other examples of what was described as poking

at Google with a stick, and in short order, Google took a baseball bat to Microsoft’s head. But as I keep saying, this is a search war that Microsoft is involved with. It’s deadly serious. If Ballmer it going to talk about “advantages” he thinks his company has over Google in search, he needs to be damn sure they really are advantages. Otherwise, he can expect to have more cans of whoopass opened up on him by Google.

I find this quite exciting. Several reasons:

  1. A live and ambient pundit is documenting Google’s approach to public relations
  2. The metaphors used to describe the interaction of Google and Microsoft are escalating to images that suggest life and death
  3. The article makes it clear that those engaged in other aspects of search and content processing now recognize that the world has changed.

Knives, gun shots, and life and deadly serious are terms to notice. I am delighted that the behavior which I thought I had documented in my 2003 to 2005 work is this day news. Not Twitter speed but good enough for the newer version of the Hatfield and the McCoys of search.

Stephen Arnold, March 28, 2009


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