Microsoft and News Corp.: A Tag Team of Giants Will Challenge Google

November 23, 2009

Government regulators are powerless when it comes to online. The best bet, in my opinion, is for large online companies to act as if litigation and regulator hand holding was a cost of doing business. While the legal eagles flap and the regulators meet bright, chipper people, the business of online moves forward.

The news that News Corp. and Microsoft are, according to “Microsoft Offers To Pay News Corp To “De-List” Itself From Google”, and other “experts”, these two giants want to form a digital World Wrestling Federation tag team. In the “fights” to come, these champions—Steve Ballmer and Rupert Murdoch–will take on the unlikely upstarts, Sergey the Algorithm Guy and Larry the Math Whiz.


Which of these two tag teams will grace the cover of the WWF marketing collateral? What will their personas become? Source:

The idea is to “pull” News Corp. content from Google or make it pay through its snout for the right to index News Corp. content. The deal will probably encompass any News Corp. content. Whatever Google deal is in place with News Corp. would be reworked. News Corp., like other traditional media companies is struggling to regain its revenue traction.

For Microsoft a new wrestling partner makes sense. Bing is gaining market share, but at the expense of Yahoo’s search share. Microsoft now faces Google’s 1,001 tiny cuts. The most recent is the browser based operating system. There is the problem of developers with Microsoft’s former employees rallying the Google faithful. There’s the pesky Android phone thing that went from a joke to a coalition of telephone-centric outfits. There’s the annoyance of Google in the US government. On and on. No one Google nick has to kill Microsoft. Nope. Google just needs to let a trickle of revenue slip away from the veins of Microsoft. The company’s rising blood pressure will do the rest. Eventually, the losses from the 1,001 tiny cuts will force the $70 billion Redmond wrestler to take a break. That “rest” may be what gives Google the opportunity to do significant damage with its as-yet-unappreciated play for the TV, cable, and independent motion picture business. Silverlight 4.0 may not be enough to overcome the structural changes in rich media. That’s real money. Almost as much as the telephony play promises to deliver to the somewhat low key team of Sergey the Algorithm Guy and Larry the Math Whiz


Sergey the Algorithm Guy and Larry the Math Whiz take a break from discussing the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test of normality. Training is tough for this duo. Long hours of solitary computation may exhaust the team before it tackles the Ballmer-Murdoch duo, which may be the most dangerous opponent the Math Guys have faced.

I look forward to the fight promoter to pull out all the stops. One of the Buffers will be the announcer. The cut man will be the master, Stitch Duran. The venue will be Las Vegas, followed by other world capitals of money, power, and citizen concern.

Nicholas Carlson reported:

Still, if News Corp were to “de-list” from Google, we’d expect to see all kinds of ads touting Bing as the only place to find the Wall Street Journal and MySpace pages online. Maybe that’d swing search engine share some, but we doubt it.

Several observations:

  1. Without traffic, and the News Corp. sites will face a very expensive marketing campaign to attract users. Traffic is the name of the game. Google’s is organic. The Ballmer-Murdoch outfit will be dealing with inorganic methods. Different game for this tag team.
  2. Google continues to morph its semi-autonomous algorithms. I know this is dull stuff, but with those smart algorithms, the Google can [a] generate news stories from factoids from its normal content processing methods and [b] assemble these into stories, reports, dossiers, or whatever else the Google fancies. This “output” may be something the Google wants to copyright.
  3. Google has in place the plumbing to go directly to people and have those people “write” news. I know the Math Guys insist that their firm is not a “publishing company”, but I have spent lots of hours reading technical papers and patents that provide ample evidence that Google can go direct to a “talent”, sign them up to produce content, and turn around and monetize that content with ads or micropayments. Look at the Univision deal for a model. Here’s a link to a Murdoch property to make the irony some what more tasty to me.

To wrap up: This will be a fun series of fights to watch. Will it be pay-per-view on Keep in mind that I am an addled goose and offering my opinion. I am not a “search expert” or an azure chip consultant. Those folks are much more on the ball than this addled goose could hope to be.

Stephen Arnold, November 23, 2009

I must disclose to the Nevada Gaming Commission that I have not been paid to point out that this series of fights will take place between the contenders Ballmer and Murdoch against the tricky and deceptive champions, Sergey the Algorithm Guy and Larry the Math Whiz. Furthermore, no step in the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test is tainted by collusion, inorganic substances, or excessive testosterone.


2 Responses to “Microsoft and News Corp.: A Tag Team of Giants Will Challenge Google”

  1. Labor Law Attorney on November 23rd, 2009 8:26 pm

    Microsoft is buy might be better in the future

  2. BTeam on June 14th, 2010 3:08 am

    This is definitely a movie i will purchase when released in Blu-Ray.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta