As Google & Microsoft aim their Death Stars at each other…

I’ve been watching this business with Google’s public outcry against Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo, complaining that it risks monopolization of the Internet.

Is there anyone else out there for whom this seems like Emperor Larry Palpatine sitting in his Death Star complaining about how Emperor Bill Palpatine, sitting in his own Death Star, is plotting to take over the empire of Emperor David Palpatine (sitting, you know, in Death Star #3)?

The Financial Times on Monday (2/4/2008) gave the outwardly virtuous reasons Google is upset:

Google objects to a Microsoft-Yahoo deal because it feels a tie-up would put the software company in a position to undermine the principles of “openness” on which the web is based, according to a person close to the company. Freedom to connect across the internet would be at risk, according to this view, as would the internet’s future as an open platform supporting widespread innovation.

Still, the impression I cannot help but be left with is one of a nervous would-be world conquerer worried that someone else may grab the world first. I’m not normally the cynical type (am I?), but “altruism” is not the word that comes to mind when I think of Google’s plans for world domination the Internet.

And Microsoft’s previous complaint about Google’s bid for DoubleClick, mentioned in the same article, also strikes me as funny:

Microsoft claimed that such a deal could leave Google with inordinate power to control online advertising as it became the lifeblood of many internet companies.

Yes, I’m sure that Microsoft is truly repulsed by the idea of someone else having “inordinate power” to control anything on the Internet.

When it’s Palpatine versus Palpatine like this, it’s hard to know whom to root for. In the meantime, I’m buying a ticket to Yavin IV…

5 thoughts on “As Google & Microsoft aim their Death Stars at each other…

  1. Ed Ewert

    My main interest in this is the fact that those who control search engines can control the results of a search based on their political biases. More specifically, Google has a leftist agenda which affects the advertisements that they will or will not allow, and also, which sites will show up in a search. Their cooperation with the Chinese gov’t in self-censoring what information gets through to China is some of the better documented aspects of how they do their work.

    As a result, I prefer to use a different search engine than Google (I use alltheweb.com instead, which is part of the Yahoo operation, I believe).

  2. I don’t know if this image code will work here, but if it does, here’s a related comparison that might apply in this case too:

    [IMG]http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb291/johanan_rakkav/Comic%20Strips/My_Cage080128.gif[/IMG]

    If it doesn’t work, just delete the comment.

    [Editor: Click HERE for the comic strip I believe you are trying to put here, and click on January 28. Also: “Ha!” — WGS]

  3. Anyone whining about whether Google is Left or Right has little concept of the hugeness of the Google contribution unless they have found the org that will make the cross-over to the K of G unchanged.

    Who can work today as effectively without Google as with Google? The Google contribution is hugely large.

    But it is true that a Yahoo sale to Unca Bill’s Microsoft could be bad for Minnows, as pointed out by the New York Times.

    Like the shrinking Middle Class in America, the shrinking of major players in the technology arena is nothing short of a harbinger of bad things – in this case, for the End User.

    And right here on earth notwithstanding any commercial make-belief about other planets!

  4. Pursuant to Ed Ewert’s & Kildrum’s comments:

    Even in applications of technology, there is no such thing as metaphysical neutrality. SOMEONE’s point of view is going to be favored, if only by default. It might as well be GOD’S point of view — as it will be, in God’s own time.

    Meanwhile, what we have here is metaphysics on another level: a basically selfish, three-way power struggle between companies with different philosophies not just about technology, but about society. No matter who wins, the results won’t be good under those conditions.

    Take the MyCage comic one step further: the Borg from Star Trek vs. the Death Star from Star Wars vs. the Shadows from Babylon 5. A classic independent gamers’ setup. Think “Kobayashi Maru” (that’s a Star Trek joke).

  5. David

    You are so funny. Do you always look at the world through Star Wars glasses? Did I ever tell you that I sat on the levi behing by house and watched the original movie playing at the drive about a dozen times? And that was with no sound! Anyhow, that didn’t have anything to do with the topic at hand, but I just couldn’t stop laughing at the SW parody. Can’t wait to see you at camp. Tell boy #1 and boy #2 I said hello!!

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