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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Did Google and Sun Really Declare War on Microsoft?

Posted by @ 12:09 am

Google and Sun Microsystems last week announced a cooperation agreement regarding the promotion and distribution of their software technologies. Sun has agreed to include the Google Toolbar in its downloads of the Java Runtime Environment, and the press release also mentions that Google and Sun have agreed to “explore opportunities to promote and enhance Sun technologies, like the Java Runtime Environment and the productivity suite”.

The Australian newspaper “The Courier Mail” seized on this fairly vague statement and boldly declared that “Internet search engine Google has declared war on Microsoft, announcing plans to launch free spreadsheet and word-processing software online.” As attention-grabbing as this may sound, there’s really nothing in the press release to indicate that such a thing will happen with certainty or what timeframe the two companies may be looking at.

On the other hand, the optional inclusion of the Google Toolbar in the Java downloads poses some interesting privacy questions since Google could be able to gather vast quantities of information about user activity, with users possibly not realizing that this is happening.

Discussion (5 - comments)

Big Deal Microsoft is looking more and more like the good guy, (which is probably closer to the truth. than thinking Google got to this point by playing fair.) Search my potatoe – nothing more than lots of spuds!

By Anonymous - October 11, 2005

Agreed, I never thought I would be rooting for M$, but I find that Google is becoming a worse monster than Billy and co. ever were.

By Anonymous - October 11, 2005

I hope that we don’t misinterpret this to be mean Microsoft is now a victim when in fact they are still most dominant. Between Microsoft and Google there is no escape. The search engine war may actually have positive spinoffs for us mere mortals by making it possible to scale back Microsoft’s arrogance since Google is another giant on the internet.

For Sun Microsystems this is an opportunity to be vindictive or at least come back at Microsoft. Unless Microsoft can turn around MSN so that it becomes good if not better than Google then they are losing the search engine market.

By Vusi Moloi - October 11, 2005

OK here is an opportunity for the masses to get an office software that doesnt cost hundreds of dollars. Bill has lots of money and so does Google / Sun. I have several office programs on my computers (MS on one Open O on another and supreme office on another.) MS office 2003 pro cost big bucks. The others were free Hmmmm. As far as the google toolbar goes dont most people allready have that on their computers. Same with the Java runtime. Some software companies allready ask if you want the Yahoo toolbar and the ADD box is checked to add it. If your not paying attention when clicking the “next” boxes you end up with the yahoo toolbar and wonder how you got it. As long as they give you an obvious choice to install or not install the toolbar while your puting the java on your computer, Who Cares! If they dont give you a choice then that would be like adding spyware. Is Google going in the wrong direction? We will have to wait and see.

By Anonymous - October 11, 2005

As a rule, I don’t use “toolbars” since most of them are just opportunities for companies to add spyware or to just plain spy on your online activities. Will Google and M$ be at war now? I thought they already were!

Competition is good for the consumer – so I say let the competition run its course! In the long run, we the consumer should reap the benefit of a better system for less $$$!

By K-Man - October 25, 2005

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