Tony Perkins has some insights into Gates’ sudden obsession with Google:
Mr. Gates could have two motivations here. First, he could be genuinely announcing well in advance his intentions to produce a grander, more elegant search engine than Google, and thereby start grabbing market share. Or, more coyly, he could be trying to put downward pressure on Google’s almost-pending IPO market cap so Microsoft can then swoop in buy a post-IPO Google at a reasonable price.
The go-it-alone approach for Microsoft could include trying to integrate its MSN search into the Windows operating system in the same way as it did Internet Explorer. This prospect appears to have the Google boys the most rankled. One would suspect that they are praying the Justice Department consent decree is strong enough to prohibit Microsoft from making search an integral part of its operating system. In Davos, Mr. Gates would only say that Microsoft will be introducing its own search technology later this year.