From Gizmodo, another reminder about Microsoft’s past:
This is the Microsoft we know from the last century, before great underdog products like Xbox and Zune. This is from a company who’s CEO recently told us that sales are more important than critical acclaim, preferring profit over better product. And this is a company that gets in its anticompetitive digs when it can: For example, in Internet Explorer, it’s really hard to set Google as your default browser, not being listed in the alternative choices to Bing. Yet, in Google Chrome, it’s easy to set Bing as the default search. […]
People, I’m telling you, this is bad news. People talk about net neutrality like it’s only about the data’s prioritization over the pipes. But what good is equivalence in data speed and prioritization if you can’t find it in the first place?
From eCommerce Times, on the gamble this is re traffic:
“If you’re giving up a big percentage of potential exposure to your existing or potential customer base, can you make up for that somehow? That’s like canceling your ads on the Super Bowl. There’s more potential detriment here to News Corp.”
From TechDirt, on the flawed vision:
But the key thing is that none of this does anything to help users. And that’s the problem. It’s not adding even the tiniest sliver of additional benefit to users. And these days, that’s a strategic error. If your business is focused on making life more difficult for a competitor, rather than adding more value to users, you’re doing the wrong thing.
From BoingBoing (Rob Beschizza, not Cory) on just how much Steve Ballmer may hate Google:
But there’s one gamble which does make some twisted sense: that Microsoft is an irrational consumer. It’s easy to believe that it may spew senseless riches into publishers’ pockets, radically distorting the news market, just to spite Google.
From the NZ Herald, a summary of the emotions coloring this announcement (the myth of rationality, front and center):
NewsCorp is furious that Google pays it not a dime for the content it skims from its global publishing empire, while Microsoft is fed up with seeing its own search engine service, relaunched earlier this year as Bing, so comprehensively outgunned.
From Hitwise, more data (emphasis added)
As of last week, WSJ.com’s referred and non-referred traffic from Google and Google News amounted to 15.3% and 11.0% respectively. […] The potential loss of Google News traffic is potentially more serious. As reported here, over the three years, WSJ.com’s traffic from Google News has grown from 2% to over 11%. As we see in the table below, the Journal is receiving more than double the traffic from Google News than newspaper sites overall (a custom category including national and regional papers). Bing, a potential News Corp. suitor for search exclusivity provides less than half of Google News’ volume as of last week.