Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Can one cheat and get away with it with consumers? Microsoft may be doing so. This story relates a complex tale of a sting Google pulled on Microsoft to determine whether Microsoft's search engine, Bing, was copying some Google search results and claiming them as Bing's own. Google has apparently proven that this was what Bing was doing. Nor have the engineers at Bing publicly denied it. It seems Microsoft was -- or still is -- cheating on search results as a strategy to catch up to Google. Google is steamed about it, but what Microsoft is doing isn't necessarily illegal or immoral. One wonders whether consumers will care. It seems unlikely. A consumer goes to a search engine to get answers and doesn't ask how they are derived. Microsoft's reputation may take a beating in the technology community but in the marketplace where it counts, there is a good chance the company will get away with bending the rules.