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Summary:

Microsoft’s recent moves to play nice with Yahoo (first on IM and then more recently on an open book project) and Real Networks are part of its efforts to portray itself as a nice cuddly giant, aka Shrek. Of course, by teaming up with Yahoo backed […]

shrekMicrosoft’s recent moves to play nice with Yahoo (first on IM and then more recently on an open book project) and Real Networks are part of its efforts to portray itself as a nice cuddly giant, aka Shrek. Of course, by teaming up with Yahoo backed Open Content Alliance, also is a chance to portray Google as the egomaniacal evil company that is fighting the publishers and what not. Pip Coburn would describe this whole open content thing as non-news news. Anyway the recent events prove what Fortune magazine hinted in a cover story a few months ago. Nobody bothers Microsoft more than Google. Or Apple, as the Real deal indicated. Is it me alone who sees that Microsoft needs the halo of others as it tries to change its image?

  1. I think people should be scared of Google Base!!

    ~jenn~
    http://www.milliondollarsweethearts.com

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  2. Tim O’Reilly seems to think so too.

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  3. oh finally tim and i have something to agree upon. nice.

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  4. Microsoft has always operated this way. When I worked there in the mid to late 90’s, they were terrified of AOL. Before that they had various others (Oracle, Apple, etc.) who pissed them off and scared them. They work best that way, I guess.

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  5. MSFT has been a ruthless king of the hill. Now it is up against powerful forces that will put it out to pasture with IBM. A powerful big company but no longer setting the adgenda.

    Google has not shown a desire to put the competition out of business. It simply offers a business model that forces the other players to adapt or be gone.

    The law suits against Google print are designed to slow Google down long enough for the other players to catch up. Your halo analogy is a good one. MSFT has been willing to be the big bully but it now needs backup up on the school yard. On the one hand, MSFT is telling the teacher that Google is not playing fair and on the other hand MSFT is trying to make as many alliances as it can.

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  6. good points jack. i did notice the reactionary state of affairs in the valley. the tit-for-tat game is going to cause some serious problems for the likes of yahoo and microsoft. but that’s just my opinion.

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  7. Well, the type of competitors mentioned, Apple and Google, are always the most frightening for folks like Microsoft and Sony. Both take, in Microsoft’s eyes, “indirect approaches” to new trends: which is to say they take very “direct and unfettered approaches” to new trends.

    Apple’s iPod wasn’t innovative. It was obvious in its simplicity and commitment to “what it was meant to do.” It plays music and connects directly to a computer to download such music. No fuss, no muss. No “converging technologies” or ambitions to create new file standards where a standard already exists. Just a simple, iconic music player.

    Google’s goal of becoming the GUI, rather than the OS, of the internet is ambitious but direct. Instead of creating or acquiring a news division in order to replicate news items already available elsewhere online (think MSN), Google simply creates an apparatus for rounding up such news.

    Where only weak or convoluted products exist, companies like Apple and Google will always have clear openings to reinvent the wheel. And this is nearly always the case…

    If Microsoft or Sony had invented the wheel, it would’ve come with spikes on the tires, eject buttons in an inconvenient position, and a set of proprietary spokes that could only be purchased and installed from a licensed wheel developer. Ah yes, and it would’ve played WMV files.

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  8. Bill as Shrek

    Does this picture remind you of Bill Gates? Om at Om Malik’s Broadband blog says Microsoft is trying to re-make itsel in the image of Shrek, a nice cuddly giant, by “recent moves to play nice with Yahoo and Real…

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  9. I have a strong feeling => apple and google are going to join hands! Just imagine the power … If I remember correctly i saw a post somewhere a month back of iTunes music store and google??

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