Recent news on Jeremy Zawodny’s blog in relation to the new MSN Search facilities and an MSNBot hitting sites has really stirred up the zeal in many a blogger with calls to block the bot lead by
Jonathan Franzen Maciej Ceglowski of Idle Words The Blog Herald says, lets support competition, with a sense of irony given that Googles competition is coming from the planets largest monopolist.
Having noted that Microsoft is like the German Army facing the French in 1940, we would like to think that Google is more similar to the Russians at the same period, mighty and all controlling, and will most likely take a bit of a hit in the short term but will be resilient over time. There will be a siege of Leningrad and a battle for Stalingrad at some stage in the future, whatever Germany (sorry Microsoft) does it does very well, and the SS Waffen (sorry the Microsoft elite) will try very hard in Blitzkreiging the opposition.
Aside from fun with anicdotes though, the logic of the MSNBot boycott seems solely based on anti-Micro$oft sentiment only and not based on any reasonable allowance that it is the same free internet that allows our diversity of speech in blogs that companies are able to freely provide competition in Internet search. Further a common theme is defending the independents in reference to Google when according to Onestat.com Google had 53.2% market share in August 2002 v 20.4% for the once mighty Yahoo and 9.4% for MSN. These stats were not suprisingly found using Google search, and whilst reflecting the US market, outside of the US Google market share would be higher again.
Google has come in for some criticism on the net and mainstream media for its current near monopolist approach and secrecy in relation to its internet listings. Try looking at hate Google in Google for some idea of some of the anti-google sentiment. Many companies are made or broken by their Google listings.
This editor believes that MSN may provide some better competition for Google, and can only help in driving Google to improve its openess and increase its development.
For those boycotting, I will happily take your links on MSN :-)