The Village View

Friday, March 17, 2006

How Microsoft could disrupt Google search

Was reading through Google's 10k this afternoon when I came across the paragraph below. Don't know why I hadn't really thought of this before. Imagine if Microsoft made is harder to access any data in an Office format.

Would it harm Microsoft (push folks more towards OpenOffice, Adobe or even Writely) or Google (push folks to MSN for searching) more?


Proprietary document formats may limit the effectiveness of our search technology by preventing our technology from accessing the content of documents in such formats which could limit the effectiveness of our products and services.

A large amount of information on the Internet is provided in proprietary document formats such as Microsoft Word. The providers of the software application used to create these documents could engineer the document format to prevent or interfere with our ability to access the document contents with our search technology. This would mean that the document contents would not be included in our search results even if the contents were directly relevant to a search. These types of activities could assist our competitors or diminish the value of our search results. The software providers may also seek to require us to pay them royalties in exchange for giving us the ability to search documents in their format. If the software provider also competes with us in the search business, they may give their search technology a preferential ability to search documents in their proprietary format. Any of these results could harm our brand and our operating results.

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