Representatives from Microsoft and Google have publicly debated, following the accusation made by Google, that Microsoft copied the Google results to the Bing. The controversy began at Tuesday morning on a technology news blog “Search Engine Land”, whose editor, Danny Sullivan, has been directly informed by Google on the matter. According to an article published by Danny Sullivan, Google for several months has suspected Microsoft of being reproducing the results of certain search queries in Google’s search engine on the Bing. As the result, Google has decided to lay a bait to check if the practice is actually happening. Thus, Google encoded random queries whose terms were deliberately randomized, only to discover later, that the results were reproduced identically in Bing. Google believes that queries and the corresponding results are captured on the features included in Internet Explorer and the Bing toolbar.
On Tuesday during the “Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box”, sponsored by Big Think and Microsoft, Matt Cutts, a software engineer working for Google has opened the debate by reporting the finding and demanded an explanation from Harry Shum, the Microsoft’s vice president who attended the event. This accusation sparked a heated exchange between the two men, one repeating the question, the other reiterating its response. At the same time, Microsoft has given its version of events, Stefan Weitz, the director of Bing, stated that they did not copy the Google search results. Steve argued that Bing uses multiple variables and many different approaches for producing results. The main objective is to determine the best results for a given query. Harry Shum called the accusation as a corporate bluff. No one knows what Google plans to do next, or whether the search giant will take legal actions it finds the process is entirely illegal.
Some observers believe, it is Google who is playing the villain role in the disputes over the inappropriate use of others’ works. Google has been criticized for using 3rd-party’s works for its own gain, like Google Books, Google News and the video sharing site, YouTube (acquired in 2006). Although, Google argued that their services have helped publishers to sell books, news sites to get additional traffic and people to share videos.
Some wonder whether this incident reflects a new attitude of Google, as Larry Page, Google co-founder who will take the CEO position in April, is known to be a more explosive and less diplomatic person than Eric Schmidt, the current CEO. Observers believe that Google’s effort to snare Microsoft is a considerable waste of energy that would have been better invested if used to provide better services for consumers.