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Business columns: Google vs. Microsoft: A phony war

Microsoft knows that &ldquo;Bing hasn&rsquo;t a hope of toppling Google as the premier search engine,&rdquo; just as Google knows that Chrome will never dislodge Windows, said Robert Cringely in<strong> </strong><em&

Robert CringelyThe New York Times

There’s nothing business journalists enjoy more than all-out war between two powerful companies, said Robert Cringely. They appeared to get their wish last week, when Google introduced Chrome, a computer operating system billed as a direct challenge to Microsoft’s Windows. But Chrome vs. Windows is just theater—“a form of mutually assured destruction intended to keep each company in check.” The same goes for Bing, Microsoft’s new search technology. Microsoft knows that “Bing hasn’t a hope of toppling Google as the premier search engine,” just as Google knows that Chrome will never dislodge Windows. But while each side recognizes that it can’t defeat the other, neither wants its rival to feel too safe. So the search king rolls out an operating system and the operating system leader counters with a search engine—not to capture the market, but simply to remind the other guy just whom “they’re messing with.”

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