The blog was written by the IBA editorial team in 2010, just weeks after the launch of the controversial Google Buzz social platform and Microsoft’s much maligned counterpunch, Bing. Ten years on and little has changed. Google is still aggressively collecting tools to watch over our daily lives and Piers Morgan who has ‘graced’ TV screens in the U.S. and the UK, is still ready to take on anything that moves and he can tweet! Sigh!

It’s not just China that’s worried about the new power of Google, it’s you

China knows the power of Google. It insists Google filters searches as per Chinese law, while the rumours grow that the cyberattacks aimed at the Gmail accounts of human rights activists can be traced to China. Oh yes, China understands the power of Google.

Remember when we all thought Microsoft would rule the world, when we stared at that irritating little paperclip as our PC froze and muttered ‘and Bill Gates doesn’t care’. A recent video from certainly seems to be channeling a similar kind of anger against the Google machine.

In the video, a Google ‘spokesman’ explains: “We have never had a single, original idea ever. Our business model is to find something successful that already exists and then use our trillions of dollars to make a Google version. MapQuest sure seems to be popular and profitable. Boom! Google Maps” …he then points out that when Google can’t figure out how to copy something, like YouTube, it just buys it. “We may look innocent with our cutesy holiday logos and April Fool’s pranks, but we run your f*****g lives,” he explains… “If we tell you to buzz, you will buzz.” He responds to complaints about Google Buzz by reminding people that Google can kill you and then giving the camera the finger (“Index this!”).

Buzz gets a wigging in the media

Google would like you to know that it’s very, very sorry that its new Buzz social network treated your social life like any other consumer marketable product. It’s all a big misunderstanding, apparently, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt speaking at the World Mobile Congress last week. No one was actually harmed, no personal data was leaked, and you’re the one who’s confused… get it? Most of us don’t.

The big complaint about Buzz — which started making headlines a day or so after Google rolled it a couple of weeks ago — was that it could accidentally reveal a list of the people you write to most and divulge your email address to people who shouldn’t be able to have that info. On top of that, users have complained that turning Buzz off wasn’t a very simple matter either — sometimes it was really hard to get people to stop following you.

To its credit, Google made some changes relatively quickly. But some privacy advocates still aren’t satisfied. EPIC has filed a complaint with the FTC urging it to require Google to make every little part of Buzz a thoroughly opt-in process — nothing happens unless and until the user says so. Also, no more using Gmailers’ address books to compile buddy lists.

Can Microsoft fight back? The Buzz is about Bing

Reports from our team here is that Bing is good. If you’re looking for press clips, background information, Bing is good.

While Google is busy force-feeding Buzz on its Gmail users so it can claim billions of users in just two days, Microsoft is busy establishing Bing, and doing a good job so far.

Google launched a new, free service and automagically (new word here and I like it) activated it for every Gmail user — is it no wonder that they’re currently enjoying an overnight success? As one U.S. journalist pointed out: “that’s a bit like President Obama strolling back to the Oval Office after the presidential inauguration and bragging about the number of people he has sovereignty over.”

The tough work begins for Microsoft. The Microsoft and Yahoo deal has now received approval from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union to move forward and it looks set at giving Google some competition.

The timing is strategically perfect for both partners. Microsoft launched the Bing search engine in July 2009 which has grabbed 3.3 per cent market share. The success of Bing has also improved the brand image of Microsoft as a search tool. Also Yahoo has been loosing its market share. Hence this makes the time right for Yahoo to ink deal with Microsoft. Yahoo also retains the rights to design sites like Yahoo Olympics, which recently attracted 9.3 million unique visitors to watch the games from Feb. 8 to 14, according to comScore.

The internet seems to be finding a satirical role

This week has seen two Google spoofs making hard points about the growth of this internet giant. Here’s another gem on re the much heralded UK PM Gordon Brown’s Celeb-style TV interview entitled: “Piers Morgan cries during TV interview as Gordon Brown asks about his lost moral compass” – Nice one.

Judith Ingleton-Beer is CEO of IBA International.

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