Friday, October 31, 2003

Lord Help Us All


SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30 - Wall Street is not the only one wooing Google. Microsoft is as well.

Google, the highflying Silicon Valley Web search company, recently began holding meetings with bankers in preparation for its highly anticipated initial public offering as it was still engaged in meetings of another kind: exploring a partnership or even a merger with Microsoft.

According to company executives and others briefed on the discussions, Microsoft - desperate to capture a slice of the popular and ad-generating search business - approached Google within the last two months to discuss options, including the possibility of a takeover.

While the overture appears to have gained little traction - Google indicated that it preferred the initial offering route, the executives said - it demonstrates the enormous importance that Google represents as both a competitive threat to Microsoft and as Silicon Valley's latest hope for a new financial boom.

Though seemingly spurned, Microsoft may still be interested in pursuing Google at a later date, according to an executive briefed on the discussions.

Let's hope MS is genuinely being spurned. Though others may contradict this, from what I've seen Google so far has been a pretty good, if not perfect, internet player. Let's hope it remains that way.