Behind The Scenes Of Microsoft Takes On Google

Search and Destroy from Fortune (paid subscription required) has some nice details on the war between Google and Microsoft, with a nice lead-off on Bill Gates wondering why back in 2003 that Google was hiring people with skills not for search but for products similar to what Microsoft makes. "We have to watch these guys," he emailed execs.

Yahoo's also in that war, but Google still occupies the high ground that Microsoft wants. It revisits the much discussed issue of Google as operating system, or at least as a software rival to Microsoft, with more quotes of worry on this from Gates. One reason might be the Microsofties heading to Google, including crashing the invite-only affair when its office near Microsoft was opened last year.

Very nice details on MSN Search's Chris Payne making a pitch back in Feb. 2003 that outsourcing search was a bad mistake for Microsoft to make -- instead, it needed to build its own Google-killer technology. Gates, of course, signed off on the new direction, project "Underdog," it was dubbed.

The story revisits what I'd agree was a bad mistake, not to buy the search technology, causing development to take even longer. Then there are more comments and observations on what a challenge the battle has been so far, and how it is far from over.