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"Is it illegal? Is it cheating? Is it unfair?" Who cares? Google already got everything it needed out of this situation: a gigantic PR win, and a morale boost for their own team. Well played.

I'm not sure how gigantic that PR win is, if I had to come to HN to hear about it.

Give it a day to percolate and then we'll see if I'm wrong. I obviously might be.

just after i read this i see an articel on this on the frontpage of financial times germany


headline: googles trap for microsoft

give it time ... that headline sells itself. If Google pushes the issue, it should be on every night news report by tomorrow night.

I'm not sure Google wants to get pulled into a conversation about automated tracking of user search data.

PR "wins" can become PR nightmares in a blink.

Told ya!

Not a PR win for Google from my point of view. I'm a huge Google fanboy (daily user of the search engine, Gmail, Google Apps, Android, Google Voice, etc), but this whole situation is a PR stain on them for me.

Firstly because I think they originally misunderstood the manner in which Bing's results were being influenced by their own, and then secondly because if they are going to complain about Microsoft collecting information about their user's usage patterns -- well, that's really, really hypocritical coming from Google. Lastly because the whole thing smacks of high school level gossip. If Microsoft is really doing something out of line, handle it in some other way than engaging in a gossipy blog war.

To reiterate, I'm actually a Google fan, I'm OK with trading some privacy for useful services, but if they are going to bang on Microsoft for collecting user usage information, well that's about the worst case of the pot calling the kettle black I've ever heard of in the tech industry.

I'm happy for Google. Now can they get back to improving their search results? The changes they made last week (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2152286) did help some technical searches, but many results are still being overwhelmed by SEO spammer crap.

Got any good examples? Looks much better to me.

I agree in principle, disagree in detail; this is a loss for Bing. Google isn't going to get much further benefit out of this but Bing is going to have egg on its face.

Discussing the hypotheticals of the situation as others are doing is interesting (serious), but irrelevant. The court of public opinion isn't going to care about that nuance and will find against Bing if this goes viral. All of the other defenses won't matter either, "everyone is doing this" and so on. Public opinion won't care.

I have to agree with you. After reading all comments in the thread it seems like the best bet for Google is to use this to make MS look bad. Using the cheating in school test analogy. If you get caught cheating, it is a blow to your reputation.

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