Google AOL deal has silver lining for Microsoft

Though losing the high-profile America Online Inc. deal (AOL) to Google Inc. is a major blow to Microsoft Corp., the software company could still benefit from the union because customers may see it as a case of Google playing favorites, analysts said Tuesday.

Giving AOL expanded rights to banner advertising on Google could help Microsoft win more advertising business for its search service because it could rub existing Google customers the wrong way, they said.

Google has always portrayed itself as a level playing field for customers to display their advertising, said Rob Helm, research director with Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Washington. But by giving AOL a deal to display banner ads and to directly sell Google search advertising, the search engine company opens itself up to more criticism from industry pundits as well as customers who may feel slighted by the move. "It's going to weaken Google's claim on being the neutral front end [to search]," he said. Google-AOL deal has silver lining for Microsoft | InfoWorld | News | 2005-12-20 | By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service

Linked by shanmuga Tuesday, 20th December 2005 9:28PM