Microsoft and News Corp: strange bedfellows at their worst reports on a very troubling development. Microsoft and News Corporation are forming an alliance against Google (if you believe them) or against all of us (if you don't). In essence, News Corporation will "de-index" its content from Google in exchange for payment from Microsoft.

At best, this deal is dubious. At worst, it's anti-competitive and forces the users of search engines into a chess game as unwilling pawns. My argument here is not in favor of Google any more than it is in favor of choice of the users and against underhanded tactics on the part of Microsoft.

I can't see the US Department of Justice just letting this go unchecked. I'll just say there's never been a better time to boycott Microsoft than now.

To be fair about it, we do need more choices than Google or Bing. Cuil showed some promise at first (once their bot became better behaved). Several others have come and gone before the age of Google (I still miss many of the searches AltaVista let you do that Google simply does not have functionality for).

In a way, I had hoped Bing would become a serious alternative to Google, just to keep Google honest. I should have known better than to think honesty and anything related to Microsoft belonged in the same thought pattern. Shame on you, Microsoft.