Thou dost protest too much, Robert

The Scobleizer is more than a tad upset that everyone is so excited by Google’s hosted Gmail project (he calls some of the posts “rewritten press releases”) and complains that no one is giving Microsoft any love, despite the fact that its Live domain project has been around for awhile now, and apparently has about 20 universities up and running already.

As I mentioned in a comment on Robert’s post (which you can see in the sidebar, in my CoComents box), that’s a fair point, but to drag the whole conflict of interest bogeyman into it just because a few bloggers run Google ads is way over the top – and it demeans his argument. Like Nick Carr, I find the whole thing a little bizarre. For the record, I’ve made a total of about $0.07 from my Google ads. It’s fine to complain about what you think is unfair treatment, but to impugn the motives of a host of people like Paul Kedrosky is offside (Paul’s hilarious response is here).

The bigger question, of course, is why Google’s move got so much “press” and Microsoft’s didn’t. The simple answer is that Google is cool and Microsoft is not. When it comes to email and hosted applications, Google is the upstart competitor and Microsoft is the dominant player – who wants to root for the dominant player? No one. People like to cheer for the underdog (although I admit that calling a company with a market cap of $110-billion an underdog seems a little odd).

I also find it interesting that at Dare Obasanjo’s blog, right underneath his post complaining about how little attention Microsoft gets for things, is a post about how confused the company’s marketing is when it comes to MSN and Live.com. Could that be part of the problem? Vinnie Mirchandani of Deal Architect thinks the lack of marketing support might have something to do with Microsoft’s desire to avoid cannibalizing Outlook. And old-media defender Scott Karp thinks bloggers need some kind of “Chinese wall.”

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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