Sergey Brin laments Yahoo's Microsoft search deal

In a surprise appearance at the Web 2.0 Summit, Google's cofounder also said the opposition to Book Search surprises him

Google cofounder and President of Technology Sergey Brin made a surprise appearance at the Web 2.0 Summit on Thursday, answering a variety of questions on hot-button issues affecting the search company.

Interviewed on stage by conference chairman John Battelle, Brin lamented Yahoo's decision to enter into a search outsourcing deal with Microsoft.

"I think it's a shame Yahoo plans to abdicate that area because they were doing interesting things," Brin said about the deal, which calls for Yahoo to turn off its back-end search crawling and indexing systems and instead use Microsoft's Bing to power its search engine.

Brin declined to say whether he thinks government regulators should or shouldn't approve the Yahoo-Microsoft deal, but he complimented Yahoo on what he called interesting innovations in search.

Since announcing the deal, Yahoo executives have gone to great lengths to say the company will remain a player in search by continuing to innovate at the user interface level, competing even against Bing for users.

Asked for his opinion on Bing, which Microsoft launched in May, Brin said he has used it, just like he uses all search engines, and that it also has interesting features.

"Bing has reminded us that search is a very competitive market," Brin said.

A big disappointment for him has been Google's delay in releasing a Mac OS version of its Chrome browser. "This delay is something many of us suffer through," Brin said.

The Mac OS version isn't even at a beta-test level yet, but rather at a much earlier stage of development, he said.

Brin reiterated his surprise at the acrimonious controversy that has surrounded the company's Book Search service since Google started scanning and digitizing millions of books from library collections without always obtaining permission from copyright owners.

Google hammered out a settlement a year ago with U.S. authors and publishers, who sued it for copyright infringement in 2005, but the settlement came under heavy criticism and is being reworked, particularly because the U.S. Department of Justice recommended it be rejected by the judge overseeing the case.

"I'm surprised at the level of resistance," Brin said.

However, he remains optimistic that the revised settlement, which is still in the works, will be approved and that Google will be able to proceed with its plan to make tens of millions of books available online.

Brin also said he takes exception to criticism from the publishing industry that Google has unfairly profited from the content of newspapers and magazines.

To pin the blame on Google for the publishing industry's problems is unfair, he said. How people consume content is changing across the board, a shift that isn't due to Google but to a larger technology evolution, he asserted.

"I don't agree with their conclusion but I hear their pain," Brin said, adding that it's important for major publications to remain financially healthy and to have sustainable business models.

Asked about Google's deal with Twitter to crawl and index its messages, Brin had little to add, but made a point of complimenting Twitter CEO Evan Williams. Williams also created Blogger, which helped launch the blogging revolution and was acquired by Google.

"To see him go out and succeed even more dramatically a second time" reaffirms the impact tech entrepreneurs can have, Brin said.

Williams is also part of a network of Google "alumni," which makes it easier for Google to strike deals with the companies they go to and which fosters more trust between Google and those companies, Brin said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft-Yahoo search dealYahooGoogleMicrosoftSergey Brinonline advertising

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?