Microsoft runs search for a way to take over internet giant Google


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

David Teather in New York
Saturday November 1, 2003
The Guardian

The phenomenal success of Google, the internet search engine, has attracted the attention of the biggest name in hi-tech business, the Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Microsoft is said to be pursuing talks to buy the Silicon Valley firm. Google, which was started from scratch five years ago by two Stanford computer science graduate students, was recently valued at between $15bn and $25bn.
According to a report in the New York Times, Microsoft executives have approached Google about a range of options, including a takeover by the software company, at meetings in the past two months.
The discussions were said to have gained "little traction" but they underline just how important a player Google has become in a relatively short space of time. It handles around 150m searches a day and has become the first point of reference for net users looking for anything from obscure quotations to health advice.
Google whetted the appetite of Wall Street when it emerged recently that the company plans a stock market flotation early next year.
It would be the most eagerly anticipated share offering since the boom days of the late 90s, ranking the business alongside other established internet operations such as eBay, and Yahoo.
Although Microsoft's advances were reportedly rebuffed, it could still pursue Google once it is a public company. Neither company would comment on the report.
The conspicuous success of Google has attracted the attention of rivals. Yahoo recently acquired Overture, which sells advertiser-sponsored search results, for $1.6bn and Microsoft is spending millions of dollars to develop its own search technology. Its MSN web portal currently relies on search services provided by Overture and another company, Inktomi.
The story of Google's rise recalls the tales of internet entrepreneurs during the gold rush of the late 90s. Sergey Brin and Larry Page were just 25 when they set the business up in 1998 from Mr Brin's dorm room. Its name was a play on the word "googol", coined for the number represented by one followed by 100 zeros.
These days the business operates from offices, called the Googleplex, which bear the usual hallmarks of a dotcom firm, including the lava lamps and staff on scooters.
But Google differs from the other dotcoms that rushed to join the stock market in a key respect: it is making money. It is expected to produce around $800m in revenues this year and up to $200m in profits, generated by selling advertising that appears alongside search results. It also licenses its technology to companies such as America Online.
The search business is one of the fastest-growing online sectors. Google has launched new services recently, including Google News, which gathers information from more than 4,000 news sources, and the shopping service Froogle.

to anticipate – przewidywać
to approach – zwracać się
conspicuous – rzucający się w oczy
eagerly – chętnie
entrepreneur – przedsiębiorca
flotation – emisja
hallmark – cecha charakterystyczna
to handle – radzić sobie
obscure – mało znany
to pursue – prowadzić, realizować
to rebuff – odrzucać
to rely on – polegać na
revenues – dochody
scooter – hulajnoga
staff – personel, pracownicy
to start from scratch – zaczynać od zera
takeover – przejęcie
traction – przyczepność
to whet the appetite – zaostrzać apetyt


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