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Markoff Comments on Fortune’s Gates vs. Google Feature

Appearing on Charlie Rose to plug his new book, seasoned New York Times technology journalist John Markoff shared his opinion on the recent Fortune cover story pitting Microsoft against Google. Here’s what he said…

“The Fortune cover said Google vs. Microsoft. I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. I think they’re a lot more players which makes it even more fun. If Microsoft spends all their time focusing on Google as their big challenger, their big competitor, they’re making a huge mistake, and I think they’ve fallen into that trap. For example, there’s a company down the road in Silicon Valley called Yahoo that is doing some awfully interesting stuff.”

I read the story and found it to be incredibly soft on hard facts. Here’s a few of the loose claims on which the “Gates vs. Google” story was spun:

“Dozens of current and former Microsofties say that Google’s success is causing a corporate identity crisis.” – Just who are these ‘dozens’ of ‘former Microsofties’ anyway?

As of March, roughly 100 Microsofties had left for its search nemesis.” – But only one is named, and no explanation is given to where this number came from.

The Google migration has gotten so bad, says a former Microsoft employee, that when he told his bosses and colleagues he was leaving earlier this year, “the first question out of their mouths was ‘You’re not going to Google, are you?’ ” (He was not.)” – Citing anonymous sources with no explanation for why their identity is concealed begs questions about the source’s motivation and credibility.

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