back to article Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

Birthday cake makers, rejoice! There's a trio of tech industry milestones to celebrate or maybe commiserate. Google at 20 It is 20 years ago today that ad-slinger Google filed for incorporation and the behemoth that we all know and - some - love came into being via a jerry-rigged rack of servers in a Menlo Park garage. …

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  1. Locky Silver badge

    Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

    What about ask Jeeves? How quick we forget

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

      What about the original Google too? A vastly different search engine to the crap they serve up these days.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

        I seriously miss the old Google engine. It was remarkable in its ability to help me quickly find what I'm looking for. The Google engine of the past few years doesn't measure up and appears to be getting worse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

      What about Ask Johnny Dee?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

        Google's search is still pretty good. This is unfortunate because the previous sentence is the standard response to my question "How are you liking using duckduckgo?". I would cheerfully continue to use google's search, including seeing ads on that page, if only they could disassociate it from some of the other creepy things they do. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like a viable possibility.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

          There's always Startpage if you want Google search without the tracking.

        2. Daniel M

          Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

          !g, !gi, and, if you must, !gm are your friends.

    3. Swiss Anton

      Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

      Alexa, who is Jeeves?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

        Alexa, please ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to ask Alexa to

        [Click here to disable comment shrinking]

    4. strum Silver badge

      Re: Ask Google? Ask Microsoft?

      Back in the day, I did one of those focus group/product test days, looking at Search Engines. The winner was Infoseek.

  2. ThatOne Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "Don't be evil" (Terms and Conditions apply)

    Amazing how Google evolved from a nerd's search engine to a all-powerful Megacorporation straight out of a dystopian SciFi scenario.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: "Don't be evil" (Terms and Conditions apply)

      It's almost as if power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Don't be evil" (Terms and Conditions apply)

      Project Maven fitted in admirably with Google's desire to gain control of everything. They must be really pissed that their involvement became public knowledge and their staff started speaking out against it.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: "Don't be evil" (Terms and Conditions apply)

      All revolutions contain the seeds of their own destruction.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Phil W

        Re: 'Amazing how Google evolved ... to all-powerful Megacorp out of a dystopian SciFi scenario'

        Google is more akin to Massive Dynamic from Fringe.

  3. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Coat

    "Thanks to a lack of meaningful competition from Microsoft..."

    I think it was more Google splashing marketing call-to-actions all over their search home and results pages that brought about the rise of Chrome among the general populace than anything else.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      I have no idea how they got away with this; when you think how hard MS got clobbered for integrating stuff into Windows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have no idea how they got away with this; when you think how hard MS got clobbered for integrating stuff into Windows.

        Clobbered as in 'got away with it, and still are'?

    2. ratfox Silver badge
      Trollface

      I think it was more Google splashing marketing call-to-actions all over their search home and results pages that brought about the rise of Chrome among the general populace than anything else.

      If that was enough, Google Plus would have been a success...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And we'll have to pry IE 7 from your cold dead hands, right?

      Chrome gained popularity because IE is absolute garbage for users, developers, and IT.

      In some cases, marketing doesn't make a shit of difference if the reality is so incontestable. Consider the hoops, nags & dark patterns I endure trying to install Firefox on a fresh win 10 install, and you'd be surprised to find edge in the "other" category.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Chrome didn't have to do the "call to actions", since so much software comes bundled with a Chrome installer thanks to Google liberally applying cash to make that happen. The cost of that is a drop in the bucket compared to the money they make from all the personal data they collect from Chrome users.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Regardless of browsers, Google collect the same personal data.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Not true at all. Not every web site has Google ads / trackers installed, when you visit those Google can't track you unless you are using Chrome. If you block (whether via the browser, add ons or DNS hackery) Google's trackers then they might not be able to track you - or at least track you less well - using Firefox/Edge.

            If you use Chrome, they get a list of every site you visited, how long you were there, what you clicked on, etc. There's no comparison between the data they get from Chrome vs other browsers.

  4. DJV Silver badge

    "play on the mathematical term"

    I remember hearing somewhere that it really should have been called "Googol" but they didn't know how to spell it, which is why they ended up with Google instead. Ah yes, here you go:

    https://graphics.stanford.edu/~dk/google_name_origin.html

    1. Chewi

      Re: "play on the mathematical term"

      If only they'd googled it.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Alta Vista?

    wasn't it astalavista?

    My coat with the grey hat in the pocket ;-}

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Alta Vista?

      Depends on what you were searching for. Astalavista was the pirates search engine of choice when looking for cracks and pirated software

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Alta Vista?

      And alta-vista was porn

      First time I ever came across internet porn as well

      Still trying to work out when Yahoo dropped the ball and I am sure wildcards were better supported many years ago.

  6. tony2heads
    Linux

    For all your searching

    DuckDuckGo

    Icon - closest I could find for a duck

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: For all your searching

      My search engine of choice due to its fairly anonymous behaviour (and one of the first to use https from the browser's plug-in).

      But I still go to Google for cases when I actually want to see stuff to buy as they seem to do better at returning UK based adverts/shops then DuckDuckGo even though they have me down as UK-based.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For all your searching

        If I just want to search for specific words, then DDG is usually ok.

        If I want something relevant, then it's Google. At least I benefit from their tracking.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: For all your searching

          "If I want something relevant, then it's Google."

          It depends on what you find relevant. Searching on a place name inevitably brings up a load of estate agents, especially if combined with the name of a family that had a significant presence in the area (they feature in street names). Relevant if you're looking a buy a house. If you're doing historical research, a complete and utter waste of time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For all your searching

        But why would you actually want a search engine to serve you better advertising?

        If a site is developed and written well, and linked to by reliable websites (which implies genuine popularity rather than link farming), then it should return further up the search results for the relevant query.

        (If a site isn't competently developed, and doesn't return such good results, is that a company that you would want to buy from anyway?)

      3. DougS Silver badge

        Re: For all your searching

        But I still go to Google for cases when I actually want to see stuff to buy

        I agree, Google is much better than DDG for that. However, I make sure to open the links in private windows, copy the URL and then re-open it in another private window if I'm actually going to make a purchase. Probably doesn't help, but I want to do whatever I can do to hurt Google's attempts to connect searches to sales :)

        Hopefully DDG will get better in this regard, as that's pretty much the last thing I still use Google for.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Use Startpage NOT DuckDuckGo

          For starters Startpage's search is far better.

          You can 'Proxy open' webpages for privacy...

          But also Yahoo's ties to DDG aren't healthy.

          See how they covered that up (webarchive)...

          1. Fading Silver badge
            Gimp

            Re: Use Startpage NOT DuckDuckGo

            No contributors to YACY here then?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              'No contributors to YACY here then?'

              Got any links to some useful articles? Scanned Wikipedia quickly, but it didn't offer a good picture or insight of what's involved. Except to mention JAVA, an install which will set off Security alarm bells around here. So can YACY be used without JAVA?

              1. Fading Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: 'No contributors to YACY here then?'

                Unfortunately it is JAVA powered. But it is peer to peer so not evil in itself (just running on evil).

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: For all your searching

          I use DDG whenever possible. It is my default, and most of my searches go through it. However, there are types of queries that google can handle much better. One of these is when you want to download some piece of software, but you don't remember what the download link is for it. If it's a thing that has its own site, then it's straightforward (go to site, click download). Consider a program like thunderbird. Is it mozilla.org/thunderbird? I don't know; it might be. If you want the download quickly, google will direct you to the right one from the search "mozilla thunderbird download", whereas duckduckgo will give you several close but wrong pages. They are also prone to being attacked by the SEO-intensive software distribution sites that put malware in with the download if you can even find it. Google can also answer certain questions directly. When the standard user wants to ask a question and get the answer fast, google's lead in this keeps them from taking my suggestion and switching to something that is more respectful of the user.

      4. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: For all your searching

        "But I still go to Google for cases when I actually want to see stuff to buy as they seem to do better at returning UK based..."

        Which is ultimately why all this tracking exists at all. If it was purely about moustache-twirling villains in big business wanting to make a few extra quid, even the general public wouldn't put up with it. But the thing is, at least some tracking offers real benefits in the form of things like more relevant search results, so the average person just doesn't see the problem. Sure, all your data is being sold to the highest bidder (and probably all the rest of the bidders too), but it's a few seconds quicker to find the cat video you're looking for, so no worries right?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: For all your searching

          "Which is ultimately why all this tracking exists at all."

          All that tracking certainly hasn't improved things for me. Google search results have been getting consistently worse over time, to the point where I get better results (for the most part) from DDG.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I did not get why the world needed the third ecosystem in phones"

    Only if your leadership can't get yours past the third place.... but Nadella showed he doesn't understand "personal" software and devices - he saw them only as data hoarding devices to ape Google - and he thinks Windows + Azure are enough to hoard data.

  8. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The "App Gap"

    " A lack of apps ensured customers stayed away in their droves..."

    Funny how people still pin the demise of Windows Phone on the "App Gap". Think for a bit - unless you have some kind of specialist area of interest or a specific game you're into, how many apps do you use per day on your phone? In my case, I know I'm normally in single figures, and two of them are "web browser" and "email client".

    I would be more of a mind that Windows Phone failed because of Microsoft's utter failure to market it effectively, their continual switching of architecture and development requirements, and, above all, the insistence on calling it "Windows Phone"...

    ... okay, they could have done worse on that last point and called it a "Zune Phone"...

    1. Test Man

      Re: The "App Gap"

      When your App Store lacks very very popular apps (YouTube, Snapchat), or only has really awful implementations of apps on other platforms (Facebook, Twitter - only recently rectified), there's most definitely an app gap for a hell of a lot of (potential) users

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "your App Store lacks very very popular apps (YouTube, Snapchat)"

        The YouTube app was there. Just Google complained it violated its policies... I would have seen what had happened with roles inverted...

        1. DougS Silver badge

          It wasn't just apps

          I thought the orphan devices had a lot to do with it - i.e. Windows Mobile 6.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 7.0. OK, as expected. Windows Phone 7.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 8.0. WTF? And then again for many (but not all) Windows Phone 8.x devices with Windows Phone 10.0! After all, for corporate users missing Snapchat and Youtube apps isn't a problem, but devices with a support lifetime of 18 months was.

          When you jerk your customers around like that, it is really hard to build any loyalty. Especially since they'd seen Microsoft able to support Windows upgrades on a near infinite combination of 3rd party hardware but somehow couldn't manage that feat with phone hardware they made themselves!

          Had they introduced Continuum in the 7.x days, even though it would be pretty slow, just the view people would have of being able to run their Windows PC applications on their phone in a few years time might have got a lot more people interested in the platform. Maybe not the consumers, but definitely the corporate types.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi
            Thumb Up

            Re: It wasn't just apps

            I thought the orphan devices had a lot to do with it - i.e. Windows Mobile 6.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 7.0. OK, as expected.

            A certain HTC HD2 disagrees. Not only it ran WP7, it also ran WP8, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows RT, and Android (up till either Nougat or Oreo, don't remember which), and was the "jewel" of XDA-Developers for quite some time. This is because M$ used it for testing WP7, and the bootloader's "secret" leaked.

            Windows Phone 7.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 8.0. WTF?

            IIRC, the argument was Secure Boot or something.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: It wasn't just apps

              >> Windows Phone 7.x devices couldn't run Windows Phone 8.0. WTF?

              > IIRC, the argument was Secure Boot or something.

              WP7 devices were strictly single core SoCs. WP7 was based on 'CE' and couldn't cope with more than one. In fact the advertising had 'why would you need dual core' implying that others were inefficient.

              WP8 _required_ dual core and all the SoCs that it would run on were specific dual core parts.

              Microsoft only built versions of WP7 and WP8 to work with a specific list of SoCs and there was no overlap. The makers could not rebuild for a SoC not on the list. In fact originally each maker was directed to use a specific source.

              > A certain HTC HD2 disagrees. Not only it ran WP7, it also ran WP8, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows RT, and Android

              It seems that the HD2 (a Windows Mobile 6.x phone) was used by MS to develop WP7 as both WM6.x and WP7 were based on CE. This allowed developers (not HTC) to hack WP7 to run but is was unsupported.

              """In December 2012, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 were ported onto the device as a proof-of-concept; no working builds exist."""

              While the WM10 upgrade list does have an "HD 2" it is not the 'HTC HD2', it is the 'Blu Win HD 2'.

              Android (ASOP) is, of course, available to be built for any device.

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