Vol. 3, Issue 23, November 8, 2005
Think Difference (Engine).

Google Fights to Avoid Temptation of Dark Side of the Force

With signs pointing ever more clearly to the coming battle between Sith software giant Microsoft and search-engine "white knight" Google, industry insiders are battening down the hatches and keeping a close eye on whether Google stays the course and avoids the temptations of the dark side of the Force.

"Our company motto is 'do no evil,'" said Eric Schmidt, Google CEO and Jedi Master. "Key to this ethos is patience and tranquility of the spirit. We will conduct ourselves with decorum, and be ready for the conflict when the time comes."

The calm, functional focus of Google's minimalist homepage, together with its unprecedented passive approach to building the Google brand (it used virtually no advertising) are testament to its deep understanding of the ways of the Force. The company's careful nurturing of its employees (which the company calls Padawans), particularly with the inspired liberal application of gourmet food, is a model that other industries have struggled to emulate.

Nonetheless, the call of the dark side is powerful.

"Microsoft has long sought abandon and strength through the hateful energies of the Force," said Wired technology analyst Jocasta Nu. "Anger and hate are the path to the dark side of the Force, and Microsoft's products instill anger and hate in virtually everyone who uses them."

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates successfully maintained a facade of mild-mannered computer geek for years without anyone realizing he was in fact the Sith Lord known as "Darth Crash." His true nature was exposed when the U.S. Justice Department tried to topple his rule in a daring, but ultimately doomed, assault on his Empire. Since eliminating the emissaries of the American Republic, he has openly wielded his dreaded "blue screen of death" with lavish abandon, clouding the judgment of foes with vaporware; his imperial forces are now largely unchallenged throughout the land.

"Come to the dark side," wheedled Darth Crash with a cackle. "You cannot resist the call of our new and improved search engine. We are quite safe from your pitiful little viral-marketed brand. An entire legion of my best advertising professionals awaits it."

"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense: never attack," countered Schmidt. "We are all about knowledge; we are practically knowledge incarnate. Our users are wise to the tricks of the Empire. They know that Microsoft's search engine, like all its products, drives them only to darkness and despair."

For all Google's purported good intentions, however, it has found increasing resistance to its expanded products and services, such as the Google Print Library. It is strongly suspected that Crash has an unidentified apprentice helping to foment this discontent among the people, possibly to induce Google to act hastily and strike at the empire prematurely.

"The dark side beckons to the impatient," insisted Schmidt. "The Empire is trying to force us to hurry: we must not allow ourselves to succumb to that temptation. But man, I do wish sometimes they'd get this over with. They're starting to make me mad."

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