There’s just no other way to describe Marissa Mayer’s short post that appeared on Google’s blog this afternoon, a couple of hours after Microsoft announced its Twitter-Bing integration.
Twitter search is coming to Google!
Of course, it’s not here yet. It’s just vaporware. (And Marissa didn’t bother to add that this was hardly Google’s idea.)
In other words, Google is taking a page out of Microsoft’s old playbook:
Some company’s rolling out a cool new product? QUICK! Announce that Microsoft is working on the same product, too!
In the old days, this worked well for Microsoft: Anyone who might have been tempted to buy the little company’s cool new product–or invest in the little company–thought better of the idea. And then they sat around waiting for years.
Will it take Google years to integrate Twitters search? No. Is Microsoft’s Twitter integration a competitive advantage that will allow it to gain serious search share? No. As we’ve argued from Bing’s beginning, anything cool that Microsoft does will immediately be copied by Google. And that’s what’s happening here.
But it’s still embarrassing.
In the old days, Google didn’t announce products ahead of time. They just rolled them out and blew everyone away.
Worse, this new product was Microsoft’s idea. Microsoft! The laughingstock of the Internet! Google has to play catch-up in its core business to the company that never does anything right online. And Google’s actually nervous enough that people might think that Microsoft had a good search idea that they felt necessary to respond with vaporware.