Faced with growing threats of free and open source software projects, Microsoft removed OpenOffice.org web site from its search engine results yesterday. Search terms “Open Office” and “OpenOffice.org” returned similar web sites, …, but not what we were looking for. Even advanced query, “site:openoffice.org”, which restricts the returned hits to a specific website, returned zero hits. It is unclear whether this is just a temporary glitch with Live Search or part of Microsoft’s broad strategy to remove competitors from its search results.
At least for Italy, this is not true: the search is working without problems, as you can see from the screenshot that I’ve just got from http://www.live.com/, and it’s working also if I use the advanced query “site:openoffice.org”. I hope that the situation is back to normal in Canada as well.
In any case, removing openoffice.org from the search engine – or any other similar action – would be, first and foremost, a demonstration of weakness, which I don’t think Microsoft wants to give today. As I have said and written several times, competition is good for the market, and this means that at the end is good for Microsoft as well.