By James Cooley - December 08 2007 tags: fud search google microsoft linux london

I wanted to buy a joystick for my Linux laptop so I could enjoy the excellent SuperTux. I googled "Linux joystick" and noticed the "Linux - Get the FUD" (LGTF) ad campaign from Microsoft.

Google Joystick Ads

So Microsoft are buying up keywords on Google and paying each time someone clicks through. I couldn't resist - I want to know the facts after all :) Who needs a joystick when can have fun like this.

Looking a little deeper it looks like Microsoft have spent a lot of money to get a sponsored link above the actual results on a search for "Linux".

LGTF on with Linux keyword

So Microsoft are validating Google's importance in search by buying keywords. I wanted to see if they targeted other search engines as well. I did a search on MSN - no LGTF ads, Yahoo - no LGTF ads, Ask - no LGTFs ads. A search for Linux on MSN was an ad-free experience.

No LGTF Ads on MSN

I think LGTF says a lot about the state of search. It shows Google isn't above selling ads for FUD like this. The Microsoft LGTF campaign only considered Google and didn't bother with MSN. Perhaps hell is freezing over at Redmond. That reminds me - SuperTux :)