Gates: Microsoft Not Afraid of Google

In an interview with an Israeli newspaper, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said that his company sees Google as a threat, but is by no means scared of the growing search giant.

Gates, however, did agree with the assessment that Google is Microsoft's primary competitor. But he said company has plans that will take effect over the next six months, which it hopes will cut into the Google's dominance in the Web search market.

"We do not fear Google, but there is intense competition between us," Gates told the paper. He says that he has respect for the people who work there, but search can still be made a lot better than what Google has already achieved.

Microsoft has no plans to make any acquisitions in the search arena anytime soon, Gates added.

Microsoft's chief software architect was in Israel Wednesday to discuss a possible cooperative agreement between the two parties with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "I will discuss with him ways to further advance Israeli technology which is certainly remarkable."

Gates added that he believed that Israel was "part of the Silicon Valley," saying the country was "doing fantastic things in the area of technology."

His meeting is also purely business; Gates deflected political questions thrown at him by the Israeli reporter who conducted the interview. "I read a lot," Gates said about having an understanding of the political problems facing the region.

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