Since my blog quote got picked up by that Reuters reporter, I've had a couple people ask me about the reaction to my statement that I love Google. I guess that people expect that we somehow get in trouble if we like tech products built by other companies that compete with our products. So let me explain a couple things about working at Microsoft that will help you understand why it's OK for me to love Google:

1) We hire smart people here and for the sake of this discussion, I am going to consider myself one of them. Feel free to disagree ; ) Smart people are critical thinkers and at Microsoft, we think a lot about products. Not just our products but the products of other companies. How can we compete if we don't know what we are competing against?

2) I use search technology extensively in my job.  It's one of my most important tools. I am not only an employee of a company that makes search technology, I am a customer.

3) I want to use what my customers (readers of this blog, job seekers and marketers in general) are using. For me, that means a multitude of search engines.

4) Just because I really like one technology, doesn't mean it's the only one I use and it doesn't mean that I don't like others.

5) If nothing else, I am honest (don't ask me how you look in that outfit unless you *really* want to know)

6) People who are honest and self-critical are interesting. How long would you stick around here if I was blathering on and on about MSN Search?

So I think that you can understand where I am coming from. I believe that being self-critical as a company is what helps us to make great products and those qualities are not only reserved for executives here. In fact if you can come into an interview here and speak eloquently about how another product is better than ours with information to support your argument, you are probably doing pretty darn well in that interview!

And I have a lot of faith that when Bill Gates says “Google is kicking our butts”, that the smart folks in MSN Search are working on products to change that. We love to be challenged!

So don't be afraid for me that I stated my opinion on Google. And don't dis me if I come back here in the future and tell you that MSN just came out with something better. And that your shoes don't match your outfit.