Will Google Eat Itself?

Once upon a time Microsoft was the gorilla to beat. Once upon a time we thought Google could do it.

Perhaps not any more. Amazon has dropped Google’s search results from their A9 search aggregator in favor of Microsoft’s Live search, and while Yahoo!’s on again, off again partnership talks with Microsoft appear dead after Y!’s announcement Thursday of a partnership with eBay, Microsoft still hasn’t given up on the notion.

The Yahoo! news may dull my argument, but look how quickly the board changed, how easily these companies switched allegiances or considered partnering with Microsoft, a company known for swallowing its partners.

Google may or may not truly depend on the goodwill of its customers, but the moment its image turns from all-knowing and happy to big and evil could rearrange the chess board.