Google to acquire U.S. government: What this means for IT

President Bush and CEO Schmidt outline the benefits of the takeover to citizens and shareholders

Editor's note: The following story is from InfoWorld's 2008 April Fool’s spoof-news feature package. It is not true. Enjoy!

Google's acquisitive streak blazed a little brighter last weekend when it announced that it will be taking over the U.S. government. Both sides remained mum on the exact value of the deal, but unnamed sources put it at approximately $4 billion in Google stock.

"It was either this or pass along a huge deficit to the next generation," a visibly relieved President George W. Bush said in the press conference. "America, this decision benefits all citizens."

Some Wall Street analysts disagree. "Google's revenue is not diversified," said Forrester analyst Scott Simon. "That makes them vulnerable in a downturn."

Financial critics have long criticized the search engine giant because the majority of its revenue comes from advertising click-throughs, and ad revenue is dangerously dependent upon flush economic times. If the U.S. economy is now pegged to a CPM standard, America's stalling economy could shudder to a standstill.

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However, Google CEO Eric Schmidt pointed out that the new initiative to apply a federal viewing surchage to YouTube videos will provide two new revenue streams for the U.S. economy. "People will pay a quarter per every viewing of that clip where the otters swim around the pool holding hands, and we estimate that'll bring in at least $1.2 billion per year," he said. As for the other revenue stream: "All those people too cheap to pay per view on YouTube are going to have to go back to doing work on the job, boosting American productivity by a good 25 percent."

Because of anticipated liquidity in the U.S. economy, IT hiring and spending is expected to rebound. In their joint press conference, Bush and Schmidt touched on other aspects of the deal that will affect the IT industry and its related jobs:

-- Lucrative government contracts being funneled to Silicon Valley. Although the Washington, D.C., region has been an epicenter of government-related IT spending, Schmidt made it clear that future defense and state contracts would be heading west. "Have you been to northern Virginia in March?" he cringed. "I can't take the weather. One day it's 70 degrees, the next it's 45. Who wants to live like that?"

-- Expanded IT opportunities in other countries. "Google's philosophy of 'Do no evil' can only help burnish our image abroad," said former U.S. diplomat Janis Templeton. "American business opportunities overseas will rebound."

-- A reprieve for Windows XP. Although neither Bush nor Schmidt directly stated that the popular OS, which Microsoft had planned to stop selling by the end of June, will live on, several Microsoft-oriented comments suggested that the Redmond-based company will be facing pressure to maintain XP’s availability.

"Microsoft won't be able to buy a ream of paper from OfficeMax without us opening an antitrust investigation," Schmidt said. "It'll take an act of Congress for Ballmer and company to do anything."

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