It's been ten years since Microsoft decisively buried Netscape, and Silicon Valley is still frightened of the monster in Redmond, Washington. Even giant Google is paranoid; the company is increasingly said to be chasing Microsoft's tail lights.

The threat from Microsoft's Bing search engine has even lit a fire under Google's icy, hypercompetitive search chief Marissa Mayer, according to the Wall Street Journal:

In recent months, Ms. Mayer has repeatedly pushed her team to better understand and compete with Bing, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mayer is hardly alone in her obsession. In June, the New York Post reported that Google co-founder Sergey Brin was "rattled" by Bing and personally led a "team of search-engine specialists... to determine how Bing's... search algorithm differs from" Google's. The bloated and insular company should focus that fanatically on its users and customers; Bing's market share is stalled at 9 percent, and Google's biggest threat will probably end up being a startup no one has yet heard of.

(Pic: Adam Tinworth)