Microsoft on Paying Newspapers to Delist From Google: "That's Not Our Focus"S

The possibility that Microsoft might pay Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp to delist from Google (in favor of Bing) caused a lot of outrage, Giz included. Now we've got a statement from Microsoft in response.

Here's a quote from Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's senior vice president in charge of online audiences:

What I would say is, our focus is on improving the user experience and driving our differentiation of user intent and decision-making. It's not to necessarily pay people to de-index our competition. That's not our focus. So, I wouldn't think of it that way. It's more about how do we build a better experience for people. If there's a way to share in the economics of search in that, then we're game to do that.

Note that this isn't exactly a denial, nor is it exactly a confirmation. Mehdi says paying people to delist from Google is "not our focus," but that doesn't mean they won't do it. It doesn't mean they will, either—matter of fact, it doesn't mean much of anything. Hopefully we get a clarification soon so we know exactly what "not our focus" means. [TechFlash]