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Microsoft Businesses Google Government The Courts

Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google 192

HughPickens.com writes Danny Hakim reports at the NYT that as European antitrust regulators formally accuse Google of abusing its dominance, Microsoft is relishing playing a behind-the-scenes role of scold instead of victim. Microsoft has founded or funded a cottage industry of splinter groups to go after Google. The most prominent, the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, or Icomp, has waged a relentless public relations campaign promoting grievances against Google. It conducted a study that suggested changes made by Google to appease regulators were largely window dressing. "Microsoft is doing its best to create problems for Google," says Manfred Weber, the chairman of the European People's Party, the center-right party that is the largest voting bloc in the European Parliament. "It's interesting. Ten years ago Microsoft was a big and strong company. Now they are the underdog."

According to Hakim, Microsoft and Google are the Cain and Abel of American technology, locked in the kind of struggle that often takes place when a new giant threatens an older one. Microsoft was frustrated after American regulators at the Federal Trade Commission didn't act on a similar antitrust investigation against Google in 2013, calling it a "missed opportunity." It has taken the fight to the state level, along with a number of other opponents of Google. Microsoft alleges that Google's anti-competitive practices include stopping Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube; blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube; blocking access to content owned by book publishers; and limiting the flow of ad campaign information back to advertisers, making it more expensive to run ads with rivals. "Over the past year, a growing number of advertisers, publishers, and consumers have expressed to us their concerns about the search market in Europe," says Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel. "They've urged us to share our knowledge of the search market with competition officials."
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Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

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  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @10:08PM (#49490691)

    Fact of the day: "Satan" is the Hebrew word for "accuser".

    • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:11PM (#49490891) Journal

      Remember who was behind SCO on its patent claim against Linux?

      M$

      Do you know that M$ still has patent claims on Linux and Android?

      Do you know that Samsung had to pay M$ to use Android on their smartphone?

      Do you know that because of the so-called settlement in between M$ and Samsung on the Android patent thing, Samsung is obliged to use Microsoft's apps on its new smartphones?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:30PM (#49490953) Homepage

        Now to play the neutral bad guy, at least in both parties eyes. Targeted advertisements, this is what the fight is about, who controls the scam and who makes the most money from it.

        Consider this, legal responsibility for targeted adds. Consider you are a type 2 new on the market diabetic and they target you with high sugar content foods, what is their legal liability for purposefully doing and endangering your life, keeping in mind they are either trying to manipulate you into harming yourself or they are claiming advertising does not work.

        So who do you blame for obesity, McDonald or the people who promote McDonald and target their ads at people who they also target with dieting ads. They really did open up a whole new can of worms with targeted advertisements, purposefully designed messages to manipulate your choices against your interests to generate income regardless of harm.

        Honestly show a sugar rich junk food commercial to a person on record suffering from type 2 diabetes and you should go to jail because you intent is to psychologically manipulate their choices to the point of self harm because GREED.

        So M$ or Google, meh, both just as fucking evil as each other. I just preferred the kernel under Android ;).

        • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:48PM (#49491027) Journal

          So who do you blame for obesity, McDonald or the people who promote McDonald and target their ads at people who they also target with dieting ads

          Who do I blame?

          Me

          I blame myself for being a fucking idiot wasting my hard earned $ on Mickey-D's hamburgers for I, as a consumer, have the choice to *NOT* going to Mickey-D no matter what the ads tell me

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )

            You are a rare type, that is why you understand where to put the blame. Bernays, Skinner and others proved that deception works very well in advertising. Subtle hints everywhere, instead of the big old phrase "SMOKE CIGARETTES" they just posted pictures with a woman smoking in the background to normalize it and make women think they should be smoking. This type of shit happens very often, and unless you know to look for things you can, and very often will be deceived into making a bad decisions.

            A couple

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            So your claim is all of the advertising agencies are defrauding all of their customers with commercials that have no value but wait if that were true how could they sell their customers on the idea of commercials. Sorry dude, one way, ads are a fraud or there is a real and disgusting reason why they pay doctorates in psychology such high wages, especially the psychopaths. All people are not created equal, some people, in fact the majority (keep in mind 100 IQ as average and the people who are manipulating

        • Honestly show a sugar rich junk food commercial to a person on record suffering from type 2 diabetes and you should go to jail because you intent is to psychologically manipulate their choices to the point of self harm because GREED.

          This is going to sound ad-hom, but I'll just be honest: You'd have to be incredibly stupid to believe that. In fact, the people who started that nonsense against McDonalds are incredibly stupid. It isn't greedy to, for example, sell lemonade, which is a very sugary drink that harms diabetics.

          In fact, if we're going to start calling it greedy to sell any kind of food that harms any kind of person with any dietary restrictions, then we'll have to ban commercials that advertise the following foods, because in

          • by darronb ( 217897 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @02:18AM (#49491437)

            He's talking about targeted advertising, not traditional advertising.

            He's saying that if you have so much information about a person that you know they're diabetic, and actually use that as a factor in deciding to show them stuff that statistically they'll go for even though you know it's proven to be harming them... that should be an actionable offense.

            I think there's a better example that's less politicized: It's also like working out someone goes to a gambling support group and intentionally serving them a bunch of ads for casinos in Vegas.

            That's way different than just showing ads to the public. It's even quite different from having the information somewhere else in the company and not using it in the advertising algorithms.

            I actually agree with his point of view to an extent... although it should be easy to avoid doing that sort of thing. Targeted advertising algorithms that include automatic inferences might go there however and eventually need some kind of 'moral guidance' instructions of some kind.

            I do not agree that having so much information that you "should" know that Vegas ad was wrong to show to the gambler but didn't use it in the decision process is wrong (the OP might). Right now we're in a glut of data but the analysis and understanding of that data is not mature. I don't think the state of the art makes that negligence. I do think we might get to the point where the algorithms are so advanced that it WOULD be wrong... much like it would be wrong for a human advertiser to go through that thought process and decide to show the ad.

            • He's saying that if you have so much information about a person that you know they're diabetic, and actually use that as a factor in deciding to show them stuff that statistically they'll go for even though you know it's proven to be harming them

              Being a jerk isnt illegal (nor should it be), and ultimately the person advertising isnt DOING anything except trying to convince you to do something really unhealthy. How is that different than a friend trying to convince you to smoke? Should that too be illegal?

              Seems to me the responsibility ultimately rests with the individual making the decision, and no attempt to shift the blame onto the "tempter" changes that reality.

              • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                It's called psychological harm and it most definitely is actionable in civil court.

                The new form of political activism, class action crowd funded law suits. Corporations love to fuck up individuals in civil court, it is time for individuals to work together via crowd funding class action law suits to fuck up poorly behaved corporations. So what if the lawyers get all the money as long as poorly behaved corporations (and the individuals in the executive offices and board room) are haemorrhaging money all o

        • by robi5 ( 1261542 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @02:35AM (#49491475)

          It's not "meh, both are evil". Microsoft had been evil long before Google even existed. They didn't just 'not let other large competitors index their stuff'. They went after minuscule companies like Netscape, and emailed among each other how they'd cut off Netscape's air supply, which they did, and as a result, had no real competitor in the browser space for about a decade - even though they copied Netscape's product to begin with. They were charged with abusive monopoly behavior and they were convicted.

          I'm always appalled when a guy comes and lazily simplifies corporate wrongdoing saying one is just as evil as the other. No, there are differences. It almost never happens that two entities are equally this or that. Google would have to rule the Internet for like a hundred years to accumulate as much sin as Microsoft had, and Microsoft would need to exlst for a millennium to bring about as much technological progress as Google has already created. Microsoft is the new Computer Associates and the new SCO, all in one.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Microsoft didn't copy Netscape. They did worse than that.

            They got a company named Spyglass to write it - for a percentage of the sales. These people were the ones that originally wrote Mosaic.

            Once MS had the original product, they decided to give it away... as a zero cost. Thus they didn't pay Spyglass their percentage. And in the process put Spyglass nearly out of business, and stole the browser.

            • Once MS had the original product, they decided to give it away... as a zero cost. Thus they didn't pay Spyglass their percentage. And in the process put Spyglass nearly out of business, and stole the browser.

              they either broke a contract, or they didn't. either way, if the outcome is what you say, it's spyglass that messed up.

          • by DogDude ( 805747 )
            "Evil"? "Sin"? Please. Trying to kill the competition is what *every* business does. You're kidding yourself if you think otherwise. And Microsoft wasn't trying to kill the competition by doing anything other than competing with them. This whole "Microsoft is evil and Google isn't" is really pretty childish.
            • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

              I think it's a little worse than you paint. Take this EU case. Microsoft is not a party to the case at all. They're not claiming harm from Google's alleged tying of its various products to its search engine - because they don't have shopping search products, or if they do, you can bet they're preferred on Bing. Google is certainly in competition with Bing itself, but that's a perfectly legal competition (except, perhaps, for the fact that Bing scrapes Google searches and reports the results as their own

            • This whole "Microsoft is evil and Google isn't" is really pretty childish.

              You know, it could be childish and true... Microsoft has a long and sordid history of going far beyond what "*every* business does" to compete. Whether or not they're evil, they have proven over and over again that they can't be trusted.

            • by robi5 ( 1261542 )

              They've repeatedly abused their monopoly power, e.g. by bundling IE and giving it away free, with the express purpose to "cut off Netscape's air supply" so that they project their preexisting monopoly power in the desktop space to the nascent Internet space. I don't care what you consider evil or not, but I'm glad MS ended up not dominating the Internet, and the successful conviction, and the resulting PR fallout may have had an impact on that. If you read up on the case, you may learn that being a monopoly

        • by ilguido ( 1704434 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @07:09AM (#49492051) Homepage

          So M$ or Google, meh, both just as fucking evil as each other. I just preferred the kernel under Android ;).

          This is an example of what in Italian is called "qualunquismo": considering every party the same, so that you don't have to make your choices (because in all-equal world is pointless to choice). The point is that MS and Google are not evil as each other, their respective track records are much different in that regard, and even if they're as evil and it's just that Google is able enough to hide it, there's a huge difference in corporate culture (like there's difference between the corporate culture of Apple and Microsoft) and the corporate culture of Microsoft is one of the most irritating: they're like a naughty, bossy boy, that thinks he can get away with every mischief he does, and when he is caught guilty, he tries only to get revenge (and does nothing to hide it).

      • Remember who was behind SCO on its patent claim against Linux?

        M$

        Don't forget Sun as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Fact of the day: "Satan" is the Hebrew word for "accuser"."

      Satan is Hebrew for "adversary," not accuser. I think you're mixing up Lucifers original role for God, which was basically going around poking and making sure people weren't just giving lip service to their face. The dude had a serious hardon for Jehovah, and hated pretenders -- it's part of where the whole "lightbringer" name came from. The whole story of Job in older interpretations is him acting in that capacity.

      The whole Satan as the devil thin

  • microsoft is eternal evil , it always does wrong, and google is eternal good, it can never do wrong

    this might have made sense 15 years ago, but google has immense power ripe for abuse

    google needs to be reigned in and bought to heel on issues where it's power is too complete

    i'm glad someone is doing it. i don't really care if microsoft is along for the ride or not, and it doesn't really matter

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      So here is my take on the EU and Google battle and every American should be outraged.

      The EU has found the deep financial pockets of our American Tech companies located in Silicon Valley California and they want a piece of that financial pie. There must be at least a few people in the EU government who believe that excellence must be eliminated at all costs. How dare these Americans work hard and become successful. Don't they know that the government is suppose to control everything.

      The EU has already

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2015 @10:30PM (#49490765)

        It's a really simple equation here. If you want to do business in a country or a region, you follow their laws. Or you pay their penalties. Google can easily afford some of the most skillful corporate lawyers available in the event they are falsely accused of breaking a law.

        Portraying a huge multinational corporation as the victim is just plain ridiculous. This isn't some big bully picking on a little guy who can't defend themselves. By pretending that it is, you present three possibilities: 1) you're extremely naive and ignorant, 2) you have bought into some PR/propaganda (likely the finest money can buy, no doubt), or 3) you have a vested interest of some kind in making Google look good, whether you're receiving money from them or you're simply a fanboy.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Except it comes off as politically motivated, with vague laws that might or might not be broken, applied almost entirely to foreign corporation. It comes off as an alternate form of protectionism.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        the eu can do whatever the fuck it wants

        in the eu

        frankly, i admire a society that brings corporations to heel

        rather than the sick pathetic american society where corporations buy the government, corrupt it, and then propagandized morons think that's actually ok. as the middle class shrinks more and they work harder for less. the morons think that's "capitalism". no it isn't, it's cronyism. healthy capitalism is a strictly regulated market, not the biggest players in the market buying the government, regulat

        • healthy capitalism is a strictly regulated market

          I disagree, I think healthy capitalism is where the competition is so strong that regulations aren't needed. When the forces of supply and demand (aka free markets) regulate the market, things have a way of turning out much better.

          For an example, look at the net neutrality situation. Sure, the government can regulate that Comcast be fair when it comes to peering disputes, they might even be able to one day regulate Comcasts prices, but one thing they'll never be able to regulate is the fact that Comcast are

          • all markets degenerate into monopolies and oligopolies naturally. all of them

            unless they are regulated, they stay that way. smaller competitors are unfairly treated (just undercut prices until the upstart goes bankrupt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org] one of a thousand ways to abuse a market unfairly with no competition) and consumers are gouged

            of course, there are corrupt regulations

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

            so the point is to remove the corruption

            remove the regulations and what you have is far wo

      • Huh. So what flavor is that Koolaid?

      • That approach runs into escalation problems. If the US starts using the legal system as a tool to surpress European companies and milk them for fines, the EU will respond in kind - and you end up with both sides suffering. It's a reason there are international treaties intended to hinder protectionism. Not that this has done anything to stop Russia or China from using the strategy.

      • by moronoxyd ( 1000371 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @02:30AM (#49491461)

        Maybe its time for the United States to go after a few EU companies doing business in our country. We can
        certainly use the same principle of - we don't like the way you do business. Forget the law.

        Except there are laws that Intel, Microsoft and (potentially) Google have broken.

        And what people like you love to ignore (or, more probably, don't know, as it doesn't involve Americans): The EU judges European companies by the same standard. A few years back Gaz du France and German E.On where found to break anti-competition laws and had to pay high fines. And there are many other cases not involving American companies.

        The problem is NOT that the EU is going against American companies, but that American companies sometimes don't understand that in Europe they have to play by European laws, not by the lawlessness that's the American reality.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How dare these Americans work hard and become successful.

        Criminals also think of what they do as working hard - their "work" just happens to be illegal.

        It must be hard to understand that if you do business in the EU, you obey the law or otherwise you're punished. European companies don't seem to understand it either, considering that e.g. Deutsche Bank and Société Générale were fined 1.7 billion. A certain car-tel (pardon the pun) also hasn't understood it because they're facing a 4.5 billion fine and it's as if the EU wanted to punish Europea

      • You realize that the U.S. also fines and sanctions many European companies for misconduct or anti-trust settlements? For some reason when this happens it usually doesn't make news on Slashdot.

        Also, it's a little ironic that you as a citizen are so eager to defend those companies that set up their financial HQ in some foreign tax haven so they have to pay next to nothing in taxes in the U.S., giving nothing back to society.

        • The EU also fines more EU companies than US ones, but those tend not to make the news in the US either. Actually, most of them don't make the news anywhere, it's only when it's a household name that it is considered newsworthy at all, and when it's a household name that's considered American then it becomes more newsworthy in the US press because they can run with the tired old 'EU picking on US companies and jealous of their success' narrative rather than bothering with any real journalism.
      • by sosume ( 680416 )

        Perhaps, if the companies were to pay their fair amount of tax, the EU wouldn't be chasing them for their money. instead these tech companies choose to employ the most drastic of measures to prevent paying up. I'm not surprised the EU takes drastic measures as well to recover these losses.

      • The US does not have to go after any EU based companies looking to give them a hard time all it has to do is create a more favorable business climate to encourage those companies to move some of their operations to the US. And that has been happening. Lower energy costs, reduced shipping costs, and far less government regulation will produce far better results than trying to shakedown successful companies with deep pockets which is exactly what the EU has been doing. The EU say they want to provide space fo

        • that does not correctly paint the picture.

          it's simple undercutting strategy. no matter how favorable an environment for business nation A provides, there's always a nation B that will undercut them. not because nation A is unfairly taxing business, and not because it's economically viable for nation B in the long run, but to get business to move their and then raise taxes to a point where they can break even in the long run. once businesses are entrenched, they are less likely to leave. and if you don't off

          • The US has the 3rd highest corporate tax rate in the world. The first two places being held by the economic powerhouses of Chad and the UAE. And while the US does allow corporations to reduce their tax burden using complex tax statues and even more complex accounting practices the fact is that European companies that move some of their operations to the US stand to significantly increase their bottom line operating in the US. The European tax rates, energy costs, excessive regulations, protectionist mindset

    • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @10:24PM (#49490749) Homepage Journal

      Meh. With any large organization, there will always be those who bleat and whine about the "potential" for abuse, and cry that they're not getting their "fair" share of the market because their product(s) just flat out aren't good enough to earn it.

      Don't get me wrong: I don't buy the "don't be evil" mantra, but I don't see Google actually doing anything wrong.

      And it's kind of laughable that Microsoft is resorting to whinging about the situation given how shitty the results Bing produces are. I've tried it. Many times. They rarely, if ever, produce results that are even vaguely related to what I'm searching for. They don't have market share because THEY SUCK.

      • They rarely, if ever, produce results that are even vaguely related to what I'm searching for. They don't have market share because THEY SUCK.

        Exactly. I find that Google produces better results for searches relating to Microsoft products.

        Some time back when Microsoft was advertising their website the showed Google results side-by-side with Bing (with the intent that Bing would give more useful results), I tried the side-by-side website and the Bing side did not even load.

      • there doesn't even have to be any malice

        abuse can happen simply as a function of market dynamics where one player is so suffocatingly dominant

        the eu might want to make some corrections to that

        it's their right. and they have a plausible case

        yes, microsoft may have some obsessive grievances about google's dominance and might be cheer leading

        and?

        the real story here is microsoft just doesn't fucking matter. it's yahoo or aol. a geriatric has been puttering along to mediocrity and obsolescence

        wang computer. sony

        • Pick the hill you want to die on.

          In 1900 Latin American was richer per capita then most of Europe. They are no longer richer then most of Europe primarily because most of the region periodically insists on throwing the foreign corporations out. Then after the economy collapses they they are forced to invite the foreigners back in under ridiculously generous terms. Many of the countries (especially the Central American ones and Argentina) have yet to figure out that if you let the foreign companies in under

          • In 1900 Latin American was richer per capita then most of Europe. They are no longer richer then most of Europe primarily because most of the region periodically insists on throwing the foreign corporations out.

            i stopped reading there. that's not history. that's not a remotely accurate or true statement. i don't know if you think you are a clever liar or if you mindlessly believe some ignorant crap shoveled at you, but you can't present a coherent and credible argument by saying such dumb shit. your words serve as a pretty good example of the kind of feeble ignorance some low iq types depend upon to defend the moronic pap they believe in

            • Apparently you don't know much actual history. In 1900 Latin America was much wealthier per capita then much of Europe. Chile for example, was 16th on this list [microsoft.com] beating Norway. Argentina was particularly wealthy because in 1900 they all ate meat, and since most of the world hadn't industrialized eating meat made them one of the wealthier states in the world.

              According to the University of Gronigen [ggdc.net] in 1900 Chile, Columbia, Argentina, and Venezuela were all above $2k per capita. Nobody in Eastern Europe was at

              • did the person who voted the lying moron up hover over his links?

                the first is an unrelated bing advertisement come on and the second is an xls that no one security aware is going to click on

                here are the real facts:

                http://www.nationmaster.com/co... [nationmaster.com]

                great time to be a kiwi

                then there is this assertion:

                "They are no longer richer then most of Europe primarily because most of the region periodically insists on throwing the foreign corporations out."

                any serious economist or historian would assert a couple dozen rea

                • Goddamn it the Microsoft link was for another post. I really hate having to think in HTML for one goddamn board. The Nationmaster link was actually my first intended link. Which you knew because it's the first thing you found, and I specifically quoted Chile's place on the list. If you were actually worried about the excel file you would have gone to the main site, seen it's a reputable university, and downloaded. Which strongly implies you're the one whose trolling because he knows he's been caught with hi

                  • the nationmaster link clearly shows your statement to be a lie

                    moronic thread over

                    • Like every piece of "evidence" you've offered, it only makes sense if you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

                      It has six Latin American countries. Two of them are richer then five of the 12 European countries on the list. There were several dozen countries in both Latin America and Europe during this time period, the European list does not even include the UK (but does include 26-County Ireland, which did not actually exist at the time).

                      But please tell me I'm stupid because I spent time learning f

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            I think strange, convulsive, politics could be a major component of this. Argentina in particular could have been on par with Western Europe if it wasn't for the poltiical insanity from the 1950s onward.

            • Or Venezuela. That oil wealth is more then enough to build a real economy where everyone can participate. In theory there was also no reason that Nicaragua of 1870 couldn't invest in public education and railroads (it is the 1870s after all), and end up richer per capita then damn near anyone.

              The problem is a whole suite of interlocking problems, but they all center on a) these countries have intricate US-inspireed political systems that are designed to fail miserably in the absence of near unanimity among

              • by swb ( 14022 )

                Argentina really only has its internal politics to blame. Unlike the rest of Latin America, they weren't just a hacienda for United Fruit agricultural exports, they had a large, Eurocentric population (and in the first half of the 20th century, probably a European *educated* population) and a reasonable basis for creating a self-sustaining internal economy neither overdependent nor incapable of exports or imports.

                Extractive economies, especially oil states, never seem to use the financial windfall to devel

                • Don't get me wrong. I'll never argue that Argentina isn't uniquely fucked up by it's internal politics. They are self-centred to the point of self-parody (nobody else would propose ending an Arms race [wikipedia.org] by proposing the other side sell them half their Navy), and they started from a remarkably good condition.

                  But you know who had a worse economic position then most of the world, including all of Latin America, in the early 60s? South Korea. Much of their economy was based on mercenaries they sent to fight the V

      • Frankly I can't figure out Microsoft's long game on this.

        They're alleging that google is breaking EU rules by a) being really big, and b) relying on revenue from sponsored results. If it works this will drive google out of Europe, but it won't help Microsoft because then Bing will become the number one European search engine and 100% of Bing's revenue (which also comes from sponsored results) will be illegal. Pardon me, there's Yahoo, but Yahoo and Bing have an alliance running their sponsored ads through M

        • The alliance's website is:
          http://advertise.bingads.micro... [microsoft.com]

          I tried to link in-post, but apparently my HTML skills are rusty.

        • If it works this will drive google out of Europe, but it won't help Microsoft because then Bing will become the number one European search engine and 100% of Bing's revenue

          i suspect microsoft would love to be in their position right now, lawsuit and all.

          ironically, the fact that google is being sued like this is a good for them. not directly, but if you are big and powerful and lack competitors, that's a darn good problem to have as a business.

    • by storkus ( 179708 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:36PM (#49490977)

      Oh, please, pot meet kettle:

      Google has only been acting really evil in the last few years; for M$, Oracle, and many other companies, doing evil is corporate policy and they have *NEVER* STOPPED being evil. To put it another way, Oracle is the Monsanto of software, M$ is the DuPont of software, and Google is more like factory farms, doing both good and evil at the same time. (I freely admit the Google comparison is weak--please feel free to come up with a better one.)

      I have no problem with Google being investigated, but they should go after M$ as well, especially with what they did to Nokia, Linux, and Android; fat chance that'll happen, though.

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Competing with other companies is not what I, or most people would describe as "Evil", so quit with the hyperbole.
    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:42PM (#49491007)

      microsoft is eternal evil , it always does wrong, and google is eternal good, it can never do wrong

      this might have made sense 15 years ago, but google has immense power ripe for abuse

      While I agree Google has immense power ripe for abuse, they are nothing like Microsoft was. If Microsoft in the 1990s were behaving like Google is today:

      • They would've released Windows as open source. If you wanted to roll your own version of Windows that competed with Microsoft, you could. The only restriction would've been that Office would only run on Microsoft's version of Windows.
      • Windows would be free. So would Office. They'd make money by charging Windows program developers, and selling information to marketers about how Windows and Office were being used.
      • When you first tried to run a web browser, it would list every web browser in existence in order of popularity for you to choose. Internet Explorer may or may not have been placed near the top of that list regardless of its true popularity.
      • Same for every Windows program made by Microsoft. Office, Publisher, etc.
      • If you had your data in the format for Microsoft programs, and decided to switch to a competitor, you could use the Microsoft-provided tools to convert your data into a generic format which could easily be imported into the 3rd party app.
      • They would've made subtle changes to Windows to make sure DR-DOS couldn't run it, like Google is making it hard for Bing to index YouTube. Oh wait, Microsoft did do that.
      • When an internal audit revealed that they had accidentally collected user information beyond what their user agreement allowed, they would've reported themselves to the regulatory agencies for the privaacy violation.

      Maybe you weren't using computers back when Microsoft was pulling their shenanigans in the 1990s. Those of us who were see Google as good because despite a few problems here and there, they've been behaving a helluva lot better than just about any predecessor who was in similar positions of market power.

      • Couldn't agree more.

      • And Surface (non-pro) tablets would initially be restricted to only running Microsoft-approved software from their store, but would have a trivial option you could change to remove this restriction without having to resort to dangerous hackery.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        The fact that they are not as bad as others does not mean they are not a monoipoly and should be stopped being one.

        • Monopolies are not inherently bad, they just need to be regulated. Monopolies exist in every market and every country around the world both on the local level and the global level. The only time you need to worry is if there's an abuse of disproportionate market power.

          Typically the resulting regulation sits on price as a monopoly is likely to drive that up. The second monopoly is on anti-competitive practices against competitors. Given how much I pay Google to use their services I don't really see a proble

        • I have it on good authority that a monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. Google does not have a monopoly. Title Seven, Article 102 of the Lisbon Treaty addresses "a dominant position within the internal market or in a substantial part of it." A company doesn't have to have a monopoly to be subject to special extra regulation by the EU, just the largest percentage of market share.
      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Oh, my lord! The shenanigans! They provided their web browser as a default with their OS! Lord, I feel like I'm getting the vapors!

        Drama queen.
        • I don't think you understand as much as you think you do. [wikipedia.org]

          For one the post you replied to was about what Microsoft would have done if it had been "as evil" as Google. Re-read it.

          On the topic of your other claim, Microst didn't not just provide "their web browser as a default with their OS". That's just part of one of the tricks that they played. They provided Internet Explorer for the sole purpose of preventing and delaying the development of web-based alternatives to Windows and Office. They licensed

      • You forgot the part where Google decided to stop cooperating with repressive regimes in outing dissidents. Still waiting for Microsoft and Yahoo to do the same.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @01:37AM (#49491343) Journal

      Rather than vague statements that say nothing other than what our biases are, let us look at the specific facts of the case.

      We can start with one issue mentioned in TFS. Microsoft complains that they aren't able to index Youtube as well as the site can index itself, with direct access to the database. Instead, Microsoft / Bing needs to either a) spider the site like every search engine does on every other site in the world, or b) use the APIs that Google has made publicly available at no charge . Microsoft complains that those APIs are insufficient. Let's consider that, by comparing them to the norms in the industry. How good are the Youtube APIs compared to the APIs that Microsoft provides for MSDN? Well, Google provides an API an Microsoft does not.

      It iseasier for Bing to index Youtube than it is for Google to index MSDN.

      One can imagine that it might be fair for someone say "you should give us just as good as we give you." Here Microsoft is saying "you give us an API, but we want you to provide a better one, while we provide none at all." A basic concept of fairness is that the expectations are the same for everyone- that one should not demand from others something you are not willing to do yourself. Until Microsoft makes an indexing API available for their own properties, it seems rather strange for them to demand others provide even better APIs to them.

      Youtube supports HTML5 video, aka modern browsers. Microsoft complains that they are having trouble pulling YouTube's videos out of the web pages (where the ads to pay for it and track views are) and display them in their own app. Does Microsoft provide their content for free, to be pulled out of their web siye and served up separately? Can Google rip the MSDN content and display it in an app, rather than on Microsoft's web page? Microsoft doesn't allow that, so how can they insist that Google not only allow it, but make it essier for them?

    • microsoft is eternal evil , it always does wrong, and google is eternal good, it can never do wrong

      this might have made sense 15 years ago, but google has immense power ripe for abuse

      You're right, things have changed in 15 years. But just because Google is now evil, doesn't mean that Microsoft suddenly isn't. Which of the two is more evil is a matter of debate, but I still cannot see Microsoft as good.

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        Microsoft ISN'T good. And it isn't pretending to be, really. It's just turning around the monopoly stuff used on them and pointing it Google. It's corporate tactics, nothing more, nothing less.

        Google isn't a horrible company, but it is definitely in a position where I expected it to be at this point. No longer the Messiah, it is just trying to adeptly make money for their shareholders while still doing a few interesting things. If they can make some of their interesting things stick, I'm good with that

    • Re: Why (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Johnny Loves Linux ( 1147635 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @07:26AM (#49492093)

      google needs to be reigned in and bought to heel on issues where it's power is too complete

      i'm glad someone is doing it. i don't really care if microsoft is along for the ride or not, and it doesn't really matter

      Why? I'm being serious here. What's the justification for reigning in google? In Microsoft's case it's obvious how much karma is has burned through and why it needed to be reigned in . Here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org].

      But what has Google done that was so bad it needs similar treatment? Has it forced anyone to use GoogleOS? Has it forced anyone to use only its browser? Has it forced anyone to use proprietary formats that are patent encumbered and cannot be fully implemented by anyone else? What has it done?

      From where I sit all I see is a company that has provided me:

      1. An awesome search engine that doesn't mess with me with some lame "best viewed with our lame web browser" message.
      2. An awesome maps engine that makes navigation so much easier.
      3. A cloud print environment to make it way easy to print to any printer that's cloud print capable and that I have permission to use.
      4. A free e-mail service whose spam filter is so good, I have only received 1 spam message in the past 10 years.
      5. An easy way to share documents using a FOSS document format.
      6. A FOSS operating system for both tablets and phones that does what I need it to do.
      7. A FOSS browser whose javascript engine was so good, it spanked every other browser into getting their act together on javascript performance. No chrome, no awesome javascript performance.
      8. A Linux based laptop that's so easy to use to browse the internet and at the same I can run my Debian or Ubuntu on it using a chroot if I want. No funkytown licenses. No funkytown registrations. No obnoxious "protect your computer from boogie monster viruses, install/update/stick with our crapware!!!" pop up ads.

      So I'm honestly asking again, what exactly has Google done that was so bad? Who has been hurt by its actions?

    • google needs to be reigned in and bought to heel on issues where it's power is too complete

      i'm glad someone is doing it. i don't really care if microsoft is along for the ride or not, and it doesn't really matter

      The big flaw of your idea is the same that tricked the US to act in Iraq the second time: thinking that fighting something evil is good per se. It is not.
      You're basically hoping not just that the evil of Google is diminished, but also that the far worse evil of Microsoft is strengthened. Microsoft is not fighting Google just because, their aim is a stronger Microsoft and I don't think there's a need for that.
      If the end result would be a less evil Google, an equally evil Microsoft and a third party rising

    • My "bias" comes from history. Google has continually been the most open, the quickest to admit fault, and the least likely to betray your data to some repressive regime that wants to imprison you.

      You can talk of faults till the cows come home, those factors to me are crucially important. When Microsoft actively works with the CPC to hand your skype data over, and Google is blocked in China due to resisting their repressive BS, I sort of stop caring whether Google has closed such and such service or their

  • "block Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube" or any other app.

      They did a great job of that all by themselves (not to mention killing off a top shelf hardware producer).

  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:27PM (#49490943)

    "Microsoft alleges that Google's anti-competitive practices include stopping Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube; blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube; blocking access to content owned by book publishers; and limiting the flow of ad campaign information back to advertisers, making it more expensive to run ads with rivals."

    The kinds of actions that Microsoft has been doing for almost 3 decades and still does today. Yes, MS is an expert on dirty competition and using it's monopolistic position to squash any sort of competition. I can't really defend Google but I have to say I'm absolutely flabbergasted at the nerve MS has to accuse Google of anything. It's like Charles Manson accusing Aaron Hernandez of murder. The Gall.

    • From what I recall the whole reason these blocks were put in place was due to Microsoft not abiding by the terms and conditions that Youtube require i.e. bypassing advertisements on Windows phones for Youtube.

      This isn't even a pot and kettle issue, it's a sad bully who's crying that someone hit him back.

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Thursday April 16, 2015 @11:34PM (#49490965)

    Microsoft has done this before, when they provided covert support to SCO's fundamentally fraudulent lawsuits against Linux users. Rather than fund the SCO Group directly, they encouraged their business "partners" to buy from SCO Group, which kept the company afloat. It was a qu8ite "win-win" strategy for Microsoft. The lawsuits hurt business for many freeware and open source projects, especially Linux based projects. If SCO eventually failed, the nominal owners of a major UNIX distribution would go bankrupt, and their partners who wanted non-Microsoft tools would get them from a company that had collapsed. And the lawsuits from the SCO Group went on much, much longer and caused far more damage to Linux vendors than would have been possible without some outside funding. Doing the fiscal support through partners reduced any legal obligation or risk to Microsoft from their sponsorship.

    These details all used to show on www.groklaw.net, whose thoughtful legal analyses and detailed reporting are missed by many.

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @12:34AM (#49491175) Journal

    MS is extracting royalties from all the Android phone manufacturers based on bogus patents. They make far more money from that than their own Windows Phone business. MS has also formed the patent troll company Rockstar Consortium, a "patent holding non-practicing entity" also known as patent troll.
    And let's not forget that MS is in the process of locking down every new motherboard and laptop so that it can boot only Windows.

  • by ZeroSerenity ( 923363 ) <gormac05NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday April 17, 2015 @01:23AM (#49491307) Homepage Journal
    "blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube"

    Couple of things to clear here. In the case of operating properly, Google kept trying to cut off the official WP app (made by Microsoft) just about any way possible. When the app was first out, Google complained that it avoided ads (like tons of other apps for YouTube) so Microsoft heeded the wish and disabled the app while they put the ads in. Put the ads in, relaunch the app, one day later Google revoked the API keys of Microsoft (as in all of them). You can still use IE to get to YouTube, but in that case the ads weren't available anyway!
  • These words do not fit together willingly.

  • by DougPaulson ( 4034537 ) on Friday April 17, 2015 @03:38AM (#49491603)
    "Microsoft alleges that Google's anti-competitive practices include stopping Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube; blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube"

    You mean Google won't allow Microsoft to scrape content, like for example they do with Wikipedia. some time ago Microsoft was even caught scraping Google search results and 'incorperating' it into Bing. Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results [searchengineland.com]
  • My enemy's enemy is not my friend.

    See also: Hitler, Stalin.

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