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12.06.08

As Search Bribery Fails, Microsoft Turns to More Agitation and Proxy-Fighting

Posted in Finance, Google, HP, Microsoft at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boy charging
Industry dictator strikes again

Search Bribery

Microsoft’s bribery in search is an issue that was explored before [1, 2] and labeling it “a bribe” was never our idea. The word “bribery” is just echoed very consistently across top publications. The same goes for the term “proxy fight”, which is a factual technical term.

This idea of bribing users is not working out so well. Microsoft commissioned some bogus studies in order to show otherwise, but respectable and widely-acknowledged metrics suggest that Microsoft continues to sink in terms of market share, in addition to losing money that it pays to attract (or to keep) users. To make matters worse, there are serious technical issues, summarised thusly:

In summary, here’s how events have unfolded in the past week …

1) Cash-strapped consumers get excited over the prospect of 40 percent cashback from HP.

2) Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback service goes down for much of Black Friday; many people can’t take advantage of the offer.

3) Many of those who do get through get 3 percent cashback, rather than the promised 40 percent.

4) In a published report, Microsoft is quoted saying that the HP promotion will be restarted soon.

5) Microsoft makes it clear that HP promotion actually won’t be restarted in the promised time frame.

Gee, why does Microsoft have such a hard time making money online?

There is an attempt that’s rather desperate to even increase the briberies pace now.

Microsoft is making payback quicker on its Cashback program after the service suffered an outage Friday and failed to give some people discounts they were eligible for.

Mike Masnick explains why this won’t work.

“Dear Microsoft: Bribing Users Faster Still Probably Won’t Help Much

We noted last month that Microsoft was stepping up its program to bribe users to use its search engine, and that process continues with the announcement that Microsoft is adjusting the program to provide the cashback award immediately, rather than making users wait for it.

Based on the news, not only Microsoft’s search business is suffering in this division.

The debut of the new Windows Live, which introduces a set of social networking-like features to Microsoft’s suite of online services, has not gone exactly as planned.

What can Microsoft do to save this sinking ship?

Bullying Rivals

For background that covers the Yahoo-Microsoft saga, see:

A few days ago is turned out that the Department of Justice, which is regarded by prominent people to be heavily influenced by Microsoft (there is evidence too), was going to sue Google. As Microsoft was seen attacking Google with legal means (using intermediaries) in the not-so-distant past, one cannot help being cynical.

DOJ Was Three Hours From Suing Google For Antitrust Violations

[...]

Now, that litigator, Sandy Litvack has admitted that the Justice Department was three hours away from filing its antitrust suit, which he was “looking forward to” and he’s apparently disappointed he didn’t get to go to court over it.

We have already covered these developments and showed who was doing the string-pulling and thinking at the Department of Justice, which was not only lobbied by Microsoft but also contains Microsoft cronies inside it. The evidence is in previous posts, so those willing to explore it can do so and see for themselves. The administration made a colossal mistake that harms the consumer.

In the mean time, Microsoft is again shaking Yahoo’s stock by expressing desire to make a deal with the Internet giant. It’s rattling the company, which gradually emits its seniors who just can’t take it anymore. The latest to leave (and join Microsoft) is the search boss.

Buying the company person by person

[...]

Before joining Yahoo! Lu was a researcher for IBM – he holds 20 US patents.

He has already been appointed the leader of Microsoft’s very unsuccessful business where billions of dollars are still being lost.

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday tapped a former Yahoo search executive to lead its online push, adding to the intrigue surrounding a possible search partnership between the two rivals.

Todd Bishop covered this too.

Qi Lu, a former Yahoo search and advertising engineering executive, will soon join Microsoft in a top online position, reports AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher this morning, following up on her earlier reports. This would the new “senior lead position” that the company created this summer in its Online Services Business.

Around the same time, Microsoft is talking to its likely-to-be (or have been) proxy fighter out in the open. It’s using Icahn as a Trojan horse and a poison pill. They have already ‘expelled’ Jerry Yang and they seem to be trying to arrange something together now.

Bazillionare investor Carl Icahn has held talks with Microsoft over the purchase of Yahoo!’s search business, according to a regulatory filing.

If this whole Yahoo-Microsoft saga has been in compliance with the law since February, then herein we behold an industry of white-collar crime, where criminals in suits are portrayed as heroes and their profiles brushed up in accordance with business agenda, sometimes through careful revisionism and euphemisms.

“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 6, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Gravatar

    These are great, but are really three separate articles.

    Regarding the first one, which is about bribery, knowing how to get a Windows Refund would interest most who are buying a new computer during the coming weeks. Those that got burned by MS during Black Friday may be doubly so.

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