No lessons taken from the founding fathers
ACCORDING to the press, Windows Mobile contains back doors, just like other versions of Microsoft Windows. Surveillance is a feature to the NSA and Microsoft, but more of an antifeature to the respective user. Having witnessed Bill Gates speaking to Obama and putting money in his pot, it’s somewhat unnerving to see that Microsoft just can’t let the president [s]elect a phone of his choice. It’s lobbying for him to choose Windows Mobile by citing “security” as a reason, probably ‘forgetting’ the back doors in its own software. How convenient.
Microsoft, however, has questioned the wisdom of the president relying on a device whose maker is based in Canada. “You would be sending your data outside the country,” says Randy Siegel, a Microsoft enterprise mobile strategist who works on federal government projects. “We wouldn’t want the casual musings or official communications of the most important person in the world being intercepted by others.”
Well, let’s explore some some other stories about Microsoft’s impact on the United States government. Microsoft has already used diplomats to fight Google, and quite successfully so. It’s a systematic routine.
Other people out there try to defend Microsoft from allegations that were made in a recent Wired story.
The story casts Google as the green (as in naive) political victim of more experienced and cunning adversaries who saw Google disrupting or undermining their respective franchises and markets. The now-tarnished myth of American capitalism is that markets are transparent, fair and operate largely on their own. In fact, as this case shows in microcosm, success in the “free” or “open” market is as much about politics and political influence as it is almost any other factor.
The Wired piece even implies the killing of the Google-Yahoo search deal is partly a Republican political vendetta for Google’s historical support of Democrats. However U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and Google critic, is a Democrat.
We mentioned Herb Kohl in [1, 2], but he is the wrong person to look at. The Department of Justice, which is corrupt, has other Microsoft lackeys inside of it and they offer Microsoft ‘protection’ or immunity. Tom Barnett is a good example. From The New York Times:
“The official, Thomas O. Barnett, an assistant attorney general, had until 2004 been a top antitrust partner at the law firm that has represented Microsoft in several antitrust disputes. At the firm, Justice Department officials said, he never worked on Microsoft matters. Still, for more than a year after arriving at the department, he removed himself from the case because of conflict of interest issues. Ethics lawyers ultimately cleared his involvement.”
State officials said they were angered by Mr. Barnett’s letter in large part because before he joined the Justice Department, he had been the vice chairman of the antitrust department at Covington & Burling, a law firm that represented Microsoft and played a central role in settling the antitrust case. While at Covington, Mr. Barnett did not work on the antitrust case, although he did represent Microsoft in other matters.
There is more background here as well as an official Barnett bio. Political intervention is often the reason why Microsoft gets its way, but less so in the EU (Commission), which Microsoft uses its press to daemonise.
Speaking of Microsoft’s fight against Google, there are some interesting, yet not-so-reassuring, moves. Move appoints Steve Berkowitz (formerly of Microsoft) as its new CEO, so the company may as well be ‘poisoned’ by Microsoft already. We saw this happening in companies like Amazon and Yahoo before and there are many more examples.
Online real estate site operator Move said on Wednesday that it is tapping former Microsoft executive Steve Berkowitz to serve as its next chief executive.
He quit his role as the head of Microsoft’s unit that’s responsible for never-ending Web ambitions. Billions of dollars have already been lost there and Microsoft is longing for Yahoo’s userbase. The Yahoo-Microsoft staff swap is meanwhile carrying on. Here is the latest example.
One of Yahoo’s top marketing execs, Eric Hadley, who came to the company with a lot of acclaim in only November, is set to leave for a new job working in branding and global marketing for Microsoft’s MSN online service, several sources said.
Ballmer met last week with Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock. And he says Microsoft will keep challenging market leader Google in search even as it continues to cede ground.
To Microsoft, Yahoo’s search business is related to the need for injuring a company that makes Web-based office suites and other disablers of Microsoft cash cows (even Android). It’s less to do with control of search and advertising, which are currently the lifelines of Google. The added bonus is control of information as a gatekeeper. Microsoft is breaking search results so as to advance its business goals rather than provide relevant information to users. █
“Search engines be da**ed, it’s the OS that generates money – if the world switches to linux, it will switch to OpenOffice too.”