08.30.09

Mainstream Media Finally Discovers Microsoft’s Anti-Google AstroTurf

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search at 4:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Doll's head

Summary: Another fine example of underhanded tactics from Microsoft

A CERTAIN REPORT about Microsoft’s attacks on Google using AstroTurf groups such as LawMedia [1, 2, 3] has made more waves than others, e.g. reports about anti-Google whisper campaigns. From this latest report which many people have seen by now:

Microsoft’s chief Washington lobbyist has been convening regular meetings attended by the company’s outside consultants that have become known by some beltway insiders as “screw Google” meetings, DailyFinance has learned.

The meetings are part of an ongoing campaign by Microsoft (MSFT), other Google (GOOG) opponents, and hired third parties to discredit the Web search leader, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

[...]

Microsoft employs several D.C.-based public relations firms, including Law Media Group, a secretive outfit founded by former Democratic operative Julian Epstein, and the Glover Park Group, which the software giant retains for issues related to “public policy and governmental affairs,” according to Microsoft’s website. LMG declined to discuss its work for Microsoft; GPG says it had never been involved with any “screw Google” meetings.

Who could possibly defend such behaviour? The Wall Street Journal (John Paczkowski) tries to defend Microsoft using the same talking point we’ve been hearing from Microsoft TEs who commented here in Boycott Novell. They are very determined to incite people against Google. Not only does Microsoft encourage companies to sue Google (something along the lines of SCO), but it also uses known cronies in the government to scrutinise Google at a federal level [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

“They are very determined to incite people against Google.”Whose country is this?

Well, many informed people may already know that the rulers are rarely (or never) elected. They own the large corporations that provide funding to elect “approved” candidates for the White House. As long as this inherent issue is not resolved, the tactics seen above will carry on. It’s systemic and endemic. Microsoft is by far the worst in its field.

Slated uses the observation above to argue that “Torvalds’ Hatred of Microsoft Critics is a Disease.” The Huffington Post has something to say too.

The massive machinery of the tech business is mobilizing against a common adversary. That’s right, in spite of all it’s done to transform our world and define free, open digital space, nobody in the business seems to like the Goog (GOOG). In fact, the operators of the Death Star in Redmond (MSFT) have reportedly taken the point on a new “screw Google” strategy that they are rolling out in Washington.

Our reader The Mad Hatter adds that “[it] looks like some of the mainstream is starting to catch on.” Here are the many Slashdot comments.

“Very soon we shall show confidential lists from Microsoft — ones where the company is flagging and ranking reporters in a McCarthyist fashion.”Approaching companies to sue rivals and also bribing against them is simply not acceptable, never mind AstroTurfing which is now against the law. Change is truly necessary. The Mad Hatter reminds us of “The Plot to Kill Google” and he adds this bit of humour. The article titled “The Plot to Kill Google” comes from Fred Vogelstein, whom Microsoft spies on. Very soon we shall show confidential lists from Microsoft — ones where the company is flagging and ranking reporters in a McCarthyist fashion.

Microsoft is unable to compete by making a better product and desperation in this endless fight against Google can be also indicated by another new cessation of search “bribery” that Microsoft has attempted for about 2 years [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Bing Double Cashback Promotion Discontinued

[...]

So far, the Redmond company offered no official figures that would spell out the success of the Bing Double Cashback promotion. The software giant did, however, confirm that customers would no longer be able to enjoy double cashback returns for their purchases.

When failing to compete on technical merit, Microsoft must always resort to misconduct.

“We are not on a path to win against Linux”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President (just months before SCO lawsuit)

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

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4 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    August 31, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Gravatar

    I hope Google is fighting back and doesn’t want to pretend to be above the fray. I worry that Google’s corporate culture may be a little too passive about business warfare. Of course, we should be thankful that the Google founders like most businessmen are not as instinctively evil as Bill Gates. That last sentence is just another way of saying that most business men seek to profit from competition not by the illegal pursuit of monopoly.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “Of course, we should be thankful that the Google founders like most businessmen are not as instinctively evil as Bill Gates.”
    Yep, indeed I think Bill Gates was an aggressive businessman, which is probably part of the problem.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    See the infamous Letter to Hobbyists, which advises kicking people out. Microsoft is still about exclusion.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yep, when I mention the Open Letter to Hobbyists, I like to mention that it was only 7 years after that letter was written that Stallman decided that leaving users helpless was wrong and started the free softwaer movement.

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