EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.31.09

More Losses and Antitrust Barriers for Microsoft Online

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Search at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tenacious face

Summary: Miscellaneous updates regarding Microsoft’s online business

Yahoo’s appalling deal with Microsoft [1, 2] has meant that key staff might be eclipsed by Microsoft's shadow. They are paying the price for the mistakes of Bartz, whose company turned into a second fiddle of Microsoft. Fox put it like this:

Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) have thus failed to impress Yahoo’s investors with their proposed Internet search and advertising partnership.

Many good souls remain at Yahoo, whose staff is trying to move on, despite the barriers imposed by Microsoft.

The fate of Yahoo Inc has become intertwined in the public’s imagination with the success or failure of its dealings with Microsoft Corp in recent years.

That’s despite the fact that as much as 70 percent of the value investors put on Yahoo’s depressed shares are tied up in its international assets or cash holdings — factors that have nothing to do with Microsoft.

According to AFP, “Yahoo! vows to fight Microsoft on new front” and Reuters says that “Yahoo [is] to compete with Bing despite Microsoft deal.”

Yahoo Inc said on Monday it has revamped its search to compete against Microsoft Corp’s Bing, even as it relies on the Redmond giant to power its queries.

We previously wrote about antitrust barriers to the Yahoo!-Microsoft deal and there are newer reports about the subject. An antitrust attorney now says that the Microsoft-Yahoo deal won’t pass regulatory muster. That’s what the headline at IDG states anyway.

A prominent antitrust lawyer predicts that Microsoft and Yahoo’s new partnership won’t pass muster with government regulators because it would narrow search competition.

Matthew Cantor, a partner at Constantine Cannon LLP in New York, said that when Yahoo’s own search tool disappears, only two major search engines will remain — Google and Microsoft’s Bing.

The now-defunct Seattle P-I has a copy of a similar report from Associated Press and The Chicago Tribune has more to say. How about this one which says “Microsoft, Yahoo Search Ads Deal in Regulatory Purgatory”? There may also be additional pressure from China:

More antitrust complaints like the one filed against Microsoft in China last year could target foreign IT companies under new draft regulations released by the country, one law firm says.

Meanwhile, the lawyer who filed the complaint against Microsoft for selling at high prices does not expect a result in the case for another three to five years, he said Tuesday.

There is clearly a lot of pressure to break the deal apart or at least change it significantly.

As we wrote very recently, there are reasons to suspect that Microsoft uses AstroTurf groups to advance the perception that the Yahoo-Microsoft deal is welcomed.

Microsoft may be using the same AstroTurf groups that it used to derail Yahoo!-Google [1, 2, 3] to advance Microsoft-Yahoo! This would not be surprising at all. Here is another take on Microsoft’s “Screw Google” meetings:

It turns out Microsoft has been busy holding weekly “Screw Google” meetings, trying to figure out how to throw roadblocks in front of Google as they continue to dominate the search arena. It’s easy for me to say, but doesn’t it make a lot more sense to spend millions of dollars making something that’s actually better than Google rather than simply trying to make them look bad?

[...]

It’s time for Microsoft to stop wasting their money worrying about Google, and start breaking their own trails. Microsoft does have some diamonds in their rough though — one example is their development tools, frameworks and platforms. This includes WPF, Silverlight and Microsoft Surface — and in my opinion, Microsoft needs to invest more heavily in those technologies.

Guess who is defending Microsoft’s “Screw Google” meetings? Their old media shill, Eric Savitz. He almost promotes AstroTurfing, forgetting that it’s not about opposition to Google, it’s about the way it’s done by Microsoft. Unethical people endorse unethical behaviour and some of it may be illegal, too.

As we explained before, Microsoft is also trying to bundle its search engine with the Web browser (and by inference, with the operating system). Mozilla has serious opposition to the bundling, which leads it to being attacked by the Microsoft mob. Here is some more about that:

Microsoft told EU antitrust officers on July 24 that to ease their concerns about its market dominance, it would provide European users a choice of Web browsers with its upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

Regardless of how it all ends up, Microsoft’s efforts to force IE users to use Bong [sic] is simply not working. As TechCrunch put it:

When It Comes To Search, Bundling Bing In IE Barely Gives It An Advantage

[...]

Back in the 1990s during the original browser wars between Netscape and Internet Explorer, one of Microsoft’s chief weapons was the ability to bundle IE into Windows as the default browser. With bundling came market share, or so the government argued in its antitrust case against Redmond.

Fast forward to today’s search wars. You’d think that bundling a search engine into a browser would have some impact on market share. But some new data provided by search advertising network Chitika suggests that at least for Bing, being bundled with IE isn’t doing it much good.

From Google Watch:

Bundling Won’t Help Microsoft Bing Versus Google

[...]

Search is a different animal. Microsoft never successfully bundled search with IE because, well, Microsoft search pre-Bing was so inferior to Google.

In addition to all this, Microsoft is now pushing IE8 down the throats of many businesses (not offering them choice).

As promised more than a month ago, Microsoft Corp. yesterday began pushing Internet Explorer 8 to enterprises via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

The IE8 upgrade for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 was cast as an “Update rollup” to WSUS, Microsoft’s most popular tool for deploying patches within businesses.

If Microsoft can use Windows Update to push people to ‘choosing’ another Web browser, why are Microsoft’s rivals left out of this “Update”?

Yesterday we also wrote about Microsoft's bribes for people who use Bong [sic]. Chris Matyszczyk from CNET is the latest among many reporters who call it “bribery”, indeed.

Microsoft’s Bing decides on bribery

[...]

It does seem like splendidly commercial bribery.

So where is the fairness in competition? And why was Microsoft permitted to destroy Yahoo! from the inside? Where are the industrial protections? One must be delusional not to see the unjust.

On the bright side, Microsoft has just lost another major partnership online, so despite all this abuse, Microsoft’s influence is still eroding.

Microsoft and Bell no longer sympatico

Microsoft Corp. is pulling the plug on its online partnership with BCE Inc., bringing an end to a deal that created one of the most visited websites in Canada in the wake of the dotcom bust, but that quickly became outdated with the rise of the online advertising industry.

There is more information in The Globe and Mail, even Microsoft sites:

Two powerhouses in the Canadian online world will end their five-year marriage next week and begin competing with each other for the same advertising dollars.

Microsoft Corp. and BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada will close their Web portal, sympatico.MSN.ca, on Tuesday and refresh their own sites: MSN.ca and sympatico.ca.

Why did they liaise in the first place? Whose interests is Bell serving?

“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all.”

Bill Gates

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 27/2/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.1, Collabora Office for Phones and Latte Dock 0.9.9

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use 'Big Browsers' That Spy)

    The Linux Foundation's message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness



  3. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part I: Year Zero

    People behind the ousting of Richard Stallman (or 'leaders of the coup' as some call them) want a fresh start; but they aren't starting what most FSF supporters have been led to believe



  4. Alexandre Oliva on Diversity Hypocrites

    "Some of them purport to be for inclusion and diversity, but won't hesitate to make fun of someone's poorly-disguised handicap."



  5. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 26, 2020



  6. Alexandre Oliva: Courage is Contagious

    Having a proposal rejected at a conference is nothing unusual, but the surrounding circumstances and the conflicting versions are.



  7. Links 26/2/2020: Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1, FSF Outlines Plans for Code Hosting

    Links for the day



  8. Reminder: At Linux Foundation in 2020 Three Board Members, Including the Vice Chair and Director at Large, Are Current or Past Microsoft Employees

    Sometimes the facts speak for themselves (or pictures speak louder than words)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 25, 2020



  10. Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  11. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

    Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it's not so simple.



  12. The EU's EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO's Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

    Propaganda terms such as "intellectual property rights" and meaningless concepts like "technical effect" are being used to promote so-called 'computer-implemented inventions' (software patents by another name)



  13. Growing Acceptance That There's No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

    There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC



  14. Emulating the Linux Foundation's Business Model (Selling Influence)

    LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)



  15. Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

    What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 24, 2020



  17. An FSF That Rejects Its Founder Would Not Remain FSF As We Once Knew It

    It's important to keep the FSF focused on its goals; that won't be achieved by expelling those who insist on these goals



  18. Links 24/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC3, Netrunner 20.01, Google Summer of Code 2020 Mentoring Organisations Announced

    Links for the day



  19. Alexandre Oliva's New Article About a Coup

    Some people try to tell me that the criticism I've got, inside the FSF and outside, since the Free Software Sept 11, are not about my being supportive of RMS, but about my making public statements referencing him at all.



  20. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  21. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  23. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  24. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  25. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  27. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  28. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  29. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  30. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts