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11.09.09

Google Disrupts Microsoft Cash Cows

Posted in Antitrust, DRM, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, Microsoft at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Calf with cows on grass land

Summary: Google takes business away from Microsoft, antitrust comes into play, and Xbox users are banned

Google is useful in the sense that it weakens a company that's attacking GNU/Linux. And Microsoft is suffering indeed. As one consulting firm put it last week, “Cloud computing threatens Microsoft business model.”

BusinessWeek has this new article titled “Turbulence on the Way to the Cloud”

British newspaper publisher Telegraph Media switched from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail and is rolling out other Google Apps.

There are other stories just like that in the past week’s news. For instance:

i. Is Microsoft a dinosaur to Google’s mammal?

However (and this is a really big however), Google’s products are maturing at an incredible pace, perhaps because they eat their own dogfood and run their own enterprise on Google technologies. Here’s the real question you have to ask yourself: Is it worth investing in a Microsoft ecosystem now? Or does Microsoft need to fundamentally shift directions if it hopes to keep attracting new customers in a world that is increasingly turning to the Web for everything it does?

ii. Students prefer Google to Microsoft

Google is the world’s most attractive employer, followed closely by its rival, Microsoft, said a recent survey by Universum, a provider in research, strategic consulting and media solutions in the field of employer branding.

iii. Google’s Obsession With Microsoft Burns Hotter

Google CEO Eric Schmidt claims that Microsoft has provided his company with a sort of ‘reverse roadmap’ of what not to do to achieve sustained success, a comment that shows just how preoccupied Google has become with its gigantic rival.

iv. Google CEO: We Won’t Repeat Microsoft’s Mistakes

Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on a bit of a Microsoft offensive. Earlier this week, while talking to press in Boston when Schmidt was asked to comment on a statement by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, he said, “I’ve learned not to respond to quotes by Steve Ballmer.” Oh Snap!

v. Google: Don’t Be Evil. Or Microsoft.

There is a certain batch of new articles worth tackling in isolation. Specifically, it’s about regulation. We previously wrote about Microsoft-Yahoo! antitrust barriers [1, 2, 3, 4], which according to the Telegraph will lead to no progress this year.

Yahoo! and Microsoft search deal delayed until 2010

The two companies signed a 10-year deal in July 2009, which will see Microsoft’s Bing technology power Yahoo! search. Both companies have been waiting on US regulatory approval and at the time of the signing of the deal said they expected it to be closed by October 27.

It’s not getting any easier. Now they want to make it even more worthy of scrutiny, essentially by using up what’s left in Yahoo!, which Microsoft ruined deliberately whilst ousting key staff.

Microsoft has made no substantial progress in this area and it knows it must stop Google. Microsoft even uses politics against Google these days. Situations that are suspect include:

  1. Microsoft Loses to Google, Microsoft’s Anti-Google Lobby Unable to Change Laws Anymore
  2. Has Microsoft Sent Its Former Employees to Conduct Anti-Google Studies?
  3. Microsoft’s Anti-Google Whisper Campaign
  4. Microsoft-Sponsored Czech Presidency Fights Google?
  5. Did Microsoft Hire Consumer Watchdog to Attack Google?
  6. Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC): Got Microsoft?

Found in the Wall Street Journal is the following piece from the following person:

Mr. Petkantchin is research director at the France- and Brussels-based Institut économique Molinari.

Institut économique Molinari also played a role in helping Microsoft. It’s called a “Think Tank”, but these are increasingly associated with AstroTurf and lies, based on a recent survey that PR Watch wrote about in October. According to another new report from the Washington Post, “Microsoft buster Gary Reback goes after Google on books”

Gary Reback, a leading antitrust attorney from Silicon Valley who went after Microsoft in the late 1990s, has a new target in sight: Google.

Sounds like another Christine Varney based on the track record. Separately, the Wall Street Journal published the following:

The Great Disruption

[...]

Lawrence Lessig, who was an expert in the Microsoft antitrust case (and is now a professor at Harvard Law School), tells Mr. Auletta that Google will soon be more powerful than Microsoft ever was, since primacy in search gives the company unprecedented control over commerce and content.

Also worth mentioning is the following item from Information Week. It speaks about Microsoft fines which it has not paid to its victims yet (the issue is well overdue). It pays that money to Google now, as we noted before.

As part of a 2006 settlement between Microsoft and the state of California alleging overcharges for software, the city of Los Angeles received several million dollars. The city will use $1.5 million of that Microsoft money to pay most of the $1.9 million cost of the Google contract’s first year.

But never mind the crimes; Microsoft Nick pretends it’s all attributed to “anti-Microsoft mentality”. It must be “hatred” when someone loves the law.

Silicon Valley, the home of Apple and Google, is known for its anti-Microsoft mentality.

It is stuff like this which invalidates the Seattle P-I as anything other than a Microsoft booster. They always defend Microsoft, no matter what the circumstances are. There are exceptions though. Microsoft is currently mass-banning Xbox Live accounts. There is actually a valid reason for this, but will there be false positives?

No word on the exact time the latest ban wave took place but according to the official Xbox Live forums and the tears of many pirates asking why their consoles are now banned, it looks to of taken place within the course of this last week.

Microsoft also uses this as an excuse/reason to discourage second-hand sales of Xbox 360.

Larry Hryb, Programming Director at Microsoft, is warning people who buy a second hand Xbox360 as they seem to be running the risk of not being able to connect with Xbox Live.

Actually, Xbox 360 cannot be bought, it can only be rented. The above shows that Microsoft failed with its kill switch-enabled DRM experiment called Xbox. It has already lost billions.

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11 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 9, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Gravatar

    *Everything* takes business away from Microsoft, the way Bill would have you hear it.

    Google’s growth is the world’s gain, at least until the evil bit gets flipped.

  2. Jose_X said,

    November 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft, not Google, has first and best crack at what users do online as well as offline.

    However, maybe their years of playing the monopolist has left them a bit rusty on the edges.

    Meanwhile, Google could only dream of having that power.

    Oh, wait! Google is putting that dream into reality with their Google/Linux OS with proprietary pieces being spread to everyone through numerous nonPC devices.

    Microsoft 2, a little gentler, but possibly more competent, shrewd, and ambitious.

    Gee, I can’t wait.

  3. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 9, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Gravatar

    “Google is useful in the sense that it weakens a company that’s attacking GNU/Linux.”
    Not to mention that Google itself is much better than MS as a company too. Sure, they are not perfect, but no company is.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Few people are actually forced to use Google, with the exception of ads (can be blocked) and maybe documents that are sent via Apps/Docs; those too can be exported as ODF.

    Jose_X Reply:

    I largely agree. The analogy to Microsoft was if Google OS (TM) with proprietary components developed something of a monopoly.

    Jose_X Reply:

    Eg, imagine being tied in (ie, proprietary lock-in developed over time) to a proprietary Google browser that would not allow you to block cookies (or would keep the tracking info somehow even if “cookies” were disabled). And everything you downloaded and every part of every page you put on screen would be watched, recorded, and analyzed. [Yes, your eyeballs could be tracked with the eyeball tracking software using the images of that camera sitting right in front of you (and which perhaps you thought was turned off).] This all could lead to serious manipulation of what you observe in life, learn, etc, and it would be guided by what someone else thought was best for you based on what they had observed you doing or simply wanted. Your life would be a lie and could get locked in without the benefit of independent observation in order to regain your bearings. Of course, this is if Google extended those monopolies far and wide, but they already play a major role in advertizing, programming, looking things up, etc.

    Let’s try to keep our windows into the Internet free of anything that can turn into a sort of Big Brother Big Sister Big Family event. No Big Microsoft. No Big Google. No Big anyone.

    Promote the AGPL and maybe even possibly better new future licenses.

    As an aside, it’s great to see there is hope in Bilski and that software patent supporters now appear to want a very limited ruling, but I’m still noticeably apprehensive.

    ..If software creators (FOSS) find they can’t share their software and engage in business without burdensome limits and not according to our copyright terms, I think we should spread the message and tutorials that will help us become world class trolls. This would be the consolation prize. Might as well become billionaires. Put all our ideas on paper as quickly as possible without worrying about implementing anything. Write very general patents before anyone else does. Bring the industry to a standstill to wake them up. We can use royalties collected to let legislators know how “silly” software patents are. We might as well leverage the system to help set things right so that one day we could all go back to coding freely.

    Though the idea of becoming a billionaire is kind of interesting. What is the point of having money but not being able to do many things you find enjoyable or not being able to produce many of the solutions you think could be put to X or Y use? Besides software, lots of other intellectual pursuits would require you wearing a strong straight-jacket.

    Barf. Slash wrists. Sabotage my own parachute.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Software patents are another issue; Google is not really opposed to them. Any patent of this sort is also a social catastrophe because it restricts thought.

    Jose_X Reply:

    The sw patents aside was off-topic.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, but it could become important one day.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “Let’s try to keep our windows into the Internet free of anything that can turn into a sort of Big Brother Big Sister Big Family event. No Big Microsoft. No Big Google. No Big anyone.”
    Fortunately, Chrome OS is unlikely to gain a monopoly, nor will Android. There is plenty of competition for both.

  4. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Here is a comparison of Google and Microsoft:
    http://www.askwoody.com/2009/comparing-microsofts-ruthless-execs-googles-cold-engineers/

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