12.03.09

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Microsoft About Anti-Google “Bribes”: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 9:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft and News Corp temporarily (and hopefully permanently) backtrack from another “plot to kill Google”

“Murdoch” is not “Madoff”, but Murdoch too has his share of borderline-criminal activities. To give recent examples of a much darker side:

i. Murdoch papers paid £1m to gag phone-hacking victims

Rupert Murdoch’s News Group News­papers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists’ repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.

ii. Times Online denies knowledge of link spam campaign

Piotr Wyspianski, a manager at Sitelynx, was revealed on the Waxy.org blog to have waged a one-man campaign to game web aggregation communities such as Digg, Metafilter and StumbleUpon with over a thousand links to Times Online stories. Before working for Sitelynx, he had form for a similar astroturfing effort for his own online jewellery store.

Predictably, the Waxy.org story has hit the front page of Digg and some Diggers have piled in to condemn Times Online, blaming a conspiracy by the original Digger himself.

iii. Hacker testifies News Corp unit hired him

The trial could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage awards.

NDS, which provides security technology to a global satellite network that includes satellite TV service DirecTV, denies the claims, saying it was only engaged in reverse engineering — looking at a technology product to determine how it works, a standard in the electronics industry.

More recently we wrote about Rupert Murdoch’s attack on Google. See:

Microsoft has already tried several dirty (and potentially illegal) tricks to elevate its Google competitor. It seems like Microsoft is again misusing the term “open” to promote Bong [sic], by attacking Web standards and a cross-platform Web (XAML trouble). Responsible for this utter deception is Microsoft’s main booster at The Register, Gavin Clarke.

On the other hand, The Register also has this new article regarding Microsoft’s second thoughts about more bribery as a business model against Google.

Or at least, Microsoft is not prepared to go exclusive with the hard-nosed Aussie and other media moguls. Not this week, anyway.

Reports last week said that the two firms – who share a common interest in slapping Google – were working on a deal that would lead to News Corp’s content only being available through Microsoft’s Bing search engine. In exchange for some Microsoft cash, of course.

The story told a day ago by a pro-Microsoft site is that Microsoft is not “focused” on these anti-Google agreements (this does not rule them out, either). One reader wrote to us about “what would happen if Bill and Rupurt got control of the Internet.” He points to this new article [via Slashdot] as a lesson, quoting: “In this context, it should come as no surprise that the nation’s telegraph system quickly fell into the hands of one of the most notorious schemers of the Gilded Age…”

Later in the day The Register wrote some more about what it had labeled “bribes” against Google.

Microsoft has firmly ruled out the notion of paying news publishers to de-index their content from Google. But you knew that already. Speaking at the unveiling of new Bing features in San Francisco yesterday, senior online services VP Satya Nadella said that Microsoft was not focused on getting exclusive content, and that “there is no real intent here that is focused on getting a whole bunch of content that is de-indexed from Google”.

How kind of them.

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