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02.09.10

Steve Ballmer Visits Obama Once Again as His Fight Against Google Continues

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

White House in daytime

Summary: Updates on the competition between Microsoft and Google — a rivalry that takes political form

GOOGLE is gradually devaluing Microsoft’s products and Steve Ballmer understands that (Microsoft’s poor results [1, 2, 3, 4] are related to this). Free software and Google challenge Microsoft’s fundamental business model, as opposed to Apple for example. Moreover, watch how Google became an attractive employer, whereas Microsoft dropped like a stone (for several years now, even before the massive layoffs that are still ongoing, having officially begun over a year ago). From CNET:

Among the technology firms that ended up on Fortune’s list were SAS at No. 1, Google at No. 4, Cisco Systems at No. 16, Adobe Systems at No. 42, and Microsoft at No. 51. The firms scored points for a couple of different factors, including top pay and best perks. And with the job market still tight, Fortune also looked at the job growth for each company.

Microsoft is always trying to cause trouble to Google. Microsoft sued Google last month, having previously used other parties to sue Google. See for example:

Here is what Microsoft has been up to in recent days:

This is typical. This type of attitude is highlighted in a new post which is titled “Steve Ballmer, did you ‘f***ing kill Google’ yet?”

Well About 1/2 a decade ago, a key individual defected from Microsoft to Google that lead to one heck of lawsuit. According to official documents, Steve said he was going to ‘fucking kill Google’ as he hurled a chair across the room. literally.

[...]

We were just wondering Mr. Ballmer, did you ‘fucking kill Google’ yet? We figured 1/2 a decade has passed now and we were just wondering the status of it.

More in this new article:

If you think this is creepy, then join the club. In terms of collective IQ, Google is the smartest company in cyberspace: for five years it’s been taking the cleverest graduates from elite universities and the most experienced computer engineers. It’s been such a magnet for talent that even Microsoft is enraged. In 2005, for example, an ex-Microsoft engineer named Mark Lucovsky alleged in a sworn statement to a Washington state court that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, became so enraged on hearing that Lucovsky was about to leave Microsoft for Google, that he picked up his chair, and threw it across his office. (Ballmer called this a “gross exaggeration”.)

Well, nothing that Microsoft has tried (and it tried so many things at a very high cost) has helped it accomplish the goal of simply destroying another competitor. Microsoft managed to pretty much destroy Yahoo! but not Google. Yahoo! Search got hijacked by Microsoft after an AstroTurfing campaign funded by Microsoft had derailed a deal between Yahoo! and Google. Microsoft was tearing apart the company through its staff and Microsoft fans are now saying that “Yahoo! Continues to Slip”. One has to wonder why, eh? Well, here is another fleeing executive of Yahoo! (more here):

It took three years, but former Yahoo executive Dan Rosensweig believes he has found another great Internet gig.

Rosensweig’s career shifted in a new direction this week when he took over as CEO of Chegg.com, a Silicon Valley startup that says it has rented about 2.4 million textbooks to cash-strapped college students since its 2007 inception.

AOL is with Google, still:

Armstrong Hints AOL Will Renew Search Deal With Google: ‘Distribution Is Almost As Important To Us As Money’

[...]

During today’s AOL earnings call, which just finished, CEO Tim Armstrong dropped the strongest hint yet that Google is the front-runner in negotiations for who will power search across AOL properties. Google is AOL’s current partner, as it has been for nearly a decade, but snatching the search partnership away would be a coup for Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Bing wants the search deal, which would help it increase its total volume of searches by a couple percentage points since AOL on its own has the fifth largest search share in the U.S.

Here comes Steve Ballmer to the White House (yes, again [1, 2, 3, 4]):

DJ Obama Meeting With Microsoft’s Ballmer, Amex’s Chenault, 8 Other Execs

A group of 10 top corporate executives, including Microsoft Corp.’s Steve Ballmer and American Express Co.’s (AXP) Ken Chenault, will join President Obama for lunch at the White House Thursday, an administration official said.

Some weeks ago we saw Ballmer using his "innovation" propaganda to have Obama promote patents and the Huffington Post helped Ballmer in that regard. Ballmer can also poison the government against Google and fight against the planned fixes for taxation policy (Microsoft is a tax dodger [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]).

Bank of America, Microsoft, Exxon May Face Obama Tax Increases

[...]

Bank of America Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Microsoft Corp. would be among companies paying $400 billion in additional taxes under President Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget.

On several occasions in the past we wrote about Microsoft’s influence in the Department of Justice [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] — an immense influence which led to discrimination against Google in that department.

“Microsoft is pulling out every favor it’s got … It has a very close relationship with DOJ and the White House, and all of that pressure is being brought to bear.”

“Microsoft lobbies to fight Yahoo-Google pact”

Watch what the Department of Justice is doing to Google right now:

Kara Swisher and a few other journalists argue that Google too lobbies heavily [1, 2], with Google Watch (Ziff Davis [1, 2, 3]) going further:

Google, Microsoft Meet in the Lobby on Capitol Hill

Google and Microsoft compete in search, cloud computing and Web services, but their battles extend from boardroom bargaining with customers to the nation’s capitol.

One has to remember that when it comes to lobbying, there are secret spendings and political power that is unaccounted for. Microsoft’s influence over the government has become inherent in the system and it’s possible that Google is just more transparent when it comes to lobbying disclosures. Either way, lobbying should ideally be eliminated altogether.

With Google’s domination in video (Microsoft is far behind), there is likely to be regulatory pressure that goes beyond just search.

Google has a problem in China. But it may have bigger headaches in Europe.

According to another perspective:

Germans and Frenchmen are more likely to Google themselves than are Brits and Americans.

The German and French authorities recommended that people drop Internet Explorer [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] after repeated cases of Microsoft negligence [1, 2, 3].

Also in the news in recent days:

1. Google joins the ‘kill-IE6′ campaign

2. A Tad Too Late, Google Begins Phase-Out of IE6

3. Google pushes Chrome browser as PC battle looms

Google has taken the unusual step of using real-world advertising to promote its Chrome web browser in Europe ahead of a regulatory change that will make it easier for consumers to switch Web browsers.

4. Time to die, but Microsoft can’t kill Internet Explorer 6

World governments want you to stop using IE6. Microsoft does too. But the software giant claims its hands are tied — it’s like a drug. Why Microsoft can’t stop supporting IE6.

Google can help the elimination of Microsoft's threat to Free software. For that reason, it is better to favour Google. Rumours suggest that Google might buy Canonical.

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7 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Gravatar

    “fucking kill Google”
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/05/chair_chucking/

    Microsoft’s outsource marketing firms and their own outsourced marketeers and astroturfers are letting into both Google and Apple. Even people that should know better are getting caught up over the iPad. It must be a real threat to the last of Microsoft. Notice the shilling about ‘questions’ about the iPad are all based on the asinine assumption that the infrastructure is Windows.

    Only an utter jackass would try to run MS Exchange instead of a regular mail service. Only those pushing for illegal tenders and other bookkeeping irregularities would take MS Exchange over the multitude of others. Citadel is one that needs mention, if groupware is needed for buzzword compliance.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    iPad has other issues that are legitimate.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Only an utter jackass would try to run MS Exchange instead of a regular mail service. Only those pushing for illegal tenders and other bookkeeping irregularities would take MS Exchange over the multitude of others. Citadel is one that needs mention, if groupware is needed for buzzword compliance.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “Only an utter jackass would try to run MS Exchange instead of a regular mail service. Only those pushing for illegal tenders and other bookkeeping irregularities would take MS Exchange over the multitude of others.”
    I wouldn’t go that far of course, but I hasn’t done much research on it in a while so….

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft Exchange is not necessary. That’s true.

    your_friend Reply:

    The only thing that Exchange excels in is user hostility. “Retractable” mail and spy power are supposed “security” features of the mess, but these come at the price of a Microsoft platform that has the worst security record in the industry. There is no email client with a worse record than Outlook, people using it might as well publish their email on line so that Google can index it. Exchange’s email retraction feature has embarrassed at least one PR firms that attempted to delete email sent to the press. When done to a normal email server, this simply leaves an incriminating retraction email. I have to agree that anyone pushing for Exchange as an email server is a jackass willing to sacrifice real privacy and security for the ability to lord over hapless employees.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The only feature it seems to boast is calendar/PDA integration that facilitates Microsoft’s patent extortion. Microsoft Exchange dodges the standard protocols (“innovates above standards”) to give Microsoft more control over the world’s mail.

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