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03.27.10

Google Gains Influence at Microsoft’s Expense

Posted in Google, Microsoft at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Swiss coins

Summary: More money to be spent on Google, at the expense of Microsoft, which in turn lobbies the government so that it serves its corporate overlords

OUR position on Google was recently described in this post. Free software does not need to personify or rely on corporations as though they are inherently committed to Free software, but while some corporations perceive Free software as an enabler and a friend, others viciously attack it and try to make it illegal. This is why the following news story about Microsoft being dumped for Google in a very large company is probably good news (but not as good as a company moving to Free software).

It wasn’t broken, but he fixed it anyway. After launching an initial pilot, Manesh Patel, senior vice president and CIO at global contract manufacturer Sanmina-SCI Corp., ramped up quickly to move more than 16,000 users onto Google Apps for e-mail, calendaring and contacts — and he began turning off the company’s Microsoft Exchange infrastructure.

This only comes to show that Microsoft is being ditched. The company from Redmond often pitches for this weird delusion that it is gaining, despite the fact that in many areas its market share diminishes and it has an effect on the bottom line [1, 2, 3, 4] (profits decline in almost every area of operation despite some economic recovery and layoffs that reduce expenses). Microsoft is even killing many products and some divisions.

According to this new report, Microsoft is now putting an end to “Select”.

Microsoft will phase out its popular Select volume licensing plan in favor of its “Select Plus” program, which the company claims is a simpler option. Others say Select Plus will mean smaller discounts for buyers who truly worked the system and who could wangle bigger discounts from Select than other volume programs, including Microsoft Enterprise Agreements.

“Select is the funnest [sic] program to deal with because there are ways to game the system to get more than you’re entitled to,” said analyst Paul DeGroot with Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash.-based consulting firm.

DeGroot makes a living from praise of Microsoft [1, 2], but he also admitted that “there’s a lot of Linux out there — much more than Microsoft generally signals publicly.” DeGroot is even based near the homes of Microsoft’s chiefs, so we always take his words of analysis with a grain of salt. He is essentially a Microsoft booster. So anyway, the above shows that Microsoft resorts to a form of price hiking, which usually indicates that the company is in immediately need for more revenue. Google’s business model is proving very challenging to Microsoft and according to this news report, Google even challenges Microsoft when it comes to lobbying.

In 2009, Microsoft spent $6.72 million on lobbying, including $1.69 million in the fourth quarter. But the world’s largest software maker spent 24 percent less on lobbying last year than it did in 2008 when its lobbying expenses totaled $8.9 million.

As we have explained many times before, there are undisclosed activities and amounts that are not accounted for in these “official” figures. Gates-hired lobbyists, for example, may not count as Microsoft lobbying, but they have a similar effect and agenda. Anyway, the report above is titled “Google’s lobbying machine still cranking in 4Q” and we insist that lobbying by anyone is a bad thing [1, 2] because it subverts democracy and harms people’s freedom. In a later post we’ll debate Microsoft’s latest attack on people’s freedom in China.

“Did you know that there are more than 34,750 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C., for just 435 representatives and 100 senators? That’s 64 lobbyists for each congressperson.”

CIO.com

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