04.06.10

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Google Starves Microsoft’s Sacred Cash Cows, So Microsoft Forms Relationships With Communist China, Other Proxies

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mao Zedong portrait

Summary: Microsoft sidles closer to totality in order to weaken Google, which is now taking away lucrative customers away from Microsoft

MICROSOFT has ignored the disruptive trend harnessed by Google for far too long. And now, argues a pro-Microsoft Web site, Google Apps is a “threat” to Microsoft Office.

Apple has taken share from Windows operating systems, and on the lower end, consumer netbooks from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and other PC manufacturers have Linux-based operating systems as an option. While these challenges may be a blow to Redmond’s pride, they have yet to be a threat to its business. However, with Google Apps, Microsoft is seeing a major challenge to one of its most important products: Microsoft Office.

The above statement is not true. GNU/Linux is already harming Microsoft a great deal, especially when it comes to margins. Free software has ruined Microsoft’s margins in several different areas, by Microsoft’s own admission.

“Free software has ruined Microsoft’s margins in several different areas, by Microsoft’s own admission.”Other news articles say things like “Microsoft’s Office Suite May Be Challenged By Google’s Alternatives” or even “Microsoft Office Faces Challenge From Free Google Tools,” but they are ignoring the core component of Google’s tools (which are proprietary software built on top of Free software).

Microsoft hardly has any datacentres compared to Google and Windows has lower capacity, so it’s an uphill battle for Microsoft. The price pressure is showing.

Microsoft is so desperate to stop Google that it is now “enabling tyranny” [1, 2] despite pressure from the US government. Here are some new articles on the subject:

Let’s talk about straight business issues and not whether anyone is right or wrong. Although I think the moral and ethical issues are clear if you’re not running a company involved in China, things get murkier when there’s business to conduct and you have not only self interest, but a legally-mandated fiduciary responsibility to investors.

I may have been a bit harsh when saying that this was only a business decisions for Google, and it seems clear that the situation had an impact on company co-founder Sergey Brin, but given how long the company was willing to hold its nose, you know that morality can take a back seat to pragmatism. From purely business considerations, it would be much harder for Microsoft to pull out of China than Google.

A closer look at the past week’s news may also reveal that Microsoft is looking for low-wage labour in China and in India. New facilities are being built in China (also banking relations), whereas in Western countries Microsoft keeps laying staff off. Is this Microsoft’s future?

Microsoft said it would stay in China and continue to obey the country’s censorship laws, which include forbidding pictures of tanks and protests when one searches for “Tiananmen Square,” for example.

Adding insult to injury, Microsoft attacks Google’s Web browser using ammunition that it cannot conceivably use.

Microsoft has publicly attacked Google Chrome, accusing its arch web rival of compromising user privacy with the browser’s data-gathering address bar.

In a video posted to Microsoft’s TechNet site and tagged with the title Google Chrome Steals Your Privacy, Internet Explorer product manager Pete LePage uses a web traffic logger to show Chrome sending data back to Google as he types a url into browser’s more-than-an-address-bar, dubbed Omni Box.

In reality, both companies should reduce their data collection and Microsoft is in no position to take such a stance where it mocks Google for doing exactly what Microsoft does. They are being total hypocrites again and Dave Methvin calls them on it:

The tempest that Microsoft is trying to brew in this teapot basically boils down to this: Google’s Chrome browser combines the function of the address bar and search box in a single input field. When you start typing things into that box, Chrome sends the partial results to Google so that it can send back relevant results.

Let’s clarify a few points here. First, Internet Explorer will happily send back the same sort of information if you type into the search box, rather than the address bar; it’s not as if this is top secret stuff. Second, just about every search engine (that includes Google, Bing, and Yahoo) includes the same ajaxified search box that sends back partial results as you type. Third, if you trust Yahoo or Bing more than Google, you can easily change your Chrome default search provider to them, or turn it off completely. (Notice how the Microsoft video makes some noise about “default settings” in explaining this.)

Here is Microsoft using other companies to slam Google (and admitting this).

But isn’t Foundem just a Microsoft puppet? Its founders say no. Foundem does belong to trade group ICOMP, which is funded in part by Microsoft, as Google pointed out in a blog post. (As Google also pointed out, one of the other complaining companies, Ciao! by Bing, is a Microsoft subsidiary.) In addition, the Register notes that ICOMP’s legal director wrote some “legal bits” of Foundem’s EU complaint.

However, the article says Foundem hasn’t received any money from the trade group or from Microsoft, and neither company has any ownership interest in the other.

More here:

* Microsoft’s head algorithms guru says that Google’s search engine beat Microsoft because Microsoft ignored the long tail of search queries. If Google and Microsoft made different product design choices and the marketplace liked Google’s choices better, doesn’t this make it hard for Microsoft to complain about Google’s “anti-competitive” practices? I wonder if this talk was pre-cleared by Microsoft’s antitrust counsel.

It is rather disappointing that Wolfram got itself involved with even more proprietary software companies after it had given in to Microsoft in exchange for a payment.

The latter question was answered in August when Wolfram Research partnered with Microsoft. For those willing to switch from the almighty Google, Microsoft’s Bing displays Wolfram’s fact-based, data-rich results in some search results alongside traditional pages culled from the Web.

That agreement (and a check from Microsoft) facilitated in a way Wolfram Alpha’s move to “ubiquity,” as the developer refers to changes it announced Wednesday.

Microsoft tries to limit options such that the only viable option other than Google becomes Microsoft. This relates to the previous post about Yahoo.

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