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05.03.10

As Google Eats Microsoft’s Cash Cow Ballmer Finds New Attack Dogs in Yahoo!

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Search at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Yahoo! Blog from Sunnyvale, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Generic license (caption added by us, with Ballmer’s words

Summary: Microsoft cronies from Yahoo! badmouth Google, still; Google weakens Microsoft and contributes to the decline in the Office franchise

GOOGLE is a growth company, unlike Yahoo! In fact, Google grows at a healthy rate, alongside Apple for example (regardless of whether one likes it or not).

Having just received a huge bonus (and after Microsoft’s proxy fight put her in power), Carol Bartz is throwing some more patently false FUD at Google, not just formal complaints.

TechDirt responds with the post “Is Yahoo’s CEO Really In A Position To Tell Google What It Needs To Do?”

I don’t think that anyone judges Google based on how “interesting” they are. Is that the metric they use at Yahoo? Does that explain the $47 million she apparently made last year? Because she made Yahoo so interesting? Well, I guess it should be admitted that Yahoo is the company that is trying (and so far, failing) to patent “interestingness,” so perhaps she’s just urging Google to be interesting for the sake of a future patent fight? In the meantime, I would assume that, at Google, they judge the company based on how much money it makes — and on that front, it appears to be cleaning Yahoo’s clock on a pretty regular basis.

Google, which was almost a Yahoo! partner before Microsoft AstroTurfing broke that off and changed Yahoo’s management, is once again being mocked by allies of Microsoft (who also happen to compete with Google).

A pro-Microsoft ‘news’ site (been like this for ages) reminds us that Microsoft’s cash cow may be a key issue here; it is why search is not Microsoft’s main worry but harming/derailing Google through its own cash cow is the goal, even at the expense of $3 billion in losses per year (that’s Microsoft’s current pace of online deficit increase).

Is Google Eating Microsoft’s Cash Cow?

[..]

With numbers like those, Google only has to take a modest chunk of Office’s market share to do real harm to Microsoft’s bottom line. And with each new release, it looks more and more like Google is up to the task.

GNU/Linux is mentioned several times in this article, which is unusual for this pro-Microsoft source (Motley Fool).

Microsoft faces a threat to Office at two levels: the application level and the standard level (or format layer). Google Apps is proprietary, but at least it supports ODF and all platforms that can run a Web browser. According to IBM’s Rob Weir, ODF has just turned 5 and support for the international standard keeps expanding [1, 2, 3].

To fully appreciate the significance of ODF you need to understand the market climate in which it was created, and to understand that you need to understand a little of the history of word processors. The following time line illustrates the introduction dates of word processor applications over the past 30 years or so.

EurActiv has this new report which comes with the headline “EU eGovernment push ‘threatens Microsoft supremacy’.”

EU telecoms ministers took an important step towards diluting the market dominance of Microsoft’s Office software on Monday (19 April) when they agreed to roll out online services using more interoperable document formats, according to Brussels-based competition lawyers.

[...]

Following Monday’s meeting, governments across Europe are expected to follow Denmark and Norway’s lead by choosing open software standards for eGovernment services, like the freely-available Open Document Format (ODF).

Should their promise materialise, it could pose a threat to the 95% market share held by Microsoft applications, legal sources told EurActiv.

Earlier today we published some links about policies in Europe that favour Free software, not just standards. The difference is important and foes of Free software often try to blur the gap. Here is an example from Spain:

On 8 January 2010, Spain has adopted the Royal Decree 4/2010 which implements the National Interoperability Framework planned in the eGovernment Law 11/2007. The framework has been developed with the participation of all Public Administrations (General State, Regional and Local governments – represented by one hundred experts) and of the ICT Industry professional associations. The Decree includes important provisions, especially Articles 16 and 17 related to the reuse of Public Sector software, the applicable licensing condition and the use of software repositories or forges.

While we’re talking about Spanish rules, it is worth bringing attention to Rui Seabra’s many findings about the Magalhães. “The “public” procurement for laptops for kids in Portugal which demands Windows 7, Intel (in a hidden form) and OOXML,” he wrote yesterday. For more details and some background, see the links below.

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