EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.21.10

Increasing Microsoft Embedment at Facebook and Yahoo!

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scoble and Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg
with a former Microsoft evangelist who more recently joined Rackspace only to see it aligning with Microsoft a year and half later (source: Robert Scoble)

Summary: Facebook is giving Microsoft even more power and more user information for search profiling; Yahoo is meanwhile dying in Microsoft’s arms, perhaps serving as a cautionary tale to Facebook

Facebook receives a lot of bad publicity not just owing to its size. The company’s founder called Facebook users “dumb fucks” (a phrase used regarding trust and privacy) and not surprisingly he has personal relationships with Microsoft executives, both past and present. Even Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold is someone whom he knows personally and met.

“A company is practically or just virtually ‘brought’ when its agenda is changed to align with Microsoft’s.”In our previous posts that are focused on Facebook we showed an increase in technical collaborations between Microsoft and Facebook (they get slapped for swapping personal data of users). Microsoft once tried to buy Facebook, but it’s so much easier and cheaper to just command the company from the outside, just like in Yahoo’s case. A company is practically or just virtually ‘brought’ when its agenda is changed to align with Microsoft’s.

Earlier this month it was revealed that “Bing could get access to anonymized Facebook data” or that “Your Facebook ‘likes’ might influence your Bing search results”. It turns out that “Microsoft and Facebook [are] in Talks to Add ‘Like’ Utility to Bing” or to put it differently, “Bing [is] in talks to fine-tune search with Facebook ‘Like’ data”. In more general terms, “Facebook, Microsoft in talks to deepen search ties” (shades of Yahoo!) and there is more information here. Facebook has been sharing data with Microsoft for quite some time.

The latest joining between Facebook and Microsoft was perhaps revealed here, if the “Exclusive” prefix is anything to go by.

Facebook and Microsoft are discussing an agreement that would significantly expand the search relationship the pair have shared for many years, said several people with knowledge of the situation.

Microsoft booster Emil Protalinski reveals more points of intersection between this pair of companies. Speaking of intersections between companies, “Microsoft’s Blair Westlake to join I-Academy” says this new article which shows just how much further Microsoft is reaching: “Blair Westlake, corporate vp of Microsoft’s Media and Entertainment Group, has been tapped as treasurer of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.”

Then there is the Nokia HR problem which we mentioned in the previous post. A few days ago we found the article titled “What We Can Learn from the Flight of Microsoft Execs to Amazon, AOL, GM, Nokia, Yahoo…and Micro VC”:

Sometimes all you need to do is look at where former Microsoft executives are going, to piece together some interesting trends in the tech industry.

In recent months, a number of high-profile leaders from very different divisions of the Redmond, WA-based software firm (NASDAQ: MSFT) have departed. This might be true in any given year at a company with roughly 90,000 employees, of course, but what’s interesting here is where these execs are going—and what their moves say about their respective industries. (Also noticeably absent are any publicized moves to hated competitors like Apple, Google, or Oracle.)

I posit that the following six personnel moves say more about the near-term future of industries like mobile, gaming, online services, and automotive than about Microsoft itself, although there might be some intriguing partnerships with Redmond in the works:

Nokia, Amazon, and Yahoo are all mentioned there. We gave examples of Microsoft executives entering these big companies and concerns are justified based on consequences we saw. Yahoo! is still just busy serving Microsoft’s search [1, 2] rather than advancing PHP and BSD with its own operations. Its once-leading E-mail service gets a belated revamp after Zimbra was passed to the Microsoft employees who run VM_Bware [sic].

“In northern America, Yahoo! routes traffic to Microsoft, so gullible journalists resort to pretending that the US is the whole world…”Nielsen, which Microsoft is apparently paying, remarks/plots/writes about the Yahoo!-Microsoft search outcome while Yahoo! still holds on to Alibaba [1, 2] (noteworthy is their recent Google deal in Japan).

In northern America, Yahoo! routes traffic to Microsoft, so gullible journalists resort to pretending that the US is the whole world and therefore “Microsoft’s Bing Overtakes Yahoo As Number Two Search Engine” [1, 2, 3, 4]. Nielsen is used, but Microsoft swaps data with Nielsen, which leaves room for bias. The Microsoft-paid comScore [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] says the same thing [1, 2], but it also measures market only in the US while saying the opposite of everyone else sometimes (while it only claims to be checking one country, the American press often fails to mention this).

MSNBC carries content from another Microsoft booster (original in Fool.com). It’s just propaganda along with self-selected numbers (that same old "US-only trick") regarding search. The Microsoft press is trying to get across the idea that Microsoft is somehow winning in search. How utterly shameful. There is more of that boosting from the same source and Enderle is still given a platform by ECT, despite his conflict of interest. That’s just a good example of how bad the press can be.

Here is what the ‘Microsoft press’ in Redmond says:

So, that Microsoft-Yahoo search deal? It’s kind of working a little bit! With Bing now running Yahoo, Microsoft’s consumer-search market-share numbers now seem, at least, to be marginally less pathetic than they used to be. Keep on foisting that sword at those windmills, Don Microxofte.

They refer to US-only (or north America) deal as though it’s global. That’s rather dishonest, yet expected from such a biased source.

The truth of the matter is that Google keeps gaining (Google gains are currently covered in [1, 2, 3]) and Yahoo! suffers because Microsoft is ruining the company. It is infiltrating those important positions in the company (CTO for example) and halting useful development, not to mention funding of Free software projects. In companies like Yahoo! and VM_Bware there used to be potential for advancing Free software, but that’s hardly the case anymore. Microsoft made Yahoo! lose its identity and become just a channel for Microsoft’s biased ‘search’. One journalist asks, “Why Is It So Hard For Yahoo To Explain What It Is?” There is this new article in the MSBBC (“Yahoo bids to get its ‘cool’ back and remain relevant”), which led richslxh from Identi.ca to writing: “Google at least helps !foss Yahoo doesn’t, now they are whining. #Yahoo-is-tech #my #arse… Google introduced instant search, Twitter revamped its website. Yahoo in comparison talked about “cool things coming up soon”. #yahoo #fail”

“What Microsoft did here only increased unemployment in Silicon Valley.”It’s not entirely Yahoo’s fault. Microsoft hijacked the company (ousted the old/original management), took the valuable parts, and ejected the rest. And some people still say that Microsoft is beneficial to technology? What Microsoft did here only increased unemployment in Silicon Valley. Some people from Yahoo! were left without a job (they previous worked around Free software) and some moved to Microsoft. Google has had a similar problem for a while — the problem is absorbing former Microsoft staff like Daniel Costello in this new case or Don Dodge last year [1, 2, 3, 4].

Who is left to run Yahoo! then? One might say that the company will inevitably become unethical/criminal like Microsoft, maybe even based on this new and exclusive report from The Register: [via]

According to Yahoo!’s chief economist, Preston McAfee, the company is “handicapping” its auctions using an algorithmic method it calls squashing. And it had been doing so since 2007.

“When someone has a really high ad click probability, they’re very hard to beat, so it’s not a really competitive auction,” McAfee told The Reg. “So that they don’t just win [every auction], we do squashing. This makes the auction more competitive.

“It’s like handicapping. We handicap the people with the high click probability.”

This, McAfee said, can increase Yahoo!’s revenues. “The bidders respond by bidding higher. The one who was destined to lose is now back in the race, so they bid higher trying to displace the number one, and the number one is trying to fend them off so they bid higher too.

“We can make the competition a bit more fierce using squashing, even on keywords where there’s not much bidding.”

This is potentially illegal.

Here is an article which preceded it (also from The Register):

Yahoo! economist rebuilds ad empire with ‘Magic Formula’

[...]

McAfee is a disciple of Nobel Prize–winning economist Roger Myerson, whose “mechanism design theory” has been used to build everything from efficient trading systems to reliable voting procedures. “In the same way a physicist develops a theory and an engineer builds something that actually uses that theory, we’re the kind of people who use scientific principles to actually make markets or interactions among people work better, work more smoothly,” McAfee says.

Ultimately, it seems possible that Facebook’s trajectory is similar to Yahoo’s. It is gradually being assimilated.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  2. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  3. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  4. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  5. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  6. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  7. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  8. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  9. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  10. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  11. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  12. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  13. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  14. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  15. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  16. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  17. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  18. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  19. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  20. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  21. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  22. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  23. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  24. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  25. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  26. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  27. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  28. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  29. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  30. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts