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. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  2. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  3. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  4. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  5. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  6. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  7. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  8. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  9. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  10. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  11. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  12. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  13. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  14. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  15. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  16. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  17. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  18. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  19. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  20. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  21. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  22. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  23. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  24. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  25. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  26. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  28. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become



  29. Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

    EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time



  30. Links 9/12/2014: Greg Kroah-Hartman Interview, Fedora 21 Imminent

    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