Summary: Microsoft is unleashing the lobbyists and AstroTurfers in more desperate attempts to cause Google trouble with the law
MICROSOFT has little or no legitimacy when complaining about Google. Everyone knows that they are each other’s competitors. So, what does Microsoft do? It hides behind fake groups that it funds to pretend to be independent complainers.
One example of such groups is ACT, which Microsoft uses for a variety of purposes including the fight against ODF, the fight for software patents in Europe, and the fight against Google. Another group, ‘Consumer’ ‘Watchdog’, keeps AstroTurfing against Google and foolishly enough some reporters still give this group a platform.
The ice cream man video has been viewed over 330,000 times.
Then there is the ITA complaint and its connection to Microsoft was covered here earlier this month. A Microsoft booster writes about it too, perhaps not noticing the source of the this complaint against Google.
Watch the article “House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy Hearing”. Someone is quoted as saying: “In addition, I have done consulting for Microsoft. My testimony today reflects my own personal views and not the views of my clients.”
Or the paychecks?
People love to obscure their biases to themselves. It’s a self defence of one’s convictions.
In another post from the Microsoft booster which was mentioned above, “Microsoft-backed group” is the name given to another Microsoft lobbyist, Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). He ought to just say “lobbyist”, which is still a euphemism and a nice word for someone who pretends to be independent but is actually just a proxy for corrupting lawmakers on behalf of a paymaster.
Look who’s talking in the House Judiciary Committee panel hearing. “Microsoft-backed group issues warning on Google-ITA deal” is an understatement:
“The concern is about access to the engine and who gets the best quality result,” Morgan Reed, executive director for the Association for Competitive Technology, told a House Judiciary Committee panel hearing Thursday. Reed’s group is backed by Microsoft and Orbitz, both of which rely on ITA’s service to display airfares.
We have been seeing a lot of this recently, e.g. in Texas [1, 2], but Google is not blind to the source of it all. “Google suggests Texas search concerns originate with Microsoft” says The Hill (also see “Google faces more antitrust scrutiny, blames Microsoft again” and “Google hints at Microsoft involvement in antitrust suit”).
Why need Microsoft be so worried about Google? For starters, it is killing the #1 cash cow. Yesterday from Forbes: “Google Apps Is Making Microsoft Poorer, Adding 1 Million Users Per Month”
This morning, Google announced that over 3 million businesses, with over 30 million employees, are using its enterprise Apps product.
Given that only a small percentage of Apps users actually pay for it, it doesn’t look like Google is going to turn enterprise into a revenue engine any time soon. But the point of Apps isn’t to make money – it’s to eat away at Microsoft’s cash cow.
Despite the misreporting/FUD which lingers on, Google Apps is also gaining some major clients. Since it’s Fog Computing, it’s not great news, but as Google supports ODF, it is far better than Microsoft monopoly. █