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Attack of the Microsoft Lobbyists, Talking to House Judiciary Committee Panel About Google

Posted in Deception, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACT Microsoft

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.

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  1. twitter said,

    September 21, 2010 at 8:14 am


    Forbes has some nerve to claim the point of Google Apps is “to eat away at Microsoft’s cash cow.” Google’s business model is advertising, so anything they can do to have people use their services is a money maker. If Microsoft’s cash cow is dying, it’s because keeping cows is a trivial exercise. Offering a spread sheet, presentation tool and text editor over the web is only a little less trivial than offering one natively. How long did Microsoft really expect to make big margins on their text editor? How long do they expect to remain in the OS business when there are litterally thousands of variants of gnu/Linux and BSD available at no cost? Microsoft’s whole business model was a short lived abberation of the 90s and that the point of most of their current activity is to thwart competitors. Paper based publications like Forbes might have some sympathy for Microsoft as fellow dying publisher, but they should at least pretend to be objective in their sweeping comments.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t quite read it like this. I’m not sure Forbes was trying to daemonise Google.

    twitter Reply:

    There is no mistaking what they said, the intentions are harder to determine. They said straight up that Google’s intention with Apps is to kill Microsoft revenue. That sounds like slander to normal people but perhaps not to Microsoft fans. They have taken the fact that Google Apps replaces Microsoft Office and threatens Microsoft’s business model and turned it into less than charitable intentions on Google’s part.

    Nick Saint’s statement is his own or a spin of BI’s already spun numbers and analysis. Saint points to a Business Insider article by Henry Bodget that reads like an advertisement for Microsoft Office but does not posit this motive to Google.

    Saint might think that anti-competitive behavior is normal and that no one really cares about customer demands. Forbes is a habitual apologist for Microsoft’s crimes as “sharp business” practices.

    Saint and Blodget both still live in a universe where Microsoft is central and people only consider “alternatives” in order to get a better price on Microsoft trashware, which they think is best of class. If they are really in Microsoft’s paid orbit, they will consistently ignore and damn all of Microsoft’s competitors. Notice that neither mentions Open Office, ODF or the scores of other software that works to real standards. GNU/Linux is something Forbes only mentions when quoting Microsoft’s periodic patent extortion threats.

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