Summary: Facebook starts leaning on Microsoft for help now that its users (products) no longer log in and give data (content) to consume advertisements (Facebook’s real clients) as much as they used to
Irrespective of financial performance, Facebook is losing impact based on various metrics that we have tracked for years. Confirmatory media reports aside, Alexa ranks show Facebook peaking and then plateauing in 2011, finally suffering a statistically-significant decline of 4% in the past month alone. The past month has been exceptionally bad for Facebook, showing not just plateau but decline. In order to stay relevant, Facebook has been lobbying with Microsoft against public interests (this contributes to further isolation and alienation). Just like Yahoo, which is stuck with Microsoft after getting hijacked by Microsoft, Facebook is too closely aligned with Microsoft and against Google. As CNN put it, “Yahoo may want out of its search agreement with Microsoft, but the Internet giant doesn’t really have another option.” Yahoo nearly signed a Google deal some years ago, but Microsoft used AstroTurf tactics to stop it. Now Yahoo! is a dead man walking. Microsoft’s investment in Facebook has had a similar effect. It doesn’t let Facebook deviate from the ‘Microsoft line’.
“Facebook will decline from majority market share to negligible market share in years to come.”Now we discover that Bing, the Microsoft-censored ‘search’ which scrapes Google results pages, is to be further integrated with Facebook. Just like Nokia, Facebook will decline from majority market share to negligible market share in years to come. Don’t let Microsoft-friendly sites make it seem like Nokia after the Microsoft takeover is anything but irrelevant. Even they say that “if you are thinking that this new Lumia is giant leap forward for Nokia and Windows Phone, you are mistaken.”
Microsoft never helps companies. It devours of them. It leaves the unwanted bits out in the cold to rot. █
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Summary: Yahoo is left with no real capacity to provide search results of its own; Microsoft elongates the pain with another one-way (self-serving) deal
Yahoo is an excellent example of the toll of Microsoft’s behaviour. Many people lost their job, as I explained yesterday morning in a one-hour interview with a technology journalist. According to the news, Yahoo fell deeper into Microsoft’s trap, which will probably result in yet more cuts, affecting customers too (will Flicker be next to get shut down?). To quote: “Yahoo signed a deal with Microsoft in 2009 that came into force the following year and effectively turned Yahoo from an internet search engine provider into an advertising broker, with Microsoft’s Bing providing Yahoo’s internet search engine. The two firms signed a 10 year deal with exclusivity clauses that can be exited during the term, however Microsoft has signed a deal to continue being Yahoo’s exclusive search engine provider.
“There are other such search engines which use Microsoft results without it appearing so to the user.”“Tucked into Yahoo’s 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft’s decision to renew also revealed some interesting terms of the deal. For example, Microsoft gets just 12 percent of revenue generated by its search results, an amount that could decrease to seven percent if Microsoft doesn’t renew what Yahoo calls its “sales exclusivity for premium search advertisers”.”
There are other such search engines which use Microsoft results without it appearing so to the user. It is an effective strategy for Microsoft. Facebook is another example because Facebook shares its data with Microsoft, one of the most influential shareholders.
Yahoo is hijacked to very high a degree. iophk says “Yahoo is mostly a shell of a company now. It’s a bit like Nokia” (see our Nokia pages).
“Wait until the revisionists tell us that Yahoo killed itself.”Google’s Mayer made a last attempt to rescue Yahoo after Yahoo nearly signed a Google deal (Microsoft used AstroTurfers to covertly prevent this). Here is another report, stating that “Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer has attempted unsuccessfully to unravel a 10-year search-advertising pact with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in favor of a deal with Google Inc. (GOOG), according to people familiar with the matter.”
Nokia is going down the same road as Yahoo. Microsoft killed it. What went wrong with MeeGo? Microsoft bribed Nokia, put a mole in it, then ‘lost interest’ in MeeGo (the Microsoft alter-ego). Now it’s a patent trolls feeder for Microsoft. Watch this revisionism from TechRadar (often a source of FUD and bait headlines that hurt Linux). That’s not how most of us remember it. In fact, Nokia’s Linux-based handsets continued to outsell the Windows ones long after the Microsoft deal had been signed. Wait until the revisionists tell us that Yahoo killed itself. Revisionists did that to Netscape. █
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Summary: Microsoft is searching for new fear-mongering ideas as it loses online (services and servers)
The decline of Bing has been rapid and I now see it accounting for no more than 5% of search engine referrals in my sites (I manage about a dozen). Bing is dying, so Microsoft resorts to pathetic FUD. It resorts to FUD such as this Scroogled [1, 2] nonsense we covered here before while it is also lying and cheating with secret belated patches to daemonise Google’s server platform of choice. We still see Microsoft's partner Trustwave seeding Red Hat and Linux FUD, not noting that Microsoft even admits not disclosing patches. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichol has just written about this too:
Linux, Windows, and security FUD
It’s 2013. but the Linux FUD just keeps coming. In the most recent example, security firm Trustwave claimed that Linux kernel vulnerabilities went unpatched more than twice as long as it took to fix unpatched flaws in Windows. This assertion would be a lot more believable if it wasn’t coming from a Microsoft partner.
What no one seems to have bothered to do when they reported that Linux was far more lax about taking care of so-called zero-day flaws was to see where Trustwave was coming from. Had they bothered with even a simple Google search they would have found that the company had partnered with Microsoft to bring their application firewall to Internet Information Server (IIS). In particular, Trustwave made a point of boasting how they’d collaborated with the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC).
In the meantime, Linux, which I freely admit isn’t completely secure—no operating system on the planet ever will be—continues to be be trusted by the world’s biggest Web sites, such as Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia and by such mission-critical sites as the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Now, as it has been for decades, Linux remains more secure than Windows, and no FUD can refute this.
Watch out for Microsoft spin because a lot of it exists right now and we haven’t the capacity to track all of it anymore. Full-time job and family limit my ability to do this like I used to. █
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Summary: Bing keeps falling, now as low as 5th, according to a Microsoft-friendly source
Microsoft’s partners at ComScore deliver some raw numbers which show Microsoft declining in search (we still have an issue with proxies and we challenged them over it, only to receive a weak response).
RUSSIAN SEARCH ENGINE Yandex surpassed Microsoft on the number of monthly search queries worldwide in November and December 2012, according to a recently released Comscore report.
Microsoft websites processed 4.477 billion queries, while Yandex processed 4.844 billion.
As you’d expect, Google still reigned supreme with 114.73 billion search queries and 65.2 percent market share. Chinese search giant Baidu was second globally with 14.5 billion and 8.2 percent, and Yahoo came in third with 8.63 billion and 4.9 percent.
Bong [sic], the latest of many names for Microsoft’s search, has hardly gotten press in recent years. It got a lot of publicity when Microsoft paid a lot of money for this publicity. It all clearly failed because Microsoft still loses billions of dollars online. █
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Summary: US regulatory agencies not moved by claims from Microsoft and its proxies
TECHRIGHT covered many examples where Microsoft paid persons or groups to daemonise Google. The latest example goes all the way up to Microsoft managers, show links that Groklaw posted last week. The front groups got some legal action rolling:
Companies are pleading with the Justice Department to investigate Google as they lose faith that the Federal Trade Commission will act forcefully on their complaints that the company illegally skews its search results, said people familiar with the matter.
At least one Google adversary met with Justice Department officials recently, pressing them to investigate, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
This week, Microsoft unleashed a Web campaign for Bing, called “Scroogled,” knocking Google’s (GOOG) values with the same flair with which Penn’s teams once undermined rival candidates on the campaign trail. “In the beginning, Google preached, ‘Don’t be evil’—but that changed on May 31, 2012,” the site reads. “That’s when Google Shopping announced a new initiative. Simply put, all of their shopping results are now paid ads.” Google later responded with a statement defending Google Shopping, in part by noting that the recent changes have made “it easier for shoppers to quickly find what they’re looking for.”
Read on and see who is behind all of those claims. Microsoft has thugs in suits. People need to understand this by learning. They don’t care because they don’t understand and they don’t understand because they don’t care. █
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Summary: Abusive monopolist and leaker of personal information Microsoft hopes that the public will move off Google and over to Microsoft for ‘privacy’
My favourite search engine, Scroogle, was shut down some months ago, leaving me to use StartPage. Microsoft now misuses the word “scroogle” in attempting to daemonise Google. Here is how IDG puts it and here is a decent response to Microsoft’s hypocritical smear:
Microsoft often attack its competitors through smear campaign whether it’s OpenOffice or Google. The Windows 8 maker is desperate to show how bad their competitors are through every channel possible. Right now Microsoft’s arch rival is Google.
The company ran the Gmail man campaign trying to tell users that Google looks at your mails (as if Microsoft doesn’t look inside Hotmail). There is no Gmail ‘man’ reading your emails, it’s all automated. The fact is Microsoft also scans your emails.
And now Microsoft tries to tell us about privacy concerns in Google search. Never mind if Microsoft spies on Windows and Skype users, eh? All that in addition to search and E-mail spying…
For private search, use StartPage, not DDG (DuckDuckGo), which uses Microsoft for results and uses Microsoft talking points against Google. It last did the latter days ago (direct link intentionally not included). █
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Best tool for a hack job
Summary: Microsoft and its proxies incite regulators against Google
I am hardly a Google user myself, but when it comes to hack jobs I mind a lot. Microsoft with its proxies is trying to incite the government against Google (search) as a last resort in the search battle. There is some news which suggests lobbying win for Microsoft:
Last month, Reuters reported that four of the five FTC commissioners had concluded that Google has used its search market dominance to harm its rivals. Agency investigators circulated a draft memo recommending legal action against Google. Last week, Bloomberg reported that the FTC has delivered “an ultimatum” to Google demanding that the search giant offer a plan to settle the investigation, or face a lawsuit. If no settlement is reached, the FTC will press ahead in the coming days with a vote that will determine whether the commission files a lawsuit. If that happens, the lawsuit would be the most dramatic action taken by the U.S. government against a major technology company since the Department of Justice challenged Microsoft in the 1990s.
“If you don’t think you can win,” writes Pamela Jones, “maybe you should think about whether you really have a case? And leaking threats when you know you don’t think you can win is lame. What’s really going on here?”
She quotes Danny Sullivan’s article which defends Google by saying that no government intervention is needed. The action came after heavy anti-Google lobbying from dubious groups, including some from Microsoft proxies. FairSearch is a Microsoft front, for example, a fact that articles like this one conveniently overlook. Read this:
Earlier today, the group FairSearch published a blog post outlining potential remedies that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should consider in its antitrust inquiry into Google’s practices. FairSearch is a group of companies that complain to regulators that Google’s superior performance is the product of “anticompetitive” behavior. FairSearch members include Microsoft, Expedia, Hotwire, Foundem, and TripAdvisor.
FairSearch’s post today lists behavioral and structural remedies, along with steps for ensuring implementation of these remedies. We’ve written extensively on remedies proposed by FairSearch, refuting over a dozen of them. Google is a client of my firm, but I do not speak for the company, only for myself.
Nonetheless, I want to address FairSearch’s latest offering, though many are recycled without the slightest improvement.
FairSearch’s proposals are, at points, hopelessly vague. I have to guess at the proposals, to some extent, in order to refute them. As a result, this post is more detailed than the one it refutes.
Indeed, these flawed remedies demonstrate that Google’s competitors are not interested in competing in the marketplace to win over customers. Instead they want to use the power of government to handicap the strongest of the pack, to the benefit of the weaker competitors. That’s a raw deal for consumers, and a heavy blow against innovation.
Microsoft never cared about innovation. Destruction is the motto. Microsoft does whatever it takes to just eliminate competition. █
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Summary: More Microsoft-funded lie tellers, whose purpose is to unleash antitrust action against Google, get unmasked
TECHRIGHTS has spent a considerable amount of time exposing anti-Google groups which are funded by Microsoft. Sometimes these are one-man (or woman) entities, e.g. Ben Edelman.
Microsoft often uses “consultant” trick for passing a bribe and FairSearch seems to be one such example. To quote:
But Athey isn’t just a professor. She’s also a consultant to Microsoft and has the role of Microsoft’s chief economist. The Microsoft connections weren’t listed next to her name on the agenda, but at least they were made clear in her introduction to those at the event.
Microsoft is using lies again. As the author notes: “That’s not true. Not only is it not true, it’s impossible. It’s impossible because Android code is released to anyone to do anything that they want with. But if just being impossible isn’t enough proof, how about proof of Android devices that have dropped Google as the default search engine?”
Amazon put Bong inside Android. Others too put other search engines in Android, so clearly it is not verboten, it is just disgusting when Microsoft spying is put in place in exchange for kickbacks. █
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