Bonum Certa Men Certa

Does Microsoft Break the Law in Search of a Future?

Bongs
Bongs



Summary: Microsoft may be breaking competition law by routing users to its Web sites

SEVERAL DAYS ago we showed that Microsoft had allegedly forced IE6 users to embrace its rebranded "search engine" [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which the company vainly and callously calls "decisions engine” (because it lets Microsoft make decisions). The issue is now pretty much confirmed:

Microsoft Tries to Force You to Use Bing



According to reports, a glitch in Internet Explorer 6 forced Bing onto users as the default search engine. Even when users manually altered their preferences, Bing emerged once again.

Search Engine Land contacted Microsoft about the bug. Microsoft acknowledged the problem and responded at 2:45 a.m. that the bug is now fixed. End of story, right?

Perhaps. But when you take Microsoft's history into consideration, the force-feeding of Bing almost makes sense. I am not suggesting Microsoft intentionally created this bug to get people hooked on Bing. I am saying there's a correlation between the problem at hand and problems Microsoft have encountered in the past.


Are regulators paying attention?

Microsoft's desperation is no excuse and if it tries to game the system to falsely claim growth, then punishment is in order. According to this new article, it's too late for Microsoft.

MICROSOFT has been warned it is haemorrhaging almost €£750 million ($1.2bn) a year by failing to secure a tie-up with Yahoo.

The investment bank Credit Suisse used an internet blog website to urge the US software giant to strike a deal and finally bring an end to on-off talks that have lasted well over a year.

It claims Microsoft cannot survive in the global search arena on a standalone basis, despite launching a €£61m advertising campaign for "Bing", its new search engine proposition.


Whether Microsoft gains market share or not is not so important. The company is already using this illusion of a "decisions engine” to deceive a lot of people. The engine is biased by design (in Microsoft's favour) and we already know that Microsoft is making search results advance OOXML, for example. A few days ago, Pamela Jones wrote in Grokaw, "I suggest you search for ODF on both Bing and Google and see which one is more informative."

It was the same with Microsoft's Live (same engine under the hood) just over a year ago, so people complained. "Decisions engine" as a name is an excuse for delivering man-made results. Nowhere is there a claim that there will be no bias. Someone in a USENET newsgroup posted the following yesterday:

Search word: lady

Google: 333 Million Yahoo: 898 Million Bing: over 263 Million

Search word: chrysler

Google: over 90 Million Yahoo: 475 Million Bing: over 52 Million

Search word: ubuntu

Google: over 90 Million Yahoo: over 200 Million Bing: over 100 Thousand?



Does Microsoft has selective sight? It sure does. And its 'new' product (more of a predatory new strategy than a product) deserves the ire of regulators. Too little is said about the violations involved so far.

Comments

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