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Microsoft, Google, and the Impact on Free Software Revisited

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Summary: Microsoft fails to slow Google down; Google harms Microsoft's profits; Windows-only Microsoft Web rationalises temporary support of Google

IN ITS brutal fight against Google, Microsoft continues to rely on PR and lies. Fortunately, however, Microsoft makes little or no headway, despite huge investments.



Microsoft relies heavily on unethical deals (e.g. destroying Yahoo! [1, 2]) and miracles.

"Microsoft’s Bing fails to ping as Google continues to take search market share



[...]

The Yahoo!-Microsoft deal remains subject to regulatory approval.


Regardless of antitrust barriers, Microsoft has already caused great damage to Yahoo! -- damage which is also a problem to Free software.

Microsoft's CEO rules out further destruction of companies, except Google. Microsoft's trouble is that with Google dominating many parts of the Web (new study, which the Gerson Lehrman Group agrees with), Microsoft's main cash cow is unable to compete, especially if attempts are made to preserve huge operating margins.

Either way, Google Apps remains a dominant force with more than 1 million businesses using the application already and no sign of slowing down. Cloud computing is here to stay and Google and Microsoft will be fighting this out for years especially after the launch of Office Web Apps.


At the moment, as TechCrunch reminds us all, Microsoft fights Google using regulators.

Brin’s attitude is that if Microsoft or Amazon want a similar corpus of digital information, they should go scan their own out-of-print books.


Microsoft has already tried this and failed (it subsequently killed the product), so its whining about Google here is a case of sheer hypocrisy. Yahoo! is also being used to promote this agenda.

For those who wonder why Microsoft would be a disaster on-line, recall why Microsoft was found guilty in Korea twice this year [1, 2]. There is apparently a bit of a reversal this week, but the details are revealing nonetheless.

Court Defends Microsoft Browser Monoculture



[...]

The South Korean government insists that Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser should be the only option for doing encrypted communications online and the Supreme Court has no problem with it.

[...]

So basically, Linux, Firefox, Chrome and Opera users will continue to be prevented from banking or purchasing products online, and Mac users will have to buy Windows CDs to keep their devices from being reduced to fashion items.

[...]

It is estimated that around 99 percent of Korean computers run on Microsoft's Windows operating system, and a similar rate of Internet users rely on the company's IE. The main reason behind the dominance is that virtually all encrypted online communications here are made to rely on Microsoft's Active-X controls. The tool, introduced in 1996, is designed to work only on IE.


Microsoft not only spreads ActiveX controls; it also spreads Silver Lie these days (while harming Web standards along with Novell). This is why Microsoft should ideally be kept off the Web. A Web without Microsoft is a Web that GNU/Linux computers and devices can access at ease.

"There has recently been an exchange on email with people in the Office group about Office and HTML.

"In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.

"Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also."

--Bill Gates [PDF]

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