Bonum Certa Men Certa

Boycott Google, Says Microsoft to Publishers

"...Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux."

--Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO



Summary: Microsoft is using companies against other companies that pose a threat to Microsoft's revenue

Those among Microsoft evangelists who want to boycott Firefox and Opera may actually feel comfortable with Microsoft's scheme to boycott Google through publishers. According to new reports, Microsoft's plan may gain more members for this boycott. Will they be paid by Microsoft for this? Or will the bad publicity for Google be sufficiently worthwhile? As it stands, many people are sympathetic towards Google and disgusted by Microsoft's strategy which leads to this service degradation:



MediaNews Group Inc., the Post’s publisher, will block Google News when it starts charging readers in Pennsylvania and California for online content next year, Chief Executive Officer Dean Singleton said in an interview. Morning News owner A.H. Belo Corp. may introduce online subscription fees and also block Google, Executive Vice President James Moroney said.


As a little bit of background, see:



This whole idea of using companies to attack your main rival is rather familiar. Microsoft also paid SCO a lot of money when it attacked Linux. Here is another nice refresher:

First you had to convince the United States Department of Justice that you were not being monopolistic when it comes to the desktop operating system and web browser. You sited Apple, Linux, and Netscape as competitors in this space. Lost but later you settled with the Unitied States while litigating Netscape to death. Your 750 million settlement with AOL/Netscape bought you browser market share. Even though you supposedly out of court by 2003, you were funding SCO in hopes of killing Linux. Now that SCO is bankrupt, you are busy defending your office suite in court with the Word patent suit and Novell is still suing you over Word Perfect. Do you still find it profitable to sue smaller companies that use Linux in their talking-devices based on the Linux kernel like the TomTom?


It proceeds to showing why Microsoft has failed:

You lost…

* The kernel behind Google Android phones like the Droid is Linux. * Netscape is now the open source browser Firefox. There have been over 400 million downloads since I made the bet with Nick in June 2009. * Sun Microsystems, one your targets via SCO suits, is still sponsoring Open Office. In a few short months, you will have lost majority market share to the Open Office suite. * The Google/Ubuntu hybrid web-optimized Linux system called ChromeOS will hit your operating system, browser, and office suite market share hard.


It may all be true, but Microsoft is now using SAP against OpenOffice.org and Java (the rivals of the main cash cow and Microsoft's development universe, respectively). Microsoft is always finding someone who is corruptible or coercible enough to do its battles.

Matt Asay has just explained why Microsoft is so fearful of Free software and Google. It is a clear explanation:

Google makes money by making it easy to discover others' content. So does Apple's iTunes. Google can afford to give away lots of free software (and even free hardware) to nudge people into its advertising model.

That's hugely disruptive.

In software, Microsoft doesn't like competing with free Linux. Microsoft spends a lot of money developing Windows. It must seem unfair to have to compete with the rest of the industry, which increasingly coalesces around Linux (or Android, or MySQL, or...).

But that's life in the open-source economy. Your core competence is always going to be someone else's throwaway complement, and ripe for open-source commoditization.


Microsoft is still run by thugs, so the idea of using third parties to do the "dirty job" (like a mafia) is not far fetched, it's already a reality.

"[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would 'backstop,' or guarantee in some way, BayStar's investment.... Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar's investment in SCO."

--Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO



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