Feature: Soapbox Musings

Microsoft's Pot Calls Out Google's Kettle

Author: James Walker
Published: January 08, 2013 at 5:48 am
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Ballmer phoneA friend of mine sent me a few links to a Microsoft blog where the company's legal department apparently has issues with the recent FTC ruling on Google's alleged anti-competitive practices. I could write paragraphs of babble but I think a direct quote sums up Microsoft's position best.

"Unfortunately, this agreement appears to be less demanding than the pledge the U.S. Department of Justice received from Apple and Microsoft nearly a year ago."

Microsoft's ruffled feathers come from Google's apparent blocking of the Microsoft YouTube app from Windows phones going back as far as 2010.  A service available to Apple and Android users by the way.  Again we'll let a direct quote tell the story...

"Google often says that the antitrust offenses with which it has been charged cause no harm to consumers. Google is wrong about that. In this instance, for example, Google’s refusal deprives consumers who use competing platforms of a comparable experience in accessing content that is generally available on the Web"

A more classic case of a jealous pot bashing the upstart kettle there has never been.  Replace "Google" with "Microsoft" in the preceding quote and it's 1996 all over again.  And there's the rub.  Microsoft doesn't think Google is getting punished enough and has somehow equated an inferior YouTube experience on Windows phones with Google's apparent monopoly on Internet search. 

We are concerned that the FTC may not have obtained adequate relief even on the few subjects that Google has agreed to address."

Microsoft appears to want to link two largely unrelated topics in their complaint which in spite of their claims to the contrary equate to little more than sour grapes. Microsoft's assertions bank on the short memory of the Internet and consumers in general.  Ironically, a Google search can correct that.

Remember that the FTC went after Microsoft not because they had the leading operating system but because they abused their market position with it.  The tight integration of Internet Explorer with Windows operating systems starting with Windows 95 made competing browsers inferior on the platform.  It also allowed Microsoft to claim that the Browser and the Operating System were too closely interrelated to expose the details to competing browsers.  To do so would allegedly expose their trade secrets.  The FTC didn't buy it.

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Article Author: James Walker

An IT professional for the past two decades I've been both cubicle dweller and independent consultant for a number of companies. I enjoy writing about a range of topics but know that I only post articles when I think I have something important to say. …

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