Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Microsoft News Technology

Microsoft Holding 'Screw Google' Meetings In DC 331

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-perhaps-screwgle dept.
Runaway1956 writes "Microsoft's chief Washington lobbyist has been convening regular meetings, attended by the company's outside consultants, that have become known by some beltway insiders as 'screw Google' meetings, DailyFinance has learned. The meetings are part of an ongoing campaign by Microsoft, other Google opponents, and hired third parties to discredit the Web search leader, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter. 'Microsoft is at the center of a group of companies who see Google as a threat to them in some combination of business and policy,' said a source who requested anonymity to avoid retribution. 'The effort is designed to make Google look like the big high-tech bad guy here.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Holding 'Screw Google' Meetings In DC

Comments Filter:
  • by QuebecNerd (924754) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:22AM (#29241681)

    I've been holding some pretty good 'screw Microsoft' meetings for years in the toilet.

    Nothing new here...

    Joking aside; a little farther and these meetings could been seen as illegal collusion.

    • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:28AM (#29241709) Journal
      "Joking aside; a little farther and these meetings could been seen as illegal collusion."

      I hope not, this slashdot screw microsoft meeting has only just started.
      • by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:32AM (#29241739) Journal

        Actually, you know, I'm kinda getting nostalgic. In ye goode olde days, even just a "Microsoft exists" would generate a flurry of pure hate, and let's not even get into news of such obviously evil behaviour as offering a free CLI version of their compiler. Now as of the time I've hit "Reply To This" were only 5 replies, and mostly moderate stuff. It hardly looks like the proper "screw Microsoft and the horse they rode in on" parties we used to hold :P

        • by clang_jangle (975789) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:05AM (#29241935) Journal
          Apparently all that astroturfing is paying off.
        • I think the perception is that everyone is aware that Microsoft is evil, so there's no need to muster up that much hate any more. Besides, all that hating is kind of tiring. I'd rather work on the solution than whinging about the problem. Also, it has become clear that Bill Gates is "in" with the "powers that be". It was never more clear than when Ashcroft gave Microsoft a free pass after it was found to have operated anticompetitively in basically every way. Attacking Microsoft (in the USA) has become more unrealistic than ever. It's better to just work on getting Another System Started and ignore them, which is to say, just go Open Source.

          It's also hard for me to bitch out Microsoft while I am forced to tell people who actually want to use websites with flash (such as full screen youtube) that they can't use Linux.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Are you suggesting the population of /. is maturing?
            • by Jurily (900488)

              Are you suggesting the population of /. is maturing?

              Have you seen a RIAA article lately?

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by the_womble (580291)

            [quote]It's also hard for me to bitch out Microsoft while I am forced to tell people who actually want to use websites with flash (such as full screen youtube) that they can't use Linux.[/quote]

            Works for me.

            I just tried a random Youtube video in full screen to check.

            • by Derek Pomery (2028) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:55AM (#29242315)

              He's probably referring to:
              https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=469439 [mozilla.org]

              There was a simple workaround (LD_PRELOAD) but it has been since fixed.

            • by JAlexoi (1085785) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @10:07AM (#29242415) Homepage
              Yeah, flash works full screen for me too. Tested on Ubuntu 8.04 x64 and 9.04 x86 with nVidia, ATI and Intel hardware.
              While Flash on 64bit windows still is nonexistent.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by drinkypoo (153816)

                I can do it on my Dual 2 GHz 64 bit athlon with a flash player 10 beta for x64. However, my Acer Aspire One D250 lacks the horsepower... but did it fine in Windows XP, with which it shipped. Flash games which were pretty peppy on this system are actually unplayable on my dual 2 GHz system. If you want flash performance (heh heh) then Linux is a gigantic failure.

                Don't get me wrong, I am running Ubuntu Jaunty on my desktop system, and Jolicloud Jaunty on both of my two netbooks. I am even working (occasionall

            • Flash fails for me with dual monitor on an ATI card with the open source ATI drivers. ATI and dual monitor on linux is not pretty though, the closed source ATI drivers are hell to set up for dual monitor because ATI has a separate config from xorg.conf so in combination they can get messy. It was working two days ago though and nothing has changed since so I have no idea what is happening. Also I am using a 64 bit system just to make sure that there is no possible way to get it works stably. Thinking ab

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          In ye goode olde days, even just a "Microsoft exists" would generate a flurry of pure hate

          Many reasons there bob.

          #1 Windows ME isn't used so much anymore.
          #2 Windows VISTA isn't used so much anymore.
          #3 The median age of a /. user has dropped to 18.675.
          #4 ????
          #5 Pure Profit.

          • The median age of a /. user has dropped to 18.675.

            Well, if the median age _dropping_ has caused more professionalism and less butthurt fanboy acts, I guess that's a heck of a vindication of teenagers. You know, since the stereotype about 14 year olds is the other way around :P

        • In ye goode olde days, even just a "Microsoft exists" would generate a flurry of pure hate

          The problem with this was that the two minutes hate often didn't last much more then two minutes, and was a bit repetitive and superficial. For recidivist agents of spiteful malevolence such as Microsoft, even a detailed two decades hate would not suffice.

      • by Jurily (900488)

        I hope not, this slashdot screw microsoft meeting has only just started.

        You must be new here.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ae1294 (1547521)

          I hope not, this slashdot screw microsoft meeting has only just started.

          You must be new here.

          No you must be new here and *WOOOOOOSHHH*

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DRJlaw (946416)

      Joking aside; a little farther and these meetings could been seen as illegal collusion.

      Only if you ignore that pesky First Amendment [wikipedia.org] in the Constitution.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Not really. If the majority of your competitors get together and work against you by holding meetings discrediting you, it's probably the same as all the major players in a market getting together and pricing you out of business. If it isn't, it should be illegal.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DRJlaw (946416)

          Not really. If the majority of your competitors get together and work against you by holding meetings discrediting you, it's probably the same as all the major players in a market getting together and pricing you out of business. If it isn't, it should be illegal.

          I could reprise all of First Amendment doctrine for you, but I won't. It's not illegal, and it shouldn't be illegal. Speech that you object to must be countered with speech, not suppression of the speech that you object to.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            I could reprise all of First Amendment doctrine for you, but I won't. It's not illegal, and it shouldn't be illegal. Speech that you object to must be countered with speech, not suppression of the speech that you object to.

            Freedom of speech is not absolute. If I tell you I'll pay you to commit a murder, and you agree to do it, we're guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, even if neither the killing nor the payment actually happens before we get caught and all we did was talk.

            The same principle can certainly be applied to speech on behalf of organizations. There are most certainly openness laws, and many of them concern corporate and government behavior. You may be free to speak, but you're not necessarily free to do it in sec

    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      Joking aside; a little farther and these meetings could been seen as illegal collusion.

      Pfft... Like claims of illegal collusion have ever mattered to Microsoft...

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:26AM (#29241697)

    The meetings are part of an ongoing campaign by Microsoft, other Google opponents, and hired third parties to discredit the Web search leader, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

    Anyone else reading "other third parties" as "politicians"?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I read "hired third parties", not "other third parties".
      Those parties are probably lobbyists, who then talk to politicians who have previously been payed for.

    • That would make sense that at least one or two politicians (or their aids) would attend. But if they were to attend, would they be friend, foe or observer?
      • by rvw (755107)

        That would make sense that at least one or two politicians (or their aids) would attend. But if they were to attend, would they be friend, foe or observer?

        If they were to attend, they probably would be paid!

      • by ae1294 (1547521)

        That would make sense that at least one or two politicians (or their aids) would attend. But if they were to attend, would they be friend, foe or observer?

        They would be the test subject in a "Clockwork Orange"...

  • ...the kettle called to say "YOU"RE BLACK".

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:30AM (#29241717)

    Microsoft and its cronies are wasting time. They forget that it all comes down to what people want to use, choice in this case.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:34AM (#29241751)

    All these competitors must be very desperate if they organize themselves instead of competing with one another. And I don't mean desperate as in "making less profit" or even "running at a loss", I mean desperate as in "about to be finished in the near future".
    This is the best advertisement for Google I can imagine. It's basically Microsoft and there other competitors advising you to put your money on Google.

    • by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:05AM (#29241933)
      I agree with you about that. It seems obvious that Microsoft would rather try to bash their competitors and hold them down until they drown than to compete on the merits. But they can't do it by themselves.

      A previous poster described this as collusion. Conspiracy might be a better word, but that might be construed as a "theory" rather than something that was actually documented.

      Now if Microsoft is having meetings with their competitors to take down Google, I have to wonder just how cooperative Microsoft really is. Given the level of paranoia exhibited by MS, anyone MS deals with is a potential threat to them. The vast majority of partners and collaborators with Microsoft have wound up either dead or permanently handicapped. I wonder if all of the attendees at those meetings have considered that trend. To see the trend, go here [groklaw.net].
    • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:49AM (#29242257)
      Microsoft's last two quarterly reports haven't been exactly encouraging, for Q4 2009 [betanews.com] over Q4 2008, they saw -33% reductions in the Client (windows) division, -1% in Server and Tools, -16% in Business (Office), -51% in online services (bing), and 25% growth in entertainment (xbox). The kicker here is that the growth in the entertainment division is actually mitigating a loss: Both that division and the online services are losing them money, i.e. they're in the red and are not making a profit.

      I suspect that their stock hasn't tanked because Wall Street has faith that their core businesses are such a huge cash cow that they will soon recover their former glory. I have my doubts though, I think the shine is gone and a lot more people have now come to see MS as a blunderer, like GM.
      • Realize that online services is the only area Google remotely competes in. Yes they have Google Desktop and the online apps and android, but at this stage those are still toys in the real world....about as dangerous as Palm right now. Most of the public and businesses don't need overpriced OSes (and at Microsoft's margin they have a lot to cut) and don't need new hardware in the middle of the second year of really tight belts. If anything this shows Microsoft products aren't providing quite the value to bu

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bing [brandinfection.com] means disease in Chinese.

    Just saying.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Most things have negative meanings in a language somewhere. Would you like some bite the wax tadpole?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Haeleth (414428)

        Indeed, but there's a difference between "some random language somewhere" and "the national language of the world's most populous nation".

        Nobody's too worried about Basque, Ainu, or Pitjantjatjara. But you can reasonably expect companies at least to avoid negative meanings in Chinese, Spanish, English, and Arabic, if they want to sell a product all over the world.

    • by theolein (316044)

      Maybe their brand agency were hitting the bong when they came up with bing?

  • by Torodung (31985) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:45AM (#29241829) Journal

    Meh. Were I a Microsoft stockholder, I would sue them for malfeasance if they didn't exhaust every cost-effective, competitive resource available.

    Every large corp. lobbies the government for market favoritism. Any large corp. that doesn't is screwing its shareholders.

    The problem is that you can do this at all, when the government is supposed to regulate (i.e.: even out) commerce and promote the general welfare (i.e.: not pick winners and losers).

    --
    Toro

    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:09AM (#29241959) Homepage

      "Were I a Microsoft stockholder, I would sue them for malfeasance if they didn't exhaust every cost-effective, competitive resource available."

      Sure. They should be "competitive." But competition does not include finding and executing ways to harm others. That would be another another term. "Destructive competition" is a term coined on the wikipedia page on the word "competition" but I don't think it does well to put those two words together as, to me at least, the word competition implies honor and fair play. Putting the word "destructive" in front does not adequately remove the implications of the word competition. Worse, doing so makes "destructive competition" seem acceptable in civilized society and I cannot subscribe to that point of view. Clearly, however, you can.

      There are times I wish I could be an active member of an important legislative body so that I could make a real, positive contribution to society. Unfortunately, I doubt I could withstand the "competition" I would experience in the process.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:50AM (#29242275) Homepage

      Any large corp. that doesn't is screwing its shareholders.

      Yup, that's absolutely right kids. A company screwing their shareholders is in fact grounds for a lawsuit. Screwing employees, screwing customers, screwing the government, screwing the entire US economy, and screwing the environment is all just good business.

    • Ask the management where YOUR profits are? Consider they make 80%+ profits off OS, servers, tools and Office where they hell does all that money go? Most importantly, in a recession why is it not going to YOUR pocket .. as an OWNER and all.

      What your saying about "responsibility" and such is a crock. They have a responsibility to turn YOUR money into MORE money as efficiently as possible... choking off air supplies" and "lobbying for favoritism" has nothing to do with that. Their business is to make PROFI

  • by mayberry42 (1604077) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:47AM (#29241847)
    Whoah! Looks like MS might be right on this one. After some detective work worthy of Sherlock Holmes, I have uncovered this [cracked.com].
  • In other news.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by da_matta (854422)
    ...Google has been convening with other companies that see Microsoft as a threat and trying to lobby different Washington interest groups "Microsoft as a big bad technology company".

    I.e. a practise otherwise discribed as a standard procedure of strategic competition in corporate America. You don't have to like it, but it's not exactly news. Catching them in the act of trying to bribe a congressmen/senators would be news.
    • Oh its you Mr "Microsoft's chief Washington lobbyist" astroturfing the slashdot crowd.

      You forget one thing Google's "Don't be evil". I think you find that Google are much less concerned with Microsoft then Microsoft is about Google.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:49AM (#29241863) Homepage

    In a competition, the playing field is level and the one who works the best or the hardest or the most efficient wins.

    We need a new word for the kinds of "competitive behavior" we see where the focus isn't about making better stuff or providing better services, but is instead focused on bringing down the people around you. In competitive sports, there are rules against such behavior. We can't have ice skaters bashing in the knees of other ice skaters now can we?

    Microsoft is very easy to criticize because they are very well focused on bringing the competition down instead of working to make themselves more competitive. They need to have their language license revoked when their describe their behavior as "competitive" and "innovative." The word "bully" comes to mind, but I fear it is too simplistic and doesn't adequately describe the depth of planning and focus demonstrated. Whatever the word, it needs to convey the abandonment of fair play principles of competition and the selfish and callous disregard for others in the damage they cause. Anyone know of a word that describes this sort of behavior? Perhaps a few from psychology text books might well fit in here somewhere.

    • by voss (52565)

      In competition No the playing field isnt always level, some teams are way better than others and even the good guys will lose quite often BUT
      at least everyone in theory is playing by the same rules.

      Google is winning because people like their search engine, it works and even 6 year olds can and do use it.

      Microsoft often won, and they got in trouble for this, because they owned many of the playing fields and made the rules and told the teams they sponsored about hidden ways of getting an edge on their fields

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:55AM (#29241887)
    microsoft not only has dominance on the desktop & laptops, they also have damn near 100% market share in the EVIL department too.
    • by dkf (304284)

      microsoft not only has dominance on the desktop & laptops, they also have damn near 100% market share in the EVIL department too.

      Damn! I didn't know that Halliburton outsourced that sort of thing.

    • Uh, you realise that this meeting is in DC? In terms of evil, MS are bit players in the DC region.
  • Corporate SOP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695)

    All major corporations have strategic meetings about their main competition. Why is this so different just because its Mircosoft doing it?

    Or is news really that slow today?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      All major corporations have strategic meetings about their main competition. Why is this so different just because its Mircosoft doing it?

      If you can reasonably describe them as "strategic meetings," it's certainly not news no matter who's doing it. If you have words like "lobbyists" and "discredit" in the story, it warrants some attention -- again, no matter who's doing it.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        If you have words like "lobbyists" and "discredit" in the story, it warrants some attention -- again, no matter who's doing it.

        Its how "the system" has worked since nearly the beginning of human time, and really a non story.

        The world runs on politics and deceit.. Show me something that isn't the status quo, and we have a story.

        • Re:Corporate SOP (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Secret Agent X23 (760764) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @10:38AM (#29242725)

          Its how "the system" has worked since nearly the beginning of human time, and really a non story. The world runs on politics and deceit..

          You're right. You're absolutely right...

          Show me something that isn't the status quo, and we have a story.

          ...but the point isn't whether it's "a story" or not. The point is whether people are doing things they shouldn't be doing and possibly acting to the detriment of the public good. Just because it's "business as usual" doesn't make it all right.

          And "the news" isn't supposed to exist simply to satisfy the public's craving for a steady supply of entertaining stories (yes, I know how naive I sound saying that because that's not really how it works).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ukyoCE (106879)

      It *sounds* like what they're doing is attempting a smear and astroturf campaign, rather than a "strategic meeting to provide better products".

      That is why this appears to be dishonest and evil, while Google does not.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:07AM (#29241945)
    Italy was invited.
  • by dachshund (300733) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:16AM (#29241991)

    The effort is designed to make Google look like the big high-tech bad guy here.

    If your effort has widely become known as the "screw Google" meeting, it seems to me that you're doing a pretty bad job of it. Of course, this is DC... cash can easily substitute for credibility.

  • It is a shame that Microsoft feels it is unable to compete in the marketplace, and now must walk the shadowy halls and back rooms of Washington DC in order to stay relevant.
  • I love the irony of holding regular smear meetings in order to make others look like the bad guy.
  • Google is on the verge of monopolistic powers... already have that in search. Being in control of search is much more scarier to me than in control of PC platforms. If you hate Microsoft, you should also hate/fear Google.
    • by bigpat (158134)

      Ya I see how being in control of google.com is so much scarier than a corporation having control over tens of millions of computers with a product that is being mandated in thousands of corporations simply because Microsoft keeps IT departments busy with enough work to justify big salaries.

      • by Xenolith (538304)
        Google knows way more about you than Microsoft does. They use this info to make their money. Google probably knows more about you than you do.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @10:01AM (#29242363) Homepage

    The new details about Microsoft's D.C.-based efforts to undermine Google shine a light on the role of third-party firms, funded by tech giants, that engage in activities such as astroturfing, corporate propaganda, and misinformation. Media reports have hinted at a "whisper campaign" undertaken by entities acting at Microsoft's behest to undermine Google, both with policymakers and the public.

    Coupled with Microsoft's long standing campaign to influence social media discussions in technical forums, like this one. Instead of investing that money in making better products, we've come to the point where success has to include not only dominating the market, but influencing social media and the regulatory environment. It's almost like their operating system business is an afterthought for Microsoft these days. They're not about building better products as much as hanging on to their market share and putting down competition.

    Remind me again why the artificial person that is a corporation deserves the same freedom of speech protections as an individual? Seems like they sort of have an unfair advantage already when it comes to getting their free speech packaged and distributed.

  • Gee, I wonder where all of these anti-trust concerns came from regarding Google? Gee, I wonder why Eric Schmidt and Arthur Levinson had to leave Apple's board? So, lame. And pathetic. I know some people will say that every company does this... And that's fine but it doesn't make it right. In fact it just makes MS look... lame and pathetic. Oh we can't compete let's lobby!

  • by BlindRobin (768267) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @10:16AM (#29242483)
    The time is not far off when all will realise that Google Earth is not simply the name of an application but our destiny !
  • VICTORIA, Steampunk Britain, Thursday -- An all-out Microsoft rocket attack on Google's London office yesterday caused a small fire from a ruptured gas cylinder, a reminder of the browser and search engine wars and Microsoft's overwhelming might.

    The six-story-tall Microsoft mecha, approaching from the direction of Victoria Station, unleashed an all-out attack, belching amusing farts of smoke from its Zune HD assault flamethrowers, before halting with an E74 error and collapsing onto the top of the building, where Google employees were enjoying their regular Thursday afternoon barbecue roasting a Snow Leopard on a spit.

    Four fire engines and twenty firefighters in hazmat suits were sent out after reports of Vista fumes in the area.

    The attack came a day after a Microsoft suicide car bomber killed seven cockroaches and gave himself a papercut when his car computer bluescreened. Microsoft disclaimed responsibility, asserting it was a completely independent suicide commando who only coincidentally happened to be in the pay of their PR agency.

    The BBC has reported Microsoft's complete victory in the battle, with extensive Zune downloads in Silverlight format of the victorious Seattle Revolutionary Army in action.

    Illustration: The destruction of the Isengard data centre [today.com]

  • In Capitalist West, MS screws Google in front of you.
    In Soviet USA, AT&T, Apple, Google, MS and the NSA screw you.
  • Microsoft, we have taught you well.

  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @05:42PM (#29246809) Homepage
    Now we know where they are when they aren't in their screw the customer meetings ;-)

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

Working...