Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Microsoft Technology

Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC 346

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the calling-the-whambulance dept.
justice4all writes to share that some of the recent complaints to the European Commission about Google have apparently been coming from Microsoft. "A lawyer for Microsoft confirmed that the software giant told the US Department of Justice and the European Commission how Google’s business practices may be harming publishers, advertisers and competition in search and online advertising. [...] 'Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up. Microsoft’s well-received Bing search engine is addressing this challenge by offering innovations in areas that are less dependent on volume. But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC

Comments Filter:
  • Makes sense really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:48PM (#31320700) Journal

    From the article:

    in meeting with government agencies to discuss its recently approved search deal with Yahoo, Microsoft officials explained how Google has tilted the mechanics of the search advertising business in its favor. “As you might expect, the competition officials asked us a lot of questions about competition with Google—since that is the focus of the partnership,”

    The title and summary seems to give the assumption that MS went and complained to DoJ and EC, but it really seems to be different case. They were discussing about the deal with Yahoo and why it doesn't hurt the market or Google. It really makes sense too - Google gets many magnitudes more search query data than their rivals. Long-tail keyword phrases are invaluable data and give a huge advantage for Google to taylor their search results.

    • Long-tail keyword phrases are invaluable data and give a huge advantage for Google to taylor their search results.

      I hope they can do that Swiftly.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:10PM (#31321058) Journal

      They were discussing about the deal with Yahoo and why it doesn't hurt the market or Google. It really makes sense too - Google gets many magnitudes more search query data than their rivals. Long-tail keyword phrases are invaluable data and give a huge advantage for Google to taylor their search results.

      Huh, that's odd. From the original blog post [microsoftontheissues.com]:

      Over the past few months Microsoft, too, has met with the DOJ and the European Commission. The subject of our meetings has been the competition law review, now completed, of the search partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft. As you might expect, the competition officials asked us a lot of questions about competition with Google--since that is the focus of the partnership. We told them what we know about how Google is doing business.

      What does Google's method of doing business have to do with their Yahoo! merger? In addition to that:

      In this instance, there has been no shortage of affected voices. A quick Internet search will surface the growing concerns that have been raised by upstart innovators such as Ciao (owned by Microsoft) ...

      Sounds to me like Microsoft has been complaining to the DoJ and EC.

      Furthermore the post doesn't really focus on one thing and also brings up the Google Books deal for some odd reason. I mean, if they're complaining about it, that's fine. Just say what you think is wrong and be done with it. From that point on the DoJ or EC will take action if they need to. But I bet that won't be what will happen. I bet they'll bring this up over and over again and fun startups that died "because of Google" (like Ciao) to take legal action against the behemoth. Seems to be Microsoft's modus operandi.

      It really makes sense too - Google gets many magnitudes more search query data than their rivals.

      It makes sense alright. It makes sense that Microsoft is upset that Google is doing so well and so they've got to try to be the biggest thorn in Google's side as possible. The fact that Google is smart enough to use its own resources to be a better search engine is violating anti-trust laws? Please! Should I complain that auto manufacturers have access to huge factories and production lines and I have none so it's anti-trust that I cannot enter the automobile market? Should we demand that information technology companies hand over their infrastructure to their competitors in the name of the Sherman Act? Absurd.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sopssa (1498795) *

        The common rant on slashdot is how Microsoft is using their Windows marketshare to keep competitors off and to gain marketshare in unrelated areas like IE (which they were punished for by EU). Google is doing exactly the same here, but in addition to that they're also pushing competitors of the market by the sheer amount of data they can datamine. Search engines aren't just about algorithms anymore, they're about the datamined data too. This will eventually lead to 100% monopoly. You say if that's a good or

        • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:32PM (#31321450)

          I'm sorry, did you really mean to imply that Google is changing standards in trashy ways to lock in their clients? Is google filtering search results to lock out their competitors?

          I had no idea Google had started copying Microsoft. I think it much more likely that Microsoft only knows one way to get business, and that's all they can see. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

          • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday March 01, 2010 @04:16PM (#31322188) Homepage
            Everyone knows it's the lack of search data that caused Bing to initially suggest (and probably still does) Windows when typing in something related to Ubuntu or Linux. I mean seriously, how are they supposed to know what you want from terms like Linux or Ubuntu. What do those even mean?
            • by Liquidrage (640463) on Monday March 01, 2010 @05:07PM (#31323018)
              I just did it. Searched for "linux" on Bing. No, the results are fine. www.linux.org is the first result and even has a list of subcats for it.

              There's even a learn about linux section on the bottom with the cute liddle fuzzy wuzzy penguin.

              I can't find anything you're talking about on either google or bing. The only rant I found from back when Bing first came out is the auto-completion at bing for "linux" brings up "linux vs windows". Which might seem odd unless you actually view the results to it which certainly aren't overly flattering to windows so it hardly seems like something shady.

              It's /. the home of rational people acting like complete idiots over their MS-anti-idol.
              • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Monday March 01, 2010 @05:45PM (#31323566)

                MS fixed the problem, but not before being called out on it. If it were intentional, that would be expected but probably some serious antitrust concerns would be valid given the default search preferences on IE/windows, which dominates the market, and is branching out into other devices. It's getting better, proving that it can improve even if it doesn't have the huge number of searches to data-mine. Further, is anything stopping MS from looking at Google's search trend pages? Last, there was an article not too long ago about how Google tries to contextualize searches. Publically available, and easily implemented in a way which wouldn't infringe on their patents.

                The alternative is even worse - that the biased results were unintentional. Sure it's been fixed, but if your initial launch has results skewed in favor of the owning company and it wasn't on purpose, that's a gigantic pile of fail rolled up in a little humiliation pastry and covered in skank sauce.

                gp's point was that MS is complaining about having fewer searches to data-mine, but can't even get the existing search results "fair and balanced". In other words, they need to improve before whining. GGP of course was indicating that Google's method of competition is to produce fair results, while Microsoft's method would be to bias everything towards Windows. Of course we got here by GGGP suggesting that Google's high marketshare will always continue to guarantee high market share because they have more search data for research.

                The whole point of all of this is that if Microsoft has good technology and good results, people will be exposed to it through vendor lock-in, one way or another, and eventually discover for themselves that it either sucks or doesn't suck. Microsoft's best strategy is to focus on getting good results with the data they do have, not whine about a better algorithm getting more hits. Of course it will have more market share, Google's ranking algorithm is extremely mature, apparently unbiased, and constantly improving.

                Of course, the irony of the king of lock-in complaining about being locked out when they have Bing as default on Windows as well as increasing numbers of phones is delicious like a very expensive dessert. That the initial roll-out of Bing was so fundamentally flawed the GP post still remembers how skewed the results were and feels the need to comment on it should be a clear sign that Bing has an uphill battle, even if they got a live streaming copy of every Google search, legally and with Google's blessing.

                Or in other words: Red herring.

                http://www.pcworld.com/article/169750/bing_search_reveals_promicrosoft_results.html [pcworld.com]
                http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1496589/can-trust-bing [theinquirer.net]

                Verizon require Blackberry default search be Bing, and not changeable. You can visit google.com of course, but that requires extra typing.
                http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/verizon-forcing-microsoft-bing-search-blackberry-users-100 [infoworld.com]

                Illuminating comments thread
                http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1252533&cid=28175167 [slashdot.org]

          • Standards (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Monday March 01, 2010 @05:01PM (#31322902)
            Last time I checked, Google was promoting open standards. Chrome scores rather nicely on the Acid3 test as an example. Chrome on Linux: 100. Even on Windows Chrome scores 93. IE on Windows: 12.

            That's the biggest difference between the two to me.
        • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:38PM (#31321532)

          The common rant on slashdot is how Microsoft is using their Windows marketshare to keep competitors off and to gain marketshare in unrelated areas like IE (which they were punished for by EU).

          That's not a "rant" it's a summary of recent legal action.

          Google is doing exactly the same here...

          Really, the exact same? What other market is Google using it's search advertising market to gain an advantage in and by what mechanism?

          ...but in addition to that they're also pushing competitors of the market by the sheer amount of data they can datamine.

          That's an advantage in the search advertising market gained by marketshare in the search advertising market. That is to say, it's the same as Microsoft selling a lot of copies of Windows to people who ned to run software that only works on Windows because MS sells a lot of copies of Windows. It speaks to The entrenchment of a monopoly (lock-in) and is interesting because most people feel Google has very little lock-in, but it does not speak to anything Google could be doing which is illegal.

          This will eventually lead to 100% monopoly. You say if that's a good or bad thing.

          Good or bad is a matter of judgement, but even if Google's market share in search advertising gains them more searches to look at and feed to their algorithm... that's not illegal. It is not illegal to use market advantages in a dominated market to gain yet more share in the same market, only in separate, pre-existing markets. The reason for this is that the laws go out of their way to only punish companies that undermine markets and don't naturally gain by fair competition. Since it is hard to establish the difference in the same market, there are a lot fewer laws regulating it.

        • by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:38PM (#31321538) Journal
          Oh, please...
          Google doesn't have anything like a monopoly, and more importantly they haven't become number one in search by using coercive, anti-trust-law-violating tactics -- which is exactly what MS did in the desktop market. The parallels you're reaching for simply do not exist. This is about MS whining that they're not competent enough to compete in search.
        • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:42PM (#31321616)

          Microsoft illegally used a monopoly to kill competition and prevent others from entering markets they had decided to be in. Microsoft has been the paragon of robber baron style dirty dealing ever since they got the deal to sell DOS to IBM.

          Google has done nothing of the sort. They neither attempt to kill their competition nor do they actively work to keep others from entering any of the markets they operate in. Google has been actively and consciously working to avoid their deals coming off as 'dirty dealing' since they first started operations.

          There are miles and miles of difference between Google's behavior and Microsoft's. There is a difference between being the company that could afford to and did invest in an infrastructure and being the company that simply screwed everyone till they were the only one left with any money.

        • by AK Marc (707885) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:44PM (#31321664)
          Learn what a natural monopoly is, and then comment.

          In some areas, the larger the business the more efficient it will become, and as one gains share, the value in the others products decrease and the barriers to entry increase. That's how it was with the telephone. Back in the day, there were competing phone companies. Not like today, but with non-interoperable networks, so that if you wanted Verizon customers to call you, you had to buy a phone from Verizon, and for AT&T customers, you needed and AT&T phone. So businesses had more than one phone, each hard-wired to a separate service. That was expensive, and if one was far enough ahead of the other, they'd drop the Verizon phone and only take AT&T, and when enough people did that, Verizon would be worthless because you could buy a phone from them, but couldn't call anyone. And, once AT&T had 100% of the market, a startup would have to spend so much money to get in the market that it would be impossible to ever make a profit.

          A "natural monopoly" is a monopoly where a successful company will, with no uncompetitive practices, become a monopoly. It appears that search engines make natural monopolies as well, as the more searches that are done, the more valuable the search engine becomes, and a search engine starting out, with no searches, can't be as valuable as the established one, no matter how much they spend or what they do.

          However, OSs aren't that way. You can have different (or even the same) word processors on different platforms. You have embedded OSs and such. There is always a market for other ways, rather than just one desktop OS. And you can run SQL on any variety of OSs such that changing OSs isn't a hardship on the customer, so the barriers of entry are low. Microsoft, realizing they don't have a natural monopoly, have exploited their monopoly to push other products to expand their market share in other areas, as well as keep their existing monopoly. That's different that "accidentally" becoming the first monopoly in an area where natural monopolies occur when no one ever predicted that it would be an area of natural monopolies.
        • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday March 01, 2010 @04:14PM (#31322132) Homepage
          You're not tied into Google in any way and can easily block them for good by pointing their domain to 127.0.0.1 in your hosts file. Can you tell me how to remove IE from my XP or Vista? Hell you can't even really truly remove it from Windows 7 and that's only in the EU. Or maybe why some MS apps, like MSN Messenger choose to ignore my browser choice and open something in IE. I've never had such a thing happen to me with Google.

          The way they've implemented their analytics software makes it dead easy to block. Google even lets me use Bing as my search engine in Chrome. It's 3rd on the list, just after Yahoo and not hidden away further down like Google is on IE if you want to pick a new search provider. This only covers the tip of the iceberg and doesn't go into the efforts MS has made, up until recently, to lock in documents to Windows or trying to break Java to make their version different or all the other shit they've done.

          Google is by no means perfect but they have a long way to go before catching up to Microsoft in the shitty tactics department.
      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Over the past few months Microsoft, too, has met with the DOJ and the European Commission. The subject of our meetings has been the competition law review, now completed, of the search partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft. As you might expect, the competition officials asked us a lot of questions about competition with Google--since that is the focus of the partnership. We told them what we know about how Google is doing business.

        What does Google's method of doing business have to do with their Yahoo! merger?

        That's something you have to ask from DoJ. They probably wanted to make sure it doesn't create unfair competition against Google. Microsoft replied by saying Google has a huge advantage already as they have so large marketshare to datamine from. Note that they didn't complain as this story seems to suggest - they merely replied to DoJ's concerns about it.

    • Microsoft is just crying. Its only hope is to make open source and competition illegal.

      Its like Jay Leno, now that people have changed the channel and seen Dave Letterman its going to be hard going back.

      One wonders why we are still using a Micro system software when we are in the super computer age.

      One day people will change the channel and discover The 'X' windows system and Linux there will be no going back. Leno on the other hand may have a chance. Microsoft on the other hand is obsolete. only
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        only its money sustains it.

        and where do you think it gets that money from? so long as a company has enough paying customers to keep turning a profit, it cannot be considered obsolete.

    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday March 01, 2010 @04:07PM (#31322020) Homepage
      So by being good Google gets more results and therefore can make a better product quicker and easier?

      Hell, by that logic Yahoo should be even better. They were in that position and have been around much longer. They should have perfected search to the point that no one can beat them. They haven't because they didn't do search good enough and the same applies to Microsoft. Microsoft's claim is just a case of sour apples that there is one area they can't manage to use their monopoly to dominate.
  • I didn't see it linked in the article so for educational purposes I'll give you the link to the link to Dave Heiner's piece entitled Competition Authorities and Search [microsoftontheissues.com]. Which appears to be a legitimate Microsoft blog site.

    I'm not a lawyer but the piece sounds surprisingly unlawyerlike in that he is all over the road and turns it into a "he said/she said" sort of fight:

    Google’s public response to this growing regulatory concern has been to point elsewhere—at Microsoft. Google is telling reporters that antitrust concerns about search are not real because some of the complaints come from one of its last remaining search competitors.

    Time to get the popcorn ...

    • Re:The Salvo (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:56PM (#31320844) Journal

      antitrust concerns about search are not real because some of the complaints come from one of its last remaining search competitors.

      Time to get the popcorn ...

      "antitrust concerns are not real" and "last remaining competitors" in the same sentence, whoa.

      What competition there really is besides Google? Bing, Baidu and yandex.ru. All the other ones are basically using services from either Google or Bing. Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

      • by Ngarrang (1023425) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:04PM (#31320986) Journal

        Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

        And would you like to know who has given Google their dominant position? You. Me. And Everyone else that thought that Yahoo, Microsoft, Excite, Alta Vista and the rest sucked. Google earned their way to the top by providing a better product. It wasn't given to them by government fiat.

        Unlike some markets where immense cost is a barrier to entry, there is no such limitation for a new search engine to begin crawling the internet with their own algorithms and produce search results. Sure, you need servers and disk space, but ANY business endeavor will require some resources. Google's results were not so much superior amounts of hardware, but better algorithms. They simply did it better.

        And now they are getting complaints that they are too successful? Bunch of communists.

        • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:10PM (#31321076) Journal

          Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

          Google's results were not so much superior amounts of hardware, but better algorithms. They simply did it better.

          Aside from the huge amount of servers, data centers and proprietary back-end Google has, algorithms are just one thing.

          Google datamines everywhere on the Internet. They gather as much as detailed data as they can on their search engine. They datamine what links people click on the results (via background javascript http request). This gives huge advantage for Google with less common search queries, as they see what results people think are relevant to their search. Their competitors don't get even closely the same amount of data. Google is leveraging their marketshare to gain even more of it for their search, docs, youtube and other services, just like Microsoft used to leverage Windows marketshare to gain marketshare for IE.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Is that why every time I search for something obscure I always get a NexTag search for the same term at the top the results, followed by pages of absolute gibberish? IMHO, the only thing that made searching easier was Wikipedia, because most of the rest of the searches I do Google isn't much better than anyone else, and I don't find that the overall search experience to be much improved over the last decade. I wish Google would stop making office software, mail programs, phones, toothbrushes, and whatever
          • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:21PM (#31321256)

            And have no loyalty to Google.

            But they do provide the best results, and until they don't, i'll keep using them.

             

          • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:23PM (#31321290) Homepage

            Google is leveraging their marketshare to gain even more of it for their search, docs, youtube and other services, just like Microsoft used to leverage Windows marketshare to gain marketshare for IE.

            No, it's quite different actually. You have a choice to use Google. There are competitors for every single one of their apps, and you are free to pick and chose which ones you want to use and which not to (you don't have to use any). So they are not "capitalizing" on their dominance in one area to push another unrelated one on you. They are capitalizing on their dominance in one area to advertise the other products. When MS pushed IE, you had little choice (since there was --for all practical purposes-- no valid competitor to the OS) about using IE. They forced it down your throats (Considering you can't uninstall it)... And that's what was considered by many to be wrong. Google simply links to their other services... The analogy to IE, would be if MS included a shortcut to "Install IE" on every version of Windows they sold. Then, it would require a users action (and explicit opt-in) rather than being forced...

            And the huge amount of servers and data centers is an expansion problem, not a start up problem. You could launch a search engine on a single machine (IIRC, when google first went live, it was off a single box)... This kind of relation doesn't hold for nearly any other business (To build a car, you need a factory... Even if that factory is in a garage, there's still a significant capital investment before you're able to produce vehicles)...

        • by VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:18PM (#31321184)
          Exactly. Google earned their spot through superior product when Yahoo, Microsoft and others bloated their pages with ads and crap no one cares about.

          Now they get to reap the benefits. If they are found for anti-trust, all that does it set the precedent of "sure, you can do well in business. But if you do too well and upset the powers that be, we'll smack you around, so don't get any ideas."
        • by BuR4N (512430)

          Unlike some markets where immense cost is a barrier to entry, there is no such limitation for a new search engine to begin crawling the internet with their own algorithms and produce search results. Sure, you need servers and disk space, but ANY business endeavor will require some resources. Google's results were not so much superior amounts of hardware, but better algorithms. They simply did it better.

          The entry fee 1998 for beating up the competition and securing a top spot was microscopic compared to today. Google had a good idea to begin with, but I doubt it would have been enough without the timing.

          • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:40PM (#31321580) Homepage
            Barrier to entry:

            "A cost of producing which must be borne by a firm which seeks to enter an industry but is not borne by firms already in the industry"

            Therefore the cost of hardware is not a barrier. Neither is the cost of advertising. Neither is the data itself (since the firms already in place still need to mine it). So the only barrier to entry is the willingness of someone to do it. Is it easy? No way, but there are few (if any) barriers to entry...

            The reason Google is in top spot today, is that in the past decade it was the best (or at worst #2) search engine around. If you can figure out a way to return better search results, you could absolutely overthrow them. The issue you're alluding to is that the if in that sentence is a lot harder to achieve today than it was in 1998. But should Google be blamed for finding a better way? I thought that was the spirit of a free market...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by NeutronCowboy (896098)

          And now they are getting complaints that they are too successful? Bunch of communists.

          Spot on. It seems to me that MS primary complaint is that Google's product is so good that they can't catch up. Really? What happened to Capitalism? Free market? Not to mention that I don't buy the argument, for two reasons.

          One, the basic algorithm had nothing to do with what users click on after they search, and I don't know how much weight that gives to links now. My guess is: not all that much. I frequently click on multiple links in a search, and, if I'm not happy, I change the query. I doubt Google's a

      • It is the abuse of that monopoly position that would be the issue - you know - the one of which MS has been convicted.
        Until Google somehow abuses its monopoly position there is no issue.

      • Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

        Who's giving google anything? The government? No. Microsoft? No. (except via incompetence).

        The market decided long ago that google's search results are better than their competitors - in part because they provided results that were NOT tainted by keyword purchases like Yahoo, Altavista, MSN, AOL etc. Yes google benefits from the feedback received by the use of their product, but what's wrong with that? Should a company with a large market share stop using consumer feedback to improve it's product? Sh

    • Re:The Salvo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumRiff (120817) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:18PM (#31321190)

      So Google with their Over 70% market share is anti-competitive, said a representative at a company with >90% market share in desktops.

      Not to mention, one has taken steps to suppress competitors, the other has not.

  • by fatbuckel (1714764) <fatbuckel1@gmail.com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:54PM (#31320802)
    maybe if bing didn`t suck...if microsoft was trustworthy....
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      In what way does Bing suck?

      As for trustworthy - Bing has a much better privacy policy than Google.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by pitdingo (649676)

        In what way does Bing suck?

        its results are horrible, that is how.

        • by Rary (566291)

          Google results for "tequila" (semi-randomly chosen search):

          Tequila - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
          Tequila Brands, Ratings and Reviews at Tequila.net
          Jose Cuervo
          Tequila Bar & Nightclub
          - All about Tequila - itequila.org
          The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra - The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra
          Tila Tequila
          A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila (Ep. 101) "Surprise! I Like Boys ...
          In Search of the Blue Agave: Tequila and the Heart of Mexico
          YouTube - Pee Wee Herman - Tequila

          Bing results for "tequila":

          Tequila - Wikipedi

      • Does it provide Linux centric queries?

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      maybe if bing didn`t suck...if microsoft was trustworthy....

      Few know this, but "bing" was a typo. Notice how close the i and o are on your keyboard? It was supposed to be "Bong -- for those who are too stoned to care how good the search results are."

  • by unitron (5733) on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:54PM (#31320810) Homepage Journal

    ...'Google's algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

    So the problem is that Google is more successful because more people use it, or people who need to search for hard to find things use it more?

    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      It means Google can leverage the data they get from their market share to gain even more market share and finally destroying the competition totally and gaining 100% monopoly over search market.

      A lot more people use Google so Google gets a lot more targeted search queries to datamine and see what people click and think are relevant results (you know, Google does a quick background javascript request whenever you click any of their search results to get that data). This leads to to the aforementioned situati

    • Re:Wha? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ircmaxell (1117387) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:01PM (#31320938) Homepage
      Well, that's the same as saying that Lady GaGa is more successful than your local garage band (because she gets played on (inter)national radio and more people are exposed since she is popular)... Is that in itself a problem? Nope. It only becomes a problem if Google is using unfair business practices to maintain that level of success...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        That's a terrible analogy because the reason GaGa is played on all over the radio is precisely because of the corrupt oligopoly in the market of radio stations.

  • What algo? (Score:4, Informative)

    by molo (94384) on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:54PM (#31320812) Journal

    Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

    I don't think that is how pagerank or keyword search works.

    But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.

    Sounds like Microsoft is doing it wrong. That is a chicken-and-egg problem no matter whether Google exists or not.

    -molo

    • by magsol (1406749)
      That is a chicken-and-egg problem no matter whether Google exists or not.

      Hence why I'm not really sure why Microsoft is getting their lawyers to whine about how unfair it is. It's the nature of the business they're trying to wiggle into.
      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Microsoft didn't get their lawyers to whine about it, they just mentioned it in their discussion with DoJ and EC about the Bing-Yahoo deal.

        • by magsol (1406749)
          Ah right...should've read TFA first before posting (in true Slashdot spirit). Thanks!
    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

      I don't think that is how pagerank or keyword search works.

      Search engines nor Google has relied solely on pagerank or keywords for many many years. They have hundreds of different algorithms that count, one of them seeing what links people click on the results most (this is really good data on the less common search terms as Google learns a lot on those)

    • by graft (556969)
      PageRank was initially Google's primary strength, but since then they've relied on other methods for ranking results. Most significantly, you can rank results based on how users respond to things (i.e., by seeing how much time users spend on a link before coming back to a page of search results, you can judge how good a particular result was, and upweight/downweight accordingly). This is a methodology that definitely improves with number of users.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:59PM (#31320894)

    I staunchly refuse to use Bing.

    Here is why:

    1) Shamelessly promoted to the point of paying people off to make it a default choice (EG, Verizon & Blackberry ordeal, many others.)

    2) Created expressly to "Stop Google", rather than to fill some otherwise useful purpose. If it had been created to fill some role that google failed to deliver at, then I would consider it useful.

    3) Stinks heavily of yet another embrace and extend tactic, "now with 100% More FUD!"

    In short, Microsoft's Bing is only on the radar because microsoft has dropped shitpiles of money into promotion. It really doesn't matter to me if it actually works or not; the reasons for it's creation had nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with disruptive "I want my share too!"

    As such, I refuse to use Bing, and I would think many other people would get tired of being bombarded with BING! every time they look for something on a M$ partnered site. I know I grew VERY tired of it when I was helping a friend of mine look for real estate lately; MS had partnered with the realestate brokerage to forbid closeup viewing of the property with highres sat images from Bing's mapping feature, without first greasing the pockets of the Realtor. I have experienced other forms of "Evil" from MS Bing, and am now firmly against ever supporting it.

    • by bunratty (545641) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:12PM (#31321090)
      Google also pays to be the default search engine. That's where Mozilla gets the bulk of their revenue.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Wow what a flame. Let's look at your points:

      1) Shamelessly promoted to the point of paying people off to make it a default choice (EG, Verizon & Blackberry ordeal, many others.)

      Google pays Mozilla and Canonical for making Google their default search engine choice.

      2) Created expressly to "Stop Google", rather than to fill some otherwise useful purpose. If it had been created to fill some role that google failed to deliver at, then I would consider it useful.

      Hmm. Why was it okay to tolerate the poor des

    • Exactly. Some people say Google is hypocritical with 'Don't be Evil,' and it's true some things they do could be construed as evil. And yet they are nothing compared to the true evil they will see if Microsoft becomes dominant.
  • by C_Kode (102755) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:00PM (#31320908) Journal

    How about force all search engines release search statistical data to the public. That kind of information is extremely valuable, not just to search companies, but to marketing companies too.

    • How about force all search engines release search statistical data to the public.

      Well this would not be fair to Google which spent money acquiring all that data.

  • Own Medicine? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0ld_d0g (923931) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:00PM (#31320916)

    Other OSs have a similar problem as Windows is such a huge market that many commercial app developers will restrict their products to only windows releases. And users choose (well.. in some cases atleast) the OS with the most apps, and on and on it goes.

    Seems to be the same problem in search. Google has millions of data points of search terms co-related with the link that was clicked and all that data has trained their algorithm such that any competing algorithm would find it very hard to catch up.

    • by argent (18001)

      The search engine barrier to entry isn't as great, because users can't get "locked in" to one search engine like they can to an OS or API.

    • by TeXMaster (593524)

      Other OSs have a similar problem as Windows is such a huge market that many commercial app developers will restrict their products to only windows releases. And users choose (well.. in some cases atleast) the OS with the most apps, and on and on it goes.

      Seems to be the same problem in search. Google has millions of data points of search terms co-related with the link that was clicked and all that data has trained their algorithm such that any competing algorithm would find it very hard to catch up.

      There's a substantial difference on the way the monopoly was achieved (anti-competitive tactics vs better quality).

  • I'm sure no one else sees irony here.
    • by wjousts (1529427)

      Yes, Google complaining about Microsoft's monopoly while they build their own....oh wait...you meant the other way around, Microsoft complaining about Google's monopoly after trying to defend their own monopoly.

      I think there's more than enough irony to go around here.

      • Don't let reasoning get in the way of a good Microsoft bashing.

        I think we are witnessing the age when geeks finally comprehend that all corporations strive to create a monopoly.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      GROAN... that was today's worst pun. Congratulations!

      Now go sit in the corner, young man.

  • Wow... Slashdot's sloagan used to be "Yesterday's news, Today!" But now it seems that Slashdot is gunning for "Last week's news, Today!"

    See here [cnet.com] and here [cnet.com].

    Bill
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonnale (1757032) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:02PM (#31320962)
    "Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up." So let me get this straight... When you make a product (in this case a search engine), you should not aim to make it the best product possible because it will be harder for other companies to catch up and steal your revenue/profit? Seriously? To me, it sounds like MS is saying, "No one uses our search engine because Google provides better search results and that is wrong."
    • by bunratty (545641)
      To me, it sounds like MS is saying "Boo Hoo! We're no longer the only 800 lb. gorilla in the room and can't dictate what everybody does anymore!" I say, "Enjoy what you've been dishing out all these years, Microsoft. Can you now understand why you're despised by so many?"
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I think it's more like the DOJ and EU asking Microsoft why they should be allow to merge with Yahoo and Microsoft answering that the merger would not constitute a monopoly since Google has an overwhelming share of the market.
  • It's just too predictable. The last time Microsoft surprised me was when they did something even worse than they use to do. Even comics villains are more dimensional than them.
  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:07PM (#31321014) Homepage

    Using your market share to make your product better?

    It's not the same as what Microsoft has been doing, ie. using their market share on some products to force their other products onto their customers.

  • Microsoft's well-received Bing search engine ...

    ...I thought Bing (But It's Not Google) was a "Decision Engine". :-)

    • It can't decide what it wants to be, so it is still
      searching for the meaning of it's existence.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      ...I thought Bing (But It's Not Google) was a "Decision Engine". :-)

      It hasn't told me where I want to go today or any day yet.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:15PM (#31321142)
    I don't like the fact that Google is the overwhelmingly dominant search engine. The problem is I dislike Microsoft's dominance even more. From everything I have seen the only competitor for Google that meets my satisfaction criteria for a search engine is Bing. I am not about to move from Google to Microsoft. I am concerned that as Google's dominance grows the temptation to do bad things will grow until it becomes irresistable. However, while I have seen hints about Google abusing its dominant position, Microsoft has blatantly abused their dominant position in other areas. I am not about to contribute to the possibility of a Microsoft product becoming dominant.
    • by astrashe (7452) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:32PM (#31321458) Journal

      Microsoft had a really bullying culture back in the day -- when everyone was locked in, they seemed to really enjoy turning the screws. They were almost like villains from comic books or something.

      But Windows was always comparatively open -- they have the most open of all the proprietary ecosystems. You can write you own programs and install them wihtout anyone's permission, you data lives on your disk, and anyone can write a device driver. It's more open than OS X (which only runs on Apple's hardware), and it's a lot more open than platforms like the iPhone/iPad, which only run programs Apple approves.

      When Google released Buzz, it was a reminder that if they wanted to break gmail pretty badly, they'd be able to, and we'd have no recourse. With software on your own computer, you can at least refrain from running the upgrade.

      It would be great if MS started pushing their openness as a selling point, and if they differentiated themselves from google in the cloud by being scrupulously responsible with our data. For example, I'd love to see MS roll out a privacy enhanced Bing -- no records kept, no targeted ads, for $10/month (or whatever).

      Gmail won't even put marker tags in the Gmail HTML that would make it easier for FireGPG (a firefox plugin that supports GPG encrypted mail) to parse your mails, so FireGPG breaks all the time. They should do that instead of making empty threats to pull out of China.

      The power concentrated in all of these companies is pretty troubling. Google at least has the sense not to be flamboyantly abusive with their power. Microsoft used to be almost theatrical in their bullying. That's dogging them now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HiThere (15173)

        Windows open?!?!?

        I'm sorry, we must live in a different universe. Even Apple was more open than MSWindows. (I mean, here, Apple ][, ][+, LC, LC+, etc. up through System 7.5. I can't speak of after that.) MS not only failed to properly document their system for developers, they lied about what they did. (Possibly it was just LOTS and LOTS of mistakes.)

        If you compare MSWind to what came before, then it exhibits a truly paranoid degree of closed-ness. Also if you compare it to either BSD or Linux, or eve

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Thaelon (250687)

        When Google released Buzz, it was a reminder that if they wanted to break gmail pretty badly, they'd be able to, and we'd have no recourse. With software on your own computer, you can at least refrain from running the upgrade.

        It's worth mentioning, however, that Google unfucked the situation in less than 48 hours. Complete with deployment to everyone's Gmail account.

        When Microsoft fucks you, you stay fucked until it's more profitable to pull out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        When Google released Buzz, it was a reminder that if they wanted to break gmail pretty badly, they'd be able to, and we'd have no recourse. With software on your own computer, you can at least refrain from running the upgrade.

        Except, of course, GMail works with POP and IMAP so you can run your own software on your own computer, in fact you can run pretty much any e-mail program because it does a reasonable job of adhering to open published standards, unlike MS's e-mail offerings.

  • What, you think companies get investigated for anti-trust violations spontaneously? The original Microsoft anti-trust trial was spurred by coalition of IBM, Sun, and a couple of other politically well-connected companies whose names escape me, quietly complaining to the US DoJ.

  • Google's algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

    Google is better because Google is better?

  • All Microsoft needs to do is look at what Google's most common searches are (perhaps even look at Google's auto completes) and they have the data refined from having more customers.

    Oh, this doesn't provide Microsoft an advantage over Google you say? Tough...
  • by http (589131) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:33PM (#31321462) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how their heads didn't explode writing it. Roughly, Google's searches are better because more people use it. We've got algorithms that don't depend on how many people are looking for data. But we need more people using Bing so we can give better search results.
    Does MS have such a strong Reality Distortion Field that they can say ANY random, contradictory stuff and people will take them seriously?
  • Its one thing to blatantly abuse a monopoly like Microsoft has been documented doing time and time again. Having a monopoly because you have a good popular product have never been illegal.

    That said im not so sure Google even fit into the monopoly description. A monopoly have barriers making it hard to switch to a competitor.

    Only reason i have not using Bing is that i wouldnt trust Microsoft with filtering my information. When dead people write letters i stay the hell away.
     

  • Seriously though, Microsoft is just miffed because it can't start 10 years late and be competitive.

  • Netscape, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle lobbied the DOJ to investigate Microsoft through their membership in ProComp.

    ProComp is an industry group whose director, Mitchell Pettit, offered this mission statement in 1998 when it was founded: "Our goal is to get Justice to file an antitrust lawsuit and win it."

  • Microsoft is complaining that Google's near monopoly in internet search gives them an unfair competitive advantage?!? Sounds like M$ simply took loaded some of the complaints against M$ into MS-Word and did a few global search & replace operations, doesn't it? (e.g. "1,$s/Microsoft/Google/g")
  • by Elektroschock (659467) on Monday March 01, 2010 @03:52PM (#31321810)

    Just in case you want to file a complaint against a dominant company operating on European markets, just use this form. [europa.eu]

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

Working...