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Microsoft Files EU Competition Complaint Against Google

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  • Boot, other foot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tigger's Pet (130655) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @08:52AM (#35676926) Homepage

    No real surprise here. Exactly what happens in the school playground when somebody turns round and finally stands up to the class bully.

    • by mangu (126918) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:18AM (#35677098)

      How ironical, TFA says "making it difficult for Microsoft's mobile phone software to show videos from YouTube".

      This coming from the company who grew up on "embrace and extend" practices. Today the only reason why I have dual boot is because some websites that I must access will not work on any Linux browser.

      • by binkzz (779594)

        This coming from the company who grew up on "embrace and extend" practices. Today the only reason why I have dual boot is because some websites that I must access will not work on any Linux browser.

        Not even with wine + IE ?

        • by miffo.swe (547642)

          Using Internet Explorer with Wine is not legal, you need a Windows license.

          • Using Internet Explorer with Wine is not legal, you need a Windows license.

            You mean the windows license that nearly every PC built since 1997 or so came with, right? We have all paid for windows, multiple times and in more ways than one...

            • by greed (112493)

              Not all of us buy pre-built PCs. Motherboards and cases do not come with Windows licenses.

              I was also able to find a little Zotac Atom machine that came with no operating system (or disk drive to put it on, or RAM to run it in). With the addition of a bit of RAM, it runs Linux just fine over the network.

              Anyway, OEM licenses are not transferable: he'd have to be running WINE on the machine that came with the license.

              • Anyway, OEM licenses are not transferable: he'd have to be running WINE on the machine that came with the license.

                Why buy (literally) into false paradigms? If it's a production machine then certainly, CYA. Otherwise, who cares? My point is that microsoft is abusing their "legal" (as in "we bought and paid for those laws!") rights, and has done so almost since day one. Fuck microsoft. Every x86 machine I've ever bought came microsoft licensed and taxed. I own (legitimately) at least two versions each of at l

      • To be fair, they no longer make their premier enterprise groupware suite unusable on other browsers; the very latest version is actually functional in chrome. So its not QUITE as hypocritical as it could be.

      • by Locutus (9039)
        if it were not for the ignorance of the politicians and judiciary, this would be funny. So Microsoft goes on the attack after Adobe because Adobe(via Flash and Acrobat Reader) is the only company left with the same preload channel partners as Microsoft has for their Windows OS. Google has a video service they bought which runs off either Flash or HTML5 using the open source decoder WebM. Now Microsoft is crying because they claim they are being locked out of YouTube?

        At least this isn't yet in the US court s
      • Like Amazon's cloud drive doesn't work properly on Google's Chrome. You an do whatever with the data once it's up there but uploading it fails miserably (whether it is on Linux or Windows). That just one example of how some high profile sites might work on one platform (browser platform) but not on others.

      • He's also on Microsoft's Board of Directors, hence no Netflix for Linux.
    • Poor, poor, Microsoft. Everybody say "Awwwww"...

      Kudos to Google.
    • In other news Microsoft makes it difficult for competitors to use their tools for developing DirectX applications unlike with their own products that can use them and take full advantage of them.

      What the hell kind of argument is Microsoft trying to make? They do this all the time against their competitors. For example, development of DirectX on other platforms such as Linux or Macintosh?

      Google's search and the use of Youtube isn't central to communications between competing platforms. What Microsoft was

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      Mmmm... The lesson the bully learned here is: The antitrust complaint is mightier than the chair.

  • pwned (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @08:52AM (#35676930) Homepage Journal

    Teeheehee. Methinks Google is actually using superior products to prevent Microsoft from gaining market share.

    • C'mon Microsoft, who cares about your 1% of phone users? Remeber that you used to say you suppose go and fuck yourself? So, please do.
  • Just a bunch of bullies endlessly fighting for world dominance. Nothing to see here, business as usual (literally).
    • by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:09AM (#35677044)

      Except here it's a case of Hitler complaining about annexations and racial discrimination.

      • Except here it's a case of Hitler complaining about annexations and racial discrimination.

        And just like that - we go from feeling sorry for Microsoft to feeling sorry for this posters.

      • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @10:33AM (#35677778)

        Except here it's a case of Hitler complaining about annexations and racial discrimination.

        He did. "Mein Kampf" is basically one long diatribe about how Jews were trying to destroy Germans, and how Germany's areas had been forcibly taken and annexed to other countries. The last part was actually true, which is part of how Hitler managed to get power.

        All of which, BTW, makes an excellent answer to anyone who says "world is not fair, deal with it": the more unfair the world is, the easier it is for the next Hitler/Stalin/Mao to get into power and start World War 3. So go ahead, cut those unemployment benefits and social security, if you feel lucky. Well, do ya, punk?

        • So go ahead, cut those unemployment benefits

          Im not really clear on how not giving unemployment benefits has gone from being "how the world works (dont work, dont eat)" to "its unfair, i deserve this". The program has its good points, but when people start feeling entitled to it, perhaps its a clue that its gone overboard.

          • So go ahead, cut those unemployment benefits and social security

            ... but when people start feeling entitled to it ...

            The thing is we are entitled* to these specific benefits. It's not just a matter of morality or fairness, but that we've paid into these trusts our entire working lives and were forced to do so by the same law that ensures we have access to them in time of need.

            * assuming we've lost our jobs properly, accumulated SS points and are of appropriate age/disability. And NOBODY is trying to remove these requirements.

            • by gtall (79522)

              Entitled has a funny meaning. You mean you are entitled to the extent the rest of America still has the cash to pay for it. You might think that, as a trust fund, the U.S. gov. has been busy squirreling away your SS money in a giant mattress under the Treasury Building. What you fail to consider is that the U.S. gov. cannot hold surplus money for very long, it has to go out again. So the SS admin has been buying IOU's from the government which has been using them to pay for...uh...the rest of the government

            • It's not just a matter of morality or fairness, but that we've paid into these trusts our entire working lives and were forced to do so by the same law that ensures we have access to them in time of need.

              No you haven't, you've just been lied to. What really happened was that the trust "loaned" the money to the treasury, which immediately spent it. It's gone. There are no resources behind the trust. It has no gold, no stocks, no real estate. All you've got is a bunch of IOUs from a treasury with no money -- in other words, all you've got is future tax revenue. Which means that it isn't at all you who paid for your social security benefits, it's whoever pays the taxes tomorrow. What you paid for is all the ex

        • All of which, BTW, makes an excellent answer to anyone who says "world is not fair, deal with it": the more unfair the world is, the easier it is for the next Hitler/Stalin/Mao to get into power and start World War 3. So go ahead, cut those unemployment benefits and social security, if you feel lucky. Well, do ya, punk?

          If I had mod points right now you'd get one.

      • Someone's got to make one.

        Please?

  • Bing (Score:5, Funny)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @08:54AM (#35676944) Homepage

    How can MS claim Google prevents MS from gaining market share when Bing is using Google search results?
    Without Google, Bing would have even less market share.

    • Re:Bing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:55AM (#35677384) Homepage

      How can MS claim Google prevents MS from gaining market share when Bing is using Google search results?
      Without Google, Bing would have even less market share.

      Because Microsoft figures it's up to Google to keep handing them everything Google has as a competitive advantage so Microsoft can have equal access to it. Some of the stuff is utterly absurd:

      Specifically, the complaint charges that Google hurts competition by "walling off" content on its YouTube site, so other search engines can't display accurate results; by making it difficult for Microsoft's mobile phone software to show videos from YouTube; by blocking access to content owned by book publishers which Google has copied and stored; by not allowing advertisers to use their own data about customers garnered from Google on other sites, such as those owned by Microsoft; by blocking websites from using competing "search boxes"; and by making it expensive for potential competitors to Google to advertise online.

      So, First, Google are mean because they have a popular site and haven't made it easy for competitors to use that content (YouTube).

      Next, either Microsoft failed to implement something that worked with YouTube, or YouTube is actively trying to make it tough for a Windows Phone to display stuff. Let me guess, the phone only supports WMV files? ;-)

      Not giving access to data owned by someone else -- I mean, wow, how dare you not let us access someone else's stuff because that gives you an advantage. Seriously? If this data is owned by book publishers, why does Google have to make it available to Microsoft?

      My personal favorite .... I believe that they're whining about the terms of service for the data. So, they want Google to collect it, and then let Microsoft combine that with other data they have, and then use it on their own web sites so they can compete with Google. WTF does Google gain by collecting data for its competitors?

      I'm not sure I follow the last one about competing search boxes. I mean, if you're using Google ads, I can see they want you to be using a Google search ... they don't want to sell you advertising clicks, and then have any searches you do get sent somewhere else. Just because Microsoft was forced to allow different search engines and browsers from within their OS doesn't mean that I want to see every web site allowing me to pick the search engine to use.

      I don't see this as any legitimate complaint about antitrust behavior. Microsoft has lost the ability to compete in some areas, and they mostly seem to be whining that someone should force Google to make the same data available to Microsoft, which makes no sense.

      This reminds me of "energy retailers" we have here ... some genius decided that the power company was a monopoly, and opened it up for a bunch of little companies to essentially re-sell the same stuff as the power company and called it competition. All it really did was to create a bunch of shady companies whose only goal is to convince you to "switch" energy companies and sign up with them for a contract duration. They show up at your door saying they're the "energy company" and try to get you to sign on the dotted line at "locked in rates". (I had to throw one out of my house because he lied to my wife and said he was from our energy company, and we needed to replace the piping for our furnace and get a new hot-water heater.)

      There's no actual new competition, and in many ways the consumer is actually harmed by this because the companies can be a bit dubious. But, we get the illusion of a somewhat open market, which makes certain people happy. I fail to understand why letting the parasites sell the product of another company under the guise of "competition" does anything other than create middle-men since these companies don't do anything related to power except to re-sell it.

      • So, First, Google are mean because they have a popular site and haven't made it easy for competitors to use that content (YouTube).

        Like Exchange and OWA-- it would be terrible if Thunderbird or Evolution had 3rd class access to MAPI, or if alternative browsers couldn't search or flag or set out of office replies in firefox or chrome on OWA 2003 or OWA 2007. Terrible, I tell you.

        Pot, meet kettle.

  • Yes, I'm sure they can and will continually tweak the system but it's, well, pretty damn good. What this means is that barring some huge and amazing shift in computing, the best Bing can do is match Google, and in that case, what would be the point in switching?

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Yes, I'm sure they can and will continually tweak the system but it's, well, pretty damn good. What this means is that barring some huge and amazing shift in computing, the best Bing can do is match Google, and in that case, what would be the point in switching?

      This is a amazingly short-sighted question. It's never a question of sitting here and now and asking "why would you want to do that?" History has shown us that there are always disruptions in IT - either the incumbent fails to keep improving or something disruptive comes along and changes our perception of what we want / need to do. The ability to switch is insurance against some future disruptive event that we don't know about yet. And that ability to switch is also motivation for the incumbent to kee

  • So they said ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:00AM (#35676980) Homepage Journal
    "We tried everything, we pushed our search with our browser, we pushed our browser with our os (which you foiled btw - ballot box), we tried sniffing the best result from google for a query from the users of our browser, but we still failed. Please help us"

    is it ....
    • It seems to be mostly about Youtube -- they claim Google is restricting access to Youtube data in an effort to ensure only Google can have the best video search results. I don't know if it's true, and with Google's constant mantras about openness I hope it's not, but it doesn't sound like MS has much legal ground to stand on even if it was -- why not sue Joe Blogger for not giving MS access to data on the people who leave comments?

      They make an interesting claim that Google is giving Android an unfair advan

      • Re:So they said ... (Score:4, Informative)

        by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:59AM (#35677416) Homepage

        Woops, I meant to include a link to this blog post [technet.com] at Microsoft that explains it in more detail. It seems Youtube isn't all that they're complaining about.

        They're claiming Google is trying to gain exclusive rights to out-of-print books, which prevents Bing and others from searching the content. I seem to recall the latest Books proposal involved non-exclusive rights, so I guess someone didn't get the memo.

        And finally they've got a beef with Google Ads. On the advertiser side, Google isn't allowing advertisers to share any data gleamed from Ads with anyone non-Google. On the user side, Google is disallowing competing search bars from being embedded on websites that display Google Ads. Microsoft wants to get its Bing search bar out there, and Google is making it tough.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          And finally they've got a beef with Google Ads. On the advertiser side, Google isn't allowing advertisers to share any data gleamed from Ads with anyone non-Google. On the user side, Google is disallowing competing search bars from being embedded on websites that display Google Ads. Microsoft wants to get its Bing search bar out there, and Google is making it tough.

          But allowing people to take Google's data and then give it to someone else basically violates Google's terms of service, and more or less says t

          • by _Sprocket_ (42527)
            I suspect there's a lot of devil-in-the-details to be had here. Even the blog post is Microsoft's view (read: spin) on a high level view of what's going on. My bias is for Google over Microsoft so I'm looking at this with more of a critical eye towards MS' claims. But that doesn't mean they can't be true.

            But allowing people to take Google's data and then give it to someone else basically violates Google's terms of service, and more or less says that they expect Google to gather this stuff, but then give it to Microsoft to incorporate into their own stuff. Why should Google be forced to provide their competitors with the stuff they want to use to make money with?

            I'm curious as to what exactly this data entails and where it's produced from. If this is raw data being generated by the customer, that's one thing. If this data is output from Google's tools and rely

          • Why should Google be forced to provide their competitors with the stuff they want to use to make money with? Why is it Google's problem to give Microsoft the tools they need to compete? Does Microsoft give people the source code for the Windows kernel so people can write competing operating systems?

            If A) Google's product is determined to be a monopoly, and B) it is found that Google is using this monopoly to manipulate other markets, they Google could be forced to do many things. In the examples you cite, Google's product is Google Ads. If Google Ads is a monopoly (which I doubt), then Google forcing a site using Google Ads to also use Google search could be market manipulation. If Google Search is a monopoly (which some courts might agree with), then, for example, Google forcing a site using Googl

        • Microsoft wants to get its Bing search bar out there

          Any "unfair monopoly leverage" claims MS might have had are lost when they bring up the Bing bar or anything to do with Windows Live, as those are pre-installed on like 80% of computers (by monopoly leverage, in fact).

      • "...why not sue Joe Blogger for not giving MS access to data on the people who leave comments?"

        Because Joe Blogger does not have a monopoly. I don't think it gives Android any advantaje, but they aren't claiming something that absurd.

      • They make an interesting claim that Google is giving Android an unfair advantage by somehow preventing Microsoft from making a kick-ass Youtube client for Windows Phone 7. (as a WP7 owner, I can attest that their current effort is terrible)

        Because MS has been ohhh so helpful in cracking open their own formats so competitors can create solid compatible products without having to reverse engineer everything.

      • They make an interesting claim that Google is giving Android an unfair advantage by somehow preventing Microsoft from making a kick-ass Youtube client for Windows Phone 7

        Interesting as in bogus, maybe. My Blackberry (a "strictly business" phone!) has no issues getting on youtube and playing video. This is a phone whose browser is liable to lock up on any serious kind of javascript, and where cameras are generally a concession. If RIM can get it right, its kind of hard to have sympathy for anyone who cant.

        • I suspect the problem is that Microsoft wants a Microsoft YouTube client so that Google can pay for the video bandwidth and Microsoft can collect the ad revenue.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        It seems to be mostly about Youtube -- they claim Google is restricting access to Youtube data in an effort to ensure only Google can have the best video search results.

        Does Microsoft make sure that all of the stuff on MSDN is available to their competitors or people who just want to use it? Do they try to make sure that I can use all of their Silverlight crap from a Firefox browser?

        Boo hoo, YouTube is popular, and therefore Microsoft figures that content site should be bending over to make sure that other

      • If you claim that A) Google has a monopoly on search, and B) Google is using that monopoly to gain leverage in other markets, then Microsoft might have "legal ground".

        If Google, for example, allowed googlebot to crawl YouTube but blocked access to all other crawlers, they could be breaking the law. Likewise, if Google suppressed search results for Internet Explorer in favor of results for Chrome, they could get in trouble as well. Obviously whether they actually broke the law or not depends on the outcome

  • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:05AM (#35677006)
    new plan? Don't worry about tablets - we will just cry to governments that we are getting our lunch eaten?
  • I tried [bing.com] to find some evidence to back up Microsoft claims regarding this matter using Bing, but sadly no results were available.
    Oddly enough, [google.com] google yields something when same term is entered.
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      Same experience here. Used the default IE/Bing settings when setting up a Windows machine for something I'd searched earlier and was surprised I couldn't find the same results I'd found earlier ... and these were common reference facts from a large company. I tried a few more side by side comparisons and found Bing ... lacking.
  • by jabjoe (1042100) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:14AM (#35677078)
    Google are no angels, but compared with MS they are.
    MS make a closed operating system and closed software for that closed operating system. How is that not anticompetitive? (I know this doesn't just apply to MS). It was even found as such in court, they where to be broken in two (a OS business and a software business), but then they got out of it!
    MS bully the OEM to force Windows on us, and those of us free of them, end up paying more to not have it!
    MS where given a monopoly by IBM from the get go and have maintained it with every trick in the book, and a few new ones they came up with themselves. Many of which come under "dirty trick". I could rant about MS and standards, but it's old ground everyone knows. Even the MS fan boys must be able to see Goolge are less bad by a order of magnitude or two, even through the MS cool aid vision. It Google do go properly evil, we can just change search engine, big deal. Many people aren't ready or able to change OS, in fact they are often deliberately locked in.
    • MS make a closed operating system and closed software for that closed operating system. How is that not anticompetitive?

      How is it? Anyone can write software for that operating system as well, you know.

      • by polar red (215081)

        I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.

        is that why corporations (like GE) "pay" negative taxes?

        • I dunno; they seem to be moving more and more out to China and other such places, which leads me to think that they don't value civilization all that much.

  • Remind me again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Posting=!Working (197779) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:26AM (#35677154)

    Which of Google's products don't have dozens of competitors right now?

    Which of those products has a barrier to entry beyond writing and putting it on the web?

    Which competitors have Google actively shut down? (This does not include being better or more popular.)

    Did everyone forget that Yahoo was #1 in search not too long ago? That Google took the #1 spot with no advertising? That another company is free to do so if they can come up with a better product?

    Google fails every test for a monopoly. I have no idea why people are continually calling for anti-trust investigations other than jealousy.

    • I agree and think your comment is well said.

  • I believe this is a classic case of the economic term called rent seeking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_seeking [wikipedia.org]

  • Can everyone say, "O Teh Irony"?

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:32AM (#35677196)
    ... your products not good enough to compete and gain marketshare when you can't use a monopoly to force people to use your products?
  • "Microsoft .. has filed a complaint with the European Commission, saying that Google is using its market dominance to prevent Microsoft from gaining market share."

    Translation: We can't beat Google in the marketplace lets go after them in the Courts ..

    • MS has never been able to beat any search giant since it started trying to push it's variants on the MSN web portal starting in the mid-90s (this after nearly having missed the whole Internet boat anyways, at the last possible moment attaching the Windows for Workgroups winsock libs into Chicago to produce possibly the worst socket implementation in history). They spent years forcing a link between IE and their web portals, with anyone who dared to use another browser getting brain-dead output. Redmond st

  • Whatever do you mean?

    Since when did google ever do any bullying?

    Oh, you mean Microsoft?

    They're just bullying in a different way now.

  • by xiando (770382) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @10:51AM (#35677986) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft story is that:

    First, in 2006 Google acquired YouTube—and since then it has put in place a growing number of technical measures to restrict competing search engines from properly accessing it for their search results. Without proper access to YouTube, Bing and other search engines cannot stand with Google on an equal footing in returning search results with links to YouTube videos and that, of course, drives more users away from competitors and to Google.

    YouTube does have a robots file http://www.youtube.com/robots.txt [youtube.com] which asks not to index some parts of the website. This should be allowed. I have a robots.txt file on my websites. If you send a spider loose on my servers and ignore it then I may -j DROP you. If you send a spider to my sites and disobey it then I'll also -j DROP you. If you visit the hidden-linked /spider-trap/ then PHP scripts will begin to die('gfy') from your IP. I think this should be allowed, and I am strongly against anyone who wants to dictate who and what I allow on my server.

    If Microsoft just thinks YouTube's robots.txt is too restrictive then they can go fsck themselves.

    Now, on the other hand, IF Google is serving different pages or denying pages based on Microsoft's spiders user-agent then that is something completely different. That's EVIL. EU and others should strike down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger if they are doing exactly what Microsoft was exposed doing to Opera on their Hotmail service a few years back (yes, they really did serve broken pages to Opera-users based on User-agent).

    I would very much like to see Microsoft give out actual technical details on what they believe Google is doing that's so bad and unacceptable. Loose blah blah "google bad" text is not at all helpful, they should show us the technical details behind their claims. It's not that hard. Opera did this when Microsoft intentionally sent Opera-users broken pages when visiting Hotmail, it's actually quite easy to do.

  • 1) When I see a wmv player released for linux and android
    2) Internet Explorer for Linux (dont laugh)
    3) A fully functional silverlight plug-in for linux that lets me play netflix
    4) Windows update being browser neutral
    5) Opensourcing DirectX

  • by DdJ (10790) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:48PM (#35679914) Homepage Journal

    Are they claiming that Google is blocking them from using this?

    http://code.google.com/apis/youtube/getting_started.html#data_api [google.com]

    They even have implementations you can download. I just downloaded and tested the Objective-C library they provide, and it did indeed let me do some of the things Microsoft said they were blocking.

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