Microsoft 1-0 Google

Remember how Google sent Microsoft that cease and desist letter because Microsoft made a YouTube app, but cut out the ads? Well, Larry Page went on stage at Google I/O preaching about how being “negative is not how we make progress,” and “not every new technology is zero-sum.”

Microsoft threw those words back at Google today:

“In light of Larry Page’s comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.”

This is my problem with Google in situations like this.

Google is forever preaching to users how they are not evil and how everyone should work together in harmony to make everyone happy. They stick to that mantra as they enter new markets, destroying the competition and sometimes even walking away when they get bored.

All’s fair to Google, and that’s fine.

However, as soon as another company messes with Google’s advertising, the company’s main revenue stream, then it’s a different story. Then the lawyers come out and the cease and desist letters start.

Google can’t have it both ways.



  • BC2009

    That is the problem with Google — hypocrisy.

    Apple has always been clear that they develop a proprietary integrated platform with a closed ecosystem because that is how they make their money. Apple still participates in open source projects and such, but not when it comes to their core money-making stuff. They are clear about their business objectives to their customers and to their developers.

    Google preaches about openness, but only implements it when it suits them. They preach about patents being bad and then acquire Motorola to go sue people with Motorola’s feeble patents (all the while using the “Motorola” name in the lawsuits rather than the “Google” name). Google talks about breaking new ground with stuff that never existed before, but they perpetually develop their own version of things that already existed: MapQuest, iPhone OS (now iOS), Search, Yelp, Spotify etc….

    Mostly, the things that Google is doing are not bad. However, everything about what they are saying is hypocrisy. Google can and should try to compete on whatever path they fell will lead them to more profits and revenue. But all this masquerading as the champion for open source, litigation-free competition, and avoiding negativity in the industry is a load of crap.

    • http://twitter.com/colinmat Colin Mattson

      Funny you should mention Yelp since Google was in Microsoft’s place with Yelp reviews a couple years ago.

      Except worse, because Google wasn’t aiming for interoperability or contributing any data back to the source of the content. And Yelp tried to resolve it more amicably.

  • Herding_sheep

    Well, it seems to be working, because Google’s got A LOT of people completely blind to their hypocrisy. Their actions aren’t necessarily the thing that irks me, I’d expect any company to protect their revenues. Its their constant hypocrisy and baloney propaganda that really really irritates.

  • blitz

    my problem too : hypocrisy

    I will add to your post another phrase from larry page :

    “I’ve personally been quite saddened by the industries behavior surrounding such things. Take chat, for example. We’ve kind of had an offering forever that would interoperate crossplatform with anyone… yet its only this week that someone like Microsoft has embraced it.

    while in the meantime, they ditch XMPP from their messenger … I don’t get it.

  • Jeff

    Please don’t sit there and paint Micro$oft in some kind of innocent light; they are far from being so. If someone messes with anyone’s revenue stream, one can expect them to throw a bitch fit. Its not just a Google thing.

    What about back in the mid 2000′s when Microsoft was threatening different Linux distribution houses with law suits, claiming that they had Microsoft’s code in their kernel? But, through it all, they couldn’t produce one solitary line of said code to show as proof to any courts. Sure, they pressures Suse and Suse folded and signed a partnership with them, but mainly because at the time, Suse couldn’t compete with them, lawyer-wise. Micro$oft went after Red Hat in the same manner and they virtually flipped Microsoft off and nothing ever happened. Why? Because Microsoft didn’t have a proverbial leg to stand on, and they knew it.

    The difference between Google and Microsoft in these situations though, is that Google was just protecting what it already owns and can prove it. Things like You Tube have Terms that users must abide by. If you break those terms, then you should expect the owner to approach you or come after you for the violation. Its standard business practice that ANY company with an interest in their product, does.

    So please, try to be neutral in your portrayal of companies when any other company would have done the same thing.

    • dreambrother808

      Nowhere does the post state that Google should not compete or act like any other company. The problem is then turning around and acting like you are not competing, like you are somehow a different company, a “good” company. This is hypocrisy. No one said Microsoft was innocent.

    • P

      It helps to be clear and concise with your thesis. No one is saying Google doesn’t have the right to protect their revenue streams. Complaining when other companies do the same is the crux of the issue: Google being evil.

    • http://twitter.com/mattstocum ɯnɔoʇs ʇʇɐɯ

      The second you type “Micro$oft” most people are going to discount the rest of what you say. Microsoft is a company, their job is to make money. They have never pretended otherwise.

  • The White Tiger

    The problem is that Microsoft plays this game but then “leaks” another Scroogled commercial during Google I/O.

    They’re mired in a vicious media war. Neither side should be claiming to bear olive branches.

  • Lukas

    I’m not really getting Dalrymple’s comment. If Google goes after companies who violate Google’s terms of service, then Google isn’t allowed to enter markets and compete with other companies?

    Huh.

    How is Google’s behaviur worse than that of any other company, including Apple?

  • Lukas

    (By the way, it’s a bit strange to accuse a corporation of hypocrisy. Corporations aren’t people. All corporations run ads that paint them in a positive light, and then do horrible things. If that type of behavior makes a corporation hypocritical, then all corporations are.)

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      Corporations aren’t people. But many of their public statements express sentiments that can easily be labeled as hypocritical when taken in the context of their actual business practices.

    • matthewmaurice

      Uh, you need to talk to Mitt Romney. As he made it clear, “corporations are people”. The absolute worst kind of people, if you ask me-focused on money, poorly regulated, and without consciences. But make no mistake, in the opinion of people who matter (e.g. lawmakers and politicians) corporations are indeed people.

  • Bob Corsaro

    As an actual user of free software, I can say that Google is much more friendly to free software then Apple, Microsoft or Amazon. It’s not even fair to compare them. I don’t pretend to know their motives, and they definitely have shown tendencies that they are moving away from that, but they have a long way to go before they can be compared to other companies. I enjoy many Google products on my Funtoo desktop systems and use Cyanogen on my phone. Neither system is completely free, but at least I’m not force to use Windows or Mac.

    • kibbles

      youre forced to use Funtoo the same way im forced to use Mac

      • Bob Corsaro

        I want to use Funtoo. If you want to use proprietary systems, then how does this even effect you? The argument being presented in these comments is that Google == Apple == MS in regards to openness. As the user of an open system, I can tell you that that is patently false.

  • http://borkware.com/ Mark Dalrymple

    The MS app is using google’s resources – machine cycles, data center capacity, bandwidth, monitoring staff, ongoing development, and so on. Stuff that costs actual money, while blocking the revenue source to pay for that stuff. That sounds more criminal than praiseworthy.

    • http://profiles.google.com/numberwhun Jefferson Kirkland

      I would turn and ask Microsoft (no $) how they would feel if someone took one of their applications and removed something from ‘it’, that they wouldn’t appreciate. I guarantee you that they would react just the same as Google did.

      • studuncan

        Except they didn’t remove anything. Ads are not available via Google’s public API for YouTube. So what exactly is Microsoft supposed to do?

  • http://twitter.com/DumaStudetto Duma Studetto

    Google is completely correct. Apple and Microsoft are killing this industry with their ridiculous patent wargames.

    • LTMP

      or Google is killing the industry with its ridiculous IP theft.

      I’m not saying that Google isn’t right to go after MSFT in this case, but perhaps they could try not to be so preachy about their own practices.

  • http://twitter.com/qka qka

    Google has been misquoted for years. What they really said was “Do know evil.”

    An understandable mistake, really.

  • http://twitter.com/plaztiksoundz Rodrigo Freitas

    What really rubs me wrong about Google is that they insist on putting this front to the public and consumers of being “the good guys”, of being different than Microsoft or Apple, and they’re not. Even today Larry page made a inspiring speech saying that Google just wants to create NEW things, because they only care about “the people”.

    What NEW things has Google created?

    Android – a market dominated by Apple Google+ – a market dominated by Facebook Google Play Books – a market dominated by Amazon and now; Google Play Music All Access – a market dominated by Rdio/Spotify Hangouts – a market dominated by Whatsapp/Other relevant messaging apps

    They’re not creating anything new, they just want a piece of the pie. Like every other company. But at least the other companies just say it out loud that they’re in it for the money, instead of carrying on with a bullshit mantra.

    And if someone gets the urge to answer with “But Google invented the self driving cars!”… NO, they didn’t. Just “Google” it.