February 27, 2010

Microsoft Admits Trying to Influence EU Regulators in Google Anti-Trust Reviews -- Says "So What?"

Greetings. Microsoft has now admitted trying to influence EU regulators involved in anti-trust reviews of Google, and asserts that there's nothing wrong with their doing so.

But there are numerous flaws in attempting to equate Microsoft's anti-trust woes with Google's current situation.

Chief among them is that Microsoft used repressive and anticompetitive tactics in its march to PC and browser domination.

Google's rise in market share has been tied to a basic concept -- they've simply provided better products that more people want to use. Being big or even dominant when you've grown by playing fair and by the rules isn't a crime. It's when anticompetitive behavior is involved that the alarms go off. Microsoft attempted to effectively lock competitors out of the market through draconian licensing agreements and other means. On the other hand, Google's competitors have always been -- and still are -- only a mouse click away for virtually any user anywhere in the world.

And despite some critics' claims to the contrary, it's clear that Google goes to great lengths to try keep their organic search results as algorithmically "clean" and undistorted as possible. Is this process perfect? Of course not -- there's a continual stream of tweaks to the search rankings algorithms behind the scenes, but a laudable avoidance of modifying specific, individual search results rankings. As far as I can tell, the purported claims of unfair bias in Google natural search results are nothing but sour grapes.


Update (February 28, 2010): This Wired article from a bit over a year ago -- "The Plot to Kill Google" -- is excellent related additional reading.

Posted by Lauren at February 27, 2010 12:04 PM | Permalink
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