Microsoft Wants To Tussle

I keep finding articles on how big Google is, and what a threat Google presents to competition. By competition, the complainers often mean Microsoft, an odd thing considering Microsoft’s monopoly on the desktop and the legal troubles the company has faced as a consequence.
Microsoft got Google’s attention in Ohio recently, when a routine collections battle with a small Internet company resulted in a counter-suit citing monopolistic abuses. But what really caught Google’s attention was the Internet site’s legal counsel: It was Charles “Rick” Rule, long the chief outside counsel on competition issues for Google archrival Microsoft Corp.
“It’s become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves, learn more about our business practices, and use that information to develop a broader antitrust complaint against us,” said Google spokesman, Adam Kovacevich.

In other tech titan versus tech titan news, Brian Morrissey of Adweek reports that Microsoft used a speaking slot provided by the Association of National Advertisers to open a broad assault on Google, accusing the Web giant of using its market clout to the detriment of advertisers. One of Mirosoft’s main complaints–that advertisers can’t export their Google Adwords data–interestingly enough, has no merit.
“As we have repeatedly made clear, advertisers can easily export their ad campaign data out of AdWords into competing ad platforms like Microsoft and Yahoo, both through CSV export and the AdWords API,” Kovacevich said. “In fact, both Microsoft and Yahoo offer their advertisers explicit tips and tools for exporting Google campaign data into their platforms.”
Providing a little perspective, Tom Foremski, writing for ZDNet says Google owns 50 data centers around the world; it builds its own servers; it operates its own backbones that shuttle huge amounts of data across the world; it develops its own software for managing all of its data; and it keeps banks of servers in the data centers of ISPs so that it can cache data closer to delivery.
“The competition between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other large content players has long since moved beyond just who has the better videos or search. The competition for Internet dominance is now as much about infrastructure — raw data center computing power and about how efficiently (i.e. quickly and cheaply) you can deliver content to the consumer,” writes Craig Labovitz, one of the experts Foremski references.
If you step out of the specifics of this story and think for a moment about the two brands, Google and Microsoft, they evoke such different thoughts and feelings. They mean totally different things. Google is a company we find endlessly fascinating for what they’ve already accomplished and for what they’re working on next. Microsoft, on the other hand, is what? A behemoth has been desperate to hold on, by any means possible?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.