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Screw Google

google-microsoftThis could get ugly. In an article published by Daily Finance on Friday, the website (owned by AOL) shared knowledge of a Microsoft lobbyist campaign to smear Google into governmental perception oblivion. According to Daily Finance, insiders have given these regularly scheduled meetings a name… “Screw Google” meetings.

The group effectively trying to “Screw Google” is said to be composed of Microsoft employees, other Google competitors and hired 3rd parties:

“Microsoft is at the center of a group of companies who see Google as a threat to them in some combination of business and policy,” said a source familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity to avoid retribution. “The effort is designed make Google look like the big high-tech bad guy here.”

The meetings have occurred as frequently as once a week, sources with knowledge of the meetings say.

Daily Finance points out two particular public relations firms that Microsoft works with named Law Media Group and Glover Park Group. LMG declined to comment and GPG says they haven’t been involved in anything “Screw Google” related. But one source claims LMG isn’t so innocent:

“Law Media Group has several people who work full-time on Google-bashing. Everybody knows Microsoft is trying to throw roadblocks at Google and knock them off their game. Microsoft is trying to harm Google in the regulatory, legal, and litigation arenas because they’re having problems with Google in the competitive marketplace.”

Hold up, wait a minute (lemme put some Phandroid in it).

Before we continue shall we take a dive into the realistic side? Microsoft isn’t the only one engaging in these lobbying and policy conventions and practices whereby they attempt to sway and influence key decision makers. Every big business does it… including Google. Sad perhaps, but a fact of business. And it isn’t “sad” or “negative” by nature – your company has certain ideas and beliefs and obviously, as a company, it is in your best interest to tell people your side of the story to create a favorable climate for your products and services. We should at least TRY to be objective.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, their side of the story sucks. Their side of the story is that they dominated desktop software with Windows which they leveraged to also dominate desktop web browsing with Internet Explorer. They then watched Google waltz into the Search Engine space and less than a decade later Big G dominates with 70% search market share. In the past Microsoft execs have made comments claiming Google is more of an illusion than a business and Steve Ballmer himself screamed the words “I’m going to f*cking kill Google” as he hurled a chair across the room when speaking to a Microsoft engineer defecting to Google. Yes, that really happened… it is legally documented. So now Microsoft is trying to kill imaginary businesses? Yes… Google made them crazy.

android-chrome-osNow Google is leveraging their own success to enter new markets… think of how ubiquitous GMail and YouTube are and Android will become. And then there is Chrome… ahhhhh yes, Chrome. And better yet, Chrome OS. When Google announced Chrome OS it must have sent shivers down the backs of Microsoft Execs the world over. Because as much as they want to effing kill Google… they can’t.

So now they’re going by the old mantra, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Oh wait… slight correction, “If you can’t f*ck them, screw them.”

This “Screw Google” campaign took on a new life as soon as it was given that name. Suddenly something that probably happens every day in every industry by hundreds of different companies was sensationalized with a marketable name. But this name tells a much bigger story. It tells the story of Microsoft’s simultaneous decaying self-image and denial that their stranglehold on all things computer related is slipping… and fast.

Microsoft had a HUGE opportunity with Windows Mobile but the company absolutely FAILED to market it properly and even worse, squandered away valuable time they could have spent improving the software and making a compelling and superior product. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s market share in the mobile market is about to be gobbled up by Android and if you don’t believe me just ask HTC. But once again… Microsoft is delusional.

Microsoft must have been really angry when Google ran away with the growing search market. Mobile could be considered the #1 growth industry in tech and Google is about to run away with that as well. But worst of all… Google is about to kick Microsoft where it counts with Chrome OS, taking their innovation to netbooks and laptops and perhaps eventually desktop computers to challenge the very essence of Microsoft’s existence on their home turf.

Microsoft and Google are also gearing up for an intense showdown over the very future of the PC operating system. Google recently said it plans to introduce a new web-based operating system based on its Chrome browser (though to date, Chrome has barely dented Microsoft Internet Explorer’s lead in the browser market). Google’s fundamental strategy to shift the locus of computing onto in the Internet, and into “the cloud,” represents an ambitious assault on Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop-based operating system market.

I don’t doubt that Microsoft execs, lobbyists and sympathizers are all saying “Screw Google” right now… if they aren’t then they should be. But maybe its time for Microsoft to realize that they can’t afford to spend their time and energy tearing competing companies down. Instead they should be using that time to focus on building themselves up. While others are bringing new and innovative ideas to customers no matter the cost (see YouTube), Microsoft seems to be that 32 year-old guy who is obsessed with how awesome and popular they were in high school without realizing they are no longer awesome or popular.

Let me be clear… I don’t want Microsoft to fail. In fact I’d like to see them succeed. But the company seems to be driving itself into the ground with a corporate culture that may have worked a decade ago but will not work now. Its time to grow up, Microsoft… you’re only screwing yourself.

[Via Daily Finance - thanks Dan]




  • jeremy

    I agree with Rob. It has been happening forever. Everything was very well put by Rob. Not much more to say. Posted from my G1 by the way;-)

  • Jiri

    I absolutely agree. Microsoft should have another leader then Steve Ballmer. Hi has absolutely no vision. He never have been Bill Gates and never will be! He should go retire, enjoying his money, and let the company to somebody younger.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_refund Cthulhu

    Contrary to Rob, I love to see M$ fail and I’ll be cheering all the way while they drive themselves further into the ground.

    M$ tax on computers no more! Let the consumers decide whether they want winslows on their new laptop or not. We don’t want to battle the laptop manufacturers for a refund, we want it WITHOUT winslows!

  • kasrhp

    Cthulhu,
    You can get a computer without Windows. Why dont you just install Linux?

    How does Msoft have a tax on computers? I think you are referring to the Apple tax;). Msoft makes many computers at bargain basement prices. Contrary to your thoughts, companies need to make money off of their products. Therefore, you pay for using Windows.

    And, with the multiple OS on the market, consumers DO have a choice for what they want on a laptop. Stop complaining about having to pay for a service you use, especially when there IS a choice.

  • FisherP

    I agree with the moral of the story – inner focus. Look within the company and set goals, e.g. a much simpler Windows Mobile that makes it easy to install third party apps. The current version is nowhere near what the iPhone and Android OS have become. Microsoft HAS good ideas. It is just the way of getting them forward they need to improve on. Why are there no Microsoft apps on Android or iPhone? It needs some thought given to what Microsoft has become.

    Also, Microsoft is such a huge banner, it is hard to distinguish between novel new ideas like the PhotoSynth, and the big machine of Windows. Simplicity is best. Fragment and diversify, yet retain your background for integration.

    And one further point…the MSN search engine is terribly complicated, even if they have re-branded it. If you go to Google search, I get a search box on the page. That’s it! MSN gives you list after list… etc etc. Same goes with Mail, Calendar, Maps… Where are these on a Microsoft web page? Simple and reliable is the name of the game. If I want a map, a click on ‘Map’, if I want Shopping results I click on ‘Shopping’. Simples.

    As for Linux….well…. my lips will remain sealed.

  • Phil

    kasrhp – I think you miss the point. I don’t see to many barebones laptops out there for good deals. Most people whether they want Windows or something else are going to go into a store where they can see what they are getting and get good sales. The problem is that all of these computers will have Windows running on them when all I’m interested in personally is the hardware. I promptly go home and load my OS of choice onto the hardware BUT I have just given money away to Microsoft.

    Second MS doesn’t make computers and you saying that only illustrates the problem. Windows has become synonymous with computer. I don’t use Windows and don’t want to have to pay for it just to get the hardware that I do want. Simple as that. So yes there is a MS tax on computers. You will pay MS simply for buying hardware whether you use Windows or not.

    As for the article. I say let MS fail or at least come close to it. MS has become weak because they lacked competition. So they shoveled crap out because they didn’t have to do any better. Now its catching up with them and they will have to fall down to a point where there is competition in order for them to be forced to improve their products.

  • bobhht2

    I don’t think Microsoft can compete on a level playing field because they have never had the experience and have nothing really new to introduce. How much can be done with a software platform and business apps? Someone is going to have to give me a good reason to get excited about Windows 7. I just can’t seem to get motivated.
    One day’s software innovation is tomorrows free give away. The industry is ultimately about advertising to make money. Google has already won that front.

  • http://www.links4jeeps.com kizer

    The problem with Microsoft is simple. They nickle and dime you on everything. From the Xbox and its pay to play to a HUGE cost in upgrading your OS because they call it an upgrade when actually its a bug fix.

    Sure things cost money and nothing should be free, but nothing should be sugar coated and over priced to the point you force your customers into somebody elses hands.

    Google they make money hand over fist and yet they still give things away simply because they either can afford it or they are trying to seriously trying to build their fan base. Sure they have an odd model, but thats their problem and it seems to be working.

  • matt

    I have the Microsoft HTC phone and I absolutely hate it. It lags all the time, including when you try to hang up. To all my friends and all the strangers out there with Google phones, I’m jealous.

  • kasrhp

    I agree Msoft has had issues. But Dell offers Linus on several of their laptops. Is the issue with Msoft, or the computer companies who pay them to have their OS on their machine?

    Phil, there are plenty of cheap computers with Windows on it. From netbooks to cheap laptops. Is it Msofts problem Linux isnt user friendly enough yet? Is it ok for Microsoft to be waaay cheaper then Apple? Is there another REAL magical OS out there that is free, works, and looks halfway decent?

    I also know they dont make computers, I was responding to the previous statement. But, you need to have an OS on your computer in some form. So yes, you pay for it. If you dont want to, build your own comp. For a majority of people, they just want it to work. They have never heard of Linux, Apple is more expensive, so what other choice?

    Mocrosoft has clearly gotten stale. Their mobile OS is completely dated. But they are def making strides. Look at the new Zune HD. Its amazing. If they come anywhere close to what they want, the will be back in the game. From your comp, to your mp3 player, to your phone, to your xbox, it will all be connected. Thats pretty legit. So, to answer your statement, they ARE improving their products.

    Kizer, Microsoft and Google have not been in the same game together. Only recently has Google really began to branch out. They offer free products for advertising. They monitor user usage, and send their data to advertisers. So, then, they have highly skilled devs come in and continue to build off of Google. Thats why they are expanding so much now. Everything leads to a bigger payday for them. They just get their money in a different way. Thats why they give things away. Dont think it will last forever though. The normal consumer is probably fine, but Google is developing business software(think office), and that wont be free.

    Google and Android are far superior to Msoft right now, but they are making strides. Very late, but they are coming back. To be honest though, who knew Android would be this BIG? Im an Android guy by far, but dont hate Microsoft because they are Microsoft, nor Apple for being Apple. Give credit where it is due.

  • jae

    I love my windows Vista,but I can honesty
    Say I agree .Windows needs to step up and
    Star focusing on new development or try to make
    Vista better.. I’m windows crazy :P

  • whsurgaddy

    I use ubunti (a dist for linux) and its preety user friendly I love it and its super quick. Sure there things on windows that are quicker but all in all ubuntu is great o.s.

  • FisherP

    I’m just crazy.

  • Cru

    Microsoft needs to scrap practically EVERYTHING and start over from scratch if they want to stand a chance. They’ve been building crap on top of crap and it’s finally reached it’s breaking point where the rest of us are too frustrated with things like special coding for IE6 because they can’t make an operating system decent enough to convince enterprise customers to switch to a newer operating system that might have a more recent browser version.
    You can run ASP in PHP, but not the other way around. That right there should be a giant red flag to Microsoft that you can’t play ball if you’re the only person on your team.

  • http://droidsuperstore.com/ droid x covers

    Google gets bigger and bigger every day. Within the next year at the current rate of growth they will have the biggest market share on phones. Chrome is also constantly gaining ground too. Google is also really starting to get into tablet PCs as well. Microsoft better watch out!