back to article Microsoft's Google complaint not an April Fool

Microsoft's decision to take Google to the European Commission might sound like an early April Fool's prank, even Brad Smith, after 10 years defending Microsoft against the Commission, could see it. Smith said: "There of course will be some who will point out the irony in today's filing.  Having spent more than a decade …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    Neither google, nor microsoft, have a monopoly.

    None of my systems see either of them ... doesn't seem to negatively affect my "Internet Experience" (whatever that is).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Stop the press

      Jake doesn't use Google so they don't have a monopoly.

      Hmm, not sure that is how it works. I recommend you have a quick read of the relevant entry in a dictionary, or even in wikipedia.

    2. Lewis Mettler

      there are ways

      There are ways to avoid buying Microsoft products just as there are ways not to use any Google services or products.

      But, that fact does not affect any determination of whether or not either company has a monopoly or even monopoly power.

      Generally speaking a 70% dominance is enough. But, as Apple has proven even less than that can cause a company to think it has enough control over consumers to act like a monopoly. And to adopt policies that preclude competition.

      If you have a copy of IE, you have been screwed by monopoly power.

      If you do not have access to certain services or have to pay a 42% higher price for subscriptions, you too have been harmed by monopoly powers. Hint: A lot of companies have said they will avoid the "convenience" of the Apple marketplace simply because Apple is insisting upon too high a cut. And that would increase the cost for ALL CONSUMERS not just those who made the mistake of buying something from Apple. Read the Apple policy. It clearly says that if you do not give up any thought of price competition through other channels including your own web site, you will be BLOCKED by Apple.

      So even if you do not buy any Microsoft product, any Apple product or perhaps use any Google services, you do pay higher prices when monopolists screw consumers. Apple is the most recent and most obvious example of that. But, you still buy IE, right? That is not a choice you have to make. It has been illegally removed.

      1. Ammaross Danan

        @Lewis Mettler

        As a whole, I whole-heartedly agree with your post. However, two comments to note:

        "If you have a copy of IE, you have been screwed by monopoly power.

        ...But, you still buy IE, right?"

        True that since MS Windows is a "monopoly" on PCs, having a copy of IE hiding on your hard drive means a monopoly shoved it down your throat. However, having IE in Windows is NO DIFFERENT than having Chrome in ChromeOS (they're both highly integrated, right?). My Android phone forces me to use Chrome! Oh noes! How about an iP*d or iPhone forcing me to use their Safari browser that came pre-bundled against my will?

        Providing a browser by default is not, in my opinion, a problem. You have to get on the internet somehow to be able to download your real browser, right? They may not have distribution rights, or likely care, to stuff a competing product by default into their OS. Imagine the lawsuits that would occur if MS Security Essentials and Office 2010 web were free and bundled with every copy of Windows. Imagine the lawsuits. Last I checked, Apple distributed all sorts of iThingies in their OSX. Is anyone complaining? Have they been sued for providing Safari by default, like MS did with IE? No.

      2. jake Silver badge

        @Lewis Mettler

        Me? Purchase Internet Explorer? Nope. Outside of eyeballing new IE releases when fixing client machines, I have never actually used IE ... There have always been better alternatives.

        I have never purchased anything thru' Apple, either. Nor google. Or anything else online, for that matter. Nor do I plan on doing so any time soon. Why would I, when I can get anything I want within 50 miles of here, and actually look the seller in the eye when I make my purchase?

        Just because the rest of the planet is incapable of making choices, mostly thru' their own ignorance and/or apathy, it doesn't mean I have to follow suit.

        PG&E is a monopoly here in most of Sonoma County. There is no other choice for electricity & town gas, unless you generate your own. Likewise, AT&T owns the cable plant for POTS. If you want a landline, you have no option but to pay AT&T. On the other hand, microsoft & google are hardly necessary (much less mandatory!) for computing, browsing and/or searching TehIntraWebTubes.

        1. Goat Jam

          I Think His Point Is

          If you purchase Windows, you have paid for IE. That you choose to use an alternative is great and all, but you did in fact "purchase Internet Explorer"

          1. dave 54


            "omg i dun bought minesweeper even though I mostly play left4dead. how dare they force me to buy this game, when there are better ones available? if you play minesweeper, your opinion simply does not matter'.

            As for someone who judges the relative worth of another's opinion by the frankly irrelevent issue of their personal browser choice.... Well, I would tentatively suggest that he's emotionally overinvested in nerdy technical trivia. It's really not his concern.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Dave 54

              You forget that for a certain minority (shouty minority, but a minority nontheless) the choice of FOSS - and it is always FOSS - browser or OS is a confirmation of their own intelligence. Someone is smart due to choice of a FOSS OS/Browser, therefore everyone else is an idiot, which makes the user even smarter.

              It does, of course, give FOSS a bit of a bad name, but that's ok becuase it's only idiots who think that, the truly intelligent will still choose it.

              This is nothing to do with self confirmation bias, of course.

              1. jake Silver badge


                Or maybe, you could learn what FOSS is all about and lose the self inflicted pain. Seriously. Try it. But you won't. "It's too hard" and/or "Not enough games" and/or "I have this one legacy program".

                It's not about intelligence, nor casuistry. Rather, it's simple pragmatism. It's about installing it and then just using it. In my case, Slackware on the desktop fades into oblivion ... it just works, transparently. I never even think about the OS, unless I'm talking to someone like you. Can you say the same for your OS of choice?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward


                  I'm ac 1103 - At work I design datastorage, every day I work on AIX, HPUX, Solaris, RHEL and Windows. I am my department's go-to person for problems with Windows and RHEL. At home I also use Mac OS as well as Ubuntu, Fedora and Windows.

                  I like most OSes that I use, they all have different strengths and weaknesses. I can't stand the zealots and self importance of people who think that becuase they like a particular OS that it must be the best OS and everyone else is wrong or some sort of idiot because of their personal choices.

                  What I will repeat is that FOSS is given a bad name by some of its more shouty supporters who can come across as rude and standoffish to new users and people who have made different decisions.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @ jake

                  I forgot to say: I don't have an OS of choice.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            but you also purchased

            a media player, some basic games, a GUI, a simple notepad, etc etc...

            Just like you get with Apple etc etc....

            And as for always being better alternatives, you are clearly to young to remember how MS dominated the browser market.

            Netscape? Sheez lucky if it managed to load up before crashing let alone browse the web.

            1. jake Silver badge


              Too young? Moi? OK. I guess all those nights I spent hacking away at Mosaic, long before microsoft even noticed that TCP/IP (much less TehIntraWebTubes) even existed, are a figment of my imagination. Does that make me twenty-something instead of fifty-ish?

              MS IE may have market-share, but it's never been what I would consider "dominant".

              Netscape worked just fine, back in the day. Was much better than the competition.

              1. Robert Simpson
                Thumb Down

                RE: @AC10:24

                "MS IE may have market-share, but it's never been what I would consider "dominant"."

                You wouldn't call a >90% share of the market for 6 years "dominant"? What would you call it?

                1. jake Silver badge

                  What would I call it?

                  Ubiquitous amongst the technologically incompetent. Kinda like Windows.

          3. jake Silver badge

            @Goat Jam

            My point is that I didn't purchase Windows. Or Apple's OS, for that matter.

  2. John G Imrie

    Micosoft takes Google to the EU Commission.

    Why, have they run out of 'partners' to do it for them?

  3. Graham Marsden

    Pick a word...

    ... should I describe this as Irony or Hypocrisy?

    1. Anonymous Coward



      I'll get my money out of the coat to buy some popcorn

    2. theSensibleGeek


      I'd go with "fairness". It's not hypocritical to expect others to be held up to the same standard as you.

      1. Lewis Mettler

        same standard?

        Microsoft continues to violate the US Antitrust laws by contining to commingle the OS and IE.

        So just what standard is Microsoft complying with?

        If you have a copy of IE, your opinion simply does not count. And my view does not count much either. But, Microsoft insists that your opinion does not matter. You will purchase IE again and again regardless of what you may think.

      2. Steven Knox
        Thumb Down


        " It's not hypocritical to expect others to be held up to the same standard as you."

        It is when you've regularly argued against that very standard.

        1. Jeff 11

          Err, no

          "It is when you've regularly argued against that very standard."

          Actually no, it isn't. The law should be applied without exception. You can take issue with the law, and have a perfectly legitimate complaint that the current law is being selectively upheld.

          No-one is going after Apple or Google for their respective monopolies with the same ferocity that they went after MS' with - that's a big fat FAIL in my book.

  4. Lars Silver badge

    Very nice

    But let's not forget that a murderer has all the rights to be a whistle blower too.

    Companies don't tend to stop growing because they become monopolies nor is there any law against that.

    Abusing that state is an other thing.

    There are all the reasons to check Google in that respect too, of course.

    The nice thing, is however, that Microsoft, or should I say Brad Smith, seems to understand that

    the EU is the only power with any interest and power to deal with this.

    Just remember all the messages questioning the rights of the EU to have an opinion regarding Microsoft.

    Nice, Mr Smith, perhaps you have learned something.

  5. Jeff Held


    Talk about making lemonade out of lemons - using their own anti-trust case a precedent to go after arch-rival Google. You got to admit it is either brilliant or completely mad!

    1. John H Woods Silver badge


      ... we lost case X and we abide by that decision. We also want other companies to abide by that legal precedent. Even a non-legal type can see that's pretty smart.

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