back to article Microsoft leads charge against Google's Android in EU antitrust complaint

Microsoft and Nokia have added Google's Android operating system to their list of antitrust grievances against the ad giant, and have filed a formal complaint with European regulators. According to analysts, Android is currently the dominant smartphone operating system and Google also takes the biggest slice of mobile search …

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  1. Babbit55
    WTF?

    Huh?

    Last time I checked didn't Winmo default to using Bing search and Bing Maps and Nokia to Nokia Maps??? isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? I mean hell Apple dictate you use Apple Maps and Safari though with all these if you really want you can change them!

    1. wowfood
      Meh

      Re: Huh?

      The problem isn't so much that google are doing it. It's that google are doing it well with good products. Nokia and Microsoft can't compete on quality, so they need to hamstring google via legal action instead to give themselves a fighting chance.

      It's the equivalent of ARM releasing a new desktop processor which is 10x more powerful than anything intel could make, only to be sued by intel because ARM is using it's mobile dominance to make a push into the desktop market. Something intel tried in reverse and failed.

      1. Aoyagi Aichou
        Gimp

        Re: Huh?

        "The problem isn't so much that google are doing it. It's that google are doing it well with good products. Nokia and Microsoft can't compete on quality, so they need to hamstring google via legal action instead to give themselves a fighting chance."

        @wowfood: Oh, I didn't notice your post. Could you please specify exactly what are the Nokia's products that are so much worse than any of the Google's cheap trash? Or did you mean their software solutions (which means only maps)?

        1. Craigness
          Facepalm

          Re: Huh?

          @AOYGI Android phones preinstalled with a full set of Google apps sell incredibly well. Nokia phones with whatever they have preinstalled don't. Niokia's solution is to remove the Google apps from android phones.

    2. g e
      Holmes

      Re: Huh?

      The issue is that Android is the dominant mobile OS which automagically might make it unfair.

      Especially if you're a failing butthurt whiny tech outfit like Nokia or Microsoft who, let's not forget, are firmly, if not cosily, in bed together in the mobile sector as a last grenade. Ovi(?) maps don't even place in a search for 'map', 'nokia' or 'ovi' in the Play store. Can you actually get ovi maps for Android then ? A bit fecking dumb if you're whining about it and don't even have your own mapping product available on the platform you're whinging about. Don't care if you can, more than happy with Googly maps anyway.

      It read pretty much like documents filed against Microsoft not so long ago (browser choice), oh the irony.

      1. Kenneth3
        Holmes

        Re: Huh?

        What about Google's involvement in browser choice?

        1. Shagbag

          It's a sad sight to see...

          ...the once proud Nokia, now being pimped by MSFT.

      2. P Saunders

        If they want to blame someone

        they should be suing the punters who aren't buying microsoft/nokia et al.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @Babbit55

      "Last time I checked didn't Winmo default to using Bing search and Bing Maps and Nokia to Nokia Maps???"

      Even better.

      My WP7.5 phone has this optical search button; the moment I press it (which unfortunately sometimes tends to happen by accident as well) I get Bing. I can configure some aspects like allowing my location to be used, allowing MS to get some search results when it comes to looking for pictures, and enabling the search button in the lock screen (you really don't want that ;-)).

      Thing is; I can't tell my phone that it should use Google instead of Bing when I press this button.

      This doesn't bother me at all btw., I like it this way, but it does show that something is seriously wrong here.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      Android is the dominant OS for portable devices (verging on a monopoly).

      Android is made by Google.

      It is not possible to remove Google apps (e.g. Chrome, Maps etc).

      If it is monopoly abuse for MS to include IE; then it is monopoly abuse for Google to prevent the removal of pre-installed apps. What's sauce for the goose etc.

      1. lost
        FAIL

        Re: Huh?

        Sorry but Google apps can be removed. Have used and seen Android devices that do not have some or all of google apps. Also Verizon did replace Google search with Bing on one of their Android offerings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huh?

          If you root the phone, yes. But this is not something that a typical user would or could do.

          In the other cases you will find the pre-installed apps cannot be removed.

          Until Google allows users to delete Chrome etc by default in their OS; they are guilty of the sale abuser as MS and deserve the same treatment.

          Google is not your friend, you are simply their product.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Huh?

        Google doesn't prevent you from removing apps, your phone carrier does. If you got some crappy bundle ware on your phone, chances are that it's not Google's fault at all.

        The whole "app store" thing makes it an entirely different world between now and the 90s. So does pervasive and easy networking. Replacing default apps on any OS with a modern package manager is not quite the same thing anymore.

      3. blondie101

        Re: Huh?

        'It is not possible to remove Google apps (e.g. Chrome, Maps etc).'

        Bullish, look at cyanogen mod or Amazon's kindle. Booth without chocolate apps.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huh?

          Requires rooting, not for the faint of heart or general user.

          You fail.

      4. Craigness

        Re: Huh?

        The Google apps are not part of android, OEMs have to license them from google. The complaint is that google licenses the apps as a whole set instead of individually, and the license requires the OEM to put them on the main homepage. Now, if Android OEMs were making this complaint then it wouldn't seem so petty.

        Before version 4.0 it was not possible to disable/remove apps which were preinstalled into a certain part of the phone's storage area (which I forget the name of). In version 4.0 Google added a feature that lets you disable preinstalled apps. They still exist on the phone but are not in the app drawer and do not run. They can't be removed, but removing them would not free up any usable space anyway.

        Chrome lets you use Bing as the default search engine, Android lets you use a different app store, lets you download a different maps app and set it as a default, lets you download a different browser and set it as default, lets you download a different keyboard and set it as default, lets you download magazine store apps, lets you download book store apps which use a non-google payment system, lets you use netflix, lets you download a music player and set it as default, lets you use Skydrive, yahoo mail, hotmail...if this suit succeeds then Apple is in the sh*%.

        And Android can be used without a Google account.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huh?

          I don't give two shits. They can't deleted, that is abuse.

          As for not needing a Google account; you are forced to have one to download apps from the store. Not so bad if that's all it was, but of course it's so much more. And if you want to transfer contacts you have to send everything to Google via your (effectively mandatory) Google account.

          1. Craigness
            Facepalm

            Re: Huh?

            You don't need root to disable apps. This feature was added by Google for the sole purpose of allowing non-root users to disable preinstalled apps such as Google's own. They can't be deleted because of the type of memory they are installed in, but a disabled app has as much impact on the user and the device as a deleted app. This is not abuse and is not the subject of the complaint.

            You need a google account to use the google app store. You need an amazon account to use the Amazon app store. But you do not need to use either.

            You do not need to use Google services to store your contacts on an Android phone.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Huh?

              "You don't need root to disable apps. This feature was added by Google for the sole purpose of allowing non-root users to disable preinstalled apps such as Google's own."

              What utter crap. Just checked on the ICS - there is no such feature. You fail.

              "They can't be deleted because of the type of memory they are installed in"

              Thank you for conceding that Google are abusing their position. Can we move on now?

              "You do not need to use Google services to store your contacts on an Android phone."

              Yes you do, Google provide no other alternative. Please cite the non-Google alternative that is provided natively.

              1. Craigness
                FAIL

                Re: Huh?

                No, you fail.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63p6LZG13_E

                I pointed out that Google does not abuse their position. What are you on about? I won't hear your nonsense any more but feel free to approach Nokia with your argument that the ghost of an installation of a google app, which cannot be run, does not take up any space on the user's RAM and cannot be accessed from the app drawer, represents an abuse of power. They'll tell you it's nonsense too.

                Alternatives to not need to be provided natively for you to use them, but the native app will not send your details to google unless you log in with a google account - which is not a requirement to use the device. If you really hate google so much, just don't buy an android phone; you get the best experience by using it with a google account and benefiting from their services.

                You utterly fail.

                1. Craigness

                  Re: Huh?

                  Incidentally, the native app is non-Google. It's part of AOSP, not the suite of Google apps which the legal complaint is about. It can import and export contacts in vcf format and can also sync with other apps like Skype, Skydrive and Facebook if you prefer to use other contacts services. When people say Android is open, this is the sort of thing they mean. You can use an android phone without ever letting google know how few friends you have.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Huh?

                  I have checked Chrome, Facebook, Dropbox, Skydive and all the other bullshit that comes preinstalled (and I'll type slowly so you can keep up):

                  There.

                  Is.

                  NO.

                  Disable.

                  Option.

                  Even if there was, "Disable" is not good enough; "Delete" is the only acceptable option.

                  And please stop the "no Google account required" lie. One is 100% mandatory to use all the features of Android _ such as use the app store.

                  1. Babbit55
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Huh?

                    Funny, just checked on my Nexus 7 (you know the stock android one?!?!) and I can disable all the google stuff, even the play store

                  2. Craigness
                    FAIL

                    Re: Huh?

                    If you think that needing to have an amazon account before being able to access the amazon store is an abuse then tell Nokia and they can include it in their complaint. It has just as much relevance to anything as your point about needing to have a google account to access the google store. If you don't want to use a google account on android then get your apps from somewhere else. A google account is 100% NON-mandatory to use the features of android (the google apps are not part of android, they are licensed separately - RTFA); that's why you can skip the sign-in when you first set up the device. If you don't want to use the google apps then disable them and you'll never need to know they ever existed. Google can't abuse you when you can't see its apps!

          2. Vic

            Re: Huh?

            > And if you want to transfer contacts you have to send everything to Google

            Do you?

            Wow. I'm glad I didn't know that last time I exported my contacts to my SD card...

            vic.

      5. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        "Android is the dominant OS for portable devices (verging on a monopoly)." - Google might be privacy-invading sharks, but they're good at what they do. If Android didn't work and wasn't cheap then it wouldn't be adopted.

        "It is not possible to remove Google apps (e.g. Chrome, Maps etc)." - it isn't possible to remove Facebook, or Timeline-thingy, or OrangeEtMoi, or the games that don't even work in my country (supplied by Orange France to a person in France, WTF?), or a dozen other things that I just can't get rid of. It gets worse - on the apps listing I can selectively hide my own app installs, but I can do sod all about the baked-in stuff.

        "then it is monopoly abuse for Google to prevent the removal of pre-installed apps" - I agree with you. But not just Google (to be honest, I do wonder if the app lock is more Google or more the manufacturer/carrier?). You should be able to remove an unwanted app. Period. Bye bye stupid Orange Backup that has never been configured yet tries to sync my stuff (addressbook?) regularly and fails, and feels the need to tell me about it. Typical crappy Orange stuff. I can't even remove it, kill it, or stake it in the heart.

      6. Tim Bates
        FAIL

        Re: Huh? Not possible to remove?

        I uninstalled Google Goggles and Google Maps from my Android phone just yesterday. Both removed fine, and now I have far more free RAM with their useless services not running anymore.

        I know some ROMs won't allow you to remove them, but there lies the beauty of an open source operating system - you can make your own ROM without legal problems (unlike WinMob, etc).

      7. Mikel
        Happy

        Re: Huh?

        Not only can they be removed - they often are, and then some. For a while there Verizon was actually replacing the integrated search functions of their Android phones with Bing search in a way that could not be changed. They stopped that nonsense not because Google told them to, but because returns were horrific.

      8. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. hplasm
    Windows

    Ha!

    Cheeky Bastards!

    1. Ian Yates
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ha!

      I was thinking that with this line "embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses"

      Seriously? This came from Microsoft (by proxy)? They have the biggest ones I've ever seen

      1. blondie101

        Re: Ha!

        'Seriously? This came from Microsoft (by proxy)? They have the biggest ones I've ever seen'

        No if it's your strategy to have a software monopoly and crunch all your competitors then it's all right. ;-)

  3. Paul Frankheimer

    Hum?

    If MS would release a non-crap App for Hotmail on Android, it would certainly show their willingness to compete.

  4. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Devil

    Surely they are overlooking something? With Android you can install whatever you like, even non-Google Play apps. If Microsoft were forced to open Windows Phone up the same way Android already is, Steve Ballmer would be throwing chairs until Christmas.

    "They're doing better than us because they let users do what they want and we don't. They shouldn't let people do what they want - it isn't fair."

    Disclaimer: my main combo is iPhone/iPad, so I'm not that much of a Google fanboi...

    1. g e
      Joke

      Throwing chairs

      Christmas. 2016.

    2. Miek
      Linux

      "Disclaimer: my main combo is iPhone/iPad, so I'm not that much of a Google fanboi..."

      Are you using "Apple search" ? oh wait ...

      The real problem is that Google's services are becoming ubiquitous because generally Google's services work well for most devices as compared with the services from Microsoft. I have never encountered a single problem using Gmail over the web with many different browsers nor have I had any problems using Gmail's IMAP service. The same simply cannot be said for the abomination that is Exchange/lookOut.

      1. danbi

        "Are you using "Apple search"

        On an iOS device, it is the user who choses which search engine to use. Not Apple, not Google, not Microsoft.

        1. Peter 48

          and google

          The same can be done with Android. The one platform where you can't change the search provider however is Windows Mobile. I wonder if Microsoft are familiar with the definition of "irony"?

  5. billium
    Thumb Down

    If bing were in google's position

    Imagine if bing was successful, the monopolist domination would be complete.

    Win 8 has a load of 'bing' default apps, IE 9 is by default littered with bing.

    Dark kettles.

  6. Colin Millar
    IT Angle

    Unfair competition

    A bit rich from MS who have spectacularly failed to provide any and Nokia who squandered the lead they had by going from excellent to crapper than android in the blink of an eye.

    I find it amazing that with so many crap systems in the mobile market not one of the players considers building something good and instead they all just concentrate on rushing more and more half-arsed rubbish to market in the hope that the fanbois (of all flavours) wallets will keep salivating like Pavlov's dog and lapping up the shiny.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Unfair competition

      Big companies are not good at restricting themselves, so we need a "police" with the power to do at least something about it. So they all complain to the EU, at times, to try to restrict the competition in their favor. Normal business. And poor EU has to look into it every time. What happened to the DoJ or what ever. But in the long run I think, at least I hope, it is for the benefit of us, the consumers.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Unfair competition

        "But in the long run I think, at least I hope, it is for the benefit of us, the consumers." - I doubt that.

        I'm way too cynical to think common sense will step in for the benefit of customers.

        Example. I deal with pounds, euros, and from time to time yen. It was useful to go to Google and type "123 jpy in eur" and when the search came back, there would be a little box below it that said what Google estimated the rate to be. Somebody complained. Now it just provides a bunch of links to other sites which invariably don't tell me until I've gone to the site, enabled scripting, and then entered my value again. Bloody palaver.

        I want Google to do this sort of stuff. I want Google to provide its own services where appropriate. If I didn't want Google to do this, I'd use a different search provider. There are alternatives (but they're shit - seriously, compare Bing's maps sometime for starters...), the world doesn't begin with "G" and end with "e".

        But no, rather than attempt to create something of equal value, it is far easier to whinge to the EU or anybody else who will listen because Google has the better product and that's a Bad Thing. Wah.

        I fail to see how any outcome restricting Google from including their software will ultimately be better for the end user.

  7. nuked
    Windows

    This is gross hypocrisy of the highest order.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes

      Google did all that whinging about fair browser choice in a dominant OS but somehow this different. Utter hypocrisy.

      1. Mark C Casey
        Stop

        Re: Yes

        Um, it was Opera who raised the browser choice thing in the EU...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hypocrisy is high indeed in the EU bureaucracy so all bets are off. Although it would be grossly unfair to apply a different standard to Google than was applied to Microsoft in the IE browser choice debacle don't count on the large fines and user-hostile demands being applied here.

  8. ratfox Silver badge

    Forcing users to choose the Chocolate Factory's map, email and video services

    Map… Yeah, everybody's doing the same, but Android is dominant, so Google are the one who should offer more choice than Apple or Nokia, as usual. I'm not sure how this can fit with the fact that Google Maps was already the dominant maps internet service before the first Android phone came out, though. If anything, I would rather say that Google is unfairly pushing Android by having it as default on Android phones, something that it is withholding from other phones.

    Email… Would people really create a new email address on a different service because it is the default app on their new cell phone??

    Video… Hang on, Microsoft has a video sharing service?

    1. g e
      Joke

      Re: Forcing users to choose the Chocolate Factory's map, email and video services

      Imagine trying to say the same thing to Apple if ios were 'dominant'

      'Having waited three years for any response from Apple Corp we have no choice but to impose fines"

      The next morning

      "Apple launches appeal against unfair fines levied by the EU Competition Commission - 'Having invented competition we feel these fines are unwarranted and unjust' said CEO Tim Cook in a press statement today"

    2. Babbit55

      Re: Forcing users to choose the Chocolate Factory's map, email and video services

      Did you really say and mean Google is competing unfairly by forcing people to use Android on a Android phone? really?

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Forcing users to choose the Chocolate Factory's map, email and video services

        No, I meant they are unfairly using their advantage as owner of the Google maps service, by putting it as the default on Android, and "not letting Apple put it as default on iOS".

        If you squint at the problem the right way, you could say that Apple was forced to create a vastly inferior map service just so they would have a default maps App on their iDevices! Probably, Google wanted them to pay for having their wonderful Google maps as default, while of course Google does not need to pay to have Google Maps on Android.

        I'm ready for my medication now…

  9. Aoyagi Aichou
    Flame

    What? WHAT?

    I firmly believe that Microsoft of all is the least to complain about other company forcing things on users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What? WHAT?

      Really? Microsoft are surely the first to feel entitled to complain about the EU imposing things on some users but not others.

  10. pinch0salt
    WTF?

    So Microsoft prevents their Arm tablets booting anything but Win8, whilst I can boot whatever on my Android phone (Ubuntu phone anyone?). Damn that Android lock in.

  11. kafantaris2

    Google can give its Android software for free for all that matters in a free market. Indeed, the only thing anticompetitive here is the complaint to EU by Fairsearch.org.

    True market competition dictates that Nokia, Microsoft, Oracle, Kayak, TripAdvisor, Hotwire and Expedia would be better off combining their efforts to make a better software platform than Android. The market place -- not the courts -- is where companies band together and compete. The courts are ultimately a drag to all businesses which is why cases should settle quickly, let alone started unnecessarily.

    When are we going to learn that in the end there are no business winners in courts -- even when you win.

    1. g e

      Yeah but

      When it's cheaper to litigate than innovate whaddya expect from big unimaginative companies

      1. Kenneth3

        Re: Yeah but

        That's why Android has to pay royalties to MS.

        1. Euripides Pants

          Re: Yeah but

          "That's why Android has to pay royalties to MS."

          No, Android does not pay royalties to MS. Various phone makers pay royalties to MS 'cause they figure it's cheaper than litigating.

  12. Select * From Handle
    Thumb Up

    Tbh i was wondering who Microsoft would Complain about first.

    Google or Apple. As Windows has to have that annoying browser choice icon on all desktop OS's at first boot. I was wondering which OS (Android or iOS) they would try and get the same treatment.

    This will be interesting :D

    1. Craigness

      Re: Tbh i was wondering who Microsoft would Complain about first.

      Apple even leverages their position in mobile to make anyone who wants to make an app buy a Mac!

  13. Richard Hewitt

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly bad news for companies making great products everywhere.

    Google is dominant because they make great products that their users like, are affordable (because of advertising tie-in).

    Microsoft, Nokia are all kicking around the crumbs on the floor with dismal products that nobody wants. so what better way to get your product up there than by litigation, bribery and crying to whoever will listen.

    Microsoft should invest time and effort into making better products that people want, not crud like Windows Phone, Surface and Xbox disaster zones.

    1. g e
      FAIL

      XBOX not a disaster

      If you only play games on it.

      Anything else it tries to do is mind-bendingly stupid to use, though, like paying again to MS for being able to use Netflix, needing an internet connection to play a movie off a USB stick, horrendous DLNA compatibility (never did get it to work), and so on, and so on.

      They'll need to have a seriously stunning product for the '720 though I'll not be getting one regardless. (Nor a PS4 if they lock out secondhand games)

      1. Eguro

        Re: XBOX not a disaster

        While I agree that the 720 looks be a horrible "always online" disaster, I haven't had issues playing a movie from a USB on my xbox (provided it's in one of like 3 formats). If yours does require an internet connecting for USB movies, then I was lucky, or you were not. (Unless you're talking about the 720 in all the things mentioned, then yes - it's all a disaster)

        If you install PS3 Media Server (or a similar product) you also don't need an internet connection, but simply a network between your xbox and the computer running the server. That'll also enable more formats and subtitles.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang On

    Microsoft were hammered by EU commission for almost exactly the same issue - they were forced to implement a 'Select your browser choice' screen in IE - and of course Google Chrome was one of the options.

    Android professes to be an open platform so it will be a good thing if a similar outcome happens hear and when you first start up an Android device you'll need to choose a video player, a mapping application etc.

    Anybody who argues against this is an idiotic hypocrite.

    1. NinjasFTW

      Re: Hang On

      I know i'm replying to a troll but i am curious. Android may be considered dominant but i don't think it is considered a monopoly (yet?). Do the same rules apply as the original Windows/IE decision?

    2. Babbit55

      Re: Hang On

      Thing is, do you REALLY want more options while setting up? I dislike the browser choice thing for IE too, if I want Chrome, I download it. I don't want to spend ages choosing all my default apps when I buy a phone, I just download the ones I want and disable the ones I don't. Simples!

    3. g e
      Meh

      Re: Hang On

      Only if Google are ruled to have a dominant position they're abusing and it's not exactly like ios is doing badly so that's not a given result. 'Dominant' does not equal 'monopoly'.

      50% Android, 35% IOS, 14.9% RIM, 0.1% Nokrosoft isn't actually that dominant (made up numbers). 80% android would be though, i'd think.

    4. danbi

      Re: Hang On

      "Microsoft were hammered by EU commission for almost exactly the same issue - they were forced to implement a 'Select your browser choice' screen in IE

      ...

      Anybody who argues against this is an idiotic hypocrite."

      I don't know about being "idiotic hypocrite" (whatever that means), but some of us were around and do remember: It was Microsoft who "invented" and proposed the browser choice, in order to have their fines lowered back then. It was then again Microsoft, who promise the very promise they made. Recidivists are usually punished harder.

      But it is understandable, that people new to computers would cry "poor Microsoft".

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Hang On

      >Microsoft were hammered by EU commission for almost exactly the same issue

      Not the same issue, remember prior to MS bundling IE with Windows there was a thriving third-party browser market. (remember Netscape etc.) the question is whether Google's enhancement of Android through the bundling of standard applications/services is effectively taking market share and revenues away from third-party developers of Android applications, in the same way that MS took revenues away from third-party Windows developers.

      The only grounds MS and Nokia (et al) really have is whether the Google bundle makes it not commercially viable for them to replace the Google applications/services with their own, so a user could say have Bing maps across all their various devices regardless of OS platform. But that argument is weak given the work Amazon especially, has done with Android for the Kindle...

    6. Lars Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Hang On

      A few thing to remember, it took around seven years to "hammer" Microsoft. The browser (Netscape) was one issue. A browser few even remember to day. The "big" thing was interoperability and Microsoft had to give in on that. Microsoft was very good at dragging their feet, but we lost nothing when MS and *nix* systems started to talk to each other properly. Other things to remember is that it is always possible to complain, winning is an other matter and the world is changing, A near monopoly might not be it in ten years, but somebody else might. There is no law against monopolies but they have to follow the rules regarding monopolies. All the litigation makes me sick but what can we do, and don't even mention software patents and patents embedded in "standards".

    7. Arion

      Re: Hang On

      OK, I'll bite.

      I guess the issues are "almost exactly the same", in so far as chalk and cheese are "almost exactly the same", or in other words, completely different. Promoting your own products is called Business. Preventing the us of competitors products is called anti-competitive in Europe, and Antitrust in the United States. Google did the former, while Microsoft did the latter.

      Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft ) points out the following complaints against Microsoft:

      1: Microsoft restricted the market for competing web browsers. [ which had to be downloaded via slow modem, or purchased in a store ]

      Android on the contrary has a Google Play store readily available, which facilitate users to easily download an alternative browser. When Microsoft bundled Internet exploder first, downloading another browser was infeasible.

      2: Microsoft modified its [proprietory and confidential] API to favour Internet Explorer, and kept these secret from other browser makers.

      The source code to Android is openly available, as is the code for the browsers rendering engine ( at least it was when they used WebKit - not sure about Blink ).

      3: Through a rebate mechanism, Microsoft effectively prevented OEM's from bundling Non-Microsoft operating systems.

      OEM's which sell Android Phones, also sell phones with other Operating Systems, including Samsung which sell both Android and Windows Phones.

      So how exactly is this "almost exactly the same"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hang On

        That US trial was a total mess. The judge came over as a prat with an axe to grind, the lead prosecutor was David 'SCO owns Linux' Boies. During the 90s in the real world many of us were using alternate browsers (every computer magazine at the time had a selection on the accompanying CD). Years after when I read about the 'evidence' I encountered claims that I knew to be incorrect from personal knowledge.

        But this is about the EU anyway so whats your point?

        1. MissingSecurity

          Re: Hang On

          In the real world of the 90's, most people had 0 knowledge of tech, and your average Joe didn't subscribe to tech mags. Microsoft used third party manufactures to dominate the OS market, than it decided to use its OS to prevent competition, a la, 'IE is part of the OS' BS.

          With the MS changes, you get a choice in browsers (kind of), but IE still link to MS shit, and Google to Google. As far as I know MS has never developed an IE for Android, and want to force their BS on Google applications. Its a completely different thing.

          If you want to compare. MS should have to develop a search app and browser, and I would be fine with having those choices (I'd still be using Goggle), but I think it completely BS to force this because they want a piece of Android but don't want to develop for it.

  16. Himalayaman
    Holmes

    MS paid for this... Google should as well. Google's violation or everything Internet needs to stop (and yes this also applies to MS).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are entertaining us here

      Microsoft has been found guilty in multiple courts of justice on several continents. Google violations are so far allegations that should be confirmed in court before Google must pay, don't you think ? Between facts and your personal opinion I'll just stick with the facts for a while.

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Babbit55

      Re: MS lashes out

      What do you mean? Microsoft has always been like this being honest, they are all as bad as each other really

  18. Kenneth3
    Holmes

    This reminds me of all the whining Google did about browser choice in EU. What goes around comes around.

  19. Salacious Crumb

    Pot/Kettle hue-comparison scenario

    Well, isn't this quite a pot/kettle hue-comparison scenario?

    Microsoft & co's complaint is without merit, though. Android is probably the most configurable phone system available.

    On my Android phone I use Opera Mini as my browser, and Android's mail client syncs my Yahoo mail accounts.

    For searching, I use, by choice, Google.

    For videos, I use Youtube.

    I could easily use Bing if I wanted to, but why use something that isn't the best?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pot/Kettle hue-comparison scenario

      You can use Opera, Chrome etc. on Windows and choose all the other stuff too. Didn't stop Nearly Crows and her cronies forcing that annoying browser choice virus on us and fining Microsoft. However much we feel that was without merit, fairness implies the EU applies the same rules to Google. Or change the rules and apologise to Microsoft.

      1. Salacious Crumb

        Re: Pot/Kettle hue-comparison scenario

        There's an important difference between the Windows + IE bundling / Browser choice issue and the current complaint about Android.

        Unlike Windows and its default browser, it's quite possible to compile your own version of Android without bundling the Google apps. Exhibit A: Kindle Fire.

        Microsoft could compile Android from source, write IE for Android and make it default to Bing for search. For free. Instead, they are competing with a functionally equivalent phone OS they wrote themselves.

        I went to the FairSearch site to see what the complaint was. It went something like this: "Google is doing phenomenally well. We are competing on an equal footing with comparative products, but people are not buying our products and we're getting the shit kicked out of us. We're not happy about this and we'd like the EU to do something about it."

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Pot/Kettle hue-comparison scenario

      It could be a bit more complicated. To return to history, Microsoft used its monopoly with Windows to achieve a monopoly on browsers. And to use one monopoly to create on other is very very much against the law.

      The browser choice was something Microsoft suggested to the EU to get rid of the "problem". (and then they forgot about it!). Now they try to imply that Google is using a "monopoly" in search to build a "monopoly" in smart phones. I don't think they will succeed, though, as it does not reflect reality.

      This about not being allowed using a monopoly to create a new one is common sense but sometimes a bit hard to explain. Suppose you had a monopoly on oil and then created a monopoly on transporting it, tankers etc.

  20. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Nothing to stop Microsoft or anyone else forking Android and removing all the Google stuff and replacing it with their own. Oh wait they already have, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and countless other small Chinese phone suppliers already done this since Android is open source unlike Microsoft software where the OEMs have only a very limited number of things they can change to make their handsets stand out from the rest.

    Are Windows phone sellers allowed to remove all the Microsoft apps and service and replace them with alternatives such as google?

    1. asdf

      >Are Windows phone sellers allowed to remove all the Microsoft apps and service and replace them with alternatives such as google?

      That might matter if more than Microsoft employees and suppliers owned the things.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    advantage. .

    Dont NokiaSoft habe to prove that they are being disadvantaged by Googles linkkng to Google's own apps? There is no Nokia maps for Android. The hotmail app is a pile of shite and there is no Bing app. So how can they say Google is abusing its position?

  22. neonwired

    This, again? Let it die microsoft!

    Firstly let's get this straight, FairSearch is a branch of Microsoft, funded by Microsoft solely to push their agenda. These nonsense allegations that Microsoft keep on reviving year after year have been disproven again and again by analysts and experts. Android is open source. Google have no say whatsoever in how companies use it as Amazon has done.

  23. LawAbidingCitizen

    Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

    Here's a simple question:

    Why is it when someone wants to buy a laptop from Dell or HP or any of the other major OEMs, they are forced to also buy a Windows licence?

    Is this not the same issue? Consumers don't really have a choice of operating system:

    1. Buy a laptop pre-installed with Windows (why???), download and install Linux yourself.

    2. Buy a MacBook (very expensive).

    3. Buy an "OS free" laptop (very rare - far and few between, good luck finding the specs you need/want).

    DIe, Microsoft, die! The sooner you fade into irrelevance, the better off the IT industry will be, and the sooner innovation will start thriving. (Die software patents too!!!).

    /rant

    1. tabman

      Re: Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

      Yawn.

      They are "forced" to buy a laptop with Windows on it because Dell & HP sell "Windows Laptops". See what I did there?

      Maybe the issue here is that consumers, on the whole, WANT Windows. Thats why they buy them. How many average consumers even know that there are different Operating Systems available or what the advantages of each may be?

      You should chill out!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @tabman - Re: Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

        You are so wrong on all accounts here.

        There's no such thing such as Windows computer in the same way there is no Pratt&Whitney airplane.

        There's no such thing as 100% of consumers wanting Windows in the same way there is no 100% consumers wanting to eat at McDonald. If 0.01% of the total buyers know there is another OS and want it, who are you to forbid them ?

        1. asdf

          Re: @tabman - Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

          >If 0.01% of the total buyers know there is another OS and want it, who are you to forbid them ?

          The problem comes in when you tell suppliers selling phones/computers that they have to buy a license for every item they sell regardless of what the user wants.

    2. El Andy

      Re: Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

      And how do I buy, for example, a Google Nexus without Android installed on it. Or a Ferrari with a Porsche engine in it?

      The reason you buy a Windows license with your PC is because the OEM chooses to sell Windows PCs and the OS is as much a part of what they're offering you as the keyboard is.

      1. Arion

        Re: Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

        You're comparing apple's and gas giants there.

        Google bundle android with their phone, but they don't prevent other OEMs fro installing other OSs. (samsung provide both android and windows pho

        Also its unlikely that their keyboard supplier gave them an ultimatiun not to have keyboards from alternate suppliers.

  24. Schultz Silver badge

    That move shoud fail

    I use an android phone with an opera browser, accessing my work email, and I'd be really happy to have access to Nokia maps when traveling abroad (but I didn't stumble across that service yet).

    So it seems to me that Android is quite open, and does not create any artificial lock-in. Remember the time when you needed internet explorer to download certain updates from MS, or when MS messenger suddenly appeared on your desktop?

    Android phones are particularly open as compared to the competition - in particular if you jailbreak that provider-locked crapware and revert to stock android.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what heppens when you use Linux.

    1. asdf

      what?

      What you capture the majority of the mobile phone market? Looks a little better than the rounding error of market share WP will ever have.

  26. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I did complain

    about google maps being the only mapping option, but sadly , the courier I hired to deliver it used apple maps and has'nt been seen since.

  27. Bob 18

    Poor Complaint

    I hope this doesn't get very far.

    1. I chose GMail because my old ISP was falling apart and Google did a good job with the bear known as Email. I also use the K-9 IMAP client on my Android phone, for my non-GMail account. If MS (or anybody else) makes an email service as good as GMail, I will consider it.

    2. I use Google Maps because it's better than the other services out there. There are many --- and I've tried them on my Android phone.

    3. I use Google Search because no one else on Android has bothered to make an App that sends search their way. I don't think anyone has tried. I can't even change search engines on my Firefox. If there IS an anti-trust issue, this is where it would be.

    4. I use Google's browser because (at the time I made the choice), nobody else had made one that works.

  28. asdf
    Trollface

    sure someone else said

    But it takes a convicted abusive monopolist to know one or at least to claim it does.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lobby group FairSearch, a coalition of 17 search and tech firms....

    Err... Kayak was founded by some of the same people behind Expedia

    Sidestep was sold to Kayak so aren't actually a separate company any more..

    Hotwire are part of Expedia

    So is that really 4 companies?

    I'm quite sure more incestuous relationships could be found in the remaining list.

  30. billium
    FAIL

    analogy

    @El Andy Your analogies are wrong.

    There is no cost for Android.

    The Ferrari one is just stupid. May be a Ferrari that only takes Esso petrol.

  31. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    There is nothing more pathetic than a bully in tears.

  32. W.O.Frobozz

    Microsoft and Nokia?

    You mean "Just Microsoft." Because any of the "hangers on" are just Microsoft's usual trojan horses acting on their behalf. This kind of crap might have dazzled US courts but hopefully in the EU they will see through Microsoft's sock puppets.

    In the end it's proof positive that Microsoft has utterly failed to convince people to use Chandler Bing and their failed mobile operating system. If you can't compete, litigate.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    re: Microsoft leads charge against Android ..

    I thought Microsoft owned Android?

    1. asdf

      Re: re: Microsoft leads charge against Android ..

      Their lawyers think so and unlike WP they actually make money off Android not blow billions.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Memo to Microsoft

    EU might also decide to take a closer look at UEFI Secure boot, you know...

  35. W. Anderson

    Microsoft's pathetic desperation

    This particular complaint againstb Google by the three stooges and a few others has no merit as formulated.

    Amazon's Android based tablets and forthcoming smartphone are perfect examples where Google has absolutely no control over the search, ads, GPS, mapping or any other functionality of the Kindle series devices. Ditto for B&N Nook taablet and pending Facebook smartphone.

    Microsoft and their dupe Nokia need to get competitive by "innovating" their mobile technologies, since the tired tactics of spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), what most people call lies and secunding others' creativity has not produced any worthwhile marketshare. It is obvious why Oracle is stringing along, to get revenge for Googles use of Java without having to fork over billions in payments under Federal Court decided spurious claims.

    There is nothing that Microsoft can do legitimately inout performing Google's Android or Apple by imaginative originality in technology, which clearly demonstrated their intellectual bankruptcy.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Microsoft FairSearch ..

    "Google pays to have the default search, so what happened with mobile is first of all Android and again, is supposed to be free and open, Microsoft tried to make deals to become the default search engine on mobile devices. On Android, that was rendered impossible. They were told, Android makers, and carriers, were told, that you cannot use another default besides Google", Susan Athey Microsoft

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Microsoft FairSearch ..

      O really?

      Nobody seems to have told Verizon?

  37. heyrick Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh.

    "forcing users to choose the Chocolate Factory's map, email and video services." ... "whether the firm unfairly uses its search dominance to link to its own services, like Maps and YouTube, before others."

    Map: Just looked in the app market store thingy. Orange makes a map application. This is preinstalled on my phone. I don't use it. A quick search brought up ViaMichelin.

    Email: The stock email client is operational but simplistic. The best I can say is that it works. There's a more full-featured open source project, but it looks "complicated" (in that I don't want to spend forever and a day setting it up). I looked at the applications offered by Microsoft Corporation. Outlook wasn't one of the options, though Lync and "on{x}" (huh?) were.

    Video: Given YouTube is the big video share site, it would make sense to have YouTube on the phone regardless of whether or not it was there in the beginning. However, in the interests of fairness I looked for others. I found "Vimeo" in seconds, and it said that the Vimeo app for Android was (quote)finally here(unquote) with an app dated January of this year. Is it Google's fault that there has been a working YouTube app for years already? Dailymotion goes one step further and has a player app and a kids version.

    I looked for "video player" and MX Player was the first offering. Rightly so. Dailymotion was eighth. YouTube didn't even appear to be in the list. Ditto on the desktop computer, Googling for the same thing.

    Maybe this is because YouTube is already built in? Oh my God - Google supplying an app for one of their services in their phone? Whatever next!?

    Point is, apps exist for Android. There's a place where they all hang out. Be there, or forever languish in obscurity...

    Footnote: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/apps Oh look, there's the Skype app featured quite prominently. Now who owns Skype, I wonder? Built-in apps: SkyDrive, Bing, etc. Pot Kettle BLACK?!?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh

    First we have Apple suing Android manufacturers right left and centre, then we have Microsoft launching its Scroogled campaign, and now this.

    It's as if everyone is going out of their way to make Google look nice by comparison.

  39. Adrian Midgley 1

    nothing to stop MS and Nokia distributing Android

    or any other Linux is there?

    With their own setup of search etc on it.

    1. Vic

      Re: nothing to stop MS and Nokia distributing Android

      > or any other Linux is there?

      They'd never be able to afford the chair replacement bill...

      Vic.

  40. David Goadby
    Stop

    Admission of failure?

    Surely U$oft are only bothering about this because it's own phone has failed in the market place?

    Despite what Ballmer tells everyone, win7/8/Lumia phone is not the first phone we think of when purchasing or upgrading.

    Considering how U$oft has bullied us in the desktop market for years this is really the pot calling the kettle; try buying a PC without Windoze!

    Hopefully the EU will see this for what it is - the cries of a spoilt child that is no longer getting it's own way.

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