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Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the calling-the-whambulance dept.

Google 346

justice4all writes to share that some of the recent complaints to the European Commission about Google have apparently been coming from Microsoft. "A lawyer for Microsoft confirmed that the software giant told the US Department of Justice and the European Commission how Google’s business practices may be harming publishers, advertisers and competition in search and online advertising. [...] 'Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up. Microsoft’s well-received Bing search engine is addressing this challenge by offering innovations in areas that are less dependent on volume. But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.'"

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Makes sense really (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320700)

From the article:

in meeting with government agencies to discuss its recently approved search deal with Yahoo, Microsoft officials explained how Google has tilted the mechanics of the search advertising business in its favor. “As you might expect, the competition officials asked us a lot of questions about competition with Google—since that is the focus of the partnership,”

The title and summary seems to give the assumption that MS went and complained to DoJ and EC, but it really seems to be different case. They were discussing about the deal with Yahoo and why it doesn't hurt the market or Google. It really makes sense too - Google gets many magnitudes more search query data than their rivals. Long-tail keyword phrases are invaluable data and give a huge advantage for Google to taylor their search results.

Shocker! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320882)

ASS POS is making apologies for M$ bullshit tattle-tale behavior? I'm just shocked.

Microsoft crying about Google dominance is pure hypocrisy, and even an idiot like you knows it to be true.

Does it? Does it really? (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321038)

Long-tail keyword phrases are invaluable data and give a huge advantage for Google to taylor their search results.

I hope they can do that Swiftly.

They need less common terms eh? (1)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321678)

How about everyone start searching for "Microsoft+how+to+destroy" on bing. Ah the irony if it has an accurate yield.

Re:Makes sense really (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321058)

They were discussing about the deal with Yahoo and why it doesn't hurt the market or Google. It really makes sense too - Google gets many magnitudes more search query data than their rivals. Long-tail keyword phrases are invaluable data and give a huge advantage for Google to taylor their search results.

Huh, that's odd. From the original blog post [microsoftontheissues.com] :

Over the past few months Microsoft, too, has met with the DOJ and the European Commission. The subject of our meetings has been the competition law review, now completed, of the search partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft. As you might expect, the competition officials asked us a lot of questions about competition with Google--since that is the focus of the partnership. We told them what we know about how Google is doing business.

What does Google's method of doing business have to do with their Yahoo! merger? In addition to that:

In this instance, there has been no shortage of affected voices. A quick Internet search will surface the growing concerns that have been raised by upstart innovators such as Ciao (owned by Microsoft) ...

Sounds to me like Microsoft has been complaining to the DoJ and EC.

Furthermore the post doesn't really focus on one thing and also brings up the Google Books deal for some odd reason. I mean, if they're complaining about it, that's fine. Just say what you think is wrong and be done with it. From that point on the DoJ or EC will take action if they need to. But I bet that won't be what will happen. I bet they'll bring this up over and over again and fun startups that died "because of Google" (like Ciao) to take legal action against the behemoth. Seems to be Microsoft's modus operandi.

It really makes sense too - Google gets many magnitudes more search query data than their rivals.

It makes sense alright. It makes sense that Microsoft is upset that Google is doing so well and so they've got to try to be the biggest thorn in Google's side as possible. The fact that Google is smart enough to use its own resources to be a better search engine is violating anti-trust laws? Please! Should I complain that auto manufacturers have access to huge factories and production lines and I have none so it's anti-trust that I cannot enter the automobile market? Should we demand that information technology companies hand over their infrastructure to their competitors in the name of the Sherman Act? Absurd.

Re:Makes sense really (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321174)

The common rant on slashdot is how Microsoft is using their Windows marketshare to keep competitors off and to gain marketshare in unrelated areas like IE (which they were punished for by EU). Google is doing exactly the same here, but in addition to that they're also pushing competitors of the market by the sheer amount of data they can datamine. Search engines aren't just about algorithms anymore, they're about the datamined data too. This will eventually lead to 100% monopoly. You say if that's a good or bad thing.

Re:Makes sense really (5, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321450)

I'm sorry, did you really mean to imply that Google is changing standards in trashy ways to lock in their clients? Is google filtering search results to lock out their competitors?

I had no idea Google had started copying Microsoft. I think it much more likely that Microsoft only knows one way to get business, and that's all they can see. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

Re:Makes sense really (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321532)

The common rant on slashdot is how Microsoft is using their Windows marketshare to keep competitors off and to gain marketshare in unrelated areas like IE (which they were punished for by EU).

That's not a "rant" it's a summary of recent legal action.

Google is doing exactly the same here...

Really, the exact same? What other market is Google using it's search advertising market to gain an advantage in and by what mechanism?

...but in addition to that they're also pushing competitors of the market by the sheer amount of data they can datamine.

That's an advantage in the search advertising market gained by marketshare in the search advertising market. That is to say, it's the same as Microsoft selling a lot of copies of Windows to people who ned to run software that only works on Windows because MS sells a lot of copies of Windows. It speaks to The entrenchment of a monopoly (lock-in) and is interesting because most people feel Google has very little lock-in, but it does not speak to anything Google could be doing which is illegal.

This will eventually lead to 100% monopoly. You say if that's a good or bad thing.

Good or bad is a matter of judgement, but even if Google's market share in search advertising gains them more searches to look at and feed to their algorithm... that's not illegal. It is not illegal to use market advantages in a dominated market to gain yet more share in the same market, only in separate, pre-existing markets. The reason for this is that the laws go out of their way to only punish companies that undermine markets and don't naturally gain by fair competition. Since it is hard to establish the difference in the same market, there are a lot fewer laws regulating it.

Re:Makes sense really (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321538)

Oh, please...
Google doesn't have anything like a monopoly, and more importantly they haven't become number one in search by using coercive, anti-trust-law-violating tactics -- which is exactly what MS did in the desktop market. The parallels you're reaching for simply do not exist. This is about MS whining that they're not competent enough to compete in search.

Re:Makes sense really (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321616)

Microsoft illegally used a monopoly to kill competition and prevent others from entering markets they had decided to be in. Microsoft has been the paragon of robber baron style dirty dealing ever since they got the deal to sell DOS to IBM.

Google has done nothing of the sort. They neither attempt to kill their competition nor do they actively work to keep others from entering any of the markets they operate in. Google has been actively and consciously working to avoid their deals coming off as 'dirty dealing' since they first started operations.

There are miles and miles of difference between Google's behavior and Microsoft's. There is a difference between being the company that could afford to and did invest in an infrastructure and being the company that simply screwed everyone till they were the only one left with any money.

Re:Makes sense really (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321664)

Learn what a natural monopoly is, and then comment.

In some areas, the larger the business the more efficient it will become, and as one gains share, the value in the others products decrease and the barriers to entry increase. That's how it was with the telephone. Back in the day, there were competing phone companies. Not like today, but with non-interoperable networks, so that if you wanted Verizon customers to call you, you had to buy a phone from Verizon, and for AT&T customers, you needed and AT&T phone. So businesses had more than one phone, each hard-wired to a separate service. That was expensive, and if one was far enough ahead of the other, they'd drop the Verizon phone and only take AT&T, and when enough people did that, Verizon would be worthless because you could buy a phone from them, but couldn't call anyone. And, once AT&T had 100% of the market, a startup would have to spend so much money to get in the market that it would be impossible to ever make a profit.

A "natural monopoly" is a monopoly where a successful company will, with no uncompetitive practices, become a monopoly. It appears that search engines make natural monopolies as well, as the more searches that are done, the more valuable the search engine becomes, and a search engine starting out, with no searches, can't be as valuable as the established one, no matter how much they spend or what they do.

However, OSs aren't that way. You can have different (or even the same) word processors on different platforms. You have embedded OSs and such. There is always a market for other ways, rather than just one desktop OS. And you can run SQL on any variety of OSs such that changing OSs isn't a hardship on the customer, so the barriers of entry are low. Microsoft, realizing they don't have a natural monopoly, have exploited their monopoly to push other products to expand their market share in other areas, as well as keep their existing monopoly. That's different that "accidentally" becoming the first monopoly in an area where natural monopolies occur when no one ever predicted that it would be an area of natural monopolies.

Re:Makes sense really (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321240)

Over the past few months Microsoft, too, has met with the DOJ and the European Commission. The subject of our meetings has been the competition law review, now completed, of the search partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft. As you might expect, the competition officials asked us a lot of questions about competition with Google--since that is the focus of the partnership. We told them what we know about how Google is doing business.

What does Google's method of doing business have to do with their Yahoo! merger?

That's something you have to ask from DoJ. They probably wanted to make sure it doesn't create unfair competition against Google. Microsoft replied by saying Google has a huge advantage already as they have so large marketshare to datamine from. Note that they didn't complain as this story seems to suggest - they merely replied to DoJ's concerns about it.

Re:Makes sense really (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321672)

Repeating a lie doesn't make it the truth. BTW how's that astroturf career working out for ya?

This is for the /. n00b's: (0, Flamebait)

You'reJustSlashFlock (1708024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321082)

Google: GOOD
Microsoft: BAD

End of discussion.

This is for the cynics (4, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321418)

Google: BAD
Microsoft: WORSE

This is for the realists (2, Interesting)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321642)

Google: Successful Capitalist American Company
Microsoft: Successful Capitalist American Company

Microsoft is late to the party. (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321424)

Microsoft is just crying. Its only hope is to make open source and competition illegal.

Its like Jay Leno, now that people have changed the channel and seen Dave Letterman its going to be hard going back.

One wonders why we are still using a Micro system software when we are in the super computer age.

One day people will change the channel and discover The 'X' windows system and Linux there will be no going back. Leno on the other hand may have a chance. Microsoft on the other hand is obsolete. only its money sustains it.

Re:Microsoft is late to the party. (2, Interesting)

Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321668)

only its money sustains it.

and where do you think it gets that money from? so long as a company has enough paying customers to keep turning a profit, it cannot be considered obsolete.

The Salvo (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320720)

I didn't see it linked in the article so for educational purposes I'll give you the link to the link to Dave Heiner's piece entitled Competition Authorities and Search [microsoftontheissues.com] . Which appears to be a legitimate Microsoft blog site.

I'm not a lawyer but the piece sounds surprisingly unlawyerlike in that he is all over the road and turns it into a "he said/she said" sort of fight:

Google’s public response to this growing regulatory concern has been to point elsewhere—at Microsoft. Google is telling reporters that antitrust concerns about search are not real because some of the complaints come from one of its last remaining search competitors.

Time to get the popcorn ...

Re:The Salvo (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320844)

antitrust concerns about search are not real because some of the complaints come from one of its last remaining search competitors.

Time to get the popcorn ...

"antitrust concerns are not real" and "last remaining competitors" in the same sentence, whoa.

What competition there really is besides Google? Bing, Baidu and yandex.ru. All the other ones are basically using services from either Google or Bing. Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

Re:The Salvo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320950)

Google isn't Microsoft!

Microsoft is EVIL!

Yours Truly,

Your typical irrational Microsoft hating Slashtard.

Given the monopoly by the people (4, Informative)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320986)

Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

And would you like to know who has given Google their dominant position? You. Me. And Everyone else that thought that Yahoo, Microsoft, Excite, Alta Vista and the rest sucked. Google earned their way to the top by providing a better product. It wasn't given to them by government fiat.

Unlike some markets where immense cost is a barrier to entry, there is no such limitation for a new search engine to begin crawling the internet with their own algorithms and produce search results. Sure, you need servers and disk space, but ANY business endeavor will require some resources. Google's results were not so much superior amounts of hardware, but better algorithms. They simply did it better.

And now they are getting complaints that they are too successful? Bunch of communists.

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321076)

Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

Google's results were not so much superior amounts of hardware, but better algorithms. They simply did it better.

Aside from the huge amount of servers, data centers and proprietary back-end Google has, algorithms are just one thing.

Google datamines everywhere on the Internet. They gather as much as detailed data as they can on their search engine. They datamine what links people click on the results (via background javascript http request). This gives huge advantage for Google with less common search queries, as they see what results people think are relevant to their search. Their competitors don't get even closely the same amount of data. Google is leveraging their marketshare to gain even more of it for their search, docs, youtube and other services, just like Microsoft used to leverage Windows marketshare to gain marketshare for IE.

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (2, Insightful)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321204)

Is that why every time I search for something obscure I always get a NexTag search for the same term at the top the results, followed by pages of absolute gibberish? IMHO, the only thing that made searching easier was Wikipedia, because most of the rest of the searches I do Google isn't much better than anyone else, and I don't find that the overall search experience to be much improved over the last decade. I wish Google would stop making office software, mail programs, phones, toothbrushes, and whatever else and pour their resources into something that actually saves me time.

I can switch search engines in less than 5 seconds (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321256)

And have no loyalty to Google.

But they do provide the best results, and until they don't, i'll keep using them.

 

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (4, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321290)

Google is leveraging their marketshare to gain even more of it for their search, docs, youtube and other services, just like Microsoft used to leverage Windows marketshare to gain marketshare for IE.

No, it's quite different actually. You have a choice to use Google. There are competitors for every single one of their apps, and you are free to pick and chose which ones you want to use and which not to (you don't have to use any). So they are not "capitalizing" on their dominance in one area to push another unrelated one on you. They are capitalizing on their dominance in one area to advertise the other products. When MS pushed IE, you had little choice (since there was --for all practical purposes-- no valid competitor to the OS) about using IE. They forced it down your throats (Considering you can't uninstall it)... And that's what was considered by many to be wrong. Google simply links to their other services... The analogy to IE, would be if MS included a shortcut to "Install IE" on every version of Windows they sold. Then, it would require a users action (and explicit opt-in) rather than being forced...

And the huge amount of servers and data centers is an expansion problem, not a start up problem. You could launch a search engine on a single machine (IIRC, when google first went live, it was off a single box)... This kind of relation doesn't hold for nearly any other business (To build a car, you need a factory... Even if that factory is in a garage, there's still a significant capital investment before you're able to produce vehicles)...

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (5, Insightful)

VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321184)

Exactly. Google earned their spot through superior product when Yahoo, Microsoft and others bloated their pages with ads and crap no one cares about.

Now they get to reap the benefits. If they are found for anti-trust, all that does it set the precedent of "sure, you can do well in business. But if you do too well and upset the powers that be, we'll smack you around, so don't get any ideas."

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321244)

Unlike some markets where immense cost is a barrier to entry, there is no such limitation for a new search engine to begin crawling the internet with their own algorithms and produce search results. Sure, you need servers and disk space, but ANY business endeavor will require some resources. Google's results were not so much superior amounts of hardware, but better algorithms. They simply did it better.

The entry fee 1998 for beating up the competition and securing a top spot was microscopic compared to today. Google had a good idea to begin with, but I doubt it would have been enough without the timing.

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321472)

So you are saying that the emergence of Google to the top spot was a combination of the right product at the right time, using the correct levers to get people hooked?

Remind you of any other companies? Like... all of the big ones, especially Microsoft?

Fact remains that to dominate the search market you would need vast sums of cash, but it was Google that created a search market so centrally valuable and profitable because they took advantage of market trends with a superior product and monetized it through effective advertising.

Bing is not a superior product attempting to create a new market or centralize an existing market. It is an average product attempting to eat into the market share of an existing product. To do that they need a better product that people notice to be better, but they simply don't have that product. A good example is how people switched to FireFox from IE because it works a lot better... people want good stuff for free. Google gives people what they want, where Bing gives people what they already have somewhere else with no incentive to change.

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (3, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321580)

Barrier to entry:

"A cost of producing which must be borne by a firm which seeks to enter an industry but is not borne by firms already in the industry"

Therefore the cost of hardware is not a barrier. Neither is the cost of advertising. Neither is the data itself (since the firms already in place still need to mine it). So the only barrier to entry is the willingness of someone to do it. Is it easy? No way, but there are few (if any) barriers to entry...

The reason Google is in top spot today, is that in the past decade it was the best (or at worst #2) search engine around. If you can figure out a way to return better search results, you could absolutely overthrow them. The issue you're alluding to is that the if in that sentence is a lot harder to achieve today than it was in 1998. But should Google be blamed for finding a better way? I thought that was the spirit of a free market...

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321584)

The entry fee 1998 for beating up the competition and securing a top spot was microscopic compared to today, when applied to "web search engine".

The entry fee 2010 for beating up the competition and securing a top spot is microscopic compared to 10~15 years from now, for some yet-to-become-popular application. There, fixed that for you.

Re:Given the monopoly by the people (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321490)

Earning a monopoly through a good product doesn't make it any less of a monopoly. The problem with a monopoly is that it means a lack of competition, and capitalism requires competition.

If Google holds a monopoly position that creates a barrier to entry for competitors— including those who might do it better than Google, then, according to capitalist economics, there no longer exists a reason to keep their product good, or continue to introduce more good products.

Monopolies are bad. Period. I don't care how they came about.

Re:The Salvo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321288)

[www.lpl.cc]
[www.lpl.cc]

Nothing wrong with monopoly (1)

Tran (721196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321354)

It is the abuse of that monopoly position that would be the issue - you know - the one of which MS has been convicted.
Until Google somehow abuses its monopoly position there is no issue.

Re:The Salvo (1)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321406)

Giving Google the monopoly now would be the worst thing to do.

Who's giving google anything? The government? No. Microsoft? No. (except via incompetence).

The market decided long ago that google's search results are better than their competitors - in part because they provided results that were NOT tainted by keyword purchases like Yahoo, Altavista, MSN, AOL etc. Yes google benefits from the feedback received by the use of their product, but what's wrong with that? Should a company with a large market share stop using consumer feedback to improve it's product? Should Coca-Cola or Sony ignore customer feedback because it has a larger sample size than it's competitors? Should netflix stop tracking it's customers movie preferences because it has more data than blockbuster?

To say yes is to ignore the very thing that an open marketplace is based on: customer feedback improving products.

Re:The Salvo (4, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321190)

So Google with their Over 70% market share is anti-competitive, said a representative at a company with >90% market share in desktops.

Not to mention, one has taken steps to suppress competitors, the other has not.

robot.txt example file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320794)

User-agent: msn-bot
Disallow: /

User-agent: msnbot
Disallow: /

Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC (4, Insightful)

fatbuckel (1714764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320802)

maybe if bing didn`t suck...if microsoft was trustworthy....

Re:Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321128)

In what way does Bing suck?

As for trustworthy - Bing has a much better privacy policy than Google.

Microsoft Drown (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321220)

Mod the parent down

Re:Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC (2, Informative)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321266)

In what way does Bing suck?

its results are horrible, that is how.

Re:Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC (1, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321464)

I see... Since it's a search engine, that much could be deduced from context. Could you perhaps provide an example of a search query that Google does substantially better than Bing?

http://www.google.com/linux (1)

miknix (1047580) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321404)

Does it provide Linux centric queries?

Re:Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321442)

maybe if bing didn`t suck...if microsoft was trustworthy....

Few know this, but "bing" was a typo. Notice how close the i and o are on your keyboard? It was supposed to be "Bong -- for those who are too stoned to care how good the search results are."

Re:Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321570)

Heh... Didn't you notice how close the i and u are on your keyboard? I'm thinking it was supposed to be "Bung -- for those that only care about crappy search results..."

Wha? (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320810)

...'Google's algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

So the problem is that Google is more successful because more people use it, or people who need to search for hard to find things use it more?

Re:Wha? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320918)

It means Google can leverage the data they get from their market share to gain even more market share and finally destroying the competition totally and gaining 100% monopoly over search market.

A lot more people use Google so Google gets a lot more targeted search queries to datamine and see what people click and think are relevant results (you know, Google does a quick background javascript request whenever you click any of their search results to get that data). This leads to to the aforementioned situation.

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321626)

And MicroSoft bebfits from the huge useage of Office, making more people buy Office since it is what everyone else uses, meaning they get compatible files (as long as they ride they upgrade [gravy]train) and people around them able to assist due to familiarity. Feels like a stroll down this path could come back to haunt MicroSoft....

Re:Wha? (4, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320938)

Well, that's the same as saying that Lady GaGa is more successful than your local garage band (because she gets played on (inter)national radio and more people are exposed since she is popular)... Is that in itself a problem? Nope. It only becomes a problem if Google is using unfair business practices to maintain that level of success...

Re:Wha? (1)

taoye (1456551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321062)

Exactly. If there's an anti-trust issue with Google then it certainly should be dealt with. It sounds to me what Microsoft would like is to just be handed a huge chunk of Google's market, because they think it's unfair that new services should have to start at the bottom. Except in any business that Microsoft is leading-it's totally fair that new entrants can't get any market share.

Re:Wha? (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321316)

It's like Microsoft Windows being bundled on new PCs, except that Microsoft have paid the OEM companies to do this.

If Microsoft get some of the data from Google or other similar condition from this, then a percentage of computers should ship without Microsoft Windows and instead with GNU/Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, ...), *BSD, OpenSolaris or another Operating System.

What algo? (3, Informative)

molo (94384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320812)

Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

I don't think that is how pagerank or keyword search works.

But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.

Sounds like Microsoft is doing it wrong. That is a chicken-and-egg problem no matter whether Google exists or not.

-molo

Re:What algo? (1)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320892)

That is a chicken-and-egg problem no matter whether Google exists or not.

Hence why I'm not really sure why Microsoft is getting their lawyers to whine about how unfair it is. It's the nature of the business they're trying to wiggle into.

Re:What algo? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320956)

Microsoft didn't get their lawyers to whine about it, they just mentioned it in their discussion with DoJ and EC about the Bing-Yahoo deal.

Re:What algo? (1)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320996)

Ah right...should've read TFA first before posting (in true Slashdot spirit). Thanks!

Re:What algo? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321000)

Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

I don't think that is how pagerank or keyword search works.

Search engines nor Google has relied solely on pagerank or keywords for many many years. They have hundreds of different algorithms that count, one of them seeing what links people click on the results most (this is really good data on the less common search terms as Google learns a lot on those)

Re:What algo? (1)

graft (556969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321632)

PageRank was initially Google's primary strength, but since then they've relied on other methods for ranking results. Most significantly, you can rank results based on how users respond to things (i.e., by seeing how much time users spend on a link before coming back to a page of search results, you can judge how good a particular result was, and upweight/downweight accordingly). This is a methodology that definitely improves with number of users.

Stupid headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320834)

"Google Complaints" is that a new feature from Google?

"Well Recieved" my foot! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320894)

I staunchly refuse to use Bing.

Here is why:

1) Shamelessly promoted to the point of paying people off to make it a default choice (EG, Verizon & Blackberry ordeal, many others.)

2) Created expressly to "Stop Google", rather than to fill some otherwise useful purpose. If it had been created to fill some role that google failed to deliver at, then I would consider it useful.

3) Stinks heavily of yet another embrace and extend tactic, "now with 100% More FUD!"

In short, Microsoft's Bing is only on the radar because microsoft has dropped shitpiles of money into promotion. It really doesn't matter to me if it actually works or not; the reasons for it's creation had nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with disruptive "I want my share too!"

As such, I refuse to use Bing, and I would think many other people would get tired of being bombarded with BING! every time they look for something on a M$ partnered site. I know I grew VERY tired of it when I was helping a friend of mine look for real estate lately; MS had partnered with the realestate brokerage to forbid closeup viewing of the property with highres sat images from Bing's mapping feature, without first greasing the pockets of the Realtor. I have experienced other forms of "Evil" from MS Bing, and am now firmly against ever supporting it.

Re:"Well Recieved" my foot! (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321090)

Google also pays to be the default search engine. That's where Mozilla gets the bulk of their revenue.

Re:"Well Recieved" my foot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321546)

Firefox' search box didn't suddenly switch to Google over night, and it can be changed to any search engine. That's two differences to the Verizon Blackberry thing right there.

Re:"Well Recieved" my foot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321434)

Shamelessly promoted to the point of paying people off to make it a default choice (EG, Verizon & Blackberry ordeal, many others.)

You mean sort of like google and Android? Or google and the iphone?

Re:"Well Recieved" my foot! (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321514)

I don't use Bing but for different reasons: a) in my experience it doesn't give me the results that are as relevant as Google's, and b) because it has that stupid picture on the front page. As for your reasons:

1) Shamelessly promoted to the point of paying people off to make it a default choice (EG, Verizon & Blackberry ordeal, many others.)

If you are going to boycott companies that advertise aggressively then your list must be pretty long. Do you boycott Verizon, Blackberry etc because they "shamelessly" accept money from Microsoft to make Bing their default search engine? Why don't you boycott those sites you mention (real estate etc)? Surely if the fact that Microsoft is paying sites to use Bing is evil, then accepting money to use an inferior search engine/maps etc on your own site is an even bigger evil?

2) Created expressly to "Stop Google", rather than to fill some otherwise useful purpose. If it had been created to fill some role that google failed to deliver at, then I would consider it useful.

I think you are missing the point of competition. If companies only ever tried to do something new and never tried to "fill the role" already filled by some other company, we would be all be very much worse off. In my opinion Bing serves a useful purpose to me personally even though I don't use it: it puts pressure on Google to keep improving their service.

Re:"Well Recieved" my foot! (1, Troll)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321604)

Wow what a flame. Let's look at your points:

1) Shamelessly promoted to the point of paying people off to make it a default choice (EG, Verizon & Blackberry ordeal, many others.)

Google pays Mozilla and Canonical for making Google their default search engine choice.

2) Created expressly to "Stop Google", rather than to fill some otherwise useful purpose. If it had been created to fill some role that google failed to deliver at, then I would consider it useful.

Hmm. Why was it okay to tolerate the poor desktop experience of past Linux distributions to "stop Microsoft" and yet it's not okay to make a search engine to "stop Google"? Competition is always good for the consumer.

3) Stinks heavily of yet another embrace and extend tactic, "now with 100% More FUD!"

Now you're being irrational. There is no standard API for web searches to embrace and extend.

As such, I refuse to use Bing, and I would think many other people would get tired of being bombarded with BING! every time they look for something on a M$ partnered site.

I see Google on almost every website I visit. Google is also the default search engine on both my Safari and Firefox browsers.

MS had partnered with the realestate brokerage to forbid closeup viewing of the property with highres sat images from Bing's mapping feature, without first greasing the pockets of the Realtor. I have experienced other forms of "Evil" from MS Bing, and am now firmly against ever supporting it.

Offering value added services is not evil. There is nothing wrong with charging for highres sat images (hence the reason Google's free sat images isn't much better). The realtor probably paid for the service with the intention of offering it to its paid customers. Seems reasonable to me, and it doesn't prevent anyone else from offering highres sat images.

I have experienced other forms of "Evil" from MS Bing, and am now firmly against ever supporting it.

I'm sure the fact that Google signs your paycheck, may make using Bing hard to use too...

I'm not a big fan of Microsoft. I also don't believe our interests are being served by giving Google a free pass either.

Re:"Well Recieved" my foot! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321656)

Exactly. Some people say Google is hypocritical with 'Don't be Evil,' and it's true some things they do could be construed as evil. And yet they are nothing compared to the true evil they will see if Microsoft becomes dominant.

For once the system works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320902)

OK, so Google is hard to compete with because they're better. Don't they know that's how capitalism is supposed to work, or is Microsoft too used to its own tactics to realize this?

Re:For once the system works (2, Interesting)

bmajik (96670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321080)

Once Microsoft's competitors opened the "anti-trust" Pandora's box on the software industry, it's gloves-off all around.

The entire whole volume of anti-trust "law" is arbitrary and capricious. It is a giant favor and influence peddling racket, with no basis in objective reality, and no underlying premise.

It takes a while to condition the public to allow a much-loved company to be "ready" for politicians to dig in and do some carving. Google is getting there.

Re:For once the system works (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321122)

Microsoft's strategy is not "Let the free market work, and the strong will win", it is "Win at all costs". So actually, this is consistent with their past behavior.

Re:For once the system works (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321158)

Google is hard to compete with because they have a search monopoly. Microsoft were punished for their monopolistic behaviour. Why shouldn't Google be?

Re:For once the system works (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321260)

Microsoft were not punished for their monopolistic behaviour (and what does that even mean by the way?) They were punished for their anti-competitive behaviour!

Re:For once the system works (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321388)

Only *abuse* of monopoly is taken action upon.

Bert

Anticompetitive behivour? (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321648)

Has Google participated in any actions that deliberately force their rivals out of the market? Or have they acted in any manner that abuses their position as a majority holder, such as configuring their systems to deliberately work more slowly with competing products? I mean, I certainly appreciate the concerns being raised as to what happens when one company has that much market saturation, but I think that a company has to conspire to do something illegally before they can be busted up. I don't think that just being the major player makes you eligible for antitrust regulation. (For example, I would think we would've busted up Ticketmaster for much worse by now.)

Re:For once the system works (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321636)

Capitalism stopped being an issue once the DOJ and EU became involved.

Court mandated "Capitalism" is still not capitalism...

Ok, how about this (2, Funny)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320908)

How about force all search engines release search statistical data to the public. That kind of information is extremely valuable, not just to search companies, but to marketing companies too.

Re:Ok, how about this (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321674)

How about force all search engines release search statistical data to the public.

Well this would not be fair to Google which spent money acquiring all that data.

Own Medicine? (4, Insightful)

0ld_d0g (923931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320916)

Other OSs have a similar problem as Windows is such a huge market that many commercial app developers will restrict their products to only windows releases. And users choose (well.. in some cases atleast) the OS with the most apps, and on and on it goes.

Seems to be the same problem in search. Google has millions of data points of search terms co-related with the link that was clicked and all that data has trained their algorithm such that any competing algorithm would find it very hard to catch up.

Re:Own Medicine? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321274)

The search engine barrier to entry isn't as great, because users can't get "locked in" to one search engine like they can to an OS or API.

Re:Own Medicine? (1)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321362)

Other OSs have a similar problem as Windows is such a huge market that many commercial app developers will restrict their products to only windows releases. And users choose (well.. in some cases atleast) the OS with the most apps, and on and on it goes.

Seems to be the same problem in search. Google has millions of data points of search terms co-related with the link that was clicked and all that data has trained their algorithm such that any competing algorithm would find it very hard to catch up.

There's a substantial difference on the way the monopoly was achieved (anti-competitive tactics vs better quality).

Pot == kettle == black? (2, Insightful)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320948)

I'm sure no one else sees irony here.

Re:Pot == kettle == black? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321084)

Yes, Google complaining about Microsoft's monopoly while they build their own....oh wait...you meant the other way around, Microsoft complaining about Google's monopoly after trying to defend their own monopoly.

I think there's more than enough irony to go around here.

Re:Pot == kettle == black? (1)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321346)

Who has Google been anti-competitive to? the Microsoft astroturfing on this is crazy. Microsoft _is_ a convicted monopolist. they got to their current desktop monopoly through anti-competitive behavior. Microsoft is just pissed Bing sucks and is a total failure unless they pump hundreds of millions into advertising and paid search deals.

Re:Pot == kettle == black? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321662)

GROAN... that was today's worst pun. Congratulations!

Now go sit in the corner, young man.

Old news on Slashdot? (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320952)

Wow... Slashdot's sloagan used to be "Yesterday's news, Today!" But now it seems that Slashdot is gunning for "Last week's news, Today!"

See here [cnet.com] and here [cnet.com] .

Bill

What? (5, Insightful)

jonnale (1757032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320962)

"Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up." So let me get this straight... When you make a product (in this case a search engine), you should not aim to make it the best product possible because it will be harder for other companies to catch up and steal your revenue/profit? Seriously? To me, it sounds like MS is saying, "No one uses our search engine because Google provides better search results and that is wrong."

Re:What? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321148)

To me, it sounds like MS is saying "Boo Hoo! We're no longer the only 800 lb. gorilla in the room and can't dictate what everybody does anymore!" I say, "Enjoy what you've been dishing out all these years, Microsoft. Can you now understand why you're despised by so many?"

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321242)

""Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google."

I know. Maybe if Microsoft started paying people to use their search engine, or they paid some vendors to switch over to Bing being their exclusive search engine to generate more searches ...

Oh [cnet.com] , wait [cnet.com] .

You can trust Microsoft (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320990)

It's just too predictable. The last time Microsoft surprised me was when they did something even worse than they use to do. Even comics villains are more dimensional than them.

Wait, is there a law against (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321014)

Using your market share to make your product better?

It's not the same as what Microsoft has been doing, ie. using their market share on some products to force their other products onto their customers.

I'm confused... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321074)

Microsoft's well-received Bing search engine ...

...I thought Bing (But It's Not Google) was a "Decision Engine". :-)

Re:I'm confused... (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321264)

It can't decide what it wants to be, so it is still
searching for the meaning of it's existence.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321302)

...I thought Bing (But It's Not Google) was a "Decision Engine". :-)

It hasn't told me where I want to go today or any day yet.

Google make me nervous (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321142)

I don't like the fact that Google is the overwhelmingly dominant search engine. The problem is I dislike Microsoft's dominance even more. From everything I have seen the only competitor for Google that meets my satisfaction criteria for a search engine is Bing. I am not about to move from Google to Microsoft. I am concerned that as Google's dominance grows the temptation to do bad things will grow until it becomes irresistable. However, while I have seen hints about Google abusing its dominant position, Microsoft has blatantly abused their dominant position in other areas. I am not about to contribute to the possibility of a Microsoft product becoming dominant.

Trouble is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321422)

However, while I have seen hints about Google abusing its dominant position, Microsoft has blatantly abused their dominant position in other areas.

They give a pretty low page rank to any references to Google + Evil. :)

Re:Google make me nervous (4, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321458)

Microsoft had a really bullying culture back in the day -- when everyone was locked in, they seemed to really enjoy turning the screws. They were almost like villains from comic books or something.

But Windows was always comparatively open -- they have the most open of all the proprietary ecosystems. You can write you own programs and install them wihtout anyone's permission, you data lives on your disk, and anyone can write a device driver. It's more open than OS X (which only runs on Apple's hardware), and it's a lot more open than platforms like the iPhone/iPad, which only run programs Apple approves.

When Google released Buzz, it was a reminder that if they wanted to break gmail pretty badly, they'd be able to, and we'd have no recourse. With software on your own computer, you can at least refrain from running the upgrade.

It would be great if MS started pushing their openness as a selling point, and if they differentiated themselves from google in the cloud by being scrupulously responsible with our data. For example, I'd love to see MS roll out a privacy enhanced Bing -- no records kept, no targeted ads, for $10/month (or whatever).

Gmail won't even put marker tags in the Gmail HTML that would make it easier for FireGPG (a firefox plugin that supports GPG encrypted mail) to parse your mails, so FireGPG breaks all the time. They should do that instead of making empty threats to pull out of China.

The power concentrated in all of these companies is pretty troubling. Google at least has the sense not to be flamboyantly abusive with their power. Microsoft used to be almost theatrical in their bullying. That's dogging them now.

Why the surprise? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321144)

What, you think companies get investigated for anti-trust violations spontaneously? The original Microsoft anti-trust trial was spurred by coalition of IBM, Sun, and a couple of other politically well-connected companies whose names escape me, quietly complaining to the US DoJ.

Join the Tautology club (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321196)

Google's algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google.

Google is better because Google is better?

Doesn't google provide search statistics? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321382)

All Microsoft needs to do is look at what Google's most common searches are (perhaps even look at Google's auto completes) and they have the data refined from having more customers.

Oh, this doesn't provide Microsoft an advantage over Google you say? Tough...

Which side is their delusion buttered on? (5, Insightful)

http (589131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321462)

I wonder how their heads didn't explode writing it. Roughly, Google's searches are better because more people use it. We've got algorithms that don't depend on how many people are looking for data. But we need more people using Bing so we can give better search results.
Does MS have such a strong Reality Distortion Field that they can say ANY random, contradictory stuff and people will take them seriously?

People miss the huge difference. (3, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321554)

Its one thing to blatantly abuse a monopoly like Microsoft has been documented doing time and time again. Having a monopoly because you have a good popular product have never been illegal.

That said im not so sure Google even fit into the monopoly description. A monopoly have barriers making it hard to switch to a competitor.

Only reason i have not using Bing is that i wouldnt trust Microsoft with filtering my information. When dead people write letters i stay the hell away.
 

Microsoft is pissed because google is a verb (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321588)

Seriously though, Microsoft is just miffed because it can't start 10 years late and be competitive.

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