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Google Files Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft, Nokia

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the throwing-down dept.

Google 233

x0d writes with news that Google filed an EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft and Nokia on Thursday, claiming they are using proxy companies to make smartphone-related patent claims in an attack on Google's Android business. From the article: "Google also plans to share its complaint about patent 'trolls' with U.S. competition regulators. The Internet-search giant alleges that Microsoft and Nokia have entered into agreements that enable entities such as Canada-based Mosaid Technologies Inc. to legally enforce their patent rights and share the resulting revenue. Google, which hasn't been sued by Mosaid or related firms, described its filing with European regulators as a pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners. The threat is that if phone makers perceive a significant legal risk in using Android, they may opt instead for Microsoft's Windows Phone software."

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Hey (0, Troll)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179135)

Hi pot, my name is kettle. You are black!

Re:Hey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179171)

Totally. Google, Microsoft, both of them are corps with only money in mind. Customers are fucked in both cases.

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179207)

Hi pot, my name is kettle. You are black!

Yes, but I have a patent on making black phones. How 'bout you give me a license to yours, and I'll give you a license to mine?

Re:Hey (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179279)

Sorry, but what? When has Google ever used patent trolls? To the contrary, Google has fought patent trolls more aggressively than any tech company.

Re:Hey (-1, Troll)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179319)

For Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. to file an antitrust complaint is 100% hypocritical. That's like North Korea filing a complaint about human rights in the United States.

Re:Hey (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179361)

You do know what an antitrust complaint is about don't you? It's not about having a monopoly, it's about abusing one. When has Google abused its search monopoly?

Re:Hey (0, Flamebait)

mclaincausey (777353) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179491)

Are you joking or have you just not been paying attention? Don't you remember that they doctored search results to push their services? Don't you think that exercising a monopoly in one area (search) to attack other markets (social network, business ratings, group discounting, etc) is anticompetitive and antitrust? Remember when Yelp! got popular, and Google made Places, duplicated some of Yelp!'s data, and then pushed Yelp! results down below Places results? What about their strong-arming handset manufacturers to kick Skyhook to the curb?

There is a rich public record of Google abusing their search monopoly.

Re:Hey (3, Insightful)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179589)

Yes they did, but they didn't force you to use them, and they didn't make it harder for you to use other services nor did they hid the results concerning other services. Lets not name some other company who made it difficult for others to install certain browsers on their OS, and kind of forced you to use their own browser. Good is kind of the equivalent of you going to the only supermarket in the country and when you ask them about coffee they first thing they state is their own coffee but followed by every other brand. I am sorry but that's not abusing a monopoly.

Re:Hey (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179659)

Nobody ever said that Microsoft was any better. I merely wanted to point out the fact that any firm with a market share the size of Google filing anti-trust complaints is funny and entertaining. Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, doesn't matter to me. If any of those firms made the same allegation, I'd say the same thing.

Re:Hey (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179927)

I might be willing to concede that point, but to state that Google abused its search monopoly is ridiculous.

Re:Hey (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179759)

Didn't Google also, for a while at least, artificially downgrade the PageRank for some of their services in response?

Re:Hey (0, Troll)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179501)

Sparticus is an anti-google troll. Possibly working some PR firm on behalf of Microsoft.

Re:Hey (-1, Troll)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179679)

Sparticus is an anti-google troll. Possibly working some PR firm on behalf of Microsoft.

Oh noes! You caught me! They offered me an epic flying mount for my WoW character to post that comment! Oh noes /sarcasm

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179977)

andydread is an anti-microsoft troll. Possibly working some PR firm on behalf of Google.

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179369)

Okay, thanks for clarifying. You don't have a shred of an argument here, just crazed hyperbole.

Re:Hey (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179481)

Do you have anything other than a tired disingenuous analogy you just pulled out of your ass? Because last I checked this specific anti-trust complaint is about Nokia and Microsoft backing patent trolls. Google has never done this. Furthermore, if there are legitimate complaints to be leveled toward Google then by all means do so. But to just make a blanket statement that Google shouldn't defend their interests (especially against something so underhanded as patent trolling) because "they did bad too HUr dur" is not a rational perspective.

Re:Hey (4, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179483)

So Google goes around filing suits on trivial software patents that should have never been filed and should have never been granted? Can you point me to one instance of Google conspiring with others to subdue the marketpace and kill open source software with the use of software patents? One instance? BTW what public relations firm to you work for?

Re:Hey (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179547)

Use Goolgle to find Motorola patent lawsuits. [google.com]

Re:Hey (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179645)

Yes, blaming Google for the actions started years ago of a company they literally bought last week is sure to prove your argument.

Oh for a -1 Uninformative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179991)

Or even a -2 Flat Out Lie

Re:Hey (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179605)

What? Google has patent trolls running proxy fights on phone makers who install Windows Phone, really?

That said, I'm not 100% sure Google is right here. Microsoft seems to be fairly open about wanting a slice of the Android phone cash bonanza, and is negotiating with phone manufacturers (as it should be - those are the people actually selling devices that have a price on them) without demanding amounts that would make Android phones impossible or uncompetitive.

Microsoft has even put some effort into ensuring Android phones fit within a Windows infrastructure, from licensing ActiveSync so it's integrated within the Android's native mail app, to porting across the Lync and OneNote clients.

That doesn't look to me to be Microsoft's usual brand of hostility. That looks, to me at least, more like Microsoft's attitude towards, say, Mac OS and Mac OS X. Provide the integration, and profit by the fact corporations can safely pick Microsoft-only infrastructure rather than rushing into the arms of rivals who provide more open, standard, systems than they do.

Re:Hey (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180123)

That said, I'm not 100% sure Google is right here. Microsoft seems to be fairly open about wanting a slice of the Android phone cash bonanza, and is negotiating with phone manufacturers (as it should be - those are the people actually selling devices that have a price on them) without demanding amounts that would make Android phones impossible or uncompetitive.

You are right, extortion is ok if it doesn't kill you. Please send me $655.37 every month, or else...

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179137)

Now the fun begins!! I hope Google gets them good as we have all seen this for a long time and wondered when it was going to happen. They won against Oracle, now M$ and hopefully put Apple in it's place.

Paybacks are a bitch!

Re:Awesome! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179261)

Yea totally. I hope that ad network who sells my eyeballs to advertisers beats those other companies who are also just in it for money. Nothing weird or irrational about being a corporate cheerleader at all.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179505)

Not the parent here but -
Google can go die in a ditch for all I care but the possibilities of android, compared to the retentive lock-in of win7phone or IOS, are huge and I want them to stay around not die due to stupid patents.
Also I never liked apple or Microsoft, why should I not cheer over their suffering? since when has cheering over such things meant I like google?

War by proxy (2)

Night64 (1175319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179199)

Europe knows it very, very well.

Distrust (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179215)

As much as I distrust Google, which is quite a bit ever since they started asking for phone numbers, they still haven't reached the same level of fear that I have Microsoft and its insistence on forcing everyone into its collective. Add to that the fact that it's also against Nokia, a company I once adored before they jumped in bed with the devil incarnate, I must now say "good on you Google!"

Re:Distrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179253)

Microsoft and its insistence on forcing everyone into its collective.

I fear Apple for this reason a lot more

Re:Distrust (2)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179295)

Apple is easy to avoid by buying any of the thousands of other products their software doesn't run on. Microsoft, on the other hand, wants to be on all those thousands of other products.

Re:Distrust (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179311)

Oh, and of course Google wants to be on them all.

Re:Distrust (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179373)

As long as they keep killing the competition with their competence instead of compelling us to consume their crap with coercion then I'm fine with that. I don't use google because there are no alternatives, there are alternatives to everything they offer. I use google because so far it is superior for my needs.

Re:Distrust (2, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179449)

Killing the competition accomplishes the same thing. Think about it, would Google have asked for phone numbers and insisted on using real names a decade ago? They've got power now and their going to use it.

Re:Distrust (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179669)

Killing the competition accomplishes the same thing. Think about it, would Google have asked for phone numbers and insisted on using real names a decade ago? They've got power now and their going to use it.

So you plan to use a poorly-implemented and unsustainable service deliberately instead? OK, it's your choice, but it is kind-of silly. Yes, competing with Google is hard, very hard, but nobody has the right to get web traffic, especially if they don't provide a service that is any good. Nor is it going to be possible for a service provider to keep providing the service unless they get money from somewhere, and I wouldn't want it to be done by government handouts!

Re:Distrust (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179719)

I don't like the real names policy either, but it's not like the competition doesn't have the same policy. The alternative is diaspora (as far as I am aware there are not other credible, directly comparable alternatives) and it has not really been embraced so far.

Re:Distrust (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179797)

Could you list all the products Google had out a decade ago that now require you provide a phone number and real name to use, that didn't then?

Does Google search require this, for example? (Answer: no)
What about GMail? (Answer: no)
Google groups? (Answer: no)
Google maps? (Answer: no)
Google news? (Answer: no)
OK, well, iGoogle? (Answer: no)
Youtube? (Answer: no)

OK... so what are we talking about here?

I know that the generic Google account system recommends you give it a cellphone number, so you can recover your password more securely. But you're not required to. In fact, the only tool I'm aware of that requires you give your phone number is Google Voice, which it's required you do since its inception, because it needs it in order to work properly.

What about real names? Well, there's Google+, but that's new. And it has plenty of competition. And in fact, the real names thing is probably why Google+ hasn't taken off. So that pretty much kills that argument.

Real names are also required for... well, anything that uses payments (Google Play, for example, if, and only if, you buy something, and AdWords), because, well, credit cards are difficult to charge if you don't have a fucking name. But that's ALWAYS been the case, since Froogle.

AdSense does too, but again always has done. (Yes, Google knows who I am [blogspot.com] )

So, really, what's your argument here?

Google has always had services that require real names and/or real telephone numbers. They're pushing the latter recently solely to help you recover lost passwords, and they're pushing the former only in relation to one service that, by no stretch of the imagination, can remotely be considered to be having monopoly power, and whose primary competitor, which pre-existed Google+ by many years, has always had the same policy.

Re:Distrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179947)

Sometimes, google requieres a phone number for creating new accounts.
Facebook also does it.
Although I don't know how is that sistem triggered.

Re:Distrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179269)

in size 6 font there's a link so you can skip that phone number prompt!

Re:Distrust (0)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179375)

I do of course, but the question should be presented as "would you like to give us your phone number" in a Y/N box, and N should be the default. Who in the world would be f'ing crazy enough to give that type of information anyway?

Re:Distrust (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179519)

Many, if not most people.

Times have changed. Perceptions of technology and the internet have changed. Concerns of trust have waned.

It's not the power grab your seem to think it is. Google isn't forcing anyone to do anything (except "real" names on Google+, which is more like, can't use things that are obviously psuedonyms). It's a sign of a wider cultural shift.

Re:Distrust (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179747)

Depends on the country. The last time I had to create a Google Docs account, they required typing in a code sent via SMS to the phone number you provided, without a way to skip it. The message included the words "in your country", so I guess the rules differ in different parts of the world.

Fortunately, I had an old SIM card from DebConf in Bosnia that still worked :)

Re:Distrust (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180067)

Hi EzInKy,

Beyond being an avid reader of Slashdot comments (10+ years now!), I also work on Google account security, so am quite familiar with the phone number prompts you're seeing. Let me give you some background and maybe you can at least see our perspective on why we're doing this and why it's not necessarily "evil".

The traditional approach to handling users who forget their passwords, or otherwise need to be identified via a non-password based mechanism, is the secret question and answer. We have spent many years trying to make secret QA work. I myself wrote the code we use to correct typos, handle different abbreviations of street addresses, normalize unicode characters etc to try and increase the success rate. Other people have analyzed the types of questions/answers provided and encouraged users to select better ones. All to no avail. People just suck at choosing these options .... some people choose absurdly easy questions like "Do I like the incredible hulk?" or "In what month did I get married?". Lots of people forget the answer, even with the hint. The suggestions we provide (library card number, frequent flyer number) are often ignored as being too much hassle. Some questions looks superficially strong ("What is my mothers maiden name?") but we've seen fraudsters from Nigeria successfully research the answer to that question starting from nothing more than an email address! To top it all off, the success rate for good users is staggeringly low. Even with all the effort we put in to handling common mistakes, the success rate is rarely higher than 25%.

So we gave up on it. New Google accounts do not prompt you for a secret QA. Instead we ask for a phone number. The reason is that it's a kind of "second password" that cannot be guessed by random strangers unless you happen to publish it on the web (happens, but rare), most people have memorized it, and if we need a strong proof of authentication - like if you forget your password - we make an automated phone call. We have also been asking users to provide a phone number for existing accounts for the same reasons, our stats show users with phone numbers are dramatically less likely to lose their accounts.

You may think, well, I'll never forget my password so this is irrelevant. But nowadays we also use it as a second password in cases where we aren't sure a login is really coming from you (it seems unusual or suspicious in some way). You normally just have to type it in to confirm you know it. In very high risk cases, like using an IP that's been heavily abused before, we may want to send you a message.

You're right that the UI strongly encourages people to provide a number although it's still optional. I'd personally prefer to have the UI you suggest. However that will lead to a lot of users getting locked out of their accounts, no two ways about it. The alternatives for proving your identity are just so much harder. So there are no ideal solutions here. The numbers aren't used for anything else (certainly not advertising or anything like that).

Re:Distrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179287)

I am distrust Google more than all the others combined.

disclaimer: I use a Nokia phone.

Re:Distrust (3, Insightful)

mclaincausey (777353) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179507)

That doesn't make any sense. It's easy to avoid Microsoft. Try not using Google. Way harder.

Re:Distrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179771)

Can I subscribe to your alternate reality?

Re:Distrust (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40180019)

No one forces you to use google services, they are just better than the competition.

Sometimes you are forced to use MS products, beacuse there are some programs no available under other plataform, because MS tryed to kill any other plataform.

Re:Distrust (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180033)

I wondered where the OP got that impression too... It takes an unreasonably large amount of technical prowess to actually eradicate all of Google's tendrils.

Legal Risk (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179221)

(Posting AC because I'm at work, not because I'm going to get modded into the stone age for what I'm about to say...)

Google ... described its filing with European regulators as a pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners. The threat is that if phone makers perceive a significant legal risk in using Android...

Um, if there's a legal hazard in using Android, maybe that means Google/manufacturer's should license patents from Microsoft (or others). I know the current belief on /. is that everybody should be able to make whatever they want, even if they copy someone else's work but, ignoring whether or not I agree with that view, that's simply not how the world works. Sorry - it isn't. The world works such that, if you invent it and you patent it, you have the right to get paid when someone else uses it (or outright block them from using it for a time). You may not like that, and many don't, but that's how the world works. Not just the US - the world. Google may view that as a problem but the solution is simple - build Android so that it doesn't infringe on any patents or license the patents so that there's no legal risk.

I know I'll be in the minority on this one but, sorry - the system is what the system is. It's simple, design around the patent or license it. Or don't and deal with the consequences.

Re:Legal Risk (0, Troll)

bkaul01 (619795) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179315)

(Posting AC because I'm at work, not because I'm going to get modded into the stone age for what I'm about to say...)

Too bad: your post deserves to be modded up +5 Insightful.

Google ... described its filing with European regulators as a pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners. The threat is that if phone makers perceive a significant legal risk in using Android...

Um, if there's a legal hazard in using Android, maybe that means Google/manufacturer's should license patents from Microsoft (or others). I know the current belief on /. is that everybody should be able to make whatever they want, even if they copy someone else's work but, ignoring whether or not I agree with that view, that's simply not how the world works. Sorry - it isn't. The world works such that, if you invent it and you patent it, you have the right to get paid when someone else uses it (or outright block them from using it for a time). You may not like that, and many don't, but that's how the world works. Not just the US - the world. Google may view that as a problem but the solution is simple - build Android so that it doesn't infringe on any patents or license the patents so that there's no legal risk.

I know I'll be in the minority on this one but, sorry - the system is what the system is. It's simple, design around the patent or license it. Or don't and deal with the consequences.

Re:Legal Risk (3, Insightful)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179615)

Or maybe the patent system *itself* is being abused - bad patents are too prevalent and it costs to much to fight frivolous claims.

Why live with a bad system just because it is? Is it wrong to fight for a better society that is more fair and can provide better incentives to create works?

Re:Legal Risk (3, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179619)

Why bother sitting down at your computer and writing any code? Even if your code is wholly original they still have a right to take ownership of your code through the use of trivial and obvious software patents? So if you write your own code that renders text before images and its completely your code from your brain. And its totally different from any code that MS wrote you are saying that Microsoft should be able come and take ownership of your code? The pathetic people that cheer for this kind of abuse in the marketplace do so against their own interests. pathetic.

Re:Legal Risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179325)

I agree with you, but most of the IT lifers on Slashdot do nothing of value. They don't understand toiling just to have someone rip you off.

Re:Legal Risk (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179327)

Licensing patents from trolls is like paying protection money to criminals. You're only providing them resources and incentive to continue their extortion and find new victims. The only right thing to do is put the criminals out of business, not pay them off.

Re:Legal Risk (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179333)

Um no. While there are some here that would disregard all intellectual property, the vast majority are in disagreement about whether some IP should be protected as being valid especially in the area of software where patenting things like one-click may be ridiculous. The current situation has been a long time coming as companies like MS and Google have been stockpiling patents for defensive purposes against patent trolls. Unfortunately the cold war has now erupted into open hostilities. From what I can tell, it's easier to track who isn't suing. The situation will be addressed but it will be a bloody fight. At this point it is hard to tell which companies are using patents as weapons against competitors and which are trying to legitimately defend their IP.

Re:Legal Risk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179381)

"Posting AC because I'm at work"... at Microsoft? If you think that what Microsoft does is righteous and honest, please enlighten us why do they hide behind proxies?

Re:Legal Risk (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179975)

Here's the thing. Every single one of the big phone manufacturers has a thousand patents that every other phone manufacturer has infringed on since the beginning of the industry. They all know this, but for literally decades everyone involved was smart enough to look at the situation and say "Oh hell no! I'm not starting that fight". The in strolled the new kid on the block, they bought some patents on the core technologies (enough to ensure they were inside the circle of mutually assured destruction along with the other manufacturers) but then they went and patented a few (frankly quite silly) UI patents. And so they thought to themselves, we might not be able to start the holy war on the core technologies, but we can certainly fire off just a few shots to protect our user interface. Which is a lot like the US during the cold war saying "surely the Soviets won't mind if we launch nuclear tipped cruise missiles at Kiev, after all, they're not ICBMs".

And the result has been about what you would expect. All out patent war in the cell phone industry, with constantly shifting alliances, tactics, and weapons. We've had import bans because a photo gallery app slid just past the available pictures to communicate to the user that they were at the end. We've had court cases fought over "Swipe to unlock". We've had multi-billion dollar companies bought, sold, and gutted for their patent portfolios. And, most importantly and the issue no one seems to pay attention to, we've created an environment where there is absolutely no chance, literally zero, of a new player entering the game.

So, you say to Google "build Android so that it doesn't infringe on patents". I say 50% of those patents are invalid, and it's just going to take the right court case to show that once and for all. Of the remaining 50%, everyone in the industry stomps all over them, to the point where even the biggest players can't be sure who owns what, who is defending what, and what their next project might infringe upon. It's broken. It's not really Apple's fault, even if they were the ones to set of Armageddon the system has been screwed up for too long to blame them. Any system that relies on cold war style MAD is going to break down eventually.

Re:Legal Risk (3, Insightful)

oxdas (2447598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180003)

Um, if there's a legal hazard in using Android, maybe that means Google/manufacturer's should license patents from Microsoft (or others). I know the current belief on /. is that everybody should be able to make whatever they want, even if they copy someone else's work but, ignoring whether or not I agree with that view, that's simply not how the world works. Sorry - it isn't. The world works such that, if you invent it and you patent it, you have the right to get paid when someone else uses it (or outright block them from using it for a time). You may not like that, and many don't, but that's how the world works. Not just the US - the world. Google may view that as a problem but the solution is simple - build Android so that it doesn't infringe on any patents or license the patents so that there's no legal risk.

I know I'll be in the minority on this one but, sorry - the system is what the system is. It's simple, design around the patent or license it. Or don't and deal with the consequences.

Software patents are not valid in Europe, so no, this is not the way the "world" works. It is the way the U.S. works, but only since 1981. Prior to that year (and for a practical purposes the early 90's) software patents were expressly forbade by the USPTO and the Supreme Court. The definition of patentable material has expanded immensely in the last 30 years in US. Europe has been drifting toward allowing software patents, but the debate is as fierce there as it is here.

With the U.S. Supreme Court recently reasserting itself into the patent debate, this is a great time for Google to push against software patents and Europe is the place to start.

The only thing I hate more (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179229)

Than a fucking lawyer is a fucking judge. Take their fucking heads and abolish this sham.

Subtle ad? (4, Funny)

Linegod (9952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179233)

"they may opt instead for Microsoft's Windows Phone software"

No one is going to do that.

Re:Subtle ad? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179283)

Yeah just like "Nobody will opt for Microsoft Explorer because Netscape has 90% of the browser share!"
Oh wait.
Nvrmnd.

Re:Subtle ad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179425)

Ok let me know then when every copy of windows ships with a free windows phone.

Re:Subtle ad? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179509)

Web browsers and smart phones are very different things.

Welcome to SCO 2.0 (4, Insightful)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179237)

Same agenda, only now the desktop isn't at stake, it is the mobile market sector. Same FUD, different day. Linux was proven and hardened after SCO, but in many ways it was too late, the tech world had moved on. MS is hoping for more of the same.

Re:Welcome to SCO 2.0 (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179293)

The problem is that right now, they are driving up the real cost of Android phones, making money from it, and spreading FUD. It should be quite clear after the B&N screw-up that what they're doing is extortion.

Re:Welcome to SCO 2.0 (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179395)

Don't worry, if history is any indication the USDoJ will catch Microsoft red-handed for this only ten years from now and at a cost of only tens or hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Of course, if history is any indication, Microsoft will be let off the hook without penalties by whoever is sitting where Ashcroft was sitting last time.

I adore that one of the big bad guys in Freelancer is named Ashcroft.

Linux (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179241)

I'd like to see redHat, Suse, Canonical, etc do the same thing over the UEFI controls coming up. That really needs to be taken out of their hands.

Re:Linux (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179855)

You may have missed it in the news, but Suse is no longer part of the good team. Suse is helping M$ tax Linux [techrights.org] . So of the three in your list, Suse does not belong. Red Hat and Canonical might stand up against the UEFI power grab, but Suse is already in bed with M$.

Immersion all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179257)

This is kinda like the agreement microsoft made with immersion whereby any $$$ immersion sucked out of sony for their vibration technology in console controllers, microsoft would get half of the prize money. It could also been seen that the money microsoft paid to immersion for the vibration license was used to help immersion got after sony.

Lets also not forget thatthe current head of nokia is a ex microsoft executive.

microsoft is so greedy (4, Insightful)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179371)

Not only do they extract out of android phone makers many times more than make from their own windows phones but now they want to extract cash out of google as well.

If miscrosoft spent less time sabotaging, suing and backstabbing their partners and more time innovating and focussing on their own products, maybe their company would experience more growth. Only then would it be able to turn its reputation around like IBM has.

This is why I like Google (5, Insightful)

Erich (151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179277)

Google is at least trying to say "Hey, this whole patent troll environment sucks. You should really do something about this problem!"

Hopefully someone will listen to their complaint before they are forced to take matters into their own hands.

And I think everyone also sees the next step, which is retaliation. Google just bought all those Motorola patents, and having them shut down Nokia and Apple with all those 17-year-old cell phone patents would really be a step up in the Mutually-Assured-Destruction conflict, and everyone would suffer for it.

Taking this approach with the nukes in your back pocket seems much more civil than approach taken by the others.

Re:This is why I like Google (0)

Naffer (720686) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179407)

Let's be serious. Google/Motorola is not innocent: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17825580 [bbc.co.uk] The atmosphere in mobile patents is terrible. Apple, Google/Motorola, and Microsoft are going to fight over this for years to come. Until there is some sanity and these companies start cross-licensing for reasonable costs this is going to continue, and it's pretty silly to claim that one of these companies is just the victim. They all have large enough legal departments to know how this game works.

Re:This is why I like Google (4, Insightful)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179581)

The patent row between motorola and microsoft began even before google considered buying motorola. And the motorola buyout by google was more in response to microsoft suing android phone makers so google went after motorola's phone patents before anyone else (microsoft) could grab it to add to their warchest.

Talking purely patents, cross licensing sucks too because it locks out new players from the playing field. What we need is the abolishment of all patents or the reduction to their lifetime to a very short period.

Re:This is why I like Google (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179849)

You do know that Google didn't own Motorola until LAST WEEK, right? And that Motorola's lawsuits were launched long before Google started the process of buying Motorola?

Re:This is why I like Google (0)

mclaincausey (777353) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179577)

All you have to do is look at Google's record of bullying, improperly exercising their search monopoly by manipulating results, or ripping off the Yelp!s, the Groupons, and the Skyhooks of the world to see that they are not "civil" in the least.

Re:This is why I like Google (1)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179769)

You mean like them manipulating their search results to catch microsoft red handed stealing their hard work? https://www.google.com/search?q=bing+copying+google [google.com] ?

Re:This is why I like Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179731)

sarcasm much?

Glass houses... (-1, Flamebait)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179317)

Google filed an EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft and Nokia on Thursday, claiming they are using proxy companies to make smartphone-related patent claims in an attack on Google's Android business.

You mean like how Google used HTC as their proxy?

Re:Glass houses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179403)

Proof?

Re:Glass houses... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179579)

Apple is in the process of having HTC complaints against them dismissed by the ITC due to lack of standing. It seems that Google transferred five patents key to HTC complaint just prior to the filing with the ITC (less than week). The ITC hasn't ruled on Apple's motion, but it indicates that HTC is acting as Google's proxy in this matter.

Feel free to google it.

Re:Glass houses... (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179739)

HTC is not a patent troll. MOSAID is, e.g., non-practicing entity. The distinction is huge. HTC is a very large licensee of Android who was attacked by Apple for the express purpose of an outright shutdown. Not only was that an attack on HTC but it was an attack on Android itself. Of course Google is not going to stand there with their dicks in their hands. Contrast this with what MS and Nokia are doing. They bought a bunch of patents for the express purpose of transferring them to a text book patent troll to attack Android. Google is not attacking Windows phone and they are not attacking Nokia. The patents they transferred to HTC were for defense purposes against Apple. You can try to draw ridiculous parallels until the cows come home but ultimately as we saw with Oracle vs Google it's up to the court to sort it out. Armchair Google haters and paranoid tin hat wearers everywhere notwithstanding.

Re:Glass houses... (0)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179877)

I never said HTC is a patent troll. What I did say is that Google has used HTC as a proxy in its fight against Apple.

You can try to finesse the facts but it doesn't negate the fact that HTC is acting as a proxy for Google in that patent case against Apple.

Armchair Google haters and paranoid tin hat wearers everywhere notwithstanding.

Nice ad-hominem attack. I don't hate Google, in fact I use a lot of their services. I just pointed out that Google also uses proxies in its patent battles.

Re:Glass houses... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179685)

Here the links for stories discussing HTC acting as Google's proxy:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/09/google-to-htc-take-these-patents-keep-fighting-apple/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-07/htc-sues-apple-alleging-infringement-of-four-u-s-patents.html

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57435572-37/apple-wants-to-squelch-five-google-patents-issued-to-htc/

But Microsoft is suing them directly (2)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179353)

Microsoft is suing Motorola (now Google) directly. Why the hell would they hide if they already do it openly and even if they do hide behind other companies how is this illegal? Can't a company pay another company to take care of patent fights?

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (5, Insightful)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179469)

They don't do it openly. Ask microsoft which patents android infringes and THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU. Every android phone maker that has paid the blackmail money^h^h^h settled has also had to sign a non disclosure statement. This is either because microsoft doesnt want the other phonemakers it hasnt gone after yet to create a workaround^h^h^h not infringe or because microsoft knows it's standing is very weak.

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179857)

They don't do it openly. Ask microsoft which patents android infringes and THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU. Every android phone maker that has paid the blackmail mo settled has also had to sign a non disclosure statement. This is either because microsoft doesnt want the other phonemakers it hasnt gone after yet to create a workaro not infringe or because microsoft knows it's standing is very weak.

Does not compute.

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179899)

This is how they get patent deals but not how they sue. You can't possibly sue someone without showing what you've got in court. After all how will the jury decide if you don't show your patents? That's the whole point of a lawsuit. The patents MS holds against Motorola are well known and you can easily Google for them. Something with syncrhonizing e-mails, battery power blah blah blah.

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179939)

Microsoft holds around 19,800 patents, Nokia holds around 9,600 patents.

I'm pretty sure there is something in that haystack they can use. You could challenge them and hope they can only find a needle but you risk them finding a bazooka. Even if you win it will be a drag on profits and likely cost you your job as shareholders get annoyed with you.

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179563)

If you have to deal with only one case or one opponent, instead of a whole swarm of lawsuits and troll companies, expenses go down and things become easier to manage, plus the uncertainity involved (a key element of FUD) also goes down.

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180001)

That's good point but aren't the expenses for the attacker also going up if they have to file multiple lawsuits?

Re:But Microsoft is suing them directly (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180117)

Why the hell would they hide if they already do it openly and even if they do hide behind other companies how is this illegal?

Many jurisdictions have regulations (either as part of the antitrust regime, or their patent regime, or both) which restrict how a patent holder can use a patent to create or protect market power in a market broader than "things that exercise the patent". Assigning patent enforcement rights to a third-party, while itself generally legitimate, can be a manner to obscure an attempt to do what those rules seek to restrict.

Business as usual (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179355)

The threat is that if phone makers perceive a significant legal risk in using Android, they may opt instead for Microsoft's Windows Phone software."

What part of this is illegal? Isn't this how patents are supposed to work?

Re:Business as usual (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179601)

"Perception of risk" != "Existence of risk". Using agents to incite riots in a mass gathering (say, by pelting stones) is an extreme example of what's happening here. The harm in pelting those stones is limited to non-existant, but the people don't see it that way and the end result is much worse.

Re:Business as usual (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180051)

That's just marketing. Business as usual.

Re:Business as usual (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179699)

What part of this is illegal? Isn't this how patents are supposed to work?

Normally, yes, but this time it's hurting Google!

Thank Mr. Steve Jobs (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179435)

Just remember we have Steve Jobs to thank for this whole mess of mobile patent wars. Yes, him.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said in Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs. “I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” http://www.generalpatent.com/remembering-steve-jobs

Can't take this seriously. (1, Troll)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179489)

Google, as of late, you're just as f*cked up as microsoft.

Googles thinks Microsoft is sending proxies (1)

Michalson (638911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179531)

Googles thinks Microsoft is sending proxies to do its legal work, or at the least is trying to convince someone of that fantasy?

Microsoft hasn't shown any problems going after Android makers openly and directly. Sure it doesn't always make the front page but that's because Microsoft wants to licence the technology, not use the patents to block companies from the market entirely like Apple. This has always been Microsoft's business stategy from all the back in the days when it was Bill writing BASIC interpreters - find a place in the middle of the supply or technology chain so that no matter what company or product consumers are wild about this day of the week, Microsoft is getting paid somehow. A 'horizontal' instead of vertical market integration. That Android phone in your hand? Microsoft got paid a cut of it. I believe the slashdotter term is 'the Microsoft tax'.

Either Google is on a conspiracy bent to try and explain why so many companies have dirt on them without considering that maybe it's because they copied from all of them to assemble Android, or they're just cooking up so they can get Microsoft beat up by the EU bigwigs the way Opera did.

Re:Googles thinks Microsoft is sending proxies (1)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179923)

If Apple blocks android, more people would likely flock to ios. If microsoft did the same to android they would only be giving apple more customers. windows mobile is stuck in a chicken and a egg situation where it has a low uptake due to few apps and few apps because few use their phones. If windows mobile had more market share we would probably start seeing microsoft doing what apple is doing now.

glad to see someone call MS on it (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179729)

They've been getting away with it for a while. Check out the situation with Dual Shock on the PS3.

Immersion decides to patent troll the gaming industry over rumble force feedback, claiming they have the patents on it even though as a corporation they eschewed simple "rumble".

So MS settles with Immersion, giving Immersion money with the requirement that they continue to press their case against Sony and that MS will get a cut of any monies from those suits if there is a settlement.

We find out about it when MS discovers the risk of deal with an extortionist with low morals after Immersion takes the money from Sony and runs.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/196042/microsoft-lands-force-feedback-payout/ [computeran...ogames.com]

Time to change the system (1)

Notlupus (1893060) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180007)

Hopefully this will finally lead to a revolution in the patent system. There is absolutely nothing more damaging I can think of than when frustrating competitors is a better business tactic than innovation. The abuse of the patent system needs to stop, fast!
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