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8/28/2009
07:08 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Microsoft's 'Secret' Google Bashing

Microsoft is conducting secret meetings to discuss ways to hobble Google, DailyFinance reports. Phrased in a less incendiary way, such as "Microsoft lobbyists are working to advance Microsoft's interests and blunt revenue threats from competitors," this hardly qualifies as news.

Microsoft is conducting secret meetings to discuss ways to hobble Google, DailyFinance reports. Phrased in a less incendiary way, such as "Microsoft lobbyists are working to advance Microsoft's interests and blunt revenue threats from competitors," this hardly qualifies as news.Pretty much every meeting at every company can be described as secret if confidential information or strategy is discussed. It's not as if Google puts every meeting attended by its executives or lobbyists on YouTube.

Nonetheless, the DailyFinance article makes for interesting reading, despite the anonymous sourcing. It jibes with comments from Google employees about efforts by competitors to limit Google's expansion.

In reference to a contract to supply e-mail and productivity apps to the City of Los Angeles that Google has more or less won, at Microsoft's and Novell's expense, Matt Glotzbach, director of product management for Google's enterprise group, recently said that Google's competitors -- read Microsoft -- appear to have had a role in spreading misinformation to delay or prevent Google from getting the city contract.

Look at the inbox for antitrust complaints at the Justice Department and you're likely to find letters from various Google foes urging antitrust action. That's what you do when you can't compete, and sometimes even when you can.

It goes both ways, of course, and one has to assume that Google has had a hand in sticking it to Microsoft on occasion, not to mention AT&T. That's just how the high stakes players roll.

What I hope, however, is that such antics don't stifle innovation or harm consumers. It's one thing to fight tooth and nail to maintain market share. It's another to find regulators willing to write rules that protect obsolete products and services.

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