Microsoft's Outrage Over Google/Yahoo: Hypocrisy? - InformationWeek
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7/16/2008
03:16 PM
Tom LaSusa
Tom LaSusa
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Microsoft's Outrage Over Google/Yahoo: Hypocrisy?

You don't have to be Jewish to have heard of the word 'Hutzpah.' The simple definition for it is 'unmitigated gall or nerve.' For example, it takes real Hutzpah (or chutzpah) to accuse someone of doing something you might have done yourself. Not unlike Microsoft getting all huffy about Yahoo's intent to outsource search advertising to Google.

You don't have to be Jewish to have heard of the word 'Hutzpah.' The simple definition for it is 'unmitigated gall or nerve.' For example, it takes real Hutzpah (or chutzpah) to accuse someone of doing something you might have done yourself. Not unlike Microsoft getting all huffy about Yahoo's intent to outsource search advertising to Google.Several Informationweek.com readers have been quick to suggest that the folks in Redmond are suffering from a case of "pot calling the kettle black" by challenging the deal with their claims that "If one company...controls up to 90% of online search advertising, it will have a complete picture of your online activities."

I'm sorry -- did someone just throw down the Monopoly card?

As one reader recollected, "Anyone remember when Windows Media Player 8 was secretly sending Microsoft information on what you were playing?"

For a company who has spent several years (and tons of cash) in courtroom battles over antitrust and accusations of trying to be one company to rule them all, such public outcries aren't going to to much to improve Microsoft's already tarnished image.

And, of course, there's the obvious reason why Microsoft would want to see the deal demonized.

Contributor Paul McDougall points out "While Microsoft may be genuinely concerned about the privacy and competition implications of Yahoo's search deal with Google, it also has strategic reasons for hoping that the arrangement falters or is blocked by lawmakers."

Unless you've been under a rock all this time, everyone knows how desperate Microsoft is to get hold of Yahoo's search business. While technically what they say about the deal isn't totally inaccurate, faulting others for exactly what they'd like to do is Hutzpah at its finest.

As one commenter on the boards noted sarcastically -- if the roles were reversed, and Microsoft was being accused of monopolizing, "what would their argument be then -- innovation?"

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