How far can one company go just to beat it’s (stronger) competitor? Hold Weekly meetings?
It turns out Microsoft has been holding weekly “Screw Google” meetings, trying to figure out how to throw roadblocks in front of Google as they continue to dominate the search arena. It’s easy for me to say, but doesn’t it anymake a lot more sense to spend millions of dollars making something that’s actually better than Google rather than simply trying to make them look bad? Why?
I wonder how long it will take before the “Screw Microsoft” meetings commence? Probably Never. It probably won’t happen because Microsoft is doing a good enough job themselves, and I like to think Google is smart enough to know money is much better spent elsewhere.
It’s likely Microsoft is grasping at straws as Bing’s market share has only increased a very small amount — even after their massive marke ting campaign and Microsoft, Yahoo Search and Advertising Deal. In addition to that, Google is stepping on Microsoft’s toes with two of their own operating systems (Android and Chrome OS), Google Chrome internet browser, Google Docs, Gmail and their own Enterprise efforts.
“Microsoft is at the center of a group of companies who see Google as a threat to them in some combination of business and policy,” said a source familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity to avoid retribution. “The effort is designed make Google look like the big high-tech bad guy here.”
The meetings have occurred as frequently as once a week, sources with knowledge of the meetings say.
Microsoft employs several D.C.-based public relations firms, including Law Media Group, a secretive outfit founded by former Democratic operative Julian Epstein, and the Glover Park Group, which the software giant retains for issues related to “public policy and governmental affairs,” according to Microsoft’s website. LMG declined to discuss its work for Microsoft; GPG says it had never been involved with any “screw Google” meetings.
“Law Media Group has several people who work full-time on Google-bashing. Everybody knows Microsoft is trying to throw roadblocks at Google and knock them off their game. Microsoft is trying to harm Google in the regulatory, legal, and litigation arenas because they’re having problems with Google in the competitive marketplace.”
“This is textbook Microsoft,” the source adds. “Microsoft has got some of the best, highest-priced lobbyists that money can buy in Washington.”
The meetings have been led by Fred Humphries, Microsoft’s chief lobbyist in D.C. Ginny Terzano, Microsoft’s Washington spokesperson, acknowledged that Google has come up in Microsoft meetings with “lawmakers, regulators, and our own consultants.” But of Humphries’s alleged “screw Google” meetings, she says, “This is absurd. While Google is a healthy competitor, Fred is focused on advancing policies that benefit our partners and consumers, and not running meetings of the type you describe. Your sources are badly misinformed, and your information is wrong.”
“As you would expect, Microsoft and Fred are working to educate policymakers and regulators about the benefits of the Microsoft/Yahoo deal,” Terzano says. “When you talk about the Microsoft/Yahoo deal, of course Google is going to come up.”
A source with knowledge of the matter called Terzano’s statement a “non-denial denial,” saying, “This is an attempt to obfuscate the fact that they are indeed having ‘screw Google’ meetings.”
It’s time for Microsoft to stop wasting their money worrying about Google, and start breaking their own trails. Microsoft does have some diamonds in their rough though — one example is their development tools, frameworks and platforms. This includes WPF, Silverlight and Microsoft Surface — and in my opinion, Microsoft needs to invest more heavily in those technologies.