Regulators Are Trying to Referee This Fight

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-05-24

Microsoft-Google Battles: 10 Things to Know About Their Unending War

Microsoft and Google can€™t seem to get along. In fact, the companies can€™t stand each other. Of course, that€™s nothing new to folks that have been watching the technology space as Google grew in wealth and prominence over the past decade, eclipsing Microsoft€™s once-dominant influence in the IT industry.

It seems that as soon as it was founded Google took aim at Microsoft, and as it has grown, the search giant has launched shot after shot at the software giant to try to take Microsoft down another notch. Microsoft, meanwhile, responded like an aging prize fighter in the boxing ring, moving too slowly to anticipate the blows or even avoid them. But Microsoft is still game to stay in the fight.

The battle between the two technology giants has long since extended beyond their core markets of search and Windows to everything from mobile devices to software patents. At no point in their shared history have Microsoft and Google despised each other so much. And at no point in their shared history has so much been at stake for both companies. Amazingly, the Google-Microsoft war is only heating up.

Read on to find out why the stakes have never been higher in Microsoft€™s continuing battle with Google over power and influence in the technology industry.

1. It all starts with leverage

One of the nicest things for Microsoft about its former position as the dominant force in the technology industry was its ability to impose its will. The software giant had more leverage than any other company in the industry, and it knew how to use it. Google, though, has been amassing more and more leverage. And in many cases, it€™s taking it from Microsoft. See why the companies don€™t like each other?

2. Android lawsuits

Although Google and Microsoft have not directly fired patent lawsuits at each other, Microsoft has been extremely active taking aim at Android. The company has either entered into lawsuits or signed licensing deals with a host of Android vendors over claims that the operating system violates patents it holds. Google doesn€™t like it one bit.

3. Motorola makes things harder

Microsoft and Motorola are fighting what might be the most bitter patent dispute in the mobile market right now. Microsoft argues that Motorola violates patents it holds with its Android installations, and Motorola charges the software company with violating its H.264 patents. That was bad enough. But now, Motorola is officially owned by Google, which only increases the enmity between the two giants.

4. Bing vs. Google

As noted, search is really what started off the battle between Microsoft and Google. When Google came on the scene, it established itself quickly as an online juggernaut. Microsoft, failing to respond quickly enough, tried to respond with its own search services, including Bing. However, since then, Google has taken issue with Microsoft for what it claims is a similar results page for many queries. Microsoft, meanwhile, has charged Google with illegally using its search dominance for its own gain. The two companies just keep fighting tooth and nail.

Regulators Are Trying to Referee This Fight

5. Advertising is a big issue

Google€™s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin realized long ago that in order to grow their company out of a simple startup, they€™d need to monetize search with ads. Once that business started to grow by leaps and bounds, Microsoft realized it had to get in on the online-ad game. That has only caused trouble between the two companies as they vie for every available ad dollar. For third-parties, however, it€™s turned out quite well: after Google acquired DoubleClick a few years ago, Microsoft responded with a purchase of a competing service, aQuantive.

6. The battle of regulators

Microsoft had been in the cross hairs of U.S. and international regulators for a number of years before Google started asserting its dominance. Now, much of the regulatory scrutiny Microsoft faced has focused on Google. And to make matters worse, Microsoft has done all it can to make it worse for Google by filing formal complaints against the company in the European Union over search practices. Regulators have quickly become very willing pawns in the war between both firms.

7. Both sides want outright demolition

Both Google and Microsoft are fighting such a vicious battle because they want to dominate the other. Simple victory in their battles is not enough for Microsoft or Google; both sides want to demolish the other. Given that, there won€™t be a truce or the holding back of any punches. In this war, only one will win and one will lose.

8. Fans can€™t stand each other

Although Microsoft hasn€™t always been the most popular technology company, in recent years, it has been able to build up a loyal fan base of people who can€™t stand Google. On the other side of the coin, Google has a loyal fan base that can€™t stand anything about Microsoft. Surprisingly, the battle between Microsoft and Google is as much about their fans as it is themselves.

9. Collateral damage is everywhere

Unfortunately, Microsoft and Google€™s battle is causing other, smaller companies to feel the aftereffects. For example, several Android vendors are targets of Microsoft€™s lawsuits. Google, meanwhile, is allowing its competition against Microsoft€™s Windows and other platforms to hurt companies delivering alternatives, such as Zoho€™s cloud-based office suite. Simply put, the collateral damage is major€”and it€™s everywhere.

10. Google is winning

Lastly, it€™s important not to forget that Google is actually winning right now. Microsoft has been made to look bad on countless occasions. And the software giant has fallen far behind Google in terms of search and other market-share measures. For Microsoft, trying to just get even is an obsession right now. The problem is that one of Google€™s obsessions is to make Microsoft look bad. Keep a close eye on this one.

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