What Microsoft wants from Google

What Microsoft wants from Google

Summary: Who is the real target of all this FUD? The guess here is it's the cellular carriers, not Motorola or HTC at all.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Google
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Microsoft wants access to any technology that sells.

That appears to be what its suit against Motorola is all about. At issue, writes deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez (right, from CNET), are "key features that users have come to expect from every smartphone," specifically the ability to sync mail and contacts between the phone and the Web.

Of course, iPhones do that too, don't they?

As Florian Mueller notes at FOSSPatents, this seems part of a coordinated attack against Google lodged by incumbents in a variety of areas -- Oracle, Apple and now Microsoft. All are ostensibly attacks on Android, a Linux distro Google began developing before the iPhone came out.

One important fact I pointed out to Mueller is that this suit was not filed in the "patent troll" court -- the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler. Instead, it was filed in Seattle.

This is not a suit at a trial, in other words. As Paula noted Friday this is a business suit, The hope is that Google will cross-license its Android technology with Microsoft, just as Oracle and Apple hope to gain some control of Android with lawsuits.

It's unlikely these suits will go to trial, in part, due to Washington gridlock. There is an enormous, growing shortage of judges on the federal bench. Democrats slowed the approval process under Bush, and Republicans have slowed it further under Obama.

With the failure of the Roberts court to provide any clarity on software patents in Bilski vs. Kappos there is little hope for any side of decisions that will settle the question. It's open season for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

Which leads us to a more intriguing question. Who is the real target of all this FUD? The guess here is it's the cellular carriers, not Motorola or HTC at all.

Advocates of Internet freedom should know, as I have learned, that carriers say "Android" when they really mean "carrier crapware." I was sold a Samsung Galaxy phone with AT&T crapware when I asked for an Android,, and as we've seen Google keeps its hands off the carriers.

Frankly, the Apple iPhone offers more freedom to do what you want than the AT&T Galaxy. You may be in Apple's walled garden, but you're not limited to buying Apple stuff there.

AT&T loaded the Galaxy with a ton of applications, including some requiring payment for functions there are free iPhone apps for, and tells users they're stuck. Eric Schmidt gives a Gallic shrug and says, "if I stopped them I would be violating the tenets of open source." Never mind that rootkitting or jailbreaking a phone is legal under the copyright law.

So if you want a free, open Internet experience on a mobile device, maybe you are better off for now rooting for the FUD. Apple will fight with the carriers for its interests, as I'm certain Oracle and Microsoft will go toe-to-toe with them for theirs.

Google seems interested in fighting for no one's interests -- not its own, certainly not the consumer's. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. It's time for Google's passivity to end.

Topics: Microsoft, Google

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29 comments
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  • Acute, concise and penetrating

    An article that goes deep into the substance of the matter. Excellent!<br><br>Aren't you tired of those shallow unworthy non-articles zdnet regularly presents you with? I'm thinking particularly about the sponsored ones and those designed only to collect page hits. <br><br>Congratulations Dana. Congratulations zdnet! Excellent work!
    OS Reload
  • Mr. Blankenhorn, why do you continue to attempt

    to blame all of other companies actions on Microsoft?

    This article clearly reads as an attempt at garnering page hits, nothing more.

    On one hand you claim to stand for those in the OSS community so as to see that they get what is rightfully theirs. yet feel that no one else should.

    Is it not logical to assume that Motorola wants access to "technology that sells", or do you believe that they feel they would be better suited with technology that does not sell?

    As you can see, it is within the realm of possibility that Motorola wants access to technology that sells, and may have felt that they had nothing to use by taking it without permission?

    There are many evil companies out there, and none have the name Microsoft attached to them.
    :|
    Tim Cook
    • Logically before any claims are made a clear definition

      @Mister Spock
      of what is an EVIL Company is required. You made the claim that there are many who do not have the name MS in them which is well a DUH moment since despite it's size MS is but one company out of many. However even your claim does not mean that MS is NOT an evil company now does it? Still to be fair and logical we've yet to define what makes up an evil company. So anyone have an idea what it is the defines evil where a company is concerned. Remember an organization is a mechanism to make money. It's not a human being nor is it humane nor does it have feelings. It's one goal in it's existence is to make money and if it does that to make MORE. I'm not even sure you can define a business as evil.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

        @James Quinn and @Mister Spock

        Have you ever heard the expression that goes like this "evil will succeed when good men do nothing" ?

        No one is entirely innocent in this current blame game of pass the parcel and everyone wants to claim they are right and the other is wrong, and possibly the evil party.

        Business cannot be defined as evil <i>per se</i>, but it's the agenda (hidden or not) behind what the business executives do and how that affects us all. A monopoly as an example, something that Microsoft used to have, but not any more because smaller more agile technology firms have come, spotted a gap in their services and started providing new items on the public menu and while everyone has the right to defend and protect their patents, it shouldn't get this ugly.
        sy4steve
      • Well, most of the anti-MS people here

        call MS "evil", so he could be refering to it along those lines?

        [i]I'm not even sure you can define a business as evil.[/i]

        Agreed. Yet for many who prefer products from other companies, why label MS as evil when I think it's logical (borrowing from Mr. Spock up there) to assume that what fits MS can fit any company.
        John Zern
    • @Mister: Amazing!

      It simply amazes the way you insistently abuse the word "logic" without trying to use a little "logic" yourself or even understand what that word means.

      So I'm wondering, what, according to you, does the word "logic" stand for?

      Does it stand for "sycophancy"? "obsequiousness" perhaps?

      Or do you believe it stands for "servility", "adulation" and as an excuse to obliterate some sins you see as virtues?

      I'm curious, deviously curious I might add, but curious nonetheless.
      OS Reload
    • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

      @Mister Spock I don't blame Microsoft for anything. I think what Microsoft is doing is a natural part of its business model, and in keeping with the ambiguity we have in present patent law.

      Whether that should continue is, I do insist, a political question whose answer can be changed through political means, if we have the will to do so.
      DanaBlankenhorn
    • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

      @Mister Spock
      -There are many evil companies out there, and none have the name Microsoft attached to them.-

      This is just as much your opinion as it is my opinion that they are an evil company willing to screw open source for a profit.
      jblandrum
  • Litigation as we all know can go on for years

    Litigation as we know can go on for years (Novell vs. Microsoft WordPerfect case on appeal) and unless MS can get a judgement early on for 'injunctive relief', it will be 'business as usual' with the ever-expanding market for Android devices.<br><br>Motorola can sandbag MS in the court system for a LONG time as easily as MS can.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • That really wont hurt Microsoft. Their settlement will just be bigger

      and in the mean time WP7 will be scooping up market share and becoming even more capable, and more and more android phones will be shipping with bing set as the search engine.
      Johnny Vegas
      • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

        @Johnny Vegas,

        Dude...give it a rest.
        bmonsterman
  • The main reason

    Maybe Motorola/Google have something that MS wants.

    The main reason is clear. MS is about to enter a market which is quickly becoming dominated by Android. They are attempting to manipulate the mobile market, stifle Android adoption, to try and give their too-little too-late Win7phone a chance. I don't think MS is capable of straight-up competition. They have a long history of manipulating people, governments and markets to achieve "success". That's NOT free market competition. It's corruption.

    Anyone with a functioning mind who understands the original intent behind patents and copyright in the United States knows that software patents are a fundamental corruption of our system.

    There was a time in this country when the majority of decent, honest citizens wouldn't have tolerated such corruption. Now, legions of personally corrupt people try to tell us "it's just business".
    Tim Patterson
  • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

    So, why would Microsoft want to license Google technology or Android as part of making this lawsuit go away? It doesn't make any sense. They have their own mobile OS, the same way that Apple, Nokia etc has their own.

    This lawsuit is about patent violation pure and simple. To succeed in the smartphone market, you must play in the Enterprise space. You therefore need to access Microsoft Exchange.

    Apple licensed Activesync from Microsoft. Google couldn't care less. That left Motorola in a quandary.

    1. Pay Microsoft for every smartphone sold and get access to Activesync. (HTC took that path when Microsoft called the lawyers out.

    2. Or try and develop a workaround. No-one has successfully done that yet.

    3. Or steal the solution (faster to market) and hope for the best.

    Obviously Microsoft think they went with option 3.
    Stark_Industries
    • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

      @Stark_Industries
      http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/feb09/02-09statement.mspx
      xatnet@...
      • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

        @xatnet@... Google licensed it, not Motorola.
        Native Android doesn't ship with Activesync.
        Stark_Industries
    • RE: What Microsoft wants from Google

      @Stark_Industries
      So.... Microsoft is using their monopoly on Microsoft Exchange technology (enterprise market) as leverage to gain success in the smartphone market?
      dontfear
  • I can see why Microsoft does what it does.

    Microsoft want to show that world that Android isn't safe from patent claims and that unlike Google, Microsoft will protect OEMs from patent claims for any if its products.

    Before any fanboy attack Microsoft, you need to understand that Android most likely does violate many patents. Windows Phone 7, too, probably violated some patents. The different is that Microsoft is willing to defend its products while Google is leaving it up to OEMs.
    illegaloperation
  • How about an Android chart that ranks by amount of crapware?

    I've read different times about the carriers really messing with phone via carrier crapware, but where can I find a chart listing carriers and the crapware these phones are locked into... ranked from least to most restrictive?

    This would/should/could be an incredibly popular feature for a publisher and a heckuva service for that publisher's readers and advertisers.
    sunworks
    • Try this

      <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5651182/how-to-pick-an-android-smartphone" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://gizmodo.com/5651182/how-to-pick-an-android-smartphone</a>

      If all fails... <b>root it!</b>
      OS Reload
      • "root it" not really something your average consumer

        @OS Reload
        will do or will think of as an option.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn