The timing of the anti-Google campaign is seemingly designed to coincide with the U.S. Congress', U.S. Federal Trade Commission's and the European Commission's pending investigations of Google's $3.1 billion takeover of DoubleClick. Both Microsoft and the No. 2 search vendor, Yahoo, have objected to the deal that would merge the two biggest online advertisers. (In an ironic twist, Microsoft also bid on DoubleClick, but lost, and subsequently acquired advertising bigwig aQuantive for $6 billion.)
Microsoft lobbies in its own interests all the time, using a variety of tactics -- from pushing online petitions, to backing other organizations with innocuous-sounding names ("Voices for Innovation," for instance) -- to build what it hopes might look like grassroot support on a variety of issues, including document-format standards and the right to bundle standalone products into Windows.