The decision by Microsoft to file a European complaint against the market share which Google commands is big news across the Pacific and here in the UK. In a blog post they [namely Brad Smith, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of the Microsoft Corporation] phrase as “Adding our Voice to Concerns about Search in Europe”, it appears as though Microsoft have reached either a point of desperation or genuine despair.
In what many have responded to (via the comments form, including iM3.co.uk) as bordering on the jealous or shear irrational, Brad Smith takes a crying swipe at Google’s acquisition of YouTube and resulting search doctoring. He also bemoans the restriction of Microsoft’s android applications accessing YouTube results. We agree this is not fair, but the way Brad comes across is far to cry baby for European consumers, and won’t hold much weighting outside of the courtroom.
Here are some comments by Brad Smith to which we would like to add our humble opinion:
Brad Smith says: “At Microsoft we’ve shown that we’re prepared to work hard and invest literally billions of dollars annually to offer Bing, a search service that many now regard as the most innovative available”.
We say: “You quoted Google as having 95% of the search market in Europe, so that means Bing is not quite as popular as it is innovative. We would recommend more innovative marketing strategies”.
Brad Smith says: “In 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service”.
We say: “a. You should have bought YouTube, because it’s obviously popular enough to be a big concern to all at Microsoft (and you aptly describe the great features of YouTube which again is plainly painful for the Seattle company)”.
Brad Smith says: “Google is even restricting its customers’—namely, advertisers’—access to their own data. Advertisers input large amounts of data into Google’s ad servers in the course of managing their advertising campaigns. This data belongs to the advertisers: it reflects their decisions about their own business. But Google contractually prohibits advertisers from using their data in an interoperable way with other search advertising platforms, such as Microsoft’s adCenter”.
We say: “You can export any data from Adwords using simple software which is provided by Google themselves. This data could easily be manipulated to use for Microsoft’s adCenter. In fact Google provide the widely utilised Adwords Keyword Tool, which aids the search advertising process for everyone. We would recommend that Microsoft promote this type of tool to benefit from the resulting exposure to keen business marketers in the European marketplace”.
Brad Smith says: “We readily appreciate that Google should continue to have the freedom to innovate. But it shouldn’t be permitted to pursue practices that restrict others from innovating and offering competitive alternatives. That’s what it’s doing now. And that’s what we hope European officials will assess and ultimately decide to stop.”
We say: “The kind gesture of allowing Google the freedom to innovate is surely not your own decision, but seemingly a bright light which represents the fact you don’t have any kind of clarity in your search marketing objectives. Like Google itself makes particularly clear via Matt Cutts and several algorithm changes, fresh and unique ideas are pretty much the be all and end all of the digital marketing sector. It’s probably a good idea for Microsoft, and surely Brad Smith, to take a new strategy on board regarding search engine tactics. The prime objective should be to evolve in a unique manner, something which Microsoft enjoyed with Windows for so very long”.