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Report: Microsoft Holds 'Screw Google' Meetings

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 29 comments
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Microsoft has dismissed reports that it holds "screw Google" meetings once a week in Washington.

Microsoft has denied that the company holds meetings where the company develops strategies to undermine search giant Google. The denial follows a report by Daily Finance that said, "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...the effort is designed make Google look like the big high-tech bad guy here."

Daily finance went on to say that these meetings are known by some insiders as "screw Google" meetings.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity to avoid retribution, Daily Finance reports that the meetings occur once a week, are led by Fred Humphries, Microsoft's chief lobbyist in D.C., and include several people who work for Law Media Group.

"Law Media Group has several people who work full-time on Google-bashing," the source told Daily Finance. "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."

Ginny Terzano, Microsoft's Washington spokesperson, called the report absurd.

"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."

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    megamanx00 , August 31, 2009 8:13 PM
    Yeah, because poor little Microsoft is such an underdog against the dominant Google. Oh wait...............
  • 18 Hide
    hellwig , August 31, 2009 8:28 PM
    "Fred Humphries, Microsoft's chief lobbyist in D.C. .... Fred is focused on advancing policies that benefit our partners and consumers"

    Corporate lobbyists should be illegal. Government should be
    "by the people, for the people", but coporate interests are running rampant in this country. It doesn't matter what Fred is doing, by the very nature of his job, he is anti-democratic. Every day he shows up to work is "screw the tax-paying, law abiding citizen day"
  • 13 Hide
    NuclearShadow , August 31, 2009 8:59 PM
    The screw Google meetings are 100% true which I can confirm as I attended one. We chanted anti-Google slogans and then hired a voodoo priest to preform rituals to curse Google. We then stabbed the voodoo dolls with the appearance of the Google founders with needles and set them on fire.

    For a lunch break we ordered Chinese and to find the nearest one that delivers we Googled it.
Other Comments
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  • 10 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , August 31, 2009 8:11 PM
    Quote:
    Microsoft has denied that the company holds meetings where the company develops strategies to undermine search giant Google.


    Liars. Executing strategies to undermine search giant Google is what M$ have tried multiple times in the last 6 months. They've tried with cash incentive, changed name of their search brand, heavily invested in "movie" and image search and declared their own brand of online Office service for free. Combined with their new efforts in Windows Mobile, they are actively engaging market wars against Google on almost every front except YouTube. They just made a strategic alliance with Amazon and Yahoo. If they said no such meeting has ever been held, that's a lie, and they are lying.

    BTW, when will they restart selling M$ Word?
  • 23 Hide
    megamanx00 , August 31, 2009 8:13 PM
    Yeah, because poor little Microsoft is such an underdog against the dominant Google. Oh wait...............
  • -3 Hide
    tsiberious , August 31, 2009 8:23 PM
    I thought there were anti-competitive laws in place to prevent companies from purposefully interfering with other companies.
    yeah yeah, i know, there Microsoft and they can get away with anything, but this is a little too out in the open.
  • -4 Hide
    bfstev , August 31, 2009 8:24 PM
    I cant comprehend why a D.C. lobbyist would be heading these meetings. He has nothing to do with corporate strategy of that sort. Thats the big hole I see in this story.
    Other than that of course it will come up durring strategy sessions of how to deal with competitors. Google probably does the same, as does every other company. That doesn't mean its a weekly meeting aimed at 1 entity. Thats stupid and an absurd waist of corporate resources. Guess Daily Finance aint got shit else to do.
  • 18 Hide
    hellwig , August 31, 2009 8:28 PM
    "Fred Humphries, Microsoft's chief lobbyist in D.C. .... Fred is focused on advancing policies that benefit our partners and consumers"

    Corporate lobbyists should be illegal. Government should be
    "by the people, for the people", but coporate interests are running rampant in this country. It doesn't matter what Fred is doing, by the very nature of his job, he is anti-democratic. Every day he shows up to work is "screw the tax-paying, law abiding citizen day"
  • 0 Hide
    kelfen , August 31, 2009 8:30 PM
    and this is what benifits the consumer ;P
  • 3 Hide
    griffed88 , August 31, 2009 8:37 PM
    I agree with hellwig, corporate lobbyists should be illegal. Along with career politicians. There are absolutely zero altruistic politicians. zero.
  • 1 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , August 31, 2009 8:49 PM
    Lobbyist? They are OK IMHO. I know I'll get maligned for saying this, but if you are open minded enough to read the following, I'd be gracious.

    Lobbyist existed to be publicists hired by special interest groups. Not all special interest groups are bad. There are telecommunications, electric, railway, aviation and agricultural business that can't function without dealing with government on the daily basis. They represent interest to a large chunk of population, not just business owners, shareholders and CEOs, but also people who work in industries.

    Labors Unions also hire lobbyists, although they might not use the name. There are also other kinds of special interest groups who rather label themselves as "activists" such as those for global warming prevention or wild life preservation. They, too, hire publicists to advance their agenda in Washington DC.

    Lobbyist are highly regulated by US law. You have to register, and made public of who you are representing and how much is spent on what. Contrary to some other "activist" groups under US tax code 527, lobbying is actually less corrupt and more open.

    In a democracy, you are allowed to stand up and defend your own interests. Politicians chose their career to grab power by the means through government positions. They are not naturally bound to serve you, and, in most case, will glad to screw you through tax and social-justice agenda. Lobbyists are not the problem. The problem is power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • -4 Hide
    particleman , August 31, 2009 8:52 PM
    That's Capitalism at work......and if you don't like it...you're a commusocialretardist!!!! LOL and this surprises anyone?

    -PM
  • -5 Hide
    fuser , August 31, 2009 8:53 PM
    I don't doubt this is true, but ...

    "Microsoft is trying to harm Google in the regulatory, legal, and litigation arenas because they're having problems with Google in the competitive marketplace"

    Where is MS having trouble with Google other than search? The Chrome browser is no threat to IE. The Chrome OS isn't out yet, so it's certainly no threat to Microsoft's OS dominance. Google's Android is off to a miserable start. Google docs are only a threat to MS Office on the very low end of the market.
  • 13 Hide
    NuclearShadow , August 31, 2009 8:59 PM
    The screw Google meetings are 100% true which I can confirm as I attended one. We chanted anti-Google slogans and then hired a voodoo priest to preform rituals to curse Google. We then stabbed the voodoo dolls with the appearance of the Google founders with needles and set them on fire.

    For a lunch break we ordered Chinese and to find the nearest one that delivers we Googled it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 31, 2009 9:03 PM
    When a company like Microsoft completely abandons making better products in the face of competition and instead has a lobbyist trying to squash the competition when does this not become illegal tampering in a companies ability to succeed in the market.

    Essentially the free market is only free to those who can pay. Its a true flaw in economics of large businesses it takes a really large mistake for a large company to go under since they got friends and mergers to make them only larger and they throw money at everything while making nothing better.

    Everyone should just start using Ubuntu and open office. I would not even say that if it wasnt for how much better these two have gotten over the past year. They are finally easy to recommend replacements and well worth it to just about anyone.
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , August 31, 2009 9:22 PM
    MS needs to produce more, and try to control the market way less.
    Google has the casual friday when people work whatever they want to, and they get to lead the new projects coming from there, and this is soooo good in so many levels, intellectual gratification, career advancement, reward for creativity, reward for your special skills, gold reward (50% of google's income was said to be from 20% of their man-hours during casual friday).
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 31, 2009 9:40 PM
    They should screw Google by buying On2
  • 0 Hide
    fuser , August 31, 2009 9:46 PM
    "For a lunch break we ordered Chinese and to find the nearest one that delivers we Googled it."

    Funny post. But Bing is much better for local business searches.
  • 2 Hide
    fuser , August 31, 2009 9:48 PM
    It's not like this sort of behavior is new or unique. Sun and Oracle have been holding "screw Microsoft" meetings for well over a decade. Opera, Mozilla, Google and others spend large sums of money to convince the EU commission to fine Microsoft.
  • -1 Hide
    rooket , August 31, 2009 10:19 PM
    I still don't get why Microsoft has to be so adimate about having a search engine. I mean, we don't see Apple search unless I am mistaken. Microsoft already makes enough money. I refuse to use bing because Google caught my attention first. Plus before google, I was using altavista primarily as I recall.

    But yeah I can see where Microsoft might feel threatened by google apps but they don't really seem to make much noise over Sun's applications. Maybe all these news articles about bing vs google are just a bunch of media fluff and a waste of time.
  • -1 Hide
    jerreece , August 31, 2009 10:37 PM
    LOL Why doesn't Microsoft just stop trying to re-invent the search engine over and over?

    And realistically, even if the internal verbiage for the meeting is called "screw Google" who gives a crap? It's one business trying to compete with another. It's one team against another team.
  • -2 Hide
    dingumf , September 1, 2009 2:00 AM
    I'll laugh not l.o.l if Google soon becomes a bigger, better company than Apple like making Google laptops with its Chrome OS.
  • 0 Hide
    rcmaniac25 , September 1, 2009 2:10 AM
    If you read the linked article it says Google does the same to Microsoft.
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