Microsoft Attacks Google's Android - At The European Commission

Android is under attack from Microsoft. Not by the production of a super-hot Windows Phone or tablet, rather by accusations being made at the European Commission claiming unfair business practices. Allegations which don't stand up to even superficial scrutiny.

Microsoft has assembled a group of closely aligned Microsoft partners (Nokia, Expedia for example) and anti-Android litigators (Oracle) to petition the EU regarding Google's unfair competitive practices. To whit bundling its Android applications into a take it or leave it, all or nothing bundle for OEMs to apply to their devices.

The group, called Fairsearch, claims that Android's dominant position in the smartphone marketplace is being abused by Google to bolster their leading position in the search market.

Which is plainly nonsense. If anything Google's dominant position in the search market is driving the success of Android.

Irrespective of how the Fairsearch group paint it, even if Android were to enjoy 100% dominance in the market there is plenty of room for competition. Android is free to all comers, can be modified as desired and parts added and removed at will. Witness the Kindle Fire, Android based but without a hint of Google-ness about it.

Are there any parts of Google's portfolio that aren't available to OEMs as either standalone products or as part of competing suites? I don't think so. Nokia and Microsoft could easily take the Android platform and develop a phone running on it, package its own app store, Bing Search and Maps, Hotmail and Skype messaging and create a Microsoft 'Android' phone. Probably turn out to be an awful lot better than most Windows Phones to tell the truth.

Witness Apple's farce with Google products. Having ditched Google Maps for their own product, they were practically forced to beg for Google to launch a standalone version of Maps. Net result? Google Maps became the most popular app in the iTunes App Store. Similar stories are true of Chrome and Gmail apps. The lesson? People use Google products because they are the best of breed, not through any compulsion.

Fairsearch will get its day in court, but anything then a straight dismissal of the suit will amount to a complete travesty.


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