I love Google Maps. Like Google Search. Use Gmail.
But, increasingly, I’ve grown nervous about the vast scope Google has over the Internet. Users have virtually no place on the world wide web, no safe haven, no single moment, from Google’s reach.
They are a for-profit megacorp that holds more information about me, my family, and you and your family than any government — and they sell that information, every second of every day to the highest bidder.
They have typically between 75%-99% of the search market in countries around the world and doctor results to put selected results, typically the ones that most directly benefit Google, up at the top. While spending millions and millions of dollars lobbying governments around the world to shield them from monopoly laws, content and publishing laws, privacy laws, no-track regulations and more.
I am disgusted by Google and the way they seek to equalize all content. All content is not equal, this is a intellectual fallacy. Or, possibly, an anti-intellectual one. Google compounds this by taking all content they can access, and scrapes what they can’t, and then wraps their ads around it — to make money off everyone else’s content. Don’t like it? Just have Google bypass you. Of course, screen scraping proves they won’t bypass you if they really want your content. If they don’t want it — meaning, can’t make any real money off it — they’re more than happy to use their monopoly power to make you invisible. Sort of like if the government didn’t like what you’ve been saying about them and decides not to give your business a postal address.
I also have come to dislike much of Google because they very quickly went from big company that sells my personal information to strangers, which makes me nervous, to a company that innovates at nothing yet spends *billions* of dollars from one business to enter new markets and destroy existing businesses.
- Yelp gets popular? Copy their info, shove Yelp to the bottom of the page and put Google Places and reviews at the top.
- Groupon won’t sell? Spend billions from other businesses to destroy them.
- Twitter and Facebook innovate on search? Take their content, whine when they try and stop you then spend billions to prevent their growth and hopefully destroy them.
- Apple working on a touchscreen smartphone? Spend billions from another business and copy everything you can, down to swipes and apps.
- Need a smartphone operating system with Java. Take Java and use it for your own ends.
- Need a location mapping technology and Skyhook won’t sell? Spend billions from your monopoly profits and strongarm your partners and drive Skyhook out of business.
- Buy up the big travel search sites.
- Claim you are open source but share nothing related to what your business claims to be about — search, and nothing related to how you make your money — advertising
- Claim you are open and standards based but control who gets access to your smartphone operating system
- Like all rich monopolists, they spend millions hiring high priced lobbyists and public relations teams inside the Beltway — for their direct benefit
The list goes on…
But I cover the smartphone wars. What has Google achieved by spending billions and billions of dollars from its old monopoly business into the smartphone business?
Their Android platform has quickly garnered right at 50% of the global market share for all new smartphone sales. In the US, Google Android has a 40% marketshare already. Not bad.
Android, you remember, being the smartphone platform Google purchased, spent billions on, gave away — to destroy others, including those who innovate — and cut deals with giant carriers to ensure a *non neutral* Internet to benefit..the users? Come on. To benefit Google, obviously.
Which begs the question:
If you have a monopoly business and generate monopoly profits and take those monopoly profits to another industry and *gave away* what your competitors (must) charge for, which led you to quickly capture the *dominant* maret share, would you…
…whine like a bitch?
I have worked in the tech sector for over two decades. Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what’s going on. Here is what’s happening:
Android is on fire. More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers. Android and other platforms are competing hard against each other, and that’s yielding cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers.
But Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.
They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Phone 7; and even suingBarnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.
A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a “tax” for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.
This anti-competitive strategy is also escalating the cost of patents way beyond what they’re really worth. The winning $4.5 billion for Nortel’s patent portfolio was nearly five times larger than the pre-auction estimate of $1 billion. Fortunately, the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means — which means these deals are likely to draw regulatory scrutiny, and this patent bubble will pop.
We’re not naive; technology is a tough and ever-changing industry and we work very hard to stay focused on our own business and make better products. But in this instance we thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it.
We’re looking intensely at a number of ways to do that. We’re encouraged that the Department of Justice forced the group I mentioned earlier to license the former Novell patents on fair terms, and that it’s looking into whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel patents for anti-competitive means. We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone.
Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
David Drummond, you are a pussy.
Larry, Sergey, you are pussies.
And I know why you’re such pussies. I know why you have monopoly profits in one business, use them to *destroy* other businesses, dominate the newest business (smartphones) and still whine like little whiny bitches.
Because Larry and Sergey, unlike Ballmer, Jobs, Gates and so many other tech rock stars — who had to fight battles, win wars and hack their way through to a new world — you went from high school to college to PhD to billionaire to multi billionaire.
You are pussies because, no matter how smart you are, which is no smarter than Bill Gates, you believe you have *earned* and *worked* to get to a point where Google is one of the richest companies in the world and you are among the richest people in the world.
Yes, you created the best search engine — for the time. And a method to monetize searches fell into your lap.
And for 20 years your biggest problem is where to put the cubes for the new employees this week.
You have deluded yourself into thinking you have earned a level of success where having billions and billions and being able to use those billions to always get what you want, whether through buying up or destroying is your *right*. Probably why Google hasn’t innovated a single fucking thing in over a decade.
Everything — every single fucking thing — since Bill Clinton has been a copy, a steal, a buy-out — or a take down.
And now, you pussies, you are in a fight with companies that are equally big, probably better run, and have something you don’t: scars, scars from real battles, and you run to the PR teams and the lobbyists and the government and cry: no fair.
Patents bad. We want! Give us!
Tell me, pussies. Which of the Oracle and Microsoft and Apple patents are “bogus”? You say it above. BOGUS PATENTS…Oracle, Apple, Microsoft.
Which ones? Don’t be a pussy. Tell us. Which ones are bogus?
And while you’re at it, tell us which patents are not bogus? Any? Do you believe in intellectual property? Property ownership? Or is it all there for Google’s taking?
While Apple and Microsoft and Nokia and Nortel and Blackberry and IBM and many others were actually *innovating* in smartphones and mobile technologies for over a decade you were busy making monopoly profits in a different market. Now you want into the big global smartphone market. And essentially want *all* the intellectual property of these companies to be effectively voided.
So you can continue to use your monopoly profits in a different business to kill off all the companies — all the innovators — and reap monopoly profits in this new business.
No, wait. Tell you what: release the Google algorithms, release your source code, open up Android — for real, along with Gmail and Maps and Voice Search and everything you’ve built into it. Put the Google advertising code into public escrow.
As a sign of good faith. To show that intellectual property shouldn’t be used “as a weapon”.
And then completely abandon Android. And Google Docs. And Gmail. After all, you claim today that all you want is “to stay focused on our own business and make better products.”
Fair enough. *All* your money comes from ads on PCs. Via search. That’s your business. Not Yelp. Not Groupon. Not Twitter. Not Facebook. Not iPhone and App Market.
Perhaps if you’d stop copying these others you could actually make better products. And perhaps a return to focus will stop you from being such pussies.
Google has a monopoly in search and derives monopoly profits from this business. Earned or not. Google wants to use its monopoly profits to enter and dominate other lines of business. In smartphones, this strategy is working. Already, 50% global market share. 40% in the US. But to get true monopoly share, true monopoly profits, it has to destroy Apple and Microsoft. That will not be easy, maybe not possible.
But, if Google can get the US government to essentially invalidate patent law, or prevent these companies from accessing patent rights, then Google has a chance.
This won’t happen.
Google has not innovated in a decade. But, they’ve been in many fights. Against relatively tiny, unarmed combatants. Now when they have a real fight on their hand, they run to the government.
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Tell it like it is…