Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently spoke to those in attendance at the company’s financial analysts meeting. The executive used some of his time to discuss how Microsoft could generate revenue through consumer services like Google does. "They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with," he said.
When asked how Microsoft could go after Google’s advertising and search dominance, Ballmer said they were the only people in the world trying – referring of course to the Bing search engine. That’s essentially true - at least in the US - as Yahoo signed a deal with Microsoft way back in 2009 that would see Bing power Yahoo Search.
Ballmer had plenty more to say about Bing but first, he wanted to clear the air with regards to Google. He said he believes that Google’s practices are worthy of discussion with competition authority and Microsoft has done just that. Ballmer noted he doesn’t believe their practices are getting less meritorious of discussion.
These bad practices Ballmer mentions have been highlighted in the public eye through various “Scroogled” campaigns although it’s unclear if the ads have had any real impact on the general public’s opinion of Google.
It’s all a bit ironic really to hear Microsoft cry monopoly when not all that long ago (the late 1990s), the US government accused them of anti-trust violations. Everything of course was settled yet here we are 15 years later where a market shift has turned the stakes against Microsoft.