Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs

The past year saw Microsoft involved in a number of important legal and policy issues across the globe, including intellectual property, competition, Internet security, child safety on the Web and the tragic events in Haiti.

I’d like to take you on a tour of the 10 blog posts that attracted the highest readership during 2010:

Microsoft Sues Motorola over Android Patent Infringements: Patent integrity is central to a technology company’s ability to innovate. In October, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez blogged about a patent-infringement lawsuit Microsoft filed against mobile phone maker Motorola Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Motorola’s Android-powered smartphones infringed on nine Microsoft patents related to features such as synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts; scheduling meetings and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

The Need for Global Collective Defense on the Internet: Maintaining security of IT systems while at the same time protecting data privacy is a delicate balancing act. This is a topic that provokes a great deal of passion from both security and privacy advocates. This blog post by Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney elicited more than 100 reader comments.

Competition Authorities and Search: Google Inc.’s dominant position in search and search advertising has brought the company under increasing antitrust scrutiny both in the U.S. and in Europe. In some instances, Google responded by pointing the finger at its competitors in the search industry – namely, Microsoft. In this installment of the Microsoft on the Issues Blog, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner examines whether Google has actually responded to antitrust regulators’ concerns.

Microsoft Works with Demi and Ashton in New Initiative to Protect Children: In late September, Microsoft teamed up with Hollywood celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. This was just one of the ways that Microsoft helped combat crimes against children. For example, in December, we donated Microsoft’s PhotoDNA technology to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help disrupt the spread of online child pornography.

Google-Yahoo Redux: Why Deal in Japan is Worse than Attempted 2008 Deal: In late 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice determined a proposed deal between Google and Yahoo was illegal under current antitrust laws. A few years later, a deal was in the works whereby Google would take over natural search results in Japan. In this July blog post, Dave Heiner writes that a deal between Google (which controlled 51 percent of paid search in Japan) and Yahoo (which controlled 47 percent of paid search in Japan) would all but eliminate competition in the search market there.

Cracking Down on Botnets: Some worry that the proliferation of botnets has rendered the security problems they represent unsolvable, but Microsoft doesn’t accept botnets as a fact of life. In this blog post, which features a four-minute video with T.J. Campana of Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, Associate General Counsel Tim Cranton outlines the lengths to which Microsoft is willing to go to stop botnets in their tracks.

Economics of the Cloud: Rolf Harms and Michael Yamartino of Microsoft’s Corporate Strategy Group explore economies of scale and the benefits associated with cloud computing in this November blog post.

Supporting Relief Efforts in Haiti: A brief blog post regarding Microsoft’s efforts to help victims of the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010.

The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It: In this February installment of the Microsoft on the Issues Blog, Dave Heiner blogs about Microsoft’s efforts to comply with the European Commission’s requirements regarding browser choice.

Online Privacy & Balance – Our Perspective: In early December, Peter Cullen, Chief Privacy Strategist at Microsoft, provided readers with context regarding new features the company intends to roll out in Internet Explorer 9 designed to protect users’ privacy. One of the new privacy features gives consumers more control over the amount of data they share with websites.

Microsoft is a global technology player, and, as such, will continue to play a pivotal role in policy issues around the world as it carries out its mission of making peoples’ lives easier through the adoption of technology. Stay tuned to the Microsoft on the Issues Blog to see where the evolving Microsoft story goes next.