August, 2013

  • Standing together for greater transparency

    Posted by Brad Smith
    General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart.  But today our two companies stand together.  We both remain concerned with the Government’s continued unwillingness to permit us to publish sufficient data relating to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders. 

    Each of our companies filed suit in June to address this issue.  We believe we have a clear right under the U.S. Constitution to share more information with the public.  The purpose of our litigation is to uphold this right so that we can disclose additional data. 

    On six occasions in recent weeks we agreed with the Department of Justice to extend the Government’s deadline to reply to these lawsuits.  We hoped that these discussions would lead to an agreement acceptable to all.  While we appreciate the good faith and earnest efforts by the capable Government lawyers with whom we negotiated, we are disappointed that these negotiations ended in failure.

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  • Upholding legal and ethical standards

    Posted by John Frank
    Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    Today the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is cooperating with the U.S. government to investigate allegations that Microsoft employees and business partners may have engaged in illegal activity in Pakistan and Russia.

    As previously stated, we take every allegation seriously, and we cooperate fully in any government inquiries. Like other large companies with operations around the world, we sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners, and we investigate them fully, regardless of the source. We also invest heavily in proactive training, monitoring and audits to ensure our business operations around the world meet the highest legal and ethical standards.

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  • The limits of Google’s openness

    Posted by David Howard
    Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust, Microsoft

    You may be wondering what happened to the YouTube app for Windows Phone. Last May, after we launched a much improved app on our platform, Google objected on a number of grounds. We took our app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. This week, after we addressed each of Google’s points, we re-launched the app, only to have Google technically block it.

    We know that this has been frustrating, to say the least, for our customers. We have always had one goal: to provide our users a YouTube experience on Windows Phone that’s on par with the YouTube experience available to Android and iPhone users. Google’s objections to our app are not only inconsistent with Google’s own commitment of openness, but also involve requirements for a Windows Phone app that it doesn’t impose on its own platform or Apple’s (both of which use Google as the default search engine, of course).

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  • Director Video Series: John W. Thompson shares insights and experiences as Microsoft director

    Posted by John Seethoff
    Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    John W. Thompson recently sat down with Microsoft’s Channel 9 to share insights on his experience as a member of Microsoft’s board of directors as part of our Director Video Series.

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