Posted by Brad SmithSenior Vice President & General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft is filing a formal complaint with the European Commission as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law. We thought it important to be transparent and provide some information on what we’re doing and why.
At the outset, we should be among the first to compliment Google for its genuine innovations, of which there have been many over the past decade. As the only viable search competitor to Google in the U.S. and much of Europe, we respect their engineering prowess and competitive drive. Google has done much to advance its laudable mission to “organize the world’s information,” but we’re concerned by a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative.
We’ve therefore decided to join a large and growing number of companies registering their concerns about the European search market. By the European Commission’s own reckoning, Google has about 95 percent of the search market in Europe. This contrasts with the United States, where Microsoft serves about a quarter of Americans’ search needs either directly through Bing or through our partnership with Yahoo!.
Posted by Dave HeinerVice President & Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group, Microsoft
Earlier today, Microsoft filed a formal competition law complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Motorola Mobility and Google. We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products. Their offense? These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards.
You probably take for granted that you can view videos on your smartphone, tablet, PC, or DVD/Blu-ray player and connect to the Internet without being tied to a cable. That works because the industry came together years ago to define common technical standards that every firm can use to build compatible products for video and Wi-Fi. Motorola and all the other firms that contributed to these standards also made a promise to one another: that if they had any patents essential to the standards, they would make their patents available on fair and reasonable terms, and would not use them to block competitors from shipping their products.
Motorola has broken its promise. Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn’t seem to be willing to change course.
Posted by Horacio GutierrezCorporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
As many of you may have seen, Microsoft filed an action today in the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones. We have released a press statement about our suit, but I thought I would provide a bit more context here around the innovations infringed by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones and how our suit fits into ongoing developments in the smartphone space.
As we all know, smartphones have become an integral part of people’s daily lives and are used for a variety of tasks beyond making phone calls; from watching video and listening to music to staying in touch with family and friends. The Microsoft innovations at issue in this case help make smartphones “smart.” Indeed, our patents relate to key features that users have come to expect from every smartphone. The ability to send and receive email on-the-go has driven smartphone adoption. Nowadays, everyone expects to receive e-mail from multiple services in real time, to read it on their phones, and to reply or send new messages out – in continuous and seamless synchronization with their email services. Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync, a proprietary technology that we developed, makes this possible.
But people manage more than email from their devices, they manage their lives. Users can not only send and receive email from smartphones; they can also manage their calendars. Their phones will remind them of appointments and allow them to schedule new ones. Similarly, users maintain lists of contacts on their phones, so that they can easily stay connected – by phone, text message, or email – to the people they interact with most. Again, our technology enables people to see their calendar and email contacts on their phone, and to manage their calendar and contacts from whatever device they are using.
People use smartphones for much more as well: they surf the web, play music and videos, and run apps. Consumers expect more and more from their smartphones every day, making their phones resemble not so much a phone as a handheld computer. Of course, for certain apps to run efficiently on handheld devices, they must be notified of changes in signal strength and battery power and the device must manage memory for storing data. Given the wide range of functionality smartphones offer, they also need to be able to display relevant choices for users efficiently. Microsoft’s patented technologies tackle all of these challenges.
Posted by Brendon LynchChief Privacy Officer, Microsoft
With Windows 8’s recent release to manufacturing, we know many people are interested in how customers will discover Do Not Track (DNT) in Internet Explorer 10. DNT will be enabled in the "Express Settings" portion of the Windows 8 set-up experience. There, customers will also be given a "Customize" option, allowing them to easily switch DNT "off" if they'd like.
This approach is consistent with Microsoft's goal of designing and configuring IE features to better protect user privacy, while also affording customers control of those features. It also underscores that the privacy of our customers is a top priority for Microsoft.
Posted by David HowardCorporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel
Last Friday afternoon, I learned that a batch of court documents had been unsealed and had revealed one particularly striking development: the United States Department of Justice had rejected Google’s claim that Google Apps for Government, Google’s cloud-based suite for government customers, has been certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Given the number of times that Google has touted this claim, this was no small development.
How did this all come about? Last year, the Department of the Interior selected Microsoft offerings for its new cloud-based email system. In October, Google responded by suing the Government. As a result, the work of engineers and IT professionals was replaced, at least temporarily, by filings by lawyers. This meant significant delay for the Department of the Interior, which was trying to save millions of dollars and upgrade the email services for its 88,000 employees. Google announced its lawsuit with a proclamation of support for “open competition.” It then touted the security benefits of Google Apps for Government. Google filed a motion for a preliminary injunction telling the court three times in a single document (see pages 18, 29, & 37), that Google Apps for Government is certified under FISMA.
Google has repeated this statement in many other places as well. Indeed, for several months and as recently as this morning, Google’s website states, “Google Apps for Government – now with FISMA certification.” And as if that’s not sufficient, Google goes farther on another webpage and states "Google Apps for Government is certified and accredited under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)."