You are here

Microsoft's discrimination business model? Do as they say not as they do.

The Wall Street Journal front page story on: "How Microsoft is learning to love online advertising" is a perfect example of Microsoft's hypocrisy and double standard on net neutrality.

The article highlights how after a slow start Microsoft is rushing into online advertising to catch up with Google. Two quotes from the article sum it up well:

  • "Online advertising has emerged as the foundation stone of a host of new web businesses."
  • "I think everyday its (Microsoft) becoming more of an advertising company than it was the day before."

So?

Microsoft supports net neutrality regulation of all broadband companies regardless of market share when they are convicted monopolists with 90+% share of the operating system and browser markets.

  • They think it's perfectly OK for them to leverage their dominant market share to create a two-sided market (end user sales supplemented with advertising) but they want to make it illegal for broadband companies to pursue a similar two-sided model.
  • In other words, when Microsoft leverages their products and web services with advertising -- it's perfectly fine, but if any broadband company does the same normal business practice, they are "discriminating" illegally.

To add to the hypocrisy of the day, there is another Microsoft story from AP in today's WSJ: "Microsoft will join in free WiFi Effort". The article says that Microsoft, in conjunction with MetroFi, will build a free WiFi service for Portland Oregon, that will be supported by advertising. Advertising-supported broadband is precisely one of the supposed scourges that net neutrality regulation is trying to prevent.

  • It gets even better. this article says:
    • "The system, intended to compete with Google, allows advertisers to single out users based on their browsing habits, and factors like their sex, age and location."
    • This is exactly the kind of business "discrimination" by user based on sex and age -- that Microsoft and their ne neutrality allies have argued should be illegal for broadband -- yet they are doing it unabashedly as a convicted monopolist with no shame.
  • Does anyone at Microsoft corporate headquarters talk to Microsoft's Washington office?
    • This is embarassing.
    • Microsoft doesn't need to change its business approach, it just needs to change its embarassing, indefensible, hypocritical net neutrality policy position.
    • Is their any adult supervision in Redmond or are they too distracted by their EU problems to mind the store at home?
Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths