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Microsoft Withdraws from FairSearch, Does Google a Favor

January 28, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Microsoft is a company that has a rich history in the technology world, and are arguably responsible for the way that we approach software as a society, and without Microsoft Windows we might all end up buying computers from Apple, or figuring out the wonders of Linux. A company like Microsoft goes through a number of leadership changes in its lifetime, and with those changes come with a change of attitude. Since Satya Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer, the company has changed into a more cross-platform firm willing to make its products available to anyone, rather than making services like Office difficult to access outside of the Windows world. Now, it appears like they might be ready to bury the hatchet with Google.

Those that keep up with general technology news will probably remember the Scroogled campaign that Microsoft led against Google to discredit their services like Gmail and products like their Chromebooks. FairSearch has been a coalition of companies and brands campaigning against Google’s search practices since 2010, and last December Microsoft withdrew from the group, potentially giving Google a little breathing room. FairSearch members have become formal complainants in the Antitrust case against Google currently ongoing in the EU, and while this seems great news for Google, it could have its disadvantages as well. For instance, now that Microsoft is no longer part of FairSearch, Google can’t discredit FairSearch’s claims because a big competitor is part of it.

Either way, Microsoft is not acknowledging much in their statement of “we routinely evaluate our participation in industry organizations and decided not to continue our membership in FairSearch” and we’re sure Google is more than happy Microsoft has withdrawn from the group. Microsoft has steadily become more of a services company than a product-driven one, and for those services to succeed they will need to better take care of their users on Android. While perhaps not a favor for Google, this move to no longer do something is perhaps as good as “joining sides” with the Internet giant. Regardless, as these firms like Microsoft, Dropbox and Google seem more willing to work together, consumers like you and I come out the overall winner.