Ever since the whole Youtube for WP8 controversy started, I was surprised to see that so many people were shocked that Google would respond in such a way to Microsoft. From a WP8 users point of view I’m sure it was seen as a not very nice thing to do by Google, but I certainly wouldn’t say that “Google started it”.
The latest attacks from Google against Microsoft, were actually retaliations against previous attacks Microsoft was doing against Google and Android. Has everyone forgotten how Microsoft coerced every Android OEM using nothing but the exact same tactics that every patent troll out there is using – tactics such as threatening to sue if they don’t pay up, and enlisting the small players first, to build a “list of infringers”, that then they could show to bigger ones, to make it easier to convince them to pay up, too, because “look how many have already paid up”.
I’m also almost certain they only convinced Samsung through a deal that is at the very least breaking even for Samsung. By that I mean Samsung isn’t losing any money from paying Microsoft for their entire list of bogus patents. I’m sure Microsoft offered them some discounts on Windows 8 licenses or something along those lines. So Samsung had nothing to lose, and may have even liked that deal if it meant Microsoft didn’t have to make a deal with the other OEM’s, which would then be forced to pay, too, putting Samsung at an advantage compared to the others.
Why would Microsoft do that? Because if they did that, they may not be able to make money from Samsung, but once they got Samsung, they knew everyone would just fall in line – which is exactly what happened. Other OEM’s were much quicker to accept paying Microsoft after Samsung agreed to pay, because they thought to themselves that if Samsung paid up, then it must be because they were scared of Microsoft’s patents or something.
But think about that for a moment. Why would Samsung be afraid of Microsoft’s patents when it comes to the mobile market? I mean, Samsung could shamelessly copy Apple’s user interface, with Apple being a company that is much more relevant to the current touchscreen smartphone market than Microsoft. Samsung even lost a lawsuit with Apple, and they were still making stuff like S-voice that are almost identical to Apple’s Siri, visually. Yet somehow they are just terrified of Microsoft?
That seems very unlikely, which makes it that more likely it was just a political decision, and they decided to take Microsoft’s deal, because they weren’t losing anything, other than being put on Microsoft’s “list”.
Google didn’t like that Microsoft was doing this to all Android OEM’s, and making all Android devices using an open source OS, more expensive for all consumers. So they wanted to retaliate, and become much more aggressive against Microsoft, which is part of the reason why they bought Motorola.
However, this is just about the patents side of the war with Microsoft. Microsoft has done many things, that one could consider “dirty”, against Microsoft. They’ve tried to get them investigated for anti-trust, either themselves directly, or through front groups such as FairSearch.org, and they’ve even tried to make Google look bad in the press and in consumers’ eyes with negative campaigns against Google such as Scroogle, Gmail Man, #DroidRage, and many others, that most in the public have no clue about.
So after all of this, people still wonder why Google didn’t want to build a native Youtube app for WP8 (which still has under 4 percent market share globally), or why Google didn’t let Microsoft break its ToS and use their private API’s illegitimately? What would you have done if Microsoft was doing all of that to you? Would you still try to play nice with them, while they throw dirt at you and try to destroy your mobile ecosystem (not even by competing, but through legal means and through bogus patent rent seeking)?
With the new Rockstar lawsuit (from an actual patent troll shell company acting as a front for Microsoft and Apple, so they don’t get involved directly in the lawsuit themselves and “taint” their image), I wouldn’t expect Google to play any nicer with Microsoft in the future, either.