Tech giants mobilise for war

By Pat Pilcher

With hints from the old IBM versus Microsoft days, a quiet but very real war has been brewing for some time between Microsoft and Google - and it is starting to get noisier as Microsoft encroaches into Android's mobile space with Windows Phone.

Google kicked things off by saying that they wouldn't code any apps for Windows Phone or Microsoft's newly minted desktop OS, Windows 8. This campaign appears to have stepped up as Google seem to have blocked smartphones powered b y Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and 8 OS from accessing maps.google.com.

Microsoft's VP & Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner highlighted the Google versus Microsoft issue by crafting a blog post that complained about YouTube's (a Google subsidiary) lack of support for Windows Phone OS. Heiner argues that although Microsoft has crafted its own YouTube app, Google prevented Microsoft from making the features available to Windows Phone devices, even though the same features are already available on iOS and Android devices.

Windows phone users who fire up their phone browser to access maps.google.com are automatically redirected to the Google search page. This is a brave move for the search engine giant (who reportedly owns an estimated 67% of the lucrative US online search market) as the US federal trade commission (FTC) investigates their business practices amidst accusations that the company is using its market muscle to stifle competition.

Ironically the anti-trust investigation of Google is said to be the most thorough since the FTC investigated of Microsoft in the late 1990s.

A expected feature of the antitrust investigation is likely to involve competitors such as Microsoft arguing that Google uses its search engine to favour its offerings like Google maps over the products, services and ecosystems of competitors.

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