The peers are being investigated, why is Microsoft alone?


Editor’s note: This article is from “Artesyn Technologies” Cover Silicon Valley “, author: Deer .36 krypton authorized reprint [Editor’s note] Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are becoming public outrage and government investigation of the goal, they were charged with.There are various ways to abuse power, from using personal information to suppressing competitors, etc. However, there is no such thing as Microsoft in these criticisms, even though it is a more profitable technology company than the above four technology giants. In fact, Microsoft is already at 20I have experienced this kind of survey many years ago and learned a lot from it. Although Microsoft is still huge and has a pivotal position in the cloud computing, video games and search markets, it has always faced fierce competition, but it has notAt the same time, unlike giants such as Facebook and Google, Microsoft does not rely on online advertising and personal data as a whole. Today, Microsoft positions itself as a leading advocate of public policy matters in the technology industry, such asHelp protect consumer privacy and set ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence (AI). Microsoft has got rid of itThe nickname of “Evil Empire” is becoming a model for companies such as Google and Amazon. [Key Points] 1 Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are all (or will be affected) for misconduct such as abuse of market dominance and privacy violations.Antitrust investigations by US regulators, but Microsoft did not become a subject of investigation. 2 Between 1998 and 2002, Microsoft also experienced antitrust lawsuits because Microsoft tied its web browser IE to dominate at the time.The status of the personal computer operating system Windows. After paying a fine to reach a settlement, Microsoft learned from it. 3 Although Microsoft has a pivotal position in the cloud computing, video games and search markets, it also faces fierce competition.It doesn’t have an absolute advantage. In addition, it doesn’t rely on online advertising and personal data collection like Facebook and Google. 4 Microsoft has huge cash reserves to protect itself from any litigation and support its distribution.Dividends, repurchasing stocks and continuing to acquire companies, this is the company’s law with the governmentThe important reason for the continued boom in the war. 5 Microsoft has positioned itself as a leading advocate of public policy matters in the technology industry, such as helping to protect consumer privacy and developing ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence (AI). Microsoft has got rid ofThe nickname of “Evil Empire” is becoming a model for companies such as Google and Amazon. (This article is about 7,000 words, it takes about 10 minutes to read the full text.) The following is the text of the article: Texas Attorney General Ken ParksKen Paxton announced that 50 prosecutors from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have jointly signed an order to conduct antitrust investigations against large US technology companies represented by Google.The technology giant of “Efficient Economic Growth Engine” is increasingly being criticized for misconduct such as abuse of market influence and invasion of privacy. Google faces more accusations, and its web search service has occupied a global dominant position and has even evolved.Become a verb.Google leads consumers to use their own products to crowd out competitors.In addition, there are people who complain that the company has potential anti-competitive behavior in the advertising business.A few weeks before Google admitted to being subject to civil investigations, US Department of Justice officials said they would conduct extensive scrutiny of large technology companies, including search.A few days ago, the Attorney General of more than 30 states announced that they would conduct a major antitrust investigation against Google.In addition, several states led by the Attorney General of New York also focused on investigating Facebook.The social media platform has brought in its rivals Instagram and WhatsApp, and now more than 2 billion users use its products every day.Facebook has been criticized for allowing misleading posts and so-called “false news” to be posted on its services.Previously, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a record-breaking privacy settlement agreement that required Facebook to pay a fine of about $5 billion to end the investigation triggered by Cambridge Analytical Inc.’s abuse of data scandals.In addition to Google and Facebook, the US Department of Justice and the FTC are also investigating Apple and Amazon, and they may also be investigated for anti-competitive behavior.Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and is accused of adopting unfair strategies on third-party sellers on its website.Third-party sellers must pay for advertising in order to compete with Amazon’s proprietary brand sales.Apple has been criticized by developers for allowing users to download iPhone apps from official app stores.The music streaming app Spotify claims that Apple’s app store policy makes it difficult to compete with Apple Music for paying users.These tech giants have become “giant” in one or some areas, controlling almost every aspect of people’s lives, and their influence and power are even far beyond government agencies.In response, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the government must step up regulation of large technology companies whose influence in culture, business and life is becoming more common.Gates said: “Technology companies have become so important that the government has to think about the question: What do they mean for elections? What does it mean for things like finance or drugs, money laundering, etc? So the government needs to get involved.”Gates believes that the technology industry will be subject to more regulation, especially in relation to privacy issues.Why can Microsoft avoid antitrust investigations?At a time when people are so concerned about the huge influence of large technology companies, such politicians as US President Donald Trump and Senator Elizabeth Warren and other prominent Democrats are all on the four companies.The growing influence expressed dissatisfaction.Regulators such as the US Department of Justice and the FTC have gradually opened up anti-monopoly investigations of the entire technology industry.However, Microsoft was excluded from antitrust investigations.Although Microsoft’s influence in the cloud computing software market is growing, investors seem to have no competition concerns.Microsoft is currently the world’s highest listed value ($1.06 trillion), and the stock has risen more than 35% this year.Although technology stock investors mostly disregarded regulation, Alphabet shares rose 7% this year, Amazon and Apple soared more than 25%, and Facebook soared nearly 50%, but in the past few months, due to legal concerns, thisAll four stocks have seen a slight decline.And Microsoft is the only stock in a large technology company that is still trading near its all-time highs. It is also the best performing stock in the Dow.Compared with other technology companies, Microsoft may be less vulnerable to any regulatory or legislative threats from the Trump administration and the US Congress, and unlikely to be threatened by anyone who orders in Washington after the 2020 election.Why is this so?Part of the reason is that Microsoft had experienced antitrust investigations in the 1990s and the first 10 years of this century.Microsoft reached a settlement with regulators in the United States and Europe to pay a large fine to understand the many allegations against it, and Microsoft was forced to change certain business practices.According to the allegations, Microsoft is engaged in monopolistic behavior related to its dominant position in the commercial software market by binding Windows and IE web browsers.But Microsoft avoided the worst case, which was split.In other words, Microsoft has gone through this process and has a solution.In addition, Microsoft has established a huge cash reserve to protect itself from any litigation.Even with a large fine, Microsoft still has $131.6 billion in cash, enough to pay for healthy dividends, buy back shares, and continue to buy companies.This is an important reason why the company continues to thrive while it is engaged in a legal battle with the government.Jefferies analyst Brent Thill pointed out in a report this month that “in the more than 10 years of quarrels with the US Department of Justice, Microsoft’s share price has risen nearly 900%.” ​​Hill pointed out that this is equivalent23% compound annual return.Although Microsoft has been involved in a prolonged legal battle in the past 10 years, competitors such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have become a competitive threat.Therefore, Microsoft may no longer be the target of regulation because the government has more and more updated regulatory targets.Gates said that today’s technology giants have learned the lesson from the mistakes he made in the past.He said, “At the beginning of Microsoft, I had boasted that I didn’t have an office in Washington, DC, but I ended up regretting it because it was a bit like ridiculing Washington, DC. Now, other tech companies value it there.” Gates alsoIn part, thanks to Microsoft’s lesson, many technology companies are now actively involved in regulation.Focusing on cloud computing and getting rich returns Under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s office software suite has cleverly shifted to a cloud-based model and launched for cloud computing hosting.Azure.The company has made a series of sensible acquisitions to make it even bigger in every area of ​​the enterprise software market.For example, Microsoft acquired Skype and LinkedIn.In fact, Microsoft is not a true consumer technology company, which is not a bad thing, because this market is often a field of volatility.Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust, said: “Microsoft has experienced this before. People’s attention will be concentrated on other companies. In addition, because Microsoft focuses on serving corporate customers, other companiesCan focus on mass consumers.” Microsoft is a leader in many markets, but now there are strong competitors in these areas.Microsoft has also avoided regulatory scrutiny because its dominance in many business areas is not as prominent as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google in online retail, music and mobile applications, social networking and search.Microsoft’s Azure faces fierce competition from Amazon AWS and Google Cloud, and faces competition from cloud computing products from rivals Oracle, IBM and SAP.Wade Bush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said in a report this month that “Bezos (Amazon CEO) and AWS will continue to be the emerging cloud computing field in the next few years.The main force.” In the game field, Microsoft had to compete with Sony and Nintendo at the same time.Microsoft’s Skype also has many competitors, including Google’s Hangouts, Apple FaceTime and Facebook’s WhatsApp.Even Microsoft’s new office collaboration tool Teams is in a competitive position in the market and has to compete with the newly listed Slack for market share.Although Microsoft is in a leading position in more markets than in the 1990s, it is difficult to prove that Microsoft is the only dominant force, unlike previous consumers and businesses that were largely dominated by Windows and IE.Hold it like that.That’s why when Trump and the US Congress point their finger at Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google, Microsoft may continue to avoid the concerns of regulators.The splendid turn of the “evil empire” is no stranger to the government’s censorship and public criticism of the software giant, which is valued at more than $1 trillion by investors.The company experienced anti-monopoly investigations that lasted for several years and faced a lengthy public trial that almost led to the spin-off of the company.In the end, Microsoft paid billions of dollars in fines to reach a settlement with the regulator, and learned a lot of lessons in the process.However, Microsoft has been nicknamed the “evil empire” by critics, and has now been forgotten.Today, Microsoft positions itself as a leading advocate of public policy issues in the technology industry, such as protecting consumer privacy rights and developing ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence (AI).Although Microsoft has filed a lawsuit seeking to limit government access to user data, Microsoft is still the government’s most friendly technology giant in the eyes of governments around the world.Casper Klynge, a Danish ambassador for the technology industry in Silicon Valley, said: “Microsoft has its own style. Of course, this is for its own benefit. But Microsoft always works with important issues.The government is actively involved, which we have not seen from other large technology companies.”Market changes and Microsoft’s business evolution over the years have helped explain this shift in Microsoft. Microsoft is not like a consumer goods company compared to its peers. For example, Microsoft’s Bing search engine and professional social networking site.LinkedIn sells ads, but unlike Facebook and Google, the company does not rely on online advertising and personal data as a whole. Although Microsoft is equally large, it is no longer as threatening as the PC era.In the market such as cloud computing (after Amazon) and video games (after Sony), the company has always been in the second position, rather than occupying an absolute dominant position. David Harvard Business School professor David Buffy (David BYoffie) said: “By benefiting from its business model, Microsoft can maintain a more just position on certain social issues.”But Microsoft has also experienced a shift in corporate personality over the years, becoming more outgoing and more actively seeking advice from policy makers, critics and even competitors. This shift was led by Microsoft President Brad Smith.Leading, he is Microsoft’s “outer messenger.” Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Smith’s work has been recognized and his role has been expanded. Nadella became in 2014.The CEO led the company’s recovery. In his new book, Smith suggested that a new relationship needs to be established between the technology industry and the government, and the two sides need to work more closely together to face the challenges they face. He wrote: “WhenYour technology has changed the world, and you have a responsibility to help solve the problems that the world you help creates.The government needs to accelerate its actions and begin to keep up with the pace of technology advancement.In a long interview, Smith talked about the lessons he learned from Microsoft’s past battles and what he believes is the future of technology decisions. He advocates closer cooperation between the technology sector and the government.The new book, Tools and Weapons the Promise and the danger of the Digital Age, echoes. Smith, 60, worked in Microsoft during the antitrust investigation in the 1990s.The company, but he did not participate in Microsoft’s process of making legal countermeasures. Microsoft lost the lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and 20 states, barely avoided the fate of being split, and reached a settlement with the Bush administration in 2001.Smith became Microsoft’s general counsel in 2002, then served as Microsoft’s global mediator, and reached a settlement with the company and the government on follow-up cases. Actively changed the way to deal with the government. From that experience, Smith told today’s young platform company, Google,Facebook and Amazon made a lot of suggestions. He pointed out that the main anti-monopoly confrontation will holdFor a long time. The landmark case in the technical field –AT & T, IBM and Microsoft antitrust litigation, have lasted for decades. Smith said, “Once you’ve been eyeing, it is difficult to get out.”The natural trend facing emerging technology companies is to participate in the battle. Smith said: “They did not compromise to reach the current scale.They are able to go today because they insist on their position.So they tend to think that they are right, and the government is wrong.”This mentality is especially true for very successful and wealthy entrepreneurs. According to Smith, after a fierce confrontation, Microsoft co-founder Gates “recognizes that life actually needs compromise, and the government actually does more than the enterprise.””More powerful.” Gates, who wrote the preface to Smith’s book, recalls that for many years he has been proud of spending less time with government officials. But he later wrote: “I tasted it in antitrust lawsuits.It is not a wise thing to suffer.”At Microsoft, Smith has pushed for a new strategy. Horacio Gutierrez, a former senior attorney at Microsoft and current general counsel at Spotify, said: “We are passively and cautiously with the government.Deal with and change to be proactive in reaching out to the government.”When Smith cleans up Microsoft’s legacy of legal issues, the technology industry is moving fast. PCs are no longer the focus, but instead are smartphones, Internet search, social networking and cloud computing. Stanford Law School Professor Douglas MayA. Douglas Melamed said: “What you see at Microsoft is to acknowledge the reality and react to the changing environment.He said that Microsoft did not become the focus of criticism today, “mainly because the company is no longer dominated in an obvious way as in the past.”Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has embraced cloud computing technology, including providing its lucrative office software business as a cloud computing service. As Nadella changed the company, Smith became more and moreMicrosoft’s Special Envoy for Global Policy Affairs. In 2015, he was appointed President and Chief Legal Officer. Smith’s first job at Microsoft was in Paris, a global technology policy expert. He called for a program called Geneva.The new rules of the Digital Convention protect the public from the dangers of digital warfare, just as the governments of 1949 promised to protect civilians in the event of a war. In 2018, Smith played in the development of the Internet Code of Conduct and the support of all countries.Leading role. The initiative is supported by dozens of countries, hundreds of companies and public interest groups. This year, he did the same for New Zealand Christchurch’s call to curb online terrorism and extremist content.Although these initiatives lack legal force, Smith said they can open a global pair of shaping policies.A terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, an Australian gunman killed 51 people, and the massacre video spread quickly on social media. Then Australia enacted a law: if social networks can’t delete violent videos fast enoughSmith must point out that Australia’s initiatives, as well as similar proposals from the UK, France and Germany, have proved that the wave of technology regulation is coming soon. Even states can formulate policies. For example, Microsoft is supporting Washington State.A legal proposal for face recognition technology. This legislation will require organizations deploying facial recognition to clearly tell people how to use it, and law enforcement agencies cannot use the technology to continuously monitor someone without authorization.Companies with facial recognition software will have to use their code for testing to check for racial and gender biases. If the software’s dataset is too small for women or people of color, this will be a critical weakness.The American Civil Liberties Union opposes Microsoft’s supportThis proposal calls for stricter restrictions on face recognition and prohibits them from recognizing faces until it can be proved to be fair. But the biggest influence on Microsoft’s policy position is Europe, which may not be high-tech innovation.The leader, but the leader of technology policy. Smith is a hardcore fan, he called the European General Data Protection Regulations “Data Magna Carta”. The law came into effect last year, allowing people to apply for access to their own onlineData and limits the way companies access and process information. Smith also said that Europe is “the world’s greatest hope for privacy protection.” In the United States, there are also states with more radical views on privacy issues, such as California, but Washington State.The political stalemate has hampered a nationwide policy. Smith said: “This means that the decision to influence the Americans will be made in Brussels and explained in Berlin because it has the greatest impact in both places.Four lessons learned from Microsoft Many major investors and antitrust experts said that Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google are facing an imminent antitrust investigation. They should learn from the lessons Microsoft has learned in antitrust lawsuits. 1998 to 2002During the year, Microsoft fell into antitrust lawsuits because Microsoft tied its web browser IE to Windows, the dominant PC operating system at the time. Although a settlement was reached in 2002, the subsequent aftermath was in the next 15In the year, the company’s stock has been faltering. Although the lawsuit has not yet been formally filed, the four major US technology giants are becoming new targets for regulators, and they certainly hope to avoid the fate of Microsoft.To do this, they should avoid the four major mistakes Microsoft made: 1. Don’t deny, or even fight against monopoly. One of the mistakes made by Microsoft is to try to defend their business, on the grounds that it actually exists.Competitive.But at the same time, the company’s Windows software accounted for about 90% of the PC operating system market.If the US anti-monopoly law explicitly prohibits monopoly, it is understandable to deny the monopoly.But it doesn’t, it only prohibits certain things from getting, maintaining or expanding monopolies.It is at this point that legal scholars say that Microsoft should defend itself, rather than trying to deny something that is self-evident for everyone.2. Don’t fool yourself If it’s not bad enough to deny monopoly on its image and reputation, then Microsoft makes things worse by trying to make bad news good news.When the company began to send public relations personnel outside the court to assure reporters that Microsoft had an advantage in the court, the company was actually deceiving itself.Such blatant false statements are likely to have the opposite effect.3. Assume that everything will be made public. If there is a record, whether written, audio or video, the company should assume that it will be reviewed by investigators and, in the case of litigation, to lawyers, judges and other members of the public.The testimony video of Microsoft co-founder and CEO Gates caused the laughter of the judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in court, because the video shows that Gates’ definition of “market share” is even “definition”.In itself, there is a debate about avoiding facts and fighting.E-mails within the company were also read aloud, even though many contradicted the statements of witnesses.4. Don’t show arrogance in terms of technology No matter how complex the technology is, big companies shouldn’t think lawyers and judges don’t know enough about it.These are smart enough people. If they don’t know enough about technology and can’t judge the legal value of the case, then they will find someone else to fill the gap and hope that others can explain their technology better than yourself.This may be unwise behavior.Microsoft even tried to explain why this situation has been corrected by tampering with video to see why removing its own web browser from Windows can hinder computing performance.Microsoft conducted several simulations, but the government carefully reviewed the video and found many inconsistencies.In the end, it seems that Microsoft did not fully understand its technology.Looking ahead, Microsoft has been struggling to fight back and become the world’s largest company with a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion.Amazon, Apple and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have all taken the top spot before, and Facebook is not bad.But if they are still the dominant technology companies in the market, they should do their best to work with investigators and be willing to compromise.Of course, if they go to court, they will probably hope to settle as soon as possible, and definitely do not want to repeat the mistakes of Microsoft..