Microsoft CEO Nadella Blames Google For Unfair Practices Which Made It The Best Search Engine

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Monday that due to Google’s use of unfair practices, its dominance as a search engine has increased, impacting his company’s rival program, Bing.

Nadella testified in a packed courtroom in Washington, D.C. as part of the government’s historic antitrust case against Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The Justice Department alleges that Google has misused its dominance in its all-encompassing search engine to stifle competition and innovation, similar to the way Microsoft faced accusations in the late 1990s.

Nadella argued that Google’s dominance was a result of deals that made it the default browser on smartphones and computers. He dismissed the idea that artificial intelligence or more specialized search engines like Amazon or social media sites had significantly changed the market in which Microsoft competes with Google.

He said, “We’re an option, but we’re not the default.”

Google’s lead counsel, John Schmidtlein, questioned Nadella about examples where users switched to Google from Bing even when Microsoft’s search engine was the default on their devices, suggesting that Microsoft’s missteps with Bing prevented it from competing with Google.

In a somewhat lamenting tone, Nadella claimed that Bing had made strides in adopting artificial intelligence but conceded, “It’s interesting to download from the app store but not… something you write home about.”

Nadella was called as a witness because, in the past quarter-century, the biggest American antitrust case before Judge Amit Mehta had lasted until the fourth week of testimony. It is unlikely that a decision in the case will be reached for at least another year.

The antitrust case against Google focuses on deals the company made with device manufacturers, including Apple and other device makers, to feature Google’s search engine as the default option. Similar accusations were leveled against Microsoft in the 1990s when it bundled its Windows software in a way that effectively shut down applications made by other tech companies, much like Google is accused of locking down its search engine by spending billions every year to ensure its dominance.

In a bittersweet twist, the hurdles and setbacks arising from the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s helped propel Google into a major player in the search engine market, until Microsoft began its struggle to develop its own search engine. By that time, Google had become the go-to option for finding things online via smartphones and web browsers.

Despite Microsoft’s subsequent success under Nadella’s leadership in personal and cloud computing, its efforts in search have not made significant headway against Google, with Bing still trailing as the second-place option in the market.

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