Google accuses Microsoft of using 'naked corporate opportunism' to distract from SolarWinds hack

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What you need to know

  • Google's Kent Walker takes a scathing shot at Microsoft in a post about recent media laws.
  • Walker says that Microsoft is "reverting to their familiar playbook of attacking rivals and lobbying for regulations that benefit their own interests."
  • He also claims that Microsoft's push regarding media laws is a distraction tactic from the SolarWinds attack.

Google and Microsoft have a love-hate relationship. You can mark today in the hate column, as Kent Walker, senior vice president, Global Affairs at Google, penned a scathing blog post about Microsoft on Google's Keyword platform. The post attack's Microsoft's actions regarding recent media laws and claims that Microsoft is trying to distract people from the recent SolarWinds attack.

Walker starts out by highlighting how much Google has supported journalists.

He then shifts to speak about Microsoft directly (emphasis added):

We also believe that this important debate should be about the substance of the issue, and not derailed by naked corporate opportunism … which brings us to Microsoft's sudden interest in this discussion. We respect Microsoft's success and we compete hard with them in cloud computing, search, productivity apps, video conferencing, email and many other areas. Unfortunately, as competition in these areas intensifies, they are reverting to their familiar playbook of attacking rivals and lobbying for regulations that benefit their own interests. They are now making self-serving claims and are even willing to break the way the open web works in an effort to undercut a rival. And their claims about our business and how we work with news publishers are just plain wrong.

Walker also believes that the recent push from Microsoft in this area is a tactic to distract people from the recent SolarWinds attacks:

This latest attack marks a return to Microsoft's longtime practices. And it's no coincidence that Microsoft's newfound interest in attacking us comes on the heels of the SolarWinds attack and at a moment when they've allowed tens of thousands of their customers — including government agencies in the U.S., NATO allies, banks, nonprofits, telecommunications providers, public utilities, police, fire and rescue units, hospitals and, presumably, news organizations — to be actively hacked via major Microsoft vulnerabilities. Microsoft was warned about the vulnerabilities in their system, knew they were being exploited, and are now doing damage control while their customers scramble to pick up the pieces from what has been dubbed the Great Email Robbery. So maybe it's not surprising to see them dusting off the old diversionary Scroogled playbook.

Walker also discusses how Microsoft replaced journalists with AI bots.

It's safe to say that this isn't the last that we'll hear from Google and Microsoft on this topic.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at