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Google CEO Larry Page is either an arch-manipulator of public opinion or one of the least self-aware people in human history.
According to CNET, without a hint of suffering from irony, he told a group of developers that the tech industry hinders progress with negativity and should work together more.
“Every story I read about Google is us versus some other company or some stupid thing. Being negative is not how we make progress. The most important things are not zero sum. There is a lot of opportunity out there,” he said.
So after saying something like that, the very last thing you would expect is for him to go on the attack. The next thing he did is wade into Microsoft for giving its Outlook.com users the ability to log into Google Chat, but didn’t do the reverse, giving Google Chat users access to Outlook users.
He said that he had personally been quite sad at the industry’s behaviour around all these things. Google had an open offer to interoperate forever and Microsoft took advantage of that.
“You can’t have people milking off of just one company for their own benefit,” he moaned.
We would agree with Page a lot more if his company was not always appearing as the bad guy in stories of late. If Microsoft is milking Google, then it would appear that Google is milking the whole world with its dodgy tax policies that prevent its success helping any country it operates in.
Page should not be surprised that other companies are looking at Google and keeping their distance. After all, Apple used to get on famously with Google until that small matter of Android copying its iOS interface.
Page should not be surprised that other companies are treating it with care. The company has been accused by various courts of anticompetitive practices, such as promoting, in search results, its own services, like comparison shopping and travel services, at the expense of competing services.
Microsoft would also feel a bit more friendly had Page not signed off on a demand that Microsoft take down its new YouTube app for Windows Phone. Recently the outfit moaned that Google was doing its best to make sure that Google+ did not play fair with Windows.
While Page might be correct that the industry would benefit from more co-operation and less competition, he has to make sure that the underlings get the memo and stop doing evil to rivals.