Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Aug 2011 21:38 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y The Google-Microsoft patent war of words is continuing. Yesterday, Google (rightfully so, in my book) accused Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle partaking in an organised patent attack against Android, instead of competing on merit, claiming that they bought up Novell's and Nortel's patents solely to attack Android and its device makers. Microsoft struck back, claiming Google was offered to join in on the bids for the Novell patents, but rejected the offer. Google has now responded to this accusation - and to make matters even more confusing, Microsoft responded back. A public shouting match between two powerful parties? Count me in!
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Tangent: Consumers are in Control
by seanpk on Fri 5th Aug 2011 00:41 UTC
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Good article Tom, as usual.

Though tangential to the main point, I do think you are mistaken here:
"As a consumer, you should always distrust companies because their interests are diametrically opposed to yours."

While this may indeed be true of companies that rely on Patent, Trademark, Copyright, and other government regulations, to prop up their business instead of competing on merit, this isn't the general rule.
(Actually, even in these cases, no one is forcing you to spend your money with a particular company.)

Take a visit to a local restaurant, dry-cleaners, hardware store, ... and you can experience the power that only the buyer has.
(If you live in a culture where bartering is common, or if you can go somewhere -say flea or farmer's market- where it is, the experience is even more amazing!)

I find best companies, even those who use government to restrict competition (again, through IP laws and regulations), to be those who are most responsive to their customers ... the ones who are most successful in aligning their interests with those of their customers.

OK, that could be the beginning of a long conversation ... lets just leave it as something to think about.

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