Google's Android a 'Trojan Horse,' Microsoft Says

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft and several other prominent technology firms have filed a complaint with the European Commission against Google. The problem, according to Microsoft: Google is using its Android operating system (OS) like a Trojan horse to take control of the rapidly-expanding mobile market.

At the moment, Android can be found on most tablet computers and smartphones. According to a recent study by Strategy Analytics, roughly 7 in every 10 mobile devices run this highly-adaptable OS.

Microsoft is just one member of the FairSearch coalition, which also includes Nokia and Oracle. In total, FairSearch involves about seventeen different firms.

Google Packing Android Devices with Own Apps

In their recently-filed complaint, FairSearch says that Google is using Android's market dominance to prevent fair competition.

Specifically, FairSearch says that Google crams a number of its own products, including apps like Google Maps and YouTube, in with the Android OS. FairSearch says this "disadvantages other providers, and puts Google's Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today."

Furthermore, FairSearch says the "predatory distribution of Android at below cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments," and effectively compete "with Google's dominant mobile platform." (Source:

FairSearch is making the Trojan horse comparison because it believes that, by cramming its own applications into an Android device, Google is preventing consumers from trying out apps built by other companies, including Microsoft.

'Trojan Horse' Argument Awfully Familiar

It's an argument that's surprisingly similar to those made by smaller web browser firms about Microsoft packaging Internet Explorer with its Windows operating systems. Those complaints eventually resulted in the emergence of a "browser ballot" system in Europe.

FairSearch says it wants the European Commission to prevent Google's manipulation of the mobile market by acting immediately.

"Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google's Android operating system," the coalition says. (Source:

Google is keeping quiet on the matter for the time being, saying only that "we continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission."

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