Google has started rolling out the latest update to its Chrome browser which brings the ‘do not track’ option to users. With this move Google has joined major browsers who support this standard. Just like other browsers Google allows users to enable it.
Only Microsoft is the player which makes DNT default in it’s Internet Explorer. This move by Microsoft has met with strong opposition from the advertisement industry and even from its own partner Yahoo! Is Microsoft concerned about user’s choices and privacy? Not really. The fact being Microsoft’s own online advertisement business has failed. Microsoft’s expensive acquisition of aQuantive for $6.3 billion in 2007 to put it in position to compete with Google did not bear any fruit. The company continues to make losses.
As CNN reports, “The software giant has never made money on its online services division, and it has lost roughly $10.4 billion since Microsoft began breaking out the unit’s finances five years ago.”
To add insult to injury Google, which was a pioneer of online advertisement and acquired DoubleClick for half the price of aQuantive almost doubled its revenues after the acquisition. So having failed to compete with Google, Microsoft is seemingly resorting what it does best – using its dominance to eliminate the competition. By making DNT default Microsoft is supposedly attacking Google through its own browser.
“… they will be preventing Google from generating as much ad revenue from IE10 users, as Google can not personalize ads with behavioral targeting for these users, which is key in coercing users to click on the ads.”
If Microsoft really cared about it’s users the first thing it would have done is offered browser choices and making it extremely easy to change search engines. The company is already facing trouble in Europe for not adhering to its promise of browser choices.
Mozilla is already suffering loses due to Microsoft’s failure to include the browser choice screen. Mozilla vice president of business affairs and general counsel Harvey Anderson said that for more than a year and a half, Mozilla has lost between 6-9 million downloads in total in Europe.
The US advertisement industry has stated clearly that they will not honor the IE browser’s DNT settings thus making it useless.
It’s still the same Microsoft – just doesn’t know what the healthy competition means.