IN ITS FIGHT to gain ground as top technology vendor over Google, Microsoft seems to be taking a new approach - swamping its rival with so many URL takedown requests that it has to focus all its resources on managing those rather than building new products like Android and Glass.
According to the latest Google Transparency Report, Microsoft has submitted a whopping 17,142 takedown requests to Google in the past two years, equating to around 165 each week. Since July 2011, the Redmond firm has asked for 13,843,300 URLs to be removed for copyright infringement, meaning Google is faced with dealing with 26,620 URLs that offend Microsoft every day.
Microsoft clearly is feeling more threatened by Google as time goes on, as Google’s handy graph portrays, indicating the steady growth in URLs ripe for removal. In 2011 Microsoft could barely muster the enthusiasm to complain about more than 50,000 URLs per week, with the number reaching a peak in the week of 14 November 2011 with 88,000 URLs sent to Google for banishment.
By 2012, Microsoft put on its best ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ hat and regularly identified more than 100,000 URLs for removal a week, reaching the heady heights of 262,000 pesky URLs during the week of 13 August - must have been the summer lull.
Fast forward to this year, and Microsoft is managing to find 200,000-plus undesirable URLs every week, reaching its all-time high of 372,000 the week of 25 February. No wonder then that Microsoft accidentally asked Google to remove six legitimate links to its own Microsoft.com domain recently, it must be difficult to keep track.
The main offenders according to Microsoft are Freefileforums.com with 243,000 undesired URLs, Thewarezscene.org with 172,000 and Filestube.com with 128,000. Microsoft has even taken on a small army - well, 23 firms - to help in its fight against Google copyright infringement.
Microsoft still has a fair way to go before it catches up with the biggest complainers. Recording bodies the RIAA and BPI, and porn producer Froytal Services, have all identified more URLs for removal than the IT firm. But with a little extra work and commitment, we’re sure Microsoft can hit that number one spot before the year is out. µ