Microsoft Less Evil Than Google: Official

Google did not make the cut for most ethical software company, but Microsoft did. What’s up with that, asks Clint Boulton

Business ethics think tank Ethisphere has declared its list of top 110 most ethical companies, which “demonstrate real and sustained ethical leadership within their industries, putting into real business practice the Institute’s credo of “Good. Smart. Business. Profit.”

Over 3,000 businesses of all types were urged to apply. A methodology committee of “leading attorneys, professors, government officials and organisation leaders,” concocted the list, which took into account history of regulatory infractions, sustainable business practices, and peer nominations.

Guess what? For the software maker category, Google isn’t on it. As you can see the brief list, Microsoft is, which has the blogosphere hopping.

Why? Because we in the media like cruel twists and delicious ironies, and it’s twisty and ironic that Google of “Don’t Be Evil” fame didn’t make the list but convicted monopolist Microsoft did. Silicon Alley Insider explains why Microsoft made the cut.

Google anticompetitive

See the irony? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that Google is viewed as anticompetitive by other businesses in the broader search market.

Dropping smaller rivals in search results is the claim, which is possibly illegal and certainly unethical if true; regulators in the US and Europe are taking Google to task for this.

Regulatory infractions, corporate philanthropy and peer review are also part of the mix. Google is darn good on the first two, probably not so good on the third if you ask businesses fighting to improve their page rank.

All about the apps

I don’t care what these companies do to each other or what they think of each other. If companies provide me with web services I value and articulate our data consumption relationship – in the sense that Google, Facebook or whomever save my data in exchange for a free service – we’re quite simpatico.

I don’t care that Google steals Microsoft employees, or that Facebook steals Google and Microsoft employees. Just give me the apps and other tools I need to flit around the Internet like a rock star and we’re just fine.

Violate my privacy (and that of others) and prepare to face the class-action lawsuit (Google Buzz, Facebook Beacon, anyone?)

Respect our data relationship or charge me fair prices for subscriptions and I don’t care what you do.