A new week and a new day. But Google seems to be rolling in the same old dirt being dug up by its contemporaries. On Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to the witness stand in Google’s antitrust trial being held in a Washington court. The testimony of Satya Nadella on Google, drew attention to how the Google-Apple search deal, which makes Google the default search engine on all Apple devices, nipped Microsoft Bing’s market share in the bud. 

The US Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the tech giant alleges that Google has beleaguered its dominance of its eponymous search engine, snuffing out competition including Microsoft’s Bing.

Satya Nadella On Google’s Antitrust Trial

Microsoft Corporation has been reigning over as a lead in installed computer operating systems. Yet, the company’s search engine Bing, never made it past an average hit. CEO Satya Nadella testified that Google had harnessed unfair tactics that throttled Bing’s existence.  

Nadella argued that Google’s supremacy stemmed from agreements that designated it as the default browser on smartphones and computers. He played down the notion that artificial intelligence or specialized search engines like Amazon, as well as social media platforms, have significantly altered the landscape in which Microsoft competes with Google.

Satya nadella on Google

(Image Courtesy – Microsoft)

Nadella asserted that users, at their core, don’t have many alternatives when it comes to switching away from default web browsers on cell phones and computers.

“We are one of the alternatives, but not the default. The thought of Microsoft Bing being a real choice for consumers in the search engine market is bogus.”

During the questioning in the antitrust trial against Google, lead litigator John Schmidtlein asked Satya Nadella on Google’s hand behind situations in which users opted for Google over Bing, even when Microsoft’s search engine was set as the default on their devices. The implication was that Microsoft had made errors with Bing that hindered its ability to compete effectively with Google.

Hence, Microsoft was caught in a ‘vicious cycle’ due to Google’s market share of 90 percent – it definitely paved the way for the tech giant to improve the results and earn more revenue, which was reinvested into improving the quality of search results and maintaining the monopolistic nature.

“The distribution advantage Google has today doesn’t go away, in fact, if anything, I worry that – even in spite of my enthusiasm that there is a new angle with AI – this vicious circle that I’m trapped in could even become even more vicious because the defaults get reinforced.”

Google’s Market Share And Bing’s Market Share: Into The Light In Google’s Antitrust Trial

According to Statcounter‘s latest data, the global mobile search engine landscape is dominated by Google. Excluding regional variations, Google’s market share commands an impressive 83.27 percent. 

In contrast, Bing’s market share struggles with a mere 0.46 percent share in this area. When it comes to the desktop, Google reigns supreme, holding a 74.34 percent share, while Bing captures 8.15 percent only.

Shifting our focus to web browsers on desktops, Google Chrome emerges as the undisputed champion, with a formidable 64.31 percent slice of the pie. Safari takes second place with 12.46 percent, followed by Microsoft Edge at 10.64 percent. 

In desktop operating systems, Microsoft’s Windows asserts its dominance with a substantial 68.44 percent market share, while macOS secures 20.14 percent.

Antitrust Trial Against Google Brings Up A Similar Microsoft Lawsuit

Harming competition and innovation in the tech industry at the brunt of not leaving a choice for consumers, had resonated before through an ironic case against Microsoft in the late 1990s. 

During the 1990s, Microsoft faced allegations of configuring its Windows software in a manner that restricted the integration of applications from other tech companies, similar to the current allegations against Google for investing significant sums each year to establish its search engine as the primary choice for online information on smartphones and web browsers.

In an unexpected turn of events, the legal constraints and distractions posed by the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft inadvertently provided a launching pad for Google to establish its search engine as a dominant force. By the time Microsoft began its efforts to develop its own search engine, Google had already become synonymous with online searches.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in endeavors to pose a substantial challenge to Google, introducing Bing and even attempting to acquire Yahoo for over $40 billion, a bid that was rejected during Steve Ballmer’s tenure as the company’s CEO.

Satya Nadella, who was part of Microsoft during the late 1990s antitrust confrontation with the Justice Department, took over as CEO in 2014. Under his leadership, Microsoft has achieved significant growth in personal and cloud computing, resulting in a nearly nine-fold increase in the company’s stock price and the creation of more than $2 trillion in shareholder wealth.

Despite these accomplishments, Microsoft has struggled to make substantial progress in the search market against Google, with Bing remaining a distant second.

When probed, Nadella refuted the notion that Bing’s incorporation of artificial intelligence had resulted in significant changes to its market share. Google, on the other hand, has contended that the introduction of artificial intelligence programs like the chatbot ChatGPT has heightened competition in the search engine sector.