Ballmer Retires From Microsoft While Google Sees Ties To Adware

Aug 26, 2013 • 8:20 am | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing Search

Steve BallmerEveryone by now has heard that Microsoft's CEO has announced he will retire from Microsoft within the year. There is a lot of speculation on why and was it sudden or not. In any event, he has given his life to the company and it has paid off well for him. The question is, how well did it pay off for the company.

Of course, Microsoft is the only company to make a real dent into Google's search engine market share with Bing and their partnership with Yahoo.

But what I found interesting was a Hacker News thread which talks about Microsoft ties to several Israeli adware companies. One person said in the thread:

Let me tell you an anecdote why I think Ballmer was incompetent and largely responsible for the sorry state that Microsoft is in at the moment. Yesterday there was a long article in the Israeli newspaper Globes about the success of the Israeli adware companies. Israel has in recent years become a world leader in software that installs unwanted toolbars on your elderly dad and mom's PC and "monetizes" them until they get their son or daughter to come over and fix it.

The list of such companies includes some really big ones, like Babylon and Conduit. These companies are making their profits by degrading Windows users' experience. Not only didn't Ballmer do anything to fight them, Microsoft actually has affiliate agreements with these companies to take a slice of the profits. Screwing your own customers like that cannot end well for Microsoft.

The article this person is referencing is in Hebrew but at a well respected Israeli newspaper named Globes.

What is even more interesting to me is that Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, responded saying:

Interesting story; thanks for posting that.

Forum discussion at Hacker News.

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Praveen Sharma

08/26/2013 12:30 pm

And here, it's not Ballmer or Microsoft which is going to make news, it's that Matt's comment which will attract more eyeballs for sure.


08/26/2013 12:33 pm

A big culprit for installing obnoxious toolbars that aren't easily 'unchecked' at installation is Yahoo (having to hit the 'cancel' button unless you select to install the toolbar and then the 'next' is un-grayed...surprise, hitting cancel is what continues the install without adding the Yahoo junk). My biggest issue with Yahoo is their insistence on trying to slip in their toolbar and make them my homepage on an install for something completely unrelated. I am convinced that this is the main reason for their large, mostly mouth breather, comment sections.


08/26/2013 04:06 pm

BS article.


08/26/2013 04:14 pm

It is? Care to point out how/why, and to refute the various sources given within the provided Hacker News link?


08/26/2013 04:34 pm

Yeah it is total BS because its one which implies that Google has not and does not do exactly the same as Bing/Yahoo in partnering with toolbar companies on search deals. Adding in a "Interesting story; thanks for posting that" quote from Matt Cutts when the guy (probably) has nothing to do with search partnership deals at Google and is little more than linkbait fodder to attempt to give this story anything interesting for the audience. If you assume the fact that Yahoo/Bing partnering with toolbar companies for search deals is "fresh news" to someone like Matt Cutts you are deluded. However the guy is certainly free to comment on something he finds interesting.... Go look up Googles toolbar policy update from earlier this year if you want to do your own research as to why this is a BS one sided article and Googles history with such partners.... Go Google "Google toolbar partners" and look at the history of bundling deals Googles done for itself to push their own toolbar to market over the years.


08/26/2013 05:09 pm you have no link which shows the story to be 'BS'? The article we are commenting on is specifically about something which Barry found to be interesting from inside a forum conversation (you know, like most stories posted on SER). Do you need to have all other similar instances from other companies listed to make this acceptable? That is ridiculous, not least of all because this is an article about a forum conversation. And where is it, "[implying] that Google has not and does not do exactly the same as Bing/Yahoo in partnering with toolbar companies on search deals"? When did anyone assume that, "...the fact that Yahoo/Bing partnering with toolbar companies for search deals is "fresh news" to someone like Matt Cutts"? Someone needs to calm the hell down.


08/26/2013 05:31 pm

Considering the recent $900 million write-off for the failed tablets, I'd say it didn't pay off so well for the company. Also, MSFT partnering w/Adware companies?? Get outta town! All I have to say is

Amit Dwivedi

08/27/2013 05:45 am

Ballmer Retires From Microsoft & he did a lot for Microsoft corporation in his tenure. He has dedicated his life towards the company growth and reputation. This was the unforgettable contribution.


08/27/2013 06:57 am

it's still a minor crime compared to having big-time adware spammer on place 1. in google search for competitive keyword, filled with Adsense ads. Clean up your own house before blaming the competitor...


08/27/2013 09:07 am

Barry, Do you read Hebrew? Most of the article in Globes is about how these companies are planning to merge into a big adware giant. Actually Babylon was in partnership with Google not so long ago.

Barry Schwartz

08/27/2013 09:55 am

I don't read Hebrew well. At least modern Hebrew.

or zilberman

08/27/2013 12:55 pm

just 1 thing to say: LOL Google was the no.1 affiliate for those companies untill a few months ago. Google had over 70% of the agreements with them while bing was just "trying" to get into those affiliate position.


08/27/2013 10:02 pm

That is because Matt will do and say anything to attack his competitors.


08/28/2013 11:48 am

So, ktiva v'chatima tova.


08/29/2013 03:09 am

There will always be speculations why a CEO chooses to retire. Sometimes the speculations can be founded on truth and at other times, it may not be.


09/05/2013 06:05 am

You are worried about piddly spyware companies from Israel? Microsoft is tied in on the back end with the biggest Spyware company of all - the NSA


10/16/2013 11:01 am

I do not think he's incompetent or is there something wrong, he actually mentorship Microsoft for some time and it is not something everyone can do both. This story is hard to understand.

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