Microsoft, Google bury hatchet – surprisingly, not in each other

Both vow to stop running to mommy and daddy to tittle-tattle on each other

Microsoft and Google have agreed to sort their issues out between themselves rather than getting state regulators to investigate each other's actions.

"Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities," Redmond said in a statement to El Reg. "We will continue to focus on competing vigorously for business and for customers."

For years, the two companies have been using proxy forces, and direct attacks, to encourage government regulators to investigate each other. Google has been questioning the amount of IP property Microsoft holds, while Microsoft has been particularly active in Europe getting the EU to investigate the Chocolate Factory's search and Android operations.

"Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings," Google told The Reg in a statement.

"As a result, following our patent agreement, we've now agreed to withdraw regulatory complaints against one another."

It has been suggested that the move is a result of changing management at Microsoft and Google. Gone are the testosterone-infused management teams led by Steve Ballmer and Eric Schmidt, and instead Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai, men more suited to negotiation than bare-knuckle litigation, now rule the roost.

In fact, it's probably more likely to be a straight business decision. Microsoft arguably makes more money from Android than Google due to patent payments, and Redmond can't carry on hammering Google with Scroogled accusations about misusing customer data when it's shifting its operating system to a similar data-hungry model.

The only people this new detente agreement will hurt is the lawyers, and no one's going to cry salt tears that they won't be able to buy such lovely summer houses using fees from Microsoft and Google.

However, such an agreement isn't binding, and hostilities may break out again. But for the meantime, it's jaw-jaw rather than war-war in Redmond and Mountain View. ®




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