Microsoft President Brad Smith has acknowledged concerns and vowed changes in response to complaints the tech giant is unfairly using its position to lock out cloud rivals.
Microsoft has a long history of anti-competitive behavior, ultimately leading to its landmark anti-trust trial in 2001. Much of the company’s anti-competitive behavior came from it using its position in one market to gain an advantage in another. For example, the company used its Windows dominance to push Internet Explorer over Netscape. The company is now being accused of reverting to old habits, charging more for using Windows and Office with rival cloud platforms.
If the allegations are true, it would be a departure from the company’s playbook in recent years. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the company has become far less concerned over forcing customers to use its platforms, instead focusing on making its software work on almost every major platform. To then turn around and penalize companies that use those other platforms seems antithetical to that philosophy.
According to Bloomberg, company President Brad Smith has acknowledged the concerns, saying there is at least some cause for them.
“There definitely are some valid concerns,” he said. “It’s very important for us to learn more and then make some changes.”
Microsoft has so far managed to avoid the anti-trust scrutiny Amazon, Apple, Google, and Meta are currently under. The company would do well to voluntarily address these concerns before it finds itself in the crosshairs.