For weeks, rumors of a proxy war between Microsoft and Google have animated techies. Many of their suspicions were validated Monday by a Wall Street Journal report detailing the dispute. Google accused Microsoft of orchestrating antitrust lawsuits against Google from small start-up firms in Europe and the U.S. Microsoft denied foul play but acknowledged their role in encouraging small companies to file legal complaints if they have concerns about Google's monopolistic practices.

Moving from rumor to fact, business and technology writers are exploring what might come of a large-scale Google-Microsoft showdown.

  • Google Need Not Worry writes Dan Frommer at Business Insider: "This is obviously the latest in Microsoft's many futile attempts to slow the Google juggernaut."
  • Yes It Should, counters Christopher Dawson at ZDNet: "Microsoft, no stranger to antitrust investigations itself, can do far more to damage Google’s growth, brand, and reputation by burying it in investigations and complaints from its many potential partners than it can through direct competition. Bing vs. Google? Who cares? Google Docs vs. Sharepoint? In many ways, they target different markets. And yet, Google is Microsoft’s biggest threat in the tech world. Could this threat be neutralized to some extent by repeated antitrust efforts on many different fronts? Probably."
  • I Spot a Trend, writes Kara Swisher at All Things Digital: "There will be more to come, of course, as Google’s growing power is targeted by those interested in stopping that growth, both by those with pure motives and those not-so-pure."
  • This Is Just a Conspiracy at This Point, writes Glenn Hall at The Street: "Take those two cases in the U.S. and add the European Commission's antitrust review against Google -- prompted in part by complaints from Microsoft -- and you've got all the makings of a good old-fashioned conspiracy theory. But where's the proof? For the time being, all we've got is tantalizing supposition by Google that makes for entertaining -- if not particularly useful -- reading."
  • Let's Take a Closer Look at Microsoft's Words, writes Justin Kerr at Maximum PC: "For its part, Microsoft is trying to explain its viewpoint with its 'On The Issues Blog', but it's a pretty thick read full of legalese. The closing arguments however do a pretty good job of summing it up. 'Microsoft would obviously be among the first to say that leading firms should not be punished for their success. Nor should firms be punished just because a particular business practice may harm a rival-competition on the merits can do that, too. That is a position that Microsoft has long espoused, and we're sticking to it. Our concerns relate only to Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors, thereby undermining competition more broadly.'"