In a classic case of "the donkey said the rooster head", Microsoft President Brad Smith he said that it supports an antitrust inquiry into Apple's App Store model.
Why Apple requires up to 30% of the app developers it hosts in the App Store for each app it sells.
It may not be blackmail, but if we are talking about independent iPhone software vendors (or iPhone ISVs), the amount is quite large.
Smith says: "There are app stores that have higher walls and much more inaccessible ports for accessing apps than anything in the [Windows] industry 20 years ago."
Is Apple more difficult for developers today than Microsoft was in the 1990s and early 2000s? I do not think!
Microsoft had 90% of the PC market, compared to 13,7% of Apple's smartphone market.
Those who lived through the decades saw how Microsoft worked.
Let us all remember that in 1998, when you were selling computers, Microsoft CEO Joachim Kempin, the head of hardware, gave you a headlock. If you did not promote Windows the way Microsoft wanted it to and at the prices Kempin demanded, you could not have Windows.
Also in 1998, Microsoft operating systems ran on over 90% of all computers. You did not have Windows, you did not have customers.
Computer companies did not like it all, but Microsoft made billions. So when web browsers became a big deal in the mid-1990s, Kempin came up with a new idea. Require all computer companies to have Internet Explorer on every copy of Windows 95 sold. Every computer also had to have the IE icon on every new Windows 95 machine.
Kempin was not the only one who helped in the fight against Netscape.
Microsoft executive Jim Allchin, in an internal note he later used at the Department of Justice (DoG) to condemn Microsoft's antitrust behavior, Reported:
"We do not use Windows in terms of marketing. We are not using our power - that is, we have a strong Windows distribution channel through OEMs. Allchin said he was "convinced" that Microsoft should use Windows to change the balance of power in the browser market. "This is something Netscape does not have."
In 1995, Netscape, IE's main competitor, had 90% of the browser market. By 1997, IE had surpassed Netscape. By 1998, Netscape's market share had fallen to 28% and the fate of the major Web browser was doomed.
Yes, technically, Microsoft lost in the antitrust lawsuit. But the initial decision Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in June 2000 that the company had violated federal antitrust law and should have been punished did not go anywhere. President George W. Bush's DoJ abandoned the attempt to punish Microsoft and left it almost untouched.
By 2004, Netscape was dead. His password, however, would live on the Mozilla Foundation through Firefox.
Microsoft spent the rest of the 2000s making mistakes. These were the things that eventually led to today's Microsoft under a new leadership that is much more cloud-friendly, and open source.
Since the launch of the Apple App Store in 2008, Apple has been in strict control. If you want an app for your iPhone, you have no choice but to purchase it through the App Store. If you are an ISV, you have no choice but to sell your app through the App Store and Apple usually gets 30% on sales.
Why is Microsoft reacting?
30% is a cost for Microsoft as well. If it wants to subscribe to Office 365 for your iPhone and iPad, you need to share a percentage with Apple. With any app that has an annual subscription, Apple's commission is 30% of each subscription for the first year and then 15% for subsequent years.
Let me mention that I do not support the Apple hike, but the finger that Microsoft raised to show the company and protest against something that was consolidated by itself in the previous decades.