Microsoft Silently Withdrew From ACT

Posted on April 5, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Google, Microsoft with 4 Comments

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports that Microsoft quietly withdrew its support for ACT, the trade organization it previously created. Why? Because it now backs Apple in its legal battles with Epic and other developers.

“I applaud Microsoft for finally having withdrawn its support for ACT | The App Association, which by now should more accurately be called ACT | The Apple Association,” Mr. Mueller notes. “When Microsoft got into antitrust trouble—over conduct that was laughably negligible compared to what we’ve seen from Apple and Google in recent years—it set up ACT to generate support for the company through websites and a sophisticated and largely hidden grassroots lobbying campaign.”

ACT was originally known as the Association for Competitive Technology, but it now goes by the awkward moniker ACT | The App Association. And it seems to exist today solely to astroturf—the deceptive practice of presenting an orchestrated marketing or public relations campaign in the guise of unsolicited comments from members of the public—on behalf of Apple and Google.

Mueller notes that Microsoft was still listed as an ACT member as recently as January.

“It’s one thing to lend support to organizations or academics because they take positions you like,” he says. “That’s par for the course in tech advocacy. It’s another when an organization claims to speak for the victims of the app store tyranny but gets paid for it by the very tyrant. That’s where every reputable and honorable company should draw the line. It’s like setting up a pseudo-PETA, funded by the cosmetic industry, to defend animal testing, arguing that it actually benefits small animals.”

“It is high time for Verizon, Intel, AT&T, and Verisign to reconsider their status as ‘sponsors’ of ACT unless they believe it is conducive to their business to position themselves as co-sponsors of advocacy that goes against the interests of roughly 99.9 percent of the digital economy, which is now very much an app economy,” he adds.

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Microsoft Silently Withdrew From ACT”

  1. darkgrayknight

    So the ACT supports Apple in the legal battle with Epic and devs. Microsoft has withdrawn from ACT because Microsoft's stance is against Apple and is with Epic/Developers.

    I was initially a bit confused, but this makes sense.

  2. dftf

    They must have found it a hard ACT to follow, clearly...!

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