微软去年在美国国会花了734万美元的游说资金，这个数字在科技领域仅次于谷歌。微软希望能取得监管机构的支持，让他们帮助自己打击盗版。就在上个月月初，参议院的小企业委员会（the Senate Small Business Committee）除了三名成员之外，联名向联邦贸易委员会（the Federal Trade Commission）寄了一封信，要求后者使“采取一切可以动用的手段，打击盗版和非法盗用美国制造业信息技术的行为。”这封信表示，要想阻止美国制造业的继续衰退，打击盗版势在必行。不过信中并没有提到微软。
Strategists close to Microsoft suggest the simple fact of the company's involvement is generating the tsuris. "It seems to me the opponents are trying to find bogeymen in the bill where none currently exists," says Roger Salazar, who's heading a Microsoft-backed coalition supporting the measure. "If it's paranoia, that's one thing; but if they're doing it because the proponent is one of their biggest competitors, that's another thing altogether."
Lobbyists for the opposition call that nonsense. Instead, they argue Microsoft is taking an overly heavy-handed approach, a reflection on its misguided reliance on its own incumbency. "It's a sad state," says one, "almost like the Hollywood studios trying to hold on to that last nut as long as they can."
The Redmond, Wash.-based company already has scored a significant win in its own backyard. Washington state last year adopted a law banning manufacturers found to be using pirated software from selling their products in the state -- and it opened big retailers peddling those goods up to liability, as well. Louisiana approved a similar bill the year before.
And in Washington, DC -- where Microsoft spent $7.34 million lobbying last year, second only to Google in the tech sector -- the company is hoping to enlist regulators to act as its cops on the beat. Early last month, all but three members of the Senate Small Business Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to use "all the tools at [its] disposal to fight the theft and use of stolen American manufacturing information technology." The letter framed the request as an imperative to stop the decline of American manufacturing. It didn't mention Microsoft.