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Microsoft campaigns against Google with politically-focused online voting tool

April 20, 2010 |  5:16 pm

Technology companies (and their execs) can be a lot like politicians -- multi-billion-dollar figureheads squabbling over inane issues and trying to one-up each other every step of the way.

Steve-ballmerTake, for instance, a new product launched by Microsoft at the Politics Online Conference in Washington D.C.

The new TownHall software lets politicians host a website for posing questions to constituents and letting them vote on those topics. Users can create accounts and submit their own questions.

Washington's newest toy is almost identical to a one-year-old tool offered by Google, called Moderator. President Obama, you might remember, used the application to crowd-source questions for his online town hall meetings.

Microsoft's TownHall appears slightly more difficult to setup than Moderator, but politicians don't need to worry about it. That's on the shoulders of the IT fella down the hall in the closet-sized office stacked with computer equipment.

The mudslinging between Microsoft and Google is nothing new. Google made Docs to compete with Office's Word and Excel. Microsoft made Bing to take on Google's search engine.

But here we see Microsoft going head-to-head with Google in even the most niche sectors. Who's got your vote?

-- Mark Milian

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Photo: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Credit: Robert Sorbo / AFP / Getty Images

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