Google: Vista Violates Antitrust Settlement

Microsoft has once again found itself under scrutiny for alleged antitrust violations, this time by the internet search giant Google. With web-based applications becoming the new battleground for consumer dominance, Microsoft has found itself pushed into increasing competition against Google to ensure its continuing rule over the operating system market, leading to conflicts ranging from Google's Book Search to personal productivity applications.

In the latest salvo between the two behemoths, Google has filed a confidential antitrust complaint against MS with the US Department of Justice, alleging that Microsoft Vista's inbuilt search engine slows down Google's competing Google Desktop Search (GDS) program and cannot be turned off, forcing users to either forego GDS or put up with reduced performance. As a basis for the complaint, Google cites the 2002 antitrust settlement prohibiting MS from designing an OS which limits consumer choice, a settlement originating from Netscape's own antitrust complaint against MS. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has found that both Netscape's and Google's complaints are eerily similar, stating "In concept, if not directly word for word, it is the Microsoft-Netscape situation."

However, as deja vu as the situation may seem, the current DoJ's reaction is quite different from that of the pro-competition Clinton administration. Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Barnett, who coincidentally is the former Vice Chairman of Covington & Burling, a law firm which represents MS, has urged state prosecutors to dismiss the case, though his request seems to be having the opposite effect: many states are now considering possible actions against the software giant, despite Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith's assurances that MS engineers and lawyers are working with "both state and federal officials" to find an accommodation to Google's complaint.

News source: InfoWorld

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15 Comments

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Google, go away. Microsoft has had a search fuction in Windows long before your crappy GDS software was invented. Just because Microsoft improves it in Vista doesn't give you the right to complain.

If someone wants to disable Windows Search and install your crappy version, there is nothing stopping them. You could even write your installer so that it disables the Windows Search service if you wanted.

i think what they are saying here is that there is no way to replace vista's inbuilt search with a 3rd party one. sure you can install another desktop search product but it won't be integrated into the shell.

i think this a good thing, the inbuilt search in vista is resource hungry and poorly implemented and it should be possible to replace it entirely.

its not so google can get money. but how true is this? i have both running, I find google is better for finding applications with a double-control hit, and microsoft is better for finding files using the start menu but i didnt know it was making a extra performance hit?

God forbid if m$ wants to add some functionality to there OS. I can only imagine what google would have done if all of WinFS would have made it out the door.

soumyasch said,
Wouldn't GDS Mac have the same issue with Spotlight mds daemon?

Oh, no, it doesn't mainly because Spotlight doesn't have enough users to slow down google

Yes. Then you could install the Google software and use it instead.

I tried Googles search software on Vista just to see what it was like and it's nothing to brag about at all. I'd much rather use the built in features of the OS. Who knows the system better than the maker of the OS? They'd know the best way to handle the search features.

yeah, I am sure MS coded it just to slow down Google's programs sounds more like Google can't figure out how to do something correctly

Or perhaps it's Googles' GDS application being a piece of junk and they just don't know how to make it run correctly under Vista's tightened security?