Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Jun 2007 19:46 UTC, submitted by Dale Smoker
Legal Internet search leader Google is trying to convince federal and state authorities that Microsoft's Vista operating system is stifling competition as the high-tech heavyweights wrestle for the allegiance of personal computer users. In a 49-page document filed April 18 with the U.S. Justice Department and state attorneys general, Google alleged that the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system impairs the performance of 'desktop search' programs that find data stored on a computer's hard drive. Besides bogging down competing programs, Google alleged Microsoft had made it too complicated to turn off the desktop search feature built into Vista.
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kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Desktop search is a feature best provided by the operating system itself - and for Google to complain about that is pretty lame. I would be up in arms if Google tried to hack into Spotlight on my Mac!


Their (Googles) claim would be that the line between desktop and online searching is beginning to become more blurred; that with the Windows Vista search, it is heavily integrated with Windows Live.

What this will mean is when you search for something on your desktop using Microsoft's own search tool, you might find that there will be online results coming back from Microsofts own search engine - which will effectively deminish Google's presence. Why go off to use Google when the tools are already on the operating system and integrated.

I'm not trying to justify Google's stance, just explaining why they've gone about the action they have. I can understand their concern about the integration between the search engine and the operating system, but at the same time, I find it rather silly they're going to blame Microsoft for trying to make their customers life easier.

As for searching, they're (Google) aren't going to lose their market position anytime soon, Live is absolutely terrible in terms of seach results. Google think that they'll lose marketshare by virtue of integration. Netscape lost its marketshare not because of integration but because of the lack of care of their application. Their application went from bad to worse; rather than stepping up to the challenge and improve their product, they allowed it to go unmaintained - anyone remember the coined name 'Nutscrape'.

Too bad many youngsters here forget just how bad Netscape was - it was terrible on every platform it ran on. Ever wonder why there was celebration when IE made its way onto MacOS X? that Netscape finally opensourced meant that issues could finally be resolved.

Google needs to realise, keep the quality high and you'll maintain your marketshare.

Reply Parent Score: 5

steverez1 Member since:
2006-12-06

One comment I would like to make is about Windows Live search in Vista if you change your default search provider (Which IE asks you when you start it up for the first time) or at any other time in IE the only place in Vista that ties anything to internet serach is the "Search the Internet" from the start menu which works with all search providers including Google. Microsoft went to major extents to make sure the Justice Department wouldn't be crashing Vista's Launch.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

One comment I would like to make is about Windows Live search in Vista if you change your default search provider (Which IE asks you when you start it up for the first time) or at any other time in IE the only place in Vista that ties anything to internet serach is the "Search the Internet" from the start menu which works with all search providers including Google. Microsoft went to major extents to make sure the Justice Department wouldn't be crashing Vista's Launch.


True. Which brings to question (which is what I wondered as well), where is their case? it isn't as though Microsoft is doing anything to block Google from the desktop.

For me, I don't understand *why* google needs to replace the native search system with their own - given the security issues with their own desktop products, I'd suggest Google to focus on their own backyard before starting to attack Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 1

aent Member since:
2006-01-25

If you read the article, their complaint has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they implemented a search feature into the OS, its that there is no way to disable or replace it, and a competing product is still going to have the overhead of the Windows Vista search indexing everything in addition to the search engine you're actually using, making it seem like you're not getting any benefit out of using any 3rd party search system for the OS.

Google is saying this would be more along the lines of requiring a user to leave Internet Explorer open at all times in order to open and use any other web browser, then competing browsers are going to have a hard time. It seems like a pretty reasonable case to me. Unfortunately, there not even being given a chance to fight their case, which isn't how the legal system is supposed to work. I find this to be disappointing. Hopefully the next administration will be more willing to let something happen to Microsoft to increase competition in the market, instead of dropping everything like the Bush administration did. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

If you read the article, their complaint has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they implemented a search feature into the OS, its that there is no way to disable or replace it, and a competing product is still going to have the overhead of the Windows Vista search indexing everything in addition to the search engine you're actually using, making it seem like you're not getting any benefit out of using any 3rd party search system for the OS.


Yes, you can disable; it is a service on Windows, there is nothing stopping Google from doing that, and creating their own service to run in the background and integrated into the operating system.

Google is saying this would be more along the lines of requiring a user to leave Internet Explorer open at all times in order to open and use any other web browser, then competing browsers are going to have a hard time. It seems like a pretty reasonable case to me. Unfortunately, there not even being given a chance to fight their case, which isn't how the legal system is supposed to work. I find this to be disappointing. Hopefully the next administration will be more willing to let something happen to Microsoft to increase competition in the market, instead of dropping everything like the Bush administration did. ;)


Please, there is already competition; if you want to blame someone for the lack of competition in the operating system market; blame the Adobes, Corel's, Symantecs and Quickens of the world who refuse to support alternative operating systems. Blame hardware vendors who refuse to provide quality drivers and/or specifications for their hardware.

Microsoft has nothing to do with the problems - sure, they make Microsoft, which is fairly important, but by inlarge, most end users can do without Office, what they can't do without is hardware support and software from their favourite vendors.

Reply Parent Score: 2