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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Member since:

I'm guessing that Microsoft is "in the right" based on a few things:
1) Conspiracy factor
2) Them understanding the consequences based on history.
3) The internet factor making it harder to subdue such information
4) The shared-source initiative
5) Many more people would be in the know of this (related to point 1 really) making it harder to keep secret

Signs point to it being quite unlikely, not impossible.

Reply Parent Score: 3

archiesteel Member since:

Well, point number 1 really isn't something that makes it more or less likely. Conspiracies do exist, even if they are not as common as some would believe. But you can't say that something would be less likely to happen *because* it would be a conspiracy. That doesn't make any logical sense.

Point #2 makes more sense...although one can't exactly say that MS has shown a propension to learn from its mistakes in the past. On the contrary, it has often been able to get away with some pretty serious anti-competitive behavior with not much more than a slap on the wrist (especially in the U.S.).

Point #3 seems to be the same as #1 and #5, i.e. they can't do this and expect to get away with it. Again, precedent shows that MS isn't above taking this kind of risk, and being bad-mouthed on the Internet is probably the least of their concern (really, how much worse could it get...)

Point #4 is irrelevant if the code in question is not part of the shared source initiative. Since we don't have enough details yet, it's premature for you to bring this up.

I also disagree with point #5. It's possible to have secret "task forces" within a company, and it's possible to keep a secret with NDAs that are threatening enough. Apple managed to keep the lid on the iPhone for months, what makes you think a company such as MS, with much more resources, couldn't include a bit of code to degrade performance of other desktop search apps?

I still think it's premature to qualify Google's case, and that opinionating on either side right now simply highlights one's bias.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sappyvcv Member since:

Regarding conspiracies: I don't think it makes it more or less likely, but it makes me less likely to believe it when it sounds like a conspiracy theory -- i.e. involves many people to cooperate in covering something up.

Regarding point #3: No they don't care about getting badmouthed. But they do care about doing something that they know WILL get them in legal trouble. There is a difference in the amount of hesistance it will cause.

Regarding #4: Fair enough

Regarding #5: It's easier to keep something a secret when it's something good and leaking will cost you your job, reputation and possibly put you into much legal trouble. When it involves keeping illegal practices quiet, it's harder. See the term "whistleblower".

Reply Parent Score: 2