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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Google might have a point
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 12th Jun 2007 22:38 UTC
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

Sure, they want to put their engine in there... I can see why they'd want to do this. If I were in their position, I'd have first asked Microsoft 'nicely' (via an open letter covered in the tech press) to offer APIs to their search boxes. Then when (if) they refuse, go to the DOJ. Make it seem like Google took every reasonable effort before involving the Feds.

Microsoft could offer extensibility APIs to their search boxes in the start menu and explorer. There is really no alternative to this, because Google will need to turn off the Windows Indexer in favor of theirs (because, even with I/O priorities, two indexers really will step all over each other). Users won't like it when the start menu search tool stops working.

On the other hand, Microsoft has a legitimate fear that Google will not properly use I/O priorities and idle-sensing because they are not so interested in maintaining the overall performance of Windows as Microsoft is. And another extensibility point is just another opportunity for spyware to jam its way in or for components to cause instability.

It's doesn't look like a major technical challenge for Microsoft to allow Google to hook into the search box... it's just a matter of testing and creating some sort of policy for just who is allowed to extend that piece (code signing will probably be requried).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Google might have a point
by MollyC on Tue 12th Jun 2007 23:22 in reply to "Google might have a point"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Microsoft could offer extensibility APIs to their search boxes in the start menu and explorer. "

It takes quite a bit of gall for Google to demand stuff like that after colluding with Apple to lock Safari's search box into using Google and no alternative search engine (not even as secondary search engines, let alone the default). And Safari is moving to Windows, still locked into Google, I assume.

Edited 2007-06-12 23:22

Reply Parent Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm just posting a hypothetical here. I consider Google's wares to be unnecessary risks to computer stability. In fact, I've cured a couple of computer problems brought to me by fellow-students simply by removing Google Desktop (installed by default at Dell) and the Google toolbar.

But you have to admit that having search integrated with Windows Vista absolutely kills the market for Google Desktop Search. I'm just acknowledging that Google will have to concede desktop search on Vista unless they can get this change (and I don't necessarily think Microsoft should automatically give it to them).

I personally hold little stock in antitrust doctrine in the computer software sector. Like patents, antitrust regulations simply do not apply to a field which is changing so rapidly and which is built, quite literally, on pure ideas. Software markets are formed and destroyed with too much speed for there to be a good regulatory presence there. I spent time doing research on the 1998-2001 US v. Microsoft cases, and the sheer level of persecution on the part of the government and idiocy on the part of all involved (esp. the defense and the Judge) made a mockery of justice. Milton Friedman was right when he said that computer companies would "rue the day" they brought government to bear on Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 3