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Justice Dept. Defends Microsoft Against Google 329

Posted by Zonk
from the friends-in-high-places dept.
Frosty Piss writes "The Seattle PI reports that Google has complained to US antitrust officials about the hard-drive searching tool built into Windows Vista, saying that it stymies Google's similar search program. The complaint, lodged late last year, was revealed Saturday by The New York Times in a story about the Bush administration's handling of Microsoft antitrust issues. The real story, though, is not the Google complaint itself, but how the Justice Department is failing to enforce the Microsoft anti-trust decree. According to the story, Thomas Barnett, the assistant U.S. attorney general in charge of antitrust issues, sent a memo last month to state attorneys general across the nation, seeking to persuade them to reject Google's complaint."
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Justice Dept. Defends Microsoft Against Google

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  • google is EVIL! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wwmedia (950346)
    So Google is demanding that Microsoft remove Vista's desktop search feature, a feature that other OSes already ship? If other OSes can ship it then so can Microsoft. Hell, if I'd been in charge of Microsoft, I would've been bundling Windows Desktop Search with XP for years now.

    Or worse yet, Google is demanding that Microsoft bundle Google's crapware?

    To hell with Google. This is the same company that made a deal with Apple to have Safari's web search box locked into Google so you can't change the default
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by packeteer (566398)
      I don't really know much about the politics of this issue but i know that Google desktop sucks. It isn't worth it for me regardless of who is "good" and "evil".
      • by 3seas (184403) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:15AM (#19457521) Journal
        So what does google have to do with MS's search engine always running?

        Even if google was evil, I'd still want to be able to turn off a search engine created by a proven anti-trust violator.

        Wouldn't you?

        Just because people claim google is evil is no reason to dismiss an act of a part that has been proven evil.

        There must be a lot of MS supporters responding to the article, for who could miss the obviousnesss of this.

        The party bringing out the fact that MS's search engine is always on is itself not an evil act. Unless you work for MS.

        • by figleaf (672550) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:37AM (#19457637) Homepage
          You can easily turn it off. There are multiple ways to turn it off. Its Windows Service you can turn it off the control panel or the search options.
          If you like like the command-prompt then type 'net stop "Windows Search"
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MickDownUnder (627418)
          It's called the windows indexing service.

          http://www.xefteri.com/articles/show.cfm?id=2 [xefteri.com]

          It's been around for many years. You can switch it off.

          Google is basically demanding Microsoft pull a service that has been around for pretty much ever. Well before google desktop search was even around. I think the US justice department is actually being quite sensible.

          Nice try Google. I guess that'd be "Do no evil" with the caveat "Unless it's Microsoft then kick em where it counts."
    • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Phil246 (803464) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:21AM (#19457065)
      rtfa.
      Google is asking that microsoft provide a way for the user to disable it, so that other competing desktop search programs dont battle each other for system resources and ultimately both slow the computer down.
      They arent asking for it to be removed outright
      • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Deviate_X (578495) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:55AM (#19457217)
        This is not true. You can disable built in indexing by unchecking indexing of the indexing locations (i.e. Outlook or the Hardrives) or by disabling the indexer in windows services list.
        • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:17AM (#19457295)
          from TFA :

          Google has asked the court overseeing the antitrust decree to order Microsoft to redesign Vista to enable users to turn off its built-in desktop search program so that competing programs could function better, officials said.
          from the other article:

          There is no simple way for PC users to turn off Windows Vista's built-in desktop search program. Google has asked the court overseeing Microsoft's antitrust compliance to require the company to let users turn off the built-in search program, the New York Times reported.
          Granted there are *ways* to do it but they arent necessarily simple for clueless users
      • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:4, Informative)

        by NSIM (953498) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:21AM (#19457315)

        Google is asking that microsoft provide a way for the user to disable it, so that other competing desktop search programs dont battle each other for system resources and ultimately both slow the computer down. They arent asking for it to be removed outright
        If that's all Google wants, then they could have saved themselves a lot legal fees. Windows Search is a service, it can be stop, started, disabled altogether from the Services management applet, or the command line, and there would be no problem in stopping it as part of an install for Google Desktop Search.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mabinogi (74033)
      The problem is not that Microsoft include a search tool.
      The problem is that there's no way to turn it off, and running Google desktop simultaneously therefore causes the computer to slow down enough that no one would want to install Google Desktop.

      There should never be anything wrong with including something with the operating system, it's preventing competitors from competing on merit that's the problem - even the Netscape issue was never purely about the bundling of IE - as much as the overly simplistic c
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by frinsore (153020)
      Some corrections to the parent:

      1. Google doesn't care if the search tool is bundled or not, they just want MS to expose some why to turn the thing off. Having both indexing tools running at the same time hinders performance more then having just one run. Given that you can't disable Vista's most people will opt for disabling Google's. Hence anti-competitive.

      2. It's similar to IE & Netscape because the end user / OEM can't remove IE from a machine and replace it with an alternative.

      3. Everything el
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by skoaldipper (752281)
        Anti competitive? What's next? Norton sues Microsoft because their AV may occasionally cause Virtual Memory error messages? Hey, let's just disassemble the OS entirely piece by piece by lawsuits, one step at a time (like Johnny Cash says), and put it all back together with 3rd party craplets.
        • YES! (Score:2, Interesting)

          by mangu (126918)

          Hey, let's just disassemble the OS entirely piece by piece

          You mean, like this? [ubuntu.com] I'm all for it.


          and put it all back together with 3rd party

          Like this? [kubuntu.org] Sounds good, let's do it!
      • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Punchinello (303093) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @11:18AM (#19458129)
        I cannot see how leaving Windows Indexing Service enabled hinders performance. It automatically goes idle when you are using your PC.
      • by einhverfr (238914)
        IANAL, but I don't think there is really a "desktop search market." I think there was at some point in the past a web browser market (and that it lives on today in niche areas, such as Opera users). Thus I would be inclined to side with Microsoft in this specific complaint.

        BTW, there isn't really a "streaming media player market" either, but control over which media players people use may be an attempt to control the "streaming media server market" which is real.

        However, there are a couple other things I
    • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nanosquid (1074949) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:36AM (#19457131)
      So Google is demanding that Microsoft remove Vista's desktop search feature a feature that other OSes already ship? If other OSes can ship it then so can Microsoft.

      No, they are demanding that Microsoft lets people disable it. You know, like you can do on any other operating system.

      Hell, if I'd been in charge of Microsoft, I would've been bundling Windows Desktop Search with XP for years now.

      In fact, I think it's perfectly reasonable to demand that no operating system "bundle" desktop search, web browsers, or other software like that and instead give users the option to pick and choose what components they like.
      • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NospAm.hotmail.com> on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:39AM (#19457377) Journal
        In fact, I think it's perfectly reasonable to demand that no operating system "bundle" desktop search, web browsers, or other software like that

        I don't.

        I believe operating systems should have had effective file management, including searches, version control, and virtual folders more than a decade ago.

        The only reason an ecosystem of third-party utilities has sprung up is because Microsoft has been so sluggish at improving their OS. Let's face it, database-like file management was available in systems like BEOS since 1995. Unfortunately, now a wealth of third-party fixes to Windows limitations has sprung up, and MS can't implement what should be basic functionality without running foul of antitrust issues.

        It's their own laxity that's brought them this trap, so I have little sympathy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nanosquid (1074949)
          I believe operating systems should have had effective file management, including searches, version control, and virtual folders more than a decade ago.

          Quite right.

          The only reason an ecosystem of third-party utilities has sprung up is because Microsoft has been so sluggish at improving their OS.

          Yes, and why do you think that is? I'll tell you: because, currently, meaningful competition for desktop features is impossible; you may get a bunch of small shareware vendors, but Microsoft can kill them whenever th
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        In fact, I think it's perfectly reasonable to demand that no operating system "bundle" desktop search, web browsers, or other software like that and instead give users the option to pick and choose what components they like.

        And what about all those people who haven't the knowledge, experience, time or interest to do so ? You know, the 99% of the market that Microsoft and Apple are selling to ?

        Microsoft aren't selling you a garage full of parts and a greasy service manual, they're selling you a car. If

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Keeper (56691)
        No, they are demanding that Microsoft lets people disable it.

        Then what are they complaining about? It can easily be disabled.

        Not only can the service be turned off, and not only can you specify which locations should/shouldn't be indexed, but there is a public api available that any 3rd party piece of software can use to turn it off or configure it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Deviate_X (578495)

      Or worse yet, Google is demanding that Microsoft bundle Google's crapware? [slashdot.org]

      The worst thing about google software is that they distrubute it like malware, in the sense that its hidden in other software like Adobe Reader, Java, and Firefox. If your not careful you can end up with goodle toolbars, sidebars and whatnot installed on your machine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      If other OSes can ship it then so can Microsoft.

      Correction: If other OS publishers who've been convicted of abusing their monopoly can do it, then so can Microsoft.

      For convicted monopolists, there are different rules then for non-convicted monopolists and everyone else. This is partly because you can't throw a monopoly into jail, and partly to keep the market fair and free (if you want a totally free market then we have to get rid of copyright laws, therefore most companies don't want a completely free market and as such rules coming into the market mus

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by wwmedia (950346)
      I dont know whats worse:

      one one hand Microsofts monopoly on THEIR operating system!

      on the other hand Google's attempts to have their spyware installed on every computer so they can collect even more data!

      kinda ironic that microsofts monopoly is making SPYWARE run slow, lol
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        Your post, enhanced via Slashdot vision TM

        I dont know whats worse:

        blah blah blah blah Microsoft blah blah blah blah blah !

        blah blah blah Google blah blah blah blah blah blah !


        Shoot, I'll go for the Microsoft one, it must be the worse one.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      google is EVIL! [...] To hell with Google.

      Dude, you were modded troll and overrated? What the hell did you expect! You just the equivalent of walking to a bunch of girls screaming "Those jeans make your ass fat!"

      How could groupthink see through a slogan? It's hard, man! A slogan must be unbrekable, it's like a law. Like Moore's law. Wait, Moore's law isn't really a law too? Screw that, I chose to believe otherwise.

      Microsoft is evil since Bill Gates looks like a geek. Google has color balls and funny logos o
    • Re:google is EVIL! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rbanffy (584143) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:57AM (#19457727) Homepage Journal
      "So Google is demanding that Microsoft remove Vista's desktop search feature, a feature that other OSes already ship? If other OSes can ship it then so can Microsoft. Hell, if I'd been in charge of Microsoft, I would've been bundling Windows Desktop Search with XP for years now."

      Since Microsoft has an effective monopoly on operating systems for commodity hardware, they have to play under different, more restrictive, rules. If Apple locks down Safari search it affects about 10 percent of users, 50% of which use Firefox, anyway. When Microsoft introduces new features into Windows, if affects 90+% of the market.

      It's also illegal for Microsoft to leverage its monopoly on desktop OSs to gain a monopoly on other existing markets (like web browsers, office suites, corporate e-mail, file and print servers, anti-virus and, yes, desktop search). And, mind you, since being judged guilty of extending their monopoly in the anti-trust lawsuit, they _have_ such restrictions in place and the DoJ _should_ be doing something about it.

      While it may look obvious they should be able to extend their products at will, it should be noted that by doing so in an unrestrained way, they can harm the market in very severe ways.

      Of course, if all things continue the way they do, Google's time under the microscope is coming, but that doesn't mean Microsoft can do whatever it wants.
    • by Genevish (93570)

      The point is not that the MS tool competes with Google's but that it prevents Google's from running properly. Apple provides a similar search tool (Spotlight), but you can still download Google's to use instead if you want.

      Lighten up Francis...

  • Thomas O. Barnett (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:15AM (#19457023)
    From the article :

    The official, Thomas O. Barnett, an assistant attorney general, had until 2004 been a top antitrust partner at the law firm that has represented Microsoft in several antitrust disputes. At the firm, Justice Department officials said, he never worked on Microsoft matters. Still, for more than a year after arriving at the department, he removed himself from the case because of conflict of interest issues. Ethics lawyers ultimately cleared his involvement.

    Seems strange that they'd hire someone from a law firm associated with Microsoft for the Justice Dept. and then put him in a position to comment on an MS case.
    • Re:Thomas O. Barnett (Score:5, Informative)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:04AM (#19457245) Homepage Journal
      Why does it seem "strange" that Bush would appoint a Microsoft lawyer to the Justice Department that was supposed to stop Microsoft from abusing its monopoly, after the Clinton Justice Department got the court to declare Microsoft an abusive monopoly that had to be stopped? "Unjust", maybe, but how strange is it for a Justice Department that's got its chief, Attorney General Gonzales, lying to Congress every day to coverup Bush's political purges and cronyism? Not to mention all the Patriot Act travesties Bush's DoJ has committed. Haven't you heard what a zoo they're running over there?

      What you might not have heard is that Jack Abramoff, the crooked lobbyist who helped build Bush's crooked Republican Congress, got his start lobbying out of Bill Gates' father's law firm, Preston Gates. It would seem strange if Microsoft weren't getting the benefit of the crooked system it's helped train and build.
      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @01:14PM (#19458867)

        What you might not have heard is that Jack Abramoff, the crooked lobbyist who helped build Bush's crooked Republican Congress, got his start lobbying out of Bill Gates' father's law firm, Preston Gates. It would seem strange if Microsoft weren't getting the benefit of the crooked system it's helped train and build.
        Correlation does not equal causation. This is just one in a series of curious coincidences where the interests of the Bush administration and those who have backed them have coincided by mere happenstance. There is simply nothing more to it than that. Now if you will excuse me, there's a party operative at the door with a bundle of cash for me; coincidentally, mind you.

    • by andydread (758754) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:35AM (#19457631)

      How the hell is this strange. This is the Bush administration.
      They put oil executives in charge of the EPA
      they put antitrust defence lawyers in the Justice Dept.
      They put drug company executives in charge of the FDA

      I mean really now. Take a look here. http://www.iraqtimeline.com/bushcab.html [iraqtimeline.com]

      And maybe someone can lookup these clowns and see what their prior industry affiliation is http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/cabinet.html [whitehouse.gov]
  • by Esteanil (710082) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:23AM (#19457081) Homepage Journal
    On another note, Google has ordered all Open Source programmers in their employ to issue weekly "patches" that include disabling grep from all linux/BSD distros.
    "Grep is an evil command, and as a company that will do no evil, we must have evil commands removed." said a Google spokesman, before returning to his weekend pasttime of clubbing baby seals.
    • by figleaf (672550)
      Google will next complain about Vista's Photo Viewer application
      Then the calculator application
      Then Wordpad ....
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hachete (473378)
        no.

        1. The indexer runs in the background continuously

        2. No API to turn it off.

        Why is slashdot full of MS trolls today? I notice they're avoiding the question of why the US govt is now part of MS's out-reach program.
        • by figleaf (672550) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:15AM (#19457533) Homepage
          1. The indexer only runs when no other applications are using system resources.

          2. Its a Windows Service you can easily turn it off.

          Why is slashdot full of trolls today?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HeroreV (869368)

            Why is slashdot full of trolls today?
            Why would today be different from any other day?
          • by AdamKG (1004604)
            I haven't read the lawsuit myself, but I feel compelled to point out that there being a way to turn off an indexer does not an API make. Can the indexer be turned off programatically (EG, during the Google Desktop install process)? Anything less is unacceptable to users. Frankly, it's ridiculous to expect people to have to go into the Windows settings just to install an application.
            • Can the indexer be turned off programatically (EG, during the Google Desktop install process)?
              Yes, manipulating the Windows Service list, including registering, unregistering, starting, stopping or modifying the default action for the service (Automatic, Manual, Disabled) is a trivial task in a competent installer package, and it requires no input from the end user to do.

              Ive seen many installers do it to date, why is it so hard for Google to do?
          • by JimDaGeek (983925)
            You talking about the index services on XP. Google is talking about the integrated search in Vista, not XP's little indexer. I haven't personally used Vista yet, so I do not know if Vista's built-in search can be turned off. But going by Google complaint, I would be pretty sure that it cannot. I am sure some Google engineers would have check that option first. :-)
            • by figleaf (672550)
              Nope. I was right. That's how you turn of Vista's search.
              • by JimDaGeek (983925)
                Nope, Vista has indexing that is always running. That is why Google is complaining. Are you saying that Google's engineers couldn't figure out how to turn of an indexing service if it could be turned off? The problem is that Vista will always be doing some type of indexing for changed files, new files, etc. If you install Google's desktop search, you are now doing the same job twice which leads to poor performance.

                You are thinking of the indexing service that came over from XP. Vista has something
                • by Macthorpe (960048) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @02:16PM (#19459249) Journal
                  Instant Search merely interacts with the indexing service. If you turn Windows Search off (which is trivial [imageshack.us]) then indexing stops and the Instant Search reverts to doing a file-by-file search a la Win98/95, which is exactly what Google's Desktop Search doesn't do.

                  You're right to say that the Instant Search box cannot be removed, but Google are saying that the indexing that is being done interferes with their own indexing, which in fact it does not as Windows Search indexing only occurs on idle CPU cycles, so Google's will be given a higher priority. They're also saying you can't deactivate it, which you can - GDS modifies the Services when it sets itself to start on boot, so it's once again trivial to include in that a method of deactivating Windows Search. As I mentioned in another post, they tacitly admit that GDS works fine by providing Sidebar plugins and other miscellaneous extras that are designed specifically for Vista.

                  Google's arguments here are disingenuous at best and deliberately misleading at worst - I have a feeling they're trying to get Windows Search removed merely to cripple Windows searching and create a niche which doesn't currently exist for them in Vista.
  • by F34nor (321515) * on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:44AM (#19457169)
    Its cheeper to buy a congressman than to fix your business model.
  • Did anyone actually *read* the NY times article? *rolls eyes* this truly is a dazzlingly brilliant strategy for Microsoft. Legal problems with Big Gov? Insert your own people into the process ... then everything comes up smelling of roses!!!

    Rule of the people by the people for the people? This is more like rule of the people by big govt for big govt.
    • You missed the transition from a person being defined as a white male landowner, to a corporate CxO. The same thing, really, just a different era.

      Besides, I've many of these "people" you refer to (having lived in both metro and non-metro areas) - you really don't want many of those people running the government. That's not to say that the CxO class is doing a good job - quite the contrary. But you're not going to get magical parity by letting the general poulation make decisions - they are very poor at seei
    • by JimDaGeek (983925)
      s/big govt/big corps/g
  • So? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:01AM (#19457235)
    All this shows it that Microsoft paid more for their politicians than Google did.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by JamesRose (1062530)
      Shouldn't've used froogle.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mh1997 (1065630)

      All this shows it that Microsoft paid more for their politicians than Google did.

      Actually, all this shows is that Microsoft should have paid for their politicians a couple years ago, then there would have been no anti-trust case at all.

      If the government really believed that Microsoft was a monopoly and doing evil, then why, when dealing with the government, do all documents have to be in Microsoft Office format? The US Government is large enough that if it switched to any other software, Microsoft's dom

  • by 3seas (184403) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:37AM (#19457369) Journal
    ... like CONSUMER CHOICE!

    Consumers/buyers are the ones with the loudest voice, they are the ones the politicians are really supposed to listen to, but if the information that allows the consumer to check it out for themselves and express their choice and concerns, is kept confidential and away from the consumer then there is one question to ask: Why?

    What is it that Microsofts search engine is looking for that it is always running and why is the initial political response backing this?

    Sidebar:
    IS there some connection to spying on the public, which in this case would be the public even outside of the US?
    If it is then I suspect, due to the easy to hypothisize of the 6 billion or so people in the world, it is some fraction of 1 percent that are in positions of warmongering and in general causing problems that otherwise do not exist. If it is for spying then that a lot of funding that could be better spent fixing real problems and removing the excuses of these major wrong doers.
    End of sidebar:

    Back to the MS search engine. Why is it always on?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by JamesRose (1062530)
      It indexes your files, firstly, to do correctly, and without slowinng you r computer alot that takes a long time, secondly while you are using your computer you are modifying files, when you modify them, they need re-indexing. If really necessary ctrl+alt+del, find the process, shut it down, its no vital, but that's not a permanent solution.
      • by 3seas (184403)
        Yes it is much faster to send an existing index of files info over the net than to send on the fly generated directory listings. Likewise it is less obvious too, if sending to a party that is not authorized.

        Indexing and search are?

        A) The same

        B) Different

        c) both A & B

        It's not a bug, its a feature.... it's not a search, its an indexing. Trust us, we are the MSNSA.

  • The US government would rather one US company had a monopoly over the desktop than have a foreign company have more market share.

    Even though Apple and Google are both also US companies that would thrive with a less powerful Microsoft.

    A lot easier for the security services if the major player is a US company. Easier to get tools to bypass encryption etc..
  • Google lying to push their desktop search with its close to the bone privacy policies or the way that most people so far have just taken whatever Google say about their major competitor as being fact. I know this is Slashdot but I would expect a supposedly clued up technical audience to be aware of how easy it is to disable windows search in Vista. Whats next? Will Google want Yahoo messenger disabled as well because it's a bit of a resource hog and that might impact on Google desktop search performance?
  • hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by um... Lucas (13147) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:15AM (#19457523) Journal
    Without having read the article (sorry, i haven't had coffee yet), i have to say, I'm with Microsoft on this one. I can definetly see the anti-competitiveness of grafting a web browser or media player into the operating system, BUT for google to complain that the operating system includes a means of searching for files on the computer it's running on... that seems a bit babyish. Am I missing something? Should i read the original article?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by keithjr (1091829)
      You're not missing much. This is the argument that MS would use if this case were to ever come to fruition. It's the same way they dodged the Netscape suit: claim that the product being complained about is actually an integral part of the functionality of an operating system in today's computing model.

      This worked with Netscape thanks to the sharp rise in internet use by the common user when IE started coming bundled with Windows. At that point, a web browser was indeed an intergral part of the OS and thu
      • by Quarters (18322)
        Bundling arguments are a red herring in this context. Microsoft has included a search function since Windows 3.x (2.x?) It's not like they stuck something new in Vista just to counter Google Desktop Search.
  • Wait, which is the lesser of two evils here? Google are privacy-destroying voyeurs, and Microsoft are omnivore IP hogs. I'd like to find the lesser of two evils. Except, when I look into it, all they're doing is advancing market share so their shareholders are happy and everyone from the CEO to the janitor goes home richer. So are the people behind Microsoft and Google the evil? Or is it the system?

    Why can't we admit that capitalism and good design are oppositional forces, and that we the people through our
  • I know they don't provide an indexer for osx, but the indexer in osx was conceived after ms's vista (longhorn i suppose)'s i think google is way off base to begin with, and not saying anything about osx really cuts the legs out of the argument imho.
    • I know they don't provide an indexer for osx, but the indexer in osx was conceived after ms's vista (longhorn i suppose)'s i think google is way off base to begin with, and not saying anything about osx really cuts the legs out of the argument imho.

      I was actually thinking the same thing at first, but then again, Apple does not have a monopoly over the personal computer market. Microsoft does (according to the DOJ). Therefore they have to play by different rules, I guess.

      I'm not saying I necessarily agree wi

      • by cyborg_zx (893396)
        No that's basically what everyone who says, "it's not fair," doesn't grasp - it ain't supposed to be fair. The whole point is that anyone who grasps economics realises that the free market is not a panacea and as such it would really rather be better if monopolies were not allowed to undermine the advantages the market system is supposed to bring.
  • The other two increasingly mainstream OSes both implement this. Mac OS X and current versions of both GNOME and KDE versions of Ubuntu ship with desktop search-like applications. In purely practical terms, it seems unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft can't do the same just because a third party happens to be selling similar software for their OS. That said, I'm not familiar with the language of the antitrust ruling, and I am a bit alarmed by the partiality shown by the Department of Justice.
  • No such thing as a conflict of interest in the Bush administration. No bid contracts funneled to Cheney's former company and a lawyer that used to represent Microsoft put in charge of the Justice Department's anti-trust actions against Microsoft:

    The official, Thomas O. Barnett, an assistant attorney general, had until 2004 been a top antitrust partner at the law firm that has represented Microsoft in several antitrust disputes.

    At a minimum this guy should have recused himself from handling any DOJ mat

  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @12:01PM (#19458369) Homepage

    Historically, Microsoft has moved widely needed functions into their operating system and thereby eliminated the market for alternatives. When they did that for disk compression, Stacker went out of business. When they did it for TCP/IP networking, Trumpet Winsock disappeared. When they did it for email, Eudora stopped being a viable business. When they did it for browsers, Netscape Inc. went from a dot-com success to collapse.

    Right now, they're doing it for anti-virus tools, which threatens McAfee, and desktop search, which threatens Google. They'll probably win on both of those, because there's little incentive to install a competitor's tools if those come bundled with the operating system, and because those tools can be tightly integrated with the operating system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      .....

      Which is why as a software company (if I were one), I'd never write a damn peice of software for Microsoft ... EVER. If whatever innovative software I created was targeted by MS, I'd have no chance to compete.

      Dance with the devil, then you can expect to rot in hell, when you no longer serve his purposes.

      Sucks doesn't it? Why any company would write software for MS who can and often does poach designs and ideas from other companies, is beyond me. Seriously.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DavidD_CA (750156)
      This argument has been going on for almost a decade now.

      As a consumer, I say GOOD. Because if all that stuff wasn't bundled into the operating system, then I'd have to get it all myself, and often pay for it.

      The MacOS includes all that stuff, and more, for free when you buy OS X. Why can't I have that when I buy Windows Vista?

      And there is nothing stopping me from deciding to 1) purchase a competing product and installing it, or 2) not purchasing Vista at all and getting a machine with Linux.
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:31PM (#19460035) Homepage
    The entire first page of posts is one repetitive list:

    Moron 1: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 2: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 3: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 4: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 5: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 6: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 7: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 8: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 9: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 10: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 11: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 12: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 12: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 14: You CAN turn it off.

    Moron 15: Google didn't say that - they said allow it to be turned off.

    Moron 16: You CAN turn it off.

    There's your whole first page...

    Morons...

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

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