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Google Calls For More Limits On Microsoft 270

Posted by kdawson
from the keeping-watch-a-while-longer dept.
teh_commodore writes "Scientific American is reporting that Google is now asking a Federal judge to extend the government's anti-trust oversight of Microsoft, specifically with regard to desktop search software. Microsoft had already agreed to modify Vista to allow rival desktop search engines, but Google says that this remedy will come too late — specifically, after (most of) the anti-trust agreement expires in November. What makes this political maneuver interesting is that Google went over the heads of the Department of Justice and US state regulators, who had found Microsoft's compromise acceptable, to appeal directly to the Federal judge overseeing the anti-trust settlement." Update: 06/26 17:20 GMT by KD : The judge is unwilling to play along with Google; she said she will likely defer to an agreement on desktop search forged between Microsoft and the plaintiffs in the case: i.e. Justice and the states.
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Google Calls For More Limits On Microsoft

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  • Google huh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) on Monday June 25, 2007 @09:53PM (#19644259)
    Im afraid with Google, we may be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. I hate MS as much as the next guy (Linux user for quite a while now), but would Google really be any better as the 800 lb gorilla on the block? Oh, well, chalk it up to paranoia, but I really would hate to see one evil overlord replaced by another.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I wouldn't worry about it...after all, Google's stated goal is to do no evil, right? *tongue firmly placed in cheek*
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572)
        Problem is google's definition of 'do no evil' is if google does it by definition it is not evil. Personally I think google is already poking it's privacy invasive nose in too many areas already and hard disk search is really an OS utility not another source for targeted marketing tactics or physiological analysis of consumer file storage patterns or general public file naming conventions, or familial file patterns. As for M$ sure they do a lot of nasty things all of the time, optimised file indexing is not
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "hate microsoft" - dude get a life.. They are a software company. Maybe not a big fan Don't care for their software But saying "hate" just shows that you're a tard.
      • Re:Google huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:05PM (#19644375)
        Ok, normally I would agree with you, but in the case of MS I don't think hate is too strong a word, or at least in the context of their business practices. Any corporation that actively attempts to stifle/destroy new innovations that they don't control by use of illegal/monopolistic methods deserves nothing but contempt. They stopped being "just a software company" a long time ago.
        • Re:Google huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by weicco (645927) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @06:44AM (#19647519)

          Then tell us how MS is keeping Google out of desktop search business. From what I see, it is MS that's providing platform for Google apps to work on. Have you actually read what Google is arguing about? It's ridiculous! They complain that it's too hard to shut down indexing service. I've written several services and programs that control other services. There's nothing magical in it, just tell Service Manager to stop that particular service and it will stop it if you have sufficient rights (user can't stop system services, UAC to the rescue). Google is complaining that end-users don't know how to do it but fails to mention that Google's installer app, which is used to install Google search, can pretty well do it. Google is whihing that OEMs don't know how to do it. Oh gimme a break.

          Everyone's yelling about monopolies and stuff but nobody's actually focusing on the subject at hand.

      • Re:Google huh... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:18PM (#19644483)
        You either aren't old enough or you haven't been paying attention. Microsoft has cemented its dominant position in the industry by employing tactics against its rivals only slightly less ruthless than Saddam's, all while crowing about its own prowess as an "innovator". At the time Netscape broke through in 1995, the PC desktop software industry had been stagnant for several years because of Microsoft's reputation for crushing anyone who came up with an original idea.

        Naturally, Microsoft responded to Netscape not only bundling its browser into the operating system ("free" for anyone who bought a Windows PC), but making it architecturally part of the operating system so that Steve Ballmer could tell a judge that he didn't know how to remove IE without completely breaking Windows. It was the default browser for most PC's sold.

        And that's just one competitor, one story that was essentially repeated several dozen times throughout Microsoft's history.

        BTW I'm not suggesting that Google will be any better, or that they shouldn't be watched like a hawk. Chances are they won't be, and they should be.
        • Heh, do you remeber when MS was selling IE separate from Windows 3.1 for $50? Man...those were the days...
    • Think of it more as one of the later Hummer commercials, with the two boxing robots. You might remember the actual game, you might not. But at least they're boxing each other and not the little guys.
    • Re:Google huh... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Infernodogget (1120103) on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:03PM (#19644349)
      Google isn't the evil company that we know Microsoft as. Google focusing on the development of a great search engine, instead of taking the money and selling out for media development(Yahoo), is why they have grown to such heights. The fact that a fresh and legit force is now bossing evil Microsoft around, is quite refreshing for the tech world, and should be applauded instead of demeaned.
      • Re:Google huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:39PM (#19645165)
        Wow, and people rip on Apple fanboys for drinking the kool-aid. Let's be clear, google is complaining that Windows ships with a feature that's trivial to disable either by a user or an installer, that given todays media sizes, it should ship with by default (or else explain why Microsoft should be permitted to supply a file manager, or even a built in text dialogue). Google is inconvienenced by this development as they ship a horrible product with truly lacking privacy protections, which *they* don't even charge for. So their remedy is to have lawyers write my OS.

        Seriously, fuck google. Damn the collateral damage, examples must be made. I don't see Google opening up page rank and exposing ever aspect of their technology through their API, and they have a monopoly on web searching. I'm going down to Home Depot, I find myself short kerosene and a pitchfork.
      • Google isn't the evil company that we know Microsoft as. Google focusing on the development of a great search engine, instead of taking the money and selling out for media development(Yahoo), is why they have grown to such heights. The fact that a fresh and legit force is now bossing evil Microsoft around, is quite refreshing for the tech world, and should be applauded instead of demeaned.

        Google is *not* a search engine company. Google does not develop the search engine to make access to information mor
    • ...there's always a chance that they'll put each other out of business and thus save the world. Maybe.
    • Re:Google huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by catbutt (469582) on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:04PM (#19644357)
      I'd rather have two 800 pound gorillas than just one. Competition is good.

      Anyway, I just don't see the comparison. Size isn't the issue. Google doesn't have a network monopoly, which is the big difference between Microsoft and Google. If I want to stop using Google tomorrow, I can switch to a competitor without any downsides -- other than the competitor might not be as good. (example: gmail lets me forward my mail to a new account, use a non-gmail address, etc....they seem to go out of their way to NOT lock me in. That's a HUGE difference from the way Microsoft has always done business)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        How are you locked into using Microsoft software? You could format your PCs and switch to Ubuntu Linux. On the server side of things, Redhat isn't struggling either. However patents ARE a huge threat to competition and ARE a monopolistic anti-competitive method to kill competition. This is a true example of how one competitor can kill their competition, gaining a monopoly share of the market in the process.

        And how many websites now rely on Google Maps, Google Search or other features for the site to work co
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Trelane (16124)

          How are you locked into using Microsoft software?

          Most people are locked in by the fact that most other people use only Microsoft software. This leads to hardware only working with Windows

          And how many websites now rely on Google Maps, Google Search or other features for the site to work correctly?

          Not that many, really. At least, not in my experience.

          These Google features are good enough that competitors offerings are not used by anyone

          But they are. Mapquest is still in use in many places, and The We

      • by nwbvt (768631)

        "I'd rather have two 800 pound gorillas than just one. Competition is good."

        Thats like saying MS doesn't have a monopoly because Exxon sells more gas than them. Two 800 pound gorillas does not equal competition if both are in different industries. MS is the 800 pound gorilla in fields like operating systems and office software, Google is the 800 pound gorilla in search and web advertising.

        "If I want to stop using Google tomorrow, I can switch to a competitor without any downsides -- other than the co

        • Re:Google huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:10AM (#19645409)
          my whole problem with the 800lb gorilla anology when applied to google, is just HOW is google going to control how we use our pc's?

          the only way they can do that is to make the best product. they can't threaten suppliers with higher OS prices like MS did if they tried to sell OS/2. they can't write in subtle incompatabilities to prevent uptake of standards.

          if google started whacking great big annoying ads in gmail and search, i'd just move to another provider in the blink of an eye. no money lost, no inconvienence.

          • by nwbvt (768631)

            Again, you are looking at the wrong industry, and you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. No, Google is not a major player on the desktop software market, no one is arguing that they are. But believe it or not, there are industries out there other than PC software. The danger isn't that Google will have significant control over your PC, its that they will have significant control over the Internet. And its not that you the web surfer can move to a different provider, because you are not the on

      • by lawpoop (604919)

        I'd rather have two 800 pound gorillas than just one. Competition is good.
        Yeah, while they are busy duking it out with each other, they are exhausting themselves, and ignoring you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Big Nothing (229456)
        Competition _is_ good, but Google is evil [wordpress.com] in ways that Microsoft is not. These two evils do not necessarily cancel each other but rather add to each other.

    • by shawn443 (882648)
      Worst case is that they will still be slightly better. How are they going to be anti-competitive? How are they going to force restrictive EULA's down our throats? What could be their whiny equivalent to "Open Letter to Hobbyists"? They are certainly corporate, but so far, not Microsoft.
      • Here's one way: by getting you to use their services and hosting the data on their servers they can lock you into using their services in ways that locally storing data in closed formats never could. That was one of Microsoft's key anti-competitive strategies. The other, bundling, could equally well be done by google, and they do seem keen on it (as evidenced, for example, my making deals to have the google toolbar pre-installed, and paying companies to make google search the default). So they could be p
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drsmithy (35869)

        Worst case is that they will still be slightly better. How are they going to be anti-competitive? How are they going to force restrictive EULA's down our throats?

        The most obvious way is by prioritising (or deprioritising) search results for your company's website and/or advertisements depending on how much you pay, what other search engines you list with, etc.

        Google's "customers" aren't the people using them so *search* the web, Google's customers are the people and businesses who depend on website and a

        • Google's "customers" aren't the people using them so *search* the web, Google's customers are the people and businesses who depend on website and advertisement hits.

          so, Google's customers are fewer and more valuable than Microsoft's? Sounds very preferable to me, as a little guy and all.

          • by drsmithy (35869)

            so, Google's customers are fewer and more valuable than Microsoft's?

            Depends on whether or not you consider every end user a Microsoft "customer", or just those who buy Windows (the majority of which are OEMs).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bl8n8r (649187)
      > but would Google really be any better as the 800 lb gorilla on the block?

      Here's the deal. Microsoft is able to get away with just about anything. If they can force google off the desktop with vista search (or whatever), there won't be any more google. Just like there isn't any more netscape. I don't think google is trying to strongarm microsoft but rather they are trying to deal with the shitty legal system microsoft is used to running. They need to start litigation early because they recognize th
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Here's the deal. Microsoft is able to get away with just about anything. If they can force google off the desktop with vista search (or whatever), there won't be any more google.

        Right. Because Google are a one-trick pony. Their whole business revolves around desktop search.

        Just like there isn't any more netscape.

        As long as they don't make the same mistake and let their primary product fall into buggy disrepair while they redirect all their resources into rewriting it from scratch and hiring lawyers,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tc9 (674357)
      No one should resist Google absolute right to index all mail, all files, all sites, all traffic, all searches, all documents everywhere in every place. After all, they are sworn to "do no evil"

      Google is the scariest company out there, right now - beyond MS, beyond Halliburton, beyond Blackwater.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WalkingFish (902924)
      I don't share your dread. I think for the average slashdotter, MS is hated not so much because they are a monopoly but because they write crappy software. Google has really written some kick-butt apps and have forced some competition in the market.
      • Furthermore, who wants your personal information stored with a company that writes shitty software?
    • Re:Google huh... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kinglink (195330) on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:50PM (#19645273)
      I'd like to say first thing first is we aren't going to get a perfect company. If you believe Stallman and believe FSF is the only way to roll, get out of my post. Period. I'm not here to entertain zealots.

      Second Google has a lot going for it, they aren't "Evil" but they do cross the line at times. But the real question is are they a company or are they a humanitarian effort. Once you realize they are a company, also realize that they aren't crossing the line to limit people. They aren't trying to make a monopoly here. Hell they BOUGHT Youtube, knowing that with in 6 months they'd be in a law suit with the RIAA. If anything we should applaud them just for that.

      But let's look at it this way. From what it looks like Microsoft is far worse than Google. That being said, Google left unchecked might not be the best thing but it could also be a good thing, and personally I'd take that option. We can assume Google is evil overlord number 2 but Google isn't looking that way. They look like a good company who while providing overly useful tools are also trying to turn a profit.

      That is key however. They are a company. They want to make money. They do this at the same time as they benefit us. You'll never get something for nothing, but what Google has offered seems to be a fair trade. They do encroach a little on privacy issues. But let's also cut them a little slack. They don't hide this fact, and they don't force you to use their system. I'm willing to take a slight privacy hit if it generates advertising revenue for them. They're offering me a gig of space for Email, a fully functional search engine (no matter how I want to search) as well other features, personally I don't have anything to hide from Google. Go figure, I guess I haven't read 1984 as many times as some of the people here or perhaps I can think for myself rather than listen to what Orwell has to say.

      We can't expect companies to run in a vacuum, we can't expect them not to make a profit especially when they give us the quality of service Google has, if you expect that then all you'll ever see is Evil Overlords. But at the same time if we don't attempt to replace Microsoft we'll always be stuck with Window's and while XP looked like a good step, Vista is just about as evil as you get. Personally I'd rather work with the company who's willing to fight against the RIAA versus the one who made a huge deal with them, and screwed their consumers to get a few more bullet points and probably some cash money deal under the table.

      Trading Google for Microsoft sounds like a win win, and even if it turns around at worse this case will only make laws that allow more competition not less, so if that's not a win for the people, I really have no idea.
    • by loganrapp (975327)
      If I'm going to jump from one evil to another, I'd rather jump to the evil who has the balls to do Street Maps and the Summer of Code.
    • Google is no 800 pound Microsoft replacement. Last time I checked Google weren't installing operating systems that come bog standard on virtually every desktop computer.

      I don't have to install any application written by Google, nor do I have to use their search engine. I have a choice! That is the clear difference.
  • You go Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catbutt (469582) on Monday June 25, 2007 @09:58PM (#19644295)
    I know, Google is big and scary now as well, but I am pretty happy to see a new 300 pound gorilla in the room standing up to Microsoft.

    The world is better with the dominant operating system open for competition. A court understood this once ( http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm [usdoj.gov] ), but clearly the DOJ is not going to enforce it without Google (and others with the wherewithal to do so) being vocal about it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HaMMeReD3 (891549)
      It's not competition when they attempt to block-out microsoft from competing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CaptKilljoy (687808)
      >I know, Microsoft is big and scary now as well, but I am pretty happy to see a new 300 pound gorilla in the room standing up to IBM.

      Fixed. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

      Welcome to our new corporate overlords, same as the old ones.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by WilliamSChips (793741)
        Microsoft never "stood up" to IBM. They went into a completely consensual business deal and then Microsoft made shady deals with OEMs to prevent OS/2 from taking off.
  • Why are they bothering trying to change the wreckage that is Vista, instead of releasing their own OS? Frankly at this rate I'm surprised GoogleOS hasn't already been announced.

    In all seriousness, I would not mind seeing some of the energy behind the ideas and innovation Google has come up with over the years put into a new OS, or at least, window manager. On the other hand, I'm pretty happy with OSX ;)
    • Why are they bothering trying to change the wreckage that is Vista, instead of releasing their own OS? Frankly at this rate I'm surprised GoogleOS hasn't already been announced.

      They had better. The consent decree expires in November. If that means what I think it means, Vista is going to suck life more obviously than it already does. It's like they've ignored the consent decree, even while it's in effect. Normal people are unable to think of what M$ will do next.

      • by Macthorpe (960048) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:12AM (#19647101) Journal

        The consent decree expires in November. If that means what I think it means, Vista is going to suck life more obviously than it already does.
        I have read enough of your comments to know that things very rarely mean what you think they mean.

        It's like they've ignored the consent decree, even while it's in effect.
        No, they haven't. There's plenty of evidence, this article included, that they're actually doing the opposite.

        Normal people are unable to think of what M$ will do next.
        Another infantile dollar sign, another pathetic piece of rhetoric, another factless comment.
    • An OS isn't the way to go right now. The future is in online apps, which Google is doing quite well at providing. If all your programs can run on any computer regardless of OS, then the OS becomes meaningless, and Windows loses its primary strength - compatibility with everything and everybody.
      • They tried that sort of thing when I was a lot younger. Some cities went so far as to start to offer services on their computer (back when computers were huge) via a home terminal, if memory serves.

        It didn't fly then, and it will have a hell of a time now.

        Why? Because people like having control over both their files and the programs used to manipulate them. Lose net access and you lose the ability to get any real work done. Backhoe of death? Router blows out? Just plain forget to pay your bill? Too b
  • Re The first post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Azuma Hazuki (955769) on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:11PM (#19644429)
    I have to agree with the first poster. Google scares the hell out of me, and I use their webmail and search every day. They're not as "obvious" a target as Microsoft since they're not (at present) an OS vendor, which may mean that, should they choose to do more evil, they won't be as visible. And Google doesn't work on OSes, it works on *data.* Huge, collected masses of data that would be any social-engineering data miner's wet dream.

    Put another way, they traffic in information. An OS is, when you get right down to it, nothing but information, and there are alternatives to Windows. What will happen when/if there becomes no alternative to Google for web searches?
    • A competitor will come about. I laughed at google at first because Yahoo search was the defacto standard and why use anything else? They won and the game was over.

      But Google took over by a supperior product.

      Now MS on the hand winds by bundling software with every computer into existence. Sadly it works as everyone and their brother use IE, Office, and Media player because its what comes with their computer.

      If you are not satified with google then use something else. I did and switched to google as with most
  • Marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:27PM (#19644533) Journal
    This is a marketing tactic. Google knows that many people will respect this move.

    But it brings into focus a new corporate strategy... the use of regulation over competition. Asking for regulation is against the traditional American business philosophy, which typically favours deregulation.

    This could play out in favour of Microsoft who will likely ask that Google get regulated more heavily, which will result in some interesting news for the world, to come. And yes, I know something you don't. ;-) And, no, I don't like it, either.
    • Re:Marketing (Score:4, Informative)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:18PM (#19644941) Homepage Journal
      But it brings into focus a new corporate strategy... the use of regulation over competition. Asking for regulation is against the traditional American business philosophy, which typically favours deregulation.

      Typically, yes, but not in the case of abusive monopolies. Most systems need regulators (human or mechanical) to avoid positive feedback loops.

    • Re:Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... rg minus painter> on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:32PM (#19645097) Homepage
      I can switch from Google by typing "www.yahoo.com" in my address bar. I can switch from Microsoft by getting my company to get a system to replace Exchange calendars and mail, reinstall most computers with a new operating system, set up a new network, new system to replace Sharepoint, replace all of our company standard documents, office applications, etc. The barrier to switch from Microsoft is MUCH higher, so their onus as a Monopoly to be interoperable is much higher than it would be with Google. Google only keeps it's "monopoly" by being good at what it does, rather than locking in their customers and making the barriers to switch impossibly high.
      • I can switch from Google by typing "www.yahoo.com" in my address bar.

        How do you get your GMail out? How do your Google Talk friends reach you? How do you stop being tracked by Google's tracking cookies (DoubleClick, Adsense, Analytics)? How do your Docs and Spreadsheets get migrated? Where do your Picasa photos go?

        More importantly, how do you advertise online? How do you make money from online advertising?

        Many, many people are as locked into Google as they are into Microsoft. I have chosen not to stay clear

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by WilliamSChips (793741)

          How do you get your GMail out?

          Any mail client that allows POP.

          How do your Google Talk friends reach you?

          Any Jabber account will do.

          How do you stop being tracked by Google's tracking cookies (DoubleClick, Adsense, Analytics)?

          NoScript does that on Firefox, I'm sure there's something equivalent on most other browsers worth their own salt and also on IE.

          How do your Docs and Spreadsheets get migrated?

          The Google apps allow you to export as .doc or .xls files. No ODF yet, unfortunately, but they have a track record of not making this sort of thing impossible for long.

          Where do your Picasa photos go?

          I haven't used Picasa but I'm sure there's some way given that I've seen Picasa-edited photos on Facebook.

          More importantly, how do you advertise online? How do you make money from online advertising?

          This [projectwonderful.com], perhaps?

    • by swillden (191260) *

      This could play out in favour of Microsoft who will likely ask that Google get regulated more heavily

      On what grounds? Google doesn't have a monopoly in any space, and even in the area where they're closest to having a monopoly (search), they've shown no sign of trying to leverage it into dominance in other areas. Anti-trust law, the basis for the regulation of Microsoft, doesn't apply to Google. Given the way things are progressing, with both OS X and Linux making small inroads into Microsoft's desktop OS dominance, and ODF (with a little luck) reducing the MS Office format stranglehold, Microsoft's i

      • they've shown no sign of trying to leverage it into dominance in other areas.

        Some people would differ with your assessment, for example the single sign-on account system can be viewed as an attempt by Google to leverage one area to promote dominance in other areas, just like Microsoft tries with its single sign on system. There's no reason why Gmail (for example) needs to be linked with book search services, etc. They are independent areas. Worse, it's not just harmless technical optimization, it actu

  • by jorghis (1000092) on Monday June 25, 2007 @10:36PM (#19644601)
    I think this is a good change, but does Google really have the high ground here? They are using an extremely dominant product to market their other products. They use their search engine to push everything from google maps to gmail.

    As an example can mapquest come along and demand that when a user searches for a street in google that their map be displayed prominantly as the first search item instead of google maps? This has a huge impact in the online maps business. Google has used a dominant product to gain a massive advantage in a new area. Not entirely unlike what the boys from Redmond like to do. Im not saying its evil, but it does seem kind of like a bully who starts crying when a bigger bully comes along.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PhreakOfTime (588141)

      This has a huge effect on the on-line map business.

      Are you saying that you like mapquest better? Or that google offers a inferior product? Because when I go to 'google' to seach for 'maps' Im pretty well expecting to get google maps! If I wanted mapquest maps (and I cant ever imagine a situation where that would come up - to each their own) then I would go to mapquest. Are you trying to suggest that the government regulate which words I type into my browser?

      Im afraid I just dont know what argument you

      • by jorghis (1000092)
        It has nothing to do with which product is better. Honestly, I use google maps.

        What I am saying is that they have used their dominant search engine to drive users to their maps program which has taken a huge share from mapquest because of this. It is very similar to how MS wants to use their dominant operating system to drive users to their search engine.

        Sure, if I dont like it I can use a different search engine. The exact same way if I dont like it when MS does it I can use a different operating system
        • What I am saying is that they have used their dominant search engine to drive users to their maps program which has taken a huge share from mapquest because of this

          I do know that from time to time I see a result with links to Google Maps. However, when I made the switch from Mapquest to Google Maps, it was not because of the search engine. I heard about a fantastic new web mapping application (probably on /. or techdirt or someplace), tried it out directly and never looked back.

          It isn't Google's se

      • by pavera (320634) on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:27PM (#19645053) Homepage Journal
        personally, I've never had google maps actually find an address I've looked for, mapquest and yahoo maps do a much better job than google maps.

        However, it isn't about the "quality" of existing products. If I write a new online map program integrated with satelite video, that shows you in 3d how to navigate to your destination, and then has a really nice map you can print out, and it works on a mobile phone, and it has an excellent fuzzy logic engine which can decipher any address you enter. Say I create this end all be all of map products. How is anyone going to find it? Google maps will always appear above my superior map program no matter how many people link to it, or how many people use it, I will always be "second" at best.

        Google is the great gatekeeper of the internet. If Google doesn't like you, you are out of business in the online world. That is the problem the parent is talking about.
    • I am a little biased towards google because they won by making a supperior product and new non boolean search engine that read context of pages rather than parse keywords.

      MS won by Bill Gates mom knowing IBMs CEO. Nothing else. They have used an illegal monopoly to crush competition by controlling the desktop. As a result we are stuck with IE, MS Office, and now Windows Server since unix/linux is losing ground still and owns only %50 of the market.

      So if consumers use whatever MS tells them to then Google lo
    • by lawpoop (604919)

      I think this is a good change, but does Google really have the high ground here? They are using an extremely dominant product to market their other products. They use their search engine to push everything from google maps to gmail.

      Yes, but they don't have a monopoly, and their users have choice. You don't *have* to use google, and you are not forced to pay anything to them when you buy a new computer. They don't force any manufacturing partners into all-or-nothing bundling agreements.

      Basically google has the bundled, horizontal software suite that MS would like people to believe *MS* is offering, while MS is really only offering a monopolized, choiceless platform. You want to run Linux on that box? Fine, you've already paid MS for

  • Do no evil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Arthur B. (806360)
    Windows is MS OS, I don't like it and don't use it, however it is *their* OS, not Google's not the consumer's not the regulators'. Using antitrust to attack competition destroys value, it's *evil*. Same goes for AMD: they lost technological ground, they switch to outsourcing their development to get cheaper products instead of investing in research and their desperate move is what: antitrust lawsuit against Intel. Shame shame on them all.
  • Microsoft capitulated pretty quickly when it came to the search thing in Vista, but Google is looking more and more like a dominatrix that is just flogging her little bitch.

    Ballmer tied to a slightly thrown chair....
    Google: Who is your search queen slave?
    Steve: You are mistress, may I please revamp my already released operating system search features for you?
    • From Microsoft's idea of capitulation (or of a snow job on the DOJ): "...And third, it will "inform" software makers, computer makers and users that "the desktop search index in Vista is designed to run in the background and cede precedence over computing resources to any other software product, including third-party desktop search products and their respective search indices."

      If I read that quote correctly, the MS indexer cannot be disabled. It can be made to run at a low priority, but it'll still be ther
  • Google, c'mon. Nobody likes a billion-dollar cry-baby. Take Paris Hilton, for example. (Mom!!!?!)

    It appears to me that Google is really stretching the definition of its "don't be evil" mission by playing the "pull" card and trying to get an already over-reaching government to bitchslap Microsoft on their behalf. Ayn Rand, call your office.

    Google, if you've given up on trying to make it on your ability and have decided instead to play the looter's game, please issue a press release to that effect so that I can be properly and officially disappointed in you, and switch my IE and Mozilla over to MS Live search just for spite.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444)
      Well Microsoft is the crybaby in this situation since they have been lobbying the Bush administration quite heavily. Infact the DOJ even want as far as to file a friend of the court petition on behalf of MS on this case??

      Isn't it the DOJ's job to monitor MS?

      Whatever. Google is just trying to survive and has a right to be worried. How can you compete with every desktop on earth? People use whats on their computers and whether its good or not it becomes standard. No one can unseat Microsoft as a result and it
  • by Londovir (705740) on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:11PM (#19644839)

    I'm a little out of the loop, but I just read through the final [amended] consent decree against Microsoft on the DOJ website. Can someone in the know point out what clause Google is claiming is being violated? I haven't seen it directly mentioned in any story posted yet.

    I mean, the main problems addressed in the consent decree were twofold: 1) Microsoft was illegally leveraging OEMs for positioning, and 2) Microsoft was illegally leveraging it's "Middleware" market by including standalone products (such as Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, etc) in its Windows OS.

    What's Google's ground, legally, for their complaint? According to the consent decree, the term "Middleware" was defined, basically, as either "IE, Java, Media Player, Messenger, Outlook Express" or "browsers, email clients, networked audio/video software, instant messaging software" or "any functionality provided by Microsoft software that is distributed separately within a year preceding a new commercial Windows release which is similar to a non-Microsoft middleware product".

    That being the case, did Microsoft ever release the Instant Search option as a separate download from any Windows OS? I can't think of any time they ever did that to my recollection. In fact, as someone else pointed out, searching is not only integral to the file systems of an OS, but it's been included in Windows from quite a ways back (if not as efficiently as it currently is implemented in Vista.)

    Just curious....

    Londovir
    • That being the case, did Microsoft ever release the Instant Search option as a separate download from any Windows OS? I can't think of any time they ever did that to my recollection. In fact, as someone else pointed out, searching is not only integral to the file systems of an OS, but it's been included in Windows from quite a ways back (if not as efficiently as it currently is implemented in Vista.)

      Yes [microsoft.com].

  • Just consider this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday June 25, 2007 @11:54PM (#19645295)
    Which company in their right mind would stop demanding random stuff from their competition that benefits them. Especially if it seems to work. None.

    And in this light, the fact Google is never happy, they're just maximizing their luck with the entire "Microsoft locked Windows down" inertia.

    I just see how many of your are trying to read into this "if Google does it, then it's the right thing for everyone". No, you idiots. It's the right thing for Google. It's completely irrelevant if it's the right thing for everyone.
    • "if Google does it, then it's the right thing for everyone"

      No, many of us are reading it as "If it's bad for Microsoft, then it's the right thing for everyone". Google is big and scary, but most people don't hate them because they haven't given many reasons to be hated. People hate Microsoft, with good reason too.

  • by UntakenName123456 (1120157) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:40AM (#19645605)

    First, let me say that I'm evil. I'm a corporate code tool for Microsoft, because they pay me money to play with lots and lots of their servers. Flame away, I've heard it all before.

    I always find the reaction to stories like this one interesting... I know all about what my camp thinks and how we see these issues. I wasn't present for the netscape/IE thing, and during school I was a pretty serious linux user for four or five years (as a freshman, the ability to play half life was more important). I use Firefox because IE7 still sucks. Google search was my home page for a long time, and frankly their search still does a great job... it's not what I use every day, but it is where I go when Live is being slow or I want to get a different view of the same search.

    For me, if I go out and pay an arm and a leg for Vista (don't like the pricing, but they don't ask me about these things), it should be great out of the box, and it should have all the basics (a browser to get online, a file system I can use to store and browse, the ability to play a CD, etc). I'm not paying for a skeleton system that's only done enough to let me DIY the rest... when it's finished installing, I should be able to reasonably use my computer right away. It's like buying a new car... I should be able to drive it off the lot, not need to go buy tires that aren't included (because I might develop a bias towards those tires?). For the average users out there (ahem, my computer hating mom), who want their computer for every day, uncomplicated tasks, it's even more important that it just works.

    So in a nutshell, I guess what I see day to day is that if there are features a user will reasonably expect out of the product, and we have time and budget, shouldn't we build them in? It seems more evil to me to leave them out.

    MS does have to play by difference rules, of course, because we're all evil, money hording devil worshipers who eat babies (delicious with a nice cayenne hot sauce), etc, etc. But I'm really curious for you on the outside world, do you design your products with defenses against users becoming biased toward them? Or were you us, and it's your product that people say is unfair, how would you balance "justice" with usability? Especially for something as basic-functionality as searching a file system? If it becomes jammed with ad-supported semi-functional competing products (by which I mean parties other than, and less scrupulous and skilled than Google), because competitors need the right to install random crazy software that will run under the name of your-product-name-here, did you make a good choice?

    • As a user of multiple OS's (XP, Vista and various *nix) I'm quite happy with Vista. Removed it within 24hrs for Ubuntu before factory restoring my system as I couldn't get all my new shiny hardware to work with Linux (ok, Linux fanboys... I could have tried harder but I was in my last month of University and needed a system that worked now. First time Linux has let me down though).

      This gave me the opportunity to give Vista a try out before a reinstall of Linux, which now isn't going to happen without som
      • [...] although I've got to ask: wtf is up with the 'show text' option for password fields? sheer madness....

        Not everyone has the motor control necessary to type accurately, be that either due to simple inexperience or something more significant like a medical problem.

    • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:13AM (#19647105)

      For me, if I go out and pay an arm and a leg for Vista (don't like the pricing, but they don't ask me about these things), it should be great out of the box, and it should have all the basics (a browser to get online, a file system I can use to store and browse, the ability to play a CD, etc).

      The argument here isn't over whether MS should be able to bundle stuff with their OS (though unfortunately that's what some of the anti-trust stuff has focussed on) - it's whether MS should be allowed to exploit a leading position in one market (OS) to crush competition in other markets (desktop search in this instance). Of course MS should be able to bundle IE (for example) - should they be able to attempt to kill any other browser company though? Should they be allowed to attempt to kill the internet as a multi-platform endeavour (this is the end-game of Silverlight, and was the long-term purpose of IE (including IE Mac) )?

      Are you familiar with the expressions "cut off the oxygen supply (of Netscape)", "a vig on every transaction (on the internet)", and "I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to kill Google"? The story of Java on Windows? BeOS? OS2? DR-DOS?

      While you flippantly use the term evil to describe MS, their focus on 'winning' (where winning means dominating and owning any market entered) at all costs does lead to evil. Their flagrant and illegal abuse of the market position of Windows in the past does mean they're held to stricter standards, as it should. In my opinion MS should be allowed to build whatever they like into their products, but they should be closely scrutinised for illegal actions, like breaking rival software, bribery, breaking contracts, buying out competition in nascent markets, bullying suppliers and customers, attempting to strongarm OEM PC makers with secret contracts, attempting to crush (not beat fairly but crush) rival tech like Java, the web and Google Desktop search by breaking OS compatibility, coming out with Windows extensions to break other implementations (Java) etc etc. With all these actions, MS has set back the computing world years.

      Or were you us, and it's your product that people say is unfair, how would you balance "justice" with usability?

      If I were you, I'd actually try to win on merits, not by manipulation and extinguishing competitors. While Microsoft employees don't even understand why people mistrust their company (which you patently don't), the attitude of those in the 'outside world', as you charmingly put it, won't change.
  • YRO? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mbstone (457308) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @01:13AM (#19645845)
    What does any of this have to do with My Rights Online? As between Google and Microsoft, and which outfit gains a couple of points of market share as opposed to the other, I care about as much as I care about Darfur or Paris Hilton.

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

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