Why are people so religious...
I can't understand why people here need to get religious about these corporate wars...
To those people who think MS (not M$) is a big bad monopoly and are all praise for google (the upcoming giant):
One of the primary goals of companies like MS, Apple and Google is to make profit for their shareholders and grow. Yes, each one has their motto to fullfill and therefore might use a different approach. I have noticed the trend of siding with the underdog always. MS is a tech giant wielding a lot of power I agree, but at the same time Google and Apple are no angels. It's my personal opinion that had Apple won the PC wars, the consumers would be paying a lot more for the computers and hardware. Honestly, I don't see any point in taking sides with technology firms here. They have their own agenda to deliver their vision and in the process make money. Based on various factors and circumstances, some are more successful than others in different aspects. I'm just happy to soak in what they give us. If you don't want to participate in their _sale_ of software, I suggest you look towards Linux and other free software movements.
To those that think search is not a part of the OS:
I guess the definition of OS has been conveniently changed to suit the argument. Is an OS just hardware abstraction software? If it is and should have no more, why include a file system in it? Why include a shell (command line or GUI) in it? Personally, I feel the loose and evolving definition of an OS is that it is the software platform and services that organizes and provides access to the hardware and data stored. In that context, search is very much a part of this evolutionary definition. At this point, if you still feel that the OS is strictly the hardware abstraction layer, you have the choice to experience that; Linux allows you to just choose the Linux kernel and mix and match any of the plethora of available software on top (right from file system, shells, GUI and drivers all the way to your media player and browser). In my opinion, the average consumer does not care about what pieces are used in an OS and the OS definition tends to be everything under the skin of the machine; it's main requirement is to provide a useful and pleasant user experience.
To those who complain and moan about Vista's search:
I have used MSN search and Google search on XP. Each one had it's own pain points. I switched over to Vista and was skeptical about the search considering my previous experience. However, to my pleasant surprise Vista's built in search was dialed in at a very comfortable level. It did not index the whole world, but if you wanted to, you could have it do that. At the same time, the search was seamlessly built in the local context of OS browser (explorer). I'm happy that I can access obscure things like power settings much quicker now in the control panel. Having used Vista for a while now, I would say that's the only reason I would recommend people to upgrade. For that matter of fact, spotlight also achieves the same and I'd recommend poeple upgrade to that if that's more of their preference.
And now for the main argument: Google vs MS
I personally see this as a low light for Google; having to approach the federal government to make this happen. What should Google have done (in my opinion)? I think it should have approached MS and talked about the prospect of opening up their OS search hooks so that Google could be plugged in. Given how Microsoft has reacted to the current move, I think Microsoft would have worked out something. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to portray Microsoft as a better company, but actually trying to expose Google as a company that's no better. I have great admiration for both companies for what they have delivered to the consumers. Had google worked on making their desktop search engine eons better than Vista and used that approach to dominate, I would have a lot more respect for them. As for now, in this matter, they want to rely on a legal crutch as opposed to unleasing innovation.
I can see flames brewing already... bring it on. Everyone here has their right to opinion. These were mine.