back to article Google goes back to court over Vista search tools

A week ago, a federal judge told Google it should contact the Department of Justice with any complaints about the desktop search tools built into Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. But Google has other ideas. This week, the online search giant filed new papers with Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly - the U.S. District …

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  1. Dan

    judge sandwich

    Never really understood what desktop search was, other than the obvious which doesn't seem that important, but fascinated to hear about papers being filled with a judge - with all that judge in there, can anyone still make out the text of the complaint? Does the judge smudge the ink? Are there different flavours of judge available? Pret-a-manger watch out. And as for a post-intelligencer, that really is sooo post-modern.

  2. Ian Ferguson

    Part of the OS

    I really don't understand Google's case here, if anyone cares to elaborate. Why shouldn't desktop search be part of an OS? It is in OSX and nobody's suing Apple. I'm no fan of MS, far from it, but if everyone is so determined to cripple Windows, no wonder new versions end up with such a lack of features.

  3. Gerry

    Part of the OS: It's about market dominance

    From over here, it's similar to arguments about operating systems, media players and parallel markets: using dominance in one market to leverage advantage in another (if anti-competitive = illegal). Apple does not occupy a dominant position in the OS market (but IIRC got a rollicking from Norwegian competition authorities about iTunes)

  4. Remy Redert

    Integration

    It's not about the presence of desktop search. The problem is that Google's own search program is supposedly hindered severely by it. Provided that is true, this would be highly uncompetitive and thusly against the law.

    There's also the obvious issue of integration, the boys at Microsoft still haven't learned their lesson about seperation of programs and engines, if you not only use the same code everywhere, but link it all up together, you're asking for disasters.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Roger, Roger

    A: "Wait a minute, I know you. You're Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. You're that judge."

    B: "You must have me confused with someone else. I'm the co-pilot"

    A: "My dad says you don't work hard enough on defense. And he says that lots of times, you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try, except during the playoffs."

    B: "The hell I don't. Listen kid, I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at law school. I'm out there busting my buns every night."

  6. Daniel

    Major issue with google and new pc's

    Just thought I'd point out, new pc's that integrate google desktop search are a PAIN to seperate it.

    I loaded up a system and it had google desktop. I hit "decline" to the EULA thingy, yet, it still happily started indexing. After 2 uninstalls, the first one failing because I needed a "reboot", I got rid of that part.

    Now, normally I *USE* google.com for searches. But, in the case of the new dell I used, I had NO CHOICE. I went to a wrong site, an internal link to dell.com/something came back. If I go into search preferences, no matter whom I chose, google was ALWAYS the search provider...

    So far, I can deal with that. But what happens down the line when I get fed up with google...are they a monopoly?

    Google being HINDERED by MS search? I think not. As soon as ANY process runs, MS' indexer is stopped. That process has so little priority, anything can run over it.

    Hell, I installed google desktop search a last year on my work and home machine (we wont go there), and it really hogged it down. I got rid of it when I searched for some documents at work and it happily returned my private documents from my HOME machine...without my input (it used my gmail alias to connect both search indexes)

  7. Skavenger

    Phones?

    How long before Google sue Nokia/Motorola/Samsung etc for not allowing them to put their search tools on these phones too?

  8. Alex

    Proposition

    So if I were canny enough to create software that overlaps with a Vista function and it gets severely hindered by the existing function, I could get a payout?

    Hypothetically, could I just create it to be "severely hindered" by design?

    Hmm...

  9. Karl Lattimer

    The problem...

    Google have hooks into iGoogle for desktop search, google users want google desktop search because they trust google more with their (meta)data than microsoft.

    In Linux the defacto standard for desktop search is beagle (which BTW is an instant search capability with lucene metadata and indexing) however, although there is a default engine, there are lots of other tools which do exactly the same thing. Even google desktop is available for linux. Apple spotlight is a very similar implementation to beagle and can easily be replaced in the system with another product. Chances are google are already developing that.

    The spat between big G and the vampires of redmond is that vista _CAN'T_ have any other search capability added. There are many reasons for this, the most obvious is, try doing lucene indexing on any file in vista and you'll find lots of clever hooks in the code which do some really bizarre things like checking the licensing of every file whether it has DRM capabilities or not, which I thought was strange and results in slow initial indexes and slow updates to what should live update and index very quickly. Google acting as a friend of the court is a better idea than to outright sue them, simply because google has the technical know how to illustrate these points in a more eloquent way than most and as part of the DoJ antitrust action will make this a far more important legal conflict than it has been for XP.

    I just hope they don't simply present only the desktop search issue, rather than using it to demonstrate one or two of the many anti-competitive measures microsoft have put in place in vista.

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