GOOGLE WANTS FEDS TO WATCH MICROSOFT

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GOOGLE WANTS FEDS TO WATCH MICROSOFT

 user 2007-06-27 at 2:12:00 pm Views: 48
  • #18242

    Google Presses Feds to Watch Microsoft
    SEATTLE
    07 – Google  Inc. is pressing for an extension to the U.S. Justice
    Department’s oversight of Microsoft  Corp.’s business practices, most
    of which is set to expire in November, according to a court filing
    Monday.”Microsoft’s hardwiring of its own desktop search product into
    Windows Vista violates the final judgment” in the U.S. government’s
    antitrust case against the software maker, Google said.Over the last
    year, Google has complained to state and federal regulators that
    Microsoft’s “Instant Search” program, which helps Windows Vista users
    search their hard drives, slows down third-party desktop search
    programs. Google also has said Microsoft makes it hard for PC users to
    choose alternatives to the built-in search, including Google’s own free
    Google Desktop program.The search company’s claims were meant to show
    that Microsoft is not complying with the antitrust settlement, reached
    in 2002 after the U.S. government concluded Microsoft used its
    near-ubiquitous Windows operating system to squash competition.
    Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is now bound by a consent decree that
    requires it to help rivals build software that runs smoothly in
    Windows.In a report published last week, the Justice Department and
    Microsoft detailed a compromise response to Google’s complaints.
    Windows Vista users will be able to set a non-Microsoft program as the
    default desktop search engine. Microsoft also will add a link to that
    alternate program in the Windows Start menu, but will not change the
    way Vista “Instant Search” works. The software maker said the changes
    would be available by the end of the year.For Google, those changes
    didn’t go far enough. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company asked
    U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to extend beyond November
    parts of the consent decree that govern “middleware,” or software that
    links different computer programs.”The remedies won by the Department
    of Justice and state attorneys general from Microsoft are a positive
    step, but consumers will likely need further measures to ensure
    meaningful choice,” David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, said
    in an e-mailed statement Monday.Microsoft filed a legal response in the
    same Washington, D.C., District Court late Monday afternoon. The
    software maker argued that Google shouldn’t be allowed to challenge the
    desktop-search compromise struck with the Justice Department and state
    attorneys general by bringing its complaints directly to the
    court.Google’s antitrust argument turns, in part, on its claim that
    Instant Search is a new feature in the Windows operating system – one
    of the conditions that must be met in order for the court to find
    Microsoft in violation of the consent decree.Brad Smith, Microsoft’s
    general counsel, said in an interview earlier this month that Instant
    Search is not a new feature, but rather an update of the hard-drive
    search that has been a part of Windows since the beginning.”The
    government has clearly stated that it is satisfied with the changes
    we’re making,” Smith said in an e-mailed statement Monday. “Google has
    provided no new information that should suggest otherwise in their
    filing.”Google’s court filing comes one day before the next scheduled
    District Court hearing to review Microsoft’s compliance with the
    antitrust settlement.