The search antitrust ball is back in DOJ, states' court

The search antitrust ball is back in DOJ, states' court

Summary: During a June 26 Microsoft antitrust-compliance hearing, a U.S. Districut Court judge said she'll look to the U.S. Department of Justice and state attorneys general for guidance, re: Google's latest antitrust-related complaints against Microsoft.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Security
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During a June 26 Microsoft antitrust-compliance status hearing, a U.S. Districut Court judge said she'll look to the U.S. Department of Justice and state attorneys general for guidance, re: Google's latest antitrust-related complaints against Microsoft.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said Tuesday she expected the plaintiffs (the DOJ and states) to act on behalf of consumers, in terms of monitoring Microsoft's complaince with terms from a 2002 final judgement in its antitrust battle.

On June 25, Google filed an amicus brief, asking Judge Kollar-Kotelly to extend antitrust oversight of Microsoft, as well as to force Microsoft to provide more specifics regarding its plans to alter Windows Vista's integrated desktop search technology in order to improve the performance of rival, third-party desktop search products on Vista.

Topics: Hardware, Security

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Translation

    "Stuff it. I never wanted to deal with this and I'm almost in the clear."
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • I am sure you are close to the truth there.

      By now I think any judge would be tired of it.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • By now?

        [i]By now I think any judge would be tired of it.[/i]

        IMHO she's been tired of it since she drew the short straw.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • LOL, you may be right. (nt)

          .
          No_Ax_to_Grind
          • Microsoft fanboys club off again

            No_Ax and YBK, you guys!

            O look xunil_z and Loverock are just round the corner.

            care to hand on for a cozy one?
            ihatelinux
  • And there is the problem

    "U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said Tuesday she expected the plaintiffs (the DOJ and states) to act on behalf of consumers..."

    This has never been about consumers, its about using the courts as a "business tool".
    No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Split'em up! OS and Software.

    Then everyone would have the same API's, documentation, installation and
    development tools. All is fair and no more fuzziness that the courts can not deal
    with.
    LittleGuy
    • Heck, if that's all you want

      convince the world to use a [url=http://distrowatch.com]Linux distro[/url] rather than a closed system.
      Michael Kelly
    • Ok, but *I* define what is an OS.

      Sound good to you?
      No_Ax_to_Grind
    • ID10T alert

      What the h*ll do you think an OS is EXCEPT for software?

      Back to your cookies and milk - almost time for your nap.
      Confused by religion
      • Nice for you to identify yourself in advance like that.

        Seriously, the fact is that Microsoft tends to use it's dominance in the OS market place to block out competitors in other areas. Microsoft did this in fact to Netscape and it's trying to do that now in the search market. The fact is that Microsoft has been judged to be a monopoly and it's against the law for them to engage in this kind of activity. If they do the courts are required to force Microsoft to take remedial actions which are supposed to correct the situation. The problem is that Microsoft having been nailed performing the same kind of activity is once again breaking the law. This time the remedy needs to be harsh and to answer Axe's request no you don't get to choose what's the OS the courts do. In the courts place I'd go a step further and break up Microsoft along the lines of each individual application, for instance Microsoft word go to one company and Excel would go to another and so on. The fact is that Microsoft has shown it's either incapable or unwilling to reform it's anti-competitive behavior and needs to be dealt with once and for all.
        maldain
        • Open mouth, Insert foot...

          [b]<snip>The problem is that Microsoft having been nailed performing the same kind of activity is once again breaking the law. This time the remedy needs to be harsh and to answer Axe's request no you don't get to choose what's the OS the courts do.<snip>[/b]

          WRONG. The issue here is SEARCH. Finding files has been a part of EVERY operating system since computers were able to store files on random access media. From the first DIR command to the *nix GREP command to Finding files in Windows, Mac OSX and so forth, Search is an intergral part of [u]EVERY[/u] OS regardless of it's flavor.

          So here we are in 2007 and Microsoft introduced Vista and it's warp speed search. So now Google has a whine fest because it's search product doesn't automatically disable the Microsoft indexing service when you install it. As a result you've got duplicated effort and Google's search is brought to a snail pace.

          Boo hoo.

          Since when is it anti-competitive behavior to improve a feature of your OS...? Gee... You'd think making improvements in your core OS functions would be something desirable.

          Oh wait. My bad. You want to see Microsoft ripped to shreds. Microsoft doing something right is a bad thing. Good thing you're NOT in any position to do squat about this particular case.
          Wolfie2K3
        • I beg to differ

          On your point related to Netscape. Netscape did it to themselves. Although the software was free they wanted each and every end user to download it. Just imagine doing it on dicey, drop often dial up connections with no such thing as resume the download any where on the horizon. Add to that the high cost of telephony & frustration when you lost connection at 90% download point.

          They never allowed any of the computing magazines to freely distribute their software on the monthly / quarterly or what ever CD given away by the magazines. M$ was smart & let everyone freely distribute IE in any and every possible fashion.

          From that point on Netscape was doomed.
          pmshah@...
  • This is going to be real interesting .

    I can't wait to see the new black eye Microsoft is going to receive for this one . Once a MONOPOLY , always a Monopoly .
    Intellihence
    • Indeed...

      ...and in a couple of years, we may be saying something similar about the plaintiff in this case.
      GuyAlanDye
    • setting yourself up for a disappointment

      Judge favors Microsoft search agreement
      Update: Court will likely disregard charges filed in recent complaint from rival Google

      http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/06/26/judge-favors-microsoft-search-agreement_1.html
      rtk
      • A comment about that link

        [i]The California group believed that Google "raised some very important issues," Houck said. Desktop search is one of a few middleware products since the 2002 antitrust settlement that has the potential to challenge a Microsoft product, he said.

        "It was very important to us to protect the potential of desktop search in the final judgment," Houck added.[/i]

        It's guys like this that needs to be educated about the history of computing. And it's not his fault, everybody is susceptible to good marketing, and lawyers aren't IT professionals.

        What is "desktop search"? Who needs a special program to find their desktop? It's right there on the screen. Mine has a bunch of application icons, some icons for my removable media, a menu on the lower left, a digital clock on the lower right, and a little applet to control my Amarok media player and a weather bug on the top toolbar.

        Actually "desktop search" is a marketing term for "file search", which has been around for decades and is a basic function of all operating systems. Has technology made it better in recent years? Sure, but that doesn't turn it into middleware any more than it would turn journaling file systems into middleware. No one is stopping Google from shipping their file search utility as a third party tool any more than they are stopping other third parties from shipping partitioning, defragging, or disk fixing utilities. But all of these utilities are included with the OS, and rightly so, because these are basic operating system tools, just like file search.
        Michael Kelly
        • Desk top search as it's referred to here isn't

          just searching for files on your computer it's extending that search out to the net though search engines. Which is where the argument occurs. Microsoft uses it's own search engine, related to MSN to return results. It allows you to choose which search engine you'd like to use but it always uses the Microsoft search engine and then displays the results obtained by search engine chosen by the user only after the results returned by Microsoft. Since search engines make their money off advertising when it's displayed on the user's system it's effectively choking off the revenue for every other search engine. Basically, it's using it's monopoly in the OS to choke the revenue streams for competing application software by hiding their results and displaying Microsoft's results. This is a very clear cut case of anti-competitive behavior all Microsoft has to do is not display it's results before displaying the results from the chosen search engine and the problem would be solved.
          maldain
          • couldn't be farther off the mark

            This is about indexing and searching local files and has nothing at all to do with web search.

            You really need to read the article before posting.
            rtk
          • Odd...

            [b]

            Read the article: Desk top search as it's referred to here isn't just searching for files on your computer it's extending that search out to the net though search engines. Which is where the argument occurs. Microsoft uses it's own search engine, related to MSN to return results. It allows you to choose which search engine you'd like to use but it always uses the Microsoft search engine and then displays the results obtained by search engine chosen by the user only after the results returned by Microsoft.[/b]

            Whenever I open IE 7, and I type in a search item, I can choose from ANY of the most popular search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask, etc...) as well as a number that are specialized (ebay, amazon, wikipedia, etc...)

            When I'm searching via say, Google, the search is submitted to Google - not MSN Live. The results are returned by Google.

            When I type in a search item in Vista's search box, it only goes as far as my local and networked hard drives. It never goes beyond my local intranet UNLESS I type in a specific URL - at which point the DNS servers I'm connected to return the appropriate info and fires up IE 7 with the requested web page.
            Wolfie2K3