Can Google Force Microsoft to Make More Changes to Vista?

Kachina Shaw

Two days after the Wall Street Journal reported that Google in April used a white paper to bring its concerns and complaints about possible antitrust violations in Microsoft's Vista desktop search feature to the U.S. Department of Justice, Dow Jones is reporting that Microsoft has known of the complaints since December. And it was alerted by the DOJ.

 

While desktop searching is a sensitive area for Google -- Google desktop searches can be easily duplicated on the Web -- Microsoft disputes the notion that desktop searching is even covered by its antitrust settlement.

 

But it could be too little, too late for the search giant on this particular issue. Microsoft moved on making changes to Vista to make it easier for third-party search toolbars to operate with IE. A Sterling Market Intelligence analyst points out at NewsFactor Network, though, that the very fact that Google is so powerful, plus Apple's growing relevance and the Internet-as-platform, all combine to lessen Microsoft's vulnerability to this type of piling on than it was at the time of the 2002 antitrust deal. Competition? It's there, Microsoft will say. And, besides, look who's talking.

 

So far this week, it appears that state attorneys general are perhaps more likely than the feds to pursue pressure on Microsoft to make more changes to Vista.



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