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Google To Microsoft — Give Users Choices In Vista

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the give-choice-a-chance dept.

240

An anonymous reader writes "A Google spokesman has asked Microsoft to 'preserve user choice for search and other applications' with its future products, such as Vista. The spokesman made this comment after meeting with European Union antitrust regulators, though he added that at this point, the company has no plans to make antitrust allegations against Redmond. Notably, McAfee and Symantec have accused Microsoft of not being forthcoming with the code they need to ensure their security wares run smoothly on Vista, and the EU has already expressed concern about Microsoft's potentially anticompetitive plans."

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240 comments

Potentially anti-competitive practices? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656551)

From Microsoft?

Madness, I say! utter madness! And FUD!

Re:Potentially anti-competitive practices? (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657575)

I find it hilarious that Europe is the country/entity/region doing the most to fight Monopolies. Only external ones, of course, but still - very funny!

What do you mean? (1)

jeremyclark13 (999183) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656553)

You mean to tell me that Microsoft is attempting to hide code that would allow third parties to produce valuable software that is of far greater value than what ships with Microsoft.

No not our precious little Billy boy.

No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656577)

Why should Microsoft have to maintain broken code just to preserve McAfee and Symantec revenue streams? That's like saying that, say, Ford shouldn't redesign defective brakes on their cars because it would hurt the sales of aftermarket brake parts.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656765)

I agree, the aftermarket security products came about due to crappy insecure code in previous MS products. Now I am by far not a fan of MS, I use *bsd products on all my systems. But if MS is going to go the extra mile to secure there product (and it actually is secure), thats a good thing..... Right?? I mean letting the security venders install there code on top of MS's supposedly secure code could in theory introduce holes, I will use Symantec as an example, they have a vulnerability in there code that processed packets a while back, it affected there entire product range (FW, IDS/IPS, AV etc) as that was shared code. Now you let Symantec put that crap on top of the MS secured code (supposedly secure atleast), and you just introduce a major vulnerability.

Personally, I say screw the aftermarket venders, there place is to provide services where the primary vender failed to produce, in the field of security, this means that the vender must intentionally creade insecure code to keep those aftermarket security venders in business... Thats just plain stupid.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657241)

their there they're - Learn them. Use them. You sound like an eight year old.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657591)

Is that the best you can do.... bitch about grammar? Maybe you should stop being so artificial and address the substance and stop acting like the 8 year old on the playground.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657799)

Maybe if your "substance" were legible and didn't read like an 8-year old's scrawl, there would be something to respond to beyond your pathetic grammar capabilities.

But don't feel too bad, you're probably just another victim of the US public-school "education". I should feel cheated, were I in your position.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657637)

"crappy insecure code in previous MS products"

Heh. Previous, current, future. I've heard the 'most secure OS ever' schtick before. Hype does not a good product make, and MS has pretty much proven itself the be more capable of the former than the latter.

It could be a prettied up XP with incomplete security packages and feature rot (which is what I've been hearing from beta testers who haven't been paid to say otherwise). It could be the One True OS that blows the rest of 'em out of the water. History points towards the former, but past results are not an indicator of future performance.

All in all, it's taken MS way too long to get the system out - this speaks to me of a development team that's gotten themselves lost in the details and started designing by committee. My opinion is that it's going to be worthless until about SP2 - right when all MS products start being useful.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657643)

The point isn't that MS are making their software (more) secure. It's that there locking out anyone who wants to provide security solutions while they themselves will be SELLING a separate security solution that will have access to areas of the OS that the competition will not have.

Is that fair?

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (2, Insightful)

Wheatfieldcrows (927342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656769)

You may be over simplifying, they didn't ask Microsoft to maintain broken code. They just asked MS to reveal the Windows code they need to make it easier to write a compatible AV program. It's like designing a new engine and then not telling anyone the size of the bolts you used so they can't make simple bolt on aftermarket parts

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (5, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656803)

I don't think you understand. McAfee and Symantec aren't complaining that Vista is better and more secure. They're complaint is that Microsoft won't give them the API to low level kernel stuff so that they can detect viruses, while at the same time, Microsoft is going to use that same API for their own virus detection. This isn't Ford continuing to make defective brakes so that third-party brake manufacturers can still be in business, this is Ford some how magically making the brake design unknown to anyone else in the world so that only Ford can make brake replacements. Though in a physical world I don't know how they would do that. This is only possible in software.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

PeteDotNu (689884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656955)

"this is Ford some how magically making the brake design unknown to anyone else in the world so that only Ford can make brake replacements."

There's no magic about it. It's more like Coca-Cola not publishing their secret recipe, so that other people can't make their own Coke on the cheap. Which is fair enough, really.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657071)

Uhm, no. Nobody is looking to replace their Windows. If they were then they have plenty of choices. They are looking for already available third-party addons which Vista is going to shut out so that only Microsoft can offer those services. Frankly, I'd rather see MS just make their OS secure. I also don't use either McAfee or Symantec. But I think this is an important fight to win against MS. This is more like Coca-Cola somehow keeping third-party straws from working in their products.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657291)

There's no magic about it. It's more like Coca-Cola not publishing their secret recipe, so that other people can't make their own Coke on the cheap. Which is fair enough, really.

As long as your market share isn't 95%, sure.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657581)

But then again Coca-Cola has a similar market share on cola drinks.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657729)

It's, ah, nothing like that. Stop smoking crack.

I'm not going to say what it's like. It *is* locking out competition; these companies rely on being a security blanket for their customers. The system upon which it works changes out from under them, and then refuses to document the changes. Then, coincidentally, they come out with their own product, that, in fair competition (ie: the documentation was forthcoming), would probably fall by the wayside as an inferior product.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657159)

There should be no easy way for any company to have access to low level kernal functions. I think Microsoft's gripe is just that. They have made it so no virus should be able to get to that low of a level thereby erasing the need for an antivirus application to be that low. Any virii should be in user-space which is where antivirus should be looking..

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657757)

They have made it so no virus should be able to get to that low of a level thereby erasing the need for an antivirus application to be that low. Any virii should be in user-space which is where antivirus should be looking..

A) Microsoft and its security track record thus far have in no way demonstrated that they have comprehensively eliminated the ability of a virus to infect the kernel. Why should we trust them when they say "trust us?" Additionally, why does Microsoft's own antivirus offering use the low level kernel functions if there will never be a virus at that level?

B) 'virii' is NOT a word. It is not even an apporopriate use of 'i' to pluralize the word virus, as that is a Latin pluralization and in Latin, viri means 'men'. I point you to the wikipedia explanation [wikipedia.org] for reference.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657937)

You're talking about security through obscurity. Not publishing an API doesn't magically make it not exist. Instead, it leaves the power in those bored or motivated enough to figure out what those low level kernel APIs are. Selling the keys to those APIs on the black market will be very very profitable. Microsoft is effectively weeding out other people on team good (anti-virus software producers). Team evil, however, will still be just as strong.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1, Troll)

ksalter (1009029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657329)

They're complaint is that Microsoft won't give them the API to low level kernel stuff so that they can detect viruses, while at the same time, Microsoft is going to use that same API for their own virus detection.
There is no evidence that this is happening or is going to happen. Their complaints are without merit, since other AV vendors are running on Vista now with no problems. Further, this code was in the 64bit versions of XP and Windows 2003 server already, and there were no complaints then.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657689)

McAfee and Symantec aren't complaining that Vista is better and more secure. They're complaint is that Microsoft won't give them the API to low level kernel stuff so that they can detect viruses, while at the same time, Microsoft is going to use that same API for their own virus detection.

I have to wonder why, of the half a dozen or more companies that produce Windows AV software, they are the only two to be complaining...

I don't think YOU understand (1)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657847)

Other AV products, especially the better ones out there like Trend, Sophos and others don't have any problems working with the API's Microsoft has provided for Vista to date.

In fact Trend and several other companies have commented on the ease of use of Microsoft's new API for antivirus, and especially the close integration with Sercurity Center.

like Chevy running safety controls thru radios? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657859)

How about the analogy of Chevy controlling safety-critical functions through the radios (http://www.blitzsafe.com/blitz_news/news122002a/b ody_news122002a.html) so that nobody else can make replacement radios without endangering the driver's life?

And if you want a not-yet-happened example of how Ford could make it so that only Ford can make brake replacements ... The US has legislation that will soon require cars/trucks to incorporate tire pressure monitoring. When implementing this government-mandated change Ford could choose a method that integrates the pressure monitoring into the brake assembly and a "secure" communication protocol back to the car computer that third party's would have to reverse-engineer if they want to sell brake replacements for Fords.

The point is whether you choose a method that makes it harder than necessary for third parties to provide replacement products or choose a method that supports the desires of some of your customers to replace (either as an upgrade or as a wear-and-tear replacement since anti-virus software does "wear out") that portion of your product. Microsoft is doing the former and because, unlike Ford, they've been convicted as a monopoly it's not legal for them.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657881)

You are right, but it is not even possible in software...given enough time and powerful tools, one can reverse-engineer an operating system and get access to the required knowledge; and since hackers can do it in 0 days from the software release, so can companies...

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Zarniwoop_Editor (791568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656871)

I would have to agree. As long as they don't actively block services of their competitors. I'm no huge fan of Microsoft and they do tend to make it somewhat less than easy for their competition but in the end, if you offer a better product people are going to use it. There is a reason Google does so well and it is because their product (search) works well. I don't think they have much to fear from microsoft at this point.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656875)

As soon as Ford holds 90% of the car market we'll discuss it, ok?

Monopolies (or almost-monopolies) deserve different treatment than actually contested markets.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657337)

So when Ford has 90% of the market, they shouldn't be allowed to fix their brakes?

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656999)

Why should Microsoft have to maintain broken code
  • Punishment (but, then, the US seems to have lost its nerve for holding anyone accountable)
  • Staying in character
  • Maintaining the status quo. Since the US lacks the courage to minimize anti-competitive practices by requiring companies to operate in a single layer of the OSI model. (Such an idea may indeed suck, but it is at least enforceable).

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657787)

'requiring companies to operate in a single layer of the OSI model'

That's a shockingly good idea.

Thing is, it would DESTROY Apple.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

torrentami (853516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657069)

This analogy illustrates a good point. Ford does not make its own brakes. In fact, many parts in their cars are designed and manufactured by other companies that Ford OEMs from. This is how most car companies work. They focus on their core competencies and then bring all the parts together and market and sell the end product. Whereas, Microsoft attempts to constantly design their own pieces of the OS and go as far as they can to prevent 3rd parties from adding value. The OS should be a framework on which applications can run. Not the framework AND the applications. If MS wants to write their own apps and bundle them with the OS, that's fine, but the OS and the apps should be decoupled. The apps that run on the OS should be chosen from a competitively balanced playing field, not forced down your throat while inhibiting other apps from running.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657353)

You have a good point too. I think, however, that maybe Ford could take a lesson from MS.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

whitestone (960256) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657105)

Ford might be sued when it is selling better cars, at least in the USA. But Microsoft isnt sues for shipping a more secure os, but because it is still crappy AND bars the competition from the info that its own av programmers do have. So MS is steering to less comptetion, not to a better OS.

Re:No sympathy for McAfee and Symantec (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657469)

To paraphrase Officer Wiggum:

Can't we have a Slashdot discussion that doesn't end with a car analogy?
 

I'd care more if... (4, Insightful)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656581)

If McAfee and Norton didn't make products that suck resources real bad. If ever there was a product that could be called bloatware, those two are it. Give me Trend AV any day thanks.

Then again I'm on my Linux laptop running no AV software.

Re:I'd care more if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656637)

Then again I'm on my Linux laptop running no AV software.


That last line invalidated your whole post. I don't care what desktop/server OS you are running, if you are running without AV you are just ignorant.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656693)

Why is that? I have a gaming desktop. It does nothing but installs and plays games. I don't browse the web on it. I don't open email attachments on it. The only way I'm going to get a virus on it is if one of the games has a vulnerability that gets exploited somehow.

Same with my Linux desktop. I don't open email attachments that I'm not expecting. I don't run things as root when not needed. The most that can happen is my home directory gets blasted. OH NOES. Linux viruses are so rare that I don't think it's worth much processing time for my machine to scan for them.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656819)

I actually had my gaming rig infected this way. Playing CS:Source, it is not uncommon for the MOTD to point to a web site. My default browser is FireFox, but it turns out Counter Strike is using the IE engine anyhow, and I got nailed by one of those drive by HTML exploits when I selected a random game server.

Re:I'd care more if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657281)

The only way I'm going to get a virus on it is if one of the games has a vulnerability that gets exploited somehow.
Serious exploits in games do happen. Pretty much every major FPS engine has had multiple DoS and code execution flaws in its networking code. Hardly suprising when you consider the oft-reported lack of sound software engineering practices in games development / tight deadlines / "just ship it, we can patch later" mentality.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657737)

The most that can happen is my home directory gets blasted. OH NOES.

Heh - that's almost the only part of my hard drive that I do care about. The OS and apps are all backed up on nice, shiny install media, but I'm lazy, so my user area isn't backed up anywhere near as regularly as it should be.

Re:I'd care more if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656743)

The only people who need body armor are the people who get shot at. Not saying people with linux web servers should run wide open, but with linux, I don't have to take quite the same procautions.

The other thing I liked about Microsoft's plan to not play nice with AV solution providers is that it forces heterogeneity. If all AV products work through a common method provided for in the OS, it means they'll all be less effective. If Microsoft cuts them out of part of the loop, they'll have to work harder and come up with new, and likely different solutions.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

beavt8r (919284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656731)

They do tend to be a tad bloated. </sarcasm> We use a managed system of Symantec, just switched over from McAfee, and I haven't tested the new on too much yet, but I know McAfee would often take up 90+% of CPU and slow systems down all the time. We used the ePolicy module of McAfee and I never was that impressed. I'll keep my stripped down, "feature"-free Norton 2003, thanks.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

partenon (749418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656823)

I'm sorry, but I think you didn't get the point. The point is: big players in the market are complaining about Microsoft bundling for free its own software w/ the most sold OS in the market, just to get the leadership for this kind of software.

Take the above statement and see how it fits for "browsers" (netscape) and "anti-virus". So, its not about "anti-virus", the kind of software you, as a good geek, don't use :-)

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657701)

Except for the fact that MS isn't bundling their anti-virus software with the OS. It isn't free either. Oops!

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656911)

That's a great mentality. Go ahead and don't care that Microsoft is going to such lengths to crowd out competition. Then once McAfee and Symantec are dead and AVG and Trend AV go away with them, the world will be a much better place with so much less bloatware.

This is the same mentality that idiots have about someone else's free speech when they disagree with what that someone else has to say. I always defend the rights of people to have free speech even if I disagree with them, because someday they might be the ones in power and I hope they remember that I let them say what they wanted to say and give me the some respect. The same thing is true here. I don't support Symantecs and McAfees products, but I do support that either they ought to be given those APIs or that Microsoft should not be allowed to use them. This is about fair competition. If MS found some neato virus detection and removal algorithm and didn't share it that would be one thing, but for them to build into their OS an API that allows for virus detection and then keeps it secret to the other virus detection guys, then they have crossed the bounds, especially as convicted monopolists.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657101)


That's a great mentality. Go ahead and don't care that Microsoft is going to such lengths to crowd out competition. Then once McAfee and Symantec are dead and AVG and Trend AV go away with them, the world will be a much better place with so much less bloatware.


OS Security is a function the OS should handle, not an external third party app. This is one place where Microsoft DOES belong, more so than windows media player or maybe even internet explorer. Although ultimately you shouldn't need adware and spyware software to use their OS.

AV isn't something the consumer should be forced to pay for. This is a problem inherent in an insecure OS. Anti virus and adware has been reactionary to an OS full of holes like swiss cheese.

This is a feature your OS should come with - protection from viruses (virii??) and malware / spyware. Now the OS itself should be made secure granted, but at least consumers won't get raped by AV companies for a feature that truly does belong in the OS.

Re:I'd care more if... (2, Insightful)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657239)

*cough* Anti-MS Zealot *cough*

Other AV's work just fine without these tools Symantec and McAfee demand. This is not an issue of MS crowding out a critical component from potential competitors to take market share. This is MS making an attempt to do what they promised (ie secure windows more than they have in the past). Whether I agree with the method MS is taking or not, this has more to do with Symantec and McAfee being whiny brats that refuse to give up 'control' of 'security' to the ones who should have been doign that job in the first place. The compnent they want access to is the layer that provides basic system protection and notification to the user about the systems staus, so they can use their own interface on it with whatever they decide is important to be their. I don't trust either side to really get it right, but at least in this I don't see any point what so ever to allow the other companies access where they really don't need to be. This will not make people more secure, this is about McAfee and Symantec having to face reality that certain parts of the system don't function like they used to and whining all over the place that they changed things is stupid.

Re:I'd care more if... (2, Interesting)

orielbean (936271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657011)

Here is a question for the knowledgeable - which of the AV products (free and otherwise) are the BEST for resources and still competent at catching problems?

Is Trend the smallest footprint? I would love some answers from the people here.

Re:I'd care more if... (1)

LifeWithJustin (969206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657817)

"Then again I'm on my Linux laptop running no AV software." The last days a few people have asked if I've been sick. I don't think so, but then again I never went to the doctor either. Ignorance is bliss.

Not being forthcomming of code??? (1)

jedimastermopar (1015773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656613)

Gee do you think? One obvious sign of this is that when you upgrade from XP to Vista under RC2 you need to uninstall all antivirus programmes to have the vista upgrade to work. The good thing is vista does run under VM Ware. :) Looks like I can keep linux as my primary desktop os for another 5 years.

Re:Not being forthcomming of code??? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657147)

Gee do you think? One obvious sign of this is that when you upgrade from XP to Vista under RC2 you need to uninstall all antivirus programmes to have the vista upgrade to work

like it makes sense not to uninstall Norton before upgrading-in-place to a new OS.

Re:Not being forthcomming of code??? (1)

jedimastermopar (1015773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657279)

Also have to uninstall a few other apps, like Nero, Never needed to do that before with any other windows upgrade.

Desktop Search, Toolbar, Picassa... (1)

EssTiDee (784920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656635)

google as my search engine, google.com as my homepage... i'm not exactly sure where the problem is here. It seems awfully out of character for Google to even raise an eyebrow here - i mean what else exactly are they looking for? They'd perhaps like the words "google.com" to appear in place of the little windows icon button that serves as the start menu? I'm surprised they bothered to even make a public request -- Google Tools have never seemed to have any problem co-existing on my Windoze box. Slow news day already?

Umm.. a bit late? (1)

krunoce (906444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656663)

Isn't it a little late in the process to ask the developer team to make Vista modular?

An analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656673)

The shopkeeper goes to the mobster's de and asks: "Kind sir, can you please stop organized crime in this area? Thanks."

Yup, it'll work fine.

Microsoft to Google: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656695)

"Get lost."

sure (4, Interesting)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656721)

Sure, they'll do it just as soon as Firefox stops choosing Google by default.

Re:sure (2)

manno (848709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656833)

They can make MS the default search system, Google is just asking MS to allow the user to select other search engines.

Re:sure (2, Informative)

ksalter (1009029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657243)

When you first upgrade to IE 7, the first page that appears is a configuration page. The first item is selecting your search engine. You can either take the current one (which defaults to the Microsoft Live Search) or choose a different one. If you select the second option, you are taken to a page with almost every search engine on it to choose from, or you can put your own selection in if it is not listed. So, you can. Google's complaint is without merit.

Re:sure (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657333)

When you first upgrade to IE 7, the first page that appears is a configuration page. The first item is selecting your search engine. You can either take the current one (which defaults to the Microsoft Live Search) or choose a different one. If you select the second option, you are taken to a page with almost every search engine on it to choose from, or you can put your own selection in if it is not listed. So, you can. Google's complaint is without merit.

This is entirely correct, which I why I was scratching my head as to what Google was talking about. I have to assume that they are referring to the new built in search functionality of Vista coming with an option for Google Desktop (or whatever it's called).

Re:sure (1)

ksalter (1009029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657411)

On Vista, if you use the built in search and click on "Search the Internet", it will use the search engine you have chosen in IE 7. In my case, it uses Google. So again, Google's complaint is without merit.

Re:sure (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657567)

Mod parent up.

Not only are you asked what search engine you want to use when you install IE7, but with Vista OEMs can make deals with whatever search engine they want (Google, Yahoo, Alexa, whatever) and set that as the default.

Google has too much money on their hands if they are paying lawyers to secure an order for Microsoft to do what they're already doing.

Re:sure (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657293)

Last week someone showed me something really cool. They said, "Check this out, go to www.google.com". So I did it. You won't believe what I saw. It actually let me use Google as my search engine! ON INTERNET EXPLORER IT WORKED!!

Seriously, fuck all these search bars. I'm sick of them wasting space. Whats wrong with just going to the website you want and searching for what you want? Anyone that cares about Google as the default search for their toolbar would know enough to get firefox and use their toolbar anyway..or they could even use Google's toolbar!

Re:sure (1)

Itsacon (967006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657461)

Or even better, in Opera, I can specify some key strings (starting at 1 letter), to have that line mapped to an url or url + POST string I can define.
Of course, it comes with a lot of useful defaults, like `g' for google, so typing

`g slashdot' in my location bar will get me a google search on `slashdot'

Some other useful thingies I use:
`p' for the PHP function reference,
`w' for wikipedia,
`a' for acronymfinder
etc.

Indeed, who needs searchbars...

You can already do this in IE7 (2, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657345)

I don't really know what Google is ranting about. Google is 2 clicks away as the default search engine in IE7.

I perfectly understand why Microsoft doesn't want to show a stupid "Pick your default search engine" dialog box at startup - that would be stupid.

Really, this is one issue I don't agree with Google on.

Now, if there comes to light something in Vista that, for example, prevents Google Desktop from being installed, then I would be very upset.

Re:You can already do this in IE7 (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657671)

Now, if there comes to light something in Vista that, for example, prevents Google Desktop from being installed, then I would be very happy.

Re:You can already do this in IE7 (1)

jrspur2003 (1002028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657949)

That would be interesting to see how well google's Desktop works in Windows espically since windows version is basically integrated now... Personally I've always had bad luck with googles version always seemed to slow the system up...

Re:sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656909)

Not hardly the same. Firefox isn't commercial, and while Google is, Google doesn't control FireFox. Sure you could ask mozilla to make their browser choose blank by default...but does IE do that (most likely it points to whatever your computer manufacturer wants is to point, but otherwise, I'm guessing, msn by default).

What I wonder about, if the things that keep AV out of the kernel are a *real* security improvement, do they then have any right to complain. Maybe they shouldn't have access to the kernel. It only becomes an issue if MS has AV software that does have this kind of access. Not that I care. I don't use AV at home. On my Windows machine (2000 btw) the rule is, if its broke then reinstall image. Also don't put anything on there you want to keep.

I honestly beleive these problems would be solved if they forced a break up of management in MS. There should be a diffrent company for each product. One does OS, another Office, another AV...I don't care about ownership (or lets just call that another debate), but if you break up management then you level the playing field. Its a tried and true anti-trust practice, just ask Standard Oil, or should I say Esso, Texaco, Exxon (or any other American oil company).

Re:sure (1)

baboonlogic (989195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657783)

Sure, they'll do it just as soon as Firefox stops choosing Google by default.

Sure, Firefox will do it as soon as Microsoft starts paying more than what Google is paying Mozilla for the default place.

This is getting ridiculous... (2, Insightful)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656867)

Is there anyone else who thinks it's a little unfair for Microsoft to criticized for cutting out Symantec, etc. They've been railed for years on their complete lack of security focus, probably nowhere more than here. They're finally attempting to fill that need (admittedly in microsoft fashion), and now it's unfair to AV software makers? C'mon Symantec and others built their business around securing an insecure OS, it's not the OS's fault for finally working to secure itself. Sure MS could open up more of their code to allow AV software to get around their own security and AV solutions, but why should they.

I guess I don't understand why it's MS's job to make it easier for other software makers. If they want to market their software they should employ some programmers who are smart enough to code around MS. As long as MS isn't actively disabling competitors software I don't see why this is their fault..

We wanted them to be more secure in the first place!!!

And just so no one thinks I'm a fanboy, I'm typing this from a Mac :) -- I'm just against BS in general and against bitching at Microsoft just because it's Microsoft..

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656961)

Te issue is that they are a monopoly right now.
Monopolists don't have the same rights than other people.
So they can't do what others can.
One thing is this: using their OS monopoly to impose their AV solution.
That is anti-competitive. You might say that it's not fair, but when you are talking about monopolies, the meaning of fairness changes, because they don't compete under the same conditions.

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (1)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657285)

This is /. how can you say they are a monopoly when there are other fine choices such as Linux, BSD, and *DOS (aside from MS-DOS)

You aren't required to use their OS. It's true it comes pre-installed on 99% of PC's (It doesn't come installed on the Mac!) but for that you have to blame the manufactures. 95% of their customers WANT windows, why wouldn't they pre-install it. True most people want windows because they haven't seen anything better, but again this is hardly the fault of Microsoft any more. They were much more of a monopoly back in the day when they did everything they could to keep out competition, now it's simply that no one outside of OSS has the balls to compete with them on the OS level. Hell Apple has a far superior, commercially viable OS that we all know can now run on the PC (I have a PC running it for fun) all it needs is better driver support, but they aren't interested in doing it. I suspect the MacOS market, properly managed could be huge, but it would near-completely distroy their hardware market.

This isn't like the *bell phone company of old that owned all the lines, including the ones you installed in your own home and paid for, charged you to hook up a phone IN your own home to your OWN lines, and would come in with guns and dogs if they thought you had an unauthorized phone installed (ok so maybe that is a little exaggerated..) You can still install whatever OS you want on your own PC, and besides why should linux fans care about AV software providers anyway, you guys don't need it, neither do the Mac's really. (I know there are few Mac virii in the wild, shut up, you'd have to be a complete idiot to get infected by one)

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656997)

Is there anyone who thinks it's a little unfair for a big monopoly to hide the programming interface, locking out a whole bunch of software providers? Yes, I think that's unfair. I should think the EU have an opinion too. Cutting out the AV providers doesn't count as a security measure.

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657295)

Linux and BSD don't seem to have a problem working on security without locking other people out from making security tools. Why is MS any different? Why is their "security" locking other people out? I realize the technical implementations are fairly different, but that doesn't affect the reasons for being critical of the MS lockout attempt in the name of security. That being said, I really have no sympathy for the AV makers since the arguement is absolutely correct about securing an insecure OS, and paying them is quite a protection racket (I remember reading quite some time ago about how one was advertising signatures for a virus that had never been found in the wild, which certainly sounds like we made it in our lab and are protecting you from it). But MS security has been a freaking joke, and will continue to be a freaking joke, and locking out companies (albiet questionable ones) that do make better products is purely anticompetitive and has little to do with any security attempt. When MS doesn't work with the scumware makers to take payoffs to not detect their stuff as scumware...then maybe I will take them a little more seriously.

1. Create OS with holes

2. Lock out other scumware detectors

3. Collect bribes from scumware makers to not detect the scumware

4. Profit!

Sorry there is no ??? here, its fairly obvious.

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (1)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657595)

But what is their motivation for steps 1-4. Sure it could be profit, but why wouldn't they rather destroy AV providers business, and they buy out what remains of them to get superior technology :)

M.S. Has no reason to want an insecure OS. They just never had enough motivation to fix it. I can see their point. When someone installs one of the few (what one or two, maybe) Mac virii in the world they're called an idiot for doing it, why because they HAD to go through several steps to do it. Many Windows virii aren't much easier to install, why bust your ass to protect the world against idiots, they'll always make a better idiot. As long as your OS is patched and you don't install crap from dubious sources it's not all that easy to get an infected computer. I didn't use AV or a non-I.E. browser for YEARS and never had any problems, all I had was a *software* firewall. No one can make an OS idiot proof. All they can do is lock out idiots via complexity (ahh Linux).

MS is finally attempting to implement real security and everyone who bitched about their insecure OS is bitching about them securing it.

I don't know a lot about how AV software integrates with Windows, but presumably MS is protecting core files from being modified by malicious programs. But AV makers want their software to be able to modify them to allow their software to function better. Awww shucks. If MS allows that then it would be far easier for a virus to do it too. I don't see it as anti-competitive for them to only trust their own software to muck about with system files. They know who is coding the software that -they- make. Unfair, sure slightly, but there is always Linux if you don't like it :)

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657351)

It's only unfair if MS is using the guise of security to cut out competitors. MS is trying to secure their OS by eliminating low level kernel APIs. AV makers have used these APIs for years. However, is MS using these same APIs themselves in their own security products? MS says that it is not. Whether you believe them is how distrustful you are of MS.

Re:This is getting ridiculous... (1)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657791)

Eh, even if they are I don't think it's a huge issue. Why shouldn't they trust their *own* software (I'm not saying WE should trust it, but that they should --obviously-- trust themselves). It's far easier to secure access to those API's while allowing your own software (and NO others) to use them. Allowing Symantec et al. access makes it less secure and more likely a virus will come along and exploit that.

Besides as I've said, AV software was built on the dubious market of scar-tatics and an insecure OS. Secure the OS and their scare tatics stop being effective. Sucks for them, but would anyone in (insert third-world country) complain if they no longer had to purify their water supply because it was done successfully by the government. Would we cry unfair for the iodine tablet industry?

preserve search??? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656885)

Why, is Microsoft actually considering blocking browser users from going to Google.com ??

Actually.. (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657127)

IE 7 asks you which search provider you wish to use when you install it. NO big deal if you ask me, not like google doesn't have brand recognition.

Google's Strategy (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656939)

Google's do-no-evil strategy is in progress here. While lesser companies like Symantec and McAfee are desperately trying to (relatively justifiably) sue Microsoft, Google would rather stand down. When a company as big as Google/Symantec/McAfee sues their product's platform, they make a sacrifice in their reputation among certain demographics. Is /. one of those demographics? Put it this way: do you prefer RIAA/SCO or Google/Apple?

Could this be.... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657003)

Could it possibly be that Google, with their rapidly accelerating growth into a myriad of markets attempting to leverage search success there, might just be afraid of setting a precedent which could leave teeth marks on their respective posteriors later?

Re:Could this be.... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657233)

Could it possibly be that Google, with their rapidly accelerating growth into a myriad of markets attempting to leverage search success there, might just be afraid of setting a precedent which could leave teeth marks on their respective posteriors later?

You mean, like Yahoo eventually demanding that Google give Google's users the "choice" to have all searches entered at Google redirect to a Yahoo search results page? I mean, that would be a choice, after all, and it would be Evil(tm) of Google to deny that choice... and we can't ask people to alter their own three-or-so-clicks settings to do it on their own, even though they could any time they want. In fact, Google should be required to actually host Yahoo's services, just to make sure everyone's getting a fair shake.

Yeah, like that. Google needs to watch what they "request" of other businesses, because it will come back to haunt them, significantly.

Just the other day I saw a link from a Google results page that flagged the destination as being a potential malware host. Shouldn't Symantec and McAfee be demanding that Google pay them to help with that analysis? That way Google's users would have more choices about which company provided the flagging. *heh*

Right (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657025)

Google says to Microsoft "give people choices", and to Apple "please keep giving them no choices".

To change the search engine used throughout Mac OSX from Google to something else, you need a hex editor to hack some binary files.

"But but but MS is monopoly"

But but but principle is principle, you shouldn't be forced by anti-monopoly laws to care for your users, Apple and Google show they are no different than Microsoft: corporations that change their philosophy according to how it affects their pocket.

Re:Right (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657893)

When you say "To change the search engine used throughout Mac OSX", you mean Safari right? Where else is Google Search in Mac OS X?

Works here (1)

lowe0 (136140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657067)

I've got my copy of IE7 set up to search via Google. It's not the easiest thing to find, but the dialog is still fairly clear.

What's needed, perhaps, is a "set my search engine" similar to setting the homepage. There's definite potential for misuse there, however.

Re:Works here (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657315)

I'll probably get modded down by the anti MS crowd, but here goes.

Setting up google in the search bar in IE7 was a snap for me. I think google is bitching because people don't need/want their toolbar anymore since the search bar is built in to IE7. Of course, they didn't complain about this in Firefox because that's only about 10% of the market... who cares about them? Not to mention, FF's default is google.

Not only would I argue that it does make sense for IE7 to point at MSN search by default, but it would make sense for Firefox to point at some open source search engine, rather than google.

The problem with "Do no evil" is that evil is a subjective term... it may not be evil to them but it probably is to someone.

Re:Works here (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657905)

I must disagree; it was the easiest thing to find. The first page that comes up when you open IE has on it the radio buttons for either keeping your search engine the default or selecting from others. If you choose to select from others it lists most of the known search engines and you just pick one. That really IS easy.

Microsoft+EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657175)

I wonder why Microsoft doesn't deal with the EU as everyone else does: Bury the whole "government" with thousands of lobbyists and get them to change all those antitrust laws. Maybe it's cheaper to just ignore them and pay the occasional fee.

Re:Microsoft+EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657503)


Lobbying all 20+ Governements of the EU consituent countries is a far harder and vastly more expensive job than doing the same thing on Capitol Hill.
The Army of Lobbyists that they would need would become very obvious and cries of Scandal would soon arise and M$ would be left with possibility of being sued which ( an I might be wrong) part of the EU treaty where the punishment is UNLIMITED fines and the possibility that ALL M$ subsidiaries in the EU could be fored to close down.
This would be disastrouus for M$ and is, I am sure a path that they would be very careful about following.

In other news (1)

Bandit0013 (738137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657485)

Microsoft asks sony to allow users the choice of playing X360 games on the PS3

Re:In other news (1)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657657)

And in a related story, no one calls for ANY console to be able to play Wii games. Especially since most of them will be the same ones you could buy for every other Nintendo console, albeit with a shiny new controller.

Why they fight so much? (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657663)

It's already proven that Microsoft's new kernel security is very flawed. So what's the problem for Symantec and McAfee to create proper installer that will skip those protections and install all drivers at kernel level? Viruses will do it anyway. They can also. As long as they prove that they didn't crack the kernel but used 'unreported function' of kernel's security.
I know that Ms can disable this but it's only about clever installer that updates itself from internet.
What do you think?

Please explain... (1)

InMSWeAntitrust (994158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657761)

... why Microsoft has to do these things? It is, after all, their operating system, to do with as they please. If they want to shoot themselves in the foot, I won't stop them, it leaves more room for vendors and end users to rethink their choice of OS. I just don't understand where all this talk of them needing to open up to security vendors and leaving search options open comes from if it is, in fact, their choice. For example, if HP were to make a printer that ran off of a substance that only HP could ever manufacture, wouldn't they be allowed to do as they please, because it's their product?
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