Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft To Change Desktop Search After Google Complaint

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-didn't-mean-it-honest dept.

Microsoft 286

Raver32 writes to tell us that Microsoft will be making changes to their desktop search tool in Vista after a 49-page antitrust complaint was filed by Google. "Microsoft initially dismissed the allegations, saying regulators had reviewed the program before Vista launched. However, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in an interview last week that the company was willing to make changes if necessary."

cancel ×

286 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wow! (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19583959)

They're putting in a link for other search providers! Boy, aren't we glad that MS obeys the spirit of the law, and not just the word.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584001)

Amazing! It is what IT is

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

HellFeuer (1032042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584339)

well do you really expect anyone to integrate a third party search into their OS?
why dont people sue apple for Spotlight?

Re:Wow! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584423)

Because Apple doesn't have a monopoly on operating systems that they use to crush competitors underfoot, you fucking retard. It's not like Microsoft gets picked on for no fucking reason.

Re:Wow! (4, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584513)

Who else sells OSX supported hardware then?

Sounds like a monopoly control to me, just a REALLY TINY one.

Re:Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584547)

I've always wanted to ask: were you dropped on your head as a child, or was it just rampant drug abuse that has turned you into a mental cripple?

Re:Wow!..Not so much (5, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584657)

"OSX supported hardware" is not a market, it's a product. You can legally have a monopoly on a product (patent, copyright, trademark), but you can not (unless otherwise specified) have and use a monopoly on a market (Desktop computing) to give you an unfair advantage in another market (Internet Search).

Here Microsoft is using their Desktop monopoly to boost their online search business and (this is the illegal part) restricting their monopoly product from using someone else's online search business.

Re:Wow! (1)

nerdstrap (1071916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584661)

Uhhhh Apple does the exact same thing that Microsoft and Google do. However, they are unwilling to cave to the public outcry. All of Apples systems are so proprietary and closed that it is all but impossible to develop for them. Nintendo is the exact same way...

Re:Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585003)

Repeat this one hundred times for the class:

"Apple is not a monopoly."

The rules change when you pass through the realm of anti-trust law. Apple's market share is so low that it doesn't really matter whether it locks everyone out. Since it does not have the capacity to adversely effect the market, it's not an issue.

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

HellFeuer (1032042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584763)

why the hate?
do u think saying fuck a few times will prove u correct?

MS bashing is fun, but do realize, that the line between added application and OS feature, is really not that clear cut. i could take things to their logical extreme and argue that everything other than the kernel is not part of the OS.. of course i would be wrong, but the point is, "this is an OS feature, not an application" can sometimes be a very valid argument..

my point about spotlight was this: spotlight and the vista search are the SAME, in terms of the nature of the functionality they offer to the end user... why is one considered an added application while the other is an OS feature?

and just to be clear... I do not know the law, and I am not arguing about the law... it is simply that this time i feel microsoft is justified, and being forced to provide even a link to someone else's program is unfair, and has the potential of being taken to ridiculous extremes..
and no i am not a microsoft fanboy.. in fact i am not even a windows user .. (except for gaming of course)

Re:Wow! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584961)

Well, I suppose you can argue that Solitaire is a part of the operating system if you want. Microsoft has long tried to muddy the waters here, and has never had a problem outright lying when it suited their purposes.

Re:Wow! (1)

HellFeuer (1032042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585045)

but wouldn't you agree that the question isnt always as easy to settle as for solitaire??? and if u have used vista search, then u will know what i mean

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584605)

well do you really expect anyone to integrate a third party search into their OS?
If they want to conduct business in a country where I'm a voter....well, yes, I indeed expect them to do whatever the hell I want them to do. If they choose to do things that don't benefit me, I have the right to elect leaders that make and prosecute laws that prevent them from continuing it. Luckily, many of those laws are already in place since the days when Standard Oil, AT&T and others tried to abuse their respective monopolies.

why dont people sue apple for Spotlight?
Apple hasn't been been convicted as a monopolist. Also Google search seems to integrate well with Spotlight....Apple apparently did a decent job of exposings it's innards to 3rd parties in this case.

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584677)

You have a point. There is indeed a hint of WTF in this story. I mean, we're not talking about middleware like WMP here -- we're talking about finding files on the user's hard drive. If that's ruled to be no longer a core OS function to the extent that Microsoft are legally obliged to offer alternatives to it with the OS, you have to wonder what's next...

Newswire - 21st June, 2017

Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) has announced they will be bundling the Linux kernel with Windows as an alternative to their own, after a 490-page antitrust complaint was filed by the Linux foundation. "We are extremely pleased with this development", Linux kernel BDFL Linus Torvalds was quoted as saying. "For too long have Microsoft been able to get away with forcefully bundling the NT kernel with their OS, forcing other products out of the market in clear violation of antitrust law as it applies to convicted monopolists. No longer!"

This development is not without precedent. After the original case in 2007 forced Microsoft to offer alternative hard drive search tools with the OS, a ruling in 2009 following an antitrust complaint by Stephen Oberholtzer had them bundling an an alternative [worsethanfailure.com] to the Windows calculator. By 2014, after the famous Litestep case had Windows presenting the user with a choice of window managers on first boot, some have said this step was inevitable.

Asked whether there was any truth in the rumours that Richard Stallman was secretly preparing a dossier to set out the case that Microsoft had failed to offer enough choice to the consumer with regard to product names that feature recursive acronyms and references to
Flanders and Swann, he declined to comment.

Re:Wow! (4, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584931)

"You have a point. There is indeed a hint of WTF in this story. "

Part of the problem is that the lines are being blurred between file explorer and internet explorer, and search and OS search. As terms and concepts we all took for granted when the agreements were written get redefined to mean something entirely different -- previous legal settlements that were based on those concepts may also get called into question and redefined as well.

Since when (1)

Tran (721196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585183)

Since when has finding user files been a core function of the OS?

Re:Since when (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585249)

At least since it was almost impossible to find a Linux distro that didn't install find by default, let alone [s]locate.

Of course, it depends on your definition of OS to an extent, but personally mine is a little wider than "kernel and HAL".

I think the problem is WHY they're doing things... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19585293)

> I mean, we're not talking about middleware like WMP here -- we're talking about finding files on the user's hard drive.

Well, that's not ALL we're talking about. Remember, this was an MS-made replacement for Google's desktop search and Microsoft only made it AFTER seeing Google's product, at which point they merged it into Windows at a fairly deep level.

In other words, I don't really care what they put into their OS, but WHY they put it in there: to kill off competitors (Google) and their products.

Re:Wow! (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585337)

Keep in mind that before Google came in with a powerful search capability, Microsoft didn't have one yet. For all you know, if Google hadn't done one, Microsoft never would have done anything but the piss-poor dog-slow search they had previously. You think the next company will bother, if Microsoft is allowed to continually squash any product it decides it wants to squash?

The world is better with competition whereever competition isn't grossly inefficient. I see no good reason there shouldn't be competition in local search. Let Microsoft compete on its merits, not on its monopoly. I'm getting off my soap box now. Thank you.

Re:Wow! (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585051)

why dont people sue apple for Spotlight?

Because Apple is not a monopoly. A lot of normally legal things become illegal, when you gain over 90% of market share...

That said, I wonder, if Microsoft's fixing their own bugs is Ok... In particular, when the bug-fixing drives someone out of business... Their introduction of IE (which killed Netscape) was a feature-addition. Well, one's missing feature is another's bug...

Desktop Search? WTF? (-1, Redundant)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584011)

Is that marketing-speak for File manager/Windows explorer search function?

Deja-Vu all over again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584095)

Is that marketing-speak for File manager/Windows explorer search function?

Sounds more like MSFT Desktop Search is going to become an essential part of the core O/S.

IIRC, it's called the "Netscape Offensive".

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (1, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584141)

Desktop search is a name for a program that constantly indexes your hard drive so the results come up instantly when you search for a file. Examples include Google Desktop Search (Win/Mac), Vista Desktop Search (Win), Spotlight (Mac) and Beagle (Lin)

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584443)

$: locate

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584647)

Well, no, not exactly.

Though I just love locate, this is a wee bit different. For one, these programs index the content of your documents as well, not just their names. As practical as locate is, it only matches your search to the list of names in the database; I cannot search for a document containing some word.

Of course, that's where grep comes in, but then, grep's database is the fscking filesystem, so it may take a while.

Besides, I can teach my father how to use Beagle. I cannot teach him how to grep.
OK, I could, but I don't have the time.

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584675)

a) The fact that it's called Desktop Search implies that it's directed at Joe User, who doesn't want to be anywhere near *sh
b) locate ain't exactly instant, it doesn't pull metadata, etc...

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (2, Insightful)

My name is Bucket (1020933) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584519)

"Desktop Search" is what you turn off to gain HDD access speed, because you actively organize your personal files (unlike other schmucks).

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (0, Flamebait)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584807)

"Desktop Search" is what you turn off to gain HDD access speed, because you actively organize your personal files (unlike other schmucks).

EXACTLY.

You deserve to lose all of your data if you stuff all of your files into My Documents. Or worse, C:\WP51\DOCS\

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585129)

Que? Why? What's wrong with dumping all of your documents in "My Documents". Can't Windows handle that? I mean, if you have a little OCD and have the need to put all of your files into neat little folders, that is fine. But for the rest of us, saving into one big folder is just peachy as long as the OS can handle it. I do sort mine into business and personal folders, but that is about the extent of my filing. If I have a big project, it gets a folder as well.

Re:Desktop Search? WTF? (1)

cafucu (918264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585173)

"Desktop Search" is what you turn off to gain HDD access speed, because you actively organize your personal files (unlike other schmucks).

EXACTLY.

You deserve to lose all of your data if you stuff all of your files into My Documents. Or worse, C:\WP51\DOCS\

Or if you put them in /home/bassman59
Oh, wait...

Let me guess... (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584031)

...they'll make the same changes that they did when ordered to remove IE from Windows 95?

( "what? We did it because we were told to! Not our fault your desktop is all broke now!" )

Okay, so prolly not like that. But seriously; they could've avoided the bad PR by just responding to a quiet request in the first place, instead of being pushed into it... as usual.

I realize there's prolly some sort of 'we only do it when we have to' mentality prevalent in Redmond, but when is someone there going to realize that maybe, you know, they can take a chance and do The Right Thing - when the asking is being done quietly and politely, and not finally and grudgingly do it later when there's a big fat lawsuit or four hanging over their heads?

I know, I know... but I still have some small bit of dreamer left in me.

/P

Re:Let me guess... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584159)

Prolly = I'm 15-years-old

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584465)

Prolly
His power is maximum.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584269)

what pisses me off is that once again, Microsoft designed Windows to damage competing tech/products, they went outside the settlement, the DOJ knew of this before Vista shipped, Vista was allowed to ship, the Bush run DOJ sided with Microsoft, the Bush run DOJ sent out memo's to stage AG's telling them not to bother with Google regarding this, and the settlement of this issue is, Microsft, 'we'll fix it sometime soon'.

Talk about being given the red carpet treatment. This company is given a PASS at every turn of the wheel without any consequences. What a sad joke this continues to be.

LoB

Re:Let me guess... (3, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584787)

To damage competing tech/ products? Huh? The product was easily disabled. Google's complaint, as it is, was that it "wasn't easily disabled enough" (not sure what they were looking for, a Big Red Button on the desktop, or more likely, something that sits in the bowels of Add / Remove Windows Components, not installed by default, so people think that functionality is missing from Windows, and so download GDS) and that it "slowed GDS down" (well, yes, two programs indexing the hard drive will have to share access to it. I'm confused as to why this is MS's problem - you'll note that Windows Desktop Search is equally impaired - actually, even less, because it yields to everything including GDS, whereas GDS won't yield to Windows Desktop Search - this is a fairly understandable concept) - again, not sure what Google's preferred course was for MS, "invent a hard drive indexing routine that doesn't need to read the hard drive" (now that WOULD be innovation).

This is one I'm disappointed MS caved on. Google is doing little more than using the court to proactively hurt competitors, something most people here are usually against.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585271)

Desktop search is not new, yet Microsoft did not allow for a preferred search facility which disabled their builtin search. That is wrong because Microsoft has a monopoly in the desktop OS market. Had there been no other company doing desktop search they probably could have continued to bury the disable button(s) until someone else wanted access to the system. Again, this is because they have a monopoly and US laws prevent companies with a monopoly from blocking or harming competition. They must all competitors to compete.

The fact that Googles desktop search has been on the market longer than Microsofts and Microsoft just released their "new" OS all means that Microsoft was not playing by the laws governing anti-trust and not following rules set in their settlement for losing the anti-trust case( 2nd(?)).

"Google is doing little more than using the court to proactively hurt competitors" Say WHAT? who else in this desktop search market is hurt by Googles complaint? Are the changes Microsoft agreed to going to benefit Google above all others? To me, it only looks like it's forcing Microsoft to obey anti-trust laws and provide a means for competitors to play in the desktop search market instead of harming others by making it look like the competitors software is massively slowing down the OS by having two indexing systems. The second one being Googles or others.

IMO, Microsoft should be required to take Vista off the market until this is fixed. They are doing exactly what they've done for years in regards to harming competition on the Windows OS monopoly and they are currently still under sanctions from previous illegal anti-trust actions. Letting Microsoft say that they'll provide a beta patch by the end of 2007 is a slap in the face of Google IMO. It might not be until the end of 2008 before they actually fully implement the changes. How many GDS installs are they going to lose because of this foot dragging? IMO.

LoB

Re:Let me guess... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584333)

Good point. Microsoft can't (doesnt want to) afford to go threw that again. It is easier to give google the search bar for the few who want to use it. Then go threw a huge lawsuit with company over company for years for a relitivly minor feature. The browser wars cost microsoft a lot to win the war and after then won they didn't get much from it. Except for a bunch of security problems because hackers figured that there would be a good chance that people will be using IE. Forcing to put away the Microsoft only features (Active X) they wanted to exploit having the kings ransom in market share in browsers. So all that happend from the browser war was the public preception of Microsoft from the inovative company to an evil corporation, making adoption for future technologies a much harder task.
The cost of killing (or preventing major adoption) of Java and Netscape was huge for Microsoft and they probably don't want to go threw that again.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584437)

I would argue they CAN afford to, it will generate more income than the lawsuit will cost, and at the end, their only punishment would be to promise not to do it again. There must be another reason they are backing up on it.

Homonyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584935)

Threw (verb): Past tense of throw.
Through (preposition): In at one end, side, or surface and out at the other. All the way; along the whole distance.

** The More You Know! (tm)

Re:Homonyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19585071)

Thanks for informing the original poster. While reading through his post I threw up!

Re:Let me guess... (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584947)

On the contrary, every example you gave was profitable to Microsoft in the long run.

If IE had not become the dominant browser, nobody would have used ActiveX. If nobody used ActiveX, few people would have used Developer Studio, fewer people would have used ASP and, if few people used ASP, fewer would have used IIS and Windows servers.

If Microsoft had not put Java adoption back 5 years, nobody would have wanted .NET or Developer Studio .NET and, if nobody was programming in .NET, nobody would want to use IIS and Windows servers.

You can bet that Google looks the same way to Microsoft, if they can't get dominate online search market they'll lose more than just the online search business.

Re:Let me guess... (2, Insightful)

weicco (645927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584367)

It's interesting to see what they'll do. There's numerous things to do just the thing Google asked. There's at least 4 different ways to stop Vista's search, all accessible by installer software. There's at least 2 different ways to make queries to Vista's search and a way to plugin 3rd party search agents (I don't think this was requested by Google but some were asking this in the previous Slashdot article).

So unless they remove Vista search alltogether, what's there to do? Tell Google's developers how to read MSDN?

Re:Let me guess... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584971)

Define "The Right Thing".

Microsoft release an OS. There's nothing particularly secret or magical about that; it's fundamental to their business. An OS provides a platform on which to run software, and offers a number of features - because Microsoft's OS is aimed squarely at desktop PCs, it follows the features it provides are aimed squarely at desktop PCs.

Now, what generally happens is that Microsoft release an OS, and over the course of time some companies within the software industry spots what things are missing from the OS and writes utilities to make them available - a half-decent search facility, for instance. Same thing's true with more or less any OS - there have been third party volume managers for Solaris long before ZFS came about.

But it doesn't stop there. Sooner or later, Microsoft have to produce an updated version of their OS - if only because if they don't, it sill start to look dated in comparison with the competition. And the updated version offers more features - it's inevitable that some of these features happen to coincide with what a pre-existing tool did.

The difficult question is "where do you draw the line in deciding what's an acceptable new feature?". Technically, as Microsoft has been found guilty of antitrust violations, the line should be pretty close to what existing functionality is there. But Microsoft aren't particularly concerned about that, and never have been. If the processes involved from the point of "them breaking the law" through to "some court somewhere issuing a judgement against them" are sufficiently slow (which is true almost all the time), then by the time they're ordered to cease whatever it was they were doing so other businesses can have a chance, it's all rather academic - those other businesses have already gone to the wall and the next release of their product is just around the corner.

Something fishy (3, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584035)

When I read the slashdot discussion when the complaint first appeared I was initially supportive of google. But after reading rest of the discussions I became quite ambivalent about the merits of Google's complaint. But now MSFT is doing an about face. Sounds fishy. It must have done something more than simply providing a desktop search. Otherwise MSFT would not change its stance this quickly.

Also I am reminded of the fights between AOL and MSFT about allowing the PC makers to install additional icons in the desktop touting services that competed with MSN etc back in the Win95/98 time frame. AOL won, but it became irrelevant eventually. Will the scenario repeat? Has google jumped the shark?

Re:Something fishy (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584641)

It is also possible that MS just considers this such a trivial issue that it was easier all the way around just to make the change.

It doesn't really affect MS one way or the other, but I could see it eventually causing problems for some users. Anybody remember trying to help out a friend who let a third party product take over their operating system? Norton. AOL. You get the picture.

Re:Something fishy (1)

KillzoneNET (958068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584805)

I think its more along the lines of: "Let them spell out whats wrong, it'll give us an excuse to actually improve on it..."

How Helpful. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584065)

"In response to claims that Vista's "Instant Search" slows competing products, Microsoft agreed to give competitors technical information to help optimize performance."

Considering how MS is reluctant to give the requisite technical information even to companies that are developing software and drivers in cooperation with MS, I am skeptical of this. More likely, they mean that by "provide technical information" they throw them a copy of "Microsoft for Dummies" and say "Deal."

Re:How Helpful. (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584459)

More likely what they mean "Is we're making a promise, and we have no intension of actually doing it, but we'll keep you in our Redmond voicemail hell for a while and by some time to figure out some way to totally fuck you over."

49-page? (4, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584165)

That just raises further questions!
1. WHY such an odd (pardon the pun) number of pages?
2. What does it matter? Does anyone think that more pages = better? Did MS' lawyers see the brief and go "Shit guys, it's over 47 pages long. We better settle!"?

Re:49-page? (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584277)

Well, you see, 49 is a square number, so that makes it good. Plus, it's the square of 7, which is really really good. Not six, seven!

Seven chipmunks, twirling on a branch
Eating lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch.

You know. That old children's tale. From. The sea?

Re:49-page? (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584393)

This, in turn, poses a whole new breed of questions. Can one number be more odd than another odd number?

Re:49-page? (2, Funny)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585013)

Nah, that would be irrational. :)

Ok, mod me down.

Re:49-page? (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584715)

I get it! 42 - it's the question for the meaning of LTUaE -- how long must a complaint be for M$ to notice?

Re:49-page? (2, Funny)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584855)

The first page was the complaint, the remaining 46 pages contained the search history and complete index of every file on the writer's harddrive.

Re:49-page? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584965)

I just read through 50+ pages of SQL white page documentation...
I don't think MS has a problem with the number of pages...

Re:49-page? (1)

Kennon (683628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585233)

It's all part of some huge Satanic conspiracy! Put the number 49 under the number 23.
49
23

4 divided by 2=2
9 divided by 3=3

23...weird...

So (5, Interesting)

xinjiang77 (1106823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584179)

Either Google wants to control our OS or media search engines have turned into whiny conglomerates that fight over whose right it is to search what. I am more concerned about Google throttling competition than MS.

Re:So (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584395)

Google, at least as far as I'm aware, competes on merits.

Are there any counter examples that I should be aware of?

Re:So (1)

Jeff Hornby (211519) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585259)

Yes, they have a monopoly on Slashdot fanboys

Re:So (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585225)

I am more concerned about Google throttling competition than MS.

I'm more worried about Google abusing my personal information than M$. Google has a proven track record in this area.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19585309)

Please elaborate. When has Google ever "abused" your personal information?

Just 49 pages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584183)

...so it takes only 49 pages to make Microsoft obey the law, now?

The Tides Have Turned (1, Insightful)

mushupork (819735) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584211)

Kneel before Google!

The omnipotence of GOOG is starting to get just plain scary.

Sadly this so far means nothing... (5, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584267)

Contrary to the title of the article...

Microsoft To Change Desktop Search After Google Complaint

...MS hasnt agreed to do anything...

However, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in an interview last week that the company was willing to make changes if necessary.

(Micorsoft,) Please define "if necessary"... is it:

  • If Google continues their anti-trust case?
  • If enough end-users complain
  • If they are forced to because of the results of the anti-trust case
  • If BillG feels "charitable" towards his competition

Until such a definition is announced by MS, this statement doesnt mean much of anything - except perhaps as an attempt to make the general public think they are addressing the issue of choice on the public's behalf (as most of the general public will probably read into their statement in the same way that happened when the article title was created).

Just my thoughts on the matter...

-Robert

Re:Sadly this so far means nothing... (2, Informative)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584449)

i think you read the article wrong. last week they said they would make changes if necessary this week they said they would make changes

Re:Sadly this so far means nothing... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584997)

i think you read the article wrong.
Whoa, back up there, killer!

That's an awfully big assumption to make, that someone actually read the article.

Microsoft initially dismissed the allegations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584293)

... but now fear another high profile ant-trust case across 50 states with a government likely to change from GOP to Democrat in the next year. They got away with murder with the last anti-trust case due to a change in legislative control - they don't want to risk getting hit by the other side of the swinging bat this time, hence the "sure we will make the changes if that's what people really want".

This buys them time. (1)

MMInterface (1039102) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584321)

I'm not saying they conspired to do this but it will be almost a year from now before this is fixed. In the mean time people will get used to the built in search features created by MS. After that manufacturers can install Google desktop search and it will be easier for the user to switch back to default one. I'm not sure what exactly the problem was though. My dell came with Google search and tool bar which was an abomination before they updated it to look more like the Microsoft one.

Re:This buys them time. (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585179)

If Google hadn't raised tons of privacy/confidentiality concerns by sending index info across the Net, GDS would be the standard these days. They had a huge head start and blew it.

Digging into the article (5, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584337)

From TFA:

In response to claims that Vista's "Instant Search" slows competing products, Microsoft agreed to give competitors technical information to help optimize performance.

The bit most interesting to me was this. Does this mean that Microsoft have done again what they were penalised for in 2000 [dwightsilverman.com] ? Two of the restrictions placed upon it then were:

Requiring Microsoft to disclose technical details about the inner workings of its operating systems to those wanting to write software for them. Competitors had complained that Microsoft had secret "hooks" in Windows that it used to make its applications perform better.

Barring Microsoft from including code in its programs that would hurt the performance of competing products. Competitors charged that Microsoft deliberately designed products to hamper the way other programs work.

So, I imagine they're back to using the secret API for the Microsoft search, while slowing down the 'official' APIs third parties must use. Although the press item only has one sentence on it, this 'optimisation' issue is as important as Microsoft providing a competing product to Google Desktop Search in my opinion.

I assume the technical information handed over to Google will be details of how to access key parts of Microsoft's hidden-hook goodies?

Re:Digging into the article (1)

supermank17 (923993) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584729)

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I got the impression the slow downs in competing products were due to having multiple search implementations indexing the hard drive at once. At least, thats what I've been lead to believe from the previous articles in this thread.

For those who haven't been following the issue: (0)

Judinous (1093945) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584359)

The issue here is that Microsoft does not include a way to turn off its own desktop search, or to make a competing product the default. If you want to use Google Desktop, you can, but you'll still have the MS version running at the same time--which is obviously a waste of resources, on an already resource-hungry OS. According to TFA, they still haven't implemented a way to turn their own version off. I don't use Windows, and I don't care much for Google as of late, but they do have a very valid argument. This is anti-competitive behavior, and needs to be changed.

Re:For those who haven't been following the issue: (5, Informative)

sid0 (1062444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584417)

The issue with your post is the statement:

The issue here is that Microsoft does not include a way to turn off its own desktop search

It does. It includes *several* ways to do so. Disable the service, use net stop, use the API.

Re:For those who haven't been following the issue: (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585073)

Disabling the service does not disable it for all of Vista. If you read the original complaint, that was a major issue -- some actions would still call the MS Search instead of whatever other search tool the user wanted.

Use the API? Are you certain that the API provided by MS to third-party developers is the same as the one used my MS's search? As other posters have pointed out, this has been a problem in the past with MS.

Re:For those who haven't been following the issue: (1)

sid0 (1062444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585177)

It most certainly does disable it for all of Vista. It's disabled on the computer I'm using right now. With it disabled, the box reverts to an XP-like slow search.

If you're so concerned about the API, you don't have to use it. Just use net stop.

Re:For those who haven't been following the issue: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584429)

Why doesn't MS just provide an API or interface to the index then anyone can write a search tool against that index and there would be no problem with multiple concurrent search tools

Tagging beta (-1, Offtopic)

iamavirus (590736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584373)

Please change tagging to read: "it, microsoft, thatwasquick, hellfrozenover (tagging beta)"

Sheep (2, Insightful)

wasabii (693236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584461)

Man, ya'll must be sheep. Seriously.

Look. MS wrote the OS. MS owns the OS. MS can do whatever they want with it. If that means integrate whatever the **** they want, then piss off. If you don't like it, don't use it. It is not drinking water. Yes, you can live with MS. I don't use Windows, but I will do whatever it takes to make sure MS does not loose this fundamental freedom.

I find it quite unbelievable some people's feelings of entitlement. No, you are not entitled that somebody provide an OS that does what you want how you want it.

Your job depends on using Windows? Quit. It's not that hard. You are not under threat of violence. There are other jobs out there. Start your own business. Mow a lawn, I don't care. You are free people in a free society. Just choose not to participate in what you disagree with. What are you, sheep?

No, mostly you're just arm chair pundents. Debating the evilness of some entity but not getting up long enough to do something about it.

Re:Sheep (1)

Hobbs0 (1055434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584521)

I take it you aren't familiar with the concept of a monopoly and the laws prohibiting it?

Re:Sheep (1)

Scottoest (1081663) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584649)

A law is only as strong as those who enforce it, so his idea of "bitching, but not doing anything substantive about it" is still quite valid.

- Scott

Re:Sheep (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584727)

There is no law prohibiting a monopoly. Secondly, they don't have a monopoly by any kind of rational standard (there are many alternatives to using Windows, many of which your average SlashDweeb even claims are far superior to Windows in every possible way). Finally, the idea of a monopoly based on copyright or trademark is laughable and ridiculous. Laws concerning abuse of monopoly only make sense when it comes to limited physical resources or "life and death" stuff. Applying it to something that someone sat down, thought up, and created is utterly stupid.

Re:Sheep (4, Insightful)

yorugua (697900) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584837)

There is no law prohibiting a monopoly.
There are laws prohibiting from abusing a monopoly. I guess that's the case here.

Re:Sheep (1)

yorugua (697900) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584685)

Look. MS wrote the OS. MS owns the OS. MS can do whatever they want with it. If that means integrate whatever the **** they want, then piss off. If you don't like it, don't use it. It is not drinking water. Yes, you can live with MS. I don't use Windows, but I will do whatever it takes to make sure MS does not loose this fundamental freedom.

Well..er.. they have that fundamental freedom. But, they happen to be a convicted monopolist too. See, if you are in a position, which derives from you being a monopoly, and that sole position helps you leverage to get market share another product, which happens to compete with a third party (which you so badly want to hurt), then, there's no competition/freedom. You are just using your monopoly in order to push your product.

Also, bear in mind that MS seems to be afraid of Google, so this seems to be some kind of dirty trick in order to hurt Google.

Of course they can innovate! They can make their OS much safer than it already is. They are the ones that can do it, but yet they don't. Sorry, I dont want another insecure desktop search gadget, as the totally insecure Web browser we have now (remember the IE-Netscape chapter of the digital era?) on "most" pc (and I guess you know what pc's are those... and why).

ps: I don't use Windows. This post was brougth to you with no MS software between my workstation and my external router. Anyway, I suffer from other people using it (received any spam lately?)

Re:Sheep (0, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584955)

"Convicted monopolist". You guys crack me up. That phrase has 0 legal meaning.

Re:Sheep (1, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584687)

You know what? I gotta say I agree with you. I'm no Microsoft fanboi (though I do admit to using it for work, pro audio, etc). I think it's unreasonable to expect that Microsoft should be barred from being able to make their products work better on their operating system. While the practice is unsavory at best, I don't know if I can buy into this "illegal" or "monopoly" thing.

There are loads of things on the market that are proprietary and no one balks at all. Try sticking a Square D circuit breaker in a GE electrical panel, using a Schlage Key on a Kwikset Lock, or (to use the trite Slashdot analogy du jour) buying Ford parts for your Chevy car. It ain't happening.

Re:Sheep (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585185)

The question at hand is not one of M$ making its own alternative, but rather of deliberately degrading the performance of the other choice. Normally only a few people complain about this (though I deal with people on a daily basis who are busy suffering because they can't get a battery or case fan without going through the big name brand manufacturer they bought from despite the legality of this). However, in the case of a monopoly like Microsoft, customers don't have a choice about if they suffer with M$, because if they go with a competitor 95% of the third party software won't function.

Think about it as if you can only buy parts for a Ford if Ford says that particular part is okay, and Chevy doesn't have any non-Ford parts of any kind.

This post also brought to you buy somebody who suffers despite never (willingly*) using Microsoft software.

*My employer doesn't give me a lot of options while I'm at work.

Re:Sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19585193)

There is a differences between Monopoly & Proprietary.

Re:Sheep (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585315)

GE has no monopoly in electrical panels.
Kwikset has no monopoly in locks.
Chevy has no monopoly in cars.

None of your analogies apply.

Microsoft has a monopoly on the desktop. Microsoft competes with Google in a different arena - search. Microsoft cannot use their monopoly on the desktop to gain an advantage over Google in search. To allow this would seriously reduce competition in the marketplace.

A better analogy would be when AT&T ruled phone service, and they would not let you purchase a non-AT&T telephone.

Re:Sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19585057)

Funny title, because you're the one that sounds like the sheep. God damn. You're clueless aren't you?

What about Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584571)

I'm curious as to why it's so wrong for Microsoft to have its own desktop search when OS X has its own...

Re:What about Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584939)

Tiny user base = no-one cares.

WDS slows down *everything* (2, Interesting)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584623)

Google filed a 49-page document with the Justice Department in April claiming Vista's desktop search tool slowed down competing programs, including Google's own free offering, and that it's difficult for users to figure out how to turn off the Microsoft program.

It creates so much IO load that so far every machine I used it on got down to a crawl once it indexed a couple 100,000 files. I guess that's why they turn it off automatically once any user interaction is noticed. But by then it has consumed so much virtual memory that every other app has to be paged back in slowly. That gets better with 2 GB of memory but not much. Oh well, I guess I need 64bit and 4GB.
It helps to put the index on a different disk than your OS and your page file, but not a lot.

Re:WDS slows down *everything* (2, Informative)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585079)

huh? Last I checked it had the lowest priority and consumed only a max amount of memory, about 30megs worth, it would continue at that pace as long as there was no user activity for five minutes. It doesn't move other apps out of memory or even move them into virtual memory, if the app in question is actually doing something then the indexing service won't run. If the app is question is sitting idle then it has already been moved to virtual memory.

If you install it on an existing machine with lots and lots of files then install it and go to bed. In the morning it will be fine, no slowdown at all and then you'll have the added advantage of instant searching. If it's a new install then there aren't a lot of files to index so you'll be done in an hour.

That's just simply crap, I did all that on a Pentium M laptop with 1gig of ram and an 80gig hard drive. It doesn't affect performance in the slightest beyond taking up that additional 30megs of ram while it's running. It drops down to less than a meg when it is not running.

Spotlight is the exact same way, same with Beagle, there is simply no fast way to index several hundred thousand files while grabbing all the metadata that these products do.

Re:WDS slows down *everything* (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585273)

If I leave my machine for some time and try to get back to a running decent-size app like Outlook or Firefox, it takes about 30 seconds of paging until they are responsive. This does not happen when WDS is disabled or on Snooze.
I guess it depends a lot on how much you're indexing. My Indexing Status shows "Items indexed so far: 2,135,782."

it took me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19584753)

less than 10 seconds to switch the default ie7 search to google after a fresh install... whats the problem?

note: i don't use ie7, im a firefox user, but still... seems like a pretty silly thing

The damage is done . . . (1)

Skeptical1 (823232) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584981)

All proceeding as planned, it's a tempo move.

Wimpy Google Cries to Lawyers (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585213)

Cheering for either company is ridiculous. So Bill Gates has a few more billions than Sergei and Larry, but so what. It's not like any of us have our own private 737 to fly around in.

I like an OS to come with more stuff out of the box with every release. It's just less complicated to put in one CD and get everything - that's why I like Linux and OS/X. People have a right to make their products, however they want them. It sucks to bolt rear views on a car after the fact, and it sucks to go and download a bunch of unintegrated utilities onto your drive.

Google could have been proactive and released a Vista Upgrade for their search, with an Aero look, that shuts of Microsoft search. They could go and see every OS out there, and for Vista owners, drop down a new FireFox and a new Google Search FOR VISTA. But instead of being agressive, they cry to lawyers just like Netscape did. The result will be the same.

Microsoft delivered a new search experience with their new OS, and it is time for Google to respond with product.

I'm waiting for a new Google Search for Vista.

Why don't they file against Apple? (1, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19585279)

I mean, they have Spotlight and that's Apple-only and bundled, right?

To have an embedded search utility on an OS just seems logical. Microsoft may be hated around here, but for an OS maker to change the default search to something else just seems stupid. They are bundling it because it's an OS and it needs a desktop search.

Why just MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19585329)

Why is Google worried about the WDS? Can't you install their desktop search in Vista like you can in XP? If so, then users have choice already.
And why aren't they suing Apple for Spotlight? It's way more integrated into OSX than WDS is in Vista? Really, I don't understand the double standard.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>