Is this a case of Anti-trust deja vu? Search giant Google is taking Microsoft to case over its new Windows Vista operating system, claiming the operating system unfairly inhibits users from using alternative applications.
Cast your minds back to the late 90′s and you will recall a similar case involving Microsoft, and then browser competitor Netscape. Claims were raised that the pre-installed Internet Explorer browser disadvantaged other internet browser manufacturers. Back then, the courts found in favor of Netscape, which was then owned by AOL, but the damage was done, and Internet Explorer went on to become the leading browser, leaving Netscape in the shadows.
Google are threatening to take on Microsoft again in the Anti-trust arena. Google are alleging that Windows Vista places other desktop search applications at a disadvantage, as Vista comes with its own desktop search function, and changing the Microsoft default is difficult to action.
This isn’t the first time Google has threatened to take on Microsoft over unfair competition. When Microsoft launched IE7 with MSN Search preinstalled, Google waved the anti-trust flag. But this ongoing anti-trust sledging match is starting to wear thin.
Let’s face it – when you’re one of the most successful tech companies in recent history, and you have a serious grip on the search advertising market, the likelihood of the DOJ (department of justice) finding in favor of the claims is unlikely. The legal system is more likely to view the claims as a school yard tantrum.
It’s reached the point where Google needs to consider setting up its own operating system, or partner with another company to gain default rights on their platform. Their recent deal with Dell, which sees Google Software pre-installed, is more likely to successfully combat any disadvantages that Microsoft Vista might present.
With all the recent rumors about Google and Apple partnerships, a Google based operating system might not be far off…