Google tattles

Wired News is running a story on Google crying anti-trust because the new IE will route searches to Microsoft’s own search offering. Sorry, but this feels a lot like a kettle and pot sort of thing. Or to put it another way, Google’s current trajectory as “home to all information” (search, calendar, mail, filespace, social network, maps, wireless, etc.) requires a firm commitment to keeping regulators out of the game.

If Google is worried, it needs to throw its weight more obviously behind Firefox and Opera, and it needs to innovate its own innovations. Don’t go crying to the EU and DoJ to take out MS for you.

I’m no Microsoft fanboy. But it seems to me that if you want closed systems to die, you need to show that open systems work better. While I hope they do, and I think they bring important advantages, I don’t want to see the government enforcing this. If MS wants to hobble its browser rather than make it easily configurable, that’s their own damned (poor) choice.

Yes, the better policy is “let the user decide.” But “make the manufacturer let the user decide,” isn’t my cup of tea.

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2 Comments

  1. Liz Lawley
    Posted 5/3/2006 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    (standard disclaimer: I work for Microsoft right now)

    IE7 is no more “hobbled” in this regard than Firefox. Both browsers allow you to change the default search engine, using *exactly* the same process.

  2. Posted 5/3/2006 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Thus the “if,” Liz. Haven’t seen the browser, so basing this on Google’s claim that it is difficult to change.

    The root here is that I have a belief that open standards and user customizable software will win out in the marketplace, so government regulation of this sort of thing is ill-advised.

    That’s why, for example, I think the Intel/Skype buddy-up is doomed to failure, and why Apple’s “boot anything” approach is a smart way to go.

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