Google, Microsoft ‘at odds’

Internet search company Google has accused software giant Microsoft of breaching a US legal settlement that was supposed to reduce the dominance of the Windows operating system, a US report said on Monday.

The two top companies are at odds over desktop searches, or software that allows a personal computer user to rapidly find information on their own hard drives.

Google offers a program to do this, and so does Microsoft as part of Windows Vista.

Google had filed a 50-page complaint in April with the US Department of Justice charging that users of Vista are disadvantaged if they install the Google tool, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It said Microsoft rejected the complaint.

After previous complaints, Microsoft is bound by an antitrust settlement with state and federal antitrust authorities.

Google alleged that the latest version of Microsoft’s windows operating system worked slower if consumers used rival desktop-search applications provided by Google and others, because it was practically impossible to disable the Vista desktop search.

Although only a limited number of internet users have Google’s free search tool installed on their computers, Google claimed it helped build a good relationship between Google and online users.

According to the newspaper, Google has been in talks with the Department of Justice on the issue for one year, but analysts said the complaint was likely a riposte to a separate legal challenge from Microsoft against Google’s alleged dominance in advertising.

Microsoft has asked anti-trust authorities to prevent Google’s acquisition two months ago of DoubleClick.

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Google, Microsoft ‘at odds’