Google Is Being Evil

I think that Google, whose informal motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” has been failing to live up to that motto.

They’ve been trying to use the government to force Microsoft to make it more convenient and practical for users of Microsoft’s Vista operating system to replace the built-in desktop search functionality with Google’s own (free) alternative software.

Critics of antitrust enforcement, such as that against Microsoft, have warned that it would be used as a weapon to protect competitors, rather than consumers; and Google is proving them correct. There’s been no outcry for this redundant functionality from consumers. And, while I suspect Microsoft would have improved the ease of replacement of search software if enough consumers asked for it, it’s perfectly understandable that they didn’t make it a priority when pushing to complete their initial version of the operating system.

I don’t have a problem with Google trying to encourage Microsoft to open this area up to competition. I do have a problem with them using the force of government to do it for them.

Also, I think Google should be careful about getting into this game. Their dominance of web-search, and financial success, has made them a potential target of others (competitors and politicians) who would exploit antitrust laws for their own benefit.

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