Less than a week after Microsoft agreed to change desktop search in Windows Vista — in response to an antitrust complaint from Google — Google is asking a judge for additional changes and “continued judicial oversight of Microsoft’s practices.”
The move signals an escalation in the antitrust battle Google has initiated against Microsoft, which spilled into the open last month but appeared to be resolved last week.
Microsoft and the government lawyers enforcing the antitrust settlement they reached in 2001 agreed on a handful of changes in response to Google’s complaint that the built-in desktop search feature in Vista limited consumer choice and violated the 2001 settlement.
But Google found the changes inadequate and filed an amicus brief with the judge overseeing the settlement at about 10:15 this morning, according to a company spokesman.
“The remedies won by the Department of Justice and state attorneys general from Microsoft are a positive step, but consumers will likely need further measures to ensure meaningful choice,” David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, said in an e-mailed statement. “Ultimately, these issues raise the need for continued judicial oversight of Microsoft’s practices, to ensure that consumers’ interests are best served.”
Microsoft said it went beyond requirements of the antitrust settlement in agreeing to the changes to desktop search, a tool for quickly finding material stored on a computer’s hard drive.