The European Commission's decision to force Microsoft to "unbundle" its media player from Windows raises questions about the software maker's plans to integrate search technology... "We've got a precedent that says . . . bundling is not acceptable in some circumstances. If it could apply to media player, it could be applied to other technologies."
Well, it sure is cause for reflection up in Redmond. What will MS do now?
Note that applies only to Europe. This doesn't mean that MS couldn't sell Longhorn outside of Europe with integrated search. Also, I have to seriously question if there are any good anti-trust arguments here. Competing media players sell them for a profit, and thus bundling this could hurt actual sales. Searching at Google, Yahoo, Ask.com etc. is free. This wouldn't stop anyone from surfing to those sites, or setting up a quick launch icon to go there. Not to mention Google and Yahoo already dominate MSN for search. I just can't imagine the world will quit Googling just because MS offers an easy way to use MSN search. Netscape lost against MS, and had a much stronger case against them than Google would.
That said, I have never understood the problem with M$ developing an integrated product. I do not see auto manufacturers getting hauled into anit-trust courts because they dare to include radios, airbags and leather upholstery as part of the package. It is often the feature set that sells a product.
I use Opera on my XP box because it is a better browser with a better feature set. Kind of like upgrading the stereo in my car.
I still use Google for my searching (in most cases), and will most likely continue to do so until something better is developed.
Even if M$ integrates some form of search in their OS.