Google to MS: Let users choose

McAfee and Symantec aren't the only companies asking Microsoft to play fair with its forthcoming Vista OS. Searchasaurus Google today urged Big Red to ensure that with its future products, users can easily choose among search tools and apps.

This request was made in Belgium by David C. Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development at Google, according to reports, after a meeting with antitrust regulators for the European Union. "It's been our view that any new version of Microsoft products that include search, that that be done in a way that preserves user choice for search and other applications," Drummond said, according to the Associated Press.

Microsoft, which has been hankering for a piece of the profitable search market, has been pushing its Live search engine.

The EU expressed competition concerns to Microsoft in a letter last March, citing the company's "plans to bundle in an Internet search function, a digital rights management program and software for creating fixed document format comparable to PDF, and security features," the IDG News Service reported.

"We are concerned about the possibility that Vista will include software elements which are available separately -- either sold by Microsoft or by other software companies," commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said then.

Todd added last March, "There is also the possibility that we won't have all the technical information needed for competitors to make their software interoperable with Vista."

The latter sentiment was rather prophetic, as McAfee and Symantec, along with other security ISVs, have cried foul that Microsoft hasn't given them what they need to ensure their security wares run correctly on Vista.

Microsoft continues to deny any wrongdoing.

As for Google, the company spokesman said that it's too early to tell whether it has cause yet to make antitrust allegations.