Google's deal to preinstall its software on Dell computers has us confused. Didn't Google complain to antitrust regulators when Microsoft did something similar in promoting its own search tools with its upcoming operating system?
Granted, the Vista operating system will be on far more computers, a dominance that Google said provides unfair leverage for Microsoft's embedded search box (The Justice Department disagreed). But the Google deal reportedly includes a co-branded home page on Dell PCs, which sure sounds like leverage to us, even though Dell says customers "will have the option of choosing Microsoft as their default if they prefer."
Details aside, the whole issue seems a bit outdated: The Microsoft "bundling" practices that got it into trouble years ago no longer have the kind of clout they once did. Back then, less-savvy consumers relied far more on desktop icons and other preloaded pointers; today, even people who don't use computers are familiar with Google and could likely to find it no matter what defaults appear on their screens. So while Google's arrangement with Dell certainly can't hurt, it might not be as important as the search company thinks--especially if it's paying up to $1 billion over three years for the privilege, as some sources speculated to the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
Courtesy : c|net News.com