Google Shines Antitrust Light on Vista

The search giant has stepped up its fight with the software behemoth.
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Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

has complained to regulators that

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

new Vista operating system violates the software giant's antitrust settlement,

The Wall Street Journal

reported on Monday.

"Microsoft's current approach with Vista desktop search violates the consent decree and limits consumer choice," a Google spokesman told the

Journal

.

In a 50-page white paper sent to the Justice Department in April, Google argued that the desktop search application featured in Vista makes it too onerous for customers to switch to new products. Google makes a desktop search product that can be downloaded by users.

Google's move highlights its increasing rivalry with Microsoft as the line blurs between the desktop-centered world of the personal computer and the Internet. Microsoft is using its grip on the operating system that powers most personal computers to maker further inroads into the burgeoning online world.

Google, with its online dominance, is expanding into applications for which most users have traditionally turned to Microsoft. The company is making light versions of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software that could rival Microsoft's high-profile Office suite.

Microsoft has been a vocal critic of

Google's bid to acquire online ad technology firm DoubleClick. Microsoft alleges that the move would reduce customer choice. The deal is currently pending clearance from antitrust authorities.

Google shares were recently off 89 cents to $514.60; Microsoft was up 6 cents to $30.11.