Illinois General Assembly Chooses Google
Another branch of the U.S. government-more like a small twig, really-has chosen its side in the never-ending fight between Google and Microsoft. A Google search engine, in place of a Microsoft product, now backs the Illinois General Assembly Web site.
In recent months, the government has taken nearly every (conflicting) stand possible on Microsoft. The Justice Department decided it would take no action against the company after investigating antitrust issues at the urging of the attorneys general of 17 states. A U.S. District Judge then saw the need to extend federal oversight of Microsoft through 2009, also due to antitrust matters. Most recently, the Department of Defense announced it would collaborate in the development of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping project.
Google very probably views the takeover of the Illinois site as a triumph. According to QCTimes: “Faced with numerous complaints about its Web site, the state recently agreed to pay $30,000 to Google Inc. to take over the searching capabilities on the General Assembly’s Web site.” The bragging rights and morale boost likely form a larger boon for Google than the financial compensation. The General Assembly’s home page even states, in larger-than-average red print at the top, “Note: A new search engine has been implemented.”
The Google Search Appliance is the particular branch of the search engine corporation that can claim victory. At the starting price for which the General Assembly purchased it, the Search Appliance can hunt through up to 500,000 documents, according to its web page. Looking at the Illinois website, that should more than cover it.
And so this round goes to Google. But Microsoft’s soon-to-be released (in test form) Windows Live Search client could shift the balance yet again.