googSilicon Valley rivalries between tech firms are serious. But they rarely break out into fistfights. Those of us who long for a rumble are forced to settle for cranky late-night blog spats.

At 1:56 am this morning, we got one.  Outlook product manager Dev Balasubramanian posted a  bold-font-laden  bug report about Google’s Apps Sync plugin for Outlook, which allows Outlook to interoperate with Google’s email and other hosted services. He writes up the problem dryly, but the bold fonts let you hear his indignant, extra-loud typing:

The installation of the Google Apps Sync plugin disables Outlook’s ability to search any and all of your Outlook data. When a Google Apps user installs the sync plugin for Outlook, the plugin modifies a registry key which disables Windows Desktop Search from indexing and providing search functionality for all Outlook data, not just the Outlook data being synchronized from GMail. Because Outlook search relies upon the indexing performed by Windows Desktop Search, Outlook search functions are broken as a result. It is also important to note that uninstalling the plugin may not fix the issue.”

I’m sure it’s hard for some to believe that Google would ship, of all things, a buggy search tool. But messing around with the Windows registry is always risky, even for programmers familiar with the arcane structure and naming of registry entries. Still, someone at Google definitely goofed. Balasubramanian’s post is classic Microsoft: “We have brought these issues to Google’s attention, and have offered to work with them to find a resolution for our mutual customers.” Microsoft people are great at saying all  the right things, while still managing to convey the message you idiot.

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