As you may have heard, Google came out with a new Chinese language input method editor, or IME – a device for typing Chinese characters using pinyin romanization. We discovered it here in the office about a week ago and all started trying it out. Personally, I found it annoying, as I only rarely type in Chinese, though Google’s IME assumes that I want to type in Chinese all the time. Even though I set my default language to English (I think), it would automatically switch me back to Chinese every time I toggled between programs (which for me is something like 2-3 times a minute, on average).
Well, I’m not the only one who is annoyed. Chinese search engine Sohu checked out the software and found it oddly familiar to their own IME – they promptly accused Google of stealing their material. Google then came out and apologized for doing just that, basically admitting that they had ripped off Sohu’s technology. “We are willing to face up to our mistake,” Google said.
It now appears that Sohu is going to put them to the test on that. They are preparing a lawsuit to be brought unless Google retracts its software, something Google has said it will not do. Let’s get it on!