This is old news now but I thought I would add my two cents to flurry of commentary that has been written over the last few days.
I have been quite surprised about how much attention has been given to a small little text box in the top right corner of the next generation of Internet Explorer. Microsoft has decided to join the rest of the browsers by adding a search box to the latest version of IE and the response to this has been outrage, stupidity and hypocrisy.
The majority of writing has been focusing on how Microsoft is the “Evil Empire” and once again here they go with there monopolizing ways. The general comments state that Microsoft is “Defaulting” the new search bar to their MSN / Live Search and this gives them an unfair advantage over the completion in search, ie Google, Yahoo …
That being said, Google is raising the issue with the US Justice Department and European Commission with the argument that because Microsoft’s has the dominant browser it will unfairly redirect users away from other search engines, such as Google. See Sarah Gilbert’s post over at bloggingstocks.
First off, the IE team has gone to great lengths to make this search bar easily configurable. I myself was able to change my search provider setting to Google in a mater of seconds. They have also built in functionality to preserve your search preferences from IE 6 when you install IE7. So right there you can not say they are defaulting the search bar to MSN. For users of new machines that have Windows and IE7 preinstalled the search box is set to MSN BUT the hardware vendor can change this preset to whatever they want. Once again you can not say it is the default. See Dean’s post in the IEBlog.
Second, Firefox (the second most popular browser) has recently aligned with Google. Google is advertising Firefox on their home page, a first for the company, and Firefox has who as their browser default? …. Wait for it …. None other that Google. John Battelle has a good post about this on his blog. I am sorry but you can not run around complaining that someone else is doing the same thing you are, and by the way, they are not as I already outlined above.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have been a Google enthusiast ever since I did my first search using their service but this incident has make me drop them down a full notch in my book. And I don’t seem to be the only one, see Brian White’s post at bloggingstocks.