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May 1, 2006

Google Complains About Search Defaults in IE 7

In a delicious bit of irony, Google is making noises about Microsoft making MSN search the default search engine for Internet Explorer 7 and the Vista operating system.  Google has relayed concerns to the U.S. Department of Justice and to the European Union Commission.  Microsoft counters that users can change the default while Google complains that Microsoft doesn't make it easy to change, or as easy as it is in Firefox. 

It's hard to fault Microsoft's goal of making more of a dent in the search market.  Their share is in the low double digits compared to Yahoo! and especially Google who dwarfs both of them.  Everyone has stockholders and increasing or maintaining market share is one way to generate revenue.  While Microsoft's most recent earnings statement met the company's projections, though Wall Street was disappointed that they weren't better than that.

Google isn't helping its argument when it places a large graphic enticing users to download Firefox on its normally pristine home page, albeit even temporarily.  That's just being competitive.  Microsoft is a formidable foe when it comes fighting it out for ad eyeballs.  Google should not pretend it has no weapons, such as a large and loyal user base, a positive brand name, toolbars that bring the faithful to them, and a huge pile of cash to fight the good fight.  This is one area of the the Internet business where Microsoft is truly the underdog.

Forbes has the details.  Other stories are in CNET, CIO, The Guardian Unlimited, and CNN.

Get the Google Toolbar here, and the Beta 2 Preview of Internet Explorer 7 here.

May 1, 2006 | Permalink

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