IE team responds to NYT article about Google’s hackles’ being raised

This morning on Memeorandum there are dozens of bloggers reacting to a New York Times article about IE 7.

Dean Hachamovitch, head of the Internet Explorer team responds: "the search box in IE7 is not Microsoft’s. It belongs to the user. Our guiding principle for the search box in IE7 is that the user is in control."

Nicholas Carr makes an even more interesting point: "If Google wants to fully live up to its ideals – to really give primacy to the goal of user choice in search – it should open up its home page to other search engines."

Comments

  1. Ask the user first time they use it which search engine they want to use. Then just use that as the default.

  2. Its pretty funny that google’s feeling too insecure. Why dont google add a default MSN toolbar to firefox instead of the default Google toolbar?

  3. Its pretty funny that google’s feeling too insecure. Why dont google add a default MSN toolbar to firefox instead of the default Google toolbar?

  4. I quit using Google about 18 months ago and I’ve never looked back. I quit for a variety of reasons, but one of them is Google’s attitude that they are the only game in town. I really like Ask.com and MSN’s new search engine — both are really good.
    I also quit using Webmail of any kind. I bought my own domain and use my own solution. Far better and I have as much storage as my hard drive can hold.

  5. I quit using Google about 18 months ago and I’ve never looked back. I quit for a variety of reasons, but one of them is Google’s attitude that they are the only game in town. I really like Ask.com and MSN’s new search engine — both are really good.
    I also quit using Webmail of any kind. I bought my own domain and use my own solution. Far better and I have as much storage as my hard drive can hold.

  6. Ah, will that be on the same day that Microsoft displays other software choices on their home page?

    People seem to forget that the choice to go to Google’s page is one made by the user. Nobody directs them to go there, or forces them to use Google. There are plenty of choices. The Google toolbar is also something users install by choice.

    On the other hand, IE7 is the default browser in the operating system that will ship with every PC running Windows, and it is preset to take users to MSN. Virtually nothing in Windows is done by user choice. Every user will be forced to take an action to move away from the default.

    The term for that is “negative option marketing”, and is generally illegal.

    To be completely fair, the choice of search engine should be blank until the user selects one. That should please everyone.

  7. Ah, will that be on the same day that Microsoft displays other software choices on their home page?

    People seem to forget that the choice to go to Google’s page is one made by the user. Nobody directs them to go there, or forces them to use Google. There are plenty of choices. The Google toolbar is also something users install by choice.

    On the other hand, IE7 is the default browser in the operating system that will ship with every PC running Windows, and it is preset to take users to MSN. Virtually nothing in Windows is done by user choice. Every user will be forced to take an action to move away from the default.

    The term for that is “negative option marketing”, and is generally illegal.

    To be completely fair, the choice of search engine should be blank until the user selects one. That should please everyone.

  8. Alijah, when you go to download a new search engine for IE7 (atleast in Vista) when you install it, it asks if you would like that to be the default.

    What is Google saying, especially when an IE user goes to their homepage and they have an advertisement for Firefox. Or that Firefox comes with the Google search as its default, and its initial homepage is a hybrid Firefox/Google homepage, with Google search.

  9. Alijah, when you go to download a new search engine for IE7 (atleast in Vista) when you install it, it asks if you would like that to be the default.

    What is Google saying, especially when an IE user goes to their homepage and they have an advertisement for Firefox. Or that Firefox comes with the Google search as its default, and its initial homepage is a hybrid Firefox/Google homepage, with Google search.

  10. Scoble, want a constructive thought about this?

    Ask the IE team to add a search engine choice dialog in the IE installer. Set MSN as the default selection, but make it super easy for users to select another. That would silence Google.

  11. Scoble, want a constructive thought about this?

    Ask the IE team to add a search engine choice dialog in the IE installer. Set MSN as the default selection, but make it super easy for users to select another. That would silence Google.

  12. Alijah & Brook : We are talking about people who can’t change the default search engine, people who might not realise that MSN search and google search are different.

    Don’t you think it would confuse such people if you give them more choices? Then MS would have to ‘explain’ what different search engines are. Then they would have to explain their advantages. Would you do that in your product?

    Now I am sure there is a reason why MSN search was renamed to Windows Live :) So ‘dumb’ (used in a very light sense :) ) people would just think of it as a Windows extension. Sometimes people like to use a ‘package’. It makes them feel they are using the right product tailored for their other components. Remember we are talking about people who don’t have time to check out different choices.
    I also think Windows Live or Office Live will sound better in future monopoly suits (if any).

  13. Alijah & Brook : We are talking about people who can’t change the default search engine, people who might not realise that MSN search and google search are different.

    Don’t you think it would confuse such people if you give them more choices? Then MS would have to ‘explain’ what different search engines are. Then they would have to explain their advantages. Would you do that in your product?

    Now I am sure there is a reason why MSN search was renamed to Windows Live :) So ‘dumb’ (used in a very light sense :) ) people would just think of it as a Windows extension. Sometimes people like to use a ‘package’. It makes them feel they are using the right product tailored for their other components. Remember we are talking about people who don’t have time to check out different choices.
    I also think Windows Live or Office Live will sound better in future monopoly suits (if any).

  14. I agree with Larry on this one. Even with all the mojo Google has at the moment, Microsoft is still the one wielding monopolistic power.

    Make it blank until the user selects one.

  15. Nicholas Carr apparently doesn’t know the difference between a web browser and a web site, so I’m not sure how much creedence you should really give him.

    Microsoft has fought this battle in the past and lost. IE comes with the most installed operating system in the world. That’s an advantage that some will call unfair. When Microsoft leverages that advantage in ways that benefit itself over it’s competition, that competition will complain about it and call “anti-competitive.”

    Some of your other readers are correct. If Microsoft wants to convince the world that it is not using anti-competitive practices (by extending dominance in one area of computing into an unrelated area) it should present the user with a choice of search engines upon first use.

    Firefox doesn’t have this requirement because it doesn’t come installed on over 80% of the worlds pc’s. Google doesn’t have this requirement because it currently doesn’t ship a browser, but if it ever does, it _still_ won’t have that requirement for the same reason that firefox doesn’t.

  16. I agree with Larry on this one. Even with all the mojo Google has at the moment, Microsoft is still the one wielding monopolistic power.

    Make it blank until the user selects one.

  17. Nicholas Carr apparently doesn’t know the difference between a web browser and a web site, so I’m not sure how much creedence you should really give him.

    Microsoft has fought this battle in the past and lost. IE comes with the most installed operating system in the world. That’s an advantage that some will call unfair. When Microsoft leverages that advantage in ways that benefit itself over it’s competition, that competition will complain about it and call “anti-competitive.”

    Some of your other readers are correct. If Microsoft wants to convince the world that it is not using anti-competitive practices (by extending dominance in one area of computing into an unrelated area) it should present the user with a choice of search engines upon first use.

    Firefox doesn’t have this requirement because it doesn’t come installed on over 80% of the worlds pc’s. Google doesn’t have this requirement because it currently doesn’t ship a browser, but if it ever does, it _still_ won’t have that requirement for the same reason that firefox doesn’t.

  18. I tried to change Firefox to use MSN, I can’t get it to work. I read some forums and the only thing I cam up with is something called about:config, then adjust the search engine. I still couldn’t get it to work. Why can’t I change my search reference through the options dialog? Why is it so hard? If Google wants to be taken seriously (or make me care), they should remove themselves from the default in Firefox. Also Dell placing the Google Search on my machine WITHOUT allowing me to NOT agree to their licensing really made me mad. Google get your own house in order and quit sniping!

  19. I tried to change Firefox to use MSN, I can’t get it to work. I read some forums and the only thing I cam up with is something called about:config, then adjust the search engine. I still couldn’t get it to work. Why can’t I change my search reference through the options dialog? Why is it so hard? If Google wants to be taken seriously (or make me care), they should remove themselves from the default in Firefox. Also Dell placing the Google Search on my machine WITHOUT allowing me to NOT agree to their licensing really made me mad. Google get your own house in order and quit sniping!

  20. To me, yes Google seems to be grousing a little bit too much, but, unlike Firefox or even Google, Microsoft is acknowledged monopolist. With that there are special rules. Microsoft always has to be aware.

    I think Google is trying to do 2 things one say “hey, your a monopolist, play fare” and two “well we want are cake too.” So I think they just are framing the argument poorly. Microsoft should do what Firefox does , a drop down list. And, to one up Firefox include Google (Firefox does not include MSN Search).

    The reality is that people will use the search they want regardless of the default. So Google, really needs to focus on providing the best search and let the merits standout. Its not like Google is just some start-up!.

    That’s it

  21. To me, yes Google seems to be grousing a little bit too much, but, unlike Firefox or even Google, Microsoft is acknowledged monopolist. With that there are special rules. Microsoft always has to be aware.

    I think Google is trying to do 2 things one say “hey, your a monopolist, play fare” and two “well we want are cake too.” So I think they just are framing the argument poorly. Microsoft should do what Firefox does , a drop down list. And, to one up Firefox include Google (Firefox does not include MSN Search).

    The reality is that people will use the search they want regardless of the default. So Google, really needs to focus on providing the best search and let the merits standout. Its not like Google is just some start-up!.

    That’s it

  22. Why is this only now becoming a big deal? MSN has been the default search engine in IE for years via the Search explorer bar.

  23. Why is this only now becoming a big deal? MSN has been the default search engine in IE for years via the Search explorer bar.

  24. It doesn’t matter what the default is, if OEMs can choose the default, because they will opt for MSN search. MS has a lot more influence with the OEMs than Google. The Google toolbar was an end-around so that users don’t get used to the address bar for searches (which defaulted to msn, of course). Now that the bar is already there, Google is back to square one.

    And it doesn’t matter what Google does with it’s influence in the Firefox open source project, because it isn’t a convicted monopolist.

  25. It doesn’t matter what the default is, if OEMs can choose the default, because they will opt for MSN search. MS has a lot more influence with the OEMs than Google. The Google toolbar was an end-around so that users don’t get used to the address bar for searches (which defaulted to msn, of course). Now that the bar is already there, Google is back to square one.

    And it doesn’t matter what Google does with it’s influence in the Firefox open source project, because it isn’t a convicted monopolist.

  26. Reading the Times article, this post, and the IE teams rebuttals reminded me of all the choice Steve “we’re going to crush Google” Ballmer interviews of the past few months, and puts them in an new perspective. Apparently this is what he meant.

    This is the kind of move that the old, evil, anticompetitive, bundle-it Microsoft was famous for: leveraging its desktop OS monopoly to increase its share in other markets. Of course the user is free to change the default settings, but only a minority of users change default application settings.

    I want the new, open Microsoft that’s working on keeping me a customer on the merits of its products.

  27. Reading the Times article, this post, and the IE teams rebuttals reminded me of all the choice Steve “we’re going to crush Google” Ballmer interviews of the past few months, and puts them in an new perspective. Apparently this is what he meant.

    This is the kind of move that the old, evil, anticompetitive, bundle-it Microsoft was famous for: leveraging its desktop OS monopoly to increase its share in other markets. Of course the user is free to change the default settings, but only a minority of users change default application settings.

    I want the new, open Microsoft that’s working on keeping me a customer on the merits of its products.

  28. IMHO,

    Search for “flower” on Google. It does not show you 1800flowers.com or ftd.com in the main result but shows flower.com.

    Would you say that, Google is forcing the choice of flower.com on customers? To undo this forcing, both 1800flowers.com and ftd.com have to pay money to Google.

    Google does not show all the “major” websites related to the keyword on the first page. Some of them are on the millionth page, pretty much impossible to access those. Why not provide a way to jump on the millionts result page?

    Microsoft is making it open to set the default search page. OEM’s could do that. Google could share some revenue with OEMs for OEM to set Google as default search engine. This sharing of revenue reaches customers, because OEM could make their computers cheaper to customers in order to compete against other OEMs.

    Google does not want to compete on value with Yahoo or others. Competing on value means transfering as much value to customers as possible. This means shrinking profit margins and higher benefit to customers.

    Google chooses what links are good for customers. For some of them Google charges money too. Why not OEM choose what configuration is good for customers and for some of these choices OEM should charge money. Everybody buys customers. Google is in the business of selling customers via their advertising platform. This is a net good for customers because that makes Google search free.

    When it is Google turn to buy customers, which could make computers cheaper for customers, Google is resorting to negative tactics instead of just start competing on value. (Value is defined as how much worth you are getting minus how much you are paying. A good car could have lower value than a not-so-good car. A not-so-good search engine could have a better value if it can subsidize a computer more than the best search engine.)

    PS: The commentator is a Microsoft employee.

  29. IMHO,

    Search for “flower” on Google. It does not show you 1800flowers.com or ftd.com in the main result but shows flower.com.

    Would you say that, Google is forcing the choice of flower.com on customers? To undo this forcing, both 1800flowers.com and ftd.com have to pay money to Google.

    Google does not show all the “major” websites related to the keyword on the first page. Some of them are on the millionth page, pretty much impossible to access those. Why not provide a way to jump on the millionts result page?

    Microsoft is making it open to set the default search page. OEM’s could do that. Google could share some revenue with OEMs for OEM to set Google as default search engine. This sharing of revenue reaches customers, because OEM could make their computers cheaper to customers in order to compete against other OEMs.

    Google does not want to compete on value with Yahoo or others. Competing on value means transfering as much value to customers as possible. This means shrinking profit margins and higher benefit to customers.

    Google chooses what links are good for customers. For some of them Google charges money too. Why not OEM choose what configuration is good for customers and for some of these choices OEM should charge money. Everybody buys customers. Google is in the business of selling customers via their advertising platform. This is a net good for customers because that makes Google search free.

    When it is Google turn to buy customers, which could make computers cheaper for customers, Google is resorting to negative tactics instead of just start competing on value. (Value is defined as how much worth you are getting minus how much you are paying. A good car could have lower value than a not-so-good car. A not-so-good search engine could have a better value if it can subsidize a computer more than the best search engine.)

    PS: The commentator is a Microsoft employee.

  30. Sam, as Keith pointed out MSN has been the default search engine for years. Why is it an issue now?
    Because google fears MSN has become good enough…. isn’t that what you want? For MSN to improve?

  31. Sam, as Keith pointed out MSN has been the default search engine for years. Why is it an issue now?
    Because google fears MSN has become good enough…. isn’t that what you want? For MSN to improve?

  32. Are most of you people stupid or just dumb? Google does not own firefox. So therefore whatever default search engine firefox decides on, its up to them It just happens to be google since pretty much everybody uses it.

  33. Are most of you people stupid or just dumb? Google does not own firefox. So therefore whatever default search engine firefox decides on, its up to them It just happens to be google since pretty much everybody uses it.

  34. And hey, inspite of 90% dominance that IE has… Google has the major share on searches. Majority of the people know google, they seek google… they would find out how to change the default in IE, too.

    Google could cue them on how to do that on their homepage…

  35. Kamal, that’s kind of a silly way to put it, isn’t it? Google doesn’t tamper with the order of search results, which seems to be what you’re suggesting, it just sells text ads that go alongside the search results. If it wasn’t a value proposition, why do a majority of web users type google.com in on purpose?

    As for the OEM thing, everyone wants a cheap PC, no one wants 300 links to paid partners, even Google. One reason PCs aren’t popular with consumers is crap like this. This feeds directly into the spyware issue. The spyware people are paying for customers, why can’t they keep their software installed?

    Now, type in cars and see what value msn search provides versus google.

    P.S. I acknowledge that the Google result has somehow changed since you posted this. Very bizzare. You were right about the search earlier today.

  36. And hey, inspite of 90% dominance that IE has… Google has the major share on searches. Majority of the people know google, they seek google… they would find out how to change the default in IE, too.

    Google could cue them on how to do that on their homepage…

  37. Kamal, that’s kind of a silly way to put it, isn’t it? Google doesn’t tamper with the order of search results, which seems to be what you’re suggesting, it just sells text ads that go alongside the search results. If it wasn’t a value proposition, why do a majority of web users type google.com in on purpose?

    As for the OEM thing, everyone wants a cheap PC, no one wants 300 links to paid partners, even Google. One reason PCs aren’t popular with consumers is crap like this. This feeds directly into the spyware issue. The spyware people are paying for customers, why can’t they keep their software installed?

    Now, type in cars and see what value msn search provides versus google.

    P.S. I acknowledge that the Google result has somehow changed since you posted this. Very bizzare. You were right about the search earlier today.

  38. Roland: Google is paying Firefox to be included as the default engine, if I remember right, and quite a few Firefox employees are also Google employees. So there’s at least a little bit of a tie there.

  39. Roland: Google is paying Firefox to be included as the default engine, if I remember right, and quite a few Firefox employees are also Google employees. So there’s at least a little bit of a tie there.

  40. met, IE never had a search box. MSN Search is the default if you enter a URL incorrectly or something, but the Firefox-style search field is new to IE and it’s going to have a profound impact on search market share in a way that the current default doesn’t.

  41. met, IE never had a search box. MSN Search is the default if you enter a URL incorrectly or something, but the Firefox-style search field is new to IE and it’s going to have a profound impact on search market share in a way that the current default doesn’t.

  42. A convicted monopoly using it’s desktop market to push unfairly push into other areas. What’s wrong with that? Typical Microsoft.

  43. A convicted monopoly using it’s desktop market to push unfairly push into other areas. What’s wrong with that? Typical Microsoft.

  44. Robert wrote: “Google is paying Firefox to be included as the default engine, if I remember right, and quite a few Firefox employees are also Google employees. So there’s at least a little bit of a tie there.”

    This is something I’ve been wondering about for awhile, but I haven’t been able to find public source files about the financial and other forms of assistance different corporations provide to different “non-commercial” efforts. Have you come across any resource for transparency in this area…?

  45. Robert wrote: “Google is paying Firefox to be included as the default engine, if I remember right, and quite a few Firefox employees are also Google employees. So there’s at least a little bit of a tie there.”

    This is something I’ve been wondering about for awhile, but I haven’t been able to find public source files about the financial and other forms of assistance different corporations provide to different “non-commercial” efforts. Have you come across any resource for transparency in this area…?

  46. Firefox may not officially be Google’s product but it is for all intents and purposes. Google has made Firefox developers fulltime Google employees who only work on Firefox. Hmm… Google also pays Firefox roughly $30,000,000 a year for making Google the default browser in Firefox.

    I guess it depends on how you want to define the ownership of an open source project but Google is as close to an owner (and sugar daddy) as Firefox has… Do you think that the Firefox guys would go work on something that would make Google unhappy and jeapordize 30 million dollars or the paychecks of their key developers? Really.

  47. Firefox may not officially be Google’s product but it is for all intents and purposes. Google has made Firefox developers fulltime Google employees who only work on Firefox. Hmm… Google also pays Firefox roughly $30,000,000 a year for making Google the default browser in Firefox.

    I guess it depends on how you want to define the ownership of an open source project but Google is as close to an owner (and sugar daddy) as Firefox has… Do you think that the Firefox guys would go work on something that would make Google unhappy and jeapordize 30 million dollars or the paychecks of their key developers? Really.

  48. If you are using IE7 beta, then you already know that both Yahoo, and Google are advertising directly to you to make them the default search when you visit their sites. If you have ever bought a computer from HP/Compaq then you know that the OEM automatically sets your homepage to a specially designed one for you on Yahoo. The Oem’s are already doing deals. When you get Adobe Acrobat now you automatically get a Yahoo search bar. Now Google is jumping in with offering the Firefox browser with Google as its default. And how many “freeware” companies are trying to shove IE toolbars down our throats. They are using the negative opt out system too by automatically checking the “include Yahoo/Google toolbar”. I wonder if this is really the root of the complaint. I wonder if the business model they push includes this captive audience of Google toolbar users? Now without an IE7 toolbar, suddenly they don’t have a captive audience. What do you call an underdog that’s no longer an underdog? A free market competitor. Welcome to real business, Google.

  49. If you are using IE7 beta, then you already know that both Yahoo, and Google are advertising directly to you to make them the default search when you visit their sites. If you have ever bought a computer from HP/Compaq then you know that the OEM automatically sets your homepage to a specially designed one for you on Yahoo. The Oem’s are already doing deals. When you get Adobe Acrobat now you automatically get a Yahoo search bar. Now Google is jumping in with offering the Firefox browser with Google as its default. And how many “freeware” companies are trying to shove IE toolbars down our throats. They are using the negative opt out system too by automatically checking the “include Yahoo/Google toolbar”. I wonder if this is really the root of the complaint. I wonder if the business model they push includes this captive audience of Google toolbar users? Now without an IE7 toolbar, suddenly they don’t have a captive audience. What do you call an underdog that’s no longer an underdog? A free market competitor. Welcome to real business, Google.

  50. This discussion is unneccesarily getting complicated. What choices are you guys suggesting?

    Giving people choices is not good. Windows is already thought of as having too many dialogue boxes. I’ve always heard that OSX needs very few tweakings out of the box. Thats what MS should also try to do.

    I suggest having a ‘right click’ change search engine option. Now thats fair in my opinion. Easy to find… Any other opinions?

  51. This discussion is unneccesarily getting complicated. What choices are you guys suggesting?

    Giving people choices is not good. Windows is already thought of as having too many dialogue boxes. I’ve always heard that OSX needs very few tweakings out of the box. Thats what MS should also try to do.

    I suggest having a ‘right click’ change search engine option. Now thats fair in my opinion. Easy to find… Any other opinions?

  52. “I tried to change Firefox to use MSN, I can’t get it to work. I read some forums and the only thing I cam up with is something called about:config, then adjust the search engine. I still couldn’t get it to work. Why can’t I change my search reference through the options dialog? Why is it so hard?”

    It’s not hard at all. Here’s how to change Firefox’s default to any other search engine:

    Click the icon in the search input window (if you still have a default installation, it’s probably a “G” for Google)

    Select the new engine from the list.

    If the engine you want isn’t there (MSN, for example) select “Add engines…” instead.

    On the page that loads, select the engine you want.

    Select the new engine from the list.

    The next time you open firefox, that will be your default.

  53. “I tried to change Firefox to use MSN, I can’t get it to work. I read some forums and the only thing I cam up with is something called about:config, then adjust the search engine. I still couldn’t get it to work. Why can’t I change my search reference through the options dialog? Why is it so hard?”

    It’s not hard at all. Here’s how to change Firefox’s default to any other search engine:

    Click the icon in the search input window (if you still have a default installation, it’s probably a “G” for Google)

    Select the new engine from the list.

    If the engine you want isn’t there (MSN, for example) select “Add engines…” instead.

    On the page that loads, select the engine you want.

    Select the new engine from the list.

    The next time you open firefox, that will be your default.

  54. “Google also pays Firefox roughly $30,000,000 a year for making Google the default browser in Firefox.”

    Can you provide support for that figure? Everything I read says the amount is undisclosed, and the Mozilla foundation was only started with a $2M grant from AOL, so $30M would be an awful lot of money even once.

  55. “Google also pays Firefox roughly $30,000,000 a year for making Google the default browser in Firefox.”

    Can you provide support for that figure? Everything I read says the amount is undisclosed, and the Mozilla foundation was only started with a $2M grant from AOL, so $30M would be an awful lot of money even once.

  56. Solomenrex:

    IMHO, I am not saying Google is charging money for skewing their ranks. It might have been fairer if they did that.

    What I am saying is that it is in Google interest to adapt their ranking algorithm so that commercial sites, which are willing to pay to be on the search result page, do pay to be there. The quality of search result page does not decrease because these commercial links will show up there, because showing up on Google is make or break for many websites. This does not give any additional benefit to customers, except the free search. In the long run, it puts a drag on online commerce. Website would be forced to bid higher and higher to be on Google rather than spending money in naturally attracting customers. Because Google may tweak its search engine, if not already done so, to be biassed against commercial websites.

    Irrespctive of that, Google has two parts to its search page configuration. Organic result and paid result. OEMs could have certain configuration for payment too.

    You go to Dell.com. It can show you, Google default (-$20), MSN default (-$15), Yahoo default (-$10). This is a choice to customers as well as some value return.
    Customers are the winners here.

    Google knows that the Nash equilibirum is in their favor if they only have to compete on quality (assuming they think they have superior quality), but they also know that Nash equilibirum is not in their favor, if they have to compete on value too? Not letting a user to waive their right to initial default is taking away the user’s bargaining position. It is like car company’s are forced to compete on quality rather than on “quality – price”. People would need lexus only and no toyota. (Note I am not saying whether Google is lexus or Yahoo, or MSN is lexus. I am saying people may prefer toyota over lexus.)

    PS: The commentator is a Microsoft employee.

  57. Solomenrex:

    IMHO, I am not saying Google is charging money for skewing their ranks. It might have been fairer if they did that.

    What I am saying is that it is in Google interest to adapt their ranking algorithm so that commercial sites, which are willing to pay to be on the search result page, do pay to be there. The quality of search result page does not decrease because these commercial links will show up there, because showing up on Google is make or break for many websites. This does not give any additional benefit to customers, except the free search. In the long run, it puts a drag on online commerce. Website would be forced to bid higher and higher to be on Google rather than spending money in naturally attracting customers. Because Google may tweak its search engine, if not already done so, to be biassed against commercial websites.

    Irrespctive of that, Google has two parts to its search page configuration. Organic result and paid result. OEMs could have certain configuration for payment too.

    You go to Dell.com. It can show you, Google default (-$20), MSN default (-$15), Yahoo default (-$10). This is a choice to customers as well as some value return.
    Customers are the winners here.

    Google knows that the Nash equilibirum is in their favor if they only have to compete on quality (assuming they think they have superior quality), but they also know that Nash equilibirum is not in their favor, if they have to compete on value too? Not letting a user to waive their right to initial default is taking away the user’s bargaining position. It is like car company’s are forced to compete on quality rather than on “quality – price”. People would need lexus only and no toyota. (Note I am not saying whether Google is lexus or Yahoo, or MSN is lexus. I am saying people may prefer toyota over lexus.)

    PS: The commentator is a Microsoft employee.

  58. sam: Why does the textbox/dropdown search feature in IE7 suddenly change the rules? IE6 and before have an entire panel (an explorer bar, along with Favorites and History) devoted to search, activated by the very prominent Search button on the toolbar. And really, you have to make just as many clicks to search the old way as the new, since you need to click on the IE7 textbox to give it focus, whereas in 6 you have to click the search button (but the textbox there has focus upon activation)
    I am of the opinion that as long as MS gives users the option to plug in another search engine (or any integrated functionality), I think they’re playing fair. It should not be a great shock that a company will make their offering the default choice (I do agree that they have to actually offer the choice, being a monopoly and all). I think no default search at all is ultimately more tedious to the basic user (and not everyone knows the difference between Yahoo, MSN, and Google)

  59. sam: Why does the textbox/dropdown search feature in IE7 suddenly change the rules? IE6 and before have an entire panel (an explorer bar, along with Favorites and History) devoted to search, activated by the very prominent Search button on the toolbar. And really, you have to make just as many clicks to search the old way as the new, since you need to click on the IE7 textbox to give it focus, whereas in 6 you have to click the search button (but the textbox there has focus upon activation)
    I am of the opinion that as long as MS gives users the option to plug in another search engine (or any integrated functionality), I think they’re playing fair. It should not be a great shock that a company will make their offering the default choice (I do agree that they have to actually offer the choice, being a monopoly and all). I think no default search at all is ultimately more tedious to the basic user (and not everyone knows the difference between Yahoo, MSN, and Google)

  60. Saying that others, including Google, should do the same is not a defense, you know, because of the illegal monopoly thing. Microsoft is acting badly in search and music and the commission in charge is asleep at the wheel…

  61. Saying that others, including Google, should do the same is not a defense, you know, because of the illegal monopoly thing. Microsoft is acting badly in search and music and the commission in charge is asleep at the wheel…

  62. This is hypocrisy from Google. They own Firefox. Try to unplug Google from it and see how far you get. No matter how much about:config editting you do, or removing search plugins, ultimately you have to build your own modified version to take Google out.
    Why isn’t one of the top 3 search engines distributed with Firefox by default? I like Fx as a browser, but as a philosophy its starting to stink of the Google investment.
    MS are old evil, Google is new evil, and if they think we should let them have our search stats and combine them with our web browsing habits (analytics), an that we should still buy their “do no evil” mantra, then they’re going to suffer.

  63. This is hypocrisy from Google. They own Firefox. Try to unplug Google from it and see how far you get. No matter how much about:config editting you do, or removing search plugins, ultimately you have to build your own modified version to take Google out.
    Why isn’t one of the top 3 search engines distributed with Firefox by default? I like Fx as a browser, but as a philosophy its starting to stink of the Google investment.
    MS are old evil, Google is new evil, and if they think we should let them have our search stats and combine them with our web browsing habits (analytics), an that we should still buy their “do no evil” mantra, then they’re going to suffer.

  64. “Try to unplug Google from it and see how far you get. No matter how much about:config editting you do, or removing search plugins, ultimately you have to build your own modified version to take Google out.”

    What the heck are you smoking? Read comment #32 for how to change Firefox to use something other than Google. It’s dead simple.

  65. “Try to unplug Google from it and see how far you get. No matter how much about:config editting you do, or removing search plugins, ultimately you have to build your own modified version to take Google out.”

    What the heck are you smoking? Read comment #32 for how to change Firefox to use something other than Google. It’s dead simple.

  66. “The Google toolbar is also something users install by choice.”

    There is plenty of software out there that will try to install the Google toolbar as part of its installation and some go to quite a lot of length to make sure it ends up being installed. There’s probably some cash incentive there. The DivX codec being the most prominent I can think of. The last time I looked at it I had to tell it twice not to install the Google toolbar and still it ended up on my machine. In my opinon tactics like that border on spyware, no matter how benign the Google toolbar may be.

    Squarely on topic, I don’t see what is stopping Google from using half of their homepage with a huge banner that says “Click here to make this go away and us your default search provider!” which invokes the OpenSearch API (Hell, they’re free to be annoying and do it without any interaction each time you open Google until you finally give in).

    It’s also tremendously amusing to note posts from puzzled people who state that after installing IE 7 it defaulted to Google since that’s how they had things set in IE 6.

    Microsoft should just get Google to commit to the same kind of deal they have with FireFox. You’d loose some MSN customers but if they use your main competitor you’ll at least have them cough up a few pennies for every search made :-). That’s a win-win scenario.

    On a serious note, the first time a user enters a search in the search box, IE could just direct to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/searchguide/default_new.mspx and have the user pick.

  67. “The Google toolbar is also something users install by choice.”

    There is plenty of software out there that will try to install the Google toolbar as part of its installation and some go to quite a lot of length to make sure it ends up being installed. There’s probably some cash incentive there. The DivX codec being the most prominent I can think of. The last time I looked at it I had to tell it twice not to install the Google toolbar and still it ended up on my machine. In my opinon tactics like that border on spyware, no matter how benign the Google toolbar may be.

    Squarely on topic, I don’t see what is stopping Google from using half of their homepage with a huge banner that says “Click here to make this go away and us your default search provider!” which invokes the OpenSearch API (Hell, they’re free to be annoying and do it without any interaction each time you open Google until you finally give in).

    It’s also tremendously amusing to note posts from puzzled people who state that after installing IE 7 it defaulted to Google since that’s how they had things set in IE 6.

    Microsoft should just get Google to commit to the same kind of deal they have with FireFox. You’d loose some MSN customers but if they use your main competitor you’ll at least have them cough up a few pennies for every search made :-). That’s a win-win scenario.

    On a serious note, the first time a user enters a search in the search box, IE could just direct to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/searchguide/default_new.mspx and have the user pick.

  68. “What the heck are you smoking? Read comment #32 for how to change Firefox to use something other than Google. It’s dead simple”
    Yes thank you, I am quite capable of editting search ‘plugins’ (if mostly to remove spying features pre-1.5)
    How about hard wired parameters in about:config for Google? How about accidentally typing a single word in the address bar and being directed to a Google search?

  69. “What the heck are you smoking? Read comment #32 for how to change Firefox to use something other than Google. It’s dead simple”
    Yes thank you, I am quite capable of editting search ‘plugins’ (if mostly to remove spying features pre-1.5)
    How about hard wired parameters in about:config for Google? How about accidentally typing a single word in the address bar and being directed to a Google search?

  70. “How about hard wired parameters in about:config for Google? How about accidentally typing a single word in the address bar and being directed to a Google search?”

    No, seriously. Can you hook me with whatever is making you type this stuff?

    With a fresh install of Firefox under OSX or WinXP (Wheee for Parallels), typing “test” into the address bar results in a page telling me that http://test/ could not be found. What do you see?

    Now, with a fresh install of Windows XP (followed by the appropriate service packs and such) typing “test” into IE 6.0.2900.2180 _does_ result in an MSN search page with the following url: “http://search.msn.com/results.asp?FORM=AS35&srch=5&q=test

  71. “How about hard wired parameters in about:config for Google? How about accidentally typing a single word in the address bar and being directed to a Google search?”

    No, seriously. Can you hook me with whatever is making you type this stuff?

    With a fresh install of Firefox under OSX or WinXP (Wheee for Parallels), typing “test” into the address bar results in a page telling me that http://test/ could not be found. What do you see?

    Now, with a fresh install of Windows XP (followed by the appropriate service packs and such) typing “test” into IE 6.0.2900.2180 _does_ result in an MSN search page with the following url: “http://search.msn.com/results.asp?FORM=AS35&srch=5&q=test

  72. Google apparently sees no problem with its monopoly on searching in the Mac OS. Mac’s default browser Safari is *hard-wired* to use Google and nothing else. Google is being very hypocritical.

  73. Google apparently sees no problem with its monopoly on searching in the Mac OS. Mac’s default browser Safari is *hard-wired* to use Google and nothing else. Google is being very hypocritical.

  74. Search for “flower” on Google. It does not show you 1800flowers.com or ftd.com in the main result but shows flower.com.

    If you search google for “flowers” 1800flowers is the first result. ftd is the third.

    If you search for “flower” on MSN, 1800-flowers isn’t even listed anywhere. I guess 1800-flowers doesn’t want to advertise with Microsoft.

    Live.com is a mess. There’s half as many search results visible on the screen at any time and the AJAX scrollbar is just plain silly – not a functional achievement like scrollable maps are on Google.

    Dean Hachamovitch, head of the Internet Explorer team responds: “the search box in IE7 is not Microsoft’s. It belongs to the user. Our guiding principle for the search box in IE7 is that the user is in control.”

    The user is already in control. Overwhelmingly, the user chooses to use Google, not MSN Search. So for Dean to make that claim while simultaneously creating a search widget in IE that defaults to MSN search is entirely disingenuous. Clearly, the mode of operation here is to make MSN search more easily available to users by 1) leveraging IE marketshare and 2) leveraging the windows monopoly in violation of antitrust law by bundling IE with Windows.

    Things finally got good for web browsers with the introduction of firefox, more than 5 years after Microsoft used illegal, anticompetitive methods to drive Netscape out of the market – these are illegal, anticompetitive methods for which Microsoft was found guilty of violating Sherman Antitrust law, a felony.

    I’m just wondering what good “service” Microsoft and the IE team think they can provide by illegally leveraging bundling once again to harm a competitor instead of growing marketshare by making a superior product and getting adopted by consumers naturally. I fear what’s going to happen is 5 years of inferior search results because Microsoft again leverages an existing monopoly in order to take over a market.

  75. Search for “flower” on Google. It does not show you 1800flowers.com or ftd.com in the main result but shows flower.com.

    If you search google for “flowers” 1800flowers is the first result. ftd is the third.

    If you search for “flower” on MSN, 1800-flowers isn’t even listed anywhere. I guess 1800-flowers doesn’t want to advertise with Microsoft.

    Live.com is a mess. There’s half as many search results visible on the screen at any time and the AJAX scrollbar is just plain silly – not a functional achievement like scrollable maps are on Google.

    Dean Hachamovitch, head of the Internet Explorer team responds: “the search box in IE7 is not Microsoft’s. It belongs to the user. Our guiding principle for the search box in IE7 is that the user is in control.”

    The user is already in control. Overwhelmingly, the user chooses to use Google, not MSN Search. So for Dean to make that claim while simultaneously creating a search widget in IE that defaults to MSN search is entirely disingenuous. Clearly, the mode of operation here is to make MSN search more easily available to users by 1) leveraging IE marketshare and 2) leveraging the windows monopoly in violation of antitrust law by bundling IE with Windows.

    Things finally got good for web browsers with the introduction of firefox, more than 5 years after Microsoft used illegal, anticompetitive methods to drive Netscape out of the market – these are illegal, anticompetitive methods for which Microsoft was found guilty of violating Sherman Antitrust law, a felony.

    I’m just wondering what good “service” Microsoft and the IE team think they can provide by illegally leveraging bundling once again to harm a competitor instead of growing marketshare by making a superior product and getting adopted by consumers naturally. I fear what’s going to happen is 5 years of inferior search results because Microsoft again leverages an existing monopoly in order to take over a market.

  76. Google apparently sees no problem with its monopoly on searching in the Mac OS. Mac’s default browser Safari is *hard-wired* to use Google and nothing else. Google is being very hypocritical.

    That’s Apple’s choice, not a result of some nefarious partnership with Google.

  77. Google apparently sees no problem with its monopoly on searching in the Mac OS. Mac’s default browser Safari is *hard-wired* to use Google and nothing else. Google is being very hypocritical.

    That’s Apple’s choice, not a result of some nefarious partnership with Google.

  78. I don’t understand that monopoly argument at all. Currently IE7 is free download, so you must decide to install it to, well, install it. This will continue being true for all Windows versions except Vista. Microsoft Vista OS has 0% market share at the moment, so again you must decide to buy it to run it. There is zero monopolistic pressure – getting IE7 or not is completely elective process.

    Plus IE7 respects your settings upon installation. And lets you easily switch to a different search engine. And lets you to switch to google as soon as you visit their page. How is that for being a good market citizen?

  79. I don’t understand that monopoly argument at all. Currently IE7 is free download, so you must decide to install it to, well, install it. This will continue being true for all Windows versions except Vista. Microsoft Vista OS has 0% market share at the moment, so again you must decide to buy it to run it. There is zero monopolistic pressure – getting IE7 or not is completely elective process.

    Plus IE7 respects your settings upon installation. And lets you easily switch to a different search engine. And lets you to switch to google as soon as you visit their page. How is that for being a good market citizen?

  80. Kloto, a good market citizen would make the default on first run display a page that something like the following:

    “Microsoft recognizes that search is an important feature of web browsers and has a large impact on your web browsing experience. Because user choice is important to us, here’s a list of the 5 most used search engines as of the writing of this software. We’ve pre-selected Windows Live Search because we think it’s just spiffy. Also, we get the ad revenue it generates.”

    The fact that Firefox or Safari or Camino or whatever other browser you can cite doesn’t do this is mitigated by one very important factor. Two browsers are shipped with current computers (IE and Safari — Linux rarely ships with a computer, so I’ll ignore it for now) and only one of those browsers defaults to using a search engine that generates a per-click profit for the company that ships the OS.

    Firefox ships with a default of Google because Firefox makes money on a per-click basis from Google. Good for them. No one is being forced to use Firefox. We’re being forced to use IE and Safari, at the very least to go and download the browser of our choice.

    Finally: Yes, Microsoft is being pressured into playing by rules different from their competitors. This is fair and just _because they have been convicted of anti-trust violations_. When you’ve been found to use anti-competitive practices in the past, _every_ move made should be subject careful scrutiny to confirm that it isn’t happening again.

  81. Kloto, a good market citizen would make the default on first run display a page that something like the following:

    “Microsoft recognizes that search is an important feature of web browsers and has a large impact on your web browsing experience. Because user choice is important to us, here’s a list of the 5 most used search engines as of the writing of this software. We’ve pre-selected Windows Live Search because we think it’s just spiffy. Also, we get the ad revenue it generates.”

    The fact that Firefox or Safari or Camino or whatever other browser you can cite doesn’t do this is mitigated by one very important factor. Two browsers are shipped with current computers (IE and Safari — Linux rarely ships with a computer, so I’ll ignore it for now) and only one of those browsers defaults to using a search engine that generates a per-click profit for the company that ships the OS.

    Firefox ships with a default of Google because Firefox makes money on a per-click basis from Google. Good for them. No one is being forced to use Firefox. We’re being forced to use IE and Safari, at the very least to go and download the browser of our choice.

    Finally: Yes, Microsoft is being pressured into playing by rules different from their competitors. This is fair and just _because they have been convicted of anti-trust violations_. When you’ve been found to use anti-competitive practices in the past, _every_ move made should be subject careful scrutiny to confirm that it isn’t happening again.

  82. Scott, I’m afraid you missed my Vista argument: Microsoft is not pressing you to use IE7. You will have to decide either to buy Vista retail box or to download it [free] from their page. And most certainly when you get preinstalled OEM copy of Vista it will point to whichever home page and search engine were chosen by the assembler, again, of your choice.

    Now to your suggestion of the start page: I respectfully disagree. For me it’s all or nothing decision, and if you include 5 search engines, you must include all! Frankly, how do you decide which ones are top 5? In which field? Say, if you include Google, but exclude PriceGrabber, MySimon or maybe CampusI, then Google’s inferior Froogle sidekick gets unfair advantage over these specialized searches.

  83. Scott, I’m afraid you missed my Vista argument: Microsoft is not pressing you to use IE7. You will have to decide either to buy Vista retail box or to download it [free] from their page. And most certainly when you get preinstalled OEM copy of Vista it will point to whichever home page and search engine were chosen by the assembler, again, of your choice.

    Now to your suggestion of the start page: I respectfully disagree. For me it’s all or nothing decision, and if you include 5 search engines, you must include all! Frankly, how do you decide which ones are top 5? In which field? Say, if you include Google, but exclude PriceGrabber, MySimon or maybe CampusI, then Google’s inferior Froogle sidekick gets unfair advantage over these specialized searches.

  84. So if Live search decides to promote Da Vinci Code, should Vatican complain that Microsoft is abusing its monopoly? :D

    you know – Windows monopoly > Vista monopoly > MSN search Monopoly > Da Vinci Code monopoly

  85. So if Live search decides to promote Da Vinci Code, should Vatican complain that Microsoft is abusing its monopoly? :D

    you know – Windows monopoly > Vista monopoly > MSN search Monopoly > Da Vinci Code monopoly

  86. Saying IE7 is an optional download is disingenous. Saying Vista has 0% market share is disingenous.

    Vista gets released, market share is going to climb steadily, through the next cycle of replacement.

    Don’t forget most of the new Vista installs will be new PCs, so there’s no previous user preferences, and now, we’re back to the default of MSN.

    It’s glaringly obvious Microsoft is playing the long game here. The user may be in control for the short term, that stops when a new version of Vista is received, on a new machine, and what do you know, Google isn’t even in the list of search engine options, you have to go to a seperate web page to add them in.

    Yeah. New spin, same Microsoft, same tricks. Can’t compete on a level playing field.

  87. Saying IE7 is an optional download is disingenous. Saying Vista has 0% market share is disingenous.

    Vista gets released, market share is going to climb steadily, through the next cycle of replacement.

    Don’t forget most of the new Vista installs will be new PCs, so there’s no previous user preferences, and now, we’re back to the default of MSN.

    It’s glaringly obvious Microsoft is playing the long game here. The user may be in control for the short term, that stops when a new version of Vista is received, on a new machine, and what do you know, Google isn’t even in the list of search engine options, you have to go to a seperate web page to add them in.

    Yeah. New spin, same Microsoft, same tricks. Can’t compete on a level playing field.

  88. I rather like Google and all it’s tools. I am actually a Google freak and when it comes to browsers I must admit I am a Firefox user and will never ever use a different browser except if it is much better than Firefox.

    I must admit that this new MS options sounds all too innocent to me and unforetunately MS also knows that 80% of the market out there does not really care which search engine they use whether MSN or Google, so they will most probably stick with whatever the default is.

    The positive side will be that it will force more and better innovation from the competition. Case in point is Netscape, their browser to me just plain sucked and now with Firefox I am all Mozilla again. Unfortunately it was a little too late for Netscape.

    I also feel the Google experience is better than the MSN one, I like the way Google changes the Google image ever so often depending on current events etc. Small things that will keep me on Google, and ultimately the term “Just Google it” sounds better than “Just MSN it” to me personally.

  89. I rather like Google and all it’s tools. I am actually a Google freak and when it comes to browsers I must admit I am a Firefox user and will never ever use a different browser except if it is much better than Firefox.

    I must admit that this new MS options sounds all too innocent to me and unforetunately MS also knows that 80% of the market out there does not really care which search engine they use whether MSN or Google, so they will most probably stick with whatever the default is.

    The positive side will be that it will force more and better innovation from the competition. Case in point is Netscape, their browser to me just plain sucked and now with Firefox I am all Mozilla again. Unfortunately it was a little too late for Netscape.

    I also feel the Google experience is better than the MSN one, I like the way Google changes the Google image ever so often depending on current events etc. Small things that will keep me on Google, and ultimately the term “Just Google it” sounds better than “Just MSN it” to me personally.

  90. The thing that lacks the most competitive fairness about Microsoft, is that regardless what I set for my default, IE opens when other Microsoft software requires something like ActiveX. Since MS Show requires IE, users are not allowed a choice in that case. There are many examples, but a webinar reaches more than just one user at a time.

    I see ActiveX as a child of Embrace, Extend and Extinguish technology. It’s sooo obvious that it hides in plain sight. I think serious concerns have merit, and Google is a day late in lodging them.

    -detlev

  91. The thing that lacks the most competitive fairness about Microsoft, is that regardless what I set for my default, IE opens when other Microsoft software requires something like ActiveX. Since MS Show requires IE, users are not allowed a choice in that case. There are many examples, but a webinar reaches more than just one user at a time.

    I see ActiveX as a child of Embrace, Extend and Extinguish technology. It’s sooo obvious that it hides in plain sight. I think serious concerns have merit, and Google is a day late in lodging them.

    -detlev

  92. Wow, some interesting arguments. Some people though mistake Google for a monopoly, they are not. Yes they are the dominant search provider, but that does not make them a monolopy by federal standards. If Google was required to browse the internet on say 60% of all PCs then yes, they would probably be considered a monopoly.

    Yes, Google is grousing, but as I said before Microsoft is an acknowledged monopoly and thus has different rules. That said people will be able to change IE7 search just as easily as IE6 or Firefox, so probably not a real issue.

    As several have stated, maybe Google realizes Microsoft has genuine hit with their “new” search. Heck, will all that is being said, I am going spend sometime using it, just to see and I haven’t used MSFT search (other than what is built into their apps) in well over a year.

    Competition is good, and Microsoft is really starting to work on the quality of their apps and such. I support that effort wholeheartedly so long as competition is based on quality and not one’s ability to predetermine or bundle applications.

    If you feel strongly about the issues surrounding IE Search then vote with your queries, because that will be good for all of us (unless of course the government forces ISPs and vendors to keep logs of everything, that is a waaaay more important debate)

  93. Wow, some interesting arguments. Some people though mistake Google for a monopoly, they are not. Yes they are the dominant search provider, but that does not make them a monolopy by federal standards. If Google was required to browse the internet on say 60% of all PCs then yes, they would probably be considered a monopoly.

    Yes, Google is grousing, but as I said before Microsoft is an acknowledged monopoly and thus has different rules. That said people will be able to change IE7 search just as easily as IE6 or Firefox, so probably not a real issue.

    As several have stated, maybe Google realizes Microsoft has genuine hit with their “new” search. Heck, will all that is being said, I am going spend sometime using it, just to see and I haven’t used MSFT search (other than what is built into their apps) in well over a year.

    Competition is good, and Microsoft is really starting to work on the quality of their apps and such. I support that effort wholeheartedly so long as competition is based on quality and not one’s ability to predetermine or bundle applications.

    If you feel strongly about the issues surrounding IE Search then vote with your queries, because that will be good for all of us (unless of course the government forces ISPs and vendors to keep logs of everything, that is a waaaay more important debate)

  94. I have to laugh at everyone advocating that features of an application be disabled until choices are made. There are millions of computer users that are relatively new to computers whom would be frustrated and lost trying to figure out how to make the change.

    I work with hundreds of individuals on a daily basis that fall into this catagory. These are folks that are confused just looking at the array of choices that are on start menu! Software should ALWAYS have a default set so that EVERY function works WITHOUT having to tweak settings.

    Let’s not forget that computers are quickly becoming a neccessity, not an option, to function in todays society. There is no need to make things more difficult for novice users, and older folks that have trouble just looking at the screen to see it and who typically peck at the keys just to make ANYTHING happen!

    Society is made up of many more catalogies of users than the power users who typically freqent these pages making comments about what should be done without considering everyone as a whole.

  95. I have to laugh at everyone advocating that features of an application be disabled until choices are made. There are millions of computer users that are relatively new to computers whom would be frustrated and lost trying to figure out how to make the change.

    I work with hundreds of individuals on a daily basis that fall into this catagory. These are folks that are confused just looking at the array of choices that are on start menu! Software should ALWAYS have a default set so that EVERY function works WITHOUT having to tweak settings.

    Let’s not forget that computers are quickly becoming a neccessity, not an option, to function in todays society. There is no need to make things more difficult for novice users, and older folks that have trouble just looking at the screen to see it and who typically peck at the keys just to make ANYTHING happen!

    Society is made up of many more catalogies of users than the power users who typically freqent these pages making comments about what should be done without considering everyone as a whole.

  96. I think that Microsoft could do what they want with there browser and Google shouldn’t give opinions on how they do there stuff. Google should have more confidents in then selves and stop worrying about Microsoft. May i say “Scary Cat”.

  97. I think that Microsoft could do what they want with there browser and Google shouldn’t give opinions on how they do there stuff. Google should have more confidents in then selves and stop worrying about Microsoft. May i say “Scary Cat”.

  98. Hey,

    To the confused reader above (re: configuring firefox), type “about:config” in the address bar. Adjust search as desired.

    To the google-detractor above you are correct “flower” doesn’t return 1800Flowers or ftd.com. Search for “flowers” however and you do get those results. I believe this is just more intelligent search (and I work at msft for goodness sake!)

    I agree with many other folks on this page – IE must represent msft’s commitment to openness and fairness by allowing the user to choose (preferably during install) their default search. If that’s google then so be it. Our search (Windows Live) should win on its own merits – not b/c it’s a default in a browser included w/ the most common OS on the planet. We no longer have the benefit of the doubt as a company. We must earn back our user’s trust. I think our products and services are good enough to win on their own merit. Let the user choose and let them choose in a manner that reflects the openness, fairness and honesty of our company.

  99. Hey,

    To the confused reader above (re: configuring firefox), type “about:config” in the address bar. Adjust search as desired.

    To the google-detractor above you are correct “flower” doesn’t return 1800Flowers or ftd.com. Search for “flowers” however and you do get those results. I believe this is just more intelligent search (and I work at msft for goodness sake!)

    I agree with many other folks on this page – IE must represent msft’s commitment to openness and fairness by allowing the user to choose (preferably during install) their default search. If that’s google then so be it. Our search (Windows Live) should win on its own merits – not b/c it’s a default in a browser included w/ the most common OS on the planet. We no longer have the benefit of the doubt as a company. We must earn back our user’s trust. I think our products and services are good enough to win on their own merit. Let the user choose and let them choose in a manner that reflects the openness, fairness and honesty of our company.

  100. What’s happening here is really obvious.

    Microsoft is attempting to leverage the same Windows bundling techniques with search that it used to gain share in web browsers, media players and instant messengers.

    It might only mean fines in Europe and the Far East, but a Sherman Antitrust conviction in the United States means your stock price drops in half again.

    Hey, it’s your money.

    And consider all that stock benefit you softie employees got by killing off Netscape… Where’s your stock today in comparison with when Netscape was at it’s peak? Surely, you don’t believe if Microsoft kills off Google it will add $100 billion in market cap to itself?

    At some point, the Microsoft “geeks” need to start thinking about other “geeks” at other companies – and whether trumping antitrust law, cheating for marketshare, or buying up customers (ala A9/live.com) benefits software engineers as much as it benefits the pointy-headed bosses, the powerpoint wranglers and the beancounters at your expense.

  101. With a fresh install of Firefox under OSX or WinXP (Wheee for Parallels), typing “test” into the address bar results in a page telling me that http://test/ could not be found. What do you see?Something is screwy with your testbed then. I’ve installed firefox on at least dozens of computers, and they have always done an “I’m feeling Lucky” google search of unidentified words in the address bar – unless it contains a period, in which case it assumes a TLD.

  102. What’s happening here is really obvious.

    Microsoft is attempting to leverage the same Windows bundling techniques with search that it used to gain share in web browsers, media players and instant messengers.

    It might only mean fines in Europe and the Far East, but a Sherman Antitrust conviction in the United States means your stock price drops in half again.

    Hey, it’s your money.

    And consider all that stock benefit you softie employees got by killing off Netscape… Where’s your stock today in comparison with when Netscape was at it’s peak? Surely, you don’t believe if Microsoft kills off Google it will add $100 billion in market cap to itself?

    At some point, the Microsoft “geeks” need to start thinking about other “geeks” at other companies – and whether trumping antitrust law, cheating for marketshare, or buying up customers (ala A9/live.com) benefits software engineers as much as it benefits the pointy-headed bosses, the powerpoint wranglers and the beancounters at your expense.

  103. With a fresh install of Firefox under OSX or WinXP (Wheee for Parallels), typing “test” into the address bar results in a page telling me that http://test/ could not be found. What do you see?Something is screwy with your testbed then. I’ve installed firefox on at least dozens of computers, and they have always done an “I’m feeling Lucky” google search of unidentified words in the address bar – unless it contains a period, in which case it assumes a TLD.

  104. Microsoft Corp.’s long- awaited release of the upgrade to its flagship Windows operating system will likely be delayed again by at least three months, research group Gartner Inc. said on Tuesday.

    Something is screwy with your testbed.

    Typing “test” in firefox on Windows XP makes the browser attempt a connection to http://test.yourdnsdomain.whatever . If that computer is not found or does not have a web browser enabled, the browser attempts a connection to http://www.test.com .

    Google has nothing to do with it and is never polled in the process.

  105. Microsoft Corp.’s long- awaited release of the upgrade to its flagship Windows operating system will likely be delayed again by at least three months, research group Gartner Inc. said on Tuesday.

    Something is screwy with your testbed.

    Typing “test” in firefox on Windows XP makes the browser attempt a connection to http://test.yourdnsdomain.whatever . If that computer is not found or does not have a web browser enabled, the browser attempts a connection to http://www.test.com .

    Google has nothing to do with it and is never polled in the process.

  106. Eric Nordberg, you missed the point. Google search page has two parts. Main search result which Google chooses, sort of default. And if you do not like default then you could pay to Google to be shown on the side.

    Not setting the default for the search box is also default. In this case, Microsoft runs a risk that it is giving a functionality which does not work at the beginning.

    As such whatever default Microsoft choose, its only obligation is to allow others to change that default. Anybody who is on the chain from Microsoft to consumers could change the default. It is bad for Google it is not in the chain. Well, sometimes you are not given the opportunity naturally but have to buy it.

    In this case, it is good for consumers. Because that way search engines compete for getting users just like any business. Why do you want to treat search engine business from any other. Any other business buys customer. Either by making right partnership or by aggresive marketing. Both of these choices are open to Google.

    If Google tries to be frugal and does not want to spend money on advertising then it is not Microsoft’s fault. If Google tries to be selfish and does not want to share its revenue via OEMs then it is again not Microsoft’s fault. If Google wants to compete only on quality and not on value then again it is not Microsoft’s fault. Microsoft is playing fair and protecting consumer here. Microsoft is giving customers the most important tool called “bargaining”. Customers will need this tool for a lot of other online services.

    PS: The commentator is a Microsoft employee. This is his opinion only.

  107. Eric Nordberg, you missed the point. Google search page has two parts. Main search result which Google chooses, sort of default. And if you do not like default then you could pay to Google to be shown on the side.

    Not setting the default for the search box is also default. In this case, Microsoft runs a risk that it is giving a functionality which does not work at the beginning.

    As such whatever default Microsoft choose, its only obligation is to allow others to change that default. Anybody who is on the chain from Microsoft to consumers could change the default. It is bad for Google it is not in the chain. Well, sometimes you are not given the opportunity naturally but have to buy it.

    In this case, it is good for consumers. Because that way search engines compete for getting users just like any business. Why do you want to treat search engine business from any other. Any other business buys customer. Either by making right partnership or by aggresive marketing. Both of these choices are open to Google.

    If Google tries to be frugal and does not want to spend money on advertising then it is not Microsoft’s fault. If Google tries to be selfish and does not want to share its revenue via OEMs then it is again not Microsoft’s fault. If Google wants to compete only on quality and not on value then again it is not Microsoft’s fault. Microsoft is playing fair and protecting consumer here. Microsoft is giving customers the most important tool called “bargaining”. Customers will need this tool for a lot of other online services.

    PS: The commentator is a Microsoft employee. This is his opinion only.

  108. Hmm i am really pissed off on seeing Google’s reaction. Why? Because just couple of weeks back I bought a new Dell Inspiron 1505 notebook. I was really shocked to see that Google search box was by DEFAULT added to the Internet Explorer.

    Now if the same thing is done by Microsoft on its (IE 7) own Browser to set MSN as their default search engine (that too configurable) google is getting paranoid .. really funny. Don’t a company have an option to popularize their product?

    Ed Bott in his article http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1321 has explained with screenshots on how changing providers in IE7 is about the same as changing in Firefox. An interesting point which he has added is “MSN Search is NOT an option in Firefox while Google IS an option in IE7″!!!

    Now, will Google put real pressure on Firefox to let Microsoft Search in their existing list?

    That said, So I don’t think people would really take seriously as everyone by now would have known that “Google follow double standards” :)

  109. Hmm i am really pissed off on seeing Google’s reaction. Why? Because just couple of weeks back I bought a new Dell Inspiron 1505 notebook. I was really shocked to see that Google search box was by DEFAULT added to the Internet Explorer.

    Now if the same thing is done by Microsoft on its (IE 7) own Browser to set MSN as their default search engine (that too configurable) google is getting paranoid .. really funny. Don’t a company have an option to popularize their product?

    Ed Bott in his article http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1321 has explained with screenshots on how changing providers in IE7 is about the same as changing in Firefox. An interesting point which he has added is “MSN Search is NOT an option in Firefox while Google IS an option in IE7″!!!

    Now, will Google put real pressure on Firefox to let Microsoft Search in their existing list?

    That said, So I don’t think people would really take seriously as everyone by now would have known that “Google follow double standards” :)

  110. I don’t know if I see the colossus of software putting its search as being default a surprise in any way. Really I couldn’t care one way or the other, but the arguments made here are really good. Firefox can use MSN search according to like, 3 guys on this blog comment list. But ppl keep saying that it isn’t possible.

    To say google is having a double standard is rediculous and unintelligent. Google has no OS, to populate the world, nor does it therefore control the desktop of all new to computer folk in existance, as MS does. Google is the search on Firefox (lets just say that they are the only game FF allows). What are the usage statistics for IE vs FF? You guys argue over default=good/bad.. whatever. The point is that it is easily forseeable that this default search issue could topple a better search just in its “convenience” to novices.

    I don’t use MSN search, and haven’t since Google started (or was it webcrawler.. hmm.). Scoble’s buddy Chris Pirillo practically went on detox not using google for a period of time. And his frustrations are apparent and listed plainly as a user that WOULD use good search terms (as he’s in industry, I would assume he would know how to do this) and still could not get good results for.. well most anything using.. well everything BUT google.

    Google is better, duh. MSN wants to bring it all in house.. duh.
    I really don’t see that being a problem if they could provide the product of quality that even could stand next to google. As of now, its not there. I wonder if MS has considered “upgrading features” in vista so that google couldn’t get its google desktop to work on there. (thats just a question really, not an accusation.. but we all know its been done and is done regularly)

  111. I don’t know if I see the colossus of software putting its search as being default a surprise in any way. Really I couldn’t care one way or the other, but the arguments made here are really good. Firefox can use MSN search according to like, 3 guys on this blog comment list. But ppl keep saying that it isn’t possible.

    To say google is having a double standard is rediculous and unintelligent. Google has no OS, to populate the world, nor does it therefore control the desktop of all new to computer folk in existance, as MS does. Google is the search on Firefox (lets just say that they are the only game FF allows). What are the usage statistics for IE vs FF? You guys argue over default=good/bad.. whatever. The point is that it is easily forseeable that this default search issue could topple a better search just in its “convenience” to novices.

    I don’t use MSN search, and haven’t since Google started (or was it webcrawler.. hmm.). Scoble’s buddy Chris Pirillo practically went on detox not using google for a period of time. And his frustrations are apparent and listed plainly as a user that WOULD use good search terms (as he’s in industry, I would assume he would know how to do this) and still could not get good results for.. well most anything using.. well everything BUT google.

    Google is better, duh. MSN wants to bring it all in house.. duh.
    I really don’t see that being a problem if they could provide the product of quality that even could stand next to google. As of now, its not there. I wonder if MS has considered “upgrading features” in vista so that google couldn’t get its google desktop to work on there. (thats just a question really, not an accusation.. but we all know its been done and is done regularly)

  112. I’m not seeing why Google is in a tiff. Three mouse clicks is all it takes to add their search engine to the toolbar and make it the default. Are they making noise because their engine is not distributed as part of the package and needs to be added by the user? That’s just a childish tantrum.

  113. I’m not seeing why Google is in a tiff. Three mouse clicks is all it takes to add their search engine to the toolbar and make it the default. Are they making noise because their engine is not distributed as part of the package and needs to be added by the user? That’s just a childish tantrum.

  114. Gawd Kids, lets all grow up and get lives shall we?

    IE7 or 6 & Firefox are just silly stupid browsers. Use what you want and configure it to what you need.

    Everyone acts like they don’t have choices…..I mean, if you are Microsoft, are you suppose to pre-select Yahoo as the default search engine in IE? And if Google and Firefox have a “thing” going, so what?

    Sure beats someone like a federal government dictating what we use and how we use it…

  115. Gawd Kids, lets all grow up and get lives shall we?

    IE7 or 6 & Firefox are just silly stupid browsers. Use what you want and configure it to what you need.

    Everyone acts like they don’t have choices…..I mean, if you are Microsoft, are you suppose to pre-select Yahoo as the default search engine in IE? And if Google and Firefox have a “thing” going, so what?

    Sure beats someone like a federal government dictating what we use and how we use it…