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Windows Defense on IE7 Search is No Defense 407

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-keep-spelling-defense-wrong dept.
Vicegrip writes "Stan Beer writes on why Microsoft's and recently Yahoo's supportive arguments for making Windows Live Search the default in IE7 are feeble: "In the case of Google, it pays hard cash to Mozilla and Dell to get the right to have its search engine placed as the default in the browsers.[... by contrast ...] Microsoft does not need to pay one cent to place its search engine in the lead position on its browser, which sits on the vast majority of PCs in the world"."
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Windows Defense on IE7 Search is No Defense

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:44PM (#15254877) Journal

    From the Fine Article:

    However, representatives from both Microsoft and Yahoo have publicly said that Google is being hypocritical. They say Google has deals with companies like Mozilla, which makes the second most popular browser Firefox and PC maker Dell, where Google is the default search window in the browsers.

    That's a pretty disingenuous argument of Yahoo/Microsoft's part. They trot out the fact Mozilla is second most popular, and that Google is doing the same thing. I'm not sure what they're thinking, this point holds no importance.

    I'm not even going to bother looking up the numbers, it's enough to point out IE currently is around 80 - 90% of the browser market, and if Mozilla were all of the rest of the market, Google's aggressive penetration is 10 - 20%. WTF?

    Also from the article:

    Microsoft argues that it will be easy for IE7 users to change the default search engine to Google if they want to. However, "easy" is a relative term. For any IE7 user, it's always going to be easier to just leave the default browser as it is - Microsoft's factory setting.

    Microsoft's contention it's easy is exactly that, their contention. This is a relative measure, and probably 99% of slashdotters would change the search engine default with no difficulty. But one step out of the cozy techno-geek door and easy becomes Partial Differential Equations to many casual users. Remember, Microsoft has been touting their "easiness" pretty much since day one, and each new iteration they say, "trust us, we really mean it this time".

    For those who argue Google has their own monopoly in the search engine race (and I would argue that -- they only have dominance, not a monopoly), I will point out in advance that Google's monopoly doesn't matter -- it's legal to have a monopoly, it's illegal to use that monopoly to capture other markets.

    Again, this is still about, and always has been, and always will be Microsoft's existing monopoly elsewhere (their OS and desktop offerings) leveraging another niche (in this case, search engines). Microsoft is back in old form, they seem to have shaken any residual fears of the legal trappings of their actions. My guess is they're ready to play as hard a ball as anyone who wants to take them on will. And they have the money trove of petty cash ready to dole out as they pass through each legal (illegal) toll booth.

    God Bless Capitalism blended with corruption.

    • FTFA: Google believes Microsoft is trying to make it difficult for users to choose any other search engine except Microsoft's on the browser by making its own product the default search window on the toolbar.

      Parent: This is a relative measure, and probably 99% of slashdotters would change the search engine default with no difficulty. But one step out of the cozy techno-geek door and easy becomes Partial Differential Equations to many casual users.

      I've never even heard of "Dogpile" until a 'casual user' po

      • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:06PM (#15255100) Journal

        Whoaaa!

        Italics were used to point out the typical "us" (smart people) vs. "them" (stupid people) attitude on /..

        Not what I was going for at all, I apologize to all if this seems to by my implied message.

        Instead I was trying to emphasize the difference of world perspectives. I daily troubleshoot, code, research all that is computer and related technology. But not everyone does that, and there are shades of degree to which those not in IT have mastered or care to master tuning their computer environments.

        I work with non-IT people all of the time, and what used to amaze me I figured out and now understand better. People master the slice of their computer necessary to do work they want or need to do. Beyond that, most know little more. An option to configure a default search engine is first: something they probably wouldn't know about short of having it pointed out to them, and second: something that would interest them little to change if in fact their "out of the box" searching is yielding results. It's a lack of knowledge for those users, not a shortage of intelligence.

        You are correct, many people know all about how and what to type, and those who don't aren't idiots because they don't. They know what they have chosen to know.

        I hate the car analogy, but here I go again. I couldn't tell you the first thing about how a car works beyond putting gas in it, and changing the oil and topping off the fluids. Beyond that I don't care, I just want it work, and I want it to work well. And, thankfully cars do just that!

        Of course there are those who could change the O2 sensor thresholds and they see it as easy-peasy to do. But for those who don't work on cars as a profession or avocation should get reasonable and fair defaults... they do.

        Again, apologies to any who interpreted my point as hubris, that's not where I meant to go.

      • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:10PM (#15255128) Homepage Journal
        begin_rant

        I seriously beg to differ. I would not call people dumb. Disinterested. But the behaviour is the same.

        As an example: my sister-in-law (a lawyer, and one of the smartest people I know); who happens to be a hero of mine (having returned to obtain her law degree at the age of 45), who ALSO posesses an RN degree, AND has run a sucessful clothing store (not a franchise), is a computer "idiot".

        She needs coaching on many of the basics, and continually seems to pick up stuff like Gator. Along with browser homepage hijacking. The complaint? "It runs slow" or "I can no longer connect". I clean her laptop every 6 months to a year... she considers it a "tuneup", similar to her car.

        She is NOT capable of entering a complex URL, and yet prefers Google as her home page (clean, simply, and searching is efficient and effective). My wife, on the other hand, prefers ANOTHER search engine (oriented toward academics, not so clean, but much more relevent to her). My wife will then use Google if the first results don't work (my wife is considerably more "computer savy", and CAN type a URL).

        If the next version of IE plants an MSN homepage on her... it will be months before it is replaced with Google. And an "integrated search"? Never. Simply because I won't know or bother. Any MS related issues, WHATEVER they are, are simply accepted as the "cost of buying a Dell" instead of an Apple.

        Will MS make more money from this? Sure. Is it bad? Only if MS is leveraging a monopoly. My sister-in-law won't care; frankly, I don't really care either. Google, on the other hand, probably DOES care. Which is why they have raised the issue.

        As usual, YMMV. But, please, when I refer to an "average user", I do not mean that they are an idiot, or sub-normal. They may know a BUNCH of stuff that I don't (from gardening to rocket science).

        end_rant

        Ratboy

        • Regarding you're sister in law and other "smart" people, well its all relative. I know and have worked with engineers, chemists, physicists, MBAs, lawyers, you name it. Basically people with more than 6 years of college, and have specialty careers. Well, something has to give. I know computers pretty damn well. But then again, I've been doing it for over 20 years now, and I know the basics of engineering, chemistry, physics, business, law, etc just like these people know the basics of computers. But t
          • It's very normal (Score:3, Insightful)

            by QMO (836285)
            "I do get a little frustrated when people treat computers as some kind of magical or animate object."

            I talk to my car all the time. When the lead in my pencil breaks I accuse it of being stupid. People have been giving boats names for millennia. A computer has far more animate-object-like responses than any of these. Computer behavior is, in many ways, more human than dog behavior. It would be very strange, and possibly slightly inhuman, not to anthropomorphize computers a little.
      • I don't know if you're trolling but I'll bite. Yes they are... Not "stupid," just ignorant of how the whole internet works. A lot of people just know that they click on the blue E icon and they're "on the internet." Suggest something like "try using a different browser" and you're bound to hear the response "what's a browser?" If you haven't heard something like that, then you haven't been helping relatives with computer problems long enough. The concepts of how everything out there works is very clea
      • by gid13 (620803) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:27PM (#15255276)
        I recognize that the original poster already said that wasn't what he was going for, but being someone who works in tech support, I have to disagree with you. A very significant percentage of people (I'd estimate about 75%) are ignorant, stupid, lazy, or a combination (by my definitions, of course). The ignorant won't know about Google and will use what's given to them. Barring someone coming along and saying "hey Google is way better" they won't bother. The stupid won't be able to figure out how to change it (this is not MS's fault, though I'm a Linux fan myself MS does a good job of making things easy, but even MS can't do much for the disturbingly many people who can't figure out how to right-click). The lazy won't bother to change it. Thus MS can leverage their OS monopoly to muscle in on a new market. Which is illegal.
        • I'd just point out that:

          1) System builders (Dell, HP, etc) will decide what these users have as defaults. Microsoft already stated these builders are free to set this as they see fit, so the highest bidder will be default for these customers you are talking about.

          2) IE7 (at least my latest beta) doesn't default to MSN search. I'd previously setup IE6 to use google for auto-search and IE7 used that settings as the default.
      • You haven't met my sister. Fine person, certainly no dummy... but very hesitant to do anything with the computer. Just the sort of people MS is counting on to not mess with the default settings. (Fortunately for my sister, I've already switched her over to Ubuntu.)
    • by TopShelf (92521) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:53PM (#15254989) Homepage Journal
      Forget the "ease" with which users can change their search engine - the bottom line is that most casual users don't really care. Many would probably ignore the search bar and browse over to Google anyway (that's what my reference case, my wife's 84 year-old grandfather does).

      This is one of the most overblown issues I've seen here in quite a while, and that's saying something.
      • That is precisely the reason Microsoft is placing theirs first. They know people won't change it or don't care to. This is exploiting end-user behavior. When a company does that it isn't particularly bad but many might feel immoral. When Microsoft does it, a convicted monopolist, it helps them to gain more control with their monopoly. That's bad and immoral. If you can't see how this will affect things you are crazy. Google is not a monopoly. Only the courts can rule they are a monopoly and until the
      • Google has found something like when the bar is available to users, 80% of searches will come from the bar. I'm not sure on that number but it is around there.
      • All Dell users will have Google as the search engine for the bar anyway. Many users will probably have the search bar set to whatever spyware/Acrobat Reader/etc sets it to anyhow.
    • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:02PM (#15255061)
      Microsoft's contention it's easy is exactly that, their contention. This is a relative measure, and probably 99% of slashdotters would change the search engine default with no difficulty. But one step out of the cozy techno-geek door and easy becomes Partial Differential Equations to many casual users.

      1) Go to google.com
      2) Click a link that says "Make Google your default Search Engine".
      3) Agree to some security dialog.

      You haven't convinced me that this is some horrendous technogeek task. In fact, it seems that regular users ALWAYS seem to have Google/Yahoo toolbars installed without any assistance from their local nerd.
      • You haven't convinced me that this is some horrendous technogeek task. In fact, it seems that regular users ALWAYS seem to have Google/Yahoo toolbars installed without any assistance from their local nerd.

        Bundled with lots of things! Adobe Acrobat for example.

        • Yes, I'm aware. But still regular folks tend to use Yahoo Mail and IM, and actually use the Yahoo toolbar.

          I also see many Google Toolbars, and that's not bundled with anything AFAIK except some new computers. People like using Google, it's not a huge leap to imagine they will make 4 clicks to install the toolbar.
    • Microsoft's contention it's easy is exactly that, their contention. This is a relative measure, and probably 99% of slashdotters would change the search engine default with no difficulty. But one step out of the cozy techno-geek door and easy becomes Partial Differential Equations to many casual users. Remember, Microsoft has been touting their "easiness" pretty much since day one, and each new iteration they say, "trust us, we really mean it this time".

      I installed a vanilla IE7 today. I surfed to Google
      • "I surfed to Google"

        That's it. They are leveraging their monopoly in one area (browser) to increase the share in another by targetting those that don't care. Google and Yahoo don't have a monopoly browser that they can exploit to obtain users who will not take any positive step to change the default.
    • What you fail to address though, is that of those 10-20% they probably log just as many browsing hours in a day as the other 80-90% of IE users who log in once a week to check their email...

      Thus, google DOES have just as big of an impact. If they didn't, they wouldn't bother paying.
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:59PM (#15256045)
      Again, this is still about, and always has been, and always will be Microsoft's existing monopoly elsewhere (their OS and desktop offerings) leveraging another niche (in this case, search engines).

      I'm sick of hearing people repeat this like parrots.

      Google has monopoly on the search engine market right? You may argue but they have the huge share, Yahoo's second the MSN/Live is lurking in the 3rd place. By the same definitions we use for Microsoft, Google has a monopoly on search right now.

      Did anyone make a fuss that they "abused" their monopoly to advertise Firefox few days ago? And having specialized campaigns for promoting Firefox for which Google itself pays big bucks for every installation (yes with the Google toolbar in it, of course).

      I can almost hear MS haters whine "but nag nag Firefox isn't owned by Google, and Live.com is owned by Microsoft". Google doesn't need to technically *own* Mozilla, they just need to work as a single entity like they do now.

      Did you never notice the lead Firefox developers actually work at Google? Did you notice even the Mozilla/Firefox sites are hosted at Google?

      Oh by the way regarding "no choice, omg evil Microsoft selected live.com as a default!" how about mentioning Safari has Google search *HARDCODED*, so Mac users pretty much have no choice, this time for real.
  • by Soporific (595477) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:44PM (#15254882)
    How much of a non-story is this?

    ~S
    • How much of a non-story is this?


      You mean, for you? It depends on how interested you are. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
      • "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

        On default choices of search engines in web browsers, when 0 effort is made to prevent change...

        I think that's *extreme* overkill.
  • Solution (Score:3, Funny)

    by aallmighty (839195) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:44PM (#15254888)
    You're right, Microsoft should have to pay themself hard cash!
    • Re:Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ossifer (703813) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:50PM (#15254962)
      You're right, Microsoft should have to pay themself hard cash!
      Isn't that effectively what they are doing? If they didn't put their own search engine in as default, they could be collecting cash from others.
      • Re:Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by boldtbanan (905468) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:56PM (#15255013)
        Isn't that effectively what they are doing? If they didn't put their own search engine in as default, they could be collecting cash from others.

        Exactly. The economic term for this is an 'opportunity cost.' I'm sure Google would pay a ton of money to be listed as the default search engine on IE, but Microsoft decided that it's worth more to them to set their own search engine as the default, thus forgoing cash profit.

        As long as you have the option to override the default search engine, I don't see what the problem is.

        • Exactly...

          This is an issue where all the screaming leaves me shaking my head. People are up in arms that Microsoft put their own search engine as the default in their own web browser that runs on their own OS (GASP!). As of sometime last year, you can (after doing some digging) get a PC, even from Dell, with a non-Microsoft OS installed on it.

          To a lesser extent, this bothers me about the whole "Legislated interoperability" thing that everyone keeps throwing at MS. I agree that it's a much better idea a

        • by Tom (822)
          As long as you have the option to override the default search engine, I don't see what the problem is.

          Microsoft

          Ok, that was the one-word-answer. Here's your one-sentence-alternative:

          Microsoft, because they are a convicted criminal in a related area and have shown exactly zero evidence for a change in behaviour.
        • I'm sure Google would pay a ton of money to be listed as the default search engine on IE, but Microsoft decided that it's worth more to them to set their own search engine as the default, thus forgoing cash profit.

          So what is the profit that Microsoft receives? Market share. Isn't market share the criteria by which monopolies are measured? If so, then what sense does it make for them to maintain their monopoly marketshare via anti-competitive means when they could satisfy a fiduciary responsibility by taking
        • Exactly. The economic term for this is an 'opportunity cost.' I'm sure Google would pay a ton of money to be listed as the default search engine on IE, but Microsoft decided that it's worth more to them to set their own search engine as the default, thus forgoing cash profit. As long as you have the option to override the default search engine, I don't see what the problem is.

          For someone who knows what "opportunity cost" is you sure don't know much about monopolies. Let me guess, you learned it in manage

      • Re:Solution (Score:5, Funny)

        by bhirsch (785803) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:58PM (#15255033) Homepage
        Shhh. Don't bring irrelevant things like financial return and opportunity cost into this. The really issue here is that M$ is teh sux0r!!!
      • Agreed. And besides that, they will also be paying Dell, HP, etc, etc (unless Google wants to pay more). MS has already stated that system builders can set the default to whatever they want. So all the search engines will pay to automatically be listed and the one who pays the most to the system builders will be the default. Simple. Also, IE7 doesn't "default" to MSN search on an existing machine. I'd previously setup IE6 to use google for auto-search and when I installed the latest IE7 beta, google w
    • Re:Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kilz (741999)
      Your right in a way. They should be forced to pay to have it done. Right after they are forced to break up the company into OS in one company and everything else in another. The USA should have done it long ago when they convicted Microsoft for the anti trust violations against Netscape.
    • This is my point of view exactly. Microsoft also payed hard cash for the right to put their SE as the default: it's called "The cost of developing Internet Explorer." I'm not saying it's OK for MS to do it, just that the argument made by TFA is not a good one.
  • Easy Fix (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kainaw (676073) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:45PM (#15254894) Homepage Journal
    Windows is an extremely insecure OS, right? IE is an extremely insecure browser, right? Windows users click on any 'download' and 'install' button they see, right? Why not just write a virus/trojan that replaces the search bar with Google? Then, in no time, it will propogate and everyone will be using Google.
    • It gets better:

      Wait until after they have released a fix, and then run headlines in the popular press saying 'Microsoft Fix Stops Google Working' (or something equally ill-informed and spun).

    • Yeah, that wouldn't "be evil."
    • Actually, the first time you visit google.com with IE7, it suggests that you change the search box to google, it even serves you up a .exe file which makes the change. That way people who USE google will go there, but IE users who dont know google (yes they exist) will probably just use MSN Search. The only downfall is the fact that it encourages people to download .exe files that will alter their browser. :\

      This isn't really much different than IE6, they just didn't show you the search bar. The address
  • Sorry... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:45PM (#15254896)
    I wish they wouldn't do this, and I wish average users were saavy enough to change the default settings and knew what their options were, but these kinds of complaints are starting to get annoying.

    If Google (which I love, BTW), doesn't like it, they can write their own browser and make Google the default search. To claim MS doesn't put any money into IE is pretty disingenuous.
    • Well, Google IS the default search for almost every other browser out there. It is the default search toolbar on Mozilla and Safari; the latter of which comes with every computer Apple sells, although it isn't built into the OS the way IE is so it is pretty easy to un-install. I don't know about Opera, but I think you see my point.
      • Re:Sorry... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gfxguy (98788) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:02PM (#15255060)
        I do see your point - Google's got no complaint. They're stepping out on a limb to try to get some attention and maybe increase their search engine dominance. Nothing wrong with that, except that, as much as I like them, this kind of thing is starting to annoy me.

        MS spends millions of dollars to develop IE and "give" it away, you'd think they could put the search engine of their choice as default without people whining about it. It's just one of those cases that no matter what MS does, there's going to be people complaining.

        Like I said, the preferable thing is for people to learn what their options are instead of just accepting the defaults, but other than that, too bad.
        • >>MS spends millions of dollars to develop IE and "give" it away

          So, along the same lines, GM spends millions of dollars on engines and "gives" them away when you buy the body of the car.

          >>learn what their options are instead of just accepting the defaults, but other than that, too bad

          What would you say if Ford decided that it would tell consumers that only Mobil gas will work in their car? This is collusion. There are many legal instances where this is illegal. Remember, the phone company use
          • Your analogies are horrible.

            So, along the same lines, GM spends millions of dollars on engines and "gives" them away when you buy the body of the car.

            If I have an old GM car, I can't go to GM and get a new engine for free, can I? Yet I can get the latest version of IE any time I want (not that I would). When GM comes up with a better transmission and tells all it's customers to come in for a free upgrade, you might have a valid point.

            What would you say if Ford decided that it would tell consumers that onl
        • "MS spends millions of dollars to develop IE and "give" it away"

          This isn't the 90s anymore. All the "user-friendly"* OSes I've seen have included a browser. So, Windows should really include a browser.
          Furthermore, I doubt it really hurts MS to ship IE (vs. the benefits of user-lockdown and OS add-value that IE provides). And assuming there is a business in providing a search engine (Google doesn't seem to be doing all that bad), than using IE to leverage power in a separate domain would probably lessen t
          • I agree with you - I think there's a lot less to complain about MS these days.

            20 years ago it was writing code specifically to not run Windows 3 under DR DOS, even though it was perfectly capable. Now that was sleazy.

            Then it was including IE at all with it's operating system and lying about the forced integration. That was pretty sleazy, at the time.

            Now it's not making some competitor's search site the default in their own product. Boo hoo!
    • If Google (which I love, BTW), doesn't like it, they can write their own browser and make Google the default search.

      Google could do that and that would be fine (although why they'd bother when they can continue funding mozilla - I don't know).
      However, Microsoft may be on shaky legal ground making microsoft search the default page in IE since they are abusing their desktop monopoly to move into another area.
      • How is MS moving into a new area, MSN is a service they have provided for years. Go install windows 2000, open IE and what page do you go to. This is not new, they use MSN as their default, so what. Mac's default to Apple.com. What should MS do? Have their toolbar default to their competitor, now that's an outrageous demand.
    • If Google (which I love, BTW), doesn't like it, they can write their own browser and make Google the default search. To claim MS doesn't put any money into IE is pretty disingenuous.

      Flashback to 1997: If Netscape (which I love, BTW) doesn't like MS forcing ISVs to only include IE, they can write their own operating system and make Netscape the default browser. To claim MS doesn't put any money into Windows is pretty disingenuous.

  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:45PM (#15254901) Homepage
    Google should go out and make it's own browser, then put it's search engine as default if they don't want to pay money for that right..

    The only realistic argument here is that IE has a monopoly for somewhat unfair reasons..
    • This could be compared only if Google also offered an OS with a comparable market share. It's not only that MS offers IE bundled with its System. It's also that they have a dominant position in the OS market.
    • Google should go out and make it's own browser, then put it's search engine as default if they don't want to pay money for that right..

      Don't think it hasn't already been developed and its "beta" version is waiting on a disregarded server in a dimly lit room somewhere. Google's a big enough player that they wouldn't have gone into this without a contingency plan. Win or lose, you'll see the Google browser as soon its impact would have the greatest effect on the market.

    • I don't think it really makes any difference how IE's near monopoly (85% share) came about - just that fact that it is now in that position.

      Google's legitimate complaint here is that Microsoft is using it's monopoly position in one area (browsers) to stifle competition in another (search). Same as they used their OS monopoly position to stifle competion in browsers (all but kill Netscape by giving away IE for free)- which they've been found guilty of in court.

      I'm not sure what the remedy might be though. Pe
    • The only realistic argument here is that IE has a monopoly for somewhat unfair reasons..

      Kudos for attempting to limit any response, but you actually glance off of the problem here. Monopolies are not necessarily achieved for unfair reasons, but Microsoft's problem is that they've been found, yes convicted, of maintaining a monopoly via unfair techniques. Windows is the monopoly, IE is the default webbrowser on that product, and here they are planning on making their search engine as the default. These are t
  • by everphilski (877346) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:47PM (#15254915) Journal
    Microsoft should open up the bidding then to all search engines to make **their** search engine the default for IE7. And let MSN compete. If MSN wins the profits can be donated to charity or something. There, your non-competitive fears have been quelled.
  • Who owns it again? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by randomErr (172078)
    I just want to get this straight, who owns the IP on IE? Microsoft. Have they totally locked people out of switching to another search engine? Nope, just set a default.

    The ONLY way a case could be made is if every other browser on the market made you pick a default search engine up install.
    • I just copyrighted the "IP on IE" t-shirt.

      All future users of this phrase owe me a nickle, and all procedes (above and beyond the amount needed to support my crack & hooker habit) will go to billboards of Ballmer throwing chairs at an assortment of cute and fuzzy baby animals.
    • That argument doesn't work. They didn't totally lock people out of installing another web browser either, but they lost that case in the US. They didn't lock people out of installing another media player, but they lost that case in Europe.

      It's the use of a monopoly to manipulate a market that's an issue. Not the ability of people to choose other options.
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:48PM (#15254936)
    Google can afford the fees to have their search engine prominently placed on certain browsers. What they should be considering is taking the open source engine or Firefox and branding their own Google Browser. Not everyone's heard of Firefox or even Mozilla (go ahead, ask around your company), but I remember a pigmy from the outback approached me once, spear in hand, while I was dying from thirst, lost in the desert, and asked why I didn't just use Google Maps before I came to Australia?
    • I use Yahoo Maps to find the dopest the route.
      I prefer Mapquest.
      That's a good one, too.
      Google Maps is the best!
      True that!
      DOUBLE TRUE!
    • I remember a pigmy from the outback approached me once, spear in hand, while I was dying from thirst, lost in the desert, and asked why I didn't just use Google Maps before I came to Australia?
      [I can't resist...]

      This begs the question, just why was there an (African) pygmy out & about with a spear in the Australian outback? Was there some sort of exchange program of native peoples?
      • This begs the question...

        No, it doesn't. Call me a prescriptivist, but 'begging the question' means one of the premises used to prove an argument assumes that the argument is true. Click please [wikipedia.org].

        • No, it doesn't. Call me a prescriptivist, but 'begging the question' means one of the premises used to prove an argument assumes that the argument is true.
          By your own link it conforms to modern usage! If you don't like the development of the language, I suggest you petition the English Academy, which thankfully does not exist...
  • Lets see - they pay Firefox/Dell/etc.? $x for y% of the browser market. Now do we expect Google to pay Microsoft an equivatlent amount of money to put the Google search page as the default in IE.

    Again - to be fair, it is obviously valuable to google (they are paying for a much smaller share of the market) why should Microsoft give this property away for free. Oh, and just for thinking about this - realize that spots during the Superbowl cost SIGNIFICANLY more than spots do during reruns of Doogie Howser

    • "realize that spots during the Superbowl cost SIGNIFICANLY more than spots do during reruns of Doogie Howser MD."

      I see two interpretations of this:

      Google case than others because they have a larger share, and therefore generate more searches.
      case 0: should pay MS more per-search
      case 1: will end up paying MS more

      I suppose both could be true, but I would argue that case 1 would be more likely correct. (Google may have to pay MS more to counter-balance the interest of promoting MS' search)

  • Ok, so if Google was paying Microsoft to be the default search engine, would that be OK?
    Yes, MS is making thier own search engine the default. So what? Every browser is going to have a default search engine (assuming that it has integrated search), is it any suprise that MS chose their own? As long as it's not tied to the OS and as long as you can change it without registy hacking and/or a third-party app I don't see the big deal. It strikes me as a bit of a double standard that Google wants to be able
    • Ok, so if Google was paying Microsoft to be the default search engine, would that be OK?
      Yes, MS is making thier own search engine the default. So what?

      Because -- they've been demonstrated to hold a monopoly in certain areas.

      As a result of this, they get to define the user's default browser, music player, search engine, and a whole bunch of other things. In all cases, those defaults are Microsoft products.

      Basically, when Microsoft comes out with a new version of an OS and makes more and more things point a

    • The difference between Firefox and Explorer is that Microsoft's browser is an uninstallable part of the OS.

      You can't get rid of it even if you wanted to. This makes MSN the default search engine for windows.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:57PM (#15255018)
    Windows operating system is a monopoly as defined by the US and EU.

    In the 1990s, Microsoft made its browser the default on its OS. Customers could always change to another, but by making it the default and preinstalled, there was an extra burden on customers who chose to use any competitor's product.

    Then, Microsoft bundled its media player with its browser. While the US DoJ has bent over for them on this one, the EU seems poised to punish them.

    Now, Microsoft has bundled its search engine with its browser, which is still bundled with its OS monopoly, with which it has already been convicted on illegal practices and is still on probation.

    It's pretty simple* > If Microsoft unbundles the internet browser from their OS, and makes folks download IE first (and the interface for downloading IE has equal weight given to Mozilla, Opera, etc.), the Microsoft can do whatever they want inside IE, because it would be unbundled from their convicted-illegal-practices-OS-monopoly. But as long as it ships with Windows, the IE7 default could be construed as illegal and Google probably has a strong case.

    *Or, option B, Windows loses sufficient market share to no longer be considered a monopoly. Here's a case where Microsoft could help itself in emerging markets like internet search, media players, content delivery, by letting go of its OS monopoly. Or, it could split itself into multiple companies, thereby letting the other parts act without being shackled by the OS-is-a-monopoly-you-can't-exploit ball-and-chain.
    • It's pretty simple* > If Microsoft unbundles the internet browser from their OS, and makes folks download IE first (and the interface for downloading IE has equal weight given to Mozilla, Opera, etc.),

      Here's a conundrum. Preinstalled Windows, or retail disk. No web browser.
      What do you use to go download IE (or your equal weight alternative)? All the underlying code must be there for you to be able to download (and then install) your browser of choice.

      • "Here's a conundrum. Preinstalled Windows, or retail disk. No web browser.
        What do you use to go download IE (or your equal weight alternative)? All the underlying code must be there for you to be able to download (and then install) your browser of choice."

        0. You don't really need it to be downloaded, having IE, FF, Opera, etc. on disk would probably be acceptable.
        1. Even if you want to download the browser, FTP would be fine, with a user friendly wizard guiding the process.

        The logical error in this case i
  • Google believes Microsoft is trying to make it difficult for users to choose any other search engine except Microsoft's on the browser by making its own product the default search window on the toolbar.

    Sorry, no. They're not making it "hard" to do anything, in fact, they've made it very easy to add search engines (Just as easy as Firefox, nearly identical in fact). They're simply making it easier to search using their own search engine. As he states himself, Google pays for the right to have their searc

    • ...that little box somehow renders vast numbers of users totally incapable of typing "google" in the address bar, forever doomed to be inescapably drawn in a hypnotic, drooling trance to whatever stupid widget happens to be placed in the top right corner of their screens. I think there is a case to be made that such easily trained troglodytes are of questionable legal competency and quite possibly should be institutionalized for their own safety and that of society in general.
  • by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:04PM (#15255075)
    If Microsoft wants IE7's default search to be Microsoft's own search engine on Dell machines, then they'll have to pay Dell too. It's up to OEMs as far as OEM versions of Windows are concerned.

    Secondly, Google employs people to be full time developers on Firefox just as Microsoft pays people to be full time devs on IE7. And some of the Firefox devs oh Google's pay role are *key* Firefox devs. You honestly think they don't influence what goes into Firefox and make sure that it caters to Google? Google is also paying people to use FireFox. Google is being disingenuous by pretending that Firefox is independent of Google.

    Third, Google and Apple have colluded with each other to block alternatvie search providers from the Mac market, as OSX's default browser Safari has support for Google and nobody else (doesn't even allow adding other search providers let alone changing the default). This could run afoul of antitrust. Taking the definition of "trust" from dictionary.com, a "trust" is "A combination of firms or corporations for the purpose of reducing competition and controlling prices throughout a business or an industry." (A single company monopoly is a just a specific case of a trust consisting of just one company.) Google should tread lightly when talking of antitrust, when one could argue that the Google/Apple trust is blocking alternative search providers from the Mac OS much more so than IE7's having a default search provider does.

    Fourth, when upgrading to IE7, the default search is whatever it was in IE6. If one had installed the Google or Yahoo toolbar, both of who's setups set IE6's search to be Google and Yahoo respectively, they IE7 will use Google or Yahoo as the default.

    Fifth, when visiting Google.com in IE7 (which most google users using IE7 will do), you are greeted with a huge "Click here to make Google the default search provider in Internet Explorer!!" placard.

    Sixth, it's easy as pie to change IE7's default search engine, and IE7 supports the open standard "OpenSearch" to do this.

    Seventh, IE7 has search provider discovery functionality, whereby if you visit any page that has search functionality, the search engine dropdown lights up, indicating that you can add that search page to the dropdown list permanently, including optionally making it the default search provider.

    Lastly, IE has had a search pane since IE4, and the default has always been MSN. Why is Google so upset now just because IE7 uses a search text box in the upper right corner (like all of today's browsers do) rather than the search pane that previous versions of IE used?

    Google is full of it.
  • by jivo (889268) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:04PM (#15255077)

    The difference is in the control: Microsoft are illegally using their monopoly to gain a competetive advantage. They control their browser through an OS/browser monopoly. Google is playing fair, and simply paying for product placement.

    You could argue that Microsoft is behaving double badly here: They are illegally using their illegally acheived browser monopoly to leverage their search enging, instead of fighting fair with Google. No wonder some people see them as the spoiled child, that never won anything in a fair fight...

  • What's the problem? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @01:12PM (#15255149)
    In the case of Google, it pays hard cash to Mozilla and Dell to get the right to have its search engine placed as the default in the browsers.

    So what's the problem? Let them pay Microsoft for placement like they pay everyone else. That's google's business model so it shouldn't be a big deal. They expect people to pay them for preferred placement so why don't they offer some cash to microsoft for preferred placement?
  • [... by contrast ...] Microsoft does not need to pay one cent to place its search engine in the lead position on its browser

    Except of course ALL THE DEVELOPMENT COSTS OF THE BROWSER ITSELF. Or are they saying IE is worthless? I'm confused!
  • As long as Apple doesn't allow me to choose Yahoo! (or other) in Safari, I don't see how MS needs to defend not offering their customers a choice either.

    On the PC, I've pretty much switched to Firefox anyway, and I'm kind of sliding that way on the Mac too, because of the damn search bar.
  • Microsoft does not need to pay one cent to place its search engine in the lead position on its browser

    So Microsoft will pay Microsoft to place its search engin in the lead position. Problem solved!

  • I've often ranted about Microsoft, but I don't see the issue here, really. It seems reasonable for MSIE to have MSN search set as the default.

    Also, have you tried going to http://www.google.com/ [google.com] using IE7? A nice big obvious button is displayed in the upper right part of the window, saying "Click here to make Google your default search" (or something like that; I'm on my Mac so I can't check the exact verbiage right now). People who like Google search will not have a problem making this switch; unless you t
  • Economics 101 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ostehaps (929761)

    "Microsoft does not need to pay one cent to place its search engine in the lead position on its browser, which sits on the vast majority of PCs in the world"

    Stan Beer has obviously never heard of the concept of an opportunity cost and thus misses the point completely. By putting its own search engine in IE7 as default, Microsoft is forgoing the revenue that others would have paid them to put another engine there instead. This is completely equivalent to paying a sum.

    As has been stated so many times i

  • "Microsoft does not need to pay one cent to place its search engine in the lead position on its browser,"

    Is MS supposed to pay itself for the right to set its search engine as the default?
    A possible solution is to let someone pick from a list the first time an Internet search is done, and include Yahoo, Altavista, and Google as some alternatives.
  • Well, when Google starts making and shipping its own OS, it can make Google the default search engine for no cost as well. As much as we all hate Microsoft, doesn't it make sense to do what it does? If Google sold an OS, would it make Microsoft or Yahoo the default search engine? ...let me guess..."No". Or would /. ers get just as upset at Google for making not so simple to use MSN or Yahoo in this hypothetical "Google OS"?
    • Can you spell "antitrust"?

      If Microsoft was a niche player, or even a large but not dominant player, this would not have been an issue.

      However in the US, and many other places, it is actually illegal for someone who holds a monopoly in one market to use that dominant position as leverage to grow their market position in another.

      The fact that Microsoft has a near monopoly on desktop OS's means that they ARE held to different standards by the courts, and they will face legal risks with everything they do

  • How much does it cost to develop IE?

    /topic
  • I sorry but what's the point. Companies wih monopolies leveraging their monopolies to expand into new markets? The hell you say. Who'd a thunk it possible. That like posting an article that a lion killed a zebra. I am apathetic to the plight of the zebra because I am not on the menu. Equally, I could care less about Google's problems because I can always change the default search engine. Moreover, I don't even use Windows or IE.

    For the record, I do use Google search engine 99% of the time more out of habi

  • According to the IE blog, here's what happens:

    1) You have IE6 installed, and upgrade - your autosearch provider is automatically populated. This is the ONLY thing that is populated. It was VERY LIKELY set by your toolbar provider or your OEM.
    2) The only time it default to MSN is when you don't have it set... and, BY THE WAY, on a fresh install it's already set to MSN if you don't have it set. IE7 doesn't do any updating of this.
    3) On Windows Vista, it's completely configurable and, again, your OEM or toolba
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:23PM (#15256264) Journal
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=browser&btnG= Google+Search [google.com]

    explorer shows up in 7th place.

    now MS and Yahoo! will acuse google of favouring Mozilla on their search index, never mind the fact that explorer doesn't even show on the 1st 10 results in MSN search.

    Yahoo! seems the most favorable search engine for Explorer. MS's browser is 4th.

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