Google unhappy with IE7 search field
Google has expressed
concerns over the search field in Microsoft's upcoming Internet
Explorer 7 web browser, whose Beta 2 release became publicly available last week.
Because the search field defaults to using Microsoft's own MSN Search,
Google says, it allows Microsoft to "unfairly grab Web traffic and
advertising dollars from its competitors." Google supports this
statement by saying that search fields in browsers like Mozilla Firefox,
Apple's Safari, and Opera—which all default to
Google—account for 30-50% of user searches. A study sponsored by
Google also found that only a third of users were able to set up
Internet Explorer 7 to use a search provider other than MSN. According
to Google, the best way to circumvent this problem would be to make IE7
ask the user to key in or choose their favorite search engine from a list
when the browser is first run.
In response to this suggestion, Microsoft says asking user input could
"add complexity and confusion to the browser set-up process," and that
offering a list of choices would be "arbitrarily limiting." Microsoft
adds that "people seem to be doing OK" with the browser's current
approach to changing search providers, which lets users choose from six
search engines and 16 "topic searches" when they click on the arrow next
to the browser's magnifying glass icon and select "Find More
Providers..." Not content with Microsoft's implementation, Google has
already contacted antitrust authorities in the US and Europe.
System integrators will have the ability to change
search providers when pre-loading Windows Vista onto their machines next
year, and Microsoft expects this option to result in search companies
"bidding aggressively in that space."