IE7 and Search Defaults: Not a Whineable Offense
I can’t believe the amount of chatter around the web today about Microsoft’s plans to include MSN search as the default search option in IE7. What exactly about this is surprising? And what exactly about it is wrong?
I am the last person on earth to give Redmond free passes for anything but this has been coming for years, and it’s perfectly ok in my book. Why is it ok?
- The more incentive Microsoft has to get IE7 proliferated into the population asap (preferably through auto-update), the better off the web development world, and by extension, the internet-using population will be.
- If Google was so concerned about this, why haven’t they used a few hundred million dollars of their war chest over the past year or two to help turbocharge the relatively blasÃ© Firefox adoption rates we’ve seen lately? Google has always said they don’t need to make their own web browser, and they are right… but they *do* perhaps need to make someone else’s irrelevant.
- This is not much different than Microsoft’s decision to make everyone’s default start page “MSN.com” when it released Internet Explorer. If I’m not mistaken, out of all the things Microsoft was judged to be guilty of by the DOJ, that wasn’t one of them. I could be wrong about this, but I just don’t remember that being part of the verdict.
- OEMs can change the search default to whatever provider they’d like, and after that, consumers can change it again themselves (although many, of course never do… see: MSN.com’s 1 trillion daily users).
I suppose I understand why Google is throwing such a huge stink about this, because hey, why not? But in the end, I don’t think it’s anything that should be subject to government intervention. We all hate it when one company dominates any particular sector of business, and in the technology world, that company has usually been Microsoft. But it’s entirely possible that that company is now Google, and although we all love them, competition is almost always a good thing.