Yahoo launches customized IE7 beta

The lines are being drawn in the search wars, with Yahoo and Microsoft squaring off against Firefox and Google.

Yahoo has launched a customized version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Beta 2 that has Yahoo search built into the browser.

The customized browser sets Yahoo.com as the default home page on the primary tab, while Yahoo Mail automatically loads in the secondary tab. The Internet giant used Microsoft's Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) to customize IE7, according to a post on IEBlog late last week.

Although Yahoo's customized browser presets the homepage and search to Yahoo properties, "users can easily change the settings, just as they can with the standard version that [Microsoft] ships", according to IEBlog.

Last month antitrust regulators investigating Windows Vista appeared satisfied with Microsoft's plans for the operating system, including IE7's search box, which defaults to Microsoft's own MSN Search.

As part of its status report on Microsoft's antitrust compliance, the U.S. Justice Department said that it had reviewed the search box and concluded that Microsoft's implementation "respects users' and (computer makers') default choices and is easily changed".

Google last month claimed IE7's default to MSN was anti-competitive. The search giant has a close working relationship with the Mozilla Foundation, whose Firefox browser competes with IE7.

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.

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