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Just what was Google thinking?

I've really struggled with what to write about the claim made by Marissa Meyer of Google that it is anticompetitive of Microsoft to set MSN as the default search engine in their own Internet Explorer browser. The subject has, first of all, been ground into a fine paste as many bloggers and analysts have weighed in on the subject.
Written by Marc Orchant, Contributor on

I've really struggled with what to write about the claim made by Marissa Mayer, vice president for search products at Google, that it is anticompetitive of Microsoft to set MSN as the default search engine in their own Internet Explorer browser. The subject has, first of all, been ground into a fine paste as many bloggers and analysts have weighed in on the subject.

More to the point, it's really not in my nature to say mean things about obviously smart people when they do dumb things. Thankfully, The Head Lemur has perfectly captured my feelings about this stunt so I can say everything I wanted to simply by quoting:

"Really Marissa, you need either adult supervision, or a dose of reality. Microsoft has had MSN as it's default search engine for years. Did you just fall off the turnip truck? You would be much better served evangelizing FireFox than becoming the internet idiot of the day. This is like saying I have a Chevy and have to use a Ford starter."

You just gotta love those contrarian Arizonans -- must be something in the water.

Update: Well this is truly turning into a tempest of polarized opinion. Two well-considerd posts you might want to read come from Niall Kennedy and Ed Bott. Niall writes:

"Want to change your default search engine on your Mac from Google to Yahoo? Fire up vi, because you're going to have to dig for it. Mayer said "Google would support unfettered choice" on browsers such as Safari but so far no action or words of openness.
I installed beta 2 of Internet Explorer 7 last week. The first time I visited Google.com there was an arrow pointing to the search box and a message encouraging me to change my default search engine. I switched and it was pretty simple.
I'd like to see Google encourage openness in the applications where it is the only search option. Right now it seems like the company only complains when things aren't in their favor, yet Yahoo! or emergent search companies can't even compete as the best search solution for that search box."

On his Windows Expertise blog, Ed weighs in with a well-illustrated post showing how simple it is to make a search engine defualt change in either IE7 or Firefox.

Update 2: More from eWEEK as both Microsoft and Yahoo! employees fire back from their blogs. Yahoo Jeremy Zawodny says, "Cry me a river," in his derisive blog post which points out that Google has paid deals with Firefox to secure the default search position in that browser and with Dell to ship a "Google-ized" browser. Don Dodge, a Microsoft business development director describes Google's actions as "whining and complaining about something it does itself with Firefox" in his blog post.

 

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