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May 01, 2006


David Stone

"Google equals search", I think that's it - when I watch 'normal users' browse in both Firefox and Internet Explorer the first thing *most* do is go to, even if in Internet Explorer when the homepage is default at MSN, or in Firefox totaly ignore the search box.

Mind you, I'm sure people will eventually figure out how to use it just like a few have figured out how to change the homepage from MSN to Google.

Dominic Jones

You're making too little of the power of the default. David's comment above is right, most people don't know how to change the default homepage, never mind the default in a search.

The issue is Microsoft not wanting to give people real choice. There is a why to do it right.

The first time someone starts up I.E. 7, ask them which search they want to use. You can give them a list or ask them to type in a url. The list option could include first, second, third preferences etc.

So why is that so hard? Or is it just that Microsoft does not want to give users that choice?

I don't give a damn about Google or Microsoft. I do give a damn about being given a choice.


I'm usually the first to detect hypocrisy at the Don't Be Evil company, and have been vocal about the hypocrisy of Google censorship. But I'm not seeing that same hypocrisy in the debate over search defaults in Windows.

Seems to me that Microsoft, with its 90% share of the world's desktops, has a fiduciary responsibility to users not to restrict their choice in info providers. Henry, you of all people understand the fiduciary relationship that a corporation with a power advantage has to their clients.

Conversely, Google with their 50% share of the search market seems to understand (for the most part), their fiduciary responsibility to their users.

They have the power to funnel users to Google properties and partners, to make their competitors invisible in search results, and to abuse their position of trust for financial gain. But they don't. Search for a stock symbol in Google, and you'll get links to MSN and Yahoo right next to Google Finance. Search for a street address, and you'll get links to Mapquest and Yahoo right next to Google Maps. If you try the same searches at, do you think you'll see the same focus on the user?

In your prior post, you say Google "invaded" your PC. You may not like Google riding along with Java, and that sounds questionable to me, too. But at least they asked your permission first, and Google isn't even in a position of power over your computer. Shouldn't Microsoft, especially because it *is* in a position of power over your computer, ask your permission before silently directing you to their own properties and partners?

There are good examples of Google hypocrisy, especially their censorship actions. But asking Microsoft to live up to their fiduciary responsibilities doesn't strike me as hypocritical.

Bruce Hamm

Incredible hypocrisy on Google's part. Through their rleationships with Dell, HP and many ISVs distributing Google Pack, they are paying billions in guarantees to eliminate the very choice (from a practical standpoint) Ms. Mayer is complaining about. No doubt a smart play (some regulators may bite), but it is disconcerting for me to see a lack of truth telling on their part - sounds kind of evil.


mb and Dominic, how is Google locking up Dell and five other leading OEMs with the defaults a step towards reflecting user choice?

King Troll

Most of you guys are fucking stupid bros. Look, say MSFT has 90% of the PC market. Those 90% already either know about or use Google , Yahoo or MSN. There isn;t going to be another billion new PC owners, so they are mostly jus the same customers looking to upgrade.

Who gives a shit what search is in the browser. Most people have already chosen what they like and will use.

I type in or directly in the browser when I do a search as do most people.

Henry come with better nws bro or you will begin to lose me as a dedicated reader.

jared lansky

Bruce - exactly

Neal Lachman


I don't understand why everybody (including you) think of GOOG's cashpile as a major issue. Almost all large companies have a huge cashpile (warchest), and I believe MSFT's has a mountain compared to GOOG'S pile.

I have used IE7 beta since it came out, and I happen to be a very satisfied user of Live Mail beta. When I downloaded IE7 I changed the default search to yahoo. I have rarely again typed in or, this search box is darn cool! I click on the blanco tab to get a new page, and then go to that search box on the right top and type my search query, and voila there it comes up.

Now, when I figured I could not type comments on IO with my IE7 browser, I downloaded Firefox, and guess what darn company is the default search in FF? Yes, GOOG.
What in heaven's name is GOOG bitching and complaining for?

BTW, Ben - thanks for the link to the NYT article on the other post. It was a nice article to read.


i am simply amazed at anyone who thinks GOOG is being 'evil', or has no right to complain about the MSN default.

GOOG's management is not stupid, they have seen msft crush compeditors w/the leverage they have over the desktop. They are merely playing the same game, but GOOG was quicker to the punch.

Also lets not kid ourselvse here, MSFT is the dominate force. GOOG teamed up w/ an underdog. They will not find themselves on 85% of the desktops in the world potentially over night, like MSN can. (but i do like MSN's approach... 'any default engine can be present so long as those engines are willing to pay to be the default'... nice move if that truly is the case.

and lets not forget yahoo chose to ignore the browsers and desktop makers, they decided to team up w/the telcos. So yahoo isn't innocent here either.

But if all the major players are positioning themselves to gain share as a default measure... why should GOOG be viewed as evil here? --they are not, they are being competitive.

Neal Lachman

Google is not being evil, it is just whining.


Bruce, For locking up OEMs you have to pay billions of dollars. M$ can get their search engine out there without having to pay any $. AND IE is the default browser on windows. If M$ also had to pay to get their search engine out there, then yes, the battlegrounds would be level. Otherwise M$ is using it's monopolistic hold on windows to first get IE as the default browser and now get MSN as the default search engine.


Microsoft can have search result right on desktop !!! Search box next to "Start" button on desktop.
How many of us googler who then use if MSN result are similar ?
Google is smart to complain, because Microsoft has the most brilliant MBA's. They need to complain
to try to prevent Microsoft from having a "Google Desktop" like function in which they integrate
internet completely into their Vista and office etc. Imagine search box next to "START". Imagine search
integrated into office, e-mail, etc.
So Google needs to make everybody aware of the Microsoft monopoly.
Google is not going to just pay Dell for the browser position on search. They are paying for the
installation of google desktop and its associate programs which include firefox and maybe some office suite.

Neal Lachman

I think you guys better read the May 9th edition of PC Magazine. They have an in-depth special about Vista.

Vista is promising to change and improve our computing experience. Simply Amazing.


This is ofcourse for new PCs sold with VISTA. Legacy Windows users far outnumber new users. I was once told in 2005 that Intuit(Tax Software Company) has more Windows 98/ME/2K users than Win XP. So the marketshare equation is not going to change anytime soon as history tells Microsoft products stablize only after SP-1.

Neal Lachman


Nobody is talking about Operating Software. I just mentioned the Vista article in PC Mag because of one of the commentors.

IE7 can be downloaded without VISTA. 1E7 will be an obvious browser software upgrade, which means that the majority of 80% of all internet-surfing people will get this search-box option one day/way or another.

Still Inside

All I have to say is:

Told You So

Realizing the fact that they cannot stay on top by being smarter, they are going to call the cops and fight it out in the courts. I bet GOOG engineers love the fact that their work no longer matters, because it's ALL up to the lawyers now.



Cry me a frigging river.

I don't like Microsoft as much as the next guy, but the simple fact is it's not the only choice for search. In fact, at the moment, it's obvious it's one of the lesser choices, with Google clearly the king. For them to say that it's not fair that Microsoft be able to default the internet browser that they've developed, to the search engine that they've developed is ridiculous. It has been written that IE7 will not block out other search engines (, but it will default to Microsoft's search. ?? And they're crying because....?

Because they didn't create their own browser so that their search engine could be the default search box to appear? Gentlemen, do yourselves a favor and download the free Firefox browser. Then tell me when you search for something where the search results come from. It comes from Google, people. No, Google didn't create the browser, but they worked out a deal with the Mozilla folks and it is the default search, and it understands exactly what it means to have your company's search be that default on an internet browser.

I don't think Google is scared, as much as I think they're crying like a spoiled child about this. Maybe they are scared... If Google is so damn good at search then why are they even addressing this? They're bulletproof. They're worth $100B. They have the smartest people on the planet working for them. Well, I think the sobering fact is Google is a phenomenon and they have to come up with something more or they're days are numbered, and they must know it way deep down inside. Otherwise they wouldn't be crying foul at a company who has every right to use all it's resources to regain marketshare.


I have to add that I feel like the hits_just_keep_coming from Google. It's one weird misstep after another. Doesn't it seem like this company (or it's people) are becoming even more wildly unpredictable, and not in a good way? Henry was on to it a couple of months ago. This company seems to say the strangest things at the strangest times. What's next? Early on they aligned themselves with the fiscal ideology of Warren Buffet. I have to think he's scratching his head about their recent moves.


Henry, I don't agree with you. What's the difference whether or not Google has a 50% share of the search market? They got it fair and square and it's irrelevant to what Microsoft is planning. Microsoft is planning to exploit a monopolist's position to harm its competition. You can't do that. I hope Google starts working through its senators/congressmen, like Kodak did a few years ago when Microsoft tried doing something similiar for photo processing.


(YAWN)... just publicity for the new IE 7... what else can it be.

As gretly illuminated on pt 4., defaults are easily changed!


Still Inside

It also just occurred to me that this is further proof that the GOOG management team is NOT in it for the long run:

1. GOOG currently has a $100B+ market cap. In order to move that significantly forward, they need to be one of the most valuable companies in the world. In other words, MSFT territory.

2. If they actually get governments to act on this latest whining, they will build huge market share and become the DOMINANT ENTRENCHED PLAYER in paid search(entreched by government edict, which is the best kind of entrenched).

3. Being in a defacto monopoly position, they will get hammered by one lawsuit after another, as they will have no political high ground to stand on: the government giveth, the government taketh away. Governments that handed them their free ride will be emboldened to do whatever the hell they want with the GOOG asset that THEY helped create. Certainly part of any pitch they would be offering politicians right now would include a future that included some quid pro quo plunder on some level.

Google is setting themselves up to be the government's bitch (and not just the US government's either). This is something that no honest management team could possibly want to be a part of--and I have no doubt the current GOOG management team does either.

I doubt that GOOG is actually going to convince the government(s) of anything. The point, however, is that the GOOG management team clearly thinks they can, and that this is the battle they want to fight, regardless of the long-term consequences. Conclusion: they don't intend to be around for said long term.


One point of correction for Henry. You alluded to GOOG starting to act more like MSFT.

How do you figure?

MSFT never called the cops when they couldn't compete. They either kept fighting or lost the battle. The MSFT guys want to win with superior technology and business tactics.

The GOOG guys want to schmooze politicians and pay off the right ones in order to get laws passed against their competitors.

I'd say the respective mindsets at MSFT and GOOG are diametrically opposed, if anything.



This is purely a defensive move by Google. Incidentally, I use the Opera browser, and that also has a search box in the header....guess what the default search engine at install is? Yup, Big G. You can easily use any other search you like, but I use G a lot.....

They know the potential power of the default, and they want to try and keep MSN out of that position for the biggest single browser by installations on the planet. True, it's easy for people to change it anyway, and if MSN still sucks as badly as it does now when IE7 goes properly mainstream, many will, but MSN are catching up, and it does represent a potential threat. Dealing with it now, while it could be killed off before birth is by far and away the most sensible idea. If they don't manage it now, it'll cost lots to fix the problem later



Nobody is talking about Operating Software. Nor I am. Maybe I misworded. All I wanted to say was IE 7.0 will be default on Vista. I am talking about majority of the consumers who didn't even want to upgrade to .Net Framework which is under Windows Update(Single Point and Click Job). Do you think they will go and download IE 7.0 or whatever ? Just because consumers didn't have .Net Framework, Intuit's product were once again Native compiled and shipped.

Zeppo Mexicano

I use opera (of course) and for instant searches have g for google, y for yahoo, m for msn, e for exalead, a for ask (ex teoma)...

if you don't know what I'm speaking about, is just beacause you don't use opera, which is a pity (for you). Noone that knows how to search the web will ever use any other browser, once they try Opera out.

"You don't like Opera's default queries? Well, it's your browser, change them, it's easy! What do you need? Nothing but a text editor and some time.

Basically, all you have to do, is edit search.ini. Want to adjust the little search buttons on the personal bar, too? Well, edit buttons.ini. Hey, you can even change the Encyclopedia, Dictionary and other Hotclick searches. :) Let's get started..."

Zeppo Mexicano

I use opera (of course) and for instant searches have g for google, y for yahoo, m for msn, e for exalead, a for ask (ex teoma)...

if you don't know what I'm speaking about, is just beacause you don't use opera, which is a pity (for you). Noone that knows how to search the web will ever use any other browser, once they try Opera out.

"You don't like Opera's default queries? Well, it's your browser, change them, it's easy! What do you need? Nothing but a text editor and some time.

Basically, all you have to do, is edit search.ini. Want to adjust the little search buttons on the personal bar, too? Well, edit buttons.ini. Hey, you can even change the Encyclopedia, Dictionary and other Hotclick searches. :) Let's get started..."

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