Programming is a wonderful mix of art and science; source code is both a poem and a math problem. It should be as simple and elegant as it is functional and fast. This blog is about that (along with whatever else I feel like writing about).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Google Complains About IE7's Default Settings

Just saw this article about Google officially complaining that Microsoft will set IE7 to use MSN search by default. The claim is that it is unfair to limit choice and drive users to MSN rather than Google.

This is a specious argument coming from Google, considering the fact that Google search is the default in Firefox, Opera, and Safari. The only difference would be that Microsoft owns both the browser and the search engine ... but if MS owns both then they should be allowed to link them as they see fit, yes? It certainly wouldn't make any sense to require Google search to be the default on IE7, when MSN search is the only option Microsoft has if they want to default to a non-competitor.
"The market favors open choice for search, and companies should compete for users based on the quality of their search services," Marissa Mayer, the vice president for search products at Google, told the Times. "We don't think it's right for Microsoft to just set the default to MSN. We believe users should choose."
Yes, users should be able to choose. But you still need a default, and for once Google isn't going to be that default. Perhaps that's what's gotten under their skin.

For the record, Microsoft did what they could not to come off well either:
Microsoft told the Times that giving users of the new version of IE an open-ended choice could add complexity and confusion to the browser set-up process, while offering a few options would be arbitrarily limiting.
Aside from once again demonstrating their lack of respect for their own users, how arbitrarily limiting can offering a few choices possibly be? The options would probably be:
  1. MSN Search
  2. Google Search
  3. Yahoo Search
  4. Add another search engine...
Perhaps all Google was trying to do was to raise awareness of the issue, and to force Microsoft to offer options. However, they should avoid whining like this, lest they lose their darling status. Google should get back to their roots: winning by being better, rather than by having better lawyers and journalist shills.

No comments: