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Google upset about IE7 search default…are they blind?

Apparently Google is taking Microsoft to task over the new search bar built in to Internet Explorer 7. The Googleheads are upset over the fact that this search bar defaults to using Microsoft’s own MSN search.

First let’s set aside the obvious fact that Firefox “defaults” to using Google, and no one complains about that. And then we can ignore the fact that Microsoft is the manufacturer of IE 7 and therefore somewhat entitled to give precedence to their own products. That leaves us with one slim thread holding up any credibility to Google’s concerns: that somehow, Microsoft is taking away a user’s “freedom of choice”.

But wait…when I installed Internet Explorer 7 beta, I already had Firefox installed with the Google search tool. And IE7 came up with (wait for it…) Google as my default search. So IE7 respected my already-established preference, which is great. I imagine that if I *didn’t* have the Google toolbar installed on an existing Firefox config on my machine, IE7 would have had to pick something to use. It seems reasonable to me that MSN search would be that default when no prior preference is evident.

I can hear the Google apologists (I just had to use that term) screaming now something to the effect that Microsoft should give the user a choice. Okay…what choices should they list? New search providers pop up ever few weeks….should IE7 somehow magically discover them all to present them in some sort of scrolling user interface? No doubt then people would complain about which search engine showed up first in the list. Maybe they should be ordered by random? Perhaps Microsoft shouldn’t provide any search at all?

Another possibility is that the folks at Google have never actually installed IE7 the way I did. Since I generally consider people who form opinions about something without taking the time to even read/watch/install it to be ignorant (I usually use stronger language than that), I’ll assume that this is not the case. Or could it just be that Google is trying to capitalize on the fact that Microsoft is generally considered “evil” by many people, and Google is generally perceived as “saintlike”, and this is a good oportunity for Google to profit thereby?

Nah, that isn’t possible- Google has commited to not being evil…and using people’s ignorant biases to profit would be evil, wouldn’t it?

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