Google fires double barrell at Microsoft IE7 search ....

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Google fires double barrell at Microsoft IE7 search
By Stan Beer      
Tuesday, 02 May 2006
Google has fired off a double barrelled antitrust-like complaint to
both the US Justice Deoartment and the European Commission (EC) over
Microsoft making MSN Search the default search engine in the new
version of its dominant Internet Explorer browser, IE7. Internet
Explorer currently has 85% market share, a share that is slowly being
eroded by Mozilla Firefox and, to a lesser extent Opera from Opera

At present, Google is the default search engine in both Firefox and
Opera web browsers but Google has to pay for the privilege. Google is
arguing that Microsoft is engaging in anti-competitive practice by
bundling its own search engine with its browser. Microsoft has retorted
that the default search engine is easy to change. However, the software
giant knows that a large percentage of users will not bother and will
simply stay with the default, thus giving it an instant market share
boost in the search engine space.

Google, which makes most of its money from search engine advertsing
sales, is taking the prospect of an MSN search box in the top right
corner of IE7 so seriously that it has not only fired a salvo at
Microsoft through the US and EU regulators. It has also thrown its
considerable weight behind the fast growing alternative to Internet
Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, which has about 11% market share.

For the first time ever, Google has even allowed Mozilla to promote
Firefox on its normally empty home search page and it has started a
program offering websites $1 for each Internet Explorer user they can
get to download Firefox.
Google currently has almost half of the search engine advertising
market share but it depends heavily on that income. Microsoft meanwhile
has been looking for ways to diversify away from its traditional slow
growing desktop Windows and Office businesses into faster online growth
markets such as search engine marketing. The release of the final
version of IE7 in a couple of months could be the beginning of that
move and this could be the biggest challenge that Google has faced to

That said, Microsoft still has a tough battle to face from already
hostile regulators in the form of the Justice Department and the EC,
both of which have already butted heads with Microsoft in the past over
its competition practices.

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