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May 01, 2006

Comments

To the poster above regarding Marissa Meyer's comments:

One would argue that Google doesn't allow "Open choice" RIGHT NOW since their "properties" Firefox and Opera don't offer "unfettered choice"...
She suddenly woke up this morning and discovered a new credo?...talking about hypocrisy...

Erik Schwartz

You had the same reaction I did...

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

Weird. Google doesn't *develop* Firefox, Opera, or Safari, so I'm not sure what your point is.

Mike

"Of course the defaults are easy to change...but that doesn't matter"

It's easy to change for YOU and for most techies. It's very hard to change for normal users because that is not part of their action flow, and in addition to this the process is unusual.

Don't underestimate the power of the default settings. By the way, the value of your blog post is not increased with so much bias from you. Of course it's your blog, you can say what you want, and even delete this comment, but frankly since you are a Microsoft employee you can't be given any credit for such a pro-Microsoft stance.

Don Dodge

Bias? Pro-Microsoft? I don't see any bias in pointing out the hypocracy of Google's statements. In fact more than 25 independent bloggers have written stories on this...all of them incredulous that Google could make such statements.

This is a serious matter. Getting lawyers involved and making complaints to the US Justice Department and the European Commission is more than just whining and PR. Does this action qualify as "do no evil"?

Big companies have PR machines to spin stories, so this is nothing new. I just found it humorous. Henry Blodget wrote in his blog "Hats off to Google for keeping a straight face while complaining about this". My thoughts, exactly. I laughed when I read the quote, but was a little surprised to see that so many people had the same reaction.

Shawn Oster

The Firefox developers now work at Google. How is Firefox not a Google product? Google understands how you "buy out" an open source project. You hire Ben Gooder and all the other core Firefox devs and you have now bought the product. Look at the code commits, guess how much "open source" code is made up of people working at Google?

If Google cares about search then let them lead by example. Let them *stop* paying for the right to be listed as the default search in Firefox. How about they make the default install of Firefox prompt you for what search engine you want instead of defaulting to Google. They should lead by example, not by complaining.

Larry Borsato

While Google's comments may be somewhat self serving, the fact is that users install Firefox and Opera by choice, and those users are likely sophisticated enough to change the default browser. The Safari case is a different story.

On the other hand, IE is installed by default with the operating system on over 90% of PCs worldwide. Users are not given a choice. In fact, it is impossible for them NOT to install it. And most of those users will just accept the defaults. Likely many corporate IT departments will also disallow user changes.

popemark

If you want to add separate search engines to Safari, besides Google, you can install AcidSearch (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/24092) or Safari Enhancer (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/17776). I am the first to admit that this will not be as easy as it should be under Vista to change search engines.
BUT... #1, I am not convinced that Google has any influence over the default engines in any browser. #2, even if they did, Firefox hardly has monopolistic power in the browser market. Microsoft does have a near-monopoly in the browser market as well as the OS market, and this is the specific complaint that Google is making. NOT that it is mean to set a default engine, but that it is an abuse of monopolistic advantage to press for advantages in markets in which one does not have a monopoly.

RIchard Kuo

Don, would you agree that monopolies are required to play by different rules?

Microsoft has already been found guilty of antitrust violations. Defaulting the OS, which is a monopoly, to Internet Explorer, and defaulting the search to MSN search, is unquestionably a use of the operating system monopoly to leverage into a different market.

Google is not being hypocritical. They aren't the ones with a monopoly.

_

Google is already getting desperate:

"Google Spams SpreadFirefox to IE Users"

http://poptech.blogspot.com/2006/04/google-spams-spreadfirefox-to-ie-users.html

russ c

I think you miss the point here Mr. Dodge. Google is simply stating that Microsoft makes it difficult for users to make a switch to a different search engine.

It makes a difference to me as a user if I can choose easily what search engine I use embedded within the browser.

Sadly, this is to me another step Micosoft has taken to attempt to recover a market they are losing, and taking that step the worng way. It would be better to try to win the market by having the better product.

If people are given the choice between browsers, people will most likely choose Firefox and use Google as the embedded search engine (event thought they have several options to easily switch to).

Thanks for you blog, but you have made some critical mistakes.

-Russ

Matt

First.
Microsoft is a CONVICTED MONOPOLIST!

Second.
Google is simply reminding the DOJ that Microsoft is STILL BOUND by the settlement terms that the DOJ has been kind enough to turn a blind eye for the last few years.

Third.
NOTHING. I REPEAT. NOTHING is easy to change in Windows and especially in Internet Explorer. But even if you manage to change your settings they will most likely get reset with one of the next SECURITY UPDATES!

scott

So I just instaleed FF 1,5 and IE7 to compare them.

It appears that adding search engines and changing the default search are about the same on both browsers, close to identical procedures and about the same effort. MSN is listed by Mozillia, Google (currently) by Microsoft.

The list of search engines appears to be larger at Mozillia/FireFox, and it looks to be easier to add an engine not on the list to FF (a mouse click) than to IE7 ("All you need is to run the following script on your page: window.external.AddSearchProvider(‘URL’) ").

IE7 directly supports removing an engine from the list, while FF takes an extension (listed and linked to on the addition engines page) to have that functionality.


IE7 is more trouble to install, taking 3 to 4 times as long as FF, plus requiring a reboot (well, 2 reboots, but one was Windows itself not getting everything set up so as to make itself happy) Obvioulsy this will be less of an issue on new computers with preinstalled MS software, could be annoying for updates.


Switching the IE7 default to Amazon and typing 'MSN' got the result "MSN.com This item is currently not available. ", which would seem to be a poor way to start off their new relationship.

Blue

Your post misses one very important point. Microsoft is using their monopoly in the operating system market to try to gain a monopoly in the internet search market, just like they previously and successfully used their operating system monopoly to restrict competition in the browser market (remember Netscape? No? Exactly.) Firefox and Opera do not have a monopoly in either market and thus the same argument cannot be applied to them. Your post is clearly compared apples to oranges, while Google has caught Microsoft tossing out the same rotten apples at its newest real competitive threat.

K

Matt, have you ever used IE7?...didn't think so.

Anyway, while we're at it, ie7 setup should give you options. But we can't stick with it just asking you if you want google or MSN as default, cuz that's not fair. It should include all the possible search engines (even if they are just reselling other engines' searches). You know: AOL, Ask Jeeves, Netscape, Altavista, etc. What if someone wants something like Wikipedia as the default...well we can't forget those sites so add in wikipedia, howstuffworks, about.com, etc. Wait, maybe this could get annoying.

Ohh and another idea. We should sue Apple for defaulting to iTunes with iPods, they gotta have a high percentage share of the MP3 Player/Mp3 downloads market...it's just not fair.

Blue

Oh. By the way, the only real default search for firefox is the last search used, which means that changing the default is as simple a choosing a different search provider. You don't even need to delve into any system settings to change the default search or add a new provider to use. This is all still extraneous though as per my previous comment on the anti-competative practices of microsoft.

bgs

the main difference is that Microsoft is both owner of the search engine and the browser, an thus other companys can't even try to be the default search, on the other hand, google doesn't own opera, firefox (open source, son no one should be called the owner) and even less Apple with their Safari browser, so they just are the default search because these companys believe it's the best search engine, or google pay them to be the default engine, but anyhow they compete freely with other searchs engines, Microsoft could pay these browsers to be the deaful, the same way yahoo can do it, and they should have the same possibilities than google of being picked. On the other hand, in IE7 clearly nor google nor yahoo have the same choices of being picked than the MSN own search engine, so in that case the choise is, a) split the MSN search bussiness, from the IE bussines (one have to go out of Microsoft) or b) allow the user to choose wich is their preffered default search engine

Mark

"In fact more than 25 independent bloggers have written stories on this"

25!!

Wow.

Now how many have written about how horrible Microsoft is? 25,000? 250,000?

The point is google plays fair and you guys don't. If you had then there wouldn't be all these other companies banding together and discluding you from the party.

You want people to use your service more? Make it better. Plain and simple. Don't try and force them.

Smithy

From "Matt" : "First.
Microsoft is a CONVICTED MONOPOLIST!"

So what?
And Microsoft has paid out BILLIONS of dollars based on that.
In this country when one is convicted and served his time in full or paid the penalties in full, one is allowed to get on with one's life.

Going by the screeching of the rabid loony left Microsoft-hating vermin, if someone has been convited once in this country, they shouldn't therefore ever get a job for the rest of their lives, no?

Why don't you Microsoft-hating clowns go after BJ Klinton's erstwhile National Security Advisor Sandy "Burgler" (he of the government secret documents stufed up his pants notoriety) for a change?

Smithy

Matt : "Second.
Google is simply reminding the DOJ that Microsoft is STILL BOUND by the settlement terms that the DOJ has been kind enough to turn a blind eye for the last few years."

That is just too pathetic..even for you.

I suggets you actually go READ ths settlemment between the DOJ and Microsoft before you shoot off your mouth and spew out even more rubbish.

Hint : The settlement does NOT mention anything about allowing a company with 50% of the search market (Google) to force users of Firefox browswer to use Google search and force buyers of Dell computers to use Google search, while at the same time preventing Microsoft from setting Microsoft serach as the default for a TEST IE 7 that has not even gone live yet.

The days when Oracle, Sun and Netscape BRIBED the BJ Klinton adminstration to terrorise Microsoft is gone for good.
Now we have a a pro-business regime in power, that refuses to give in to the ranting loony left crazies of America.
Get used to it.

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