Companies like Microsoft and Google have a major advantage due to their sheer size; they can optimize their extra products (such as IE9 and Chrome) for their existing services (such as Bing and Google search). As such, the fact that Microsoft is losing ground with Internet Explorer is significant for all their additional products. Internet Explorer 9, with its more minimalist structure, better hardware acceleration, improved security, and faster overall load times, is an attempt to re-capture that ground – and it’s little surprise that IE9 is also fully integrated with Bing. What may be somewhat surprising, though, is that Microsoft has been working to integrate Bing with Firefox – their top browsing competitor.
In Europe, Microsoft has declined to the position of second most used browser, with Firefox taking the lead (Chrome, meanwhile, is in third but catching up swiftly). Taking on the philosophy of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” Bing started working with Firefox about six months ago to set up Bing as a default search choice.
With the release of Firefox 4, users can now set up Bing as their default search by simply clicking on the search bar and choosing the “Bing” alternative. This will put them alongside other default options that include Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and eBay. Google was the first to work directly with Firefox to improve integration, and just as they did with Microsoft, the Mozilla group went along willingly. Firefox, rather than trying to expand its hold, is pitching itself as everyone’s best friend – providing a foothold position for groups who are willing to partner up.
[via the Bing Blog]