The different search engines have managed to keep their portions of territory partially thanks to another crucial line of products: their browsers. It may just be that Google is able to keep its top slot so effectively because of its partnership with Mozilla Firefox as well as its own Chrome browser. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer pitches Bing with solid effectiveness. While none of these browser options force you to use the preferred search medium, the default settings go a long way.
That’s why, when looking at search engine positioning and the balance of the market, it’s important to look at the browsers. Right now, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are both on the rise, and Firefox has gained a dominant position in Europe — mostly thanks to the fact that a “fair play” mandate forced Microsoft to add a section to Windows 7 setup that allowed users to choose which browser they wanted to install. However, Microsoft still has some cards in their hand, including the formidable IE9.
Internet Explorer 9 is due this year, and it comes with a large assortment of new features. The most noteworthy, though, is its lineup of privacy extras. In an interview at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas), Dean Hachamovitch, the Corporate Vice President of Internet Explorer, talked about the privacy extras of IE9 — all while wearing a shirt with an Internet Explorer logo that had the word “private” written atop it (in case the message was too subtle). Hachamovitch said there are two types of tracking that outside sites will do to visitors. One type was “good tracking,” while the other was “creepy, stalking tracking.” IE9 is designed to let you choose which sort of tracking you allow, including through a single-click button that will be added to the browser that allows you to turn off all tracking and cookies on any site you visit.