Microsoft Internet Explorer Search Engine OK’d by Justice Department
Perhaps smoldering a bit of the browser war fire set by Google & Microsoft this month, the US Justice Department says that the integation of the Windows Live Search Box across the new Microsoft browser does not threaten Google to the point of further investigation.
Steve Lohr of The New York Times reports :
The new browser includes a search box in the upper-right corner that is typically set to send users to MSN and that feature, according to Google, could put Microsoft in a position to unfairly grab Web traffic and advertising dollars from its competitors.
The Justice Department and 17 states, who monitor Microsoft under an antitrust consent decree, studied the feature for months and were regularly briefed by Microsoft, according to the court filing.
The court document noted that personal computer makers are free to set the default search engine to any service they choose. And the Microsoft browser, the filing said, included “a relatively straightforward method for the user to select a different search engine from the initial default.”
In a similar fashion to Google search being the search box of choice among Firefox browsers distributed by Google, Microsoft’s MSN / Windows Live search will be the default for the new IE browser / Windows Vista line.
Regardless, Google still feels that Microsoft does not simplify the method of changing the search boxes of their new browsers :
“Changing the search engine may be simple by Microsoft’s standards,” Google said in a statement. “But if it were truly simple, users would be able to change the default with one click.”
To what degree do you believe the default Windows Live search box on new Microsoft browsers will change the overall search engine market share? Please leave a comment below.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!