IE7, Google-ized

I found it interesting to read that Google has repackaged IE7 to include Google’s services activated by default. This means the quick search bar defaults to Google instead of, and other things. The package can be found here
What will be interesting to observe is if Microsoft cries foul on Google repackaging their product. Will it be supported by Microsoft the same as their “official” version? Will Microsoft release a “security update” that reverts these customizations? They certainly have the power to do so, as well as the legal authority, and the motive.

The deeper issue on topics like this will always come back to the crucial concept of unfair business practices. Microsoft controls the operating system, the browser, and the search engine. With Windows One Care’s release with Vista, will Norton and McAffee go the same way as Netscape, years before? These Anti-Virus companies have been very vocal about this recent turn of events, so I think this is a fear they have.

What makes the difference between someone simply using software because they have to, and someone being an advocate for said software? The answer seems to be simple enough – choice. People who use Mozilla’s Firefox, or Apple’s OS X, or Google’s search swear by it, as opposed to someone using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The common characteristic between these three companies is choice. You can use their software just as easily as you can NOT use their software. Its a powerful concept, (and the reason America has fought as few wars). Each company aims to gain market share by providing a superior product – not though vendor lock-in.

An interesting note for people crying fowl over IE7’s exclusion of Google from its search engines: Try to change Mozilla Firefox’s default search engine. Type in some keywords in the address bar, and press enter to watch Google’s page come up before your eyes. I see no settings to change this default to something else. And don’t get me started on Apple’s iTunes music “store” – forfeit all freedoms ye’ who enter.




    I used the same thing for IE 5.0 and 5.5 to create a “custom” IE for CSU way back when. Microsoft provides the tools to do this for free. If someone wants to download IE from Google, Microsoft couldn’t care less. The person will still be using IE. The only difference will be the default bookmarks, title bar, and a couple other little things. At the core, it is still IE as produced and shipped by Microsoft.

    Also, it isn’t that difficult to make IE’s search field use Google by default. If you had the Google toolbar installed previously, it will prompt you if you want to keep Google as your default search engine. If not, you only have to select “Add more search engines” and choose Google from the list of “top” search engines.

    People are making a bigger deal of this stuff than it really is.


  2. Also, in regard to the default search engine when typing search terms in the URL bar in Firefox. Open a new tab, type “about:config” in the URL bar, press enter, type “keyword” in the filter, and change the “keyword.URL” setting to whatever you wish. Or, set “keyword.enabled” to completely disable this feature.


  3. Ben Simpson says:

    When I tested IE7 on Vista (beta build) it was a chore to change the quick search to use Google. It wasn’t in the list of top engines. I had to manually create it and find out the URL for a query. Since that time I think that it became an issue and was addressed by popular demand.

    Also, I have just tested and confirmed that Firefox’s keyword engine can be changed using the about:config directions listed above. Looking at the extensive list of options presented in about:config, I think that one has complete control over the browser. This doesn’t mean that the option would have been easy to find. Then again, nothing is easy to find in the Windows Registry either…


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