Fire up vi to change your search engine

Google is a bit upset to find it is not the default search engine in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 browser and is starting to talk antitrust. Safari, Firefox, Camino, and Opera all have Google built-in as default and sometimes the only search option.

“The market favors open choice for search, and companies should compete for users based on the quality of their search services,” said Marissa Mayer, the vice president for search products at Google. “We don’t think it’s right for Microsoft to just set the default to MSN. We believe users should choose.”

Want to change your default search engine on your Mac from Google to Yahoo? Fire up vi, because you’re going to have to dig for it. Mayer said “Google would support unfettered choice” on browsers such as Safari but so far no action or words of openness.

I installed beta 2 of Internet Explorer 7 last week. The first time I visited there was an arrow pointing to the search box and a message encouraging me to change my default search engine. I switched and it was pretty simple.

I’d like to see Google encourage openness in the applications where it is the only search option. Right now it seems like the company only complains when things aren’t in their favor, yet Yahoo! or emergent search companies can’t even compete as the best search solution for that search box.



Commentary on "Fire up vi to change your search engine":

  1. Dominic Jones on wrote:

    Here’ the big difference:

    Safari, Firefox, Camino, and Opera. Who uses these? Do you think they are able to easily change defaults? Are they average users?

    Internet Explorer. Who makes up the biggest part of the user base? Do you think they are able to easily change defaults? Will they change them?

    You know the answer and so does Microsoft.

  2. Niall Kennedy on wrote:

    Safari is the default browser for Mac OS X, the software and hardware that is supposed to make you less afraid of your computer.

    I think Google should lead by example on this one. Do you think Google would tell a partner they will only do a deal if it’s non-exclusive?

  3. Florian on wrote:

    I use AcidSearch for Safari. It’s pretty cool.
    (I know this is a little beside the point…)
    The solution Microsoft uses in its search bar sounds nice. They aren’t all that proprietary any more. Kinda like Sony finally switching to MP3 after years of ATRAC-crippled players.

  4. Robert Dewey on wrote:

    I don’t see what the big deal is… Here are a few points:

    1) Microsoft is a business, and wants to gain market share – nothing wrong there
    2) Microsoft owns Windows, and should be able to incorporate their search engine into it
    3) That’s all besides the point, because Microsoft DID make it fair by allowing people to switch engines… Is it a little “iffy” with the suggestion that you use MSN? Sure, but see point number one above.

    While I don’t particularly care for Microsoft and would choose Google over them anyday of the week, I think Google is in the wrong. Maybe it’s time for Google to start innovating beyond their current half-assed services, or I just might loose all respect for them… Or do something rash like startup my own company ;-)

  5. Thomas Heijtink on wrote:

    This article is talking like we don’t have any choice? It’s like Sweden and Norway complaining that since they bought music via iTMS they can’t play it on other MP3 players. Don’t you have a choice to use the google search option in Safari Firefox or other browsers. You can serve to and search there if you want. Only if you want to though. OK if you want to change the actual search option in the browsers it is not that easy. Even though Firefox 2.0 Beta does seem to have that option, now. Don’t buy it or use it if you feel it is limiting you in a way you don’t like.

    God bless,