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IE 7 search box – DOJ approved

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday May 13, 2006 )

It seems that Google’s antitrust complaint about Internet Explorer 7’s search box defaulting to MSN has fallen on deaf ears at the Justice department.

After trawling through a release from the DOJ entitled “Joint Status Report On Microsoft’s Compliance With The Final Judgments”, dated May 12, 2006, I came across this in relation to Internet Explorer 7:

“Plaintiffs studied the new search feature in Internet Explorer 7 and discussed its implications with Microsoft months before it was included in the beta versions released to consumers”


“Internet Explorer 7 preserves the user’s existing search engine default or else uses MSN Search if no default has been set. As Microsoft’s implementation of the search feature respects users’ and OEM’s default choices and is easily changed, Plaintiffs have concluded their work on this matter.”

(The Plaintiffs being the United States of America)

Read the full document – Warning! Before attempting to read it all, ensure you have a large mug of coffee and a couple of aspirin on standby.

I bet Steve and Bill are doing a little happy dance after all the publicity on IE7’s search box. I’m sure they knew it would set the cat amongst the pigeons, but they were already secure in the knowledge that they had a gold star from the US Government on this point.

My personal opinion, as mentioned in a post a few days ago, is that Google doesn’t have a valid complaint regarding the Internet Explorer 7 search box issue.

There’s so much happening at Yahoo, Google and MSN Search at the moment – it’s hard to keep up with it all. It will be interesting to see where the next salvo lands and who’s fired it. One thing’s for sure – the battle of the Big 3 will only become more intense; and in the immortal words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive:

“B-B-B-Baby, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”


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