New Microsoft Browser Raises Google's Hackles - New York Times: "'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.'
Microsoft replies that Google is misreading its intentions and actions. It says the default settings in the browser, Internet Explorer 7, are easy to change. And it says the product was designed with consumers and many partners in mind — even though it might not be to the liking of Google, the leading search engine."
This is ridiculous -- the search setting in IE7 is very simple to change; I set mine to Google the first time I used IE7 search (in about two seconds). Maybe Google is complaining because many IE7 users will probably find the Google browser add-in toolbar less useful after they start using the IE7 search feature instead.
I think this complaint also says a lot about Google's confidence in its customer/brand loyalty -- if Google is worried about people dumping it for MSN Search because it's not worth the extra effort to click twice in IE7 to change the default search setting, perhaps Google fears it really does have a one-click brand loyalty problem.