The battle between Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft has been waging for some time and the playing field has grown beyond just search. The competition now includes the fields of social media, communities, online software and now – internet browsers.
In what could be a brilliant move, Google and Yahoo! have taken the approach, “if ya can’t bet them – join them” by releasing their own version of the recently released Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (IE7).
The core features of all three versions are identical; the key difference is the services provided as defaults. Obviously the teams at Google and Yahoo! didn’t want the world’s top internet browser excluding their services, so they released their own versions.
Optimized versions of the IE7 browser will see users offered either Google or Yahoo! search as the default, the homepage will be set to their search engines, and their toolbars installed automatically.
While it appears that Microsoft hasn’t stopped the roll out of the Google and Yahoo! IE7 versions, it seems they have had some say in the way they are marketed. If you visit the download pages for the two new versions, they look identical. So if Microsoft isn’t setting the guidelines, then Google and Yahoo!’s marketing departments must be on holidays.
What these releases do mean for Microsoft is even more exposure for their Internet Explorer. Considering Google’s very public support for Firefox (IE7′s closest competitor), Microsoft execs would be seeing these new IE7 versions as the lesser of two evils.
POST UPDATE – 13th December 2006
It looks like Google’s marketing department are back from holidays or read this post, as they have just modified the presentation on the Google Optimized IE7 page – see below.