The release of Microsoft’s IE7 browser (Internet Explorer 7) has other search engines seeing “red”. The uproar is regarding the provision of MSN Search as the default search utility. While some competitors see this as unfair according to Anti-Trust legislation, the reality of the situation is that MSN has always been the default offering and it should be no surprise to anyone.
Google have already attempted to circumvent the impact of such releases with their recent deal with Dell computers. The deal will see Google software and search pre-installed in machines before delivery. Whilst this might slightly increase Google’s presence, the devout usage of Internet Explorer and its pre-defaulted MSN search settings will surely counter Google’s efforts.
Yahoo! has tackled the issue from a different angle in their latest offering. In a case of “If you can’t beat them, join them”, Yahoo! are offering a customized version of the new Microsoft IE7 browser which will see Yahoo! as the default homepage and search options.
The Yahoo! version, which is currently available via beta release, uses Microsoft’s IEAK (Internet Explorer Administration Kit) which allows any developers and partners to create their own version of IE7. Yahoo! is aiming to encourage their millions of regular users to download their customized version in favor of the original.
This will be the first time a major search competitor has utilized the IEA Kit which has been available since IE4. Considering Yahoo! has a greater market share than MSN, time will tell whether Microsoft rues its decision to make the kit freely available. More importantly, watch out to see Google’s reaction to Yahoo!’s move.
Either way, Yahoo!’s version of the IE7 browser should place them in good stead when the full release of IE7 with Vista occurs at the beginning of next year.