Microsoft not violating any law with IE7's default setting for MSN Search: DoJ
Author : Philip Green (来源：英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
The US Department of Justice has ruled that Microsoft's next offering - the Internet Explorer 7, is no threat to Google's search business. The search giant had complained to antitrust regulators that Microsoft was trying to gain an unfair advantage with the new browser because it provides a search box that chooses MSN's own search service by default.
In a ruling yesterday, government regulators dismissed Google's charges that Microsoft's latest browser IE7 gives the software giant an upper hand. The new browser will be made available later this year for the Windows XP; it will also be shipped along with the next operating system Vista. Google said users who installed the test version of the new browser were unable to choose a search engine of their choice.
The company had set the default of their search box function to exclude Google so that users would be persuaded to use MSN's own search service. Although the DoJ has ruled in favor of Microsoft, most analysts would agree with Google's charges that the Washington-based company is eyeing the highly lucrative and rapidly growing search advertising market. The other rival Yahoo! is similarly believed to be aiming for a larger share of the market. The two contenders beside Google, will likely “leave no stone unturned to gain a larger share” of the search ad market, according to investor Rick Andrews who holds shares in the search leader. The battle for supremacy in the search ad market “will only get fiercer in the coming months”, he said.
On Friday, the court said that it had concluded its investigation in the complaint. Officials said they had discussed aspects of the new browser with the company. In the IE7's search box, users are allowed to enter a query and select a search engine from a host of others to provide the search results. OEMs have the right to set the default search engine before a machine is sold to a user.
In the IE7, by default it was set to bring up MSN's own search service. After the sale, the user may select a search engine of his choice, by changing the initial system default which requires five simple steps. The IE6 did not have any such system default simply because it did not have a search engine box. In contrast, the IE7 provides a search engine box. When downloaded, this browser will retain the user's existing default choice of a search engine. If the default has not been set to link with a particular search engine like Google, then the browser will set it to MSN Search. The court ruled that Microsoft did not violate any antitrust norm in its implementation of its search service. The new browser “preserves the user's existing search engine default or else uses MSN Search if no default has been set” the court said.