EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.29.11

Microsoft Search Front Ends

Posted in Microsoft, Search at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: DuckDuckGo and Yahoo! as search engines lead to Microsoft and provide watered down results for FOSS subjects

THERE is reason to be concerned about Microsoft turning Yahoo! Into a purple (ish) Microsoft front end.

There is a reason to be suspicious of DuckDuckGo as well. A closer look helps us understand that when Microsoft killed Yahoo! it basically eliminated another competitor — a malicious move which hurts the industry as a whole (destroying jobs, hurting customers, and so on). “DuckDuckGo needs to wash its hands of Bing,” wrote one of our readers earlier this evening. A recent article outlining how DuckDuckGo (DDG) gives Microsoft-generated (read: censored) results much of the time gave more room for discomfort and we are now seeing Microsoft play more anticompetitive games in search. Some months ago I was shown by a friend how his Windows/IE combination could not retain the choice of Google as a default search engine. He just couldn’t get it to work, so instead he was channelled into Microsoft and its front ends every time he started the Web browser. Design flaw? Surely not, it was clearly deliberate. According to another new testimonial, this is a widespread problem. To quote: “I recently had to install windows on a computer. This involved all the updates and bells and whistles. One of those is what some love to call internet exploder :) When starting up internet explorer for the first time it asks you to go through some hoops to set up some settings. If you were to just accept the default settings then you would be using all microsoft search engines. Naturally I did not want to use bling so I decided to choose a custom setting. I wanted Google to be my default search provider.

“I was a bit miffed that there was not a choice for Google right there. Instead I had to wait until all the settings were configured and microsoft opens up a page for me to choose the search provider I wanted. It would have been much easier if I could choose it right there. I could live with it though so I finished all the setting up of internet explorer and waited for it to open up the page so I could choose the Google search provider.

“Lo and behold the page opened up and right there in front of my eyes were a stack of icons of different search providers. The second one, with the Google colors and the Google ‘g’ and the name of Google.com seemed to me to be a good bet that this was the Google search provider I was wanting. I looked at all the other search providers and there was no other Google search provider listed. So it must be that one right? Wrong! Here is the page pointed to by the microsoft internet explorer setup program.”

Somebody ought to investigate this. Microsoft used tricks like these before and was forced off them. While the Microsoft boosters spin hard to pretend Microsoft honours competition, the company is just the same psychopath is has always been. Apathy towards Microsoft is a recipe for trouble, not peaceful coexistence.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

14 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    November 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft.
    Yahoo.
    DuckDuckGo.

    Everyone but Google. Do not trust them. They are not working to boost open source.

    Do you have any idea how paranoid you present yourself as?

    FUD:

    Some months ago I was shown by a friend how his Windows/IE combination could not retain the choice of Google as a default search engine.

    This is utter and complete nonsense. Just insane.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i–yNnC60_c

    Easy. The idea that you cannot set Google as the default search engine of IE is just nuts.

    FUD:

    He just couldn’t get it to work, so instead he was channelled into Microsoft and its front ends every time he started the Web browser. Design flaw? Surely not, it was clearly deliberate.

    Deliberate lie on your part. Sure!

    mrkennie Reply:

    I gather you have read how Balmer intends to destroy google? Also have you read the so called Halloween documents? With their attitude towards Google and FOSS in general, this would not surprise me at all.

    I am unfortunate to have to use ie to test websites, and I found that its almost impossible to even locate google in the given list of providers.

    Michael Reply:

    The video I linked to proves it is easy, if not quite “trivial”, to accept Google from the list of providers… and to add it to the list if it is not there.

    There are many things to bash MS over – but let’s not make things up just to bash them!

    mrkennie Reply:

    Not sure where you’re from but in the UK it seems more difficult than you think.

  2. mcinsand said,

    November 30, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Gravatar

    First, this guy cares at all about what he’s doing and he uses IE?!?!? He has friends that are acquainted with the computing world, and he uses IE? Either he is as dense as a cinderblock or his friends aren’t trying to get through. No-one that cares about security at all should ever use any browser so (anticompetitively,) integral to the operating system as IE is.

    Next, this could be very good information for antitrust if someone can collect some metrics with documentation. Search providers business models do depend on advertising and, for most I think, they charge for having customers’ sites bubble to the top more frequently during searches. At least this is what my brother ran into when he was investigating why his business didn’t show until the second or third page of search results. That is just the business model and, to me, it is much like charging for a larger ad in the old phone books.

    HOWEVER, where this could bit MS is that there is a world of difference between supporting your customers and suppressing the market. Granted, market suppression is all that keeps MS afloat, given that they have abandoned a competitive business model. Anyway, documentation could help fuel antitrust action.

    Michael Reply:

    You can pay for sponsored links but not organic links. I know my business shows up on the first page of most search engines – based on content of my sites. I never paid a dime to have my organic links bumped higher – and could not if I wanted to. If any of the major search engines were found to be doing so it would be huge news.

    twitter Reply:

    There are actually two users quoted above and a first hand account, so it’s safe to say the report is well validated. IE with the patches involved won’t let people use Google as a default search engine.

    We should not assume these people are as “dense as cinderblocks” because they fiddle with IE. They might do this on behalf of stubborn customers. Those customers should be convinced to abandon IE, Windows and all non free software, but fighting Microsoft and Apple’s billion dollar propaganda stream is difficult. Most people who use non free software have simply not understood the personal and societal implications. Everyone in the field should understand this and carefully explain it to their customers.

    Michael Reply:

    There are actually two users quoted above and a first hand account, so it’s safe to say the report is well validated. IE with the patches involved won’t let people use Google as a default search engine.

    I am not going to deny there may be isolated incidents – that can be true of almost anything – but for Roy to claim this as though it is not norm and not an odd occurance (perhaps even based on user error) is simply disingenuous. As proved in the video I linked to, it is not that hard (though it is not as easy as just clicking a check box).

    We should not assume these people are as “dense as cinderblocks” because they fiddle with IE.

    Well, they do use IE. :) One need not be stupid to make errors.

    Those customers should be convinced to abandon IE, Windows and all non free software, but fighting Microsoft and Apple’s billion dollar propaganda stream is difficult.

    Should be convinced? By what? By better products that offer a satisfying experience and/or cheaper options? If so, then sure. But so far, on the desktop, OSS does not do that well in most areas. The browser is actually an exception to this: Firefox and Chrome (which is largely open source) do very well. Things such as OpenOffice/LibreOffice and GIMP do not do so well; they have not earned a place on users’ desktops. They need to improve their products to do so (which is not to say their current products are not good – they are – and for being free they are amazing).

    And you grouped Apple in with IE. Apple does not make IE nor ship it with their OS. What do they have to do with IE? Apple does make generally high end products which almost always earn some of the highest user satisfaction ratings in the industries they are in. Good for them. But why bring them up and why talk about trying to “convince” people to use less satisfying products?

    Most people who use non free software have simply not understood the personal and societal implications. Everyone in the field should understand this and carefully explain it to their customers.

    I am “in the field” and I suggest to my customers (and use myself) whatever will serve me best: open or closed source. I also, of course, take price into the equation. I work to make myself and others be productive and pleased with our tools – not to push some ideology. If your ideology is more important to you than your productivity, though, then of course you should go with tools you will be happy to use, even if they are intrinsically inferior.

    Before that last sentence is twisted: I am *not* saying all open source software is “intrinsically inferior”, but if you limit your options to only open source (or only closed source) then this is what you are going to end up – some software that is intrinsically inferior than the alternatives.

    twitter Reply:

    People who advocate non free software use are unreasonable perfectionists in things that don’t matter while they ignore the intentional waste and privacy issues non free software owners force on them. A person who chooses nothing but free software may miss a few software features but on the balance will gain just as many or more that are not available in non free software. Being away from the intentional waste of non free software has saved me all sorts of time and trouble over the last ten years which did not force me to change everything several times because new versions of text and photo editors came out. The social implications of non free software control are more important than performance and features.

    There’s a breaking story about non free software phones spying on their users right now.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/11/secret-software-logging-video/

    These devices form a spy network that dictators in former Soviet Republics could only dream about. That power is being abused as you contemplate the half a second you might save by using one photo editor over another.

    Michael Reply:

    People who advocate non free software use are unreasonable perfectionists in things that don’t matter while they ignore the intentional waste and privacy issues non free software owners force on them.

    What? This is some of the most extreme nonsense I have ever read.

    Is wanting image manipulation to work being an “unreasonable perfectionist”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ootjP-cFVO8

    You are tacitly acknowledging that when you restrict your choices – limiting your freedom – to using only open source software you are going to have a less “perfect” experience.

    I say open choices up… increase your freedom… and have better products.

    The social implications of non free software control are more important than performance and features.

    As I said: “If your ideology is more important to you than your productivity, though, then of course you should go with tools you will be happy to use, even if they are intrinsically inferior.”

    And that is the choice you make. Oh, and productivity is not restricted to “performance and features”. This is a common mistake people make, looking at bullet points on a feature list and assuming that equates to how good a tool is. A very naive way of looking at a tool, esp. a complex tool such as software.

    There’s a breaking story about non free software phones spying on their users right now.

    Funny – the one major OS not lists is iOS, the OS from Apple. The one from the company Roy and his cult hate.

    That power is being abused as you contemplate the half a second you might save by using one photo editor over another.

    1) My photo editor is not a cell phone.
    2) The “free” cell phone choice, Android, has this software you are complaining about
    3) I said nothing about only saving “half a second”.

    Again: You choose to follow your ideology and limit your own choices, freedom and productivity. That is your choice. But do not expect me to join you in your religious desire to limit myself as you do.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 30, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Gravatar

    “I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”
    – Jean-Louis Gassée, then CEO of Be.
    http://www.birdhouse.org/beos/byte/30-bootloader/

    mrkennie Reply:

    Can’t say it better than that. Oddly, canonical seem to believe in original belief

    mrkennie Reply:

    Sorry, I mean in Jean’s original belief.

    Michael Reply:

    Jobs was right when he talked about how for Apple to win MS need not lose. Sadly many in the open source world – or, more directly, the free software world – do not get this. Stallman, for example, makes it very clear he wants everyone to agree to his whims and only use software he approves of. Amazingly anti-choice and aggressive.

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/1/2017: Wine Releases, Microsoft Layoffs

    Links for the day



  2. 'Reform' at the EPO Means Destroying the Staff Union, Crushing Patent Examiners, and Imposing on Europe a System It Does Not Want (UPC)

    The chaotic transition at the EPO -- a transition from something which has been workable to something intolerable -- and the role of the Unitary Patent (UPC), which lurks in the shadows and threatens to harm the whole of Europe



  3. Shakeup Against Patent Parasites in the US and More Rumours/Speculations About USPTO Director Michelle Lee After Trump's Inauguration

    The US patent system is becoming ever more hostile towards patent trolls, owing in part to reforms introduced under Michelle Lee's tenure, but people are still not certain that she will maintain her job and continue to fix the system



  4. EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses

    Rather than crack down on human rights abuses, the Dutch government now sends out the signal that it's an island for those wish to violate human rights whilst enjoying immunity (EPO)



  5. Links 20/1/2017: Docker 1.13, Linux 4.4.44 LTS

    Links for the day



  6. “Federal Circuit Had Affirmed on Every Issue in 77.4% of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Appeals it Had Seen” in 2016

    The Federal Circuit (CAFC) and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continue to squash a lot of patents on software, in contrast to that fake news from patent maximalists



  7. Kudelski Group Not Only Acts Like a Patent Troll But Also Run by Intellectual Ventures Person; Mobile Market in Dire State of Patent Armageddon

    The patent thicket which pervades everything that is used by billions of people, mobile technology in particular, can be traced back to a lot of non-practicing parasites (or patent trolls)



  8. Watchtroll and His Swamp Still Blame Google (Where Michelle Lee Came From) for Improving and Gradually Fixing Aspects of the US Patent System

    Shooting the messengers (even wrongly associating yours truly with Google) in an effort to undermine patent reform when it is so desperately needed due to serious injustices



  9. In an Age of Necessary Patent Reform and Permanent Uncertainty for Software Patents the Patent Microcosm Looks for Workarounds and Spin

    Commentary on the status quo in the Michelle Lee era and some examples of bias from the patent microcosm, as well as news regarding the NFL getting sued by the Kudelski Group



  10. Michelle Lee, USPTO Director, Should Recognise That the Patent Microcosm is Her Enemy Which Hates Her

    The latest outburst from the patent microcosm, which has a temper issue and notorious disdain for judges it does not agree with, is more of what we have come to expect



  11. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It's OK, Holland's High Council Says

    Battistelli's autocratic tendencies will not be challenged by Dutch authorities, in spite of sheer condemnation from many groups all across Europe and the entire world



  12. Beware Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The UPC is dead, deadlocked, stuck, in a limbo and so on; those who claim otherwise are merely lobbying (in disguise of "analysis" or "news")



  13. Shame on MapR for Pursuing Software Patents While Pretending to Stand for Free/Open Source Software

    The patents gold rush sees another company joining the 'fun', albeit this company should campaign hard against software patents rather than pursue any



  14. Doomsday Scenario in the Back Mirror as Michelle Lee Keeps Her Job (and Much-Needed Patent Reform) at the USPTO

    The future of patent reform, i.e. tackling overpatenting and patent trolls, looks somewhat more promising with today's confirmation of Lee's 'extended tenure' at the Office



  15. Links 19/1/2017: PulseAudio 10.0, Linux 4.9 Longterm Kernel

    Links for the day



  16. Corporate (Wall Street) Media Agrees That Brexit Dooms the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The nonstop lies or the fake news about the UPC starting "real soon now" don't quite pass a reality check or a basic assessment based on fundamental concepts, such as the UPC's facilitation of subordination (to Europe) in the United Kingdom



  17. Farce of an 'Independence' for the Boards of Appeal as Another Ally of Benoît Battistelli Enters as Parasite Inside the 'Overseer'/Host

    The latest cluster of lies from the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and direct refutation of false claims of independence for the Boards of Appeal, where the former Vice-Presidents can flock, just like the Mini Minion (Minnoye) of Battistelli



  18. Links 18/1/2017: Red Hat's OpenShift 3.4, Mozilla's New Logo/Branding

    Links for the day



  19. Union-Busting Action by Team Battistelli Takes Heavy Toll, Techrights Will Continue to Expose EPO Injustices to the World

    The Staff Union of the European Patent Office, SUEPO, which faced unprecedented and probably illegal (based on local laws) attacks, is being weakened by the worst President ever, whose own management team seems to be collapsing along with the institution he is destroying in just a few years



  20. A Lot More Fake News About the UPC, Trying to Convince People That the UK is Ratifying (It's Not, It Cannot)

    Response to some of the latest misleading (self-serving) whispers about the fate of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is in a deadlock due to Brexit



  21. Rumours Suggest That EPO Management is Aware of Decline in Patent Quality and is Thus Actively Lying About it to the Media/Public

    Whenever Battistelli brags about patent quality he may be consciously and deliberately lying through his teeth if the latest rumours are correct



  22. Links 17/1/2017: GIMP Plans, New Raspberry Pi Product

    Links for the day



  23. Resumption of EPO Propaganda ('Meet the President') Officially Starts Tomorrow

    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  24. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  25. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  26. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  27. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  28. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  29. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  30. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts