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. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  2. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  3. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  4. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  5. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  7. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  8. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  9. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  10. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  11. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  12. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  13. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  14. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  15. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  16. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  17. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  18. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  19. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  20. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  21. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  22. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  23. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  24. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day



  25. Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Embargo, Tax Evasion, Surveillance, and Censorship

    An excess of patents and their overutilisation for purposes other than innovation (or dissemination of knowledge) means that society has much to lose, sometimes more than there is to gain



  26. How I Learned that Skype is a Spy Campaign (My Personal Story) -- by Yuval Levental

    Skype is now tracking serial numbers, too



  27. Links 17/4/2017: Devil Linux 1.8.0, GNU IceCat 52.0.2

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Patent Quality and Quality of Service Have Become a Disaster, Say EPO Stakeholders

    Stakeholders of the EPO, in various sites that attract them, are complaining about the service of the EPO, the declining quality of patents (and the rushed processes), including the fact that Battistelli's blind obsession with so-called 'production' dooms the already-up-in-flames EPO and makes it uncompetitive



  29. IAM is a Think Tank for Patent Trolls, Software Patents, the EPO, Microsoft, and Whoever Else is Willing to Pay

    The site where you get what you pay for continues to promote highly damaging agenda, which threatens to disrupt operations at a lot of legitimate companies that employ technical people



  30. An Australian Patent Troll, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA), is a Bully Not Just in the Patent Sense, Explains the EFF

    The mischievous troll GEMSA, which doesn't seem to get enough out of bullying real companies, is now attacking a civil rights group's free speech rights


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