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Does Microsoft Tinker With the Search Bar in Firefox?

Firefox search
Wikipedia is my default search facility under Firefox



Summary: A reader alleges that Microsoft is playing dirty on Windows in order to suppress the use of Google (assuming AVG agreed to reroute traffic to Microsoft via Yahoo!)

ON TWO occasions earlier this year we echoed separate complaints from people who said that Microsoft uses Internet Explorer 8 (which it shoves down users' throats) to suppress the use of Google. The details were revealing and the claims sufficiently compelling.



A reader got in touch earlier today in order to say more things about a post we made earlier. To quote the relevant part:

lpbbearhi all, sorry to butt in, could i mention something about the bing issue to you roy?Mar 16 18:25
lpbbearOK, I will just throw it out there, noticed your item about Bing this morning, seeing some other related issues not seen mentioned anywhere yet.Mar 16 18:28
lpbbearI work as a PC tech, seeing an issue with AVG AntiVirus in Windows related to BingMar 16 18:28
lpbbearI haven't had the luxury of time to tradck all of it down but it appears that sometime recently AVG has entered into some background agreement with microsoft.Mar 16 18:29
lpbbearduring AVG install it asks to install a Yahoo toolbar, it seems to be over riding search settings in Firefox in Windows and locking Firefox search box to bing.Mar 16 18:30
neighborleeim  not happy with avg either..it said it removes trial and gives free versoin back.but it keeps nagging you about switching to non trial version regardless...not sure about bing but defintely yahoo, which M$ owns now  of course..Mar 16 18:32
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[eduvid] Wow, I have a static ip now :) now thinking for firewallMar 16 18:34
*lpbbear_ (~quassel@66.172.105.203) has joined #boycottnovellMar 16 18:34
neighborleehttp://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2009/12/obama-falsely-claims-that-senate.html < this is also interestingMar 16 18:34
phIRCe-BNcTitle: DISSENTING JUSTICE: Obama Falsely Claims that the Senate Healthcare Bill Matches His Campaign Promises .::. Size~: 190.69 KBMar 16 18:34
*lpbbear has quit (Ping timeout: 260 seconds)Mar 16 18:36
*lpbbear (~quassel@75.139.216.174) has joined #boycottnovellMar 16 18:42
*lpbbear has quit (Client Quit)Mar 16 18:43
*lpbbear (~quassel@75.139.216.174) has joined #boycottnovellMar 16 18:43
*lpbbear_ has quit (Ping timeout: 245 seconds)Mar 16 18:46
lpbbearanyone see that earlier mention of AVG/Bing lockin thing I mentioned, I glitched out for a momentMar 16 18:46
schestowitzjono: heyMar 16 18:51
schestowitzlpbbear I meantMar 16 18:51
schestowitzCatching up......Mar 16 18:51
lpbbearhiMar 16 18:51
schestowitzlpbbear: has anyone reported this avg thing"Mar 16 18:52
schestowitz?Mar 16 18:52
schestowitzThat's why Windows is bad for FirefoxMar 16 18:52
schestowitzOr any developerMar 16 18:52
schestowitzMicrosoft bullies competition over thereMar 16 18:52
schestowitzlpbbear: I can't reproduce here cause I don't have WindowsMar 16 18:53
lpbbearno, I don't believe I have seen mention of it anywhere yetMar 16 18:53
schestowitzMaybe someone else can test..?Mar 16 18:53
lpbbearsaw your article on Bing this morning and thought you would like the additional infoMar 16 18:53
lpbbearuwhat it appears to be doing is locking the little searchbox in the upper right corner area of Firefox to BingMar 16 18:54
lpbbearucan't manually change to Google or anything else until you go into addons and disable the AVG yahoo addon, may have names a bit wrong, from memoryMar 16 18:55
neighborleelpbbear: yup I didMar 16 18:55
lpbbearI am always on the "clock" at customers sites so I haven't had the luxury of time to follow it up more.Mar 16 18:56
neighborleelpbbear: I uninstalled unhappy with their constant nagging about switching from free to pay versionMar 16 18:56
neighborleelpbbear: but I dont recall bing issues..yahoo toolbar yes < not good since M$ owns yahoo now>Mar 16 18:57
lpbbearits fairly recent, just started seeing this issue on customers systems that use FirefoxMar 16 18:57
lpbbearseems to me to be a clear antitrust issue even though its being used through a third party proxy by Microsoft.Mar 16 18:58
lpbbearI could understand if it just added a choice for Bing in the list but its locking the list to just Bing and not allowing the user the ability to switch to other choices.Mar 16 19:01


Can any of our readers (with a Windows partition) test this to confirm? This is why Free software on top of Windows is far from ideal; Microsoft has a long history of pulling such tricks because it controls the underlying platform and vainly disregards the rule of law. How about when Microsoft "sabotaged" Firefox last year [1, 2, 3] (more than once)?

Speaking of Web browsers, one reader alerts us that "Microsoft innovates plug-in-free video". According to the article he cites (CNET warning), "Coming in the new version is support for new Web standards including plug-in-free video; better performance with graphics, text, and JavaSript..."

Does that mean that Microsoft might support embedded Ogg? Is Microsoft relenting on Silver Lie then [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]? It's hard to believe.

"...[Windows 98] must be a killer on shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance..."

--Former Microsoft Vice President James Allchin in an internal memo



"We are going to cut off their air supply. Everything they're selling, we're going to give away for free."

--Paul Maritz, former Microsoft Vice President (now VMware CEO), referring to Netscape



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