Search engines now part of browser war

Mon 11 May 2009 09:10, Bas van den Beld

The battle of the browsers in Europe has been taken to the European courts. A case, started in 2007 by Opera, reaches its peek in June when the hearings take place in Brussels, Belgium.

According to the New York Times Microsoft will defend their case by pointing at someone else: Google. They are claiming that opening up the Microsoft platform to other browser will make Google to powerfull.

Search engines now part of browser war

Norwegian browser Opera started this in 2007, claiming Microsoft was mis-using the fact that they succesfully produce operating systems by pre-instaling Internet Explorer. They were backed by amongst others Mozilla, Google, Adobe, Nokia, Sun and IBM.

The European commission acknowledged the claim and in January said it might be ordering Microsoft to pre-install other browsers on their system.

Microsoft claims that not pre-installing Internet Explorer is not possible and now fires back with another angle. They are claiming that if they pre-install other browsers Google's dominance will only grow even further. Most other browsers, like Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, have Google as their prefered search engine, with that making Google even a bigger size of the market.

According to Statcounter since April Internet Explores still has got the biggest share in Europe. But that is only because several versions of the browser are running. Firefox holds a share of 35%, Internet Explorer 7 34%. Internet Explorer 6 11%, and IE8 2.3%.

Pre-installing other browsers would surely decrease the share Internet Explorer has. And with Microsoft Live as a default search engine would therefore decrease the Microsoft-, and thus increase the Google-, share in the search engine market. So Microsoft does have a point, but do they have a case..?


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