Microsoft playing fair, while Google tries to lock in?
I know its hip to bash on the cool, successful company, so I'm trying my hardest not to let this post come off that way. I was surprised by this behavior, and will try to present the facts.
I'm using Internet Explorer 7 Beta. It includes a search box next to the address bar (just like firefox). It defaults to MSN Search, but surprisingly, it also includes a drop down that lets you change to AOL, Yahoo, Google, or Ask Jeeves. I selected Google once, it worked as expected, but the next time I launched IE, it was set back to MSN Search. Without digging much further, I figured that was just how it had to be... Microsoft was giving space to the others, but still asserting its control.
Today when I browsed to the Google homepage, I got a little DHTML pop-up window that said something to the effect of "hey, you're using IE7, wanna change the default for your searchbox to use Google?" Perfect, I had wanted to do that, and I guess they figured out how. So I press OK. I restarted IE7, and sure enough, my default search was now Google. Thanks Google.
Except, a funny thing happened when I let Google change my settings. That list of alternate search engines that Microsoft had provided, for the user's benefit, was now replaced by a single choice: Google. Yes, I wanted Google as my default, but I never said I wanted Google as the only choice! That's annoying.
That is when I noticed the Search Settings... menu option at the bottom of the search bar's menu. It includes a Restore Defaults... button, which does exactly that. I clicked it, and all of my search engines were back (and MSN Search was back to being the default). From that Search Settings screen, I selected Google, and clicked Set Default. Now Google was my default search engine, AND I still had the choice of selecting a different engine from the drop down. That is what I wanted. Why didn't Google give me what I wanted?