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New IE Out To Steal Google's Lunch

  • Forbes, Thursday, August 28, 2008 2 PM
Forbes says the newest version of Internet Explorer, out today, marks Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's latest plot to foil Google. That might sound strange, considering that Google doesn't have a Web browser, but the report claims that many of IE's new features have been designed as a way for people to get around using the search giant's popular services.

For example, the new browser comes with a search box in the upper right hand corner -- Live Search, that is -- and just below the box is a customizable row of tiny logos providing quick links to familiar destinations like Yahoo, MySpace, Wikipedia and eBay. So far, 27 Web sites have joined this service. In another dig at Google, the new browser automatically calls up Microsoft's Windows Live Maps each time you highlight a street address-unless you change the default to Google Maps or another service.

Forbes points out that IE has by far the biggest penetration in the browser market (73% compared to 19% for Firefox) so adding these Google-avoiding services could give the search giant "a nice advantage." Moreover, Forbes points out that Microsoft can use its dominant position to offer more Web software through its browser, similar to how it leveraged the Windows desktop monopoly.

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