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389 comments

Once more with feeling (5, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566137)

This is on the exact same track as the behaviour that brought them their first major antitrust suit. Perhaps the Bing switch is "an essential part of the operating system". Bunk.

Re:Once more with feeling (5, Funny)

seekret (1552571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566193)

I'm sure they'll find some way of avoiding any type of legal problems, they always do.

Re:Once more with feeling (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566777)

I'm sure they'll find some way of avoiding any type of legal problems, they always do.

They always do??? Are you f**king kidding me? They've had more lawsuits than pretty much any other software company...

Re:Once more with feeling (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566283)

Nah...this definitely wasn't going to happen..I mean, they only failed to try and silently change the default browser, ya know...

Re:Once more with feeling (4, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566303)

It's already hard enough to switch to Google. Why is the most popular search engine at the bottom of the list [ieaddons.com]? Could it be that it's weirdly labelled "Google Search Suggestions" unlike the very clear "Bing Search"? I thought that addon was just the suggestions the first time I saw it. If Google had started at the top then it would easily float there. Microsoft probably buried it so the Most Viewed providers would get viewed more and stay at the top.

Ock the Knife... (3, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566599)

(subject line courtesy of "Journey of Man - A Genetic Oddysey")

Or...
Could it be that that page is relatively new and most people who had IE7 went to a different page before* , where most people will have gotten their Google search provider; rather than this page.

Could it be that most people already know Google (and likely already have it installed) and are less-inclined to click on it than the more exotic search providers?

Could it be that Bing! was recently-launched, causing most people to click on it just to see what all the fuss was about?

* The old page sucked quite badly as well. I wanted to add Google from a Dutch IE7, which landed me at an English-language search providers page, and after adding Google it always landed the machine at google.co.uk(!). Took some manual registry mangling to get it to point to google.nl (not my machine, tyvm) instead. Looks like the IE8 points things to a dutch page, at least; though only 4 providers seem to be offered there... Wikipedia, Bing, 'Kenteken opzoeken' ( license plate search ) and Harware.Info price comparison visualiser, along with the 5th option of 'make your own search engine' (love the shoddy translations from English).

Naw, you're right, they probably tried burying the Google option. That's probably why they list it twice, too ;)

Did you click any of the buttons? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566627)

Funnily enough, clicking on any "Add to Internet Explorer" button in Firefox opened a window suggesting I install IE8 to use the feature - any button except for the button under Bing. That one opened a message box informing me that Firefox doesn't support this search provider.

Link to Page, funny (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566831)

Not sure if this is funny or sad. Seeing was believing:

Search Box > "Find More Providers..."

Takes you here:
http://www.ieaddons.com/en/searchproviders

With the following
Bing, NYT, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, OneRiot, ESPN, Truveo, Google, Bidtopia, Freebase

Go Freebase and Bidtopia, you *almost* caught Google. Keep up the good work!

Re:Once more with feeling (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566473)

Well I made the cardinal sin of reading the article. There is no proof and what he "found" was irrelevant. He said the warning came up about when he booted. Guess what? When you boot ALL the services that are installed and set to auto-start do something - they START. Microsoft didn't do this; at least you sure can't prove it by this idiot. He most likely has some stupid malware/spyware/crapware installed that did it. Shoot, you can post any poorly researched crap on the web these days and people will link to it as long as it says "MS is teh evil".

I need to have Digg's "OK this is lame" to bury this article.

Re:Once more with feeling (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566557)

If you actualy read the article, he admits he doesnt know what was trying to change the default search provider, or what it was being set to. All he knows is his google toolbar said a change was being made.

Any atribution of this action to Microsoft, or that the provider was being set to Bing are suppositions - there is no evidence of that provided.

Re:Once more with feeling (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566629)

If you actualy read the article, he admits he doesnt know what was trying to change the default search provider, or what it was being set to. All he knows is his google toolbar said a change was being made.

Also, if you look at the timestamps, the Search shows up at 7:41:27.

The oddly named "gupdate1c99e2ec" below it (as in "Google Update" maybe?) fired off at 7:41:26 -- precisely one second before it.

Maybe he should be looking at items before that "gupdate" item to see what happened before that.

(Now, I've had MS change my default browser before -- I'm just not convinced that what he's got shown matches what he saw.)

Cheers

Really? (5, Funny)

Beatlebum (213957) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566167)

That's most surprising.

Re:Really? (0, Troll)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566513)

You know what is even more suprising? My resultant attitude:

Fuck you and your "Bing," Microsoft. Search isn't your thing, stay the hell away from it. "Do not want."

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566659)

Someone needs to document the patches and the dates of all of the Microsoft 'anti-competive' user-preference changes through patching...

I remember at least the following:

1. reinstalling of MSN Messenger through a patch
2. setting MSN Messenger to restart on boot even after preferences were turned off (after upgrading Outlook Express maybe)
3. Setting homepage to 'live.com' or 'msn.com' with any Internet Explorer upgrades
4. MSN Explorer randomly appearing after uninstall
5. Putting 'Free Hotmail' link back into links with any IE patch
6. Telling me to 'turn on automatic updates' even if they've been turned off.. with every update

There's a lot more.. just can't remember them..

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566795)

and the FF plugin ".NET Framework" that installed automatically and apparently can't be uninstalled...

Surprise surprise... (1, Troll)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566169)

Oh wait... no it isn't.

This is my biggest beef with Microsoft - thinking they know what you want more than you do, and installing crap on my PC(or changing preferences) without asking.

Re:Surprise surprise... (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566321)

You mean like Apple slipping their browser software in with security updates?

Re:Surprise surprise... (5, Informative)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566423)

Indeed, also making itunes an optout insted of optin when doing quicktime updates on a windows machine that has no itunes installed.

Re:Surprise surprise... (2, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566511)

Yup. This is what you get when you use software made by for-profit groups. Say what you will about how capitalism (greed) is good, how it promotes competition and growth. Sure - but it also puts a stopper in it. People that really care about making good software make it free. Between them, and corporate businesspeople, I think I trust the former when it comes to making my software.

Now go ahead and mod me overrated.

Re:Surprise surprise... (0, Flamebait)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566675)

Yeah, but corporate businesspeople can pay hundreds of employees to work 8 hours a day, while free software only gets peoples' weekends and holidays. Sure empirically free software has worked out very well, but it's not as a priori obvious as you make it out to be.

Re:Surprise surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566679)

I thought that was because they were updated security for the browser, which I find perfectly acceptable. If this is not what you mean, please reply I'd be interested to hear.

Re:Surprise surprise... (3, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566767)

Apple Software Update (automatically installed with itunes and quicktime) presented Safari as a checked-by-default update to users. Read about it [jubjubs.net] on John Lilly's blog. He's the CEO of Mozilla

No, they actually DON'T know what you want... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566559)

... nor do they really care. What Microsoft DOES know is what IT wants: knowledge of your buttons and which ones they can press to make money flow out. Isn't that what so-called behavioral marketing is all about?

See, you're really nothing more than a human slot machine to Microsoft, and Bing is just one of their attempts at a "system" to let them cash in more often than the house does.

BING (5, Funny)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566205)

BING = But It's Not Google

Google Owns Search (2, Insightful)

jork (1330913) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566207)

When the general public think about searching the Internet they think of Google, even the phrase 'Google it' is fairly common. I wonder what the success rate is for this strategy?

Re:Google Owns Search (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566357)

I doubt they would even notice anything different. They look for a box to type in words and blue text to click. And Bing's copycat style confuses even somewhat savvy users.

Watch this [youtube.com] and you'll see what I mean. People think Google is a web browser. They probably think Bing is part of Internet Explorer. And I'm sure the overwhelming majority of users have no idea they can change their default provider, or even what that means.

Re:Google Owns Search (2)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566453)

Bing does not look like google: its HIDEOUS.

Google does not get in my way, bing brings me, today, some shitty picture of jacko's "neverland".

Re:Google Owns Search (2, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566701)

When the general public think about searching the Internet they think of Google, even the phrase 'Google it' is fairly common. I wonder what the success rate is for this strategy?

It's not foolproof. In the UK, "hoovering" is a synonym for vacuum cleaning, but Hoover no longer dominate the vacuum cleaner market.

Wrong Summary! (4, Informative)

hrieke (126185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566229)

Tim,

Please read the story yourself;
It's not Firefox that Vista tries to change but IE8. Google's toolbar caught the action in IE8 and alerted him to the change. He then said that there was no alert option offered in Firefox's Google toolbar.

Re:Wrong Summary! (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566401)

No, we need FUD.
Also, we need idiots who use the Google toolbar in Firefox, apparently. Who the fuck uses that with FF?

Yawn (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566235)

Par for the course. Now that they're busted, I'm sure one of their unethical employees, or even better, one of those slimey shills they employ under the table, will come out and say "Oh, it was an accident."

Microsoft, to IT what human sewage is to clean water.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566651)

seems the world is full of fecalphilliacs then.

So... (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566251)

So MS does this to attempt to trick people into using Bing, yet Google is the one with the antitrust investigation? Seriously, who came up with this? A 5 year old could see the difference between MS and Google and see that MS is obviously abusing its OS monopoly while Google is simply the best at what it does.

Re:So... (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566549)

Google's antitrust is because of a book deal, not search market tomfoolery.

Completely different playground.

Want more ad money? Bash Microsoft ! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566287)

Funny how "geeks" here accept such crappy evidence as proof of any wrong doing. What happened to the geeks to could reverse engineer executables and actually point to the specific CPU instruction that actually did it?

Take the FUD surrounding DRM, take this crappy story, no geek has ever been able to point to that level of proof. Seems like the virus and malware authors being crappy programmers are happily able to reverse engineer windows binaries and find bugs.

Seems like F/OSS world is filled with wussies who need source code to figure things out. Ever heard of a game crack author crying about not having source code? LOL.. turn in your geek cards...

Re:Want more ad money? Bash Microsoft ! (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566291)

What happened to the geeks to could reverse engineer executables and actually point to the specific CPU instruction that actually did it?

They got legal threats after the DMCA was passed.

Re:Want more ad money? Bash Microsoft ! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566363)

> They got legal threats after the DMCA was passed.

The DMCA is utterly irrelevant to this issue.

Re:Want more ad money? Bash Microsoft ! (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566565)

Ah, but it's entirely relevant to reverse engineering executables. Which means it is directly relevant to the post you replied to.

Re:Want more ad money? Bash Microsoft ! (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566785)

Ah, but it's entirely relevant to reverse engineering executables.

When said executables are part of a DRM (or my preferred term, Fair Use Circumvention Kit) system. Which these aren't.

Parent does have a point... proof? (5, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566465)

The guy got this warning when he booted up his computer - then mentions that he didn't give permission to any search engine change. What, after he booted up? I guess not. Perhaps he did so before he shut it down? Perhaps he did so several days ago and whatever he installed* told him that the system would need rebooting to finish installation, and he ignored it (like most people).

* I'm saying "whatever he installed" because I'm looking at my Vista Business N 32bit install with Internet Explorer 8 (upgraded from 7 a day or two back), and..
- Google is still (it was in IE7) my first-listed search provider
- I can find no "Windows Search Helper" service (there's a "Windows Search" service; different thing, presumably)
- I can find no "Windows Search *anything*" in IE8's Add-ons list.

Hitting Google with "Windows Search Helper" yields the story and... well.. supposed anti-malware sites that are ever-so-useful in telling me what it is or where it comes from (sarcasm.)

So for all we know, he installed.. who knows what, something.. and that something may very well have asked him if he wanted to change the default search to Bing.

I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to do something like this.. but as of yet, my Vista machine isn't showing any evidence of it; nor does the article.

'course the other part of the article is 'sane'.. letting the google toolbar (if you have that installed anyway) make sure that your default search is Google if you're so-inclined as to have two search fields with the same provider (if I installed it, I'd set the IE8 one to Bing and leave the Google Toolbar one to Google, but that's me... then again, I tend to use Firefox), seems like a pretty good precaution to take.

Re:Parent does have a point... proof? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566571)

It's part of Windows search. Every time I've accidentally installed that 'update' I see the Windows search helper, until I go and kill it off.

Re:Parent does have a point... proof? (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566709)

I don't see any proof that "Bing" was the search engine it tried to change it to. Just his "conclusion" it was Bing.

Since I assume he didn't allow it to change it, he probably never did a search with the default changed. His SS's certainly don't show that it was Bing.

Re:Want more ad money? Bash Microsoft ! (1)

ArcCoyote (634356) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566481)

You sir, are dead on.

The only thing worse than no security is the insecurity of paranoia.

How is this news? (3, Insightful)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566289)

Software companies have been doing this for years. They get paid to bundle toolbars and other junk with legit software and unless you are careful and remember to untick the necessary check boxes they install. Ask has been the most recent offender in this area, doing it's best to carve out a small niche in the search market.

Re:How is this news? (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566317)

Most software companies though don't have something that ships with ~95% of all new PCs. Most software companies do not have monopolies. About the only widely used software that I think comes close to this is that Flash asks if you want the Google toolbar if you are installing on Windows. However, that still is different because Google and Adobe are not the same company.

Re:How is this news? (0, Redundant)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566407)

That's not the issue. The issue is that the 'required software update' Internet Explorer 8 changes all your preferences to bing.com instead of migrating/leaving it from IE7 or before. I have noticed it too on a machine I sometimes use. As soon as the latest updates are installed, the search preference and home page preference changes to bing.com (from whatever you had before) for all users.

Re:How is this news? (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566623)

Is this something just came out? I installed IE8 on my Parallels VM the other day and the installer for IE8 prompted me for which search engine I wanted to use (Google was default).

Goody (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566299)

We haven't had a clear-cut antitrust case against them since... I'm not really sure. I mean the TomTom vfat issue is pretty close...

Anyway, TFA didn't explicitly determine that MS was responsible, and at this point I find it difficult to believe that MS is this stupid. Still, we can hope. Maybe MS will get that antitrust watch rescinded.

Brilliant Business Strategy. (0)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566305)

So they blatantly violate who knows how many anti-trust laws and abuse their near monopoly to finally destroy google. You know this day has been coming, we all do. Then they pay a "huge" fine five years from now when the government finally gets around to punishing them for it.. Say four, five hundred million dollars? A billion this time. Brilliant, that's a great investment if you're MS.

Too late. I already switched my default. (4, Insightful)

Queltor (45517) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566331)

There are some things Google does very well. Others, not so well.

I'm using Bing now to see if I like it. It's like UNIX. It's like non-Apple MP3 players. I'll give the underdog a try so I don't have to be part of the herd. Besides, most popular doesn't always mean best.

Re:Too late. I already switched my default. (1, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566601)

That's hilarious. In order to "not be part of the herd", you're specifically allowing your choices to be dictated by said herd.

Re:Too late. I already switched my default. (1)

Queltor (45517) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566855)

No. I conduct my own tests and make my own decisions. Did I say I use Bing exclusively? Did I say I've completely abandoned Google? No.

I changed a default. That doesn't limit my options. It only changes the default.

Re:Too late. I already switched my default. (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566665)

I'll give the underdog a try so I don't have to be part of the herd.

Being contrarian just for the sake of it isn't a virtue. I know lots of people who do it just so they can act self-righteous.

I wonder what we'd say if the shoe was on... (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566335)

I wonder what he'd say if the shoe was on the other foot.

This quote in particular annoyed me:

"I was relieved that Google prevented the change, but I couldn't recall asking the company to do so."

If he'd installed the google toolbar (which by default sets your search to google), would he have been so similiarly "relieved" if Microsoft had popped up a warning message that "An attempt has been made to switch your default search away from Microsoft Search"?

Somehow I doubt it.

Instead I suspect we'd see a rant about Microsoft putting up scary warnings if you try to use an alternative search. But I'm just speculating on that... but the facts are just as bad:

He doesn't actually know what caused the search engine change attempt. All he did was approximately coincide the warning popup with his event manager stating that the windows search service started. But this all happened within a short time frame of 'booting his PC up' so he doesn't know. (Gee Windows Search Service started up a short time after the PC started... big surprise... and then this popup... it must be connected. Yeah, because its not like EVERYTHING ELSE in his computer wasn't going off at that point in time... much of it not leaving traces in the event log either.

And, Hell, because google blocked the change, (to his great relief) I doubt he actually even KNOWs what it was going to be changed to. So really, I doubt he even knows it was going to be set to Bing.

I'm not saying it wasn't going to be Bing. And if it was the first time he'd booted his PC after installing Windows search, then yeah, I could see it happening more or less as he described. Although by the act of installing Windows search, aren't you implicitly requesting to, you know, use Microsoft search... so this is hardly 'evil'.

In any case, I've had windows search for a long time and its never surreptitiously tried changing my default search engine. (And it would have gotten away with it too since I don't give google the run of my system either.)

Re:I wonder what we'd say if the shoe was on... (2, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566603)

If he'd installed the google toolbar (which by default sets your search to google), would he have been so similiarly "relieved" if Microsoft had popped up a warning message that "An attempt has been made to switch your default search away from Microsoft Search"?

You're deliberately installing the google search bar. You're doing it with intent. It should be obvious that if you're installing the google search bar, you're going to be using google search. It's not as though installing the google search toolbar causes gmail to be your default webmail, or some other unrelated google product. "Windows Search Helper" however does not imply that some other Microsoft product will be tied in. It's not intentional/obvious on the part of the user.

Re:I wonder what we'd say if the shoe was on... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566807)

You're deliberately installing the google search bar

Its its "google toolbar" not "google search toolbar". Maybe I'm installing it for autofill, or bookmark synchronization, or pagerange...? Its not like I need google toolbar for search. Both Firefox and IE7/8 let me search google directly without it.

Windows Search Helper...

And "Google Desktop" is no different. Actually, I'm wrong. Google desktop is worse. You can't choose not to use google's search engine on the web, and it wants to hook into your gmail, and uploads a bunch of data to google to work properly... but hey... we're supposed to be bashing "Windows Search Helper" here right?

Also installing unwanted Firefox extension (2, Interesting)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566347)

On Tuesday Microsoft also pushed an update for their .Net runtime that again tried to install a some kind of Firefox extension. I had already removed this extension and the associated registry entry a few months ago when the latest .Net runtime was installed. Here they are doing it again.

Re:Also installing unwanted Firefox extension (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566479)

Fortunately the .Net runtime installer crashes every time it tries to update my Windows machine, so I don't have this problem :).

Why the hell do I still visit Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566353)

If the guys posting stories can't be bothered to read the articles, why should I?

Fuck this place, I'm out.

Re:Why the hell do I still visit Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566587)

Uh-oh, AC is gone. What will Slashdot do now?

Wait, but then who am I?

Microsoft still doesn't get it and never will (1, Interesting)

merc (115854) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566393)

Just looking at Bing you see that aside from being heavily laden with background graphics it is more or less a functional copy of google's search engine. Why is it that microsoft has never been able to innovate anything interesting on their own? What's the matter M$ can't you succeed in the market without copying others' hard work? Every little bit of success they've ever had has involved stealing or copying from the success of others. Ballmer's past vitriol against google demonstrates an important internal mindset: they are VERY jealous of success and long for the early glory days when microsoft first had a taste of this. Their past actions towards Netscape show that they will do anything to return to these days.

I for one will never switch from google -- besides the fact that they take the minimalist approach they also provided a search engine with the mindset "what can we do to enrich the world" vs. the microsoft mentality of "how can the world enrich microsoft".

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it and never will (1)

R0UTE (807673) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566577)

I for one will never switch from google

OK so you have some ability to see into the future in as much as no search engine will ever come along that is ever better than Google.

Get off your high horse. Yes I agree that Microsoft's approach is wrong in that they often try to influence peoples opinion and choice of products. I for one despise them for this and try to avoid their software like the plague. Hpever I am also not so blinkered that I can never see a day where Google does not rule the world (in search engine terms at least).

Don't say you will never switch from Google, an innovative company could pop up tomorrow that shows us a brand new way to index information on the web that is much more efficient and all of a sudden people like you will be slagging of Google and classing them as the new Microsoft because you have a new idolised company. I'm not a fan of Microsoft but possibly the only thing I dislike more is the people who hate them for the sake of hating them, please at least give us a good argument and not a load of crap that makes no sense.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it and never will (4, Interesting)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566843)

If you're looking for video's I can't imagine using any other search engine then Bing right now. They're better at searching youtube then youtube is, and in a much friendlier manner.

For stuff other then videos, yeah, Google is king and will be for a loooong time.

Maybe a but more research next time /. ? (3, Interesting)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566413)

Well, I can't prove it based solely on the Event Viewer logs, but it's safe to say the search service is the prime suspect.

His proof is the event view showing the MS Search service "starting". You know, the one that's actually for searching your own computer. And the timing of it was right after start-up.

I'm not saying it was, or it wasn't. But his proof is flimsy at best. His conclusion something I expect from the typical college age /. reader that runs around wearing a T-shirt with a hidden message in binary on it, and refuses to play WoW on anything but a Mac so he can "stick it to the man".

How about some actual proof of what happened. For all we know this tool downloaded something that asked him to change search engines and in his haste to get to porn (which btw Bing is king at), just clicked through without looking, and when he rebooted next time the change tried to happen. Or it could be that the MS Search service tried to hide a change. But I don't buy it based on his SS of a service starting (wow) and his own "jump" to a conclusion. Especially since if it were true there should be reports of it all over.

Re:Maybe a but more research next time /. ? (1, Flamebait)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566803)

Exactly, the search service is an indexing service. It has nothing to do with searching the web. Slashdot doesnt need proof, it needs its daily 3 minutes of hate.

Everybody does it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566435)

The IE search default is Live Search (now Bing)... I've installed stuff before and seen it changed to Google without my intervention. Along with the prompt to install Google Toolbar alongside completely unrelated products that have nothing to do with Google.

Not that I care that much... I don't use IE anyway. Just noting that I've seen it happen, this sort of thing has gone on for a long time and Microsoft is not the only one to do it. Nor is it restricted to search. During the browser wars of old I recall every browser would prompt you to set it as default when you opened it. Same goes for MP3 or video players and file associations.

Define "caught" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566445)

The singular piece of evidence he provides is a sole entry in the windows event log that the search service has started.

I wouldn't put something like this past MS, but the story got nothing.

Microsoft knows this is "wrong" (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566455)

They simply HAVE to know it is wrong. They have dealt with too many legal and court proceedings not to know. A complaint should be filed with the DOJ on this indicating that Microsoft has NOT changed its behavior and that either new proceedings should be started or old remedies should be reconsidered. It is a clear example of Microsoft not learning its lessons and should be broken up into separate companies as originally planned.

Re:Microsoft knows this is "wrong" (1)

R0UTE (807673) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566733)

How can a complaint be filed with ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF WHATSOEVER. TFA is little more than opinion on what might have happened.

There's no proof... (4, Insightful)

Ceseuron (944486) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566477)

I know I'll probably get modded as a troll for this, but the article doesn't offer any actual evidence that Microsoft is changing search engine preferences without users knowing it. Even the author himself doesn't say that there's conclusive evidence. He writes in his article:

"Vista's Event Viewer identified the Windows Search Service as the likely source of the attempt to change my search default."

and

"Well, I can't prove it based solely on the Event Viewer logs, but it's safe to say the search service is the prime suspect."

The author of the article doesn't bother to conduct any meaningful research into the purpose of the Windows Search service or what it actually does [microsoft.com]. Now I'm all for throwing the punches at Microsoft for the stupid crap they pull and I wouldn't put it past them to do something shady and underhanded like this. However, this article is little more than the rambling conjecture of a computer illiterate who can't tell the difference between a system service and an online search engine. If you're going to post articles about the devious, dirty deeds of Microsoft at least have the common sense to post articles with at least some level of truth behind them.

it is all happening agian (3, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566509)

This is really annoying. If I pay for a machine, and I pay for the software. then I don't want it changing the options. I want to set what will happen. And I want it to work efficiently, without useless overhead put in simply to increase bragging rights of the vendor.

I have noticed that IE7 and IE8, anything typed into the URL field will go to Bing, unless it is 100% qualified. I know MS has always wanted everything to go through it's servers, but now it seems it is getting more extreme. If you don't type in HTTP it will go to bing. I also recall a time, or maybe not, when you could the URL field to go to google. In any case, the idea that a URL will go to a search engine never made sense to me. If the URL is not sufficiently qualified, then it should return a 404. The security risk of expecting a URL to return something other than the intended target is certainly a securty risk.

But no one else is any better. I have noticed on Adobe updates that they try to sneak in Yahoo tool bar. Apple will change the default browser to Safari with any little excuse, almost at every reboot. I don't know what google is doing, but since I prefer it to other things, I haven't had any issues in trying to get rid of it. I suspect when they begin to lose market share, all hell will break loose.

Re:it is all happening agian (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566639)

You probably just need to set Google as the default search provider for IE (I have just tried it in IE7, the search went to Google).

You might need to add Google as a search provider before you can set it as the default.

Re:it is all happening agian (2, Informative)

Informative (1347701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566841)

There are OSes such as you are asking for. MS is just not one of them.

If I pay for a machine, and I pay for the software. then I don't want it changing the options. I want to set what will happen. And I want it to work efficiently, without useless overhead put in simply to increase bragging rights of the vendor.

So some guy wrote an article about... (2, Insightful)

uxbn_kuribo (1146975) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566593)

something changing his browser settings? And this made /. today? Is it THAT slow a news day in IT? Hell, if I wrote an article everytime something tried to change my browser settings, or install some search engine toolbar, I'd have to quit my job because I'd be writing articles all day.

Best part about freedom!! (2, Insightful)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566617)

You can choose a different OS. I don't think Microsoft did anything wrong. As a consumer the responsibility of picking a product that behaves the way you want is in your hands.

Although it's an inconvenience... (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566661)

So worst case scenario is that your default search engine is changed, you notice it the first time you search for something, you take 30 seconds to change it back, and that's pretty much the end of it. No software has been installed, no software has been deleted, and the amount of work you have to do is less than if you had to blow your nose.

Re:Although it's an inconvenience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28566729)

... the first time you search something ... what if your search engine address was changed to go to malware site and you are PWND now ?
- would that 30 sec workaround still get you 'clean' ? ,eh?

Re:Although it's an inconvenience... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566815)

and the amount of work you have to do is less than if you had to blow your nose.

      Try going into a bank and changing the default screen-saver on one of the cashiers' terminals, then ask me if you wouldn't be landed in jail with felony computer tampering/hacking charges. "But changing it back is less effort than blowing your nose" will not buy you any sympathy from the judge.

      The point is they did something without permission. It used to be just plain bad manners. Nowadays there are laws against it, where computers are concerned.

They're baaad (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566663)

This is why I don't use it. It changes stuff all the time, against my will. And tries to sue the people that make the OS I use! They're goin' down..

The author has NO evidence at all (1)

poppycock (231161) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566765)

From TFA: "Well, I can't prove it based solely on the Event Viewer logs, but it's safe to say the search service is the prime suspect." He noticed this warning when the PC booted up, and looked through the logs and saw a service with the word "search" in it, that started up at the same time. Guess what? Services start at bootup.

You can hate Microsoft all you like, but the author MADE THIS UP based on his uninformed speculation.

Re:The author has NO evidence at all (0, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566793)

Your quote is conveniently taken out of context, fanboy. Try reading the WHOLE article. But since slashdot was invaded by Microsoft shills and sock-puppets years ago, I know I'm wasting my breath.

Re:The author has NO evidence at all (1)

poppycock (231161) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566823)

I read the whole article, and its pure unadulterated speculation with a provocative headline.

Winamp does the same (1)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566805)

Installing the Winamp toolbar (comes with Shoutcast) does the same thing. Changes your search engine in Firefox, you actually have to go to about:config and manually replace a string to get your old default back for the URL-bar searches.

Unfortunately, you just have to expect this. (1)

buttfscking (1515709) | more than 4 years ago | (#28566809)

In all honesty, I don't forsee Microsoft ceasing this behavior anytime soon. If you're using Windows, you might as well surrender to the notion that you WILL encounter these sorts of inconveniences on a frequent/semi-frequent basis. I understand that it's an underhanded practice, but it's also just another unfortunate fact of life for those who use MS products. If that includes you, you'll just have to get used to it.
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