Microsoft’s Ballmer Claims Google Wants Special Treatment

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, fired back at Google’s recent whining that IE 7 will make MSN the default search engine.

“Google wants us to prompt the users to change the defaults. They want to see a list of search providers, with the No. 1 search provider listed first,” said Ballmer, who was speaking generally and not recounting a formal meeting or discussion with Google executives.

IE 7 offers a list of search sites that can become a user’s default search engine. The list is alphabetical, so Google is listed after some (such as Ask.com) but before others, including MSN.com. IE 7 also doesn’t actively suggest to a user that they can change their default based on their recent search histories or other behavior.

I don’t see Google winning this fight. Microsoft has been defending “monopoly” accusations for years and are very adept at making their point. On the other hand, this is virgin territory for Google, who also faces some allegations of hypocrisy for promoting Firefox. What is it they say about people in glass houses? ;-)