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.

Something is missing…

It’s Friday. The end of the week, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the Coronas are on ice, but something is missing…

For those of you needing a break from Google news.

Updated: Added link, thanks Jenny!

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Google Faces New Lawsuit to Block Click Fraud Settlement

Elinor Mills has details of an effort to prevent the recent $90 million click fraud settlement from being finalized. Understandably, some advertisers are pissed that Google will end up only giving back $60 million and even that includes paltry refunds.

Shawn Khorrami, one of the lawyers listed on the latest lawsuit, said…

“Under the settlement, Google can pay a half a percent of your losses,” or $5 on every $1,000 of losses claimed, he said. For instance, a loss of $10,000 would garner a coupon worth $50 from Google that could used only to buy more advertising through Google, he added.

When the settlement was first announced, I thought it was a big win for Google. Just $90 million, out of the billions of dollars collected in advertising, and they only have to issue fractional credit? No wonder others want to block the deal.

Google Sticks With Stock Structure, Answers China Critics

CNET has details of Google’s annual shareholder meeting. During the meeting, shareholders rejected a plan to eliminate the company’s dual-class stock structure and the co-founders answered critics on censorship in China.

Yahoo Passed on Opportunity to Buy Google

The New York Post digs deeper into the interview with Yahoo’s Terry Semel and reveals how the CEO had an opportunity to buy Google.

Semel…met with Google’s two young founders for dinner and talk turned to a possible deal between the two Internet companies.

The pair said their company, which was just getting off the ground, was worth $1 billion – but added they didn’t want to sell.

Semel checked in with them a week or so later. They told him Google still wasn’t for sale – and that the price had jumped to $3 billion.

“And I said, well you still have the same business you had two weeks ago, right? Which adds up to nothing,” Semel said. “So obviously we couldn’t and didn’t buy the company.”

Screen Shots of Google Notebook

Michael Arrington has secured some screen shots of Google’s soon to be launched Google Desktop.

Notebook looks like it is designed to be a flat out del.icio.us competitor, allowing you to gather content from around the web, add metadata like categories and, if you like, publish the information.

9% of Search Ads Lead to Dangerous Sites

Kevin Delaney uncovers a new study, being released today by McAfee, which claims 3% of organic results and 9% of paid search results lead to dangerous web content.

Based on average usage patterns, SiteAdvisor estimates that a consumer will click through to an unsafe site from a search engine once every 15 days. For some popular queries, the results are even more risky: 57% of sites included in results for “free screensavers” across the major search engines expose consumers to risks or nuisances, according to SiteAdvisor. Other seemingly safe searches, such as “birthday cards” and “care bears,” yield Google results with about 15% of the sites qualifying as risky.