Cats & Dogs Living Together: Bing Promotes Firefox

If you ever wanted proof that Microsoft has learned that for Bing to succeed, it needs to spread its wings beyond Microsoft, look no further than today’s news that Bing is offering “Firefox With Bing.” That’s right, Microsoft is pushing a rival browser to its own Internet Explorer.

Firefox With Bing

In a blog post today, Bing invites people to download a version of “Firefox With Bing” where Bing is used as the default search engine for the Firefox search box and for searches conducted from the “AwesomeBar” address window:

In most countries, Firefox uses Google as its default search engine, thanks to a deal between Google and Firefox. Until last year, Bing wasn’t even an alternative option offered within the browser.

Bing: Any Browser Is A Good Browser

A Bing-Firefox deal last year finally fixed that issue. But today’s news is something entirely in its own league, a Microsoft division encouraging people to download a rival product of another division.

But it’s that type of attitude that I wrote in 2008 Microsoft needed to take, if it wanted to really win in search:

For Microsoft to succeed in search, I want them to forget how search integrates with Windows or Internet Explorer (sidenote: after being integrated in various ways for a decade now, clearly that’s not going to be a Google-killing tactic). Forget how search might tie into Office. Use Macs. Use Firefox. Hell, use Google Chrome. I want search products that succeed on their own.

Defaults Aren’t What You Assume

By the way, Bing is not the default in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, as some people assume. To my understanding, it’s the default only where it has done deals with hardware manufacturers or in the rare case when Internet Explorer is installed on a “clean” computer with no prior operating system.

As for Google’s Chrome, Google has usually been the default there, unless you install Chrome on a computer where Google is not already the default in another browser. In those cases, it typically has asked if you want to change to Google search.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed that on Apple computers, installing Chrome causes it to deliberately ask if you want to use Google, Yahoo or Bing. This has happened to me twice in the past two weeks. Potentially, the same is now happening on Windows computers. I just haven’t done any installs on them, recently.

For related news on the topic, see Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Content | Firefox | Google: Chrome | Microsoft: Internet Explorer | Top News

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Chas

    They must be getting nervous about Google pondering over Yahoo!, again.

  • TimmyTime

    >> “They must be getting nervous about Google pondering over Yahoo!, again.”

    You dont; get it, do you? MONOPOLY

    Danny sure it isn’t Bing isn’t the default on IE? I always wondered at the low Bing % when most people would never bother to change the SE in browsers. This might explain it.

    Since Bing has such a low share, I’m share they are thinking about the what ifs of making it the default. Sure Google can’t complain after their pathetic defences for their own doings.

  • http://www.ofinteresttome.com/ Matt Jordan

    I recently reinstalled Chrome and yes, it does give you the option to have Google, Yahoo, or Bing as your search when you first launch it.

  • Simon Bengtsson

    Chrome has asked whether to use yahoo, bing or google since july 2010.

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk Nathaniel Bailey

    “Apple computers, installing Chrome causes it to deliberately ask if you want to use Google, Yahoo or Bing” lol why would you ask if you want to use yahoo and bing? They both serve the same results now so they should only bother to offer google and bing, and just drop yahoo.

  • Benjamin Krauss

    instead of a download-button on the Firefox with Bing-Site i got this message displayed:
    “Sorry, this download is not supported by your system.”
    http://www.firefoxwithbing.com/ ??

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