Microsoft's forthcoming Internet Explorer 7 browser gives the company an unfair competitive advantage, according to Google, because it points users to the Microsoft owned MSN Search service as the default search engine.
Google is insisting that users should have the option to set the engine of their choice when they first launch the application.
Microsoft countered that consumers can easily alter browser settings,
allowing them to set a search engine of their choice, according to a report in
the New York Times.
Internet Explorer 7 also copies the current settings for Internet Explorer 6, including the default search engine. Computer makers are able to change the browser settings, or bundle a non-Microsoft browser with new systems.
Internet Explorer is the world's predominant browser. Data from web traffic firm OneStat indicates that the application runs on roughly 85 per cent of all computers.
Google claims the online search throne, handling 42.3 per cent of all search queries in the US last February.
Microsoft has publicly stated that it sees Google as one of its main competitors, and that it is seeking to become the dominant player in the online search market.
The software giant has stepped up investments in MSN Search, and kicked off a major push into online services last year through its Live Software initiative.
Microsoft has been found guilty of violating anti-trust regulations in both the EU and the US, and of using its monopoly in desktop operating systems to give Internet Explorer an edge over the competing Netscape browser.
The case in Europe is still ongoing, but there has not yet been any mention of forcing a change in the default browser settings.
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