The Monopoly & Power of That Blue E on Your Windows Desktop

It’s harmless, right? Not only harmless, it’s the gateway to the World Wide Web — and Microsoft has conveniently put it right there under your nose, you are just a click away from their MSN website and their Bing search engine. Isn’t that nice of them to do you that service?

By now you should have realized that Microsoft has never done anything to be nice or helpful. Never. Ever. Unless cameras were there while they gave a computer to a school in Africa or something, but even that was for the extra attention, not out of the goodness of anyone’s heart.

And that browser icon? It looks like they’re doing you a favor, giving you access to the #2 search engine and a news magazine (à la circa 1996). But looking more deeply at the numbers, you come to realize that the browser baked into your desktop is the only reason Bing is so popular. In Europe, where IE was banned over a decade ago, Bing accounts for less than 10% of Internet searches. That means that in countries where the IE browser is preloaded, the sheer force of inertia (people NOT choosing their own search engine) is the reason Bing is on the list at all.

Google’s billions of dollars that come through advertising revenue are a strong beacon to anyone who can compete — especially Microsoft, a company with a history of using its monopoly to put [potential] competitors out of business. Having IE preloaded on your computer is just another way they take advantage of their effective monopoly status to make more money. Nothing to do with quality or results. Just money.

God Bless America. With all this money running the legal system, we need it.


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