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Voodoochilli Blog

Hard times for Skype?

6th of August 2013
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So I was just upgrading to the latest version of Skype and I saw this. Two little tick boxes, already ticked for me,  threatening to make Bing my default search engine and MSN my home page. As a busy guy that works on my computer all day this could be very costly and annoying so I’m rather glad I spotted it. One wonders if the “upgrade” was nothing more than an opportunity to make me agree to this since I can’t see an new features. Perhaps if it was still 1998 I would be thinking of of having MSN as my home page, but I honestly can’t think of any time where I would be inclined to have Bing as my preferred search engine, sorry Bing, but we aren’t there yet. Whatever next? Should I drop my corporate email account and get my own Hotmail account complete with spam inside the box?

It is also kind of sad that Microsoft feel they need to do this kind of sneaky marketing. Many people will just press next without thinking. It is not really a choice then, but rather a manipulation. For some reason, I kind of expected more from Skype, but you have to remember they were brought out by Microsoft. Mind you, this kind of tactic is nothing new, for years Internet Explorer was champion of the browser wars, not because it was good (ha!), but rather because it was installed by default on every PC. In the past Internet Explorer has forced it’s way onto the various machines I have owned without my permission.

Instead of this subterfuge, I would think their time would be better invested in improving the technology to rival or surpass that of it’s competitors. To Microsoft’s credit, they have come a long way over the years. IE 10 is a hell of an improvement over IE and 7, and Bing really isn’t that bad. It’s just not as good as Google, and given it’s financial clout and ability to monopolise, it should be.

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