As the search engine wars have heated up, the browser's search box has become some valuable real estate. Last spring, Google threatened Microsoft with anti-trust complaints due to Microsoft's making its own search engine the default of IE7's search box. And of course, Google has sewn up deals with Firefox and Opera to be the default on those browsers. The battle over the search boxes appears to have hit a low, as there are claims that Yahoo is surreptitiously changing the default search engine to its own, in IE7, when users download an update to their Yahoo IM software. According to the people making the claim, Yahoo lets users check an "auto update" box, which then makes several changes to a user's defaults. It's not clear yet whether this was an isolated incident, or whether Yahoo has some sort of legitimate explanation, but if it has no defense, then it's a pretty bad and invasive tactic for a company of its stature to be using.
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