MICROSOFT has made a cunning grab for screen real estate in rival Google's Chrome web browser.
Users who elect to use Microsoft's also-ran Bing search engine as default in the Chrome omnibox will now also be greeted by a customised version of Bing's "Page Zero" when opening a new tab.
Depending on your point of view, this could be seen as an unwelcome change of the type that Google has been suppressing. The company recently banned third-party extensions from being installed from outside the Chrome Store, due to fears of "potentially unwanted software" fiddling with browser settings or changing home pages, and so on.
Google might choose to see this action from Microsoft as going against the grain, not to mention the rules, but in a blog post entitled "Opposites Attract", Microsoft principal group programme manager for Bing Michael Schechter gleefully told readers, "Searching just got simpler for people using Chrome with their default search engine set to Bing."
Microsoft has also included a link to help anyone who wants to switch to Bing. For those already using Bing, the change will be automatic after the next Chrome update.
Microsoft has repeatedly been seen to be softening its stranglehold on the market it once dominated, offering olive branches to former enemies as it strives to find its identity in a multiple operating system marketplace.
However, the process has incurred heavy casualties, with one in five staff across its global operation to be axed in the biggest cull in the company's history, a total of 18,000 workers. µ