GOOGLE IS not having the best of weeks. First of all, it gets slapped with a £2.1bn anti-trust suit by the European Union, then it has to get all up in fixing its browser to comply with an earlier anti-trust ruling in Russia.
You may recall a while back, Russia - a country not exactly famed for its morality - decided that Google was wielding too much power.
Now, in order to comply, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has insisted that, because it's almost impossible not to use Google on Chrome or an Android device, it's time to even the playing field.
In the latest Canary build of Chrome for Android, there's a chooser that can change the search widget to another provider - Yahoo, Bing, Ask or AOL.
Notable by its absence at this stage is Russian leader Yandex, though Yahoo already gets its search results from Yandex thanks to an agreement specific to the Russian market. That said, given that Yandex was what the original complaint was about, it's all a bit weird.
The deal on the table, according to the FAS, says: "For the devices that are currently circulating on the Russian market, Google will develop an active "choice window" for the Chrome browser which at the time of the next update will provide the user with the opportunity to choose their default search engine.
"Within a few months, Google will develop for new devices a new Chrome widget that will replace the standard Google search widget on the home screen. This will allow end users of the devices based on the Android OS with the GMS package to see the new "choice screen" at the first launch of the new Chrome widget. This choice screen enables users to choose Yandex search or Google search or any other search engine of those developers who will sign a commercial agreement on their inclusion to the choice screen."
Google will not be able to stop OEMs from setting the default engine on devices to something other than Google, though of course, as was the case with the travesty that was Windows 8 with Bing, switching it all back to ‘normal' is a few button clicks away. µ
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