Yahoo has replaced Ask in a new deal that could potentially convert millions of Java users to Yahoo from their current default choice, which is likely Google for most users.
When users download the latest Java update from Oracle, it has a checkbox, which is checked by default that says it will “Set Yahoo as your homepage and default search engine on all browsers, plus get Yahoo as your new tab page on Firefox and Chrome.”
Here is what the install notice looks like when installing the Java update.
Many people abhor when a download or update changes settings, especially when it is turned on by default. Many users won’t notice that checkbox when they press the update button and will wonder why both their homepage and search engine default have changed.
The fact it also makes the homepage Yahoo from whatever the user currently has as their homepage will probably work against Yahoo. The homepage will make it obvious to users that their browsing settings have changed, while if it had merely changed the default search engine, it would have alerted fewer people that a change had happened.
This is another major push by Yahoo to increase their search share. Last November the company announced that they would become the default search engine for Firefox, which prompted users to switch to Yahoo when downloading Firefox updates. This led to Google losing 2% of their search share immediately following the change, although that appears to be eroding, so it makes sense Yahoo is looking to increase their numbers again. However, there are many who will not be happy about the way Yahoo is going about it this time.
The change is now active for all Java updates for all users, which is reportedly installed on 89% of desktop computers within the US.
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