Google Inc. has released a customized version of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) browser in which Google, not Windows Live Search, is the default search engine.

Google’s customized version of IE 7 can be downloaded from this Web site.

In addition to using Google as the default search engine, Google’s customized version of IE 7 also provides users with the Google Toolbar and a Google homepage they can personalize.

According to a posting by Microsoft Group Program manager Tony Chor on Microsoft’s IEBlog, Google and other companies — including Yahoo Inc. and USAToday.com — were able to build customized versions of IE 7 by using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit.

Microsoft released the toolkit so developers could customize IE, as well as to provide companies with help to configure and deploy the browser through the enterprise, Chor wrote in his posting.

Microsoft released IE 7 for Windows XP on Oct. 18. IE 7 is also included in Windows Vista, which is currently available in full release only to business users. Windows Vista will be available to consumers on Jan. 30.



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