Yahoo! is sporting a new banner at the bottom of its search results urging its users to upgrade to a Yahoo! optimized version of Internet Explorer 7. The ad appears for both Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox users. Eric Friedman of Searchviews.com believes that the ad “is clearly targeted towards FireFox users.” I’m not convinced that it’s a direct attack against Firefox. Internet Explorer 6 is still the most popular browser on the planet and Yahoo! wants to be the default search bar when users upgrade to IE7.
Why has Yahoo! not chosen a Yahoo! optimized Firefox? I believe it is because people have a hard time dealing with change. The majority of web surfers are familiar with the blue e and are more likely to install a Yahoo! optimized Internet Explorer than to install a Yahoo! optimized Firefox.
Google has already buddied up with Firefox by promoting the Google-Firefox tool bar with their Adsense campaigns, including Firefox in their Google Pack, and developing several extensions for the Firefox browser. Firefox returns the love by making Google the default search bar when installing from Mozilla.com. So, trying to convert Firefox users back to Yahoo! isn’t going to be an easy task.
Yahoo! is much more likely to gain or retain users through its Yahoo! optimized Internet Explorer efforts than it will trying to convert people to Firefox.