Today I was installing Microsoft Live software (actually only a couple of the long list of tools that get installed, excluding their email and messaging programs), when I was presented with this screen shot:

Needless to say my attention was triggered by the "prevent programs from interfering with this choice", so I did click on the what's this link, which send me to a page that reads:

Microsoft Choice Guard is a small piece of software that's downloaded during the Windows Live installation process to carry out any changes that you choose to make to your browser settings. If you choose to change your default search engine, Choice Guard looks for any programs on your computer that might interfere with this process and works around them to let you change your default search engine. Choice Guard does this to help ensure that choosing your default search engine is as easy as possible.

The entire page can be found at:

The idea of a program that fights other programs to change your default search settings tells how importent serach is becoming in todays computer world, and that each one of the players is ready to fight for it. Microsoft claims this has to be done as other software programs (and browser add-ins) generally don't let users change their search settings, as this might as well be true. They also claim, to be honest, that Choice Guard will act once (in both Internet Explorer and Firefox) and then uninstall itself. But somehow it makes me uneasy.

Do you know more about Choice Guard and the program its fights with? I'd be interested to learn...

PS. One positive point for Microsoft: when clicking on the link in the install program it opened the web page in Google Chrome, whcih is my default web browser, and not in Internet Explorer (as it generally heppened in the past).