>>It isn't about buying and it isn't that you can't change search engines...
What this choice or lack thereof is about then?
>>here isn't much choice at all, the others, as I said above, have been next to useless until recently.
Which choice are you talking about now? Is it no choice because it doesn't exist on this planet no-choice, or a user has no-choice because he/she is not presented/informed about one?
>>The problem is similar to the problem with Microsoft.
In my opinion, it's not.
>>...because of that situation, they could use their sway to push other products on you at a disadvantage to the competition.
It is COMPETITION, if you can push the products along with results when somewhat better search algorithm is used. It is fine. If Google ever had an analog to the Vista fiasco, they would have been sunk into oblivion by now. Not true for MS, they have locked so many customers in, "collaborated" with so many universities, schools that even after having fallen so low they still continue to prosper. The cost of using Google search is not bundled with any other cost (with no way to get a refund for it by the EULA, like with the Windows Tax). This again greatly differentiates the two cases.
Yeah, INHMO, I am using LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) here, it's better than Windows in almost every single aspect there. Windows is still preinstalled and imposed on me and other users for our own cost. Just received a call for help from an acquaintance, her recent Windows 8 brand new laptop "got a virus", or simply being very slow. AMOF, her 10-year old breaking apart hardware-wise laptop is still working okay since I installed XFCE Ubuntu on it, 3 years now.
So, point me at the similarities sways that Google and Microsoft implement again?
>>Browser Ballot was a good idea in 1999, by the time it was implemented in 2005, there was already competition and by 2010 it was no longer really needed - yet it still persists today, even though it is pretty irrelevant.
It was anything, but not the best idea. Like giving a speeding ticket to a serial killer.