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October 02, 2008

Support Firefox, through Internet Explorer

Posted in: Technical

If you’re a web developer (or if you have to use websites that are still IE-only) you might spend time browsing in both Firefox and IE.

You may also have noticed that when you use the toolbar search box in either one, the browser tacks a few extra parameters onto the Google search URL… so they get credit from Google for sending a user their way.  More specifically, they get PAID.  Which is a great way for Mozilla to support continued open source development… but maybe you don’t want your searches in Internet Explorer to be funneling Google’s money off to Microsoft instead, just because you have to use IE now & then.

Well, if you’ve got a mild anti-Microsoft streak and would like to do a little bit extra to fund open source, it’s pretty easy to tweak IE so that it will build your Google searches to credit Firefox, instead of IE.

  1. Open IE, and visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/searchguide/en-en/default.mspx
  2. Paste this into the URL field:
  3. Enter “Google (FF)” as a name, or whatever you like (but “Ha Ha Billy Boy” may be excessive)
  4. Click “Install”, check off “Make this my default search provider”, and click “Add Provider”

Then try using the search box again and check out the URL it generates.

You subversive hacker, you.  Heh.

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