On Chromebook updates and anti-competitive behavior

Sometimes, when my Chromebook updates, it resets my default search engine (back to Google, instead of DDG) across all of my Chrome instances on all computers. I’ve had this issue a couple of times, so I figured I’d mention it here; I don’t know if others are experiencing it. (If you have this issue, here’s where you set it back to your preferred search engine.)

To be clear, I’m assuming this is Chromebook-update related, as that’s the two times it has reset; it could be the Chrome browser updating on another computer, or some other factor – the timing with major Chromebook updates are definitely correlated, though.

It’s interesting the parallels here with the Microsoft anti-trust case in the late 1990’s. In that case, Microsoft controlled Windows, and used their Windows monopoly power to require installing and making default Internet Explorer, their web browser. In this case, my Chromebook runs ChromeOS, from Google, and happens to reset the default search engine to Google, instead of Duck Duck Go.

Of course, this could be a coincidence, or some other Chrome extension or other computer causing this issue; one of my Chromebooks is also no longer receiving OS updates, as it’s too old, so it may be contributing to this issue. But, if it’s not, it’s almost exactly the same monopolistic behavior that Microsoft was prosecuted for in the 1990’s. It’s interesting how the US government is starting to look at tech giants as monopolies again, and maybe starting to define anti-competitive behavior in a way other than ‘harms consumer’; if this is something you find interesting, take a look at Ben Thompson’s Aggregation Theory.