Instead of a portal, I use Google as my home page in my browser. I like the clean look, and when I'm looking for something, I don't want to be distracted by a lot of information that you would find in most portals.
Recently I had a problem with Google. I typed in my query into the Google window, hit the search button, and nothing happen, no search results. Hmmm...what's going on?
Let me digress for a moment to a pet peeve of mind. People who make software programs are human and want to make money just like the next guy. A way that software distributors make extra money is to load someone elses companion program along with their application. This companion program is usually made to be unobtrusive, not easily noticed, and usually is implemented in the form of a toolbar in your browser's upper window. The "Ask toolbar" is probably the biggest culprit of this technique at the moment.
Normally when you load a utility program, during the installation, they give you a check box to uncheck, if you don't want the toolbar loaded, but sometimes they just load it. Well behaved toolbars that suddenly pop up in your browser, usually can be turned off by right clicking on the toolbar, and turning off the toolbar you don't want.
Back to the problem. Microsoft with their new Bing Search engine is desperate, and I do mean desperate, to gain market share in the search engine wars. They've decided to go the way of the "Ask toolbar" and load their toolbar into your browser when you load utility programs. This toolbar loads without an option not to load, and it puts their Bing search box prevalently in the upper left window, where you go for the "back" button.
Most folks, will not initially notice it, but if they do, and want to turn it off, a right click in the toolbar will not find the Microsoft Bing toolbar in the list of toolbars, not nice.
When a Google search does not return search results, I could see an unsuspecting user going right up to the Bing search bar, and doing their search from there, just what Microsoft wants.
Knowing and loving Microsoft the way I do, and seeing the Bing search box on my toolbar, I immediately suspected that there was some foul play going on here. I decided to get rid of the Bing toolbar. It turns out the only way to do that was to go to "Add Remove Programs" in the Control Panel. Once I removed the Microsoft Bing toolbar, and restarted my browser, the Google search results miraculously returned.
Now I'm not saying that Microsoft would make a toolbar that would interfere with the operation of a competitor's program. I know Microsoft would never do that intentionally. They might change the format of Word documents with every release to make competitors trying to open their documents not be able to do that without a lot of work. Nor would I ever accuse Microsoft of intentionally slowing your computer down with every security update, so you would think your computer was getting old and slow, and go buy a new computer and operating system. I'm sure Microsoft only has benevolent intentions.
No, I'm just writing this post to let you know how to fix the problem if you find that Google will not give you search results, and you happen to have a Bing search box in your browser toolbar.