I particularly like this feature:
[The] Search Provider page also has an interesting box allowing you to visit any search engine, then do a copy-and-paste action to make your own search box. It’s very clever. You simply search for TEST on anything that gives you a search box. Copy-and-paste the resulting URL, and IE7 will automatically create the right way to access that search engine for you. I added Search Engine Watch as a search engine to my IE7 installation easily by doing this.
Smart. Kudos to the IE team for putting the user in greater control of their search interfaces. This basically means that the search provider doesn’t need to cut a deal with the PC manufacturer to get in the search provider list. And they don’t have to do anything special to their website, other than using a consistent URL-based query.
In some ways, this is a bit like Rollyo, although Rollyo is purely a Yahoo!-based aggregation service. Both make it super-easy for the user to control where they want to search, even when the search provider (which could be any database-driven website in IE) or searched website (with Rollyo) may not have the interface in place to support it.
This is a fairly elegant and lightweight form of VRM (Vendor Relationship Management), where the vendors are search providers (in the broadest possible sense). Nice that Microsoft is giving users increased control over their search relationships.