As a software engineer, I take offense at that. This is precisely the right decision to make if you observe that this is how your customers are using your product. You don't need a product guy to tell you that.
This is what customers remember and do? I highly doubt that.
Or are they trying to reserve the plus now for another feature in the future?
And this behavior is what provoked the statement that the engineers are no longer in control- branding trumping usability.
I can't believe it's been almost 10 years of using Google. Default search changed to Bing on all Laptops. I'm done. Fuck Google.