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Microsoft will now have to allow users to pick their browser in Europe, according to reports. The reports say that the EU plans to require Microsoft to package competitors' third party browsers with Windows  (Source: yagya/Picasa)
The EU continues to dictate how Microsoft is allowed to operate in Europe

The market share war for browsers, word processing suites, and other products wasn't much of a war when it came to Windows in the mid to late 90s.  Microsoft was producing full-featured products which it increasingly tied to its own operating system.  At the same time, it blocked or slowed the development of would-be competitors by withholding information on the OS.

This strategy, either brilliant or anticompetitive, depending on your viewpoint, landed Microsoft in hot water in 1999 when U.S. Federal Courts ruled that Microsoft was a monopoly which had used its powers to crush threats to the monopoly.  In the decade since, Microsoft has been forced to make a number of reforms.  While it has mostly avoided additional charges in the U.S., it has continued to run into trouble with the European Union, which has picked up where the U.S. left off.

The EU has already fined Microsoft over $2.4B USD for not making its interfaces open enough and refusing to comply with its rulings.  As a result Microsoft has been forced to pay these massive fines and offer new services to competitors to make their products more compatible with Windows.

Now, following a fresh round of accusations which included criticism of Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, the EU, according to reports, has reached a new decision which may set a new worldwide precedent. 

The EU will require Microsoft to package third party browser software with Windows.  Furthermore, it will require Microsoft to provide further support efforts to make third party browsers' interface with Windows components like Windows Explorer as efficient as Internet Explorer's.  The ruling is set to apply to both desktop Windows OS's and to Windows Mobile for cell phones.

Jonathan Todd, spokesperson for EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes states, "If the Commission's preliminary conclusions as outlined in the recent statement of objections were confirmed, the Commission would intend to impose remedies that enabled users and manufacturers to make an unbiased choice between Internet Explorer and competing third party web browsers.  (Microsoft will have to allow users) to choose which competing web browser(s) instead of, or in addition to, Internet Explorer they want to install and which one they want to have as default."

EU officials propose a ballot screen when first using the OS which will tailor it to a specific browser of the user's choice.  Another possibility, it says, is for Microsoft to negotiate with its OEMs who manufacture computers or phones with Windows and have them select the third party browsing software.  Among the browsers considered as candidates are Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.

The move comes at seemingly strange timing, when Firefox has finally established a solid foothold against Internet Explorer, which happens to be at a decade low of around 60 to 65 percent.  However, the decision represents long standing complaints from an EU.  It also marks a change in policy from previous rulings on Microsoft's Windows Media Player.  With Windows Media Player, the EU required Microsoft offer a version of Windows without it.  Of course, almost everyone picked the version with it, though.  States one anonymous EU official, "That remedy was rubbish."

Microsoft has until March to draft a formal response to the EU's latest charges.  A final decision from the EU is not expected until then, but there appears to be a consensus that offering competitive software appears to be the best idea.  Microsoft reacted to the news with little emotion, stating, "We are committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law. We are studying the statement of objections."

Some speculate that the EU could bring similar regulations against Apple, which practices similar bundling of its Safari browser.  However, Apple computers continue to be a bit player in market share, so such a move seems unlikely, as the primary argument here is based on Microsoft's dominant OS position.



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Apple?
By XBoxLPU on 2/24/2009 8:48:17 AM , Rating: 4
OS X comes built in with Safari, why isn't the EU going after them?




RE: Apple?
By icrf on 2/24/2009 8:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
Can't be a monopoly when you're tiny. Could you image the "I'm a Mac" ads if Windows wasn't allowed to include a browser or media player?


RE: Apple?
By arazok on 2/24/2009 9:14:12 AM , Rating: 5
Last time I checked, Microsoft was not a monopoly. All the macs for sale at BestBuy, right beside the PC’s, proves this.


RE: Apple?
By Targon on 2/24/2009 10:01:37 AM , Rating: 5
Apple does not allow MacOS to run on non-Apple computers(though there are ways to make it run), so that takes away that argument. Yes, there are other computers out there, but for MANY applications, you really are locked in with Windows.


RE: Apple?
By BansheeX on 2/24/2009 10:44:41 AM , Rating: 5
That's because the whole concept behind an operating system lends itself to monopoly. A jungle of different APIs, different file systems in society, would just drive users and developers nuts. Imagine a government-enforced field of 10 proprietary operating systems, each with an equal 10% of the marketshare. To reach a majority of users, developers would have to learn how to create and spend time creating at least 5 different variants of their application or driver. Users would have to run 10 different operating systems to access all software. This is an absurd expectation, which is why the market gravitated so heavily towards one side on its own. People cry out "monopoly" as if it's a terrible thing, but Microsoft always has to compete against older versions of their own software. If they release crap like Windows Me, people stick with old versions. If they overcharge, it gets pirated. I see nothing wrong with their position in the market.


RE: Apple?
By BladeVenom on 2/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Apple?
By quiksilvr on 2/24/2009 7:48:33 PM , Rating: 4
The only way that will happen is if Apple opens Mac OSX to PCs but because Apple is comprised of socialist and fascist douche bags that claim they are the good guys when in reality they bog down their software to their hardware, disallow programmers to release their programs because it competes with Apple's programs, patent technology so that other phone makers can't innovate their products, ridiculously overprice their hardware so that people will buy it BECAUSE of the software they don't release...Microsoft will remain the standard for operating systems until Google eventually releases their own OS to computers.


RE: Apple?
By Ryanman on 2/24/2009 11:14:18 AM , Rating: 3
You're absolutely right, and that's why I can't understand how the EU keeps getting away with these BS fines. Are they short on money? There has to be some other explanation for their constant cries of "monopoly".
As you said, 3 or 4 Os choices is all the market can really support. Linux is for the Techies, OSX is for the idiots/arrogant elitists, and Windows is for the gamers and Dell-buyers of the world.
Windows isn't priced fairly, I'll be honest. It should be around 75. But thanks to the Pirate Bay, just pay for 2/3 upgrades you make(or whatever your conscience compels you to do). If you paid for Vista, pirate 7. Torrenting's made the prices fair for "monopolistic" software by its very nature.
And as someone else said, why in the hell can the EU charge MS for packaged software like WMP and IE? They're PART of the program... what you pay for when you purchase it. Everyone would own a Mac if they couldn't play digital media or surf the internet in a basic fashion the second they boot up their system.


RE: Apple?
By PrezWeezy on 2/24/2009 1:46:32 PM , Rating: 3
I totally disagree that the pricing is unfair. It's really not that expensive. If you want Ultimate you are going to pay a premium, but $200 for Home Premium, or $145 for OEM Business isn't that expensive. Not for the value you are getting from it. Think about the huge amount of time spent developing the product. It takes hundreds of people to write the code and all of those people are smart, college educated people. It's not like McDonalds who can hire anyone and only pay them $7.50 an hour. I don't mind the prices at all. Not to mention, it is the best product on the market. I'm sure some people much prefer their own specific thing, but if you can find a product that works, OOBE, as well as Microsoft for the masses more power to you. Unfortunately, the product doesn't exist.


RE: Apple?
By Ryanman on 2/26/2009 1:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
Just because it costs MS money to make the OS (trust me... I know this, EVERYONE knows this) doesn't mean their high price is fair.
To begin with, it's not even 200 for Vista. It's $110(OEM), which is still too high. If you're willing to pay $200 for Windows Home Premium, I'm sorry for your wallet.

The fair price of a product, especially one that can be easily procured for free, isn't based on its development cost Weezy. It's based on its value to the consumer. Windows give me a gaming platform, compatibility, and regular updates. These are worth a lot to me - I GLADLY paid $100 for an XP licence. Bloat in Vista hinders my gaming ability - I'd only be willing to pay $75.

Even without the availability of pirated versions of Windows, you have to factor in other OS's like Linux and OSX. Linux is 100% free, but you lose some ubiquity. OSX is more expensive and you lose even more (but that's another discussion entirely : )

Like you said, there's no other competitive product for the masses. That has little to no bearing on whether or not Windows is priced fairly, even if it DOES have a bearing on how it is priced.


RE: Apple?
By PrezWeezy on 2/26/2009 7:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I was talking about Home Premium Retail which I believe is $200. I may be wrong about that but I think it was $199 last I looked at Costco.

Either way, the price has nothing to do with "value" as value itself is a biased opinion. Perhaps you think Vista is bloated, I personally have no issue with it. My games run great on Vista. So the value to you may be $75, but to me the value is much greater because of the other things it let's me do, such as the great backup tool in Vista. So the value to me may be $199, so should you pay $75 and me pay $199? No, of course not. Product pricing is based on two things, market, and profit. MS has to charge enough so they can make money to continue to work on Windows 7. And it is also based on what the market will bear. The fact that no other product exists means the market will bear more.

You are absolutely right that Linux and OSX must be considered in the argument. Which I did in my OP, however, neither of those platforms provide a feasible use for most people.

You contradict yourself in your last paragraph. You say that it being the best product on the market has no bearing on its price. However you start off saying that it should be based on value. So if it provides the highest value, it should come with the highest price tag.

There is no such thing as "fair" pricing in the real world. Consumers don't want to pay for anything, and businesses need to sell and want as high a price as they can get. Hence the wonderful laws of economics. MS priced Vista where enough people buy it so MS makes money. If it has been too high they wouldn't have made money, too low they don't make money either, even though people buy it hand over foot.

So no, I don't mind paying for the full price of the product. And my wallet is fat and happy thank you very much ;)


RE: Apple?
By dragonbif on 2/24/2009 1:48:42 PM , Rating: 3
What I want to know is...WHAT other browsers are they going to make Microsoft bundle? We thought Vista was big but now you are going to see 15 different browsers, 10 different media players, 8 different security protections, 500 free games, 32 different ways to connect to the internet (netzero, aol...) and anything else to make Windows bigger and more cluttered. Hay they could do a Vista Home Firefox edition and a Vista Home IE edition. 1000 editions of Windows to choose from!!!!


RE: Apple?
By Targon on 2/25/2009 9:12:12 AM , Rating: 3
Easy solution, have the OS ASK people what components they want during the installation, or at "first load". That would eliminate the problem of bloat.

The idea that people might not know what they want can be solved by a very basic "typical install" vs. "custom install". Those who are prone to complain because Internet Explorer is the only included web browser would be satisfied when we are given the option to select for ourselves, while those who don't know can pick a typical install and go from there.

I really miss the old days of being able to install Windows and get the option to turn on and off features at install time, rather than turning options on or off after the fact.

Then again, I feel that Microsoft could easily put in a standard going forward that all installers ASSUME that all services are turned off, so when an application or driver needs a certain service, it will just turn on the appropriate services, and at uninstall, that application would just turn the unneeded services off. Nice, simple, and there would never be a question of which services are needed for your installed applications. A standard "repair" feature would check for the required services and make sure they are set correctly, with the possible option to re-install missing services if they become damaged. It would make Windows a LOT leaner, but would also clean things up a bit...on exit, an application could then turn off any services that are not being used by other applications as well to keep things clean and less processor intensive.


RE: Apple?
By Fox5 on 2/24/2009 7:01:10 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
As you said, 3 or 4 Os choices is all the market can really support. Linux is for the Techies,


Linux isn't just one OS, it's very fragmented with many different distros. Had the government intervened early enough with the OS, I could have seen this becoming the standard. Every OS runs the same software, but there are different variants with different bundles, the HP Windows (or Linux), the Dell Windows, the Apple Windows, and so forth. This is already happening to some extent, with HP lumping its own GUIs on top of Windows, and both HP and Dell (and others) putting out their own variants of Ubuntu (or other Linux) on their netbooks.

BTW, it's ridiculous that the EU wants to mandate Microsoft offer a choice of browser. Why that one component of the OS? It's not like Microsoft is bundling Office with Windows and forcing you to pay $500 for it, it's something you can't get without Windows. Besides, it should be up to the PC maker to put Firefox or something on, and Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to stop that. I've already seen some Dells shipped with Firefox preinstalled.

quote:
What I want to know is...WHAT other browsers are they going to make Microsoft bundle? We thought Vista was big but now you are going to see 15 different browsers, 10 different media players, 8 different security protections, 500 free games, 32 different ways to connect to the internet (netzero, aol...) and anything else to make Windows bigger and more cluttered. Hay they could do a Vista Home Firefox edition and a Vista Home IE edition. 1000 editions of Windows to choose from!!!!


That actually sounds a lot like the situation with Linux, and that's smaller than Windows. In fact, I'd say other than the lack of Windows compatibility, the latest versions of Ubuntu are a superior product. More full featured out of the box while taking less space and resources. Then again, Linux has had a disproportionate amount of development for its marketshare and the major players are more inclined to make no choice than to make a difficult one, making Linux a much more "pure" OS than the current iterations of Windows.


RE: Apple?
By Ryanman on 2/26/2009 12:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'm aware of how Linux is distributed, and that there are different versions : ) The fact remains though, you have to remain somewhat tech-savvy to use it. And by somewhat I mean you have to be able to google certain subjects and know that open office is compatible with MS Office (unlike the woman who recently purchased a Dell netbook and got on the news for her computer troubles).

And you make an excellent point: You can't get IE without Windows. It's not a separate product in the slightest.


RE: Apple?
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2009 12:11:32 PM , Rating: 5
You are not locked into Windows for anything. For anything on Windows, there is a Mac or Linux equivalent. It might not be as good but that's no ones fault but the developers.

Should I blame the manufacturer of my car because the maker of a certain aftermarket part I want doesn't build one for my car?


RE: Apple?
By Lazarus Dark on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple?
By inighthawki on 2/24/2009 12:45:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Apple does not allow MacOS to run on non-Apple computers


If you ask me, everything about that sentence states that APPLE is the one being a monopoly by limiting their customers to their products. Having a large market share isn't a monopoly, being anti-competitive is, and that's almost exactly what Apple has been about these past few years.


RE: Apple?
By MozeeToby on 2/24/2009 1:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, a monopoly is having the majority share of the market, specifically it means having enough control over a market so that you can lock competitors out.

In essence though, you are correct, having a monopoly isn't illegal, using the monopoly to lock out the competition or to gain market share in adjacent markets is. In this case, MS is using their monopoly in the OS market to push market share in the browser market.

Apple, doesn't control enough of the market to lock out competition, unless if you consider Apple computers to be a separate market from PCs.


RE: Apple?
By Alexstarfire on 2/24/2009 2:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
But who cares if they even have 100% of the market share? Yes, it probably means no development in that market, but I don't see how they make money off a free product.


RE: Apple?
By nowayout99 on 2/24/2009 5:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't always about making money directly. It can also be about avoiding the loss of money, or losing marketshare/control later.

The OS risks being marginalized in a time when the web browser is one of the end users' primary interfaces, if not THE primary interface for many people. So MS would want it to be their browser, so they can continue to control the platform.


RE: Apple?
By Alexstarfire on 2/25/2009 6:01:13 AM , Rating: 3
Except that it's not helping them avoid the loss of money. And why would it matter if it help them avoid losing marketshare, there isn't money to be made in the browser market. If you mean in the OS market then that just doesn't make sense. A browser isn't going to influence what OS you choose and it never will.


RE: Apple?
By ZachDontScare on 2/24/2009 4:44:07 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Actually, a monopoly is having the majority share of the market, specifically it means having enough control over a market so that you can lock competitors out.


Minor nitpick - A monopoly means there's a single company that has the entire share of a particular market. Not 98%, not 99%, but 100%.

This new thing about a monopoly meaning 'majority share', or 'market control', is a total re-definition of the word for political purposes (ie, to attack MS).

MS is not, nor ever has been, a true monopoly. Not by the real definition of the word. Its should also be pointed out that being a 'monopoly' is not illegal.

How MS got nailed was the courts said MS had a monopoly on intel-based desktops. Thats why Apple wasnt considered a competitor at the time. They werent intel based systems then. This was also before Linux hit the mainstream. imo, the rationale used in the nineties to punish MS for 'abusing' its market position (ie, being successful) has long since gone away as there are plenty of competitors now.



RE: Apple?
By Dreifort on 2/24/2009 1:26:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Apple does not allow MacOS to run on non-Apple computers


And a monopoly does not exist in that statement? Last I checked, you can run Windows on an Apple... so your arguement is not quite right. There is a monopoly that exists in PC computing... it's just not MS.


RE: Apple?
By PhoetuS on 2/25/2009 7:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
No a monopoly does not exist in that statement - Its very simple really:

MacOS is designed around a very limited and specific set of hardware & is restricted to being used on that hardware only.

Windows is designed to run on an very wide and open set of hardware.

quote:
Last I checked, you can run Windows on an Apple... so your arguement is not quite right.


You also have to take Apples history into account as well. It has only been in recent years that apples hardware could actually run windows natively & that PC hardware had even the slightest chance to run MacOS: This is due to Apple switching from the PowerPC processor to Intel's x86. The point here is that you couldn't run MacOS on non Apple hardware even if you wanted to, and now that their hardware has changed a bit, doesn't mean that they should release their OS to everyone.

Remember: MS sells Software & Apple sells Hardware. Apple only developing software for their specific hardware does not make any part of their business a monopoly.


RE: Apple?
By Motoman on 2/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Apple?
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 10:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want to participate in the computing activities/products/services of virtually the entire world, you have to use Windows.


No, not really.


RE: Apple?
By Dreifort on 2/24/2009 1:29:27 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever tried using the Apple OS on anything other than an Apple...legally? Last I heard there are no restrictions from using Windows on any machine you feel up to installing it on....even an Apple.

*gasp*

I know...it's like finding out Santa Claus doesn't really bring you presents on Dec. 25th. It's shocking to learn that he works for Wal-Mart.


RE: Apple?
By kelmon on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple?
By Belard on 2/24/2009 10:51:11 AM , Rating: 1
Really? Run Crysis on a Mac.


RE: Apple?
By cochy on 2/24/2009 11:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
Whats the point of this comment? Run Grand Turismo on anything but a Playstation. Does Sony have a monopoly on consoles?


RE: Apple?
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:20:08 AM , Rating: 1
Whats your point? There are plenty of games that run on multiple console platforms.

Theres VERY few game studios that port their games over to mac. He is saying that if you're a gamer, Microsoft has the monopoly on the market because you're extremely limited.


RE: Apple?
By CGfreak102 on 2/24/2009 11:26:59 AM , Rating: 3
SOOOOOO. are we going to make game developers make a system for both OS's. Im sure that is their ENTIRE choice to only support windows when programming a game. And you Mac tards, have you ever heard of a Win Emulator? i use it on my linux to run windows apps. Or maybe if Apple would get their head out of their you know what they might open their OS to other hardware, which is probally the major reason for not being able to run any good games on a Mac.


RE: Apple?
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:34:49 AM , Rating: 2
I actually don't use Mac, but I've got a few friends who use it for gaming(WoW). I was arguing the monopoly point.

Even your emulator idea, can you really play crysis through an emulator though?

Last I tried playing Source engine games on Wine, the results were pretty much unbearable.


RE: Apple?
By CGfreak102 on 2/24/2009 11:39:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yea actualy the only thing i used the emulator for was WoW, and Word.

And to you arguing the Monopoly part, well thats when my comment about "Are we going to have to force the game developers to make them for mac and windows, or are we going to be a fair, and let them choice who they want to make it for.


RE: Apple?
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
Have you tried anything thats actually hardware intensive? WoW is pretty much a walk in the park for anything less than 3 years old so working in an emulator shouldn't be a problem.

I didn't bring developers into this. I'm just saying looking at the current market right now.


RE: Apple?
By CGfreak102 on 2/24/2009 11:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
I run Far cry 2 and fall out 3 on my current system, and L4D. and i brought in developers as a counter to your point. Cause unless OS X and Windows, are made with the same API or kernal (im still new to OS programming, but the core part of the OS) is the same, im sure there will be issue running the game, with not even looking at the hardward, or graphics controller. Anyways. my point being said, i am done in this section.


RE: Apple?
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 12:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Either I'm misunderstanding you or you're misunderstanding me.

quote:
Yea actualy the only thing i used the emulator for was WoW, and Word.


You're saying now that you run FC2 and Fallout3 in the emulator and it works like milk and cookies?

My point had nothing to do with developers, they are the start of a completely seperate issue.


RE: Apple?
By Alexstarfire on 2/24/2009 2:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
Course they could always program in OpenGL since both Windows and MacOS can run it.


RE: Apple?
By tastyratz on 2/24/2009 2:48:34 PM , Rating: 4
Why do that when the EU can just sue game developers to package games in bundles that ran on both pc and mac. Seems to be the trend


RE: Apple?
By Alexstarfire on 2/25/2009 6:03:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'll take that as sarcasm..... else that's just a dumb statement.


RE: Apple?
By cochy on 2/24/2009 11:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
Poor argument in any case. What percentage of PCs worldwide are used for "gaming purposes"? I'd venture a guess of under 1%. Compare this number to percentage of PCs worldwide used to web browsing.


RE: Apple?
By Pneumothorax on 2/24/2009 9:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
Why was this guy rated down when he posted a true statement? More bullying from the EU. When the world's economy is going down the crapper, all these bureaucrats would rather waste their time and euro-tax payer's money to go around chasing microsoft's tail


RE: Apple?
By JS on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple?
By tastyratz on 2/24/2009 9:39:04 AM , Rating: 5
Im a believer in fair rights. They deserve penalties and scrutiny towards fairness. While Microsoft is indeed anti-competitive, they should NOT be forced to offer a competitors product as a bundle. Believe me I am not a Microsoft backer here, but I try to look at this more neutrally than most people here probably do. not revenge.

Microsoft should be required to not design things in ways which hinder a users ability to choose and integrate a different product - but to make them package something else with windows is asinine. That is like requiring Toyota to install a shuttle bus to the nearest GM dealer because people buy too many Toyota's.

At this point people are just acting out of bitterness towards the company and not fair rights.


RE: Apple?
By Spivonious on 2/24/2009 9:44:20 AM , Rating: 1
It's not even a shuttle bus, it's like requiring Toyota dealers to sell Chevrolets.


RE: Apple?
By GaryJohnson on 2/24/2009 9:53:48 AM , Rating: 3
I think it's more like requiring Toyota to offer purchasers the option of buying a Toyota with a Chevy radio.... or requiring Toyota to install a Chevy radio alongside the Toyota radio.


RE: Apple?
By ussfletcher on 2/24/2009 10:00:18 AM , Rating: 2
Correct, I was about to say its more like requiring Toyota to include a Chevrolet motor in their cars along side a Toyota one.


RE: Apple?
By GaryJohnson on 2/24/2009 10:08:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think the motor is more comparable to the Kernel, so that would be like requiring Microsoft to sell Mac OS with IE included (You know, because their dominance in the browser market gives them an unfair advantage in the OS market) :P


RE: Apple?
By rudy on 2/24/2009 10:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
Ya there is a big issue here. If the EU is going to do this then they need to force apple and all linux distros to offere IE and they will have to pay to get it from M$, in addition every OS wil end up needing to supply a download or version with every browser. Look every freaking OS includes a browser its part of the OS and they all have their own. If FF or other browsers cause problems then it now becomes a problem for M$ tech support. And how come they are not out filing suits against every web site that does not work with every browser. The government gets in and says hey support a product you do not even make. The EU is just always looking for a stupid way to force M$ to do something rediculous knowing they will not comply then they can find them and make an easy couple hundred million.

I agree this is like telling toyota dealers they must sell and service GM cars. It is rediculous.

Once again only the lawers win, wait till there is a issue with FF and M$ goes after mozilla for causing problems and not supporting their product.


RE: Apple?
By ccmfreak2 on 2/24/2009 10:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Do you really think MS will charge these distros? Anyone can download and distribute IE for free already. But, then again, if the EU is going to force these OS's to distribute IE, I can see MS making a few bucks off of it (and then the EU will sue them three more times for this one action).


RE: Apple?
By mars777 on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple?
By tastyratz on 2/24/2009 1:12:26 PM , Rating: 5
The EU has a RIGHT to tell Microsoft they have to include a brand new car with anything they sell on THEIR land... but it doesn't make it RIGHT to impose a vendor with a restriction like that. This verdict is WRONG any way you slice it regardless of what legal ground they have to stand on.


RE: Apple?
By ccmfreak2 on 2/24/2009 10:41:28 AM , Rating: 2
I am all about fair competition in the marketplace, too. But this is rediculuous. You have to offer your competitor's product along side of your own? You have to give them access to your OS the way your product has access to your OS? Coming from a respectable programmer's stand point, you have the right to keep your source code private if you wish. But if MS has to give Firefox (which is open source) the ability to tap into the Windows Explorer (which is NOT open source), this could give many individuals a way to see how MS is truly written and attempt to break it from this new potentially "forced exploit".

The EU has spent the last decade trying to regualte MS to death. Just because it is "fair" by their standards doesn't mean that it is truly fair, or that it is a good idea at all. I mean, they made MS take media player out of the European Windows OS's. What happened? Everyone found a bought copies that had the software anyway. Just because they try to regulate everything within this company doesn't make the regulations a good idea.


RE: Apple?
By Alexstarfire on 2/25/2009 5:56:46 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I don't like what the EU is doing either. Firefox works better than IE right now anyways, so I fail to see why MS would need to open up Windows code even more. All that's going to do is make Windows more vulnerable.

I can certainly understand why a programmer would want to keep it's source code closed, but because it's an OS it's pretty much going to be impossible without becoming a natural monopoly. It's own products would naturally be superior since it knows how it's own OS works the best. That obviously isn't fair by any competitive standards. So the code does need to be open, but I think it's just about as open as it needs to be already.

The only thing that makes MS sort of a monopoly is that you must have IE for certain things. You must have IE coupled with Windows, least in the US version, to be able to access the internet, even if you don't use IE to do it, and to update Windows. I don't think either one of those are very fair, or smart for that matter.


RE: Apple?
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2009 12:09:02 PM , Rating: 4
Ah so fair competition to you is to impose rules and standards on one manufacturer but not on another?

Ah the socialist mentality.


RE: Apple?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/24/2009 9:22:11 AM , Rating: 4
I wouldn't call it a waste of the EU's taxpayer money when they can walk out smiling with a couple of billion bucks in there pockets.


RE: Apple?
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2009 12:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
Well at least you admit the true reason behind all this. Europe's stimulus plan is to fine the sh*t out of American corporations.


RE: Apple?
By jsv35 on 2/24/2009 9:03:01 AM , Rating: 2
and the iPhone with Safari as well


RE: Apple?
By karielash on 2/24/2009 9:18:09 AM , Rating: 2

Maybe if you actually read the article you would have an answer to your question.


RE: Apple?
By therealnickdanger on 2/24/2009 9:45:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
as the primary argument here is based on Microsoft's dominant OS position.

But then the article shies away from most likely reason. It's not Microsoft's dominant position per se, but rather their dominant bank roll that has the EU wetting its panties.


RE: Apple?
By karielash on 2/24/2009 10:18:56 AM , Rating: 1


Some great insight there genius.... other than the fact the there is no monetary compensation mentioned and the only requirement would be for MS to put other browsers on their OS. Only if MS decided to ignore the EU ruling (unlikely but not impossible) would they be subject to fines, usually after a five year court battle.


RE: Apple?
By mmntech on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple?
By hethalean on 2/24/2009 9:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The difference is that Apple doesn't force you to use Safari on Mac. Microsoft forces IE by making it the only browser compatible with their website. Try downloading something from MS using Firefox and you'll find out.


I only download stuff from MS' website with Firefox and it works just fine. Have you even tried it with Firefox? I use Microsoft IE for about 1-10 minutes every fresh install of Windows that I have. That's just long enough to download Firefox (depending on surfing speeds at the time).


RE: Apple?
By OCDude on 2/24/2009 10:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, maybe you should actually try to download something from Microsoft with Firefox. I download from them all the time and have no problems, including the Windows 7 Beta.


RE: Apple?
By ccmfreak2 on 2/24/2009 10:48:43 AM , Rating: 3
The ONLY part of MS's website that requires IE is Windows Update - which can ALSO be controled from your computer using the Windows Update Utility. Other than that, nothing on MS's website requires IE, because nothing else requires ActiveX.


RE: Apple?
By aftlizard on 2/24/2009 10:57:40 AM , Rating: 2
This must be repeated one more time because your post was so uneducated:

I can download from Firefox from Microsoft's site. This includes the Windows 7 Beta and for updates you don't need a browser anymore, but before they did away with that you could still use Firefox for Windows updates with a little patch.


RE: Apple?
By Belard on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple?
By ShapeGSX on 2/24/2009 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 4
I use the Windows Update that lives in the Vista (and Windows 7) control panel. Windows Update is no longer tied to Internet Explorer, like it was in XP. Upgrade your OS to a more recent one and realize that MS has moved forward.

And frankly, a lot of browsers have issues with breaking HTML standards for years.

And I'd also be very surprised if an HTML renderer like WebKit wasn't actually tied into OSX these days, just like Internet Explorer's renderer is tied into Windows.


RE: Apple?
By omnicronx on 2/24/2009 12:38:02 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry but this is not 2005. As of Vista IE (IE 7 actually) is no longer part of the windows explorer shell, it is a seperate component. You can have a windows install without Internet Explorer if you choose and you can also remove it at any time via add remove programs.

Secondly, Windows Update is no longer an IE component. In Vista when you click on Windows Update in IE it launches an external program (that is also accessible under control panel) and in Windows 7 it is not accessible from IE at all, you must go through control panel.

quote:
HTML and the web HAS (HAD) standards, Microsoft broke those standards. So many sites have to run "broken" on purpose to be compatible.
I don't even know what you are talking about here, Ms didn't break any standard, they just previously didn't allow the use of other browsers to access windows update. This was blocked server side as any web server can figure out what browser you are using.


RE: Apple?
By CyberHawk on 2/24/2009 10:58:33 AM , Rating: 2
Because they choose to pay a fortune for license.

I'm all into they go open source with everything.

Have I fail to mention I am European citizen?


RE: Apple?
By CGfreak102 on 2/24/2009 11:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
Right! I mean this is just complete bullshit. Since Microsoft is the big dog, the little ones use a government to pick on them, instead of making a better product. which isnt that hard when you are talking about windows. Ok so we have microsoft that makes a OS and incorperates one of their products in the installtion, and some people dont like that. So on that topic, what ever happened to self advertising, using your own product to promote your other products, last i checked that isnt again any laws.

Well what if they didnt how the hell are you sposed to get onto the internet in the first place. Ok so take it as microsoft helping you by not charging you for another product. And your are correct about the Mac/Apple computers they incorperate Safari into their OS so why are they not being forced to do the same. Talk about a fucking biased E.U. Go figure let them try and monitor stuff, and all goes down the crapper. I say hey after you install Windows you can go help yourself and download the god dam browser of your choice, its not that hard just google it. And then just make that browser your default program and you'll be set.


RE: Apple?
By michael2k on 2/24/2009 12:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
They will after OS X hits more than 60% marketshare. Did you notice how European countries went after iTunes after the iPod hit majority market share?


RE: Apple?
By omnicronx on 2/24/2009 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
They will after OS X hits more than 60% marketshare.
Hahaha, thanks for the laugh. I bet we will see dogs fly before the day businesses start paying 100% markups on the exact same products they currently buy, with the exact same business productivity. (less if you ask a domain admin)


RE: Apple?
By michael2k on 2/24/2009 12:37:56 PM , Rating: 1
Oh, and resellers are probably free to bundle alternative browsers on the Mac as well, Apple doesn't prohibit that.

So when Apple hits 70% and prohibits bundling of alternative browsers I'm sure the EU will go after them too.


RE: Apple?
By omnicronx on 2/24/2009 12:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh, and resellers are probably free to bundle alternative browsers on the Mac as well, Apple doesn't prohibit that.
Whats your point here? PC resellers have a LOT more freedom than Mac resellers do. (although as users know this is not always a good thing). Please leave your biased opinions at the door, because if any PC resellers wanted to bundle firefox with their PC's they would have the freedom to do so.

This puts OSX in the exact same position as MS, just like the OP explained. The difference being MS doesnt sell PC's, so one would think that if all resellers (i.e all PC's sold) could bundle firefox if they wanted too. On the other side of the fence, I have never seen Apple bundle non mac software. So in reality only a small percentage of Mac's sold will have the ability to add third party software.


RE: Apple?
By michael2k on 2/25/2009 1:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
Um, they didn't. Maybe you didn't hear about how Microsoft withheld Windows licenses from Compaq for bundling Netscape right?

That's the abuse of monopolistic power that got them in trouble, and gained them their dominant share of the browser market.

There's no bias in my view here, it's been published since 2001. PC resellers weren't allowed to bundle alternative browsers until AFTER IE had gained dominance.

So OS X isn't in the exact same position. Apple doesn't prohibit their resellers from bundling alternative browsers. Your point would be valid if the OEMs were allowed to bundle Netscape (when it was still alive), but they weren't.


RE: Apple?
By ExarKun333 on 2/24/2009 1:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
More EU crap...what a joke. Next thing the EU will do is force MS to dual-boot OSX or Linux with every Windows install.


RE: Apple?
By Aloonatic on 2/24/2009 1:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
Give them time, they probably will.

As it is, MS is much bigger than Apple or at least their OS is used by many many more EU citizens so, to be fair to the EU, if they think that both companies are behaving badly it's just common sense to go after the biggest first.

Maybe they are thinking that Apple will see what might happen to MS and re-evaluate their strategy and do what MS may be forced to do without any court room shenanigans?

/applying far too much logical and common sense to EU bureaucrats who probably don't want to look busy and only really care about keeping the gravy train a-rollin'


RE: Apple?
By Oregonian2 on 2/24/2009 10:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
They're Apple, they do no wrong. No matter what they do. Even the EU knows that.


WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 9:02:36 AM , Rating: 5
WTF load of crap is this... If I want Firefox, Safari, Chrome, et al, I know where to get them. I don't need it bundled in with Windows. I just don't see the point other than trying to harrass MS.




RE: WTF
By Phenick on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: WTF
By pequin06 on 2/24/2009 9:36:47 AM , Rating: 3
So because you have a tough time developing for IE, MS should be forced to package third party browsers?


RE: WTF
By thebrown13 on 2/24/2009 9:36:50 AM , Rating: 5
It is, you're just retarded.


RE: WTF
By Fanon on 2/24/2009 10:38:27 AM , Rating: 5
I've spent the last 11 years of my life as a Web developer, and IE isn't hard to develop for. I spend 0% of my time worrying about IE because, unlike a majority of the "Web developers", I know my shit.
quote:
Web Applications would be 1000x further along if IE did not have the dominant position(or any position for that matter).

I doubt that. You either don't know, or forgot, that Microsoft's contribution to the Web is far reaching. IE4 was the first browser with decent DHTML capabilities, and it showed developers that rich user experiences can be achieved on the Web. They gave us XMLHttpRequest which revolutionized client/server communication (Ajax). Hell, even innerHTML is a handy tool used far and wide, and it is a Microsoft creation.
quote:
MS thinks their Silverlight platform is worth a damn. It's not.

Silverlight is very much worth a damn. It's superior to Flash in every way (including development tools). I suggest actually trying it before passing judgement.

But all that is beside the point. Microsoft shouldn't be forced to bundle Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, and whatever else comes down the pipe. They shouldn't be forced to provide support for third party browser makers to tie their browser so intimately with the OS. It's a support and maintenance nightmare.

The Internet's creation made it so that a browser has to be a feature of an OS, and every OS has its only browser installed. If the EU is going to force Microsoft into this position, they need to do it with every other OS developer.


RE: WTF
By CGfreak102 on 2/24/2009 11:35:07 AM , Rating: 1
Im sorry Phenick, but this guy above just OWNED you. And i 100% agree with Fanon, microsoft help to furthoring Web develpment is just to great to understand for such a simple mind as yourself. And as far as you having issues with IE, maybe you should go back to school and stop being such an errogant ass towards IE.


RE: WTF
By omnicronx on 2/24/2009 1:05:50 PM , Rating: 1
Good post.. I also do not agree with the EU on this decision. Just think of the security nightmares, as not many people are going to use both browsers. This will result in one of the browsers not gettings its updates, and leaving known security holes open. In fact this is one of the dumbest ideas from a security standpoint that I have ever heard of.

What I do have to point out is 3rd party browsers definitely sped up development of IE and really kicked MS into gear. 3rd party web browsers are a great thing and will always have a place, but in no way should Microsoft be forced to include one in their OS.


RE: WTF
By Fanon on 2/24/2009 1:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I agree. I focused on some of the good things Microsoft has done for the Web because it's cool to condemn them. Microsoft let IE stagnate between IE4 and IE6. There were a few good additions in 5.5, but there wasn't really anything to write home about. It wasn't until Firefox quickly gained market share, held it, and steadily increased it that Microsoft decided to retract their "no new standalone IE" position and started working on IE7.

There are many organizations and people responsible for the goodness of modern Web development. Contrary to what's cool and what people want to forget, Microsoft has a great deal of responsibility for Web development today.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 9:22:39 AM , Rating: 1
That's you. The majority of PC users probably don't even know there are other browsers out there or where to get them. IE has a clear advantage in that it ships with Windows. It's market share could be half of what it is now if a choice was offered when setting up the system for the first time. I doubt there are many arguments against this.


RE: WTF
By hethalean on 2/24/2009 9:44:48 AM , Rating: 4
The argument against this is that if they don't know of additional browsers, than most likely they are going to choose Internet Explorer when given the option because that is what they know. However, integrating IE so much with Windows was a no no, shipping IE with windows was a good idea. Because quite frankly, I'd be very upset if my OS didn't come with some default browser.


RE: WTF
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 10:32:16 AM , Rating: 5
Really? Who doesn't know how to open a raw tcp/ftp connection and download a browser?

/sarcasm


RE: WTF
By CGfreak102 on 2/24/2009 11:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
LOL right, i mean that was taught back in 4th grade.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: WTF
By ccmfreak2 on 2/24/2009 10:56:40 AM , Rating: 3
Sure it would be intersting, but that is not the point. The point is that MS should not be forced to bundle their competitors into their own product. IE does not prevent you from getting the competitors. They have basically removed the integration of IE into Windows itself with Windows 7, and they have already been fined for that one. So I don't see why you should be forced to offer your competitors as an option.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 11:59:28 AM , Rating: 5
And the argument against forcing MS to offer a competitor is that it is impractical to do so without being "unfair" to smaller competitors that aren't as well known. Moreover, you would come across like less of a tyrant by letting the market dictate to Dell and HP that they want the option of Firefox, Opera, etc installed rather than trying to force Microsoft to bundle additional software with Windows.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 12:08:42 PM , Rating: 1
Yes but how is the market supposed to dictate to Dell or HP? The market barely knows about Web Browser options because of this whole story of MS using the OS as an unfair advantage. The market place is being manipulated by Microsoft. That is the whole point the EU is trying to make here.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 1:08:17 PM , Rating: 3
Read the article. IE's market share is already down to 60-65%. That means a heck of a lot of people know about the alternatives.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 1:23:56 PM , Rating: 1
Still as I mentioned before. Given equal opportunity IE would probably have half that market share. Obviously the EU isn't happy yet.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 1:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Still as I mentioned before. Given equal opportunity IE would probably have half that market share.


So what? If Pepsi doesn't have the advertising budget of Coca Cola, should Coca Cola be forced to make up the difference so that Pepsi has an equal opportunity????

quote:
Obviously the EU isn't happy yet.


I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I'm not too concerned with the EU's opinion on the matter. They can do what they wish on their land, but I don't have to agree with it.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 1:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So what? If Pepsi doesn't have the advertising budget of Coca Cola, should Coca Cola be forced to make up the difference so that Pepsi has an equal opportunity????


Like many people posting here you've missed the whole point if you're trying to understand things using car examples or cola examples. Coca Cola doesn't have a monopoly in any one market that it can abuse the same way Microsoft effectively can.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 2:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
And you missed my point that IE cannot be reasonably divorced from Windows by virtue of the fact that a computer without a web browser is worthless to most people; it's a core function of any modern computer. As such, while it might be unfair, the current situation is one of the few practical solutions to the problem of those who want to compete in the browser market. Other possibilities involving OEMs have also been mentioned.

However, any way you dice it, trying to force Microsoft to market and provide installation media for their competitors is asinine IMO.


RE: WTF
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 10:42:29 AM , Rating: 3
So this may or may not apply to you but when anyone goes and buys a computer, they'll probably buy and dell or hp. Have you seen how loaded with crap those machines are? You get like 2 gig's of useless home media picture sorting software that starts up everytime you power on your computer, slowing the start up process and just general performance of the system.
I agree with the idea that IE has an advantage in terms of market share but most people don't even know what a browser is. If you asked the average joe what a browser is, they'd look at you funny. If you asked if they used IE you might get a response, still hard to say.

If you were to be fair to the other applications out there, windows would ship with:
IE, FF, Opera, Safari and Chrome
Windows Media Player, VLC, Winamp, Musikube, iTunes
etc...


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 11:08:35 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
So extra thought would be needed for a way to present this to the user.


I've got an idea. How about we let Microsoft include some basic functionality with their OS, and then if people want, they can choose to go out and obtain other products!!!


RE: WTF
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
That's in the here and now! :)

Turn on computer.
Use IE.
Goto google, type "firefox".


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
The whole point here is that the majority of users don't know to do that or that they can do that.


RE: WTF
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:41:13 AM , Rating: 3
Which makes this whole thing meaningless. If they dont know how to do it, what makes you think they'd be able to make a decision based on MS giving them information about it? They still won't really know what the decision entails, MS will probably put a (Recommended) next to IE and users will more than likely pick that.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 11:53:13 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
No they won't put "recommended" because that's a lie, there's no reason for one to be recommended over the other. They wouldn't be allowed to do that.


So Microsoft won't be able to recommend their own product? How kind of you. That's truly fair.

quote:
Each vendor would offer their own information about their product, the user clicks which one they would like to be installed as default. This choice alone would lower IE's market share significantly.


Yes, we all know the way to make a truly informed decision is to read marketing material.

quote:
Or do you not believe consumers should have choice?


Consumers have choice. They have to educate themselves a little, but they have choice.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 12:06:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
So Microsoft won't be able to recommend their own product? How kind of you. That's truly fair.


No they wouldn't because they don't have a good reason to recommend IE over FF or Chrome for example. It's the same reason why companies can't lie or otherwise steer consumers using subject information. Same reason Apple got in trouble for the iPhone commercials showing unrealistic browsing speeds. Consumers have rights that need to be closely guarded by watchdogs.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 12:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No they wouldn't because they don't have a good reason to recommend IE over FF or Chrome for example.


They don't really need one. A recommendation isn't a statement of fact, its an opinion.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 12:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ok let's imagine the following example of a commercial.

We recommend you buy and iPhone because we (Apple) believes it is the fastest phone for browsing the web.

Now hypothetically let's say that the iPhone is actually the slowest phone available based on fact. Is this marketing fair towards the consumer?

I believe vendors need to back up their opinions based on facts.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 12:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ok let's imagine the following example of a commercial.

We recommend you buy and iPhone because we (Apple) believes it is the fastest phone for browsing the web.


Clearly I wouldn't buy an iPhone because Apple lacks a basic grasp of the English language. Lord only knows what else they might screw up. Of course, you're adding something beyond a basic recommendation...

Imagine the following install prompt:

O Internet Explorer (Recommended >> Fast, Compatible)
O Firefox (Click For More Info)
O Opera (Click For More Info)

You'll note that no false statements are made. IE is reasonably fast. It is also reasonably compatible.

quote:
I believe vendors need to back up their opinions based on facts.


In an ideal world... Could be worse though: look at ads for high end speaker wire. Now consider that is legal, and imagine the leeway Microsoft has in their advertisements.


RE: WTF
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:59:53 AM , Rating: 3
Why wouldn't they put Recommended? Developers 80% of the time will ensure compatibility with IE simply because MOST of the world uses it. Therefore, its logical for MS to say recommended because it is most widely supported and they have control of the code base so any issues that pop up they can actually fix. Where as if FF or anything else buggered, they'd just send you a link to whatever site was for the browser. Don't say that FF/Chrome/Opera don't bugger up, they do, all apps do, nothing is perfect 100% of the time.

quote:
the user clicks which one they would like to be installed as default


What happens when they click cancel? They're left with a system without a browser?

quote:
Or do you not believe consumers should have choice?

I believe they have that choice and I believe they already have the ability to make that choice. Theres plenty of websites out there that say "Use Firefox!" Theres plenty of adverts and users like you spreading it by word of mouth. Quite simply, you are trying to make MS address user ignorance with extra installation steps and marketing material that most people won't bother looking at anyway. If someone doesn't know and doesn't care to know, they won't be able to make the decision for themselves.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 12:23:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What happens when they click cancel? They're left with a system without a browser?


Obviously there wouldn't be a cancel button lol.

To the rest of your point:

The whole point here that everyone seems to be missing is that Mozilla is forced to plaster the web with "Use Firefox!" whereas Microsoft needs to do nothing to promote there web browser because it's bundled with Windows. The EU believes this is an unfair advantage hence the fines. It's pretty darn simple.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 11:42:23 AM , Rating: 3
So what is stopping the competitors from advertising?


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 11:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
That's another issue all together. I could say that competitors are forced to spend much more advertising just to get on equal ground with IE because of IE's unfair advantage of being shipped with Windows. MS basically doesn't even have to spend $1 advertising IE, because it's already there. Actually this example makes it more clear to see the advantage that MS has that the EU is trying to mitigate.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 12:02:26 PM , Rating: 3
So what??? Because Microsoft is successful, they have to be saddled with the costs of advertising for their competition???


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 12:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
There's little point in trying to explain this further if you don't see the point already.

You need to separate Microsoft's Opertaing System business from their Web Browser business.

Would IE be as successful as it is today if it were not developed by the developer of Windows and not bundled with it? If the answer is no then MS is using the unfair advantage that their near monopoly on Operating System provides. --> Anti-competitive behavior.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 1:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
It seems then we've got a difference of opinion that is unlikely to be bridged.

I'm of the belief that a base operating system/kernel is worthless. I wouldn't spend any money on one, because it offers me no functionality. If you can agree on that, then we can continue; if not, you may as well stop reading.

Continuing on that train of thought, an operating system that doesn't offer a web browser as basic functionality is pretty useless as well: a computer without a browser doesn't belong in this century, period.

Given the above, it makes sense that the operating system and the browser got bundled together: it's simply a matter of practicality.

As far as breaking them apart? Good luck doing so in a way that would be practical and fair to all parties involved. And no, forcing Microsoft to market and provide installation media for their competitors is not fair either.

The only practical solution I see is if OEMs agreed to offer Firefox, Opera, etc as installation options. Microsoft wouldn't have to alter anything for this to work. There may be some cost to the OEMs, but I doubt it would be significant over the long term given that they already bundle loads of software in the machines anyways. The only question in this case would be: what about the lesser known browsers? How is this fair to the poor dejected Lynx users????


RE: WTF
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2009 4:15:31 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There's little point in trying to explain this further if you don't see the point already.


Hate to side with Steve, but you're the one not getting the point.

quote:
You need to separate Microsoft's Opertaing System business from their Web Browser business.


???

IE is bundled with Windows, and to my knowledge, has never been sold as a stand alone browser. So what 'Web Browser business' are you talking about ? You cannot separate the two. An OS without a bundled browser is pretty freaking useless. Ok you installed the OS now need to download drivers... oh wait, OOOPS ! Good game, ass.

quote:
Would IE be as successful as it is today if it were not developed by the developer of Windows and not bundled with it?


In this context, IE as a browser is no more "successful" than the successful rear view mirror on my car.

The answer IS no, but not for the silly reason you think. The answer is no because NOBODY buys browsers anymore. Of course IE would fail if it didn't come with Windows you idiot. Why would anybody pay for it if you can take 4 minutes and download and install Firefox or Chrome ?

Furthermore, why would I want MS to be forced to bloat Windows with every browser out there when I can pick my own easily with NO hassle or restrictions placed on me by MS ? OH MY GOD !!! Windows comes with IE !!!??? STOP THE PRESSES folks this is big news !! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO !!!???!!

Your attempts to somehow muddy these simple facts into being proof that MS is guilty of " anti competitive behavior " is the biggest crock of shit I have read today.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 4:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hate to side with Steve, but you're the one not getting the point.


Now now, just because we disagree on traffic laws, don't automatically assume we share no common ground.


RE: WTF
By rubyxc7 on 2/24/2009 11:11:50 AM , Rating: 3
Wasn't that what I just said?

So you're going to bundle in 5 products for every app with marketing material that comes shipped with a computer? Have the user decide at start up?

1. Imagine the number of manuals that would be included with a new system all of a sudden. Not just manuals but little slips of paper with logo's and graphics about how one product is better than the rest.

Now take the time to think, who actually gives those more than 5 seconds of looking over? 5% of users? Offering more isn't going to make the user any wiser, its just going to piss them off because they're being asked questions about stuff they don't know about and what they don't care to learn about.

2. Where would it end? Would you end up shipping like 20 of one type of app? Does MSOffice have to ship with OpenOffice? What happens to the apps that arn't selected to be used? Just sit on the harddrive and take space?

Theres a reason why linux is only popular with those who are good with computers. People that use linux take the time to look into the products they will use. Thats also why Ubuntu has caught on. If you had the average person set up any other linux distro, they'd relay every single question about setting it up to you because they have no idea what it means and they don't care, they just want to use their computer. If I were to put this to Ubuntu, then Ubuntu would have to include Chrome.


RE: WTF
By RamarC on 2/24/2009 11:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
WTF is this "advantage"? IE is friggin' free and it competes with other products that are friggin' free!!! How is "free" vs "free" monopolistic or anti-competitive???

If I were Ballmer, I'd seriously consider closing any physical operations in any EU country that is supporting these mandates.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 11:33:29 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty simple to see the advantage. IE ships with Windows therefore the vast majority of PC users will simply use it because it's there already. Not because it's better or cheaper or otherwise helps the consumer in anyway. You just see it from your point of view is is vastly different from 99% of PC users. They don't know about Firefox they don't know that they have a choice. It's all about choice and IE has the unfair advantage here. Web browsers are a significant market, much more than say text editors. That's why the EU is being such a hard ass over it.


RE: WTF
By RamarC on 2/24/2009 12:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
that's idiotic. since i don't know kia makes cars, ford has an unfair advantage?

and we're talking "free" stuff here. using your logic, MS should re-roll the vista DVDs to include the latest versions of all browsers, all free email clients (since windows mail has an advantage), all free anti-spyware (windows defender), all free word processors (wordpad), all free games (spider solitaire has an unfair advantage), all free audio/video playback software (wmp), all free video editors (windows movie maker), all free photo organizers (windows photo gallery), and any other product that the bundled MS apps could compete with.


RE: WTF
By cochy on 2/24/2009 12:40:53 PM , Rating: 1
Ok so here too there is little point in trying to explain further if you can't understand already.

You can't use the car examples. Ford doesn't have a monopoly that it is using unfairly. If Ford owned every Television station in the US and wouldn't allow Kia to advertise on them then the DoJ would start to have issues there. Does this make more sense to you now? It's not idiotic, you're just not thinking it through.

The EU doesn't care about wordpad because there's no significant market there at stake.


RE: WTF
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: WTF
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/24/2009 4:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The EU doesn't care about wordpad because there's no significant market there at stake.

There is no significant market at stake with web browsers either.


RE: WTF
By omnicronx on 2/24/2009 1:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
IE and Windows are not separate entities, it is a feature of the OS. If browsers were an actual product (i.e not free) then I would see the EU's argument, but in reality there is no market share for a free product.

They are also called third party browsers for a reason..


RE: WTF
By cfaalm on 2/24/2009 9:39:58 AM , Rating: 1
You know where to get it, but not everyone with a Windows PC knows that. It took me a while to find FF and when I did I switched immediately. This would apply to more people if they had been shown any alternative. There's still lots of people going "what? alternative browser?", because they don't even get the concept of there being anything else then IE.

MS should give everyone on Windows the chance to experience alternative browsers. An OS is an OS, a browser is an app.

It would however be nice if a browser was delivered with any OS, since you have to start somewhere and IE is good enough for that, so let's just keep it with Windows. An alternative to the above mentioned solution would then be to require MS to present links to Mozilla etc. in IE on a default homepage without packing the software itself. This will cost much less and would be fair enough to me. Downloading the software shouldn't be too much of a problem. Plus you will always have the latest version.


RE: WTF
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 10:08:17 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
You know where to get it, but not everyone with a Windows PC knows that. It took me a while to find FF and when I did I switched immediately.


Yes. Typing "firefox" into google is a pretty difficult task. I concede.

quote:
This would apply to more people if they had been shown any alternative. There's still lots of people going "what? alternative browser?", because they don't even get the concept of there being anything else then IE. MS should give everyone on Windows the chance to experience alternative browsers.


And why is it up to MS to advertise for these alternatives? Are they going to be reimbursed for their services?

quote:
An OS is an OS, a browser is an app.


And without apps, an OS is worthless, therefore MS bundles their OS and a handful of basic apps together in a product known as Windows. If you don't like it, download a basic Linux distro.


RE: WTF
By cfaalm on 2/25/2009 6:15:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes. Typing "firefox" into google is a pretty difficult task. I concede.
Let me rephrase: I meant if you have never heard of Firefox, Opera etc, how are you supposed to know about it?

quote:
And why is it up to MS to advertise for these alternatives? Are they going to be reimbursed for their services?


I am not saying advertising, simply present links in the preinstalled IE and say it is due to EU regulations or so. Their reimbursment consist of not having to pay EU-fines.

quote:
If you don't like it, download a basic Linux distro.
I never said MS should not bundle their browser with the OS. Quite the opposite. You don't want to be without a browser (to start with).


RE: WTF
By Kenenniah on 2/25/2009 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am not saying advertising, simply present links in the preinstalled IE and say it is due to EU regulations or so.

Since when is providing links to other products not advertising? So all the "ads" on Google really aren't ads at all since links aren't advertising.


RE: WTF
By kattanna on 2/24/2009 10:01:34 AM , Rating: 1
if i was MS this would be the list of available browsers

1) the latest IE

2) firefox 1.0

3) netscape navigator 3!

who said anything about having to be fair when including other browsers?

hehehe


RE: WTF
By AssBall on 2/24/2009 10:16:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah really. In fact scale them back even more if they are going to be queers about it. See how they like I.E. 5 bundled with Windows. See how well their lawyers can sue MS with Windows 95.


RE: WTF
By Suntan on 2/24/2009 10:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
More truth to it than jest.

What happens when FF 3.2.01 gets updated to 3.2.04? Is the EU going to expect MS to start offering the newest iteration the day it goes live?

Is MS going to be on the hook because the new FF release has a bug or a glitch? They should be completely at fault for bugs in IE (rightfully so) but if FF looks like it is provided by MS in the install, people are going to start blaming MS for any FF problems (not that they don’t already.)

It’s silly.

I say, before doing this, pull IE out of the Windows install and allow the OEM to decide which browser they want to offer in the pre-installed package. If Dell wants to offer FF over IE, then they can preinstall FF on the computer.

For OEM discs sold at retail, the person building the computer probably has enough smarts to download a copy of FF or IE on another computer and install it off of a disc/thumbdrive.

-Suntan


RE: WTF
By Aerosmithe on 2/24/2009 11:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'll admit I don't know everything about OSs in general (not even close) but why can't Microsoft offer a version (SKU, whatever) that doesn't include Explorer? Not sure how that would affect how people manage and access their files on the computer itself, since Explorer does that... Admittedly, probably not the best solution.

And I know it's already been raised here, but if someone can't find and download FF, Chrome, whatever other browser they may want on their own, chances are they probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the functionality of one or the other anyway.

BTW, I've used Netscape, FF, Avant (anyone else use that at some point?) and IE, and I'm using IE now. None of them have been perfect, so I just use the one that seems to work best for me.


RE: WTF
By kelmon on 2/24/2009 10:44:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just don't see the point other than trying to harrass MS.


And that's a problem, why?


RE: WTF
By s12033722 on 2/24/2009 12:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
My guess based on this comment would be that you are one of the people who thinks MS products are overpriced. So your solution to this issue is to slap MS with government harrasment and fines so that they have to charge even more for their products? Brilliant, simply brilliant.

Windows is the dominant OS because it is the most compatible OS. It is the most compatible OS because they offered a user-friendly product on a platform that didn't lock hardware developers (clones) out back at the birth of the PC. Apple could have done the same, in which case they would be enjoying significantly more marketshare these days, but they made poor business decisions and so they do not. Linux and Unix variants fail because they are still not user-friendly or very compatible even in their newest incarnations. Remember all those Linux PCs Wal-Mart was trying to sell that kept getting returned and swapped to a windows box so the end users could do something useful with it? Yeah, for the general user, windows is the only decent choice. That's not MS's fault - it's the fault of MS's competitors.


RE: WTF
By kelmon on 2/25/2009 5:37:24 AM , Rating: 2
Well, there are a number of reasons.

#1 I'm Not American
#2 Microsoft's Past Business Practices
#3 I Don't Like Their Products

To be honest, I'd not considered the price but Office certainly isn't cheap.

I'd also disagree that Windows is the only decent choice. Unfortunately, it's what we are all used to and computers are complicated so change is difficult. Rather, I consider Windows to be a drug and the world is addicted to it despite the harm that it does.


Pull out of the EU
By xxsk8er101xx on 2/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Pull out of the EU
By Lightnix on 2/24/2009 9:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
Well Europe's a pretty huge market, I think they're more likely to stick an option in to choose your web browser than to pull out of an entire continent that has some pretty wealthy countries in (France, UK, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy spring to mind).


RE: Pull out of the EU
By jahara21 on 2/24/2009 9:49:20 AM , Rating: 2
MS just needs to write an open letter to the people of EU stating that due to the EU's unreasonable demands, Windows 7 will not be offered in the EU. This would cause a revolt, forcing them to withdraw their demands. Voila, problem solved.


RE: Pull out of the EU
By Penti on 2/24/2009 10:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
Really who would care? The Taiwanese or Chinese (By Taiwanese-company) built computer would include the damn COA and OS anyway, they already do sell to countries US companies aren't allowed to sell software too. If they didn't MS would go bankrupt.


RE: Pull out of the EU
By RamarC on 2/24/2009 12:38:27 PM , Rating: 4
I say MS should pull all physical presence out of those countries. Germany would lose 2,000+ workers -- other countries a similar amount based on their population. That threat would kick some EU delegates in the rump.

And MS could transfer that work to in-sourced US companies. Imagine a German user calling MS tech support and getting someone with a Kentucky accent. Sweet irony.


RE: Pull out of the EU
By jonmcc33 on 2/24/2009 1:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
It's okay, China makes up for that population all on it's own. Microsoft can just sell to China and EU will be forced to use Macs. Gotta feel sorry for them on that.


RE: Pull out of the EU
By cfaalm on 2/25/2009 6:28:00 AM , Rating: 2
And after a couple of years (might take longer) China too will require MS to bundle browsers of other (Chinese) makers with the OS. So you pull out of China too? Yes, and you go to Africa where history can repeat itself.

I don't think MS will be put off by such a minor irritation. Pulling out of EU over this? I don't think so.


RE: Pull out of the EU
By kelmon on 2/24/2009 10:45:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, please do!


RE: Pull out of the EU
By gshock888 on 2/25/2009 9:19:04 AM , Rating: 2
im just interested to see if this happens, how will Microsoft be branded as "evil" for "not supporting" a product they did not make but was forced to include as part of the OS to be compliant with the EU's unreasonable demands.

i would not pull out, but not give the EU any extra features or new releases like Win7. those who wants to still use MS software can only import a $800 version from Asia or the Americas.

And I thought us Americans had it stupid, I guess the Europeans showed me wrong.


RE: Pull out of the EU
By Kenenniah on 2/25/2009 4:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
I would just stop including IE with Windows in the EU. The EU's issue would be resolved since IE wouldn't have the unfair advantage aanymore. Granted, it would be a pain for users as they'd have to find some way to get ahold of a browser (order a cd, copy from a friend, etc.) since they can't browse the web. It would be very much poetic justice.


Idiocy
By Jacerie on 2/24/2009 10:20:53 AM , Rating: 3
The entire argument here is complete trash. Microsoft is in no way, and should never be, obligated to provide anything with their OS that they don't choose. Other industries aren't burdened with such requirements.

A perfect example is the auto industry. You buy a car and, unless you specify otherwise, you get the stock stereo system. This stock stereo system will do pretty much everything you would expect a car stereo to do. Granted, it may not have all the bells and whistles of an after-market stereo like a Kenwood or Alpine, but it does the job.

If a car owner wants a better stereo he'll go out and get one. The same logic applies for your web browser. If you want a better browser than what comes standard, go get one.




RE: Idiocy
By Suntan on 2/24/2009 10:40:55 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Microsoft is in no way, and should never be, obligated to provide anything with their OS that they don't choose. Other industries aren't burdened with such requirements...

...A perfect example is the auto industry.


Seat belts
Crumple zones
LATCH anchors
Orange running lights
CHMSLs
Catalytic converters
Side view mirrors
TPMS sensors
Blinkers
Airbags
Etc.
Etc.


I think you mean they are not required to put competitor’s components in their products.

-Suntan


RE: Idiocy
By CU on 2/24/2009 1:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Those are all for safety. If that was the case the EU should require MS to include its own virus scanners and malware removers. And, the EU would never do that.


RE: Idiocy
By Suntan on 2/24/2009 6:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
Catalytic converters are for safety?

In any case, the comment was that no other industry (specifically citing the auto industry) is forced to put things into their product. Which is no where close to correct.

-Suntan


good intention wrong direction
By dani31 on 2/24/2009 9:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
They should just ask MS to make IE fully uninstallable (not just hide the shortcut). Then everybody is free to download their favorite browser and uninstall IE for good.

This would work for WMP and Outlook Express as well, the same way it worked with Live Messenger, MSN Explorer and other bloat that MS puts on the installation disk.




RE: good intention wrong direction
By ShapeGSX on 2/24/2009 9:34:44 AM , Rating: 2
Too many applications would break. A browser and HTML renderer are part of most any OS at this point. To remove the capability would cause any application that relies on these OS features to fail.


By Spivonious on 2/24/2009 9:43:17 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that IE has been tightly integrated with the OS since Windows 98. Removing it would require a rewrite of a large piece of code.


RE: good intention wrong direction
By BZDTemp on 2/24/2009 9:42:55 AM , Rating: 2
Uninstalling is not good enough. It would be nice for those in the know but nobody else would benefit and everyone else is the problem. Microsoft has used the dominance of Windows to make IE the standard. Just like they use Office to ensure Outlook is the main business mail client which again makes Exchange the main mail server thus ensuring many business are stuck with Windows Server...

Another example is that many on-line banking solutions require IE and this is a stopping block for those which prefer Linux/Unix/OSX/whatever. Fx. I'm fine with having a virtual machine on my system running an old W2K license to do my banking but a solution like that is to complicated for my parents so instead of a Mac they are stuck with Windows. (Just I eventually will have to upgrade that W2K)


RE: good intention wrong direction
By noirsoft on 2/24/2009 10:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
What lame bank do your parents use? I haven't had a problem with a bank site requiring IE since sometime in the middle of the IE6 era.


Still not "fair"
By adrift02 on 2/24/2009 10:01:35 AM , Rating: 3
Two problems I see with this "remedy".

One, OEMs or Microsoft choosing a couple alternative choices for a browser is still selectively giving those browsers an advantage over other 3rd party competition. If some small maket share browser comes up in the ranks (or is just better/more secure), whos job is it to insure it's added to the list and how long will that take considering hundreds of thousands of installation disks will already be on shelf's, printed and packaged. My point is, this is not necessarily creating a fair playing field, it's just taking a swipe at IE and taking an alarmingly hands-on approach to regulating how a business is run.

Two, without IE as a default browser, what happens when you are essentially "browserless"? While it may be easy for some to download a browser from another computer and transfer it, I have been in situations where the downloaded browser (lets say Opera), failed to work in some way and I had already uninstalled the old one (say Firefox). Without IE to fall back on it would have been much more annoying getting a browser. IE being a pain to get rid of is actually good in some respects because it makes it hard for people to accidentally uninstall all of their web browsers.

However, I do agree IE sucks and I hate needing to delete the shortcuts every time I reformat. I think the EU would have done enough by making IE come "pre-packaged" in component form only, like a pre-downloaded Dreamscene which could be added through the system, making it "uninstallable", non-intrusive, yet always attainable (think how your actual hardware drivers don't disappear when you remove a device). Believe me, people will run into the "browserless" problem without IE remaining as part of windows so it's always there to install in emergencies.




RE: Still not "fair"
By kelmon on 2/24/2009 10:49:06 AM , Rating: 2
Congratulations! Point #1 was essentially the one I was going to make but you've saved me the trouble (I'd +1 you but have already commented earliear - sorry). Who chooses which browsers Microsoft must include and what the criteria is for entry to this elite list is what worries me the most about all this.


RE: Still not "fair"
By GotDiesel on 2/24/2009 1:21:47 PM , Rating: 1
If microsoft didn't have a monopoly, we would not be discussing this here..
we so desperately need an alternative to windows.
im so tired of being told i can only have application xx or yy on windows only..


Soon they will ask Pepsi machine to sell Coke.
By Roy2001 on 2/24/2009 11:51:51 AM , Rating: 2
Soon they will ask Pepsi machine to sell Coke.




By cornelius785 on 2/24/2009 5:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
I think the better analogy to this ridiculous EU demand would be require ever 12 pack of Coke to have 6 cokes, 3 pepsis, 1 moxie, 1 polar beverage's cola, and 1 local generic cola. Or for be have every 6/12/24 pack contain samples of the nearest 5 contenders. It'll bring new meaning to the heineken '5 pack' as in 5 heineken beers and one coors, bud, or microbrewery beer.


By JoshuaBuss on 2/24/2009 5:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
ha! nice one


monopoly
By juserbogus on 2/25/2009 2:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
many of you are commenting while having a misunderstanding of what monopoly is or can be. Microsoft was not found to have a monopoly in computers or computer operating systems. They were found to have a monopoly in Windows operating systems. the case that was made was that the Windows giant installed base defines it as it's own monopoly. Some of you may not agree with that, but the courts in this country and in the EU did.

also, Safari is not integrated into the OS like IE is. Windows now uses componentized IE for basic desktop operations like "exploer"... that's the issue here.




RE: monopoly
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 3:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
many of you are commenting while having a misunderstanding of what monopoly is or can be.


No; the courts redefined what a monopoly is or can be. If a viable substitute exists in any standard definition, there is no monopoly: McDonalds is the only seller of Big Macs. They do not have a real monopoly because there are viable substitutes to Big Macs.

Are there viable substitutes to Windows? Yup. They might not be quite as palatable to many people, but frankly I see no need to punish Microsoft for offering a superior product.


RE: monopoly
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 3:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Note: this isn't to say that Microsoft doesn't have a massive market share and has used that market share to act in anti-competitive ways at times. But calling them a monopoly is ignorant.


Confused
By OCedHrt on 2/24/2009 9:04:22 AM , Rating: 3
Can't OEM manufacturers like Dell and HP ALREADY do this (not that they do)? Or is there some penalty to them for doing so (doesn't seem like it)?




RE: Confused
By cfaalm on 2/24/2009 9:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
From the article:
quote:
Another possibility, it says, is for Microsoft to negotiate with its OEMs who manufacture computers or phones with Windows and have them select the third party browsing software. Among the browsers considered as candidates are Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.


By dav115 on 2/24/2009 2:22:34 PM , Rating: 5
As a Eurpoean, I am getting seriously pissed off with the EU and their non stop financial attacks on Microsoft. In the interests of fairness I assume the EU will be fining Volkswagen for not allowing buyers to buy their cars pre-fitted with Ferrari engines, right? Or how about fining Apple for not only preventing users from installing their OS on any non Apple computer, but for including their Safari browser as standard with OSX? Of course not; these rules seem to apply only to big bad "M$"...Anyway, to my point - As a long time third party browser user, should this ridiculous enforcement come into play, then I WILL be switching to IE just out of principle; I would rather choose my own browser thank you very much, Brussels.




Better late than never
By BZDTemp on 2/24/2009 9:31:25 AM , Rating: 1
This should be help a little in making open standards the ones to follow rather than having to follow Microsoft when it comes to web pages and all the other stuff. Of course many pages work on both already but life for web monkeys will be a lot easier. Providing that eventually Microsoft stop using their OS the stop IE down the throat of everyone.




RE: Better late than never
By Donkeyshins on 2/24/2009 11:15:06 AM , Rating: 2
Guess what? IE8 will ship with standards mode on by default. That should make life easier for "web monkeys" and hopefull we'll stop hearing complaints about Microsoft and open browser standards (but I seriously doubt it).


By GaryJohnson on 2/24/2009 10:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
If alternative browsers are more desirable for some consumers, doesn't bundling them with Windows increase the perceived value of Windows which will further increase Windows OS market-share?

Are they going to require MS to pay licensing fees to the alternative browser developers?

Do the alternative browser developers even want this? If google is going to eventually develop their own desktop OS do they really want to 'give away' their browser IP to MS?




Is that all?
By cscpianoman on 2/24/2009 10:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
Is that all they want? That's it? You are charging a company millions of dollars to "include" competitors web browsers that incidentily are offered for free?

Apparently, somebody needs some funding. I predict a repeat come next year after Windows 7 has been in the market for a while.




Governments suck
By Tacoloft on 2/24/2009 10:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
This type of situation is exactly why the economy is in the crapper right now. Governments all over the world are entrenched in telling businesses, entrepreneurs, and people how to operate. Why does EU even care about web browsers? This attempt to tell Microsoft what to do is just another way for them to set Microsoft up to fail- so the EU can cash in on a lawsuit ect... These types of government interventions disguised as helping the public is so wrong for business, for the economy, and for people…it makes me sick.




EU: We know what you need!
By ctodd on 2/24/2009 10:50:44 AM , Rating: 2
Just another attempt to force a pointless policy on supposedly "naive" consumers. Come on, if anyone wanted another browser, they can Google it and downloaded it just like the millions that have already done so. Every time I re-install an operating system, the browsers is always out of date and I wind up downloading a new version any ways. Pointless.




I guess
By scrapsma54 on 2/24/2009 11:34:39 AM , Rating: 2
I guess the EU are mac users? Seems like someone needs to learn to use software that intelligent humans can operate.




Close, downsize Offices in Europe
By Zuul on 2/24/2009 11:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
Solution: Microsoft closes a few offices in Europe, downsize the larger offices and shift the jobs back to North America. Cite significantly reduced profits/operating losses from doing business in the EU due to fines. This reduces their taxable income. Check, your move EU.




Would this work?
By XBoxLPU on 2/24/2009 1:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
If I was MS I would just remove IE bundled all together. Good luck trying to get a browser onto the OS now..

If the EU really wins this..remove IE all together but not include any other browser built into the OS but actually have a splash screen at the first login render a page that allows the end user to choose which browsers they want to use/install and that logic will make an HTTP Request to download the install file and install the requested browsers all with fine print saying that all support is tied to the product owners. That way the OS code remains OS code and there is no mix and mash of browser code that needs to be added




How long to MS say bye bye to EU?
By CU on 2/24/2009 1:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
And don't say they would never leave the EU market. If the EU says you must sale your OS for 1 cent and include api's to run OSX, GTK, and KDE apps natively then I am sure they would leave. I just wonder how far the EU will go.




Rubbish?
By fifthlake on 2/24/2009 1:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With Windows Media Player, the EU required Microsoft offer a version of Windows without it. Of course, almost everyone picked the version with it, though. States one anonymous EU official, "That remedy was rubbish."


Why is this remedy rubbish? Is he implying people were too dumb or unobservant to know the difference? MS released an OS with no media player allowing the end user to purchase whichever version he/she wanted. What more does 'anonymous EU official' want?




My own browser
By Kyanzes on 2/24/2009 2:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm developing a 3rd party browser. It's a one man project but I'm sure it's going to be great. Can I have it please included?

How lame. Why not force Microsoft to include an alternative OS as well? And a painter app? And substitutes for all other utils. Hell, I know a nice calculator software that beats MS Calc.

Stupid.




Isn't this braking other laws.
By mircea on 2/24/2009 4:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, why is Heinz catchup allowed to be sold without a sticker advertising the competition? I mean they have a monopoly, and are using it to "force" the stores to fill up their shelves and live little space for the competition.

I know what law they should make. Every browser should be shipped with an OS. That way you'll make sure you can use the browser.

Also every GM car should come with 2 other transmission from it's competitors, since it's using it's position as the worlds leader in car sales to keep out possibly better transmissions from Ferrari, Audi and others.




If I were MS
By ZachDontScare on 2/24/2009 4:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
If I was MS, I would bundle Opera with the OS. There's your alternative... a 30 day trial of Opera. Or offer Opera the option to create a free basic brower. That would piss off the EU, since the obvious purpose here is to force MS to include Firefox.

It might even be worth it to find a few companies that make lesser known browsers, and give them a few mil to get things up to snuff.




Flash player is more evil than IE
By arisch on 2/25/2009 12:56:31 PM , Rating: 2
Flash player needs to be replaced with something far more open. Gnash player is a good start but it needs much work. A much better idea would be if websites would simply not use flash player, using an open media plugin instead.




The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Bryf50 on 2/24/2009 12:05:48 PM , Rating: 3
Ridiculous, why can't Microsoft sell their bundle if they want to. You're saying that Microsoft has to sell an operating system in the definition you give. Shouldn't any private company be able to sell whatever they want as long as it's not blatantly illegal. Last time I checked selling a *bundle* of products wasn't illegal.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/24/2009 12:21:55 PM , Rating: 1
...at what point did I say a bundle was illegal? It clearly is not illegal to sell Microsoft Office as opposed to individually selling Word and Excel. The point I made is that Micrsoft initiated a re-definition of what an "OS" is. I'm not saying that "Microsoft has to sell an operating system in the definition you give" - I'm saying that they have affected a new, different definition of what an "OS" is on the market, and we have forgotten what an "OS" actually is.

And as has been shown in courts of law, Microsoft, in using this bundle definition of an "OS," is, in fact, abusing a monopoly position.

Again, the point of the post was to remind people what an OS actually is, as opposed to the *bundle* definition that we have functionally accepted. I explained how the changing of the definition of what an "OS" is allows Microsoft to abuse it's monopoly position, therefore creating the issues leading to lawsuits like this.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2009 4:32:01 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
And as has been shown in courts of law, Microsoft, in using this bundle definition of an "OS," is, in fact, abusing a monopoly position.


How in the WORLD is the end user negatively effected by MS throwing IE in with Windows ? What abuse ?

Motoman sometimes you get it, but most of the time you brick. Your OP was a bunch of garbage, too long to read, and just WAY off the mark.

I'm sure Bill Gates sat in a smoky dark room one night and proclaimed "Gentlemen, it's time to change what the definition is of an OS ! ( evil laugh with henchmen joining in ) " Give me a break you idiot.

There is no issue here. This is the same freaking EU, every time, whining about the same damn thing. It's sour grapes and extortion, nothing more.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By mircea on 2/24/2009 6:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They realized that they could use the ubiquity of their OS platform to gain control of other application spaces - in this case, specifically media players and web browsers. It was absolutely a calculated move, and it was absoutely intended to get people to use MS applications instead of opting for something else.


In my non-conspiration way of thinking, in a time when there was no internet and media player market, I would suggest that actually Gates included the software to better sell the OS, by offering more with it, and not trying to take over the market's. I mean now we see that at least the browser market can be financially profitable, but even now, and especially then what profit is in having the media player market? In most cases it's free (exceptions being DVD and now BR), and plays back all types of media made by all kinds of codecs.


By Motoman on 2/24/2009 9:07:18 PM , Rating: 1
...even if your presumption is correct - that MS's true intention was simply to better sell it's OS by bundling in extra applications with it as a single package, the arguement still stands. By forcing people/OEMs to purchase Windows "OS" as a bundle, they are still abusing a monopoly position.

There are a seemingly infinite number of free applications and services you can use. There's a reason why they're free to the customer at the point of use...whether it's advertising revenue, or referral revenue, or just plain mindshare, there's a profit motive behind all except the most benign small shareware kinds of things. Yes, there are altruistic people in this world, and some of them write software. Microsoft isn't one of them.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By inighthawki on 2/24/2009 7:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why does including a media player or browser in your product make it a way of "bundling apps to increase market share of them?"
If they didn't include wmp or ie, a lot of people might complain about not having "standard features" that every other OS comes with, yet if they do, you get people complaining about how MS is FORCING you to use them, despite the fact that they are not integral to the OS working and can be ignored and even removed.
Also, MS cannot just go and take any browser/media player and simply distribute it with it, there are license agreements. And while mozilla may be more than happy to have firefox bundled with Windows, Microsoft may not being willing to bundle third party software into their platform, because then people might see that also as a way of saying that they aren't good enough to make their own, or that they think it is inferior. Who wants to buy something from someone who thinks their own product is inferior?


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/24/2009 9:12:25 PM , Rating: 1
...sigh, you're missing the point.

By including extra things in the "OS" bundle, the consumer *will not* be bothered to go and look for anything else. Hence, providers of *other* media players, browsers, etc. are, in a very large way, shut out of the potential market. That is the basis for this lawsuit, and prior lawsuits which of course Microsoft has lost (they are already established as a confirmed abuser of their OS monopoly *precisely* because of the bundling issue). The forced bundle, in and of itself, is an abuse of their monopoly position - even if to the casual consumer it appears to be just a convenience feature.

And MS would not be the one distributing Firefox, or WinAmp, or whatever. The OEMs would be. If HP wanted to do a thing with Mozilla and bundle Firefox and Thunderbird onto their machines, and not have their Microsoft alternatives installed on their machines, they would be able to do so. But only if Microsoft de-bundled their offering back into a true OS and seperate applications on a technical and product level...meaning you could buy the Windows kernel itself if you wanted, and add a different UI and different applications. If they wanted to continue to sell a "Windows Complete" bundle or something like that in addition, that would be completely fine - and at that point, would be essentially the same as a Linux distro (or MS Office).


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By inighthawki on 2/25/2009 2:18:28 AM , Rating: 2
Thats a great idea, and maybe microsft should release some kind of "ultra-oem" copy that has nothing including, or a way to pick and choose, but this isn't about that. Microsoft has the right to bundle whatever software they want, and there's no reason they should be told not to.

Also, i really don't think that any other competition is shut out. Anyone who uses whatever default apps are on the computer just because they are already there clearly does not care about what it has to offer over the other. If the default browser supports what they want, then thats great, but remember that using the default browser for that reason isn't "picking" IE over firefox, for example. Take the number of people who use IE, then take the number of people forced to use it, then take the number of people who care and you have a relatively small group of people. Those who do care generally find a way around it.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 10:06:52 AM , Rating: 1
...the point is that by MS forcing you to have their apps, because it is the only way that you can get the actual OS, the typical user WILL NOT even bother to go and look for anything else. Hence, locking the competition out of the market...

Everyone here has to stop thinking of this from their own standpoint, because DT readers are not in the slightest form representative of the market.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By mircea on 2/25/2009 10:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
You can only play that record?
We get you don't like Microsoft, but no other software company in the world is told what to have or not have included in what it sells. So they already are paying for the hatred people show twords it.

Plus no one is forced to use Microsoft's software and tools NO ONE. See you can make a web page to your heart's liking and then include a message if someone loads it with the incorrect browser and say that "Your crap browser can't view this page as we intended, so go install this or that. Problem solved. But nnoooooooo
you have to feel oppressed by the mighty IE and fear that people can't double-click the setup of a different browser unless EU tell's them how to, trough Microsoft.

I live in the EU and can't believe that "elected" officials I haven't elected are deciding that I don't want to buy Microsoft as they sell it to me and are so helpful ripping it apart and bloating it at the same time, excellent.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 11:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
...you would feel differently if you worked for one of the vendors who are effectively shut out of the majority of their potential market by MS forced OS bundle.

As an individual, if you love what MS gives you and you're glad they do it that way, then that's just fine. The fact of the matter is that you're wrong about being forced to use MS's software...time and again it is easily shown that for the vast majority of computing use, Windows is the only valid option. Your indignation at what your elected officials are doing is something you are priveleged to have...but I am very sorry to tell you that you do not have a basis in legal fact to dispute what your courts (and other courts) are/have been doing.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 11:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
...you would feel differently if you worked for one of the vendors who are effectively shut out of the majority of their potential market by MS forced OS bundle.


What stops these vendors from choosing a different kernel to build on? Breaking into a market isn't easy. I can't just start a shoe business in my basement and expect to go anywhere. In the same way, Mozilla can't just build a browser and expect that anyone is going to give a damn.

However, a path certainly exists for them, as difficult as it might be.

1. Build a Linux distribution with comparable or superior functionality to Windows, and provide meaningful support for it. Price it significantly below Windows.
2. Sign deals with 3rd party software vendors to provide applications. This is likely to be slow at first, but as you build steam, you get more and more deals.
3. Advertise like crazy.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 12:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, sounds like you've solved the problem then. Kudos to you. You give that a shot and let us know how it goes.


By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 12:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, sounds like you've solved the problem then. Kudos to you.


What can I say, I feel working hard beats government sponsored theft.

quote:
You give that a shot and let us know how it goes.


I'm not particularly inclined to. Of course, Apple seems to be having reasonable success, which could well lead to more third party support, which leads to more success and so on.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2009 7:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
Except you are forgetting one VERY important thing :

Microsoft's customers WANTED, and ASKED, for WMP and IE and other bundled software to be included into Windows.

quote:
My OP was largely a review of perfectly verifiable history, and then my own opinion of what a court should do with MS. Other than that last opinion piece, the rest of the OP is absolutely irrefutable. 100% on the mark.


And yet you somehow missed this crucial 'historical' fact ?

Talk about lawsuits ! Can you imagine what would happen to MS if they seriously sold Windows without any native way to play media files, CD's, DVD's AND could not surf the web out of the box ??

Motoman you're nuts !

quote:
The abuse of their monopoly position is against other software providers.


They 1. Don't have a true monopoly. And 2 : there is no abuse.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/24/2009 9:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's amazing to me how lost you guys are.

Take one look at Linux. Linux, in and of itself, has no browser...no media player...not even a UI. Nothing, except the hardware management layer. Linux distros are made by bundling up the UI, browser, media player, so on and so forth that that distributor wants in there (or maybe they developed something themselves).

The OS is the Linux kernel. The UI has nothing to do with the OS. Neither do any applications, like a media player or a browser. This is a fundamental, unalterable fact. It cannot be disputed.

...as for comments like:
quote:
If they didn't include wmp or ie, a lot of people might complain about not having "standard features" that every other OS comes with


...my OP was about how the "standard feature" set of an OS bundle was set. It was set by Microsoft in the Win9x series. They took the OS and bundled a UI, browser, media player, etc. into it. And then they told us that the "bundle" *is* the OS. Even when Netscape easily demonstrated how IE could be taken out of Win9x in a court of law over MS's objections.

You are all still woefully missing the point. I would not have the slightest problem with MS continuing to sell Windows as a bundle...if they would adopt a Linux-like approach to re-modularizing it (and then offer the true OS portion on it's own, without the bundle). This point, this one right here, is the basis for the lawsuit this article is about, and which other MS lawsuits have been about. All of you who are apparently arguing with me over this are apparently beheld of the belief that prior court rulings were wrong. MS has already been convicted of using it's OS monopoly position to shut out vendors of applications that compete with stuff the force into the Windows bundle. This has already happened - you don't get to disagree with that fact.

My OP was an attempt to describe how we got to where we are, and why there is merit to suits like this against MS. The very concept of the OS bundle is the reason - and MS pioneered it, and changed the socially-accepted definition of what an "OS" is, and we went along with it.

MS customers could continue to ask for, and to recieve, for free or for fee, IE, WMP, whatever. If you actually want to disable MS's ability to abuse it's monopoly position though, which is what this lawsuit is about (and which is what prior lawsuits, which MS lost, were about), the only way I can see to do that is to force MS to abandon it's practice of constructing the Windows "OS" bundle.

There's not a single point in there, other than my opinion right at the very end, that isn't immutable fact that you don't get to disagree with - unless it is you, dear friends, who are literally nuts.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 8:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
MS has already been convicted of using it's OS monopoly position to shut out vendors of applications that compete with stuff the force into the Windows bundle. This has already happened - you don't get to disagree with that fact.


We aren't disagreeing with that fact. We're disagreeing with the court's opinion.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 10:08:08 AM , Rating: 2
...that is your prerogative, but you are wrong to do so.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 10:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
In your opinion.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 11:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
...in the opinion of the laws written by modern governments worldwide.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 11:24:29 AM , Rating: 2
No. In the opinion of a few courts interpreting those laws.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 12:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
...I'm sorry, but you are lost.


By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 12:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
If you say so.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 7:00:57 PM , Rating: 1
If I accept your definition of an operating system, I cannot accept that Microsoft has a monopoly on them: the reason is that free, readily available alternatives of comparable if not superior quality exist. This of course means the operating system itself is worthless, and implies that Microsoft cannot control the OS market in any meaningful sense.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/24/2009 9:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
...try running that past an economist.

Anyone can see that there are alternative OSs available. What does the *vast* majority of all personal computers run as the OS?

The defninition of a monopoly does not require a 100% ownership of the possible market. It requires a big enough chunk that you can use to push people around.

There are alternatives for virtually everything. Sometimes, these things are perfectly interchangeable - like Kleenex and Puffs, or Coke and Pepsi. However, software gets built to run on a particular OS...that means OSs are not interchangeable, and since the vast majority of all machines run Windows, that means that MS has a monopoly position. Econ 101.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 9:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
Hold up there champ.

quote:
In this way, by changing the definition of an "OS" to a *bundle*, Microsoft has fundamentally shut out publishers of alternative applications to the VAST majority of users. And as has been shown in courts of law, this is an abuse of a monopoly position.


Remember that statement you made?

The point I'm making is the reverse of yours. At the time Microsoft came along and started bundling things, alternative OS's/kernels existed. Microsoft did not control the OS/kernel market in a highly monopolistic way, that is until they started offering software bundles with their operating system. Those bundles lead to a controlling position in the market for their OS/kernel, not the converse as you posed.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/24/2009 10:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
Basically, to sum it up: nobody really cares about the kernel/core OS. It isn't something that can really be abused, because frankly nobody cares about the kernel/core OS. We care about and pay good money for the *bundle*.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 12:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
It is quite clear that you don't care. I'm not even insinuating that an individual consumer *should* care. I'm explaining what happened such that these lawsuits are brought agains (and are successful against) Microsoft.

Look at it this way though...if you could look at 12 different Windows PCs at Best Buy, and each of the 12 had a different bundle, wouldn't that be better for you as a consumer? If HP, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, Sony, whatever, all had different takes on what UI to use, what browser to bundle, what media player to bundle, what basic word processor to bundle, so on and so forth, how does that not improve your position as a consumer? The problem is, they really can't do that...not in a fundamental way, because of the way that Microsoft bundles their OS. Again, it is fundamentally the bundling that causes people to sue MS, and it is the reason they keep losing those lawsuits.

You, as the consumer, may very well not care what is or isn't an "OS" - but opening up the platform to provide you with more choice and more options can only be better for you.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 7:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Look at it this way though...if you could look at 12 different Windows PCs at Best Buy, and each of the 12 had a different bundle, wouldn't that be better for you as a consumer?


No, not really. As a consumer I want a basic machine with basic functionality out of the box, browser included. After that, I'll customize it to my hearts content. So long as I have the power to add whatever I want after the fact, I'm quite happy.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Motoman on 2/25/2009 10:35:06 AM , Rating: 2
...that may be fine for you as a PC expert. You have vastly more capability than the overwhelming majority of PC consumers, who are absolutely disinclined from, and often even scared of, doing any such things. Whatever is on the machine when they open the box is exactly the way the machine is going to be for it's entire lifespan.

This is a common misconception on the part of DT readers...and it's an easy thing to do. Generally one takes themselves to be "average" when thinking about behavior...but DT readers have to perpetually remember that they are the elite 1% of the computing world. Things that you don't even think twice about, like downloading and installing a new browser, are absolutely petrifying to the average consumer.

To give you another example, I have no problem at all pulling the cylinder and head off a motorcycle, replacing the piston and rings, honing the cylinder, cleaning the gasket surfaces, and putting it back together. Could probalby do it in 30 minutes, and it's not even worth thinking twice about for me. But the other 99% of the world's average consumers would be scared @#$%less at such a concept, and would take the bike to a shop instead. The average PC consumer would be quite likely to equate installing/configuring/changing their OS or applications to the idea of working on an engine.


RE: The world has lost track of the plot....
By Steve1981 on 2/25/2009 10:36:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Things that you don't even think twice about, like downloading and installing a new browser, are absolutely petrifying to the average consumer.


Is that why IE's market share has fallen to 60-65%???