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Print 232 comment(s) - last by Danish1.. on May 30 at 2:05 AM

Microsoft tells the EU that they don't have to worry anymore, it will respect third parties' rights in Windows

The European Union and Microsoft have an icy relationship.  The EU's business regulatory arm, the European Commission, has fined Microsoft almost $2B USD over the past decade.  It is currently hounding Microsoft with allegations that it engaged in impropriety, bundling its own browser -- Internet Explorer -- with Windows.

A number of third party browsers -- including Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari -- can run in Windows.  However, only Internet Explorer comes preinstalled with Windows.  The third-party developers claim that this bundling is anticompetitive. 

The EC had officially charged Microsoft with "[harming] competition between Web browsers, undermines product innovation, and ultimately [reducing] consumer choice" via bundling IE with Windows.  It had scheduled a closed doors oral hearing June 3-5 in Brussels, Belgium to allow Microsoft the chance to speak its piece.

Instead, Microsoft has rejected the opportunity to show, insisting it has nothing to worry about.  It says it has a sufficient option bundled with Windows 7 that will kill Internet Explorer 8, allowing other programs to be used exclusively (DailyTech verified this -- Windows 7 users go to "
Uninstall a Program", then "Turn Windows features on or off" and finally check to remove IE 8).  However, this option does not automatically install competitors browsers, it is not presented in the installation of Windows 7 (or at first login), and third-party browsers are not bundled with Windows as the EU hoped.

Microsoft insists the snub of the EC's hearing is unintentional -- it says it can't make it because it has to attend the Zurich, Switzerland, meeting of the International Competition Network -- which it calls "the most important worldwide intergovernmental competition law meeting."  Dave Heiner, VP and deputy general counsel for Microsoft states, "As a result, it appears that many of the most influential commission and national competition officials with the greatest interest in our case will be in Zurich and so unable to attend our hearing in Brussels."

A request for reschedule by Microsoft was denied.  The EC said the availability of rooms in the courthouse made it impossible to reschedule.  Microsoft offered to find an alternate room, but the EC rejected this proposal.

It is unclear what Microsoft's fate will be when the EC makes it ruling.  Microsoft appears to be making some steps to allow users to opt out of Internet Explorer, but it still is far from embracing third-party browsers.  Furthermore, the EC has a variety of options -- it could fine Microsoft, it could force it (or OEMs) to bundle third party browsers with Windows, or it could even simply ask Microsoft to ship Internet Explorer as a separate install disc in Europe.

The EU has been adopting an aggressive stance on antitrust violations over the last couple years.  Just this month it fined chipmaker Intel a massive $1.45B USD, its largest fine to date, for engaging it anticompetitive payoffs and discounting.  Microsoft had previously been charged for browser bundling by the
U.S. Justice Department, which it reached a settlement with in 2002, pledging to be more open with its interface and accepting of third-party browsers.



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I am sorry....
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/22/2009 9:46:54 AM , Rating: 5
But they build the OS, who the f cares if IE is bundled, it's not like people don't have a CHOICE TO GET ANOTHER BROWSER




RE: I am sorry....
By ElementZero on 5/22/2009 9:59:51 AM , Rating: 5
But...But....But! How will the EU ever get money to pay for other things if it doesn't fine American companies?!


RE: I am sorry....
By mwtaff on 5/22/2009 10:05:13 AM , Rating: 3
judging by the fact the Euro economy is as big as the United States then i don't think they need to fine US companies to generate their revenue, and i was waiting for the anti-euro bashing to start once this article was published, it gets tiring..


RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 10:11:55 AM , Rating: 5
The EU fully deserves bashing for the BS it has been pulling lately. And actually, it doesn't really get tiring bashing the EU. You should give it a try some time...


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/2009 10:24:41 AM , Rating: 3
The Windows monopoly is the most detrimental monopoly in society today. I admire the EU for having the guts to stand up to Micro$hit. The US coddles big corporations like the banks and auto companies.


RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By erikejw on 5/22/2009 11:06:58 AM , Rating: 3
Why the Clinton pic?

Does it self insert itself when the heading contains ORAL?
I wonder if he uses Cuban cigars?


RE: I am sorry....
By mondo1234 on 5/22/2009 7:34:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why the Clinton pic?


My guess is that it is because the original MS Antitrust Lawsuit originated under Bill Clintons Administration.
Bush's administration made it go away.


RE: I am sorry....
By RW on 5/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By tastyratz on 5/22/2009 10:47:11 AM , Rating: 4
Standing up to Microsoft and other big companies is good when you have a leg to stand on.

Example of a leg: Microsoft explicitly blocking the installation of third party web browsers.

This is not the case, therefore the European Union is in the WRONG whether or not Microsoft engages in any anti competitive practices outside of this case.

The legal system is intended to be just and unbiased, and favoritism is just as anti competitive as the accusations. Maybe its Karma that they milk this cash cow, but it doesn't make it right.


RE: I am sorry....
By oab on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By outlander on 5/22/2009 1:21:00 PM , Rating: 5
I would recommend researching US and EU Anti-trust laws before you make that comment. In US Anti-trust laws you have to prove your monopoly's action is causing material harm to the consumer for the government to rule against the company.

In the EU, if your competitors complain your perceived monopoly is harming them, even if the consumer might benefit from the monopoly, the government can rule against the alleged monopoly company citing harm to competition.

So in essence you have it backwards, in the US they protect the consumers, in EU they are protecting the companies.

-Regards


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By tigen on 5/23/2009 3:53:41 PM , Rating: 5
If it stops the monopolistic company using illegal anti-competitive market tactics, then it will benefit the consumer because competitors can compete more effectively. I think that's clearly the case with Intel.

For browsers it's not really clear if there is really a market there anymore, really. All the companies pushing free browsers (except Opera) seem to consider the browser as a strategic lever or feature for helping sell their other products or web services, not as a product itself on which to make money.

In the past MS has used IE to extend its monopoly into the web space, by encouraging lots of content that wouldn't work on anything except IE. The focus should be on preventing MS from bundling support for proprietary web content with their OS. Then bundling doesn't matter.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By eldakka on 5/24/2009 11:19:28 PM , Rating: 1
Your understanding conflicts with my understanding. But then, my understanding could be flawed ;).

As I understand it....

For your argument to be true, the discount would have to be a blanket "you buy x thousand, and you get a 10% discount, if you buy 3x you get a 15% discount, etc".

That is not what happened.

It would be set individually for each customer, and it would be a % amount of their total CPU sales.

E.g.
Medium sized company fred sells 100,000 CPUs a year. Intel says to them, if you ship 65% of your total sales as Intel CPUs, we'll give you a 15% rebate. If you ship 85% of yout total sales as Intel CPUs we'll give you a 25% rebate.

To a large company, Bob, that sells say 1,000,000 CPUS, they give them the same conditions.

So, company fred gets a 15% discount for selling 65000+ CPUs, and a 25% discount for selling 85,000+ CPUs.

Company Bob gets a 15% discount for selling 650,000 CPUs, and 25% for selling 850,000 CPUs.

If it was purely volume, then anyone who bought 65,000 CPUs would get a 15% discount, and anyone who bought 85,000 CPUs would get a 25% discount.

However, company Bob won't get the 15% discount if it buys 65,000 CPUs, it has to buy 650,000 before it gets it.

Also, this % target did vary between companies. Usually at a point where Intel judged it would make it difficult for the company to justify producing a machine based on a competitors CPU.

For example, if for company fred, for them to justify the cost of designing a system they'd have to sell 25,000 of those machines to start making a profit, intel would set the % for a rebate at 76%, i.e. 76,000 units of their total sales of 100,000, therefore fred wouldn't be able to sell it's 25,000 units of the competitiors system (if they wished to get the Intel rebate) to make it worthwhile designing such a system. So they wouldn't bother making the competitors system at all.

And note that these were usually rebates, not discounts. So you would have to pay the full price (although most of these companies would have a credit with Intel and pay later for shipments now) for those 65,000 and 85,000 or whatever the units, then you'd get a refund at the end of the year.


RE: I am sorry....
By Sazar on 5/22/2009 1:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the EU will ask Mozilla, Google and Apple to bundle the Windows operating system with their browsers.

Quid pro quo no? I mean, if Microsoft has to bundle 3'rd party applications, it is only fair to force the 3'rd party applications to bundle Microsoft's products too.

And yes, this post is an attempt to show how stupid this ruling by the EU is.


RE: I am sorry....
By Solandri on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By Targon on 5/23/2009 10:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
And, how is a monopoly in the OS area applicable here? If Firefox or another browser is better, there is NOTHING stopping the customer from removing IE from the machine going forward. If Apple can bundle Safari and ONLY Safari with MacOS, then Microsoft should have the option to only bundle IE with a machine, as long as there is an option to remove it from the system.

While many people reading this can use a command line FTP client to download the browser of their choice, the general public would not have this knowledge or ability. As a result, to support the ability of the consumer to install their desired browser, no matter what it is, there MUST be a web browser available to allow the average consumer to do the download. If a tool is provided to download all of the third party browsers out there, and a web/ftp server is down for one of these other browsers, Microsoft would be on the hook to support these people.

So, if Microsoft will be forced to support the download of third party products, then Microsoft should also be able to charge money to third party companies for support costs for their products. Can you picture Apple paying Microsoft for having Microsoft assist in downloading Safari?


RE: I am sorry....
By eldakka on 5/24/2009 11:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And, how is a monopoly in the OS area applicable here?


Because it is also illegal to leverage a monopoly you have in one market (e.g. PC Operating Systems) to try and make a monopoly in another market (e.g. browsers).


RE: I am sorry....
By tigen on 5/23/2009 3:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
"I wonder if the EU will ask Mozilla, Google and Apple to bundle the Windows operating system with their browsers."

Of course not. Mozilla, Google, and Apple don't have monopoly power in browsers.


RE: I am sorry....
By Yawgm0th on 5/23/2009 3:42:22 PM , Rating: 1
Neither does Microsoft...


RE: I am sorry....
By tigen on 5/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/22/2009 2:58:23 PM , Rating: 3
To anyone who believes that IE is being forced to be used...

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.a...

Firefox currently holds 47.1% of browsers.

Sorry buddy, EU, anyone else who believes that IE = MS domineering the market with bundled software. So much for anti-competitive moves.


RE: I am sorry....
By Morphine06 on 5/22/2009 6:16:51 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers.

These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users.


Direct quote from your link at w3schools...


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/22/2009 6:38:47 PM , Rating: 1
EEEeeehhhh, semantics :D

My point still stands, although the data used to support it was not necessarily looked at worth a damn... by me... And to reiterate my point so I don't look like so much of an ass, many people who know much about computers (thus, anyone who would care about which browser they use in the first place) are moving toward non Internet Exploder browsers, such as Firefox. It is very easy to switch... there is no anti-competitive act or sentiment by MS, just a bundling of services.

On a different note though, I am wondering if people would complain if they bundled Office in their OSs (for "free" -- quotations because there is no such thing as a free lunch) as an anti-competitive act... Isn't it just combining services that are very much essential to any student, and in many professions?


RE: I am sorry....
By eldakka on 5/24/2009 11:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Firefox currently holds 47.1% of browsers.


Most anti-trust litigation takes many years to be resolved. This litigation started more than 4 years ago. So the current market share is irrelevant, it's what the situation was like when the process began.

Otherwise, it'd be like saying "when this murder trial started 8 years ago, my client was a right arsehole, but now he is an upstanding citizen and he hasn't killed anyone in at least the last 3 years, so we should stop the litigation and let him go because now he is a good bloke".


RE: I am sorry....
By Targon on 5/23/2009 10:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
While there was a good reason to bash Microsoft for including IE back in the days of the Netscape vs. Microsoft battles, bashing Microsoft just for the sake of bashing Microsoft without any reasoning behind it does nothing but make you look like a "me too" type of person. Yes, Microsoft has done some pretty scummy things, but do you honestly think that the public at large has the ability to download or install a different web browser without IE being on the machine in the first place?

It makes NO sense for Microsoft to want to pre-bundle Firefox, Safari, Opera, or anything else since those products are NOT made or supported by Microsoft. The moment ANYTHING comes with Microsoft, they are on the hook to provide at least the smallest level of support for a product they have no involvement in. Oh, it doesn't install properly, but it came with Windows, so Microsoft MUST support it will be the feeling of consumers. Microsoft could in theory put a link to download another browser, but then, how do you pull it down if IE is not already on the computer? And again, if the download link fails, or the web server for one of the other browsers is down, who will get the blame?

That is the catch-22 here, if Microsoft doesn't put ANY browser on the machine, then they are releasing a product that does not include a "basic feature" that people expect. The EU could also fine Apple, because Apple doesn't include other browsers besides Safari in MacOS. It has nothing to do with competition at this point in time, because people expect a web browser to come included with their OS.


RE: I am sorry....
By mwtaff on 5/22/2009 10:26:40 AM , Rating: 4
Well the way i see it, and i may be looking at the recent fines issued in an over simplistic view, but if i wanted to sell my product in a different country, i would expect to sell it in accordance with that countries laws/policies/legislation or whatever, if i break any of them then i would expect to get punished. Simple as. Microsoft has a history of anti-trust behaviour as everyone knows, and has also been fined numerous times in the US also i believe? so it isn't just the EU.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 3:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
Lets take a look at a different side for a minute...

Who are MS's competitors in the market (OS or browser)?
Apple, Linux, Mozilla, Opera, Google

How many of those are based in the EU?
Opera Software is it... Unless you count Linux distributions, but it is freeware, and I believe (although Im not certain) that Linux was based out of the US.

So we have a single company +some Linux distributors that are directly involved with the EU (and I don't consider trade a direct involvement, if that wasn't already clear.)

Here is what I see from this: the EU is using the excuse of "anti-competitive practices," whether the accusations are true or not, as reason to fine the bajeesus out of US companies that are competing with mostly US companies. That just says that the EU wants money.

This point is even more true when considering the Intel fines they just made... AMD is a US company... and the only real competitor to Intel in the consumer market.

I call all of this meddling in the affairs of other country's economies. Unfortunately, the US does much of this also (e.g. every war since WWII.) If only everyone would follow Ron Paul's idea of non-interventionism...


RE: I am sorry....
By remo on 5/23/2009 3:44:51 AM , Rating: 3
Opera is made by a norwegian company... and iirc norway is not a member of the Eu.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 4:03:58 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, you're right, I overlooked that...

So now that limits MS competitors to... Linux distributors... That means that there are no competing browsers from the EU.

Thank you for improving my point when my ignorance to the countries in the EU did not serve the idea any justice.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 9:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
Clarification after having read this with a non sleep deprived brain.

quote:
So now that limits MS competitors to... Linux distributors... That means that there are no competing browsers from the EU.


That statement is referring to the MS competitors that are under the authority of the EU.


RE: I am sorry....
By Oregonian2 on 5/23/2009 3:50:09 PM , Rating: 3
On my (French) Archos 605 wifi, I've the choice of one and only one browser: Opera. Wonder if they should be investigated as well.


RE: I am sorry....
By tigen on 5/23/2009 3:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
"Who are MS's competitors in the market (OS or browser)?
Apple, Linux, Mozilla, Opera, Google"

Only Apple competes semi-effectively in the consumer OS segment, and with Apple primarily a hardware company it's not really the same (they don't market their OS as a product for generic PCs). MS still has monopoly power on operating systems.

How else can they charge hundreds for an OS when Linux can do the same technical job? It's not because Windows works better, it's because of monopoly power with respect to compatibility with 3rd party software and peripherals. Monopoly power means they have to play by special rules.

All the people frothing about stuff like this must be MS employees or shareholders. Competition means better stuff and lower prices for consumers.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 9:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
I believe you missed my point entirely.

My point is that the EU is indirectly raising prices for the end consumer, in an industry that they have no companies in.

Monopoly power or not, these fines on Intel and MS do not change the quality of their product, or the amount that the consumer is willing to pay for the better product (as the higher quality product, for whatever reason it is higher quality, tends to grab the sales in the tech markets. In MS's case, they support nearly ever hardware config, and nearly every modern application. Intel has a much more powerful product, with better energy usage.)

I am talking only about the economics in this situation, and how the EU is indirectly causing higher prices. And just because it is indirect doesn't lesson the amount that they cause it. They are the cause of the higher prices.

Let me also say; no, I am not at all affiliated with MS aside from using their products. That was a very naive thing for you to assume.


RE: I am sorry....
By mathew7 on 5/25/2009 1:06:13 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
My point is that the EU is indirectly raising prices for the end consumer, in an industry that they have no companies in.

We all know the financial power of MS. How much do you think a "big OEM computer"'s license is gone to MS? I'm sure that MS sells them for less than HALF of what you can see an OEM version on the shelf (or small OEMs). And MS makes profit from THOSE sales and enterpise sales. The "direct consumer" (retail) is a very small volume.
quote:
In MS's case, they support nearly ever hardware config, and nearly every modern application.

Why do you think is that? Example: small company, small SW budget, make a HW release. What drivers? Well, Windows because it represents 90% of customer base. Linux? no...it will increase orders only 5-10% and it will not cover the additional costs.

Monopoly is an endless loop: you overlook the minuscule competing products which in the end will mean that you SUPPORT the monopoly, although you have no link to the monopoly holder.

And who sais linux will not work on "nearly every" hardware configurations? The problem is only the newest hardware CHIPS because of the previous example.
I wonder: if games whould be "ported" to linux, how would this affect the market shares?


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/25/2009 2:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
Think about the economics here... it is very simple. MS gets fined, so they must raise prices to make up for that loss.

MS prices go up across the board, OEM to companies like Dell, OEM direct to consumer, or Retail copy to consumer. Prices go up.

Now companies like Dell have a higher input cost, so much like the fine, they must raise their prices to make up for it.

In the end, the consumer pays the price.

As for your response to the second quote;
What good will it do to just fine the heck out of the monopoly? Once again, all it will do is raise costs to the end user.

All I have been saying is there HAS to be a better way, because the current way just sucks, plain and simple. I don't have a solution, but that isn't my job... I am just voicing the concern that fines only exacerbate the problem.


RE: I am sorry....
By Danish1 on 5/22/2009 10:59:03 PM , Rating: 3
Both Microsoft and Intel are being fined due to complaints made by other US companies, and as far as I'm aware they are/have been in trouble with the US justice department for the exact same thing.

Ya that's right, that means you're just another daft hypocrite.

That being said I don't agree with the browser ruling at all. To me bundling a browser with an OS is no different than bundling an exhaust with a car. Both are very much needed and both can easily be replaced if you want more chrome.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 3:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter who makes the complaint... it matters where the fine money actually goes. When the EU makes the fine, it doesn't go to the American companies that complained, that's for sure.

The only thing these fines do to help the finee's competitors is by forcing said finee to raise prices... it is a completely backwards system, all it does is hurt. It lowers productivity, innovation, investment, and consumer happiness, and all for what? So that the EU can squander the money away?

Government acts exactly like a business... one that would have epic phailed in a free market because they do all of the wrong things. The reasons why the US was so great... the Constitution (when it was followed) barred government from becoming that sort of a business. Well, look how that turned out as the taxpayers are forced to pay for the inefficiencies and ignorance in the system. Taxpayers will continue to pay in the form of a hidden tax called "inflation" that has been allowed thanks to the repealing of the gold standard... by government... Which was an unconstitutional act, by the way.

It is so amazing what happens in this world... and people are so oblivious.


RE: I am sorry....
By Danish1 on 5/30/2009 2:05:40 AM , Rating: 2
What you miss here is that there's a difference between a lawsuit and a complaint which leads to an investigation, and ultimately being fined for breaking the law.

Why should money Intel is being fined for breaking EU law be given to American companies?

That's not how it works on any level.

Get real, all I see projected from Americans here is butthurt national pride.


RE: I am sorry....
By crystal clear on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By crystal clear on 5/23/2009 7:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
Something more to prove that I am right-(rating me down does not deny the facts on the ground-I realy dont care about ratings)

a €1.06 billion payment actually would make Intel the 18th highest contributor to the EU budget - Bulgaria, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia each pay less each year into the EU budget than Intel will have to do with this one fine.


Time for them to have some representation in the Council of the EU and the Parliament if they are such a net payer?


http://www.jonworth.eu/record-e106-billion-fine-fo...

So rightly said by Kroes:

Intel Now "Sponsor of the European Taxpayer"


RE: I am sorry....
By knutjb on 5/23/2009 10:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
You're mixing apples and oranges. Bulgaria, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia did not pressure computer manufacturers to use Intel over AMD. The numbers look impressive, but are not, well, comparable, they only show how huge Intel is.

Intel's fine appears to be valid and backed up with evidence from the manufacturers.

Microsoft's is bunk, but it's understandable that the are being investigated given their previous history. To force MS to ship IE separately is socialistic, ooops, the EU are socialist, my bad. The aren't pressing Apple to do the same, smells to fishy to me. Yeah I know Apple is a small fish but if you force it on the big guy you have to apply the same rule to all competitors.


RE: I am sorry....
By crystal clear on 5/23/2009 11:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
I have NOT said that these countries pressure computer manufacturers to use Intel over AMD.

I emphasize the size of the fine.

"each pay less each year into the EU budget than Intel will have to do with this ONE fine."

Also note its NOT the people or the countries of EU who are complaining, rather a competing company who has lost its marketshare for its own faults & doings -in short mismanagement.

Imposing massive fines in an effort to deter/stop that company's policies or practices is WRONG.

Find other ways & means to do it !

This is not a case of tax evasion/fraud/misappropriation of funds/or other similar crimes that deserve to punished by huge fines.

The EU is clearly looking for funding its budgets through massive fines on comapnies like Intel,Microsoft.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 9:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
Amen.


RE: I am sorry....
By mathew7 on 5/25/2009 1:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
But a fine is payed once, while those countries pay the amounts each year. If Intel would make a "contract" for yearly payments, then maybe they would get a chair.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/25/2009 2:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
Oh god, please don't encourage yearly fines...


RE: I am sorry....
By Chaser on 5/22/2009 11:57:46 AM , Rating: 2
Great. Then they can use their economic might to be more productive and engineer their own commercial OS bundled with or without whatever browser they deem fair. Rather than taking "victim" pot shots at other corporations abroad through their pathetic judicial system.


RE: I am sorry....
By BrgMx5 on 5/22/2009 12:26:09 PM , Rating: 1
In what regards the rule itself, they were also in trouble in the US, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Micr...

By bundling the software, they are unfairly restricting the market for competing web browsers. IMO the EU ruling does nothing to change this because it is not objective enough.

The only way to resolve the dispute would be install options in Windows or in the case of OEM software a notice on first startup.

Would this benefit the consumer? No

You would have no way to access the internet to choose a browser, so let it be …


RE: I am sorry....
By yomamafor1 on 5/22/2009 12:49:05 PM , Rating: 3
However, by bundling the essential softwares, Microsoft can provide a more complete platform to the consumer. Those without extensive computer knowledge would just want a computer that works right out of the box. Would you expect your parents to find out that she can't go online after she just spent $999 on a laptop that she really wants?

This brings me to my second point. If you can't get online, how can you obtain 3rd party web browser from the internet? Should Mozilla or Google start distributing them inside the stores? Who is going to foot the cost of that?

All in all, those who thinks MS bundling essential softwares with their windows is anti-competitive needs to do a reality check. Microsoft is doing nothing more than satisfying its customers.


RE: I am sorry....
By Solandri on 5/22/2009 3:56:06 PM , Rating: 1
The logical conclusion to your reasoning is that each computer should be a locked box, with all the software you could ever use provided by the manufacturer. You wouldn't be allowed to add new software - you'd have to base your initial computer purchase on what software each offering came with pre-bundled.

You have to strike a good balance between useful pre-bundled software and competitive aftermarket software. There's considerable debate as to where that balance lies. But given that all the major browsers are free, while major productivity software (word processorts, spreadsheets, etc) cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, I would argue that Microsoft's decision to bundle IE for free is stifling competition in the browser market. That slows down the rate of innovation and saddles us with inferior software compared to what there could be with true competition.

And every major operating system comes with an ftp client for getting files over the net (well, Windows didn't get it until Win95, but that was ages ago). Those are dirt simple to code, and adding some simple scripts to let you "browse" ftp sites for which browser to download would be trivial. In fact that was the direction the Internet was going with Archie and Veronica servers before the WWW was invented.


RE: I am sorry....
By Sazar on 5/22/2009 3:33:52 PM , Rating: 3
The issue is, where is the outcry for allowing products to work or be bundled on a Linux distro or OSX? No outcry there? Apple technically has complete monopoly on it's operating system but I haven't seen lawsuits against them or penalties against them. Come on EU, they have $20 billion cash, you can sue them, I am sure they can afford your fines.

The lack of consistency in the ruling and the continued use of the same excuses are pretty ridiculous. Firefox already has a large share in the EU of internet traffic. If Microsoft was truly being anti-competitive, would this have ever happened?


RE: I am sorry....
By Solandri on 5/22/2009 4:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
If Linux or OSX ever captures 90%+ of the OS market, then yes I would complain about them bundling a browser too.

Please recall that the impetus for the original Microsoft monopoly trial in the U.S. was that IE was bundled with Windows for free, and Netscape (the #1 browser prior to the bundling) saw its market share shrivel until it eventually died. After Netscape died, IE saw no improvements for about 2 years. It only had a few security updates during that time - no new features were added. Only when a bunch of open source developers working for free and giving their product away for free came up with Firefox with major innovations, only then did Microsoft finally update IE with new features.

I think it's pretty clear that the shiny new features you see in IE7 and IE8 would not be there if there had been no competition from Firefox. Firefox exists solely because of people willing to work on it for free. IMHO we would have a lot more innovation and progress in the browser market if they could be sold for money. But the only way that can happen is if Microsoft stops giving away a full-featured IE for free.


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/23/2009 4:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think it's pretty clear that the shiny new features you see in IE7 and IE8 would not be there if there had been no competition from Firefox.

Well there you have it. The competition very much exists even though I.E is included within Windows, so what the hell is this all about?
I'll tell you what it's all about. The E.U lining their pockets at the expense of a company that has built itself up to be the success it is today. I'm not saying Microsoft is perfect. I'm fully aware of past misdemeanours, but this is far from one of them. I'm all for standing up for the little guy too, but when the little guy has 22.48% of the total market share, with this figure ever increasing, and I.E having 66.1% (hardly a monopolistic figure) they don't need standing up for. They can stand on their own two feet.

This is an absolutely absurd trial. It's not as though the competition is being driven out. The competition has a very healthy and ever increasing market share. If anything, it's Microsoft that is being driven out with this ludicrous trial. Now isn't that anti-competitive? No, of course not, because after all, it's big bad Microsoft.

Seriously, what next? Media Player? Wordpad? Calculator?
If Microsoft lose this trial then they are open to any so-called "anti-competitiveness" from any kind of software developer, right?


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/23/2009 11:07:57 AM , Rating: 3
22.48% is insignificant and it proves Microsoft is using its monopoly to keep competitors from succeeding.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 9:43:55 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, I have an idea then... lets cut off 22.48% of your arms, cutting from the ends, of course.

By my calculations, that will take off anything just past your wrists. Please, try it, and type it out to us how it works.

Wait... Oh crap...


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/24/2009 6:58:19 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
22.48% is insignificant and it proves Microsoft is using its monopoly to keep competitors from succeeding.

But I suppose if OS X has 22.48% of the market share your opinion would be totally different wouldn't it?
22.48% and ever increasing is very significant. Especially when this is only one of the ever increasing competitors. You know this, you're just too hellbent upon citicizing Microsoft your idiocy has taken over.

What makes a browser any different to any other software included within Windows? So because Microsoft dominate the OS market that means they should strip their operating system down to basics?

What about user support? Someone rings up Microsoft "I can't display a webpage" they will reply "I'm sorry, the E.U has forced us to install competitors browsers, you'll have to consult their customer support"
The end-user will gain absolutely nothing from this besides frustration.
The only ones gaining anything from this are the E.U and anti-Microsoft zealots such as yourself, who get some sort-of cheap thrill from this, because you've obviously never heard of a species known as a female.

So what is the Linux market share at present? Around 4%?
That's more-or-less insignificant, so should Microsoft include a version of Linux on their Windows discs?

Wow, I've just wasted 5 minutes of my time typing up something you won't read, but at least others will be humoured by your idiocy when you reply to this with some 10 year-old insult.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/25/2009 2:31:23 AM , Rating: 2
He doesn't even need to reply for the humor to be there. +1


RE: I am sorry....
By PrezWeezy on 5/22/2009 2:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, I hear US bashing all the time. Suck it up.

Not to mention the fact that if Microsoft would bundle third-party browsers, MS would be on the hook to SUPPORT those browsers. If I were Ballmer, I'd just ship two versions of Win 7, one with IE, one without. You won't need many copies of the one without it. The EC is a bunch of idiots for not realizing the implications of what they are expecting MS to do. This is all a bunch of BS which must have a hidden agenda somewhere. I don't know what it is, but I refuse to believe people so high up are really that completely and utterly incompetent...


RE: I am sorry....
By Samus on 5/22/2009 4:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
This is fucking ridiculous. What's next? Are they going after notepad and calc too?


RE: I am sorry....
By FDisk City on 5/22/2009 10:08:23 AM , Rating: 5
Microsoft shouldn’t include any bundled browser with their OS’s. If people want to use a different browser, all they have to do is go to the manufacturer’s website and... oh... wait...

Next time I buy a car, I think I’m going to complain it shouldn’t come with tires because it’s anti competitive to aftermarket tire manufacturers.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By inighthawki on 5/22/2009 10:33:57 AM , Rating: 3
No actually there ISN'T an OS monopoly. Large market share != monopoly. Microsoft has just managed to be successful, and nobody forces people to buy their software. Microsoft does not undercut the prices of their competitors, and one of their competitors is even a free alternative. I guess you're not smart enough to understand this concept though...


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 10:52:17 AM , Rating: 3
Well call the police and tell them someone is pointing a gun at you, because I know people who don't use windows.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 11:39:41 AM , Rating: 3
"A monopoly exists when a specific individual or enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it." From wikipeida. I am sure other places have similar definitions. MS doesn't determine the terms on which others have access to an OS or web browser, so how is it a monopoly. Did the EU rule that they are a monopoly?


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 12:06:49 PM , Rating: 4
I assume that you no longer wish to have this conversation with a reply like that. I wish the conversation could have been more constructive, but that is the way of the web I guess. If anyone would like to step in Reader1's place please do.


RE: I am sorry....
By ClownPuncher on 5/22/2009 5:50:21 PM , Rating: 4
I will. People are FORCED to buy windows, because ... damn, I dunno.

Because...people are too effing dumb to use something else. So lets fine the users of windows because they didn't want to try something else!! Yea...wait? Hmm.

Fining a company out of business is anti-competitive isn't it?

Don't want to use windows? Then don't. Use the latest kernel, or OSX, or help write more slackware, or stfu.


RE: I am sorry....
By jhb116 on 5/22/2009 12:01:59 PM , Rating: 4
First - You're an idiot.

Second - why do you hate M$ so much? Only people with such hatred of M$ believe that this is actually a good thing. An OS should come fully capable out of the box - not requiring multiple installs to do basic tasks. To use the car analogy everyone loves - I don't want to have to buy the car - then go get tires and seats - install those and then be able to drive it off the lot. I want to sign the paperwork and drive away with my new car. Similarly - I want to install Windows, Leopard or Linux and be able to move files around, surf the internet and play music - all basic functions we expect from a PC.

Finally - When a gov't takes action like this - there should be a positive end state for the CONSUMER. Based on you expressed beliefs - the EU should outlaw Windows vice fine them. That is the only answer that fosters the kind of competition you and they seem to be looking for. I'll bet - like most other rulings the US gov't has made in the past (remember AT&T/ma Bell) - one dominant company will be replace with another.

If you don't like the situation - do something about it and stop being an hater.......


RE: I am sorry....
By mathew7 on 5/25/2009 1:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
An OS should come fully capable out of the box

I agree. Linux does it for some years. So why such a small share?
The answers are: confort and price.
Confort: "I only learned to use windows in school/home/whatever" Transition costs time&money. Most non-technical poeple already know Windows and are scared to switch. This includes managers.
Price: Windows costs 100$, linux is free. Wow, Windows must be better since it's sold. Technical people now the difference, but non-tech people relate price like with HW: pricier means better (after all, how else could they be asking that price).

I have tried to do switches at my fathers companies: firefox went ok, but openoffice proved a mistake: many suppliers use MS Office and there were problems using their files. Also the SW they used (accounting/product handling) required excel API for reports. So even if you try to change a small thing, you end-up being sorry for it.
THIS IS CALLED VENDOR LOCK-IN. Except that it does not affect just you company, it affects the whole world.

Yeah I'm hating & bashing MS even if I use their OSes daily (work and home).


RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 10:53:35 AM , Rating: 3
Surely you have a source to back this claim?


RE: I am sorry....
By neogrin on 5/22/2009 11:07:21 AM , Rating: 3
"Linux desktop market share is up as much as 61 percent, study finds" http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9910263-16.html

"Linux desktop market share is up as much as 61 percent, study finds" http://www.linuxinvent.info/gnu-linux-zone/laptop/...

"Apple market share tops 10%, Windows share lowest since tracking began" http://www.tuaw.com/2009/01/02/apple-market-share-...

"Net stats show Apple market share near 10 percent"http://www.macworld.com/article/138599/2009/02/app...

Yep, you are right...As these articles and studies show, no one is using any other OSs and no one has any other choice but to use Windows.

How can we ever get out from under the thumb of Redmond?

Note: Just because you don't Want to learn how to use (or your favorite game doesn't run on) another OS, doesn't mean Microsoft is forcing you to use Windows.


RE: I am sorry....
By DigitalFreak on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 10:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
So think about a car a little more. How about the engine or transmission? The whole car is not sourced out.


RE: I am sorry....
By BZDTemp on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 12:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
Market should not determine what the company can and can not do. Only if they are a monopoly should. So, your reason for throwing out the car comparison seems invalid to me.

As for the a boat being included. I don't think most people expect buying a car means they should be able to transverse over water, so they don't include a boat. But most people do expect an OS to be able to access the internet and browse the WWW.

Yes many parts of a car are made by many companies. But if just one is made by the car company and included in the car then it is the same as the browser coming with the OS when they are made by the same company.


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/23/2009 5:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well one car manufacturer does not have a 80+ market share nor does this none-existing automaker bundle any boats with it's cars!

You see, this is what I'm having trouble grasping.

This whole trial is about Internet Explorer, right? So why are Operating System market share figures being looked at? Just because Internet Explorer is included in the operating system with the highest market share? So what? Download and install Firefox if you feel that offended!

It would be a more viable argument to compare OS market share if Mozilla for example had an operating system, but they don't! This ultimately makes everything needlessly complicated.

To those who feel that people are forced to use Windows. I don't see what on earth that has to do with Internet Explorer, because you're hardly forced to use that, and that is what this whole trial is about!
Besides, when I installed Internet Explorer 8, it was an optional standalone installation. It wasn't forced on me, not even through Windows Update.

Try looking at I.E market share for a change, and you'll see the figure is far from monopolistic. After all, that is what the whole damn trial is about.


RE: I am sorry....
By BZDTemp on 5/23/2009 1:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
The trial is about MS using their Windows market share to push IE. That is what's unfair business practice. When you're in control of a market you're expected to not abuse that control simply because that is to powerful an instrument.


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/23/2009 5:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The trial is about MS using their Windows market share to push IE.

Inclusion and Obtrusion are entirely different.

I.E is included within Windows. You can install another browser if you desire, thus this is not an obtrusion.


RE: I am sorry....
By BZDTemp on 5/23/2009 9:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
Can you buy Windows without IE?

No you can't - enough said.


RE: I am sorry....
By msomeoneelsez on 5/24/2009 12:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
So their success should limit them? Really now...

Internet browsers are no longer a luxury, they are now a must-have. The public EXPECTS for there to be a browser preinstalled on their OS, and for MS to include an MS browser only makes sense.


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/24/2009 6:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
Can you install another browser?

Is absolutely everone perfectly aware that I.E comes included within Windows?

Yes - enough said.


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/24/2009 6:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
I honestly don't see your point.

So what if it is included? Does that mean it is forced upon someone without your say-so? No. Absolutely everyone is perfectly aware that I.E is included within Windows.
Even if you're somehow offended that it's included, it's not as though it has been paid for, and furthermore it's hardly rocket science to install an alternate browser.
Most average users are perfectly aware of Firefox, and even Google Chrome. This shows through their ever increasing market share.

Seriously though, the Browser market share is very fairly split. There is very healthy and increased competition. Why are the E.U interfering in a market with steady growth and share of markets? Because I.E is somehow foced upon consumers without their say-so due to Microsoft being the dominant OS? I would have thought if this was true then any other browser would barely exist, let alone have ever increasing market share.

If the E.U wins this case, Microsoft are completely exploited to this sort-of attack amongst any developer who creates similar software that is included within Windows. After all, why stop at just browers? What makes browsers any different to any other software included in Windows?

What will ultimately happen? Will Microsoft have to include a version of Linux on their Windows DVD? Because after all, Linux has hardly any market share, and is virtually unknown amongst many average users, therefore in some peoples' minds is forced upon users. So it's only fair that it's included, just like alternate browsers.
You've got to be a complete and utter dumbass if you think that Microsoft shouldn't include it's own software in it's own products.

This is beyond absurd.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 10:33:46 AM , Rating: 1
Ah yes, just what we need, a computing/car analogy, they always work so well :-/

This one is good though. I mean, there's is one car manufacturer with a dominant position (not monopoly before you all get over exited) that makes it's own tyres and......

Oh wait, it's just as bad as all the others.


RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 10:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
Being the dominant one should not mean you are treated differently.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By BadAcid on 5/22/2009 11:47:37 AM , Rating: 5
I'm sure you'd love to hear it, but I'm also sure you wouldn't listen.


RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 11:50:14 AM , Rating: 4
Please tell me how they are a monopoly. By wikipedia's definition they don't appear to be one, so they are a successful company that is not a monopoly. Up until recently I would call most telephone companies in a specific area a monopoly because if you wanted a phone you had to use the one provider in your area. They controlled how you got that service ie. a monopoly. Cellphones and VOIP have almost killed that though. Was the popcorn good. I personally don't like it. :)

Also why the name calling? You have very little to go on to judge my intelligence.


RE: I am sorry....
By Solandri on 5/22/2009 4:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
Wikipedia does not determine who is or isn't a monopoly. Our courts do.

http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm

Granted the findings of fact were from 1999, and the case settled in 2001.


RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 4:52:01 PM , Rating: 2
True but without a more current case you would have to rely on the definition of the term monopoly. Plus the courts rely on the definition also, but how they interpret it is entirely up to them. Now if the EU courts would determine they are a monopoly then sue for all these other things they would look a little better.


RE: I am sorry....
By dav115 on 5/22/2009 3:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
The only monopoly on here is you with your vast collection of -1 rated posts. It's just damn impossible to get below a 0 now thanks to your monopolistic "lowering of the bar".


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/23/2009 5:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
This is true, but reader1 here has lowered the bar to new standards, scoring -2 for some of his ludicrous posts.


RE: I am sorry....
By dav115 on 5/23/2009 7:53:44 PM , Rating: 1
Easy, just buy a dictaphone!


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 11:45:45 AM , Rating: 2
Which dominant car company are we talking about again?

Or was that a thinly vailed "when will the EU go after Apple/OS X" comment?


RE: I am sorry....
By inighthawki on 5/22/2009 10:13:54 AM , Rating: 4
I don't understand this either. Microsoft makes their own software, and essentially, the concept of "windows" is the OS and software that comes with it by default, not just the OS. Apple doesn't get fines for bundling safari (and never should) so why discriminate against IE?
Sure not everyone is fond of IE, and a lot of people use other things, but telling Microsoft they cannot include their own software is like saying a car maker that they cannot put in their own steering wheels because third parties also make them...


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 10:40:28 AM , Rating: 3
I think my irony meter just overloaded...


RE: I am sorry....
By Helbore on 5/22/2009 12:11:41 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps its actually because you are too dumb to work out how to install another browser and make it the default; therefore believing that Microsoft is shoehorning you into using their software.

Its ok if you can't work that out. Honestly, its less stupid than accusing a company of being anti-competitive when they are not restricting development of alternative software, nor are they resticting the end-users ability to use it.

Now THAT would be dumb. But you're not suggesting that - are you?


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By Helbore on 5/22/2009 3:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Good to know you had a response well thought out. It might take me a while to come up with a decent argument to counter the reams of logic and evidence you presented to make your case.


RE: I am sorry....
By JKflipflop98 on 5/22/2009 8:50:00 PM , Rating: 3
How is this douche not banned yet? He really is killing my enjoyment gained from discussion of the article.


RE: I am sorry....
By xrodney on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: I am sorry....
By Helbore on 5/22/2009 12:16:35 PM , Rating: 4
If people are too stupid to find an alterntive browser if they don't like IE, they wouldn't have a clue which one to install if several were bundled with the OS.

Also, who decides who's browser gets bundled? That's anti-competitive against any small upstart company that hasn't got their browser bundled with Windows.

Of course you could simply not bundle ANY borwser with Windows. But then we'd all be screwed because you'd have no way to make it to a competitor's website to download another one! Then, all those non-technical users would never get on the web. Ever.


RE: I am sorry....
By BZDTemp on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By Griffinhart on 5/22/2009 12:47:45 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
APPLE DOES NOT HAVE A HUGE CONTROLLING MARKET SHARE IN THE OS BUSINESS. MICROSOFT HAS CONTROL AND ARE FOUND TO ABUSE THIS TO FURTHER THEIR OTHER PRODUCTS


And MS was rightfully fined for unfair practices with OEMS and there is ZERO evidence of them continuing the practice. This was fixed a decade ago and MS has been under scrutiny by many States for violation. Violations that have not been found.

This whole notion of Browser "Marketshare" is frankly ridiculous. We are talking about something that costs nothing to consumers. Given that other browsers are increasing user share and with the advent of "cloud computing" a browser is a core function of any OS.

MS including IE in windows doesn't hurt the consumer at all. That's the whole point of Anti-trust laws. In fact, given the importance of the internet, not including a browser with an OS would be of harm to the consumer.


RE: I am sorry....
By BZDTemp on 5/22/2009 4:12:09 PM , Rating: 1
I am sorry but the IE browser is not free. That is like claiming the seats in a car is free because they was not listed on the options list.

When someone buys a copy of Windows they are forced to buy IE which comes with it. If the price of the OS was lower without the browser then we would all have a real choice but now we do not.

If Windows was not so dominant then this would not be a problem because everyone could just choose not to accept having to buy IE. However in many cases there is no choice so companies, governments and consumers have to pay for IE. That money should have been on the free market helping improve browsers development but instead it is only the last years we have real choice. Remember Microsoft forcing IE on people put Netscape out of business (even Microsoft acknowledge this else they would not have payed a settlement years later).

Sure Firefox, Chrome and Safari and others are free but not with the good will of Microsoft - it is only because the browser is so important that good people and companies have decided to throw money/time at it.

Imagine how much further along we could be if there had been real browser competition since WWW was thought of and not just lately and in the beginning. Just look at how long it took Microsoft to go from IE6 to IE7 and again from IE7 to IE8.


RE: I am sorry....
By PhoenixKnight on 5/22/2009 5:23:54 PM , Rating: 3
You can download IE for OS X for free.


RE: I am sorry....
By BZDTemp on 5/23/2009 1:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
And this relates how?

The case is about MS using Windows to push IE. Also the OS X IE is no longer officially available and the latest version was IE5.2 so you are talking a relic from 2001.


RE: I am sorry....
By Solandri on 5/22/2009 4:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
MS including IE in windows doesn't hurt the consumer at all. That's the whole point of Anti-trust laws. In fact, given the importance of the internet, not including a browser with an OS would be of harm to the consumer.

Netscape used to charge for their browser. Microsoft bundled IE and gave it away for free. Netscape was forced to give theirs away for free, couldn't find a sustainable business model with zero sales revenue, and eventually died. After IE "won" the initial browser wars, it was not updated with new features for nearly two years . No competition = no progress. Only when Firefox came out (created for free by people working for free) did Microsoft add features and come out with IE7.

So I would vehemently disagree with you, and say that including a browser for free with the OS harms the consumer immeasurably. The browser market needs to be competitive to advance, just like the market for other software. I think the approach Microsoft takes with Write/Word would work well (that's a lot of W's :). Bundle a no-frills browser with only basic features for free. But full-featured browsers like IE, Firefox, Opera, etc. should be sold for money.


RE: I am sorry....
By Yawgm0th on 5/23/2009 3:58:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But full-featured browsers like IE, Firefox, Opera, etc. should be sold for money.
I, for one, would prefer they remained free.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 10:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
An unfair advantage at distributing a free product? Beyond that, if the other manufacturers don't like that their browser isn't stock in and operating system... then they solution is simple. Make your own operating system. Wonder what browser is bundled with Google's Android?


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 10:42:21 AM , Rating: 1
A free product? Don't tell me, it's a free OS too, just with a really expensive box and shiny disk.

The guys who work in the IE department all work for free do they? Northing's free. You are paying for it whether you like it or not unless there are adds involved or it open source.

Frankly, I don't know why MS don't start to charge for IE as a lot of people would be happy to pay for what they know as they are comfortable with it and scared of anything else.


RE: I am sorry....
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 11:00:14 AM , Rating: 3
I like how you go on about why it's not free and then later go on to say that you don't know why they don't start charging for it. Just an observation I've made.
Last I remember I downloaded IE8 free of charge from microsoft.com, installed it on several computers and wasn't ask to pay for anything, nor was I shown any ads, and it didn't have any junk bundled in. Apart from not being open source, how is this not "free". You think they make me pay for it when I buy the OS? That may be "true", however that was only for the original version that came with my current OS (IE7), we're on 8 now and I don't remember it costing me a dime to deploy. Even more than that, I had IE7 on my XP machines and now IE8. I'm just not seeing these hidden costs you seem to be implying.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 11:38:25 AM , Rating: 1
*sighs* Why so defensive?

I'm not anti-MS by the way, I think that they could "abuse" their position far more than they do and sell their software at a pretty good price.

I'm simply saying that;

a) IE isn't free, you or someone pays for it somewhere down the line.

b) MS could probably charge for it if they really wanted to and people like my dad who will only use IE because that's what he used years ago (even though it's completely different now) and feels safe and comfortable whenhe sees the little blue "e".

I really don't see what is strange about those 2 statements.

I'm saying that IE isn't free because.., IE isn't free, even when you downloaded it. If Microsoft only made IE and only had an IE development team could they provide you with the website and service that you experienced for free? No, it's paid for by MS and the people who buy their products at some stage.


RE: I am sorry....
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 12:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, didn't know it was considered defensive to post a rebuttal to sarcastic remarks about expensive boxes and shiny discs. Moving on from the sarcasm… obviously it's not free to Microsoft. Any idiot can tell you it costs money to develop IE, and the subsequently release and market it. However from a consumer standpoint it's free. From my prospective I went out and downloaded the software and received no grief, fees, ads, or any kind of other BS you get from other companies. As for your second point, yes I'll agree, some people use IE because they are comfortable with it. Personally I believe it to be an adequate product that meets my needs, to which there is nothing to be gained by its replacement. That aside they could start charging for it if they wanted too; however, they'd lose some market share which they seem desperate to keep right now so I don't think it'll happen.
There was nothing at all strange about your comments. I was simply providing my perspective on the issue as leaving it at expensive boxes and shiny discs seems a little unfair when that’s not what I was getting at.
It’s not so much that I’m a fan of Microsoft (in some areas I am), it’s more that I’m not just going to bash Microsoft because it’s the “cool” thing to do (Not to imply that that’s what you’re doing). If they provide a real reason for me to be annoyed with something then I’ll voice that opinion as well. They have in the past and I’m sure they will again.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 12:18:24 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks, apology accepted :)

Right, so can we get things straight? IE both is and isn't free and things maybe "true" but not true... *sighs*

quote:
If they provide a real reason for me to be annoyed with something then I’ll voice that opinion as well.
I'm not sure, but I would wager that you (like most here) are well informed (with regards to IT matters) and well paid. Most of the people in whichever country you are from however are not. Those are the people that bodies like the EU (or whoever) try to protect. If you only want to look at things from your perspective and your perspective only then there really isn't much point in debating with you.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/22/2009 12:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of the people in whichever country you are from however are not. Those are the people that bodies like the EU (or whoever) try to protect.

That is who they are supposed to protect, but until someone can show proof that including IE with Windows is actually hurting consumers then I don't buy it. Does Firefox's market share really affect consumer lives? In fact I would argue that consumers are helped by having more functionality built into Windows. Were EU consumers better off after forcing MS to make a version of Windows without Media Player? Considering the vast majority of EU users chose to buy the non crippled Windows version I'm guessing not.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/25/2009 8:00:41 AM , Rating: 1
I think the main sticking point in many people minds is the use of the word "harm" which, whilst it may be the legally correct word, seems to confuse many here. Of course no one is actually being hurt, I don't think A&E/ER departments are treating too many IE related injuries after all.

Again, you demonstrate the average DT readers inability to think outside of themselves and about what the majority of "consumers" want and use in an OS and how easily they can find and update/install their OS themselves.

Lets think back to the not so distant past (doo dahh doo dahh *screen shimmers*) when IE 6 or even 7 was the best browser that Microsoft thought that their users wanted. There were other browsers about that were better and I'd wager most people here were using back then. Fire Fox, Net Captor, Opera, all offering more than IE did and how man of you reading this comment right now used IE rather than these other browsers? Not many I would eager. Why? because IE was slow and cumbersome. No tab browsing (until 7, but that just got even slower), no extensions. no innovation at all. Just the assumption that the user will keep on using whatever MS tells them to.

With that domination where 100% of PCs came with IE installed by default it's no surprise that web sites and applications were written and designed to work on IE first, other browsers second, meaning that even if you didn't want to use IE you still had to sooner or later. That's harming competition.

Yes, no one was literally hurt but they had to put up with some god awful browsers, right until now with IE 8, which I've not used so much but seems to be a half decent web browser from MS, at last.

It's a shame that you and many here are not able to think outside your own experience, but hey ho. not everyone is comfortable installing new software (unless it's a browser tool bar it seems) or even knows where to look for one. This is where you struggle to see the "harm" that has been done. You've been able to install whatever browser you wanted, have not had to put up with the rubbish that MS has been producing.

As for Media Player, may be you're right and that'll be the next thing that the EU go after. I don't use it much myself, nor do many people I know. That (like IE) is rather slow to load on my machine. Admittedly I have a rather slow machine, but then so do a lot on non-enthusiast or those who don't have a great deal of disposable income to blow on a new PC every few years. I use Media Player classic, because it's just a media player. That all that most people want. If not, they've probably got iTunes installed too, which they've chosen to install, well sort of.

I really don't see what the problem is and what MS are so scared about when it comes to this. What's so wrong with the EU wanting them to sell an OS that is just an OS? Not an OS plus other MS products. I'd be much happier if I didn't have to pay for IEx and Windows Media player. As I pointed out to you, I am paying for it and frankly I don't want/need it. Nor do a lot of people.

Personally I'd love to see versions of Windows sold as either standards or plus editions, where the plus version comes with IE and Windows Media Player so that I don't have pay for something that I don't want, and many other people don't want or need too. I admit, It's not the end of the world though. I'm not sure why the EU are so excited and seem to spend so much time on this, but there you go. The EU has never made a great deal of sense to me. Just be grateful that you are not living under it's barely, if at all, elected rule as I have to.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/25/2009 12:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, Media Player already was cut out in an XP version for the EU due to legal action. The European people for the most part chose not to buy the no Media Player version. Also, I believe YOU are the one who has the inability to think outside of yourself. For us technically advantaged people, Microsoft not including a browser would be no big deal, because we know how to get others. It's the people that don't know how that would be lost if there wasn't a browser included. Take a poll of users. I'll wager you that the vast majority of people out there would prefer their OS to have basic Internet functionality out of the box. Again you try to demean other people that don't share your views by saying they must not be able to thnk outside themselves, but my friend, you are the one that seems to be selfish and wants to impose you views on others with laws


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/26/2009 2:36:51 AM , Rating: 1
I live in the EU and I have never seen a version of any Windows OS that was Media Player free. It may technically have existed, but I've never seen it.

I'm sure that many would buy Windows with a browser included given the choice . This is mostly because they have been trained to think that IE is the only browser and is the internet . They've never really had the choice, or at least been aware of one, perhaps until very recently. The comment above was about how MS's practices had "harmed" users. that is what I was explaining. that was the context of the post.

As you say, you/we know better, as you/we are more tech aware, that is what I have been saying for the last few comments. You probably haven't been using IE because it's been rubbish for the last few years compared to most of the alternatives. I was pointing out that because of the aforementioned training and default browser choice being made for the average user by MS that this has "harmed" people who do not know that there are (sometimes) much better products out there.

There is no doubt that many would still chose IE. I even pointed out taht MS could probably charge people for IE and many would still download it. I'd quite like to not pay for it though as I don't use it. what's wrong with that?

We've only seen browsers from MS improve because of competition, mostly from Fire Fox (they're the only group who've taken enough market share to seriously concern MS) which has been more down to good fortune than anything else, like a money making company being big enough to compete. What's wrong with more competition?

Yes, Google are coming into the fray with Chrome, but how long has it taken? MS were quite happy to palm of rubbish browsers onto us for too long I'm afraid. Why? Because that's all they had to do. Why do they want their browser installed? The defaults of Live search(they are competing with Google their too) and the MSN portal are quite good for them too.

What is MS so scared of? If their products, Media Player & IE are sooooo brilliant then surly they can stand up to a little competition and people will be happy to jump through the same/as many hurdles to install these products as they would have to to install a competitors?

I'm not saying that people have to share my views. I was pointing out that the writer of the comment who could no understand how anyone had been harmed probably was't themselves and that was where they were going wrong. They were assuming that because they hadn't been harmed as they knew enough to install whatever browser they wanted, that no one else could be being harmed.

I'm not demanding anything. I'm just trying to help the person I was debating with see where they were going wrong. The biggest problem being one that most DTers suffer from, which is having a rather self centred view on things and only thinking about themselves and their experiences, then trying to understand rulings like the one laid down by the EU, which produces a "does not compute" error in their brains as they haven't been affected, as if that's all that matters.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/26/2009 6:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
The reason you've never seen it is probably because NOBODY wanted it. It was simply a case of the EU using its power to force MS to make a seperate product that nobody wanted. That's basicially my whole point. It's totally pointless for government to stick its nose into private business and force things that provide absolutely no benefit to the public.
It's called Windows XP N for your reference.
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,3923...
http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_n.a...
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886540


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/28/2009 2:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, it's because it was just a phantom release to technically satisfy some ruling some ruling, no doubt. Probably with a loop whole regarding the number of units that needed to be manufactured in order to satisfy it meant that only 1 box needed to be put on a dusty shelf in a "sales room" in a micros0ft office somewhere in the EU.

Frankly, I'd have bought it if it was available. It wasn't made available though.

It's funny how you pick and choose the arguments to go at, and fairly to make any useful points, lol.

This version of XP clearly was never properly released to the public. You can see why though. More choice seems, as seen in recent versions of Vista, to cause confusion in a public who are used to having and paying for whatever they are given by Microsoft and simply accepting it, whilst paying out without thinking.

By the way, you seem to think that I love big government. That's far from the truth. I live in the EU and I really don't like it, as a political institution it is an abomination.

What I also, don't like is people writing nonsense just to back up their chosen company/brand/whatever. As well as people who are completely blinded to the whole point of articles because it doesn't suit their point of view, or are unwilling to think about anyone other than themselves, thinking that everything is about them, and/or if it doesn't affect them then it doesn't matter.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/29/2009 3:02:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As well as people who are completely blinded to the whole point of articles because it doesn't suit their point of view, or are unwilling to think about anyone other than themselves, thinking that everything is about them, and/or if it doesn't affect them then it doesn't matter.

Yet you attack people for having different views than you. You label them and call them blind and selfish. It seems to me you are the hostile one towards any views other than your own, not the other way around.

Just to reiterate, I never said you were for big government. I don't care whether anyone likes Microsoft, and I'm not necessarily a Microsoft fan. All that I'm saying is make the whole thing abstract. Remove the Microsoft and IE variables and insert anything else. I'm plain and simple not a fan of government mandating or controlling what a business includes with its product. It's not about liking what MS does or doesn't do, it's a matter of whether it should be illegal or not.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/25/2009 12:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and as to your idea that you are paying for IE (As if MS would actually lower Windows prices if they removed IE), let me take your logic and run with it a little. Firefox and Chrome take money to develop as well, so obviously they aren't free. According to your logic then, everytime I buy a product from a company that advertises with Google, I'm paying for Chrome. Everytime I spend money with IBM on our mainframes, I'm paying for Firefox since IBM gives money to the Mozilla Foundation.

quote:
It's a shame that you and many here are not able to think outside your own experience, but hey ho. not everyone is comfortable installing new software (unless it's a browser tool bar it seems) or even knows where to look for one.

See this is where you don't think outside yourself. Do you think those people you mentioned above, would suddenly be comfortable installing browsers if IE wasn't included? Would they magically be transformed into knowledgable users that know how to install Firefox? Or would they simply just be lost because they bought an OS without basic functionality. Most people want things they buy to just work out of the box. Do you honestly believe that the majority of Joe Blow users would be happier to have less functionality when they buy a computer? Let's remove Calculator, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, Media Player, Notepad, Wordpad, and hundreds of other "utilities" that Microsoft includes because they all according to your logic have alternatives that are being stifled anti-competitively. Let's make an OS that can basically do absolutely nothing and see how many people are happy with it. Microsoft puts things in, people bash them. Microsoft removes features and I guarantee even more people will bash them.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/26/2009 3:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
Fire Fox/Mozilla are a collaborative group of people who work on open source software to produce a product for free because of donations and selling the odd t-shirt/mug to geeks. Frankly it's amazing that it has happened at all but it is what it has taken in order to get MS to improve their browsers. God knows where we'd be without them. Still using no tabbed IE 6.5 or something.

Yep, Google have had to spend money producing chrome and Google Earth etc. The thing is, you've probably never paid a penny to Google. Businesses who use their search engine adds have paid a lot to them and they have used this money to produce a browser. They have a dominant position here, and I wouldn't be surprised if they come under EU fire at some stage. However, Chrome is not a default anywhere. You don't need it to use certain pages. I really don't see how you can compare it/them to IE/MS at all. It's clearly not cost you a penny. It's not a program that you have to use in order to get onto the net by default.

When you or your firm buys mainframes then if you want to take the money they give to Mozilla foundation into your purchasing decision and then think you are paying more for their products because of this then you are free to buy a competitors. You have a clear choice . Again, you are just pointing out the differences to the decisions and lack of choices that the average user has when it comes to using a browser on their home OS.

So, how will people be magically transformed? Well, maybe just being shown that there is more than one browser out there will be a start? If there was a choice at start up then yes, most people would still chose IE, but they would at least of had the choice. Some may then go on to check out what the strange alternatives were that they could have chosen, download them and maybe stick with them. Just knowing that there is a choice would be enough to make MS take browser development seriously, as the happy/lucky series of events of Mozilla foundation producing Fire Fox and the word spreading has shown.

It's amazing really. It's taken a large group of people deciding to work on Fire fox as a kind of charity, to produce a product that has bought serious competition to MS an IE and that is what it has taken to get them to improve their products, but still whilst it's the default it's always going to dominant and improvements will still be slower for us all. How long has it taken for IE8 to come along?

As for removing the products that you list on your long rant, I would be only too happy for most of them to be removed. most people don;t use them anyway, so why keep them in there? They're only still included because they always have been. Personally, I would draw the line at File explorer, as being able to view what you have on your drives is a basic part of an OS. What you choose to do with it and and the products you use however are not.

Joe Blow probably wouldn't even notice if you were to take out many of the programs that you list, and then can't even think of as you don't even use them either.7

Why are you guys so scared of competition for MS. Is it because you love to look clever and like you have some kind of secret insider knowledge when you install other browsers and such on your friends PCs and don't want them to find out these things for themselves? Is that it?


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/26/2009 6:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, I don't give a crap about Microsoft, or the browser market, or the OS market. What I do care about is big government. We could be talking about any other company or any other product. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against governments going after companies when they've clearly done something illegal, but I don't see that as a case in this instance. I just don't like governments butting into private business without good cause and evidence.

As to the cost issue, you can't have it both ways. If it's possible that Microsoft is charging more for Windows due to development of IE, you can't turn around and say it's not possible that Google is charging more for advertising to pay for its development of Chrome. Neither of us knows for sure if it truly affects the price or not, but if it's possible for one it's possible for the other. If Chrome's development does affect Goggle's rates, then yes I have paid part of it, and in that case I paid whether I ever donwloaded Chrome or not. To be honest, I don't care if that is the case, I'm just pointing out that Chrome isn't necessarily free either.

As to including other browsers, I actually wouldn't have a problem with OEMs doing so. What I have a problem with, is government forcing a company (any company) to promote, advertise, or include their competition's products. Again its a matter of big goverment and setting precedence.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/28/2009 3:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
Covered my thoughts on big gov in post above. I'm not a fan, not really sure of anyone who is either. I don;t like the EU, but even they go through the correct legal procedures and have to prove "harm" or whatever. As your source for most of this is the highly jingoistic, technology based DT (probably) then it's not surprising that we haven't seen all the evidence, and you'd be a massive fool to think that you have or that most of these articles and blogs have any sort of journalistic integrity and lack of bias.

Re: cost. I can see your confusions and you have something of a point. The link between costs to the consumer are much much stronger in the MS case than the Google case however. If they gave their OS away to home users and only charged businesses for their OSs then you'd have a better comparison there. If you're asking whether Google ae abusing their dominant position in the search engine pay per click advertising market place, I'd have no problem agreeing that they certainly have a dominant position and that gives them a possibility to abuse it. I covered the price that you paid though in a previous comment when I said browsers couldn't be free unless they are paid for through either advertising or through the Mozilla model. I'm not going to go over that all over again, just for you.

It seems that quite often the MS apologists want to have everything their own way. If IE is free, then what problem do MS have with people competing with it on a level playing filed, what do they have to lose?

Just another question I'll ask and you'll ignore as you have no answers no doubt.

Sometimes governments/regulators have to step in to protect consumers who do not know as much as you do about certain things. Is the browser market all that important? again, I'll say no. I've never tried to defend the EU doing what it has done or the level of the fine, I've only tried to explain to those who do not want to see what the whole point is and correct nonsensical remarks about IE being free. To a highly defensive Ms supporting (no doubt American, wanting to defend one of their own against a foreign"aggressor") audience I can see why your view of my comment are tinted, thinking that I'm no doubt some sort of EU commie.


RE: I am sorry....
By themaster08 on 5/28/2009 5:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
I've been reading the conversation between you two and would like to just voice my opinion a little.

I am also far from a fan of the E.U, however this is not because of their relentless witch-hunting of Microsoft or other companies.
Living in a country that is a member of the E.U, we are dictated by their rules, some of which are absolutely absurd.

quote:
If they gave their OS away to home users and only charged businesses for their OSs then you'd have a better comparison there.

This situation would be better compared with Google search and Windows Live search. Both of which are free to use for the general consumer, but are obviously paid for down the line, perhaps by businesses and/or other sources of income.
As for Firefox, even though it's income is supported through advertising, donations etc, it has still been paid for by someone. Nothing is free, that is just pointing out the obvious, but whether ultimately that cost is reflected amongst the general consumer is something we'll never come to a definite conclusion about.

The argument about cost is one that I don't want to go into lots of detail about, because it's so obscure.

quote:
It seems that quite often the MS apologists want to have everything their own way. If IE is free, then what problem do MS have with people competing with it on a level playing filed , what do they have to lose?

I have absolutely no problem with this, however I would hardly call a "level playing field" one where you are forced to include your competitors browsers. What if Google was forced to advertise Firefox and Opera on their search engine homepage instead of Chrome. Is that fair? Because in my opinion it's just about as unfair as Microsoft having to include competitors browsers.

The killswitch included within Windows 7 is the best solution for this in my opinion. You can use I.E to download your browser of choice, then uninstall I.E and never hear from it again. Even the average user knows perfectly well how to do this, but then they will only do it if they want to, as opposed to being bombarded with so many browsers to choose from.
If competitors browsers were added, which ones would in fact be added? Firefox, Chrome and Opera? What about the rest? Isn't that anti-competitive towards those? You can't add one without adding them all, regardless of how rubbish they are.

Furthermore, how will an average or less-then-average user be able to decide which one they will use? Having so many browsers to choose from will ultimately confuse the user, particularly those who are less technically minded. Perhaps they will get used to it, but I can imagine many users, particularly first-time users and computer illiterate users will become extremely frustrated.

This frustration will only increase when we take into account support. Those less technically minded will call Microsoft for help, only to find that they can't get the help they need because their browser is not a Microsoft product.

Microsofts user-base is absolutely massive. We have to remember that a large chunk of those users barely have any idea of how to switch a computer on, let alone how to pick and use 5 different browsers. I thought a trial like this should ultimately benefit the consumer, because the only imaginable outcome of including competitors browsers from my point of view is resentment towards Microsoft, the browsers and mostly the E.U.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/29/2009 3:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Apparently I haven't made that clear at in my own posts. People seem to think I'm arguing on Microsoft's behalf but I'm not. To quote a post I posted on another article about this.....
quote:
It doesn't matter whether you like MS or not, this isn't just a Microsoft issue. What kind of precedent does this kind of thinking create? Imagine any other company of your choosing being told it's wrong not to include competing products with your own. Or that it's wrong to include your own free products in a package with a larger product. Imagine yourselves in that place. For some of you I'm sure it's easy to be on the side of the EU because MS is "evil", but how would you feel if was your own company?

That's it in a nutshell. I don't care about Microsoft at all, I care about the precedence this kind of thinking creates that could affect any and all companies.

If it's expicilty illegal, by all means go after a company. The Intel case for example has clear cut laws that were broken. I'm not saying to never go after Microsoft, but if you do, go after them for things that are easily identifiable as having broken the law.


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/29/2009 3:21:04 AM , Rating: 2
Also, when I mention Google etc., it's not to try to excuse Microsoft, or say that the courts should go after them as well. Again, I apparently didn't state my case clearly. It isn't meant as a direct comparison, but more as food for thought as to more and more places this kind of thinking and precedence can extend to. It's all about where does it stop? Microsoft is evil, so it's ok but what company next? And after that? Where do we draw the line?


RE: I am sorry....
By Kenenniah on 5/29/2009 3:41:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
To a highly defensive Ms supporting (no doubt American, wanting to defend one of their own against a foreign"aggressor") audience I can see why your view of my comment are tinted, thinking that I'm no doubt some sort of EU commie.


Actually, no I don't think that at all. You're just someone that has a different opinion than me on a certain subject. I don't believe I've used any label to try to describe or demean you, unlike the other way around. I've already stated it's not about Microsoft for me, I just tend to be skeptical about government involvment with business regardless of company name or place of origin.

Yes I do believe regulators need to step in in some cases, I just don't have the opinion that this is one of them. You disagree and that's fine, although I fail to see the need for name calling.

Unfortunately this is one of the side effects of text based communication. Interpretation of text can widely vary from person to person. I believe its especially easy to see hostility, defensiveness, and arrogance in text where with in person communication you get the extra cues to the true intent of the words. Somehow I think this would have been a fun debate in person where we could have probably been more clear about where the other was coming from. Anyway, have a good weekend.


RE: I am sorry....
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 1:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
I voice my perspective and opinions and you voice yours, and that is how debates work. If everyone knew everyone else’s opinions/perspectives automatically then what would be the point of the debate?

Moving on...
I just don't understand how forcing Microsoft to include every competitor’s browser into their operating system is protecting the consumer. I would actually find that more annoying because now I have an extra step. Again, this is all just my opinion.

Actually the one alternative browser I do have, Opera, I'm looking to replace because their being whiney about this and I’m sick of it.

Oh, and you're right. I'd like to think that I do know a good bit about computers. My salary is debatable but I won't get into that here.

Interestingly though the one thing we are debating (though I don’t know why) is only the first line of my original post and I was so sure that the first line was the unimportant part.

I actually like all this stuff better (errors corrected):
Beyond that, if the other manufacturers don't like that their browser isn't stock in an operating system... then the solution is simple. Make your own operating system. Wonder what browser is bundled with Google's Android?
It ‘s funny how things turn out I guess.


RE: I am sorry....
By krzyktty on 5/22/2009 1:30:21 PM , Rating: 1
because their being whiney about this and I’m sick of it.

Actually, it would be they're. In your sentence you are saying that they have taken ownership of their whine!

:P


RE: I am sorry....
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 1:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
All that meat in my post and you want to call me on my their/there/they're useage! Ooph! :-)


RE: I am sorry....
By krzyktty on 5/22/2009 1:50:09 PM , Rating: 1
Of course. The first sign of intelligence is proper grammer!

:)


RE: I am sorry....
By nixoofta on 5/22/2009 7:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I was going to just say:

"Knot!"

but Dailytech said my "...post consists of mosly non-alphanumeric characters. Please edit and try again."

I don't understand what my character has to do with it. (Uhm,...was grammar misspelled on purpose, 'cause that's funny too.)

:P


RE: I am sorry....
By krzyktty on 5/22/2009 11:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah,

I am his wife :) It is kind of an inside joke thing.

But anyway, back to the main point of this article.

I can see both sides of it. On the small internet web browsers side, Microsoft is such a large corporation, that it can easily include its browsers for free on its OS. With the browser already pre-included, why should the user bother to obtain another browser. All in all, the masses are not concerned with computer prowess. They just want A+B to get to c. Windows is A and Microsoft provides B already. That can be unfair to programs like Firefox. How can you compete with something like that?

Obviously they have found a way because while Firefox and Opera and the such do not have quite the same market share, they have forged their way into the market. Also, I do not think it is fair to tell Microsoft that they cannot package their own software simply because Firefox and Opera do not have internationally successful OS to package theirs with.

Finally, why is the EU not concerned with Apple and Safari, because it is not a monopoly. They are picking on Microsoft because of its size.


RE: I am sorry....
By Aloonatic on 5/26/2009 10:47:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
then the solution is simple. Make your own operating system.
Amazing, simply amazing.

Operating System = Simple.

Wow, just wow.


RE: I am sorry....
By Regected on 5/22/2009 10:24:08 AM , Rating: 1
Wow +1 to you for not knowing what's going on with something completely irrelevant to the article. The US economy is in a $hit hole because the rich people pass regulations to allow them to become more wealthy and powerful with little to no risk while at the same time crushing small business and ma and pa type businesses. It's not a monopoly in the business sector, but the political sector that is the downfall of the US.


RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 10:32:53 AM , Rating: 3
Most people use the tires, rims, steering wheel, etc that come on their car, but yet 3rd parties still survive and they even charge for their products unlike Firefox and other browsers.
So, is the EU going to sue every car maker?

And cars are not the only example of this. If you want more please just ask.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 10:43:52 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, there isn't an OS monopoly either. Microsoft has enormous market share, but it does not have exclusive control. Feel free to try again.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 11:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
See my other post up above regarding your last comment about this.


RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 2:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need to explain anything, because you clearly have never looked up the definition of the word 'monopoly'. I'll give you a hint, it starts with the word 'exclusive'. QED, you fail.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 2:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
lol

I know you are but what am I?

The degree to which discussions devolve when you show up is staggering. It's too bad that you lack the creativity to come up with good, colorful insults. Instead you give us this 1st grade garbage. Considering that insults are almost all you post, one would have hoped you could do a little better. :yawn:


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/22/2009 3:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
"I'm not insulting you, I am just pointing out you are to stupid"...

Wow, not insulting people? Un-freaking-real.....


RE: I am sorry....
By CU on 5/22/2009 4:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
I explained it to you up above, but you did not offer a counter. I would think with your intelligence you would be able to explain it to us.


RE: I am sorry....
By mikeyD95125 on 5/22/2009 10:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
Ok since we are all idiots and obviously can't explain the difference between a succesful company and a monopoly, why don't YOU explain it.


RE: I am sorry....
By stromgald30 on 5/22/2009 12:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
So from your reasoning, since Microsoft has a "monopoly" on the OS market, we should sue them for the pre-packaged software?

What about the calculator program? There's better calculator programs out there that cost money . . . is Microsoft under cutting them by pre-installing their calculator? What about the solitaire and pinball games? I'm sure there's $2.99 pinball games you could get but nobody's going to do that since they already have one pre-installed right? Same goes for Windows Explorer (which you can replace with a better shell browsing program.

Where do you draw the line? If you keep going, you won't have much of an OS left other than maybe a DOS command prompt.

The car analogy shouldn't be talking about tires, it's the sound system or air conditioning. If you want something better, go uninstall it and get something else. Don't whine about how even the lowest trim level includes those things.


RE: I am sorry....
By TA152H on 5/22/2009 11:07:59 AM , Rating: 2
You know, I have to give you a lot of credit. You not only wrote one dumb commment, but you're a serial dumb comment writer. This would probably make you an idiot. As an idiot, please don't breed, we have enough already.

But, more to the point, I'll agree with you that Microsoft has abused monopoly power before, and is a monopoly. Maybe not in the purest sense like AT&T was, or a utility company is if they are the only ones that serve where you live, but, their market presence is overwhelming, and many people do come close to needing Windows. How else can Vista penetration be explained except by Microsoft's ability to push technology even when there is customer resistance?

I personally HATE Microsoft. I think Windows is lousy, and thought OS/2 was much better. I didn't like what they did with Netscape, so I'm sympathetic with your desire to punish them, but not idiotic about it.

The reality is, Microsoft in no way precludes other browsers to be installed. They do not even charge money for their browser. Their main competitor also charges no money for their browser. Their competitors are gaining market share, not losing it, and new browsers have been coming out.

It's just not so difficult to use another browser, and this isn't some high tech position that in reality fails. Look at Firefox market share numbers, and you see that it is growing, the market is doing fine.

The EU has to get off the back of American companies and if we had a man with some hair on his back as President, instead of this pansy, they might fear retaliation. Then again, maybe Obama is the man to do it, if American opinion polls show him the light. The problem is, we can't retaliate, because Europeans can't seem to create a monopoly, and probably resent American's ability to invent and create industrial powerhouses. Then again, maybe they have a monopoly on the olive market?

I have a problem with this and the Intel ruling. When Intel made a bad processor, AMD won market share. When Microsoft's competitors made browsers with features Microsoft did not, they gained market share. In both cases, it has been very easy to get a product from a competitor. I never had a hard time seeing AMD based machines for sale, or going to Mozilla and downloading Firefox. In both cases, Intel and Microsoft had to come out with new products to address the shortcomings of the products that were losing market share.

That's how the market is supposed to work! Hating Microsoft is not enough reason to fine them for monopolistic practices where none are being employed. If you don't like Microsoft, don't buy their products. That's how you handle it, not by advocating bogus fines.


RE: I am sorry....
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: I am sorry....
By TA152H on 5/22/2009 2:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Based on what? A feeling you have? You make too suppositions without supporting fact. That Microsoft is abusing power, and that Firefox is suffering from it. Again, you display the qualities of an idiot. Really, you're a textbook case.

Probably, you're genetically inferior, but I'll still make an attempt to get communicate with you and hope it's just bad environment.

The browser market is not a monopoly situation for Microsoft. Their share is too low, and it's getting lower. Whether Firefox would have more is really immaterial, since it has so much already, everyone supports it, and it is still growing. Microsoft has responded twice by releasing new versions of Internet Explorer to address market share issues. This is how a free market should work.

There's nothing here that needs fixing. Save your bile and frustration for life for issues that really matter, and you've got a leg to stand on. Being bitter and angry can be good for you, if you direct it towards a proper target. Microsoft is a good target, normally, but you're dead wrong on this issue.

I'd rather see you spend your frustration and anger on Windows 7 pricing. There's a real issue there. Microsoft can increase prices on Windows and people would still have to buy it in many cases. Apple prices their computers so high, they aren't a real competitor in the mainstream space, and Linux, is well, Unix in drag. Neither are viable alternatives. I'd like to see Google do more with their fledgling OS. Intel has that stupid Moblin, but it's also Unix based.

We need a new OS, not a Unix derivative that has no chance of gaining acceptance. But, these companies keep pumping out Unix versions, and, not surprisingly, they never get more than a niche.


RE: I am sorry....
By mixpix on 5/23/2009 2:19:52 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is hilarious. Average people will uninstall IE and not be able to get a 3rd party browser because they have no way of accessing the websites.

Brilliant!


RE: I am sorry....
By LeStuka on 5/24/2009 6:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But they build the OS, who the f cares if IE is bundled, it's not like people don't have a CHOICE TO GET ANOTHER BROWSER


+1

Those bastards, selling their OS with the ability to browse web pages..
Who in their right mind would expect MS to bundle competitors browsers with their OS? This whole thing is all kinds of retarded.


EU Request is dumb anyway
By Justin Time on 5/22/2009 9:56:29 AM , Rating: 2
The Win-7 solution of removing IE (and a whole bunch of other apps) seems more than ok to me, and far better than the EU's requirement for MS to include everyone elses bloat-ware in the O/S.

Just the problem of keeping the various versions of other mfgs products in line would be a nightmare, Chrome seems to change versions overy 5 mins... and if I want to install FireFox, I'll go to their website.

And unlike the XP version which just removes the executable & links, The Win-7 version of remove IE actually seems to remove it.




RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/22/2009 10:11:49 AM , Rating: 1
While I agree with you on the Win-7 solution probably being sufficient, I think its worth pointing out that it would not really matter what version of Firefox, etc. that Microsoft bundled if it chose to go that route.

All of the major third party browsers (to my knowledge) have automatic checks for updates, which should upgrade the browsers, as long as your account has administrative privileges.

Regardless of the decision, its important to remember that with or without regulation, Opera and Firefox's browser marketshare growing. As long as we don't return to Microsoft's closed interfaces of the 90s, which seems highly unlikely, this trend should continue.


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By Marc G on 5/22/2009 10:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
But which browser would MS have to bundle then?
If they bundle FireFox, they get sued by Opera and so on and so on...

... they don't force BMW to put a TomTom/Mio/... navigation system in their cars, because you know ... bundling BMW's own navsystem is anticompetitive...


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/22/2009 10:58:02 AM , Rating: 1
IF they were going to do that, the only fair way to do it would be to bundle all the windows browsers -- Internet Explorer 8, Opera, Firefox 3, Safari, and Chrome. This would trivially increase the install disc image's size <100 mb, by my estimation.

When the user first logged in to Win 7, they could be presented with a user-friendly radio button pane pane where they could select a browser to use (preferably with each browsers' icon and a nice screenshot). I would say that would be the most equitable system Microsoft could adopt.

However, I'm not convinced its legal *obligated* to adopt such a solution (though maybe the EU disagrees).


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/22/2009 11:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
Um, IE 7 and 8 both did that <roll eyes>


By StevoLincolnite on 5/22/2009 11:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
You never know if Chrome will succeed or not, Firefox never came bundled with Windows and it's done extremely well, I would go as far to say that Firefox kick started Microsoft into improving IE significantly.

Firefox has 22% market share currently and it's been growing at the expense of IE mostly, it's amazing what word-of-mouth can do, I say word of mouth because I honestly don't really remember any Firefox advertising anywhere.


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By themaster08 on 5/25/2009 7:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The first time you install Google Chrome, it prompts you to select a search provider. This is a good example of how a monopolistic company doesn't abuse its power. It's too bad Chrome will never succeed because of Microsoft's abuse of power.

This post just shows entirely your lack of knowledge and credibility towards Microsoft and their products.

On second thought, you show that in every one of your asinine posts.


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 11:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
They wouldn't have to bundle any browser.

Just as you don't have to use a browser to get windows updates now, they could have a similar application that third part browser makers could provide simple links for, which could give the user the option of which browser they download, maybe even as part of the start up when they select time-zones and all that. It's feasible now as a lot of people have an internet connection via a router, so can be on-line when installing, or perhaps a version could be put on the DVDs?

No doubt the EU or whoever would have a problem with the order that they listed or whatever though. Those EU pensions and expenses don't pay for themselves after all :)


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/22/2009 11:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
Since when is IE not required for Windows updates?


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By Aloonatic on 5/22/2009 11:43:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm refereeing to windows updates in Vista/Win7, maybe I should have been clearer. I really should stop assuming people here have some kind of common sense, my bad.


RE: EU Request is dumb anyway
By scuba85 on 5/22/2009 11:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
Does this mean they are going to go after Apple next for bundling Safari?


I'm getting sick of this
By Marc G on 5/22/2009 10:12:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'm really getting sick of those EC ruling ...
How on earth can MS start bundling other browsers? If they do, how will they choose which browsers to include?? Just imagine if they start bundling FireFox AND Chrome AND Opera AND ... It would be very annoying. When I would install Windows I would need some time to uninstall every browser that I don't want or make sure it's not selected in the install, sigh :(

Also, if MS doesn't bundle ANY browser in Windows, how are people going to get a browser after all? They NEED a browser to at least download another browser. The EC CANNOT expect users to go to a physical store to buy a browser, that's like going back in time!

Like others already said, the uninstall IE feature in Windows 7 is available so anyone can uninstall it after downloading and installing a new browser.

And why is the EC always just targetting Microsoft? Isn't the Safari browser bundled with MacOS?? If so, then Apple should also be fined and ordered to remove their browser!

Same with Linux. I think most distributions come by default with FireFox. If so, that's also not fair to for example Opera.

Who knows, maybe in the future the EC will go after Volvo, BMW etc because they bundle a navigation system into their cars and ... well ... this is anticompetitive for companies like TomTom...

Morrons.




RE: I'm getting sick of this
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 10:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
Stop it, you are making too much sense. The EC does not take kindly to logical reasoning.


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By Marc G on 5/22/2009 10:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
It seems so :(

If the EC keeps playing this game, who knows, maybe Microsoft gets sufficiently tired of them and gets out of the EC. I'm wondering how things will go if that happens...

And of course the EC has to have those hearings and whatnot in Brussels, the capital of Belgium ... my country ... sigh


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By crystal clear on 5/22/2009 11:06:06 AM , Rating: 3


Any delay in the Microsoft case could have extended the outcome beyond the reach of Ms. Kroes, whose future as the Europe’s top competition official will depend on the outcome of June 7 European elections.

Mrs. Kroes has said she wants to issue a decision in the Microsoft case before her current term, which could last through the end of the year, expires.

But that will depend on the June elections, and whether the current commission president, José Manuel Barroso of Portugual, is re-elected and whether he reappoints Ms. Kroes, a Dutch lawyer.



http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/23/technology/compa...


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By wookie1 on 5/22/2009 12:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh, now it is much more clear. Also, choosing a date she knows that MS will not be able to attend may result in a "default judgement" against them since they won't be there to defend their case. She's got to get the fine or other action imposed just in time to appease potential voters! So she can claim that she rounded up Intel with a big fine and forced MS to add every Tom, Dick, and Harry's browsers, providing such a valuable service to the EU. Some jobs are great if you can get them.


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By Marc G on 5/22/2009 12:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
I hate political games...


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By crystal clear on 5/23/2009 8:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
A €1.06 billion payment actually would make Intel the 18th highest contributor to the EU budget - Bulgaria, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia each pay less each year into the EU budget than Intel will have to do with this one fine.

Now she wants to match Intel's financial contribution to the EU budget with equal amount from Microsoft & maybe even more.

Intel & Microsoft now deserve representation in the EU parliment & EU commissions based on their contribution to the EU budget.

I would do something better -

I would sponsor the election fundings for parliment members in the coming elections to have them elected.

Then ofcourse have her fired from her job & have all those fines made illegal through new legislations in parliment.

Money & politicians are very good bedmates.


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By xrodney on 5/22/2009 10:56:31 AM , Rating: 2
Well at least with BMW you can chose what everything you want included in car when you buying it.
You can still get it without navigation and buy it elsewhere.


RE: I'm getting sick of this
By stromgald30 on 5/22/2009 12:39:02 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, you probably can't get a BMW without air conditioning or a sound system without some wrangling with the manufacturer. Browsers have become so important, I think it's more than just a luxury add-on.


Is there something in the water?
By BZDTemp on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: Is there something in the water?
By Helbore on 5/22/2009 3:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. The EU makes life hell for all us living in Europe, too!


By themaster08 on 5/25/2009 7:22:14 AM , Rating: 2
I agree entirely.

I wish the UK would pull out of the E.U. They are the biggest detriment to our society (being a UK citizen myself, of course).

These fines are pocket change compared to what the UK pays into the E.U each year.


By Danish1 on 5/22/2009 11:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
More so I'll bet you the Americans with huge EU inferiority complexes aren't the ones who once build their great nation, they are ones who are currently bringing it down.

The gimme gimme gimme and blame everything bad on the EU generation.


RE: Is there something in the water?
By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 4:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fine Intel was given comes to less than 3 dollars per person in the EU so please do tell how this is getting rich on fines.


One of the reasons why socialism just doesn't work...

$1.45 Billion. How much do you think that could buy? I don't care who you are, or how much it turns out to be per capita... it is $1.45 BILLION. $1,450,000,000. Please, if that is chump change, share the love man... share the love...

As for your comments about the US citizens being the loudest... good. Thank you! Damn, I love my freedom of speech. That is the 1st Amendment to our Constitution, you know.

Also, it seems you think that all US citizens are so ignorant to believe that the world is about the US. Is that why the UN is located in NYC, NY, USA? Is that also why we talk just as loud, if not louder, about our own failures as our successes, or other country's socialistic invasion and attempted over regulation of what many of us try to keep as a free market?

You notice, the US does a fairly good job at stopping monopolies. As has been stated multiple times throughout this article's comments, the market share for MS has been steadily declining for a while now, and other products, such as Apple's iPod have absolutely destroyed MS products, such as the Zune. You may also notice that percentage share of IE users is dropping, as Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome are steadily, albeit slowly, gaining users.

You believe you know more about a free market than most Americans... maybe so, but you use that as a generalization of the whole. What you have stated entirely fits this style, as it appears that you are more socialist in nature. Try living in a truly free market (with regulations in moderation) and you might actually understand how a free market really works for yourself. Government intervention is nearly always a detriment on the economy, and the EC is too ignorant to realize that. After all, if it was good for government to intervene, the USSR would still be standing strong.

Just think about what will happen to each product's market when you insanely fine companies, such as by $1.45 billion. You raise prices on products across the board, because the producer cannot afford to supply as many of the product, thus bringing down total supply which raises prices. For the market, the other companies involved now have a leeway to increase *their* prices, and they nearly always do. So in the end, you have an outcome that hurts the consumer, business, and investment for the future, while gaining (as you stated) $3 per person in the EU.

Also, just as a side-point, what dirty tricks was Intel using? They were giving discounts for purchasing in bulk... that is called economies of scale. Hows about MS? They are bundling essential software with their OS (for free, might I add). Do not be so naive to believe that you aren't ignorant about the "words in between" because you obviously are if you believe these companies are employing "dirty tricks."

Another side-point; you should read some Ron Paul.


RE: Is there something in the water?
By BZDTemp on 5/23/2009 2:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, let's quickly go through your statements.

- Of course the fine is a lot of money it is just not making anyone rich or anything which is what is claimed in a lot statements around this place. The 3 bucks is meant to put it into perspective for those who does not know the EU is almost 500.000.000 people.

- Nothing wrong with freedom of speech. It is just better when people think and not just blurb out something in an automatic us vs. them reaction. Look at the post made to any news reported about the EU - note how many people do not even consider what a monopoly is. Just take all the "But Apple also includes a browser" and you see how many have not understood what the whole thing is about.

- US good at stopping monopolies. Not so much in the later years. Sure IBM, Microsoft, Ma Bell and others have felt it in the past but fx. Bush actually stopped several states running a case against Microsoft. Also Apple is actually building an Music distribution monopoly so mentioning that is perhaps not a good point.

- Of course I generalize so do you. There is limited room here but I do not just say "This is stupid" without at least saying why. Also what makes you think the EU is not a free market (with regulations in moderation)? I think the sub-prime crisis show pretty well what happens when there is to little regulation - or maybe you disagree?

- No one is going to automatically fine companies. The case is about making sure there is as much competition as possible. Why - because is good for all of us in contrast to when companies are allowed to build monopolies.

- Side point. Intel's dirty tricks. There were giving discounts on the condition of not AMD products not being sold. Discounts are fine as long as it is not A. price dumping or B. tied to conditions which hurt the free market.

- Side point two. Ron Paul. I remember reading about him up to the 2008 nomination. Not sure I agree with him very much. I think there should be free health care for all and good social security. Also I am not sure it would be good for US if the federal government is scaled down in a huge way. The later is however certainly interesting because a similar topic is the debate in the EU. As you know the EU is like a club of nations where each has given up some national control for it to work. Something which certainly has both good and sides to it.


By msomeoneelsez on 5/23/2009 10:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
I dont have much to say about your first 2 replies, I actually agree with the 2nd one that you said.

quote:
US good at stopping monopolies. Not so much in the later years. Sure IBM, Microsoft, Ma Bell and others have felt it in the past but fx. Bush actually stopped several states running a case against Microsoft. Also Apple is actually building an Music distribution monopoly so mentioning that is perhaps not a good point.


I am believing more and more that the OS market has become an oligopoly instead of monopoly. MS does control a large share of the market, but alternatives are definitely there. Linux and Apple have made significant headway into MS's market share in recent years, with other companies beginning to join in on the OS fight. Just look at Google's Android; it is currently phone only right now, but it is no secret that they will be releasing a full fledged OS soon. The Google name alone will draw a lot of people to that OS.

So in light of that, I am glad that Bush stopped the suits against MS. Just because they had extremely anti-competitive acts in the past, doesnt mean they are still stifling competition. Hey, even if they are, they aren't doing that great of a job at it.

quote:
- Of course I generalize so do you. There is limited room here but I do not just say "This is stupid" without at least saying why. Also what makes you think the EU is not a free market (with regulations in moderation)? I think the sub-prime crisis show pretty well what happens when there is to little regulation - or maybe you disagree?


If you look at the countries making up the EU, many of them are quite socialist, and most of them have a significant impact on their businesses through regulation, taxation, or fines. I am no expert in the matters of the EU, but the little bit that I do know strongly suggests that it is not a fully free market system.

Let me also state that the sub-prime crisis is directly caused by the housing bubble, which was caused by "price fixing" by the Federal Reserve, as well as inflation caused by the removal of the Gold Standard in 1933. Both acts are regulation of the markets, the Fed being utter control over the market. If the market were left alone, people wouldn't have taken the loans for much larger houses than necessary, and would have avoided the entire crisis. Also, if the market were left alone, businesses would be much less likely to have given out the bad loans in the first place because of the interest rates.

So yes, I entirely disagree that the US is lightly regulating the economy, and I also disagree that it was too little regulation. It was far too much indirect regulation that caused this. Unfortunately, politics doesn't see past direct causes though, and neither does the mainstream media.

quote:
- Side point. Intel's dirty tricks. There were giving discounts on the condition of not AMD products not being sold. Discounts are fine as long as it is not A. price dumping or B. tied to conditions which hurt the free market.


"One of the violations alleges that Intel paid computer makers to delay or outright scrap products using AMD processors." http://www.dailytech.com/EU+Ready+to+Fine+Intel+fo...

You are correct here, I overlooked that statement quoted above when I was quickly reading through articles.

quote:
- Side point two. Ron Paul. I remember reading about him up to the 2008 nomination. Not sure I agree with him very much. I think there should be free health care for all and good social security. Also I am not sure it would be good for US if the federal government is scaled down in a huge way. The later is however certainly interesting because a similar topic is the debate in the EU. As you know the EU is like a club of nations where each has given up some national control for it to work. Something which certainly has both good and sides to it.


Free health care... paid for by whom? Taxpayers. Or other country's companies :D Just had to throw that one in there.

The problem with "free" things from government, is that they aren't free. They are paid for by taxation, and they are subject to the corruption, irresponsibility, and political BS of government. So in the end, you pay a higher price for it, but it looks better because it is "free."

Also, it seems that you are against monopolies, no? I can assure you that government is the worst type of monopoly there is. They are inefficient, and they force everyone to pay for the village idiot's mistakes. The privatization of these goods and services would lower end costs, give more options, and increase efficiency in the whole.

I know that immediately scaling down the US government would create chaos, but it would be a much better situation for all if they would just follow the US Constitution at all. The Fed is actually unconstitutional, printed money without physical wealth backing it up is unconstitutional, just to name a few examples. When you look deeper into the economic affects of these things, you realize that many problems of today's world, at least in the sense for the US, are actually caused by these unconstitutional acts.

I strongly do encourage you to read "The Revolution" by Ron Paul, I just finished it, and many of his ideas are explained very well... and it makes complete economic and political sense.


RE: Is there something in the water?
By Targon on 5/23/2009 10:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
People in Europe do their own share of bashing, both the US government as well as the people who live here. If you looked as close at people in Europe, you would see there is really very little difference on the whole. You have people who are global in their thinking, and you have people who only look at how things directly impact their lives. You have people who listen and then say what they hear, and then you have those who think for themselves, and then come up with their own conclusions.

There is a lot to be said for nationalism, but, wouldn't people in Europe be upset if the US Government started setting fines on Airbus, Tomtom, and every other large European corporation that does business over here? When a company gets caught doing something obviously improper in the business world, then there is a lot of support on both sides of the Atlantic for fines. The problem is when fines are assessed for dubious reasons by a governing body.

So, look at this case, and I mean, seriously look at this case. Is Firefox, Safari, or any other browser that is available as a free product, not for profit really being harmed by Microsoft at this time? It is pretty clear that IE 8 is far better about supporting web standards than previous versions. Microsoft also is not being charged in this case for pushing web sites to support ONLY IE. If Microsoft is not blocking the installation of other web browsers, then how is it that installing a web browser by default in Windows is ANY different than Apple including Safari, or a Linux/UNIX distribution including a web browser?

Competing products are well and good, and I support fair competition. At the same time, I just don't see you making a proper assessment of the issue at hand. I also expect that you will be one of the first to complain if the US government started to fine large European corporations such as Airbus for foolish reasons.


By crystal clear on 5/22/2009 10:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
Now read this-

Why hold a hearing in the EU if key decision makers are unable to attend?

Therefore, we reluctantly notified the Commission that we will not proceed with a hearing on June 3-5. While Microsoft maintains its request for a hearing at a different date, that request has been denied and the Commission hearing officer has deemed Microsoft to have withdrawn its request for a hearing.



http://microsoftontheissues.com/cs/blogs/mscorp/ar...

When the prosecuting attorney is also the judge...what can you expect.




By crystal clear on 5/22/2009 10:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
For those interested-

Turning Windows Features On or Off

http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/03/06/beta-t...


By crystal clear on 5/22/2009 10:33:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft-Another sponsor of the E.U. taxpayers


I use the quote below posted by mdogs444

"Socialism is only good until you run out of everybody else's money"

So the EU commission is busy looking for "everybody else's money"


Sponsors-Microsoft,Intel, to be joined later by Google.


By msomeoneelsez on 5/22/2009 6:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
Amen. Just a frieken AMEN.

The really interesting thing is that many US citizens are in support of the EU's rampant lawsuits against "monopolies," which I am not so sure MS is a monopoly anymore... they definitely were but now... Im not so sure... Apple has hit them pretty hard lately, just look at the iPod vs. Zune.

The only anti-competitive acts (that I am aware of) done by MS lately is just the sheer number of applications that are usable in Windows. If you were to make your own OS, developers must now build to that as well...

it is a very interesting world we live in.


By crystal clear on 5/23/2009 9:09:51 AM , Rating: 2
Most US corporations solve such problems in Washington far more cleverly, accompanying their business interests not just legally but politically.
Usually, this helps to settle things a lot earlier and much more easily.

So its high time US corporations start donating to election funds of prospective candidates standing for elections to the EU parliment - June 7 European elections.

Through these parliment member have Ms. Kroes & her friends FIRED & have these fines made illegal through new legislations, & prevent further reoccurance of such fines.

Like in the USA start digging up dirt by exposing the private lives of EU commission members.

Corruption is rampant in the EU & exposing it takes only a bit of time & effort & some funding.

Example- members of parliment in the UK.....newspapers in the UK are doing one hell of job exposing them.


Anti North American
By Oyster on 5/22/2009 10:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
Is it just me, or it seems that the freaks in the EU are targeting only North American companies? Why doesn't it worry about companies like ArcelorMittal instead... What's next? Sue Apple for making the IPhone Safari-exclusive? I'd love M$ to stick one up EU's a**.




RE: Anti North American
By DigitalFreak on 5/22/2009 10:34:48 AM , Rating: 3
It's just you. You only hear about the US companies because you live in the US.


RE: Anti North American
By PhoenixKnight on 5/22/2009 5:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's next? Sue Apple for making the IPhone Safari-exclusive


That actually makes more sense than suing MS for bundling IE, because Apple intentionally and actively prevents consumers from using browsers other than Safari on the iPhone.


Windows Update
By mower87 on 5/22/2009 10:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
So...if IE8 is uninstalled, will I now be able to use other browsers to update Windows 7? If uninstalling IE8 takes away update capabilities, then that should be an antitrust issue.

Same line of thought...if IE8 is uninstalled, will Firefox still be able to use the IE Tab add-on for those annoying sites (like Windows Update) that only play well with IE?




RE: Windows Update
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 11:03:39 AM , Rating: 2
Windows Update has been separate from IE since Vista. Even in XP and probably 2000 they have a "windows update" program you can download. I'm pretty sure uninstalling the browsers desn't kill these, though I've never tested this.


RE: Windows Update
By PhoenixKnight on 5/22/2009 5:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Windows Update in Vista and Windows 7 doesn't use any browser at all. It has it's own completely independent entry in Control Panel.


Tech support nightmare
By Barfo on 5/22/2009 9:57:04 AM , Rating: 2
95% of computer users would be unable to download Opera or Firefox without IE coming preinstalled, I wonder if the EU ever thought about this.




RE: Tech support nightmare
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/22/2009 10:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
They don't care if their ruling makes sense, they just want to collect monies.


Ridiculous
By Luticus on 5/22/2009 10:17:24 AM , Rating: 2
I think this entire issue is ridiculous anyway. I mean seriously, why a court can tell a company what they can/can't put in their product is beyond me. Obviously I’m not talking about exceptions like nails in a cake or lead in paint. I mean I understand that they *can* tell them, but why should they be able to. Isn't free market supposed to do that for us? If you don't like a product, use something else... that's how it's supposed to work. I get regulating things like open/standardized code and such so that all browsers view pages the same way, this way we have fair competition based on features/security/etc. but to actually tell a company they can't put their Brower in their own OS is really a bit stupid in my opinion.




RE: Ridiculous
By iwantmymug on 5/22/2009 12:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
How about M$ just develop a version of their OS with NO browser included just for the EU? And I'm not talking about an optional version like XP-N that didn't include WMP. The ONLY version the EU gets will have no browser. Then the citizens of the EU will be protected from the evil Microsoft monopoly, and their browser made of concentrated digitized Devil's blood.

Europeans will then be free to download their browser of choice through a command-line ftp interface. Or maybe Microsoft should remove that from the EU version too. I mean it would be pretty dangerous to allow people to use an FTP client from Microsoft too. folks could start downloading websites and viewing them off-line (although that would suck remarkably for sites that use scripting). Maybe the EU will legislate that all websites need to include a version of their website that works with static pages, or they will be blocked by the "Great Firewall of the EU" (see China for an example of how this could work).

Problem solved. No bundled browser to fight over, and all European Windows users are "protected" from Microsoft's evil monopoly because they will have to choose and download a browser first before going on the Internet. That ought to be a relief to all those non-computer savvy users that just want to buy a computer and have it work.


reader1
By flashfreak on 5/22/2009 2:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
Reader1,

Perhaps the readers in this forum disagree with your assessment of the situation because we're smart enough to figure out how to do things on our own. I guess the EU thinks it needs to coddle its population more.

Microsoft isn’t a monopoly. It doesn’t dictate or even set trends. Microsoft, more so then not, follows others like Apple. Not saying that Windows isn’t a majority of computers, but it’s been losing market share for years now. It has some very serious competitors in Apple, and to a lesser degree, Linux. History is replete with this same situation; Ford, IBM, and AT&T just to name a few. Since Microsoft isn’t just about an OS anymore, it’s behind in everything from AI in cars to OS’s in phones.

Also, last I looked; the world economy was circling the toilet, not just the USA. Convenient you failed to include that in your statement.

Thanks for playing.




RE: reader1
By reader1 on 5/22/2009 2:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
You're welcome.


Not just an OS
By SimpleLance on 5/22/2009 4:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft does not just sell an OS. They sell a usable desktop environment. And these days, the browser is part of a usable desktop experience, in the same way that the file browser does for the local files.

The EU should not define what a desktop is. That should be up to the innovators like Microsoft. Otherwise, we would still be living in the archaic Unix world of nothing but a text terminal.




RE: Not just an OS
By remo on 5/23/2009 4:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
Because it was microsoft that invented the GUI ?


I am sorry
By frozentundra123456 on 5/22/2009 11:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
How ridiculous. If you could not use another browser, or if using another browser caused windows to malfunction, that would be a monopoly. I see no problem with IE being bundled with windows. If you don't want to use it, just download another browser and never use IE again.




RE: I am sorry
By themaster08 on 5/25/2009 7:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I see no problem with IE being bundled with windows. If you don't want to use it, just download another browser and never use IE again.

Precisely. That's the opinion of the vast majority of people, even those who use alternative browsers.

But you see that's the thing. The E.U has never supported the majority. They don't listen to the people whom this will ultimately affect.

I'm sure they have no idea of the implications of what they are demanding.


Rules of engagment
By Regected on 5/22/2009 10:12:39 AM , Rating: 3
Ok, so we know from Intel that you can't give out coupons, now we know from Microsoft that you can't give out free software. I'm sure glad that commission is keeping a close eye on consumer interests. Heaven forbid getting something for nothing, or at a reduced price.




RE: Rules of engagment
By reader1 on 5/22/09, Rating: 0
Apple
By PitbulI on 5/22/2009 10:43:39 AM , Rating: 3
Why isn't Apple facing these fines as well? They bundle their Safari browser with their OS.