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Since Microsoft's browser ballot went live, Opera reports its downloads in numerous EU countries have tripled.  (Source: Microsoft)
Turns out that Opera, Mozilla, and Google's gripes about Microsoft's browser favoritism were accurate, it appears

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 is the slowest of the major browsers on the market, but it (along with its previous editions) is also currently still clinging to almost 60 percent market share.  Some say the large market share is because it's relatively secure (despite a large number of attacks due to its major market share) and because its easily managed with IT software.  None of that explains the high consumer usage, though, as the general public typically isn't overly informed when it comes to security and doesn't use any sort of IT management tools.  

Norway-based Opera Software, who manufactures a popular third-party browser, complained that the reason Microsoft dominated in this increasingly lucrative market was not as a result of merit, but rather via anticompetitive techniques -- by bundling Internet Explorer with its ubiquitous Windows OS.  It successfully petitioned European Union antitrust regulators to mandate Microsoft to adopt a "ballot screen" approach with Windows, giving users a free pick from a variety of browsers.  That feature went online this week.

The early results appear to validate Opera's claims that Microsoft's advantage was artificially produced.  Describes Rolf Assev, Opera's chief strategy officer, "Since the browser choice screen rollout, Opera downloads have more than tripled in major European countries, such as Belgium, France, Spain, Poland and the UK."

Why does Opera care about browser market share so much?  Opera was among the first browser makers to broker a deal with a search engine giant (in its case Google) to auction off the browser's default search engine.  As search engines lead to advertising revenue, and many users rely on the default search, such deals typically bring tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to the browser maker.  The size of the deal typically depends, though, on the number of active users, so getting users to download your browser is critical.

The browser ballot screen was delivered to EU users via Windows Update.  When the users update, if their default browser is Internet Explorer (which is the case if you just installed Windows), the customer will receive an Internet Explorer Window that prompts them to pick between 12 browsers, including Microsoft's own Internet Explorer.  Opera is included among the randomly generated list along with Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. 

Despite the apparent success of the experiment, and gains for third party browser makers like Opera and Mozilla, some aren't entirely satisfied with the results.  Shawn Hardin -- chief executive of Flock, Europe's sixth largest browser -- says that even though there's a scroll bar to find more options (lesser known browsers), that most customers won't realize that there's more picks than the ones initially positioned onscreen in the frame (Opera, IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari).  That, he says, isn't fair.

He comments, "Frankly, nobody knows there are more than five options. We see this as unfair."

Despite this and some minor other complaints, the larger third parties, Microsoft, and the European Union antitrust regulators all seem relatively pleased with the browser ballot system.  

Given this success, one can't help but wonder whether the ballot screen could be making its way to the U.S. sometime in the near future.



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Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 10:56:19 AM , Rating: 4
Not Microsoft's problem to support the competition.

This is unfortunate for the future of all businesses.




RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/2010 11:22:15 AM , Rating: 5
I know this is gunna be an insta-down-rate (faster than arguing in support of Apple) comment but...

There is a difference between "supporting" something, and making sure that everyone has a chance to compete on a level playing field. Every customer has the right to be given a genuine choice, not just those who are in the know and are aware that there are other alternatives out there, i.e. you.

It never fails to amaze me how so many here cannot understand the difference. How many times have we been over this?

Before this move by the EU, the MS OS team sold their product, well done them, pat on the back. The MS browser department got a free pass, and were the default option. That didn't lead to laziness and lack of innovation now did it? And yes, the same goes for the Media Player team too before you ask.

The MS browser (and Media Player) team need to compete on the the same level, with the same opportunities as everyone else, for the good of the industry. What's so wrong about that? Also, before people start spouting "oh no, fire-fox moved plenty of copies before this". That others with better products (better than IE, IMO) achieved some limited success is neither here-nor-there.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 11:38:47 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Every customer has the right to be given a genuine choice, not just those who are in the know and are aware that there are other alternatives out there, i.e. you.


Agreed that they should have a choice, but it is NOT Microsoft's responsibility to advertise for them, and the ballot system is exactly what that is. If they want a larger share then go out and market it. If your market does not know about alternatives it is not the EU's or MS's job to educate your target demo.

And yes MS has an advantage as the default, they have grown their OS share (aka they have marketed their product) to the point that it is the standard. Is this advantage unfair? No, anything that is the default has an advantage, but that is reality.

The tires on a new car are a certain brand, there are other options but should the car company have to advertise for those brands? There are defaults in most of the products we by (anything that has an aftermarket in fact), since when is it the responsibility of the default to educate the consumer on additional options.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/2010 12:32:31 PM , Rating: 1
Oh great, the tyre(d) analogy. Do Ford sell Ford tyres? Are Ford the only major car manufacturer in town, with a very dominant position in the market place? Do their tyres, that they fit perform poorly compared to others? Would it be ok though, as long as you knew where to get better performing tyres? What do you care about anyone else? Would it be OK to leave tyre technology to stagnate as Ford essentially control what a tyre was or should be, as it's very hard for another commercial tyre manufacture, or even one who gives them away for free to break into the market against a giant who is "giving" their tyres away?

Anyway, enough of that silliness.

The ballot systems is simply a way for people to have a free choice. Free choice for everyone, not just you, who is in-the-know about such things. do you just use IE? I doubt it. Or if you do, I'm pretty sure that you are in the minority here. Why should everyone else not have a simple and easy choice?

Oh, and if MS are so confident that IE is so good, then what do they have to worry about? Again, please tell me since when has fair competition and free choice been such a big problem?


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 12:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
Ok do GE toasters us GE capacitors, yes, are there other better performing capacitors out there (lets say yes). Should GE give me a choice in my capaciting needs. And should they have to redo their distribution model to accomodate my desire for non GE capacitors. Because I am unaware of such other options.

quote:
The ballot systems is simply a way for people to have a free choice. Free choice for everyone, not just you, who is in-the-know about such things.


NO NO NO NO NO the ballot system is a way for unknown browsers to be presented to the user. Your very statement is the definition of MARKETING, if your target demo is not "in-the-know" then YOU advertise. Not your competitors.

The user has the free choice without it, they just don't use it. Your saying it is MS's job to educate them, and the EU has dictated that as well. How can you not see this as a bad idea, a government dictating a company to educate it's customers about their competition. I feel stupid just typing that it is so absurd.


RE: Pitiful
By ClownPuncher on 3/5/2010 12:53:48 PM , Rating: 5
More analogies

Should the hotel you are staying in bring in towels from all of the local hotels to see which ones you like better?

Why is Microsoft doing the legwork for these other companies?

I'm all for anti trust when done fairly, but in this case the EU is anti competetive, not Microsoft.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 1:23:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You may construe that as MS being made to advertise

Your entire first paragraph defines why companies MARKET and ADVERTISE.

If YOUR customers don't know about YOUR product then ... wait for it... YOU tell them.

If you cannot see how this ADVERTISES for opera (here let me define that for you) ...

ad·ver·tise (dvr-tz)
v. ad·ver·tised, ad·ver·tis·ing, ad·ver·tis·es
1. To make public announcement of, especially to proclaim the qualities or advantages of (a product or business) so as to increase sales.


and was done so at a programming/logistics cost to MS then we sir are at an impasse.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 1:47:53 PM , Rating: 5
Then the EU should fund an educational program to make it's ignorant* users aware. My only contention is that MS should not have to foot bill (or alter it's business model at all really) and this implementation was clearly not free for them. As this is clearly an advertisement (public announcement) for a competitor, one that is government dictated and paid for by the owner. A bad precedent.

*ignorant - uneducated in the fundamentals of a given art or branch of learning; lacking knowledge of a specific field; "she is ignorant of quantum mechanics"; "he is musically illiterate"

Not meant as an insult rather an accurate word used to describe the type of user that would benefit.


RE: Pitiful
By themaster08 on 3/6/2010 2:01:06 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Then the EU should fund an educational program to make it's ignorant* users aware.

I agree. Furthermore, if the EU were really that concerned, they could have paid for the marketing campaigns of all these browsers instead of pawning it all off on Microsoft.

I agree with the notion that it's not Microsoft's responsibility to advertise it's competitor's browsers, regardless of their market position. It's the end-user's responsibility to wise up and figure these things out for themselves, instead of others working it out for them yet again.

Allowing a tech illiterate user to choose from multiple browsers does nothing to help them. I'm sure many of them blindly chose one. This does nothing to benefit the consumer, only the marketshare of these browsers.

Education on the subject is what will enable the consumer to make their desired choice.


RE: Pitiful
By gamerk2 on 3/8/2010 10:04:52 AM , Rating: 2
Disagree. Users are not inclined to download alternatives because IE is installed by default, which is a significant competitive edge. Of course, since you need a browser to download another brower, you quickly see how anti-competitive the packaging of IE is.

All this does is give a choice to the user to select an alternative when first installing Windows. Once again, its up to the EU to keep coorporations in line and playing fair.


RE: Pitiful
By tixx on 3/8/2010 6:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
Complete Bull. A Windows OS should by DEFAULT include a browser to begin with, ie their own (completely fair since it is their own operating system).

That is a good thing, to supply a browser for the OS to begin with. I don't see Opera 7 (Windows 7) on the box, do you?

The other competitors are the ones who need to broaden their name/products to the consumers through advertisements/marketing.

What they are doing is plain anti-competitive and free exposure.

The day when I cannot install another Browser in a Windows OS is when I will complain.

I mean seriously look at what the hell they are arguing about. This is just stupid.


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 7:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
Things should not be forced.
If those browsers wanted to have more exposure they should of entered in an agreement with Microsoft. They (The other Browsers) should be paying Microsoft for their ad space.


RE: Pitiful
By artemicion on 3/5/2010 1:39:03 PM , Rating: 5
I think in America (as opposed to the EU), we take a more conservative approach to economics. We don't want to regulate a company's actions unless it *unfairly* prejudices a competitor's business.

Does the IE default on Windows OS's in the U.S. prejudice the browser competitors like Mozilla and Opera? Undoubtedly yes. Does it unfairly prejudice the competition? Most Americans would say no. The way we see it, Microsoft took the time to make a popular operating system, and they should be allowed to capitalize on their innovation.

More liberal economic philosophies would impose greater duties on corporations. For example, in this case, Europeans impose a duty on Microsoft to help foster the competition in the OS market. This level of government intervention would probably feel very alien to an American.

The more efficient economic philsophy is a subject of huge debate which is probably beyond the capacity that the DailyTech comments forum is able to adequately address. Plus, not to be arrogant, but I'm rather skeptical that myself or anybody else who frequents this site has the educational background and credentials to convincingly debate one philosophy or the other. However, to distill the American school of thought to its most basic premises, I would say that Americans don't think Microsoft should be required to ballot internet browsers because it decreases their incentive to innovate their operating system. Bigger carrot = better OS.

Feel free to disagree and continue pointing out superficial deficiencies in each other's analogies.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 1:52:12 PM , Rating: 1
Well put. Agree to disagree then.

In the end if MS did not like it they could always just not sell their product there, it is after all wholly their choice to do so.


RE: Pitiful
By Ammohunt on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By artemicion on 3/5/2010 2:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
Except that neither American nor the EU is a pure free market or socialist economy? And that knowing the basic definition of either economy is not enough to be qualified to debate public policy on either? Or do you actually think that anybody who has a copy of webster's is fit to be fed chairman?

And yes, I'm not trying to be arrogant. I humbly admit that I don't have the educational background to argue with someone about which policy is better (even after looking up the definitions on dictionary.com, oh my better find my half-a-brain . . .). I'm just pointing on the fact that this is a tech website. It's not as if econ PhDs are the main demographic here, so it's probably true that nobody here has the academic chutzpah to be deemed an authority on sound economic policy . . . The only point of my post is to intervene on a debate that was amounting to nothing more than banal observations about superficial flaws in argumentative analogies.


RE: Pitiful
By rmlarsen on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 10:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need a PhD to think for yourself.
Thats why you have people with PhD's arguing

All a PhD is I've spent a considerable amount of time gathering information on a subject to develop my thesis.
Its basically a I worked my ass off for a title.
Now it can be argued people with Phds have a very narrow scope of information, to the end they are usually not able to argue beyond their field. Getting a PhD is also very subjective on the fact you can't stray to far from the current policitcal climate of the field.

Capitalism will always need oversight.
The question is how much and how prevalent it should be.
Currently all the oversight usually does in today's markets is to fortify the current market positions and to benefit the current companies.


RE: Pitiful
By darkblade33 on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Chocobollz on 3/5/2010 3:23:38 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Ok do GE toasters us GE capacitors, yes, are there other better performing capacitors out there (lets say yes). Should GE give me a choice in my capaciting needs. And should they have to redo their distribution model to accomodate my desire for non GE capacitors. Because I am unaware of such other options.

That's a correct analogy, if it's based on the OP analogy but I think in the browser ballot case, it maybe more like this:

Opera: "Hello sir, do you know about us?"
User: "I don't know you.. Who are you?!"
Opera: "We are a third party internet browser company. Our product is very good!"
User: "Oh great, well then, can you show me how to install your browser?"
Opera: "Sure! Just open up the INTERNET EXPLORER (?*&!(#!&^$^!)@9#)..... and download our product......"
User: "Internet Explorer is it? Well, this is an internet browser, I already have it so I don't need your product."

(User hang up the phone)

Opera: "......... . . . . . . ...... . .. . . .."

XD

So, I think your analogy would be correct IF, GE sold capacitors and you HAVE TO use their capacitor to look for another competitor's capacitors.


RE: Pitiful
By xsilver on 3/6/2010 1:11:06 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly - a good option rather than the ballot would be to have no browsers installed, then the user would be free to choose without the other options being advertised for free.
Then you have the problem of how you download the browser though.


RE: Pitiful
By Targon on 3/6/2010 7:23:28 AM , Rating: 1
You mean, *gasp*, the browsers would actually be available via a FTP server rather than an HTTP based server? Say it ain't so!

Honestly, every company that makes a browser should have to PAY Microsoft to include it, but due to anti-trust regulations, how hard would it be to force Microsoft to split off IE to it's own development company to level the playing field?


RE: Pitiful
By xsilver on 3/6/2010 8:24:21 AM , Rating: 2
Ask your regular layman what FTP is and they'll tell you its something they got saturday night after getting drunk lol.


RE: Pitiful
By Camikazi on 3/6/2010 4:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
On the upside, I would make a lot more money installing Browsers if they made the OS with no browsers :) I would bring my Magic USB Drive and ta-da! browser installed :)


RE: Pitiful
By niva on 3/8/2010 1:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the best thing would've been to let users get a browser the hard way in the EU where this was a problem. However, the moment we have to use an FTP method of accessing the said browsers the EU would wage new war against Microsoft to have a ballot that allows the install of competing ftp client solutions.

I'm sorry but I totally disagree with the EU and am really appalled that MS went along with this ballot idea. Next I hope the EU goes after Apple for bundling Safari and after Canonical for bundling Firefox. The legal precedent of this is simply huge and opens up a can of worms in a number of other areas such as office productivity bundles, video players, any default installed applications on any given OS.


RE: Pitiful
By zmatt on 3/10/2010 9:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
agreed, this will let the EU tell MS that it can't bundle anything worthwhile with windows, because it "hurts their competitors". It's Microsoft's OS, they can put whatever they want. When they actively block what can and cannot be installed is when it becomes anti competitive. Can the EU also tell Toyota not to sell the Prius, because it hurts competitors. The logic is absurd

Besides, the way these things work it would be very difficult for the average user to install a browser without having one already installed with which to reach it's download page. Sure you could use an ftp client, but guess what, you download those off the internet as well. By now a browser is an essential app for a personal computer, and sorry for Opera and the other guys for getting butt hurt, but if you want more market share then, first make a better browser and then advertise. I have never seen a firefox commercial, or an opera one for that matter.


RE: Pitiful
By boobo on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Paken on 3/6/2010 12:24:18 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with you completely on that companies should have to market their product.

The problem is that Microsoft doesn't have to market there product to get their market share. Because of the virtual monopoly Microsoft has on the OS market they already have their foot in the door. They're able to get their Internet Explorer market share up just because they can include it with Windows, not through marketing.

Forcing Microsoft to be an advertiser for their competitors might not be the best solution, but something needs to be done the level the playing field given Microsoft's advantage.


RE: Pitiful
By whiskerwill on 3/6/2010 12:51:46 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft's product is Windows. The web browser is part of Windows, just like the file browser is.

The EU insists on defining it as some separate product so they can justify stealing billions from MS.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By kc77 on 3/5/2010 8:57:56 PM , Rating: 5
That's such a bad argument for tons of reasons it hurts. You ever hear of AOL? How about Netscape (especially Netscape!)? Prodigy? This has been done before and you know what? It didn't work. AOL, Netscape, and Prodigy were the main contributors to accessing the Internet for years. IE wasn't even on the map.... until it started bundling IE with Windows 95, and guess what? They got wiped out.

It's widely known in business that if a customer is presented with a default option which requires little to no interaction in making said choice the customer is going to choose (but not really) the default option. No one chooses IE, because they really don't have to. It's already there.


RE: Pitiful
By Camikazi on 3/6/2010 4:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
True I chose Firefox :) IE is just for Windows Updates and nothing more.


RE: Pitiful
By karlostomy on 3/6/2010 10:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The ballot systems is simply a way for people to have a free choice.


Free choice and fair competition are essential and imperative for a free society and free market to function efficiently.

The issue that is not being understood by aloonatic, is that a fair and free market requires that consumers educate themselves on the products that are available.
Failing that, the company that makes a product has a SOLE responsibility to educate the customers it wishes to serve.

The problem that has arisen is that the EU has forced one company to educate consumers about their competitors products at the sole expense of said company.

The problem that aloonatic seems to be having is that he/she wants free choice to also involve free consumer education for the companies that seem unwilling to fund their own marketing and advertising.

The free ballot amounts to forcing MS to fund the education of otherwise ignorant consumers about its competitor's products.

Plain and simple, it stinks.
Aloonatic, please, wake up and smell the coffee.

I am saddened and upset that people like aloonatic actually believe the crap they spout.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By theendofallsongs on 3/6/2010 7:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And to get an alternative to said product, you have to use it.
BS. You don't have to use IE to get another browser. You can get it by disk.

I guess your too young to remember all the Netscape CDs that used to be handed out in supermarket aisles.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 3:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can get it on a disk. Just pop out now and get me a copy will you? You know what I mean, and that by far the best way to get software like this now is via the internet. To pretend otherwise is childish in the extreme.

And yes, I can remember when software was regularly distributed on disks, but unless you have a time machine handy, that is a moot point.


RE: Pitiful
By jRaskell on 3/8/2010 7:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess your too young to remember all the Netscape CDs that used to be handed out in supermarket aisles.


and how well did that work out for them?


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/6/2010 7:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The rather unique circumstances in which MS find themselves, and their ability to distort and manipulate the market means taht it is not really "free", in the way that we are used to thinking of it.


You can use OSx or Linux. What part are you not getting about that? Just because Windows is the most popular, compatible, easy to use and preferred OS does NOT mean the market was distorted or manipulated. Is it so hard for you guys to believe most people just prefer using it ?

Speaking of manipulation, why can't I use an Apple OS on my PC, huh ? Oh but I guess you don't have a problem with that.

quote:
When you factor in the massive power and influence that MS has, able to vastly outspend any upstart firm who dare to challenge them in the normal way that we are used to, with perhaps only Google with Chrome being able to affectively able to compete, but they came along after all this started.


LOL so out of the 4 commonly used web browsers, only ONE is made by Microsoft, yet they are squashing upstarts and there isn't enough competition ??

quote:
I agree that normally it should be up to the consumer to educate themselves. However, this is not a normal situation.


That's not a valid excuse, and that is NOT Microsoft's fault.

quote:
There are few other markets where one product is already handed to you on a plate, no muss, no fuss, free/gratis. And to get an alternative to said product, you have to use it. Tell me any other market where that happens?


Tell me any other market where ALL THE ALTERNATIVES are also free. The premise of the argument you guys present is laughable. NOBODY makes profits on the browser itself. They are ALL free.

This is like your cable company giving away a free flat screen with every cable subscription, and you bitching because you rather have a SONY than a VIZIO. Without a TV you could NOT view cable content in the first place !


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/7/2010 9:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
I am aware that you and I can use linux, but the EU/EC isn't looking out for us, it is looking out for the market in general. People who walk into PC world and by a PC. That they could technically do something is neither here nor there. We know about these things because it's our hobby/business. That's what you;re not getting.

That you can't put Apple's OS on your machine has absolutely nothing to do with this. Because someone else doesn't do what you want them to others can behave however they want too? Is that it? Sir Sir, that other boy is being naughty too Sir?!?

As for 4 commonly used browsers. How much of that is to do with rulings like this? This is just the final step in all these. When things started, what was the situation then? And just how commonly used are they? Fire ox has grown of late. Google have put there money behind chrome, sure. But when all this started, unless you were either a massive movement like that which it took to create firefox, or a very rich company like Google... Basically, where is the little upstart? They never stood a chance, but at least now they do

So its not MSs 'fault. I quite agree, but it's still their problem. That's life, and they are a victim of their own success, but boo hoo, it's all part of the game. I don;t want to live in a world dominated by a few very rich corporations thank you. I know that to many here that is the dream as you think that governments are evil and corps only do good. Even after all that has happened recently, when the pursuit of money, market dominance and profit was all that mattered.

You are quite right about browsers not being free. Netcaptor tried back in the day, got no where, even though it was better than the IE at the time. Opera tried to charge but struggled, again, even though most would agree that it was better than IE at the time.

But in there, with a large market share for a browser browser lies the real prize though. That was what MS wanted to control as they know that it is what makes money. Control how people use the internet, their way into it and you can make money from it if you want to, control their home pages/web portals. Google aren't giving Chrome away out of the kindness of their hearts, nor are Opera, nor are Apple. Do you think that MS have not been trying to stop Google because they recognise that they could be a threat? Watch as Android grows, and a Google's OS grows in popularity and use, MS's control of the market shrink. This is all part of it too. You will benefit, but you won't thank the EU/EC for it, damn commies, right?

I'm not sure about your cable TV thing, but I'll have a go. I don't need a TV to go out and get another TV, do I? However, if the TV that I got was worse than that which I could, and harmed my viewing experience, and I had little choice in reality than to use our cable company, then there would be a problem and action should be taken, but that situation doesn't exist, does it?


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/7/2010 10:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So its not MSs 'fault. I quite agree, but it's still their problem. That's life, and they are a victim of their own success, but boo hoo, it's all part of the game.


Oh right, you aren't biased at all with a statement like this.

Hey Opera, boo hoo. You're a victim of your own failure to advertise and to make a product that's radically different then IE.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 3:21:13 AM , Rating: 2
What do you mean biased?

No, I mean that when a company finds itself in a massively dominant position it sometimes, for the good of the industry and consumer, needs to be made to do things that are unusual, regardless of the industry that we are talking about.

That you can't understand this is quite sad. What is even more sad is your continuing lack of ability/want to look at this from a distance, from the perspective that government bodies, tasked with protecting the average consumer, have to.

I get it, your a flag waving, ultra-capitalists who still believes that businesses can be trusted to run everything and their actions never need to be checked by governments. we're never going to see eye to eye on this.


RE: Pitiful
By Penti on 3/7/2010 11:18:18 AM , Rating: 2
Before Windows 7 OEMs (the one's who actually got to choose the software) they couldn't really deliver computers with another browser pre-installed, as in they couldn't uninstall IE, now they can. Which gives much greater possibilities for third party browsers today then before.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/7/2010 7:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
"Before Windows 7 OEMs (the one's who actually got to choose the software) they couldn't really deliver computers with another browser pre-installed"

Where does this idiocy come from? Of COURSE OEMs could do this. They simply couldn't deliver another browser AND exclude IE.

And technically, not even that is correct. They were free to remove IE if they wanted to...they just couldn't do so and still get the massive discount on Windows other OEMs would receive.


RE: Pitiful
By karlostomy on 3/7/2010 12:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
@ aloonatic.

You make the case that there are strange and unique circumstances that justify the EU mandate.
There are a number of things wrong with your arguments.

1. "...they (MS) effectively are the market"
Wrong.
Linux, Unix, Mac offer viable, professional, usable alternatives. MS is a very successful participant in this free market.

2. "....freely given away browser gives them an unfair advantage.
Wrong.
The included free browser can be used by ANY AND ALL consumers to inform themselves about competing products and source competing products, at NO COST to the consumer, or anyone. For example, I use Firefox 99% of the time. I researched firefox using IE for free and I downloaded it for free using the free included browser that MS bundled for free with its OS. At no time did MS try to stop me or dissuade me from informing myself on and sourcing its competitor's product.
I cannot imagine how this could be any fairer.

Where is the MS advantage, again?
How is MS forcing me to use IE?

3. "The rather unique circumstances in which MS find themselves"
What?
These circumstances are rather common in competitive markets
Consider this:
I bought an Mp3 player recently.
It was a no name brand.
It was comparable in every realistic way, to an apple ipod product, yet it cost 1/3 of the ipod price.
I ask you, how many consumers are blissfully unaware that this no-name product was available and is undeniably a better deal?

Isn't the ipod/mp3 popularity exactly the same situation as the one you illustrate above?
To all intents and purposes, the ipod represents a market monopoly that, according to you, is stifling the free market for unknown Mp3 brands!

Now..... tell me, should Apple be forced to educate all the consumers in the EU about other MP3 players, which have more features and are available at cheaper prices?

So, you see, this situation is not unique at all.

As a further example, consider popular music... we all know its trash, yet our radio stations play the stuff all day long, despite the existence of unknown original artists with much better, but unheard, music!
Yet, are we LEGISLATING the record companies to promote the superior music of unknown artists?
No, we are not.

I could go on, and on with more examples...
Hopefully you get the point.
This situation repeats in free markets all over the world, all the time.
Unique it ain't and your arguments don't hold water.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/7/2010 7:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
1) Sorry, but are you just plane wrong there.

I said that MS are effectively the market, because to the vast majority of people they are. Walk into your local electronic store, where the vast majority of the general public shop, the people who the EU/EC are tasked with protecting.

What can you buy there? the vast majority will be MS Windows based machines, with a little section of Macs. No Linux machines there, not even on netbooks, which there was for a short period of time.

I didn't say that MS are a monopoly, or the only game in town, but you must surely recognise that MS are essentially the only game in town for the vast majority of the general public?

2) This consumer educate themselves part is where many of you are getting stuck. The thing is, you know about all these things because it's your business too. However, computers to (again) the general public are new.

How do they educate themselves though? One of the main ways that people do this is by going onto the internet, using, erm, oh yeah, IE.

Both of these things are part of what makes this case unusual.

3) then your iPod/MP3 player analogy is bunk. You are not given an iPod for free and you don't need to use an iPod to get an alternative.

How many are unaware that MP3 players exist? not very many you say, where as I would say that most people are more than aware.

Some people choose to you iPods because, you know what, they are good. IE on the other hand, once people see an alternative, erm, what happens?

So frankly, no. the iPod/MP3 player thing just isn;t the same. I can pick up an Argos (not sure what teh USA version of this shop is, but its a cheap store that many use in the UK) catalogue and go to the MP3 section and quite easily see that there are xxGB MP3 players, as well as iPods. Then taking into account that personal music players have been around for a long time, there are many brands available, and that MP3 players are just a slightly different version of what people have used for a long time.

So you see that this is a completely different situation? I'm sure that you could go on and on and on with different, equally poor examples of "similar" situations, knock yourself out.


RE: Pitiful
By karlostomy on 3/7/2010 12:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh for gawd's sake, loonatic!
Where to begin?

Did you comprehend any of the points I was making or were you so busy concocting a petulant rebuttal that you missed the gist of my post?
My guess is it was the latter.

It seems this thread has become your personal obsessive mission, aloonatic.
May I suggest your name is well earned?

It seems that scores of very intelligent posters have made very valid points and supported them with VERY comparable metaphors, only to see you obsessively reply with *unique* technicalities which *only YOU* seem able to comprehend.
How is it that you are the only genius on DT that can define the exact nature of why and how this situation is so *unique* that all other rationality and free market convention is thrown out of the window?

In your posts you have mentioned that other people are 'getting stuck'. Wow - the sheer unwarranted arrogance astounds me.
Realistically, you are the only one who is 'stuck'.
Nothing you have said - nothing at all - has convinced me that you have a point and that the EU is correct in its mandate.

Like a broken record, the same failed arguments keep flowing from you, despite the plethora of very detailed, specific and applicable logic and metaphors that were offered by other posters, which totally debunk your position.

What the EU has done is wrong!
There ain't no other way to say it.

Do me a favour.
Go and read Ayn Rand.
Learn.
Until you do, I fear debating with you is akin to bashing my skull against a rather thick brick wall.

Thanks for lowering my expectations of future discussions on DT.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 3:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
Very comparable?

With anything even close to the level of market domination that MS has? No.

In an industry as new is computing (yes, I know you've had a computer for years, but to many they are still a new thing) where "common knowledge" doesn't exist, so consumers need extra protection? No

Where in order to use one product you pretty much have to use another? No.

A market where one company has the ability to give away their product on every machine that you need to run another product, in an attempt to gain some control a lucrative market? No.

The MS/IE situation is unique, and that is why all the metaphors/comparisons/analogies that you and others come up with fail.

I read the frustration in your comment. That you don't/can't/won't (I suspect like many here, you are in the won't) understand all the factors, for reasons perhaps best known to yourself. The fcat is, non of the comparisons/analogies such as cars/tyres, toasters/capacitors, iPods/MP3 players have come even close to having all the issues involved covered, and as such are pointless..

So forgive me, if the conclusions you draw from your poor analogies are ignored, as they are irrelevant. That you and many here can't, or more likely, won't understand this because it doesn't suit you isn't really my problem. I have gone out of my way to try to put over the reasoning behind the EUs decision. I know that it is far more convenient to pretend that it is just some (evil?) busy body foreign government body interfering and attacking a poor widle American company just trying to make a little money to get by...

So you know better, well well done you. I hope that your attitude serves you well in life. But when debating issues, think about all the reasons behind what is happening before making silly comparisons/analogies, and maybe you'll surprise yourself.


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/9/2010 9:50:46 AM , Rating: 2
However the reasons behind the EU decision have little to do with the citizens of the EU. Someone is getting paid, and hansomely.

Does it really hurt the customer to use Internet explorer?
Its a fully functional piece of software. Yes performance wise its a tad bit slower than other browsers. It still works.

The only reason These companies make money is through google anyway. In my eyes they are business partners with google and from what I see google has lot to gain from this exchange.


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/7/2010 12:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What can you buy there? the vast majority will be MS Windows based machines, with a little section of Macs. No Linux machines there, not even on netbooks, which there was for a short period of time.


Because NOBODY want's to use anything else. The consumer has spoken.

quote:
I didn't say that MS are a monopoly, or the only game in town, but you must surely recognise that MS are essentially the only game in town for the vast majority of the general public?


Again, 100% because of consumer choice.

You are advocating a decision that the EU govern against the will of the consumer. And make no mistake, that is absolutely what is happening here.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 3:52:37 AM , Rating: 2
Consumer choice? Where the choice has essentially been MS product, MS product, MS product, oh a weird nettop that looks slightly different (don't like it), MS product. This is one of the reasons why this situation is so unique and such an extraordinary measure has been taken.

I agree that MS are perhaps a victim of their own success, but as I stated earlier in another comment reply by you, but that is not the issue. What is best for the consumer is.

This ruling/ballot screen is not going against the will of the consumer. We have no idea what the will of the consumer is as it has not been tested. Indeed, from this article it would seem that the consumer is taking advantage of this. What this is is the first real chance for the consumer to express themselves/their will instead of simply just having to make do with whatever MS decides to give them.


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/8/2010 3:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
Right because, in typical Euro fashion, we just assume all the consumers are idiots and need big government to make decisions for them.

Oh and save the " but 99.9999999999999% of all users don't know what a browser is" argument. If that's really the case, then how are they being hurt by using IE !!??

quote:
What is best for the consumer is.


Again, wrong. And even if your premise is true, than please explain to me how consumers who DON'T know what a browser is are being hurt ??


RE: Pitiful
By eddieroolz on 3/7/2010 1:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and their ability to distort and manipulate the market


You're talking about the wrong company my friend. You're describing Apple Inc.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 6:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not fan of Apple, and believe it or not, I think that MS do a really good job, by and large.

However, the point that many here seem to be failing to realise (and one of the reasons that makes this such a unique situation and all the car/tyre etc analogies irrelevant) is that as MS have 90+% of the OS market, by simply installing their browser be default they have the ability to instantly, and with very little cost to themselves, gain 90+% of the browser market, media player market, whatever market they feel like. Which is not a great situation for the average (non specialist/hobbyist/professional/DT reader) consumer to find themselves in, and there are very few other companies in the world who have this ability available to them.

Apple simply don't have this power, and it would seem that they don't actually want it, which is part of the problem for the consumer too.

As it is, I'm not sure that this situation will be around for all that long. The iPad, which even though it is not the revolution that they might want to think it is, stands a chance of opening up Apple to the mass market, when they refine it and reduce their prices. Google, through Android, will soon be appearing on netbooks and such too. When that happens, then I don't see why MS should have to do this hole ballot thing, but until then, when they have unprecedented, and unchallenged power, it is not a bad thing for the consumer.


RE: Pitiful
By PrinceGaz on 3/5/2010 12:47:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The tires on a new car are a certain brand, there are other options but should the car company have to advertise for those brands? There are defaults in most of the products we by (anything that has an aftermarket in fact), since when is it the responsibility of the default to educate the consumer on additional options.


The tyre analogy is a good one in favour of the browser ballot.

The web browser supplied with Windows (Internet Explorer) does not need to be replaced after a certain amount of use, but tyres do need replacing and you will then have the choice of what brand of tyres to use. Without the browser ballot, most users just kept on using Internet Explorer without considering the alternatives, as if every time the tyres need replacing they were given a new set of the manufacturer's preferred brand.

Replacing the tyres on the car and choosing which brand to go with is just like the browser ballot asking you to choose which web browser you would like.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 1:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Without the browser ballot, most users just kept on using Internet Explorer without considering the alternatives

Don't know how to be more clear. Again key word "most users just". NOT MS's job to educate your customer. If your product is better and you want to move more, advertise it. Period end of story.

Goodyear can make the best damn tire in the world, but if he is only making a set for his car and a few buddies, but doesn't bother telling anyone else, why should Firestone spread the word for him.


RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 1:07:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Replacing the tyres on the car and choosing which brand to go with is just like the browser ballot asking you to choose which web browser you would like.

Incorrect, it would be like the dealer not allowing you to purchase a car until you picked your brand of tires.

The only reason you know to get other tires is through advertising by a celebrity racing endorsements or the Goodyear Blimp over stadiums. This illuminates these other browser companies failure to figure out how to advertise properly.

You get other tire brands because the local store sends out fliers, or you look for a better deal elsewhere, or the location is closer to your home, or you don't want to get ripped off at the dealership. You didn't do it because the tire manufacturer you currently have was forced to give you a list of their competitors.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 3:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
"Without the browser ballot, most users just kept on using Internet Explorer without considering the alternatives"

Right...because for most users, the 'alternatives' provide no advantage whatsoever. The average user doesn't care about FF's greater extensibility or Opera's better rendering speed. It's not important to them, especially compared to the time they need to spend to configure an alternative, and deal with possible compatibility problems.


RE: Pitiful
By pavel486 on 3/5/2010 3:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Using your analogy the Toyota will have Toyota tires and the only way to change tire will be to cut the whole wheel completely :)


RE: Pitiful
By Solandri on 3/5/2010 5:46:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And yes MS has an advantage as the default, they have grown their OS share (aka they have marketed their product) to the point that it is the standard. Is this advantage unfair? No, anything that is the default has an advantage, but that is reality.

Actually, yes, that's the whole point of anti-trust law. If a company is found to have a monopoly in one market (which Microsoft was found to have in the OS market), they cannot leverage it to gain share in another market.

What you say would be correct if Microsoft hadn't been found to be a monopoly. By once they were, all the rules change.

As for the damage being in a monopoly position can do, you don't have to look very far. Initially Netscape was the market leader in the browser market. The company was selling the browser as their business model. Microsoft introduced IE for free, essentially pulling the rug out from under Netscape's business model. Once Netscape was vanquished and IE had >95% market share, no new features were added to IE for nearly 1.5 years . All Microsoft did was release bug fixes.

Basically, web browser technology is 1.5 years behind where it should be because Microsoft was allowed to leverage its OS monopoly into a (temporary) browser monopoly. All these run-arounds to enforce user choice, silly as they seem, are to prevent that from happening again.


RE: Pitiful
By MadMan007 on 3/5/2010 11:51:06 PM , Rating: 3
Oh no, a whole year and a half. HOW WILL WE EVER LIVE!!??!


RE: Pitiful
By TSS on 3/6/2010 10:23:12 AM , Rating: 2
Back in 1990 if we kept saying "oh just a year and a half".

Or shall we confine you to browsing the web again with IE6 and ActiveX turned on? Remember those fun ol' times where websites could just download a virus to your PC and start it without you ever knowing....


RE: Pitiful
By drycrust3 on 3/6/2010 9:04:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
it is NOT Microsoft's responsibility to advertise for them


This is true, but I don't see it as even being an issue of advertising or "level playing field" when the computer is used in a work situation. There what browser you use is far more about which one you can use that has the least amount of blame attached to it.
When I was employed in a position that required using a computer (I am currently a bus driver) I would always use the default browser that came with the operating system on the computer. This is simply to protect my job. I use Ubuntu at home as my preferred OS (and yes, I have tried a ton of OSes, I have a stack of disks to prove it) and could use Firefox, Chrome or Epiphany, maybe Opera, and I think several others as well, but I simply prefer Firefox; but if I was in a place of work and they gave me a computer with Windows whatever on it, unless I knew with reasonable certainty that my job was safe I would use Internet Explorer 7 or 8, or if they gave me a Linux OS then I would use Firefox or Epiphany or Konqueror or whatever the default browser is (unless it is clearly substandard or not capable of doing the job) because if anything goes wrong then it isn't my fault.
If I used say Chrome or Opera and the computer gets a virus then I could easily be blamed for doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing, even if I had done nothing at all (especially if using Windows), but if I am using that operating systems' default browser and the computer gets a virus then it is the fault of the IT department for selecting the wrong OS and browser (or not telling me to use their preferred browser), not mine.


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 11:40:59 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
There is a difference between "supporting" something, and making sure that everyone has a chance to compete on a level playing field.


Oh go to hell. Everyone who wants to use Opera can go to a website and download it. Oh, but people don't know about it ? THEN PAY TO ADVERTISE YOUR PRODUCT !! Tough shit !

But now you don't have to advertise your product, because they got the EU to bully Microsoft to pimp their browser for them.

If this doesn't disgust you to the core, you're a terrible human being.


RE: Pitiful
By sweatshopking on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By sweatshopking on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 12:14:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
you cannot debate the fact that the EU is kicking america's ass.


You know what I'm gonna say to this, don't you ? Admit it, you set yourself up for it pretty good..

*clears throat*

If it wasn't for America, the EU wouldn't exist.


RE: Pitiful
By sweatshopking on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 12:33:59 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah that's great, now can we get back on topic ?

If this had happened in America I would have equally called it stupid, ok? Do you get that ? I'm not bashing the EU, but this decision is batshit crazy and EVERYONE knows it.

Sell your own goddamn product. Don't force MS to sell yours.


RE: Pitiful
By foolsgambit11 on 3/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 7:10:51 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft isn't a European company. Even if they were a monopoly, it's not the EU's place to engage in "monopoly busting" as you put it.

quote:
The EU has found that Microsoft has used its dominant market position in the OS market to give it an advantage in the browser market.


I love how sinister you make it sound. Look, an OS has to come with a browser, yes ? Microsoft put their browser in their OS. There is nothing unfair, sinister, immoral or wrong about this. Get over it.

I can't BELIEVE you actually expected them to include competitors browsers in their OS. Or even better, I guess they should have put NO browser in Windows, yeah great idea.

I'm so tired of arguing with you idiots about this. Your hate for Microsoft and big business in general has blinded you to accept this MASSIVE overreach of government power and lack of common sense.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 10:28:49 PM , Rating: 1
^^I'm so tired of arguing with you idiots about this. Your love for Microsoft and big business in general has blinded you to accept this MASSIVE overreach of corporate power and lack of common sense.


RE: Pitiful
By rdawise on 3/5/2010 10:50:10 PM , Rating: 3
Again, I don't agree with Reclaimer77 on a lot of things, but he is right again.

It is not a love for Big Business, it is a love for a business' right to sell their own product without being forced to advertise for another. Do you have a disdain for Apple because they come with their own browser? Do you have a disdain for Linux because most flavors come with FireFox? Are those "overreaches" as well?

Microsoft should be repaid for their advertisement efforts here...


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 11:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
Vitaly... if someone were to come and mess around with your product saying you are intefering with the market place by not supplying alternatives to your product. Example Advil has 90% of the market (It is a common pain drug) under your logic would have to supply other brands of drugs with its own drug to make sure its not a monopoly.

There are other oses... Many flavors of Linux, Mac OS X.
Its not arrogance... its anger. You come into our business and interfer with how we market our own product.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/6/2010 1:19:39 PM , Rating: 1
"You come into our business and interfere with how we market our own product."

What? Are you kidding me? When you enter the new market you play by the regional laws and rules. If you deem that the laws are too strict for your company to abide and tolerate, if you have made an elementary estimation of the market perspective for the company and your conclusion is; that the market for your product or service is too small or is not profitable enough or the potential financial gain does not worth of change to the company's conventional policies you get the f@ck out of this market.
No one is above the regulations, the standard is the same for everyone, in Microsoft case, the anti-monopoly orders of the EU commission, which Microsoft once violated and was required to pay a penalty. I've already pointed out in my previous posts on two related Siemens (a European company) cases where they were fined twice by the EU, one of which is for almost identical to Microsoft unlawful practices and for the damage that they have had inflicted to the competitive market and consumers in the EU.
Microsoft and any other company has to respect and agree to the regional laws and traditions, or get the f@ck out and leave the market to the interested entrepreneurs who will gladly take the Microsoft's place and find the ways to incorporate their business vision, ethics, methods into the EU economic zone.


RE: Pitiful
By rudy on 3/6/2010 1:46:32 PM , Rating: 2
There was no regional law or rule they made this junk up as they went. If such a law or rule applied then osx, ubuntu and every other OS would have a ballot system.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/6/2010 3:04:08 PM , Rating: 1
"There was no regional law or rule they made this junk up as they went. If such a law or rule applied then osx, ubuntu and every other OS would have a ballot system."

Just a couple of latest sessions from EU Antitrust commission:

Antitrust: Commission welcomes ENI's structural remedies proposal to increase competition in the Italian gas market.

Antitrust: Commission confirms assessment of proposed commitments from Oneworld airline alliance.

Antitrust: Commission opens formal investigation into the "Baltic Max Feeder" scheme for European feeder vessel owners.

Antitrust: Commission launches public consultation on review of competition rules for motor vehicle sector.

Antitrust: Commission welcomes E.ON proposals to increase competition in German gas market.

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Telekomunikacja Polska S.A.

Antitrust: Commission confirms investigation into suspected cartel in the sector of automotive electrical and electronic components suppliers.

Antitrust:Commission launches in-depth investigation into €166 million State loan granted to the Slovak rail freight company.

Antitrust:Statement on press reports on complaints against Google.

------

I have no patience with you guys you are so obtuse it's unbelievable, it's not really the problem that you don't know the laws or real legal proceedings that take place in EU or other regions of the world, it's the fact that you've buried your head in the ass and proudly keep it there.

OK, you are hardcore conservative republicans it's evidently, out of question, I don't blame you for that if your ideology works good for you on American soil, great for you keep it and be proud of it, but please, try to make from time to time at least a slight attempt to grasp some of the social and economical complexities of over nations. You know, they are, the population is not always abused by dictators and humiliated by their governments. There are people in the world who are proud of their social structures, business that is willingly accept strict rules and demanding obligations, because maybe their goals are a little bit different from yours and to attain these targets they have implemented their own standard of capitalism.


RE: Pitiful
By foolsgambit11 on 3/6/2010 9:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
No, that's not the case at all. You are losing all the nuance of antitrust law. First, generally, it's not enough to simply have the dominant market position. Advil would have to abuse that position in some way. Then the government could impose a monetary penalty as well as demanding changes in business practice. For Advil, that would probably just be a demand that they stopped their abusive practices and consented to monitoring.

For MS, in order to stop their abusive practices, they would have to either stop bundling any browser in their OS, or provide that choice to the consumer directly. I'm not sure what happened in the back room during this deal, but it's entirely plausible that MS demanded/begged that they be allowed to continue including IE with Windows, and this compromise was the only way they could continue to do it.

The problem with techies like us is that we frequently view issues of law as technical or theoretical questions, while in the real world, laws must be enforced more pragmatically. I know I'm guilty. While technically other OSes do exist, and theoretically there should be no difference in the legality of business practices just due to the company's market position, pragmatically, things are different, and MS is the OS, and market position matters when evaluating the effects of a company's business practices.


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/6/2010 12:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yep, and that is why there are Anti-monopoly laws in EU because these sets of principles and regulations promote and encourage better business practices on all territory of European Union which benefits businesses and consumers alike.


The fact that other OS's and other browsers exist is proof this is not a monopoly issue.

quote:
So, to conclude my post; you perhaps sometimes wander why there are a great number of people who despise Americans, the answer is right there on this forum, arrogance.


Nobody is being "arrogant" here. If this happened in America we would ALL be saying the exact same thing: it's stupid and makes no sense.

MS does not bundle a browser with their OS so they can dominate the browser markets idiots. NOBODY makes money from a browser. They bundle it with the OS SO YOU CAN USE YOUR COMPUTER . What is so hard for you guys to understand about that ?

MS makes money from selling OS's, among other things. They do NOT sell browsers. But an OS without a default browser is next to useless and would be a huge issue to the end user.

This is called logic, you might have heard of it. But you and others like you, continue to paint this as some anti-competitive sinister practice by Microsoft. It's draconian, it's absurd, it's anti-business anti-capitalist.

It's typical Europe.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/6/2010 1:33:03 PM , Rating: 1
"The fact that other OS's and other browsers exist is proof this is not a monopoly issue."

The fact that you still can not fathom what monopoly is and how it is defined in any region of the world with tight and strict regulation, makes your sentiments on this issue quite absurd.


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 2:37:22 PM , Rating: 3
How is the Windows OS a monopoly? If you can say why then I can agree with you.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/6/2010 3:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
"How is the Windows OS a monopoly? If you can say why then I can agree with you."

You know, I understand that it's a bit harder for you to find a proper documents from the EU antitrust commission archive that would explain this, but just tell me was it so hard to visit wiki, huh?

Monopoly: (excerpt)
In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos / µ???? (alone or single) + polein / p??e?? (to sell)) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it. Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods. The verb "monopolize" refers to the process by which a firm gains persistently greater market share than what is expected under perfect competition.


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 3:40:54 PM , Rating: 3
I will ask again does Microsoft fit that definition?
The OS which a fancy Interface for a computer was designed by Microsoft.

How I understand it the computer can be installed with any number of OS's as long as they are based on X86 extensions. I said that there were two alternatives, Linux and Mac OSX you just need drivers for the hardware you run. And the lack of drivers is because many companies don't want to code for these other OS's since its a miss allocation of resources.

So are you saying the fact that within Microsoft's own Goods the OS there is a lack of Competition? From how I see it the OS is quite capable of running any program. Its not saying no to one particular program.

I will ask again how is Microsoft a monopoly?
From how I see its their own product. If they wanted to be evil they would close it off like Apple does.


RE: Pitiful
By foolsgambit11 on 3/6/2010 9:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
First off, it is the EU's place to deal with any company that holds a monopoly position within their market. If Toyota had a monopoly on automobiles in the States, the US Government would have the power to impose penalties and force them to be more accommodating in their business practices within the US, as well.

As for my quote, I didn't try to state that sinisterly. I just made a statement of fact - the EU found that MS used its OS position to advance its browser. I didn't even state my opinion one way or another on the facts of this case (though I did express support of the principle of government trust-busting). I just followed the logical chain. MS was found guilty, and as punishment/compensation, they are required to level the playing field.

Now for my views. As others have pointed out, an OS doesn't have to come with a browser. MS could have had free disks on the shelves next to the OS, and OEMs could have bundled whatever browser they wanted with their computers. Online retailers could get disks from browser makers that they could include free of charge with any OS purchase. Instead, Microsoft developed a model wherein their product was bundled with their OS, depressing demand in the browser market and stifling competition.

I'm not sure how you justify calling this a massive overreach of government power. Governments have the power to do whatever they want, and they have the right to use that power when it is the people's will and/or in the public interest. And my comments have nothing to do with Microsoft specifically - they make good products and I purchase them with pleasure. And I don't have a problem with big business, per se, but I do feel that governments, as the entity with the power to do so, have a responsibility to prevent, restrict, and even dismantle monopolies, for the good of the people and the preservation of capitalism.

I'm not even sure why I'm replying to this, since it seems you probably don't accept even the concept that there are situations when governments should meddle in the markets. And thanks for calling me an idiot.


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/6/2010 10:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just made a statement of fact - the EU found that MS used its OS position to advance its browser.


Which is free, like everyone else's, so who gives a crap ?

I suppose they should "use their position" to advance competitors browsers? Cause that's whats happening now. How, in all that is sane, is that any better ?


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 6:31:42 AM , Rating: 2
The ballot system an unfortunate outcome, dictated by the rather unique way that the modern computer software market operates. People are used to getting their software via the internet, especially small pieces of software such as this, it's just the way it is. Maybe in the old days, when a fair percentage of PC users would buy PC Weekly (or whatever) magazine, and all sorts of software was available that way, then it wouldn't be needed. That is not the market any more though. It's non enthusiasts, and those are the people who need someone to look out for them, just as you do in other markets/industries.

Maybe MS should not be allowed to install IE by default at all, and when the customer buys a new PC/laptop/netbook they should be given the chance to take home a disk containing the browser of their choice, or choose it at the time of purchase when buying a new PC on-line, to be packed in the box along with everything else when it is sent out to them? That would work too and not require MS to "advertise", but it is a much more costly proposition for all concerned, including the retailer, and is not the simplest solution to this problem.

The ballot system kinda is, and as I've said before, this is an imperfect solution in an imperfect world.

As MS control 90+% of the OS market means that this odd situation, where they are asked/forced to provide a means for people to be able to choose which browser they use, as the only other way to ensure a fair choice is the above, without the consumer having to use one product to get another. That is a big part of what makes this unique, seems so unfair and ridiculous, but also unlike all the car/tyre analogies that many people like to make.

If it was like the auto market, and MS had a good share, as did Google, and did Apple then either there would not be a need to have a system like this as the choice of browser would be part of the purchasing decision, or they would all be being forced to "advertise" each others products too. Maybe Apple should be being made to do it too, to be fair? I must admit, I don't know much about OSX, but I assume that there are more options than just Safari.

Ballot System = Perfect? No

Ballot System = Good for MS? No

Ballot System = Best alternative and better for the consumer? IMHO, yes.

Consumer's interests = more important than a large corporation's, when we are talking about something that they are giving away free too after all? In this instance, IMHO, yes.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/8/2010 7:01:40 AM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to say "Aloonatic" you summed up this whole issue pretty much perfectly.


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/9/2010 11:28:44 AM , Rating: 2
Internet exporer is not broken. It works.
Are there alternatives that perform better: Yes there are.
Except do majority of users need more than Internet explorer? No most don't need anything better than Internet explorer.

The reaons behind the EU decision have little to do with the citizens of the EU. Someone is getting paid, and hansomely.

Does it really hurt the customer to use Internet explorer?
Its a fully functional piece of software. Yes performance wise its a tad bit slower than other browsers. It still works.

The only reason These companies make money is through google anyway. In my eyes they are business partners with google and from what I see google has lot to gain from this exchange.

(If you see similarity its because I posted it someplace else)


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 12:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that Europe was in such a terrible state several countries had to group their economies and become the "European Union" just to survive doesn't factor into anything though, right ?

And what does that have to do with Internet browsers anyway !?


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Ticholo on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/2010 1:17:34 PM , Rating: 1
Yes imagine having to be a united states of somewhere?

I'm not a fan of the EU by the way, I live under it, with it's "parliament" and "president" etc. I don't really like it.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 3
"As for advertising. MS are not being asked to promote other browsers"

Any time you're forced to display your competitor's name and logo within your own product, you're promoting them.

The larger problem with the entire concept, though, is the artificial distinction that "a browser" must today, tomorrow, and always be some separate product. Microsoft is attempting to redefine web browsing as an integral part of the OS...just as they did with a GUI.

Imagine had the EU come along 15 years earlier, and told Microsoft that Windows 2.0was "unfairly restricting competition" by bundling a graphic shell with an DOS, and hurting competitors like GEM.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 12:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
To add to the above, the ballot screen is required to not only display the name and logo of each browser, but also a short advertisement message for each product-- see the picture here:

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/10/micr...


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 1:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
"The problem is that the OS team are essentially a separate unit/company to the browser team "

You're usually quite logical; I don't know why you're espousing such a weak position here. The only reason they're a separate team ("siloed", to use the legal term) is _because_ of government interference. They're still the same company, however.

"This is a good move for the market/industry IMHO"

You have to look at the chilling effect this will have, not just on Microsoft, but on the entire Industry as a whole. Will Android-based cellphones have to advertise other OSes? Will Intel motherboards have to carry boot-up screen advertisements for other CPUs?

And what happens if 40 other companies take advantage of this free advertising the EU is mandating? Ten years from now, will this ballot screen be a multi-page list to wade through? Instead of developers having to code for 4 browsers, they'll code for 40? Can you IMAGINE the additional costs that will entail? Does that really help consumers in any way?

Instead of the market choosing the best browser, anyone who coddles a slot out of the EU committee is guaranteed a minimum market share.

Government interference in the market is never a good thing. History has taught us that countless times...and countless times we refuse to learn from it.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 2:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore, I think this is much more likely to retard innovation in the browser market, rather than spur it.

Take Opera, for instance. To get downloads before, they had to actually offer something much more compelling than the competition. But now? They've got a guaranteed market share for the next 5 years...even if they never release another single update.

If I was a CEO interested in short term profits to boost my bonus, I wouldn't invest in new features. I'd cut R&D entirely, and rake in the quick cash.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 3:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
"the path is very clear and completely fair since it applies to all current and future monopolies in all EU markets"

European giants Siemens, SAP, Telefonica all have 80%+ market share in certain markets and/or areas of Europe. Nokia used to have the same in the Smartphone market. I don't recall any of them ever being forced to advertise their competitor's products. In some cases, EU governments even fight to protect monopolies...if they're a European firm, of course:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/fra...


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 3:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
"So, you basically acknowledged that EU commission commit to the same equal policy to all non EU and EU companies"

Surely you can't be this obtuse. First of all, that proposed legislation didn't even BEGIN to be enacted until July 2007, and even today France's markets aren't fully open.

Secondly, those French energy giants were never fined billions for their monopoly status as was Microsoft. Nor were (or are they today) forced to advertise their competitor's products.

Care to try again?


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 3:38:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yep,

2007 Price fixing fine

In January 2007 Siemens was fined €396 million by the European Commission for price fixing in EU electricity markets through a cartel involving 11 companies, among which ABB, Alstom, Fuji, Hitachi Japan, AE Power Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Schneider, Areva, Toshiba and VA Tech.[24] According to the Commission, "between 1988 and 2004, the companies rigged bids for procurement contracts, fixed prices, allocated projects to each other, shared markets and exchanged commercially important and confidential information."[24] Siemens was given the highest fine of €396 million, more than half of the total, for its alleged leadership role in the incident.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
"Yep, 2007 Price fixing fine"

Nope. Siemens is twice Microsoft's size, yet received a fine 1/4 of what Microsoft did -- for a far more serious crime (conspiring to fix prices). And no requirement whatsoever to open up its markets.

Thanks for proving my point for me.

Also tell me-- is Siemens today being forced to advertise any of its competitors products? A simple yes or no will do.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 4:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
"Nope. Siemens is twice Microsoft's size, yet received a fine 1/4 of what Microsoft did -- for a far more serious crime (conspiring to fix prices). And no requirement whatsoever to open up its markets."

So, at first you argued that EU commission does not implement the same rules to EU and non EU companies and now you switched the tune to fine size, good tactic porkpie,good tactic.

"is Siemens today being forced to advertise any of its competitors products? A simple yes or no will do."

No.

An now you tell me "porkie" is Siemens owns a 90% of their respected EU market A simple yes or no will do.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 4:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Btw,

Siemens Bribery case:

Siemens agreed to pay a record $1.34 billion in fines in December 2008 after being investigated for serious bribery, involving Heinz-Joachim Neubürger, former chief financial officer, Karl-Hermann Baumann, another former CFO and exchairman, and Johannes Feldmayer, a former management board member.[26] The investigation found questionable payments of roughly €1.3 billion, from 2002 to 2006 that triggered a broad range of inquiries in Germany.

Porkpie, seriously stop your nonsense.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 4:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Siemens agreed to pay a record $1.34 billion in fines in December 2008 after being investigated for serious bribery"

Are you seriously attempting to compare bribery (a felony criminal offense) to Microsoft's lead in the browser market?

And even STILL, the fine doesn't come close to Microsoft's $2B fine, even though Siemens in twice Microsoft's size. And of course Microsoft wasn't just fined -- it received several hundred pages of orders on how to modify its products and run its business.

Thank you for proving my point for me. European firms receive far smaller punishments for far more serious offenses.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 4:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
"And even STILL, the fine doesn't come close to Microsoft's $2B fine"

Actually it proves that Siemens is much more law abiding company or at least a little bit smarter than Microsoft, since as you probably know the additional penalty of 899 million euros ($1,3 billion) that Microsoft received is for:
citation - “clear disregard of its legal obligations,” and that “The Commission's latest fine is a reasonable response to unreasonable actions by Microsoft.”


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 6:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
In short, if Microsoft didn't want to be fined they had to proceed to comply with the EU anti-monopoly regulations, They challenged these laws for more than ten freaking years, it was stupid on their part to begin with, there was nothing they could do to change the EU anti monopoly laws, these laws exist for a reason. They made a risky bet, they lost, then they obstructed the enforcement of the EU anti-monopoly set of prescribed procedures, got fined again, and rightfully so. And that's it, end of story.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/6/2010 3:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
"In short, if Microsoft didn't want to be fined they had to proceed to comply with the EU anti-monopoly regulations"

They did. They had an entire team of people working round-the-clock to write up the documentatation the EU demanded. The EU said it wasn't sufficient, and fined them anyway.


RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/2010 3:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
"First of all, that proposed legislation didn't even BEGIN to be enacted until July 2007, and even today France's markets aren't fully open."

It took 10 years of litigation in Microsoft case, so what's your point porkpie.


RE: Pitiful
By Solandri on 3/5/2010 6:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have to look at the chilling effect this will have, not just on Microsoft, but on the entire Industry as a whole. Will Android-based cellphones have to advertise other OSes? Will Intel motherboards have to carry boot-up screen advertisements for other CPUs?

Android-based cell phones do not hold a monopoly on the cellphone market. Intel does not hold a monopoly on the motherboard market. So this has absolutely no chilling effects on them. If, however, they did manage to become a monopoly on those respective markets, then yeah I would absolutely want them to be forced to show that other OSes and CPUs would also work on their phones and motherboards.

The need for competition in the marketplace is more important than the right of a company successful enough to acquire a monopoly, to make money.

quote:
Ten years from now, will this ballot screen be a multi-page list to wade through? Instead of developers having to code for 4 browsers, they'll code for 40? Can you IMAGINE the additional costs that will entail? Does that really help consumers in any way?

Nope. If there are 40 browsers, the difficulty of coding for 40 browsers will put pressure on the browser manufacturers to adhere to the HTML standard. Web developers throw their hands up and give up, and code to the HTML standard and only the HTML standard. Consequently, if a browser wants to work correctly it will have to comply to the HTML standard. Net result is web developers only have to code to one standard.

With just 4 major browsers and 2 holding the vast majority of marketshare, there is little pressure on the browsers to adhere to the HTML standard. Basically, anything they do becomes the defacto standard. So they go do their own thing, forcing developers to have to specifically code their web pages to comply with whatever those individual browsers decide to do.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/6/2010 2:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
To try to explain why I am "espousing" this "weak position" and answer what you have said...

The first part, about the browser department being separate to the OS department only because of government interference is a moot point, it is what it is. Assuming you don't like that, can/should MS just do whatever they want? As it happens, I don't think that MS really abuse their position all that much, but I do think that they dragged their heels with IE and the average user who has only used IE as it was the default, has suffered. I'm not saying that anyone has died of course, but few of us here use IE for a reason. However, in saying that I don't think that they abuse their position anywhere near as much as they could. Certainly not as much as (dare I say?) a CEO of a certain fruity OS making corporation might in the same situation, but still a massively dominant giant who can control almost an entire industry is a dangerous thing.

Corporations just can't be trusted to do the right thing for the consumer. What they can be trusted to do is the right/best thing for themselves and their shareholders. That is their job, I hear you say, and I agree entirely, but only up to a point. Sometimes what is best for the consumer and what is best for shareholders are not the same thing. It's part of the basic problem inherent with democratic capitalism. There is no simple solution to this, but all governments set up bodies to watch over these things, not just the EU, and they make rulings like this for a reason. I know that many here get caught up in a certain "patriotic" and jingoistic fervour, and get carried away though, which is sad. I think we all know, if we're honest, that the comments about "it's just the EU paying for Greece's debts" and the EU need to suck money form US corps to survive etc are a nonsense. However, would you really want a world where big corps can just do what they want? Especially in an industry where there a company has little competition, and there is a huge cost of entry into the market so the usual market self regulating "the consumer will choose" situation does not apply? Do you think that they would always operate in your best interests and the world would be a better place? I don't but many here seem to, which is fair enough.

As for the next point you make, I think you've gone a little crazy and taken this a little too far. MS are not being asked to advertise OSX are they? Or did I miss something? So the question about Android being made to advertise other OSes doesn't make sense, same goes for Intel/AMD. But to go with the Android thing... If Android (as a Google OS) has chrome installed by default, and they had a level of market share akin to that enjoyed by MS now and virtually no competition in the general household and business market, then yes, they should be forced to do something similar. But that is the only president being set here. When the sort of market dominance that MS has is being used or abused, depending on your point of view. Ford sales men will not be forced to keep a fleet of Chryslers on stand-by to take customers on a test drive in should they come into their showrooms or anything, don't worry.

Then saying that there will be 40 odd browsers? I really don't think that that will happen. Honestly, do you? Or are you just making a silly, over the top "point"? In a few years time, i don't think the ballot screen will be needed. Largely because computing will change, as Apple will continue to make headway and Andoid/Google OS will move into the home computing netbook/tablet (maybe even PC?) market-space, which will make it so that no one company has it pretty much all their own way. When that happens the usual free market consumer choice mechanism comes into play for the first time. OSX with Safari, Android (as seen on some tablets now) with chrome, and Windows with IE. The consumer will then have a genuine choice, and part of it will be the performance of the included components, such as IE and media players. You'd better believe that MS will work much harder to improve IE when that situation occurs than they did over the last 10 years, when they could just do what they wanted to and didn;t have to invest much time and money into it even when there were companies making better produce, but who simply stood little to no chance of breaking into the market against a browsers given away by MS, and with their financial baking.

So government interference... Well sometimes its good, sometimes it's bad. Just like the actions of huge corporations when given half a chance to dominate a market and abuse their position, sometimes they choose to do abuse it, sometimes they don't. To say that what they do is always bad or always good is silly though, you must realise that?


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 8:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think your name really says something about you.
Sorry none of what you just said makes any sense.

There is so much Fluff without getting anywhere.

One thing I should say.
Computer =! OS
PC's run anything that use x86 code.
There are 3 Operating systems, Windows, Mac, Linux.
Microsoft is not a monopoly here.

In terms of browsers all those other browsers should be paying to put their browser on that ballot screen.
The OS belongs to Microsoft first so they should be paying Microsoft for the right.

EU circumvents property rights by forcing Microsoft to Advertise other products.

Example
I have a store Quiznos.
On the door of my store I have to present to the customer of other products,
Whopper from Burger king, Sandwiches from Subway, Big Mac from McDonalds and so on.

How does my Example make sense to you?


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/7/2010 7:38:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry that what I wrote went over you head. It's not straight forward, and there is no black and white answer. Coming down to, basically, the level at which you think a government body should interfere/protect consumer and how much you can trust large corps to no abuse their position when in a dominant position.

I'm aware that PCs can run all sorts of things, however, go into a store and see what you can buy. The EU/EC are tasked with protecting the average, run of the mill consumer. That you know how to download Linux, install OSX on a netbook, or whatever is not the issue. You know that because it's your hobby/business.

Your last, strange example is not at all valid. Unless your store has a massive market share, and (virtually) the only way that you someone else can get to burgerking etc is by using your product, then yes, this ruling might affect you. Until then, you'll be fine.


RE: Pitiful
By kc77 on 3/7/2010 10:32:14 AM , Rating: 2
This stance that Microsoft isn't a monopoly is unbelievable. They have 97% of the desktop market. If that's not a monopoly that I don't know what is. Actually, that just it. Under your definition it would be impossible for a monopoly to even exist just as long as somewhere on planet Earth there was an alternative, even if it existed in someone's basement.

When a company releases a product that uses widely known technologies it's not uncommon for other technologies to be promoted, even if they are in direct competition. Take the XBOX 360 for example. If you look on the box it came in there's a little CD/DVD logo promoting the technology. Wanna guess who made that standard? Sony did, who makes the PS/PS2/PS3. Maybe you've heard of them?

This is the problem with your food analogy. McDonalds though quite popular isn't a Monopoly. They have 42% of the fast food market, with tons (definitely more than 1 or 2) of competitors. Though I use Linux, your not buying that OS in Best Buy or anywhere else for that matter for the desktop market. That leaves Apple, which makes WAAAAAAY more money on IPods, and iPhones than they do from desktops and laptops, hmm I wonder why that is?


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/7/2010 7:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
"They have 97% of the desktop market."

They have 93% actually. MacOS and Linux have the remaining 7%.

Of course, if you define any market narrowly enough, someone has a monopoly. Does Microsoft have a monopoly on the software market? No. The O/S software market? No again. The desktop O/S software market? There we go.

This little semantics game is even more apparent when you talk about browsers. To Microsoft (and to most people on the street) a browser isn't a "market". It's part of an operating system. The thought of you buying an OS and not getting a browser with it would horrify the average consumer.

But the EU, by defining it as a market, gets to penalize Microsoft. Who cares if its fair (or even wise) ... as long as they get to slap another uppity American firm around though, eh?


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/7/2010 11:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_web_browsers_make...

Just adding on to you Porkpie.
(Btw I don't think Microsoft has the same agreement with google).

So basically these Browsers are now have the potential to make more money than before.


RE: Pitiful
By kc77 on 3/8/2010 12:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'm in agreement until the semantics with web browsers not being a "market". If they weren't do you think google would have come out with Chrome? They spent a lot of money to create a product that apparently doesn't have a place to be don't you think? It was, and still is a market, considering Netscape, Prodigy and AOL all made money off of it.

If the browser had no value then we wouldn't expect it to come with the OS now would we? If you don't like the EU's stance that's one thing, but lets not pretend the urine is rain when we all know that money can be made from the deployment of web browsers.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/8/2010 4:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
"If the browser had no value then we wouldn't expect it to come with the OS now would we?"

By that logic, you can call Windows Minesweeper a market...and the command line prompt. The format program. How dare Microsoft unfairly use their OS dominance to put vendors of disk formatting programs out of business!

It used to be that monopolies were prevented to keep a business from raising prices in the absence of competitors. Does anyone here really believe that Microsoft would suddenly start charging for IE? Ludicrous.


RE: Pitiful
By kc77 on 3/8/2010 7:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your comparing the value of Minesweeper with that of a web browser? WOW

Like I said before if you don't like EU's stance then just say so. All of these straw-men that your putting up here are not necessary.


RE: Pitiful
By StevoLincolnite on 3/5/2010 12:40:42 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Again, please tell me what is wrong with fair competition? Being against that, would disgust me to the core. I assume the childish tone of your comment was for comic effect, so I wont be too offended by the way.


I believe this isn't "Fair competition" - Microsoft Windows is a Microsoft Operating System, they should then integrate whatever software they see fit into it.

Just like how MacOS or any *Nix operating system isn't bundled with Internet Explorer, why should Microsoft be singled out? That is un-competitive, by giving Microsoft a fine and letting the little companies run laughing all the way to the bank.

Now the issue I see is that these companies have done very LITTLE advertising to get the word out about there browser, so they take the cheap option and muscle Microsoft into advertising there browsers with the ballot box.

Call it what you will, it's like a Pepsi bottle filled with Coke, Pepsi gets the advertisement and name recognition while still tasting like Coke.


RE: Pitiful
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 12:58:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Go to hell? way to debate buddy.


I'm not your buddy, pal.

quote:
But while IE was the default, pre-installed "internet" on a PC, many people did not know that other browsers existed, let alone Opera specifically.


Moot point. If your target demographic has no clue you exist, than you advertise.

quote:
Please, think about people other than yourself, or those like you.


Are you serious ??

quote:
As for advertising. MS are not being asked to promote other browsers.


Yes, they are. This is the very definition of advertising and promotion. Are you living on Mars !?

quote:
I assume the childish tone of your comment was for comic effect, so I wont be too offended by the way.


The only thing childish here is your completely naive borderline ignorant view of this issue. I don't care if you are offended, because I most certainly AM offended at how stupid you are.

There is a HUGE different between fairness and forced equality. The EU has crossed the line. No other possible conclusion by any rational person could be made.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/2010 1:21:29 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, just wow. I pity you. That's as much as I'll say just to end this sorry affair.


RE: Pitiful
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/5/2010 5:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
And I pity you....


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/6/2010 5:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
I pity anyone who cannot understand the background of this.

The poor analogies that many come up with expose this. The tyres/car analogy is particularly revealing, and highlights the lack of understanding of the depth of the issue. The problem being that an OS is not just a vehicle. It is pretty much the whole world, and that MS is so massive rich and powerful it's position means that it is pretty much impossible, and a waste of time and money, for other companies to compete in small areas such as browsers, whilst the MS browser department is backed up not only financially, but given preferential treatment by being made their chosen, default option. The end result being that for many many years IE was and for many now still is the default option, even tho many of us here do not use it as we know that it is not very good really, and they didn't bother to improve it because they didn't have to, even when netcaptor/opera/firefox where showing what could be done. MS a victim of their own success? Yes, frankly, but for the consumers benefit, sometimes big corporations have to be taken to task when the consumer may be being harmed.

So a more accurate (car based, I know you love them) analogy would be an MS controlled and run world, where they give you an MS car by default, which in turns has an impact on everything else that is created in the places that you can travel to. As creators/controllers of said world, they have a massive advantage over any other car manufacturer, as they have been able to offer their car as the default choice, and you had to use it to go and find an alternative. They are also massively more wealthy than almost any other car manufacturer in the world, the only other exception being (which arrived after this whole EU case started remember) Google chrome. They really could be doing more to compete to be honest.

So when faced with this sort of situation, where one party is so massive in control and much much wealthier, then maybe its for the best for the market and consumer as a whole that they are forced, when you first enter their world, to make people aware that their are alternatives to what they have to offer in this one case? I've seen the ballot screen now, and I get the advertising point, but I personally think that that is a distraction from the main point to be honest. I'm not saying that this ballot system is perfect either, but in an imperfect world, it's the best that there is. The average consumer will win, we will win, MS might pull their fingers out and improve IE and the cost to them will be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Its sad that we are in this situation, but it is a strange and rather odd situation that doesn't happen in any other market, so extraordinary and seemingly unjust measures need to be used some times.


RE: Pitiful
By rudy on 3/6/2010 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to not understand that while Microsoft may have a monopoly the solution is not to come up with a bogus rule that only applies to 1 company and opens up a can of worms on the legal precedence of what the government can force a company to do but rather to simply make a common rule that will apply to all players in the market to keep things fair.

This is the major problem we have with this law, not anything else. The fact the EU has very little foresight in their solution and it is clearly selfishly motivated and not in the best interest of the consumers or M$.

If M$ is using its position to create fake web standards simply tell them they have X time to make IE fully compatible with HTML5 AND every other company must do the same in the same time frame. If they do not do so everyone gets fined.

Make laws fair and make them apply to everyone. DO NOT make up rules as you go and target them only at one company. After all who would want to run a company in such a system where you can be doing something perfectly legal then wake up tomorrow to see a 500 billion euro fine in the mail? How can you ever do the right thing when all of your competition is doing things wrong and only you are being punished.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/6/2010 3:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think many here are getting carried away with a couple of things. That this sets a massive precedent that will change the world as we know it, and with feeling hurt because a damn foreign body dares to fine and force a dear old, wouldn't harm a fly, American corporation to do something.

If you're talking about fines. I've never been a big fan of them. I don't really see the point unless the money goes to directly compensate the people harmed.

Then saying that you shouldn't just make up rules as you go along? Just when should they be created? Once every 10 years, when Venus is in the second house, and the moon aligns with Mars?

If your last sentence is to imply that Apple should be made to do something similar, then why not? But the main point is that MS really don't have any competition, so any ruling in this area will and can really only affect 1 company, or at best, it only makes sense to go after the largest first, then others afterwards, surely?


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 8:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm yes it will change the industry a bit since they have to plan for power grab that is the EU. Ummm Corporations aren't evil, what governments do for corporations is evil.

It comes a point when more rules are just bloated and unnecessary. Look at Britain.

MS does have competition. Linux and Mac OS.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/7/2010 7:57:27 AM , Rating: 2
Corps and businesses aren't evil? All governments are though? Wow, and I get accused of sipping from the cool-aid. I've never mentioned the word evil. I've simply said that at times, the interest of shareholders/business profits don't always align with the best interests of consumers.

So big business, say the investment banking, or mortgage lending, or energy supplier businesses are all totally trust worthy and there should be no government interference? They always do the right thing for the consumer? We can trust them and leave them be without interference from governments?

Get a grip. There is no all good and all bad. The point is, in the ideal business world, the consumer and the shareholders interests don't conflict. The share holder wants to make as much money as possible, the consumer wants the best product possible. Where there is competition as we see in most markets, the share holder makes money by making the best product, for the best price as they are concerned that a competitor will do the same thing, and the consumer wins.

That is not what happened with MS/IE and the browser market however. For ages, IE was a very poor browser in terms of performance and features, still is frankly. Yet because of MS being able to give it away on every single Windows PC,as they pretty much control the control the mass consumer market like they do, it was the only option for many, in this new market that many people did not have experience in.

That is what makes this different.

And yes, MS does have some completion, which is why you will not find the word monopoly in any of my comments, unless I'm saying that I have't used it. However, go into your local electronics store and sees what you can buy. Go to the most popular on-line retailers and see what is available. A few Macs, but Apple are not operating (and it seems that they have no intention for now) in the mass consumer market, as they are happy with their high margin/premium market niche.

So with regard to the people who the EU/EC are meant to protect, MS have very little competition as far as operating systems go. You know more because you are in the IT business, or this is your hobby. Well done you, but you are not the kind of person who the EU/EC are out there to protect. They are aware that in all consumer issues it is impossible for everyone to be an expert in all fields. Just as you are not en expert in medicine/dentistry/car maintenance.... but there are government body rulings there to protect you in all these fields too.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/7/2010 7:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
"Corps and businesses aren't evil? All governments are though? Wow"

Since he said no such thing, are we to conclude you're intentionally distorting his remarks? Or just unable to comprehend plain English?

Let us know which is correct.

"So big business, say the investment banking, or mortgage lending, or energy supplier businesses are all totally trust worthy and there should be no government interference? "

Interesting that you mention those three, as they're three of the four most heavily regulated markets in the US. Yet they're the source of more scandal, corruption, and and lost or mismanaged monies to the consumer than any other.

You think that's just a coincidence? Think again.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 3:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
What he said was pretty clear, and echoed by many here. Governments are evil, stop businesses from making money and they would never do anything to harm the consumer, wah wah wahhhh.

Then the point about the business areas that I mentioned. Yep, they have some regulation. The question is, do you think that more or less regulation would have helped to stop the recent scandals/problems? Did the regulation and government bodies over seeing them stop it from happening more, and find/highlight the problems and stop them before they did more damage?

The fact that some regulation/legislation was in fact removed in the financial markets, allowing banks to be both normal savings/loan banks and investments banks because, hey, it's ok, business knows what it's doing and would never loose sight of the big picture in the pursuit of a fast buck at the cost of the consumer, or even themselves. Oh dear, where are we now?

Just a coincidence?


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/8/2010 4:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
" The question is, do you think that more or less regulation would have helped to stop the recent scandals/problems? "

Less regulation, undoubtedly. Had bank owners been lending their own money, rather playing with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government funds, they would have been far more cautious. Had the government not mandated Fannie Mac into the subprime market (in the guise of "making housing more affordable to the poor"), millions of bad loands would never have been made.

Had the Federal Reserve not artificially held the interest rate low, the bubble would have stopped expanding much sooner. And had the government not required banks to make a larger percentage of loans to 'distressed' areas and low-income recipients, we wouldn't have had so many people making $40K a year buying $750K houses with no money down.


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/6/2010 2:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
"The problem being that an OS is not just a vehicle. It is pretty much the whole world"

For sheer importance and effect on our lives, cars and other vehicles are far more important than operating systems. Period.

"MS is so massive rich and powerful"

Learn a little. Microsoft isn't even one the 100 largest companies in the world. The largest, by the way, is a European firm, with revenues over 8X as much as Microsoft.

"maybe its for the best for the market and consumer as a whole that they are forced, when you first enter their world, to make people aware that their are alternatives"

Yeah. It makes sense to force every single consumer to pick a browser and spend time downloading it. Should we force them to pick a file browser also? And a calculator choice? And their favorite picture viewer? How about we just give them all source code, and let them compile their own OS how they like it? That would be IDEAL, wouldn't it?

Just the time to make the browser choice alone, if multipled by everyone who uses Windows, will equate to MILLIONS of lost hours of productivity. And for what? Anyone who thinks a company like Opera is going to try even harder to be a better browser now is an idiot. They've got a guaranteed market share, no matter what they do.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/6/2010 3:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't start the car thing, seriously. But are you saying that browsers are not important? Now that there is that new fangled internet. You might have heard of it? The thing is, they are pretty important. Or are you saying that the internet isn't? Surely the product that you choose to use to navigate this virtual world is pretty important?

Then saying that MS are not wealthy and powerful? Are you for real? In the context of the world of operating systems and software, are you really saying that MS are not one of, if not the, largest company in the world?

So then we come to "the horror" of being forced to choose a browser and download it :-o omg, nooooo. What, 5 - 10 MB? Tell you what, lets just live in a world with 1 OS, with 1 default browser, 1 default Office suite, 1 default photo/paint program, 1... Just to save on time and increase productivity?

Finally, Opera will keep on trying their hardest, as that is what they do. However, do you honestly think that MS were really trying their hardest with IE over the last 10 years or so? When other tabbed and more efficient/feature rich browsers existed? Even now, with all the "hardest" work of such a large company as MS, is IE the best browser out there? Is that what you are using now to read this? I'm not going to call you names, but you must realise that what you are saying is silly?


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/6/2010 5:45:21 PM , Rating: 1
"But are you saying that browsers are not important? Now that there is that new fangled internet. You might have heard of it? "

Loonatic, I'm rapidly losing faith in you. Your original argument was that browsers are "the world", and impact our lives far more than do automobiles. I was dispelling that notion, not denigrating the Internet.

"...saying that MS are not wealthy and powerful? Are you for real?

Again, I was pointing out that Microsoft is not one of the wealthiest, most powerful companies in the world. They're not even the largest software company in the world.

That's neither here nor there. By calling Microsoft "rich and powerful", you were attempting an appeal to emotion, a logical fallacy that appeals widely to the ignorant and uneducated. I expected more of you.

"So then we come to "the horror" of being forced to choose a browser and download it :-o omg, nooooo. What, 5 - 10 MB? "

I can tell you're young, and have little to no experience with computers in the pre-Windows days. Let me explain just what a horror it was. First you bought and installed DOS. Then a bunch of utilities, just to do basic things like browse local files, defrag your hard drive, and a dozen other things.

Then a separate program to give you network support. Then an IP stack. Then an FTP client. Everything up to now you had to do via CD or (more likely) a stack of floppy drives.

Then you could FTP down an email program and a web browser...if you knew where to find them. Or you could get (semi) custom ones from your ISP. In all cases, you prayed your *** off that all the crap worked together perfectly. And it never did.

The whole process took DAYS...and so much computer expertise that few people ever did it. Microsoft changed that...by a process of bundling that the EU now calls illegal. By bundling a hundred different products into Windows, they put a thousand small companies out of business.

Far from hurting competition, it was the biggest boon to the consumer one can possibly imagine. As a result, the Internet exploded in popularity. I literally thank god every day that the European Union hadn't descended into such idiocy then...or we'd still be in the stone ages today.

Now we come to the current situation. Today, there are over TEN DIFFERENT BROWSERS AVAILABLE for Windows. The only ones with significant market share are those which offer enough additional features over IE to make it worthwhile to download them. For the average user, those 'benefits' are NOT worth the time to deal with the hassle.

Ideally, web browsers should follow the same model that photo viewers, email clients, and even file browsers and network support followed -- the MARKET SHOULD VANISH. Period. It should become a basic commodity, part of the operating system. Then thousands of software developers can move on to bigger and better things, rather than wasting their time on ten different browsers that (lets be honest here) really aren't that different.

Instead, the EU has forced us to take a tremendous step backwards. It's guaranteed that at least 5 different browsers are going to survive for the next decade... whether or not they give any significant benefit to the end user. The market is intentionally kept fragmented, resulting in market inefficiencies.

The real loser here is the consumer....which is why I've spent all this time typing this. I could give a rats *** about Microsoft. But I'm intelligent enough to realize this decision (and far more importantly, the precedent it sets) ultimately hurts me.


RE: Pitiful
By Kurz on 3/6/2010 8:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
God porkpie I think I should start archiving your posts.


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/7/2010 8:21:53 AM , Rating: 2
Erm, what? It seems that you are reading my comments and getting them all backwards. Like the other comment where you thought that I meant that Opera would work harder now. When they whole point is that MS have not had to work hard with IE as they didn't need to and the consumer suffered. Noe that they have genuine competition, they might finally pull their fingers out. Now you can't get that I was saying that the OS is more like "the world", and that the browser is the vehicle. Go back, start again.

As for the rich and powerful bit. I am not trying to get emotional, I'm just pointing out that if you had a great browser, you would find it much harder to break into the market if MS were allowed to carry on as they were. Giving their browser away with every version of the OS that you need to run your browser on? MS are/were just too big and powerful for you to ever stand a chance of competing with. Try to get financial backing for such an endeavour a few years back.

It's only since EU/EC and other bodies making rulings against MS to break them up and give other companies a chance have we started to see a change. What many seem to forget here is that this is not something that the EU/EC came up with last week, the ball started rolling a long time ago.

So again, you go for the "I'm a wise old sage and you know nothing of the world little pup" , patronising line. Well I hate to burst your bubble, but my computer use goes back to ZX spectrums and C64s, through Atari STs/Amigas to DOS/win 3.11 PCs etc.

you were talking about the loss of time and the horror of downloading a file now. which is no big deal. Indeed when you first set up a PC, you'll find that you will be spending far more time installing MS updates.

So finally, your conceit is exposed. You think you know how the world should be run. What businesses people should be allowed to run and compete in in Porkpie world.

So how is the consumer loosing? They get to choose, for the first time for many, and experience better browsers. So at the moment that is just the big 5 browsers, for now. it's the first iteration and not set in stone. Can you name any others that people would genuinely benefit from? Those that you can are probably niche pieces of software for a specific group of people, which are built around one of the big 5, so any developments made by them will be passed on anyway.

I must say though, you have me bamboozled. You are saying that 5 is not enough, as it limits the number of browsers that people could use, which you think should ideally be 1 default browser?


RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/8/2010 4:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
o again, you go for the "I'm a wise old sage and you know nothing of the world little pup" , patronising line. Well I hate to burst your bubble, but my computer use goes back to ZX spectrums and C64s, through Atari STs/Amigas to DOS/win 3.11 PCs etc.
Congratulations. By the days of the C64, I had already been using computers a decade. My first machine had 256 bytes (not MB or even KB) of ram, and two 7-segment LEDs in place of a display.

If you lived through that period, you didn't learn from it. Before Microsoft began bundling a browser in Windows, the Internet was a wasteland, and there only a couple of different browsers to choose from. Once they began bundling, the Internet exploded-- and we have over a dozen different browsers to choose from.

The conclusion is obvious to anyone with a room temperature IQ. Bundling didn't hurt the consumer. It was an enormous benefit to them...AND to the competition.

"So finally, your conceit is exposed. You think you know how the world should be run. "

Finally? I thought I made that clear long ago.

Note to self: I must try harder.


RE: Pitiful
By rudy on 3/5/2010 2:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
And you are naive enough to think they are any better off now? People who do not research products will never change. Tomorrow they will go buy an iPod and download itunes but shouldnt apple now be forced to bundle all other media players with an iPod because people do not know others exist? We buy thousands of products packaged with software or accessories never is a company forced to offer the competitions product.
It is not fair competition unless google, mozilla and every other company is forced to pay for the advertising they just got with M$ product just like every other company has to pay Dell, HP or other OEMs if they want their software links and preinstalls on those computers.


RE: Pitiful
By Ardan on 3/5/2010 1:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. Wow, and here I thought I was in a bad mood this morning because I had a migraine when I woke up. This post was filled with a lot more anger than I was today, that's for sure! I figured there would be passionate posters in here on this topic, just like people with abortion and gun control, so it isn't a surprise. Its just nice to know someone was angrier than me this morning :).


RE: Pitiful
By Fritzr on 3/5/2010 4:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the way MS advertises Explorer.

User buys computer, takes it home and Wow it's got a browser...no need to consider anything else now.

Netscape was once #1, then MS started their current advertising effort...IE share went through the roof as soon as people started using the new Windows.

In US a company with this kind of market control is a trust. MS has somewhere around 90-95% market share for the consumer OS & every copy comes with IE preinstalled. That is what the other browsers are up against. Businesses tend to do a little more research and seemingly settle with ... "We have it, so let's use it" instead of asking their IT people "Are there other options?"


RE: Pitiful
By rdawise on 3/5/2010 10:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
I usually don't agree with Reclaimer77 on a lot of things but he is right on the money with this one.

Microsoft should be compensated for them advertisement efforts here. No company should ever HAVE to offer "alternatives" to their product.

If the EU has a problem then why not look at Apple. Apple is nothing but anticompetitive.

The only valid arguement I've seen is the fact the you have to use IE to download the alternative. Who cares. Get off your butt and let the consumer know why they need to do this. When you buy a new car, it comes when an enigne already. You, the consumer, have ways of upgrading or replacing the engine with one made by another vendor. Is it the car manufacturer's job to tell you this...NO! If you want an engine that will make you go faster then you must find one that is advertised.

Let me fix/repeat that last sentence..."If you want a browser that will make you go faster then you must find one that is advertised ."


RE: Pitiful
By Flahrydog on 3/5/2010 11:41:03 AM , Rating: 4
Microsoft is being used as a vehicle to distribute its competitors products. This is unheard of.

Microsoft spends X amount of money to get a single person to use Windows. And then if that user chooses Opera, they just got a user for free. They are pigging backing on Microsoft's success.


RE: Pitiful
By theapparition on 3/5/2010 12:32:16 PM , Rating: 5
What I find particuarly hypocritical is that Opera "sold" it's default search browser business to Google.

Considering that Google has a monopoly on search, I suggest Microsoft petition the EU include a browser ballot in Opera that sets the default search provider. Bing is being put at a competitive disadvantage due to Opera's default choice of search.

Stick it right back to them.


RE: Pitiful
By karlostomy on 3/6/2010 11:02:21 AM , Rating: 3
Absolutely!

I can't believe MS hasn't pursued this legal option yet.
After all, in Europe, the browser ballot makes for a no contest legal precedent against default search providers.


RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 11:43:01 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
There is a difference between "supporting" something, and making sure that everyone has a chance to compete on a level playing field. Every customer has the right to be given a genuine choice, not just those who are in the know and are aware that there are other alternatives out there, i.e. you.

You simply aren't seeing the broader implications of the government telling a company they must support their competition.

This ruling sets precedents in the EC that any company that gains an advantage in the market place must make reparations to the losing company in order to maintain competition. Essentially eliminating the drive for a company to bring a successful product to market until their lazy competitor actually comes up with something similar or better. The marker will stagnate as grid lock ensues in the court system as every underdog will look to sue the competition for actually doing a better job than they did and wants a free handout until they actually are viable to compete.


RE: Pitiful
By Black Rainbow on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 1:13:34 PM , Rating: 5
You mean like the world advancing faster than any point in its history after WWII?

So, the answer is to never allow advancement unless you carry your 5 closest competitors with you? You think this will encourage more advancement do you???


RE: Pitiful
By Aloonatic on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By gereth86 on 3/5/2010 11:46:58 AM , Rating: 5
I don't really follow the logic of "If there is no browser ballot, the customer doesn't have a genuine choice." How exactly is the customer limited in choice? There are plenty of products on the market that I am not aware of, but that doesn't mean I don't have the choice to purchase them.

If I am looking to purchase something in a market that is new to me, I will do some research on it and choose the one that best suits my needs. Nothing prevents others from doing the same.

If Microsoft has to put a ballot up for a web browser option when theirs is free, whats to prevent a ballot option for a media player like you mentioned? Or better yet, lets just put up a ballot at the Windows install screen asking the consumer "Are you sure you want Windows? Check out these other options like MacOS and Linux!".

In my opinion, if Microsoft is forced to do this, then Apple should be forced to do the same and offer all other browsers too. But naaah, I guess Apple is too small time for regulations to support its competitors. This is essentially punishment on Microsoft for having the best OS on the market and bundling its own free software with it. They are simply trying to give the best end user experience and in my opinion giving the option on browser will only confuse the end consumer and take away from their experience. If someone is not learned enough to know there are other web browser options, you should also assume that they are not learned enough to choose the best option for their use (which for the computer illiterate really is IE, even though other options are better for the more literate users).


RE: Pitiful
By bubbastrangelove on 3/5/2010 12:21:00 PM , Rating: 5
Microsoft should be able include whatever browser they want in THEIR software. Once Jon Q Consumer buy their software it's their responsibility to educate themselves as to what software they want to add on is best for their needs.

This is coming from a guy who things Firefox is the best thing since sliced bread.


RE: Pitiful
By n0ebert on 3/5/2010 2:18:08 PM , Rating: 3
Fine. Then even the playing field and force Apple to include a ballot screen as well. Let's see how fast they start suing everyone involved.

Hypocrisy is such a bitter drink, isn't it?


RE: Pitiful
By rudy on 3/5/2010 2:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
People who are not in the know are not making a choice. The ballot is no different. DO you think anyone who looks at the ballot has a clue what they are picking if they do not already know how to download the product? All you have done is force 1 company to artificially inflate as you say the market share of another companies product.

This move is not good for the industry people who are to lazy or stupid or do not care to go download a competing product are not going to suddenly become enlightened. Some people just do not care to get another product. And M$ wasn't making much money off a product that came for free any way.

All you have done is taken people who did not deserve any market share and bumped them up to a over inflated value and for that they have done nothing to deserve it other then cry to politicians. Now the browser market will be come an over political market how will an upstart get theirs in the ballot? Next those currently in the ballot will try to block new upstarts from joining it because it will dillute their market share with each new install.


RE: Pitiful
By davepermen on 3/5/2010 4:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
indeed. on each bottle of coke, it should be written "you can chose pepsy, or virgin cola, or what ever instead, too".

no, sir, microsoft has no reason to be forced to this. but glad they complied.


RE: Pitiful
By Penti on 3/7/2010 5:08:54 AM , Rating: 2
It has an historic answer as you couldn't "uninstall" IE before Windows 7. Rendering engine is still there if you do of course though. But IE will never popup in the system. Which means a smoother experience when running a none MS browser. Also because they work closer with the core Windows teams they will be able to launch there products with new tech sooner then the competition.


RE: Pitiful
By jonmcc33 on 3/8/2010 12:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is a difference between "supporting" something, and making sure that everyone has a chance to compete on a level playing field.


It is a level playing field. Microsoft does not prevent any browser developer from making software for the Windows OS. That's as level as it gets. Unlike Apple, who won't even let Sun make a Java package for Mac OS X. Yep, check the download page yourself if you don't believe me: http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

That's a monopoly right there. I do not agree with the EU in this instance. It is Microsoft's responsibility to provide Windows owners with a way to get to the internet. It is not their responsibility to provide other manufacturer's software.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 11:26:14 AM , Rating: 5
Turns out there are faster/better caclulators, text editors, drawing programs, and command line utilities too. However I bet MS has a pretty good market share on Calc, Notepad, Paint, and good old cmd too.

Why is it bad that they offer their stuff as a default? Hardly anti-competitive. Anti-competitive would be to not allow other browsers when in fact MS gives you and easy way to get them by giving you a default one.

And if there was any money at all in the browser market itself it would be one thing, but they bring in $0 in revenue. IE does not make MS one red cent, neither does Chrome for Google, FF for mozila, or Opera.

It is the defaulting of search engines and home pages that bring in web hits and ad $$$. And this is already regulated in IE. The first time you open it it asks you to choose your settings. I can't say that is the case with all of the others (you can change them but I don't know if they let you choose up front). If anything THEIR business practices are the shady ones as they tend to bundle tool bars and search providers.


RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 11:34:56 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
And if there was any money at all in the browser market itself it would be one thing, but they bring in $0 in revenue. IE does not make MS one red cent, neither does Chrome for Google, FF for mozila, or Opera.

Wrong, RTFA for a clue.
quote:
Why does Opera care about browser market share so much? Opera was among the first browser makers to broker a deal with a search engine giant (in its case Google) to auction off the browser's default search engine. As search engines lead to advertising revenue, and many users rely on the default search, such deals typically bring tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to the browser maker. The size of the deal typically depends, though, on the number of active users, so getting users to download your browser is critical.

Just because the software itself isn't a money maker doesn't mean it can't be used as a money maker through its use for the company. Just look at gaming consoles to validate this. Companies sell consoles for a loss just to make money on games and accessories. It's not rocket science.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By VitalyTheUnknown on 3/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 11:50:16 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
So who is more shady IE that lets me choose or browser X that bundles it without a choice?

The EC for coming up with such a ridiculous ruling while not enforcing it across the entire OS marketplace. That goes for the browser ballot box and the search engine ballot.

This whole thing is a mess really. The implications will stretch so far away from just browsers and OS's. This is a huge can of worms that will be beat to death in court rooms all across the EU.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 11:58:16 AM , Rating: 3
To further reiterate my point. We both agree that search is the money maker. Therefore the browser is irrelevant. Google is by far the search leader. It makes absolutely NO difference what the browser market share is. The vast majority of the actual money in question goes to Google. If the browser mattered Bing would be #1, it obviously doesn't.

I have far more concern about the "other" browsers' kickbacks, and back ally deals with Google to make them the default, than I do with IE being included in Windows. Where the money is Google clearly has an advantage, but there is far less of a push to address that.


RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 11:57:53 AM , Rating: 3
Actually it does make a difference. If the Opera browser in Windows is directing to Google Search then Opera gets the kick back. If IE references Google then MS gets the kick back.

The browser is the portal for the $ flow.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 12:36:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If IE references Google then MS gets the kick back.

Do they though? I think both you and I agree, the ballot thing is not something MS should have to do. If the system needs reform at all it should be at the idea of kickbacks. I am pretty certain the others get paid for google searches, not so sure about MS (and pretty positive Google doesn't pay MS for bing searches on chrome). I would be shocked if Google felt any need to pay MS for searches since they are not the default engine.

When I say browsers are irrelevant what I mean is that if Google could not kick back to the browser maker, then most would not bother making a product. Their business model is basically based on a bribe, and it seems a 1 sided one since bing is not the defualt on these other browsers and not even an option by default on some.

Not saying that is necessarily a bad thing to keep IE innovative, but I also don't think this ballot thing is good at all. And, if in fact, they do default to Google then MS should be able to do that with Bing on IE as well (instead of letting the users choose). Using FF right now and Bing sure isn't in my drop down of search providers.

Again it is really about search share not browser, since that is what drives this crazy train. And honestly if anyone needs protection here it is MS, Google is being allowed to keep bing out of other browsers where MS has to offer Google up front. Where is the anti-competitive outcry here? Do no evil my ass.


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 12:47:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
(and pretty positive Google doesn't pay MS for bing searches on chrome)
Meant that the other way MS doesn't pay Google.


RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 12:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, I am seeing more eye to eye with you now. ;)

Eliminating kick backs on search shares would throw a monkey wrench into the whole equation. I'm pretty sure none of this legislation would have occurred if there was no money to be made from search.

But it does depend on the browser reference at the moment.
quote:
Using FF right now and Bing sure isn't in my drop down of search providers.

But Live should be, and once you select that it does update to Bing, if I recall correctly as Bing is now listed in my drop down.
quote:
Where is the anti-competitive outcry here?

Definitely agree. This should be across the board, every OS should get a ballot box by this decision and every Browser should get a search ballot. If its regulated for one then its regulated for all. (I really just want to see the look on Steve Jobs face if that ever happens.)


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 1:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I really just want to see the look on Steve Jobs face if that ever happens.


I think the guy holding his robot head under that turtleneck would end up dropping it on the floor :)

FYI...I've had FF for a long time maybe it is just mine (or something I removed), but just looked no live or bing opion. I can manage others and add them. I do have yahoo, ask, and such.


RE: Pitiful
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 1:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't remember how I got it up there then. I copy my FF profile to every computer I work with and don't remember what version of FF I had when I made that switch. Probably got it from the Mozilla add-on site.

Strangely enough, I use Gmail to store my FF profile, so I can get the Bing search while maintaining iGoogle as my homepage.

And at no point did an EC mandate give me the option for the setup :P


RE: Pitiful
By bhieb on 3/5/2010 1:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
LOL noice.


RE: Pitiful
By Camikazi on 3/6/2010 5:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
I have Bing on my list and I never changed anything in the search list ever.


RE: Pitiful
By azmodean on 3/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pitiful
By walk2k on 3/5/2010 12:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
So they went from .0003% to .0006%? LOL

Give it up already nobody uses these fringe browsers and they never will it's like Mac people clinging to the hope that it will ever be more than a few percent marketshare.


RE: Pitiful
By PitbulI on 3/5/2010 1:15:50 PM , Rating: 3
It bugs me that Microsoft has to do this but Apple does not.

I run IE, I also recently installed Firefox but see no reason why I would abandon IE for it.


RE: Pitiful
By invidious on 3/5/2010 1:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately people need a browser to get to a website to download another product. And most people are content with whatever browser they have and wouldn't think to go look for a new one.

Keep in mind that some people dont even understand the difference between a browser and a website.

So I dont see anything illegal about what Microsoft was doing, its not like they blocked access to competator's sites. But at the same time it was definately not supporting competition and put undue resistance on competators. Given Microsoft's dominance, I would have to classify this as being too powerful for their own good. So it is hard for me to feel too sorry for them, especially when I look at their 2009 profit margins. (wiping the floor with Apple)


RE: Pitiful
By Paken on 3/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pitiful
By porkpie on 3/5/2010 5:01:08 PM , Rating: 1
"Microsoft, intentionally or not, has used its position in the OS market to gain foothold in the internet browser market"

The point you miss is the artificial definition of an "internet browser market" -- a "market" for something given away for free and, according to Microsoft, should be part of an OS entirely, not a separate item.

No matter how you slice it, letting government decide what should and shouldn't be part of a product is a bad idea. Imagine if 15 years ago, the EU would have applied this principle to the "graphical shell market"...a market that today no longer exists, thanks to OS bundling (and a VERY good thing for us consumers it happened).

How does this hurt other companies? Try starting a new browser now, if you're not on the EU approved alternatives list...it will be 3X as hard to get someone to download you. For those companies that ARE on the list -- where's the incentive to innovate now? You have a guaranteed market share now. Why spend money on R&D in the hopes of getting an infinitesimal increase in share?


RE: Pitiful
By Paken on 3/5/2010 6:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
Just because it is given away for free does not mean that it doesn't have value or generate revenue. As the article states Opera was able to make a deal with Google to generate revenue, and Microsoft is able to generate revenue with Bing. Many markets work this way, radio, broadcast TV, free papers.

I'm not 100% clear on how the ballet system works, but I'm personally not against Microsoft going ahead an integrating certain features with Internet Explorer and perhaps even requiring it for certain Windows functions. What I am against is Windows using its position as the dominant OS to force a larger market share than it would have if people made an educated choice. This ultimately generates revenue for Microsoft because of its OS market share not its quality of a browser.

quote:
No matter how you slice it, letting government decide what should and shouldn't be part of a product is a bad idea. Imagine if 15 years ago, the EU would have applied this principle to the "graphical shell market"...a market that today no longer exists, thanks to OS bundling (and a VERY good thing for us consumers it happened).

There really isn't an argument here because what would you let consumers choose? You can't give the consumer a choice when it no longer exists. Closest thing I can think of is bblean and it only modifies the existing windowing system.

quote:
How does this hurt other companies? Try starting a new browser now, if you're not on the EU approved alternatives list...it will be 3X as hard to get someone to download you.

I agree that the ballot solution isn't perfect, but its better than doing nothing. If Microsoft is using its position as the dominant OS to gain market share instead of innovating and 1UPing the competition that is a problem. The free market is failing to reward those innovating in the field, and instead rewarding Microsoft for being dominant in another field. Left as it is, it will continue this way harming all other players in the field and hampering innovation. Its the government's job to try and level the playing field so that Microsoft can participate in the field as though Windows wasn't the dominant OS.

Microsoft's monopoly on the OS market shouldn't allow it dominance in another market (when there are valid competitors) just because they've done so well with Windows. You can argue against the ballot mechanism as an solution, but something must ultimately be done.


RE: Pitiful
By sigilscience on 3/6/2010 5:51:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can't give the consumer a choice when it no longer exists.
We've never had this ballot before, and yet there are more browser choices today than there were 5 years ago, or ten. So much for your theory.

quote:
Opera was able to make a deal with Google to generate revenue, and Microsoft is able to generate revenue with Bing
Oh, so you can't use Opera to search through Bing, or IE to search through Google? Funny, I didn't think it worked that way.

You're conflating web browsing (an integral part of a modern OS) with the search engine market. They're two totally different thing.


RE: Pitiful
By Paken on 3/6/2010 12:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We've never had this ballot before, and yet there are more browser choices today than there were 5 years ago, or ten. So much for your theory.

You misunderstood what I meant. I was saying you can have a choice, or ballot box, for selecting which windowing system you want on Microsoft Windows when the one provided on Microsoft Windows is the only one that exists. This is not the case for Internet browsers.

quote:
Oh, so you can't use Opera to search through Bing, or IE to search through Google? Funny, I didn't think it worked that way.

You can use Opera to use other search engines just as you can with IE. However, Opera defaults to Google just as Internet Explorer defaults to Bing. As the article states, Opera is compensated for this from Google, just as Microsoft will be for the searches Bing brings through their own ad network.

quote:
You're conflating web browsing (an integral part of a modern OS) with the search engine market. They're two totally different thing.

There are many things which could be considered a 'integral' part of the modern OS. Word processors for example. I'm not saying that Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to create competing products, what I am saying is they shouldn't be able to gain a larger market share for those products just because of their position in the OS market.


RE: Pitiful
By theendofallsongs on 3/6/2010 7:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not saying that Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to create competing products, what I am saying is they shouldn't be able to gain a larger market share for those products just because of their position in the OS market.
You don't seem to know what your saying. If MS creates a competing product and bundles it with Windows, they're automatically going to get a larger market share because of "their position in the OS market".

By your logic, Microsoft can never give us another free utility or new component in Windows again.

Way to protect the consumer, dolt.


RE: Pitiful
By rudy on 3/5/2010 11:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
Part of the merit of a product is the fact it comes free with something. There are probably many pieces of software on your computer which would have no market share if they did not come for free. So should every company that gives away free software or preloads trial ware on your computer be forced to give you the option to install all competing companies products?

Every where you go in life you see this. Walk into any retailer they use their market position to bring their own products to the market grocery stores, home improvement, clothes stores. And if you want that company to push your product more you may need to pay.

Take apple for instance if they do not pay best buy or other retailers to give them a very large space for their anemic product line do you think best buy would put up a giant wall and have the computer each have 3 feet of space when other computers are crammed in practically touching each other? Take dewalt tools they have to pay home depot to put their products on the end caps and in displays because home depot does not make as much money off of them as their in house brands. In addition some PC makers and tool makers simply do not get any space at all in stores.

So what you are saying is that now the government should start stepping in and telling all these companies they must present equal and fair space to every competing product.

M$ gave us a free product because they understand that the OS is a rapidly evolving market where yesterdays paid applications must come free today or people will purchase another OS. And so they keep upgrading and adding features. Look at how much better the calculator is in windows 7 should Texas instruments sue them for making their calculators and software useless?


RE: Pitiful
By Paken on 3/6/2010 12:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
The point you make is valid except my argument was based solely on the fact that Microsoft has a virtual monopoly on the OS market.

A analogy closer to what you were arguing but with the point I was making might be more like the following.

Let say Sears became nearly the sole hardware retailer, the only practical retailer due entirely to people preferring their service (aka they got this monopoly through legal means). Sears then takes Craftsman (which we will assume is still owned by Sears for the sake of the argument) and only displays Craftsman tools in their storefront, although customers can get other tools if they ask for them, as they are kept in the storage room.

If Sears were not a monopoly, this wouldn't be a problem, the consumer would have exposure to other brands through other retailers. But since Sears has a monopoly on the hardware retail market they can make it appear to most people that Craftsman is their only option.

My argument is that this would be a problem for both the consumer and the tool making industry. The solution might not be to force Sears to carry a line-up of the top 5 tools, but something would have to be done to restore the tool making industry and allow it to behave more as if sears didn't have a monopoly on the hardware retailer market.


RE: Pitiful
By rudy on 3/6/2010 1:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
If sears continues to produce fair priced tools, I do not see the problem. It would be a problem if sears were say paying large sums of money to the company that actually makes craftsman to stop them from making re branded tools for Walmart or any other retailer. But the solution would not be to force sears to carry the other products. Or if it was the solution a new law that is NOT ex post facto would need to be written and applied to every player in the game. In our case that would be every damn linux distro forced to have a ballot and apple and google and anyone else. The point is if someone stops innovating as microsoft did with IE for a time then a new competitor will offer a better product and make huge gains in the market Firefox did this without any stupid ballot. Then that competition drove microsoft to step up their game. The system worked just fine. Also microsoft did not pay attention to mobile web browsing and that costs them too.

This is typical governments coming up with an unjust solution to a barely existent problem. And they will not hold everyone to the same standard which will put microsoft and an unfair disadvantage you know they will start getting millions of support calls for problems with everyone elses browsers. meanwhile no one else will have these problems.


RE: Pitiful
By Spammy on 3/5/2010 5:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
In my opinion they need to make this standard for everyone and everything. Yes, that includes Apple and Linux, computers and cellphones, media players and more. Simply put, we don't know where the next monopoly will come from or who will have it.

Certainly Apple needs to be forced open every bit as much as Microsoft does. They come with their own browser and own media player program that only works with their own players. While I hate WMP, at least it works with the vast majority of players out there (Zune and iPods being the only exceptions I can think of).

To do otherwise is short-sighted and shows that the policy makers are stuck in the past, not looking to the future.


RE: Pitiful
By Spammy on 3/5/2010 5:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well, either make everyone do it or nobody do it. Forgot that. But singling out Microsoft like this is still not something I approve of. Especially when I think Apple is far more anti-competitive.


RE: Pitiful
By Lazarus Dark on 3/6/2010 9:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone that this ballot is for... most dont even understand the CONCEPT of different browsers. This is from personal experience at work. Most people think its just "the internet". They will look at this screen and pick the one that looks "cool" or "cute" or whatever. Many will pick Opera solely on the basis of liking the name and the red lettering attracting their eye. Others will pick Firefox or Chrome because they think that is the color scheme! Thats what this is about!

A majority of people looking at this screen will think its a theme choice! They don't even know that its a completely different software. And when say Chrome doesn't load a page right, they will blame Microsoft not even knowing that it's not a MS software. How many calls will MS have to deflect because of this? Are MS supposed to support these browsers now?

There are lots of times I don't have a choice... like in who provides my utilities. Sure... I COULD get solar panels, a propane storage tank, and a water tank and septic tank. But I'm not gunna; while I technically have a choice, that doesn't mean the utility company needs to send me adds about solar panels. While not always a good thing, Humans prefer convenience>choice. In this case... it aint hurting anyone! Firefox is doing fine without it and Chrome is getting popular with a lot of non-techies that I know. Opera has its dedicated followers and is gaining well in the cellphone market. I use it once in a while when a weird site wont load in firefox.

The part that ticks me off is that decisions like this in the EU can affect the direction of things that could effect me in the US. I don't like them making policies to change the direction of a particular world market. Who are they to do such things?


Opera 10.5 effect
By WraithAkaMrak on 3/5/2010 11:00:23 AM , Rating: 5
So this has nothing to do with the new version of Opera that was just released?

http://www.dailytech.com/Opera+105+is+Released+Cla...




RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By Staples on 3/5/2010 11:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Also, downloads does not equal a long time user. I downloaded 10.5 just to try it on some web pages that I know used to cause problems with Opera. I was just trying it out. I am posting this from Chrome.


RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By toyotabedzrock on 3/6/2010 10:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
The link on the ballot screen is not a direct link to the normal download page, it is designed so it can be counted by Microsoft and the browser vendor.

Also this screen only appears if your default browser is IE. Which for most people means that they haven't used a different browser and once a new one is installed they will likely not change it on there own.


RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By DanNeely on 3/5/2010 11:14:57 AM , Rating: 2
Possible. Did the ballot screen come out before or after the 10.5 release? As mentioned elsewhere though the real question will be if the companies monitoring browser usage see significant changes to their stats when they publish march data.


RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By Lazarus Dark on 3/6/2010 9:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
yeah. I rarely use Opera, but I have it and I think I'm still on 9.0, I was thinking the other day when I heard of the 10.5 release that I should update it, I'm sure others have as well


RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By Belard on 3/7/2010 11:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Version 10.5 is quite good. 10.x has been great since they have revised the GUI look, 10.5 builds on the 10 interface but more Win7 look and a page out of Chrome.

Its a 9mb download...


RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By Veerappan on 3/8/2010 1:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
I ran some benchmarks on my desktop on Friday after installing Opera 10.5. I don't have the exact numbers on me, but they went something like this:

Peacekeeper:
Internet Explorer 8: ~1700 points
Firefox 3.6: 3700 points
Opera 10.1: 2500 points
Opera 10.5: 4500 points

This was on Win 7 64-bit with a Phenom II 720 BE (2.8Ghz Tri-core), with 4GB of DDR2.

Opera made some huge strides in performance in 10.5, and I can't wait for the Solaris/MacOSX versions of 10.5 to come out (my Solaris work machine could really use this type of speedup).


RE: Opera 10.5 effect
By Belard on 3/8/2010 10:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
They have also fixed the nagging problems in previous Opera 10.x (some even older).

- Printing is now, pretty much perfect. Rather than jibberish.

- Spell checker is no longer messing up in text boxs (like here and any other site).

There are some .0 bugs... 10.5 can almost be called version 11... :) Look at google, in less than 2 years they go from 1.0 to 5.0.... and you can't tell the difference. Much of 10.5 is chanced from 10.1.

The bugs are minor, the FLASH plug-in is out-dated from Adobe causes some problems I think.

Even less reason to use IE8... :)


My car...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/5/2010 12:46:15 PM , Rating: 3
Has a Mazda engine. But I hear Nissan makes better engines. I had NO idea, it's not fair. Why has Mazda forced me to use their own engine when a better one is available !!??

SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING !




RE: My car...
By Belard on 3/5/2010 1:11:38 PM , Rating: 3
Mazada and Nissin are not a monopoly.

Toyota is the the biggest car company on the planet, but its easy to find any other brand you want.

Many people use MS-Office because that is all they know... but *IT* is the best office suite. Open Office is very good, easily 2nd place behind Office 2003, but sometimes better since it has more apps included. And again, most people never heard of Open Office.

The big issue between browser and lets say MS-Write is that apps for Windows are local. The browser is outside of your computer. And the design defects of IE have caused lots of problems on the internet as MS seeked and succeeded in creating their standard (broken by design).

As easily noted, IE still fails badly for following HTML standards that are NOT set by Microsoft. Opera, Safari, Chrome are 100% compatible, FireFox is about 94%, IE is like 20%.... and its an IMPROVEMENT!


RE: My car...
By SandmanWN on 3/5/2010 1:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And again, most people never heard of Open Office.
Well then, maybe they should sue some company or another in the EU!!! Just find a really big one and you are sure to win.

The fundamentals still come down to a government telling a company (any company now that this has passed) that they must support their competitors at any point they get an advantage. Competition and advertising are now dead. Its all moot now because as soon as your competitor gets an advantage in the market, you get free advertising and a government decision to prop you up. A bailout for browsers and whatever industry lawyers will use this decision to their advantage for!
quote:
Toyota is the the biggest car company on the planet, but its easy to find any other brand you want.

And that differs from web browser how exactly???
I mean you are debating a point and contradicting yourself in the same post. Its ok for browsers but not for automotive??? WTF! Is it any harder to find an alternative browser than it is to find another car?


RE: My car...
By ZachDontScare on 3/5/2010 3:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mazada and Nissin are not a monopoly.


Nor is Microsoft. The very existence of Apple and Linux prove that.


Not a fan of Opera. I prefer shiny things.
By chunkymonster on 3/5/10, Rating: 0