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Microsoft Browser Choice Screen  (Source: Microsoft)
Full roll out will start the week of March 1 in Europe

Microsoft has a long history of accusations that it abuses its dominant position in the browser and operating system markets. These allegations have resulted in several investigations into Microsoft in both America and Europe. One of the more recent investigations happened last year in Europe and was focused on Internet Explorer.

Ultimately, antitrust charges were filed against Microsoft for its practice of bundling IE with Windows in Europe. Microsoft eventually agreed to offer a ballot box that would allow Windows users to choose what browser they want to install on their computer and the charges in Europe were dropped.

Microsoft VP and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner has posted to the
Microsoft on the Issues blog new information on the browser choice screen for Europe. Heiner wrote, "Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will begin offering a “Web browser choice screen” to Internet Explorer users in Europe, as required by the European Commission. Internal testing of the choice screen is underway now. We’ll begin a limited roll-out externally next week, and expect that a full scale roll-out will begin around March 1, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. If you are an Internet Explorer user in Europe, here is what to expect."

Microsoft will begin testing the choice screen next week in the UK, Belgium, and France. Anyone in those three countries that wants to test the choice screen will be able to download the software update via Windows Update. The phased roll out of the choice screen across all of Europe will kick off the week of March 1.

Microsoft reports that the choice screen will be an automatic download through Windows Update for XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Users will either find that the software is downloaded automatically or they may be prompted to download and install the software depending on settings and the version of Windows in use on the PC. 

The choice screen will be shown on all computers running IE as the default browser. Windows 7 users with IE pinned to the taskbar will have the browser automatically unpinned. The choice screen will offer details to users on different browsers and links to download them in a random order.



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Europe is Retarded
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/2010 10:48:58 AM , Rating: 1
That's pretty much the only thing I can come up with for this decision. Forcing Microsoft to help push other companies product on their OWN OS, because Europeans are too retarded to download Chrome, Firefox etc etc on their own.

So stupid.




RE: Europe is Retarded
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 11:43:44 AM , Rating: 5
True but next up should be Apple! They should be forced to provide Firefox, Opera and (somehow) IE8 with their OS!


RE: Europe is Retarded
By MadMan007 on 2/20/2010 9:59:45 AM , Rating: 4
And Flash on their iDevices.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By B3an on 2/20/2010 10:37:21 AM , Rating: 4
I just want to point out that more people use Firefox or Chrome over IE in Europe than in the U.S.

Reclaimer77 - The stereotypical ignorant and thick yank.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By CurseTheSky on 2/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: Europe is Retarded
By Nighteye2 on 2/20/2010 2:09:38 PM , Rating: 1
It does, actually, if the browser preloads parts of itself during system boot and continues to consume system resources even when you're not using it. It may not cost you any money, but it does cost you performance.
It is only because of the lawsuits that microsoft has finally made it possible to uninstall IE.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/20/2010 3:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
The "parts of itself" that IE loads were core HTTP/HTML functionality that Windows itself uses to grant these services to applications. Removing them would mean Windows apps (many of which were written by companies other than MS) would suddenly fail.

As for "costing you performance", now you're going to fine Microsoft for not making Windows fast enough to suit you?

Sheer lunacy.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Nighteye2 on 2/21/2010 4:02:26 PM , Rating: 1
It's not much performance, but it's the principle. I want to be the one to decide which programs use my system resources in which way. I want to be in control of my own computer, including which applications and drivers get installed on it and which programs and drivers get loaded when the system boots, or some time afterwards.

That is not an unreasonable demand, is it?


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/21/2010 4:11:51 PM , Rating: 1
"That is not an unreasonable demand, is it? "

Not if you write your own operating system. If you're buying one from someone else, though, then you don't have the right to tell them how to design it.

Do you have the right to tell Honda what engine to put in your Civic? Or to force Nike to make your sneakers in mauve and lavender?

It's Microsoft's product. They have a right to design it however they wish. Personally, I think offering HTTP services at a very low level is a great idea.

It wasn't that long ago that basic networking wasn't considered part of an operating system. Microsoft made it a default part of Windows...and two dozen network vendors went out of business overnight. Can you imagine if the EU had come along then, and forced MS to remove NETWORKING from Windows?

I'll say it again-- this is sheer lunacy.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Nighteye2 on 2/21/2010 9:21:42 PM , Rating: 1
Not the engine, but you do get to choose whether or not you want airconditioning, or other optional features.

The purpose of an OS is to be an interface between the hardware and the software/user. Every aspect that does that I have no problems with - including support of network cards, network drivers.

But a browser is an application, it is not an interface with the hardware - therefore, it should be optional, not mandatory.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/21/2010 10:02:55 PM , Rating: 3
"you do get to choose whether or not you want airconditioning, or other optional features."

You get to choose IF the manufacturer has made that feature optional. Every car maker, though, has mandatory features on specific models that you cannot alter.

"But a browser is an application, it should be optional"

The browser is optional. The low-level support for HTTP communication and HTML rendering is not.

Remember at one point not that long ago, "support for network card, network drivers, etc" were APPLICATIONS. You purchased them separately, if you wanted them...and they were not cheap.

Microsoft changed that...by making them a mandatory feature. By the EU's current logic, that would have been an illegal move...but it was one that was an incalculable benefit to the consumer.

How many here remember hand-installing the early TCP/IP stacks, and all the thousands of compatibility problems between the stack you had chosen, and the programs that required it? Do we REALLY want the government to be in the business of dictating what should and shouldn't be part of an OS?


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Nighteye2 on 2/22/2010 2:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is optional now, yes, with windows 7. It wasn't in XP, for example. And drivers have never been applications - drivers come with the hardware and plug into the hardware application layer, or HAL. Communication protocals like TCP/IP are part of the drivers, or at least equivalent.

Also when optional features are made not optional, in cars you have a choice to buy a different car. For an OS, there is only one that can play all your games. For all intents and purposes they practically have a monopoly, which makes it extra important to be sure they do not abuse it.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Crystallas on 2/21/2010 11:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, if there was one automaker that was leaps and bounds above all others in terms of ownership and usage, then that one company has the ability to jeopardize any company. This is an anti-trust, and violates choice.

Automakers don't manufacture many of their own parts. The tires, filters, lubricants are all competitive, and users have a distinct choice in which they would choose for their own needs and support. Whereas an Operating system that did not allow a user to uninstall Internet Explorer freely for many years is not anywhere near comparable as a choice, and manipulates the lack of knowledge a user may have to continuously push their own product.

Microsoft's defense at one point was, if you buy Windows, you do not own what you buy from them, but you are permitted to use it. While I understand they need to protect their own IP, Microsoft should never imply that you aren't allowed to use what you have purchased, the way you choose to use it.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/20/2010 12:12:59 PM , Rating: 1
"I just want to point out that more people use Firefox or Chrome over IE in Europe than in the U.S."

Well, you rather proved his point then. If more people in Europe already have downloaded an alternative browser, why the need to force Microsoft to implement a ballot box in the first place?


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Europe is Retarded
By BZDTemp on 2/22/2010 8:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
LOL! Europe is retarted still you're the one making it clear that is to difficult for many Americans to understand what a monopoly is.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By danobrega on 2/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Europe is Retarded
By ClownPuncher on 2/19/2010 12:38:10 PM , Rating: 5
I hope you're being sarcastic. There is nothing anti-competetive about bundling some free software with an OS. Now if MS were to lock you out from downloading another browser, I could see the problem, but they don't.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By danobrega on 2/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Europe is Retarded
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Europe is Retarded
By bhieb on 2/19/2010 1:42:24 PM , Rating: 4
I only have 100 users I support, and I can tell you that a good 20% of them if asked to launch their browser will ask "my what?", to which I'd have to say the internet. And if they were having issues with IE and I asked if they had tried Firefox I'd bet upwards of 70% would not know who or what that was.

Now don't get me wrong it is not MS's fault, nor do I believe that they should have to advertise to their competitors. There are other calculators out there too, but that does not mean they should not be able to throw one in with their OS.

To this.
quote:
This isn't the early 1990's

Your right it is not and there are Millions upon Millions of people that, UNLIKE in the 1990's, have NEVER had to download (aka choose) a browser. I'd argue in the 1990's WAY more people knew what a browser was BECAUSE they had to go out and get one somewhere else like disks in the mail, or via an FTP and such.

My parents did not have a PC in the 90's but they do now, and the browser will always be the E or Internet on their icon.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By just4U on 2/19/2010 1:51:04 PM , Rating: 3
I support alot of users as well and while I agree that 20% might not know the name, 70% seems high for those not likely to know about browser choices though..

Perhaps that's just my experience as I do tend to install the two most popular browsers on computers just for convienence sake... but for me that's just where the system builder is supposed to come in (not MS which doesn't build them) Your trying to anticipate your customers needs and give them choices is all..

... Without leaving a bunch of crap installed to boot.. which is one of the mistakes some big oems make.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/2010 3:08:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I only have 100 users I support, and I can tell you that a good 20% of them


20% out of 100 is not "most".


RE: Europe is Retarded
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 2:16:35 PM , Rating: 3
No, he is serious. People do not relate a web browser to be a web browser. Ask most normal users to open their web browser and they will have no clue what you are asking them to do.

It is mostly known as "the internet" or the "blue e".

I don't know, maybe you have never done any serious tech support on a large scale before. I had to learn to stop calling it a web browser when I did tech support. It confused people.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Etern205 on 2/20/2010 10:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
regular Joe: Help! I can't get on the internet!
IT: Okay, what is your Internet Service Provider?
regular Joe: Internet Explorer


RE: Europe is Retarded
By CurseTheSky on 2/20/2010 12:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree, except the last line in most cases I've seen is:

regular Joe: I don't know... uh... I click on the blue "E" on my screen...


RE: Europe is Retarded
By nuarbnellaffej on 2/21/2010 12:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
Well considering they have to pay a bill to their ISP, I doubt they would be that stupid.

That would be like asking someone who their phone company is, and them responding Panasonic.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By sinful on 2/21/2010 1:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That would be like asking someone who their phone company is, and them responding Panasonic


You have the same phone company I do!


RE: Europe is Retarded
By The Raven on 2/22/2010 12:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
How about Windows Explorer?


RE: Europe is Retarded
By iDarwin on 2/19/2010 6:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Europe is Retarded
By SandmanWN on 2/19/2010 7:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
As much as a computer technician laughs at a common person for not knowing what a browser is, I laugh harder at the computer tech for not actually knowing what a browser is themselves. The joke is really on the interviewer for pretending to understand something which he does not know and is taking for granted.

A browser from a computer engineer or computer scientist is a software program that allows the user to find and read encoded documents in a form suitable for display. This includes programs that browse the OS file system such as Windows Explorer and Konqueror along with what the lowly computer tech sees as a browser such as IE and FF.

When conducting an interview for a statistical study the question is often as important as the answer received. Statistics can say anything you want them to say by asking a question the wrong way. There is a difference between the words browser and web browser.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By armulyman on 2/19/2010 10:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Statistics can say anything you want them to say by asking a question the wrong way. There is a difference between the words browser and web browser.


kind of funny that you're responding so critically to the video. If you had payed attention to what was going on it seemed like there was a conversation leading up to the question "what is a browser". The "reporter" probably explained that he was from google and he was interviewing people on their net knowledge. So in this context you shouldn't have to say web browser as that would be redundant.

If we were having a conversation about pickup trucks, and I used the word bed, you wouldn't automatically assume that I meant the bed I lay down on at night.

The moral of the story is: the context of a conversation is just as important as the words you use. So don't be an asshole.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By SandmanWN on 2/20/2010 3:47:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The moral of the story is: the context of a conversation is just as important as the words you use. So don't be an asshole.

What context? The guy walks up and says he is from google and asks what a browser is? What sort of conversational context is anyone who doesn't know what google is or does supposed to get from that grand amount of conversation?
quote:
kind of funny that you're responding so critically to the video.

Thats because the video, while funny, is utterly ridiculous to the context of just about anything important. And who the hell you the thought police? I can be critical if I wish to be asshole.
quote:
So in this context you shouldn't have to say web browser as that would be redundant.

And thats why statistics can mean anything you want them to say. If you can't ask the question accurately, what good does the answer do you.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/20/2010 12:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
"As much as a computer technician laughs at a common person for not knowing what a browser is, I laugh harder at the computer tech for not actually knowing what a browser is themselves. "

And we laugh at the anal retentive who obsesses over someone shortening the phrase "web browser" to "browser".

Your statement is rather like ridiculing someone for calling their airline ticket simply "a ticket", and thereby failing to distinguish it from a bus ticket or theatre ticket.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By SandmanWN on 2/20/2010 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your statement is rather like ridiculing someone for calling their airline ticket simply "a ticket", and thereby failing to distinguish it from a bus ticket or theatre ticket.

You mean like ridiculing a Google employee for asking what a browser is when these people probably had to use a file browser to open their web browser and then went to a search engine so they could browse topics that were important to them?
quote:
And we laugh at the anal retentive who obsesses over someone shortening the phrase "web browser" to "browser".

Buddy, I've seen anal around here. And recently, you are about as anal as it gets.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/20/2010 4:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
"..when these people probably had to use a file browser to open their web browser "

I seriously doubt even 1% of the population has to use "a file browser" to run their web browser. In fact, the term "file browser" is somewhat dated...the term "file manager " is in much more common use...and deservedly so.

In any case, you unsurprisingly ignore the point. Riduculing someone for abbreviating "web browser" to "browser" is not only childishly anal -- its incorrect as well, as a hundred thousand linguistic precedents will attest.

"Buddy, I've seen anal around here. And recently, you are about as anal as it gets. "

Guilty as charged! However, your tu quoque attack doesn't change the fact that you are, on this point, dead wrong.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By BuckinBottoms on 2/20/2010 5:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
?a? s? t?????

Actually I am quite right, but you just don't want to admit it. To use your example, a file manager can be limited to nothing more than a file browser by introducing it to a read only file system.

A browser can be many things, and even precedents get overturned from time to time. That is how browser was supplanted by the mundane and lazy to mean web browser to begin with along with our other beloved terms like lol, lmao, roflmao, omg, wtf, wml, fio, npi, cmb, etc etc.

I am only being childishly anal because the term was used to belittle people for no undue reason. A childishly anal google rep trying to prove a point to the world that doesn't care what the guy is trying to point out is a little ridiculous in and of itself don't you think? At some point, if you want an honest question then you need to ask an honest question.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By SandmanWN on 2/20/2010 5:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
Gah, sharing comp today at office.

and apparently the site doesn't care much for latin characters.

Kai su, teknon?


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Bateluer on 2/22/2010 9:08:58 AM , Rating: 1
Uh, I do support a major corporation, and he's 100% correct. Most people do not know what a browser is. You have to reference the blue E to get them to open it.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By just4U on 2/19/2010 1:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
1995 came and went many years ago. Even your average computer user today knows alot more then some give them credit for. Atleast in the western world anyway.

Regardless, this isn't something that Microsoft should be forced to address. It's up to the System builders and as long as Microsoft or other companies are not being underhanded about it then it shouldn't be a issue.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 2:36:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Even your average computer user today knows alot more then some give them credit for.


Wrong. I did tech support up until 2009 and supported a fairly large company at my last job, both users in the headquarters location and those working remotely from home (all 50 states in the US, Canada and even the UK). People were oblivious to what a web browser was. I always had to call it "the internet" or the "blue e" when telling people to open their web browser. Anyone new that the company would hire was the same exact way.

If I ever called it a "web browser" I'd get the deer in the headlights look or the prolonged silence over the phone as people tried to grasp the concept of what I was talking about. Once in a while people knew what I was talking about but most of them (95%) were "the internet" or "blue e" people.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/2010 3:06:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Wrong. I did tech support


And that doesn't make you biased ??

The only time YOU EVER call tech support in the first place, is when you can't figure something out yourself. Your argument is like a dietitian stating the world is fat because all of his customers are.

Just because you got a few idiots calling you doesn't disprove his statement. Think about it.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/20/2010 12:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
" Your argument is like a dietitian stating the world is fat because all of his customers are."

Well I don't really agree with your viewpoint, but I have to award you the 'most compelling analogy of the week' award.

(disclaimer: few of my friends and family know what a web browser is, whether or not they've ever called tech support).


RE: Europe is Retarded
By ClownPuncher on 2/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Europe is Retarded
By bhieb on 2/19/2010 2:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is not branding (directly) it is because they are the default and the differences are minor.

Lets face it there is not a HUGE difference in performance (there are some), but most are very minor. In that type of market the default provider wins. There are very few people that will seek out an alternative if the one they have works fine.

Again I'll preface that with I don't think MS should be made to do this. It should be viewed the same as the dozens of other programs that come with the OS. It is beneficial to the customer because they have the ability to get online right away out of the box. It was a pain in the ass the old days to get a browser when none was there.

What I really don't get is WHO cares. It is not like they make money off of the browser itself. Now they get ad revenue if they default the search and home pages. But they already give you a 1 time screen to change those.

NONE of the browsers are a source of revenue for ANY of these providers. So there is no browser market per se (with market being something that makes money).


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Europe is Retarded
By ekv on 2/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Europe is Retarded
By The Raven on 2/22/2010 12:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
You said:

quote:
They knowingly keep Internet standards from moving forward.


...and now:

quote:
Why do you think the worst browser out there, in terms of standards compliance and rendering performance, is the most widely used?


Which is it? Does MS control/dictate the standards or not? Are you saying that they control the webscape, and then purposely build a browser that can't handle it?

IE/MS fails, but these things are working themselves out as FOSS and other competitors gain ground. This might have been relevant in the past but MS has jumped the monopolistic shark and we can move on with our lives via FF or anything else.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By Nighteye2 on 2/19/2010 8:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
But they did integrate it into windows in a way that made it impossible to uninstall - having it preload files at system boot and eating up system resources even if you use another browser. It took the European ruling to make them fix that - to make it possible to uninstall IE, and to not have IE use up system resources when you're not using it.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By sinful on 2/21/2010 1:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But they did integrate it into windows in a way that made it impossible to uninstall - having it preload files at system boot and eating up system resources even if you use another browser. It took the European ruling to make them fix that - to make it possible to uninstall IE, and to not have IE use up system resources when you're not using it.


Fantastic, and that forced them to drop the idea of (open) HTML help files because they couldn't be assured you had a browser installed. Yay for proprietary help files!


RE: Europe is Retarded
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 2:08:12 PM , Rating: 1
Anti-competitive would be making their OS completely closed...see Apple for a good example. They won't even allow Java on Mac OS X. They used the Java open source code to make their own Apple Java, which of course doesn't work worth a crap for web based apps that need the actual JRE.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By troysavary on 2/19/2010 6:36:52 PM , Rating: 1
I never got this "standards compliant" thing. Did not IE, by becoming the dominant browser, for which most sites were designed, become "the standard"? Who is more important for determining the standard, some consortium that cannot agree on anything and doesn't make a product, or the companies that are making the products that people actually use.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By crimson117 on 2/19/2010 5:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
The EU is asserting that, since Windows became popular due to (in the EU's opinion) monopolistic practices, the EU wants to prevent MS from using Windows' ill-gotten popularity to make gains in other markets, such as the browser market.

Yes there's money/power to be gained by having your free browser be the most used one: ad revenue, search provider traffic, perfect integration with your company's plugins (silverlight), buggy integration with your competitors plugins to make them look bad (safari+flash), perfect integration with your own music store (WMP / Zune), perfect rendering of crappy non-standard HTML created by your asp.NET development tools; the list goes on.

You may not believe that MS behaved like a monopoly, but clearly the EU does, so their resulting actions make sense in that context.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By porkpie on 2/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: Europe is Retarded
By shin0bi272 on 2/21/2010 9:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
Thats socialism for you. Never inform the public of their choices just rail against the evil company making millions off of their customers. That way you can be seen as a hero to the "useful idiots" and the government can levy a tax on the big company or make them do something friggin retarded like this. That's why in the US our founding fathers went for maximum freedom. which implies we have to have the morals to use that freedom and if we lose our morals we will become dependent on the government and when that happens they just start taking freedoms away and mandating actions in other cases. Still feel like voting for the "progressives" like obama???


RE: Europe is Retarded
By karielash on 2/22/2010 12:15:58 AM , Rating: 2

That's American's for you... absolutely ZERO understanding of what socialism actually is, but more than willing to hate it.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By The Raven on 2/22/2010 12:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
Off topic, but...

I'm suprised that you haven't been rated down into oblivion by the Palin family...

I'm sure she's seen it since she reads everything.


RE: Europe is Retarded
By smegz on 2/22/2010 4:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
What confuses me on this whole issue is this: no one pays for a web browser any more. No money changes hands from consumer to retailer for a browser. So, why the big hullabaloo about a free application?

Choices should be educated ones and it should not be Microsoft's duty to educate the public about a competitors offering. If they did not include a browser at all...then you would have an uproar.


It's Amazing ..
By just4U on 2/19/2010 10:51:04 AM , Rating: 4
It boggles the mind that Microsoft is made to do this. Perhaps the Microsoft of the late 90s could have used this sort of slap in the face but it's not needed in 2010. By now people know they have choices in the browsers they want to use. They don't need to have it dummied down for them to make things "FAIR"

Ah well whatever I guess.




RE: It's Amazing ..
By zaxxon on 2/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's Amazing ..
By just4U on 2/19/2010 11:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree Zaxxon.. I work on alot of computers for people who know little to next to nothing.. But after 5+ years of that they all have their favored programs and apps and do know about alternative choices.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 12:27:33 PM , Rating: 1
Normal people won't even understand what a "browser" is. They don't even know the meaning of the word. It's always "the internet". Toss the words "browser", "Firefox", "Opera" and "Safari" at them and they aren't going to have a clue. All they know is that they double click on the little blue "e" and it takes them to the internet. End of debate but the EU is still pathetic.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/2010 11:12:38 AM , Rating: 1
I mean wtf, it makes no sense. They are doing us a f'ing SERVICE by having a browser with an OS. Anti-trust my ass. Can you imaging if Windows came with no browser ?? That's freaking retarded.

It's not Microsoft's job to help other businesses push their product and get market share. Whats next ? Forcing Wal-Mart to carry Granny G's apple pie from down the street because the sell their own brand and it's not fair ?

Fuck Europe and fuck socialism. This is just retarded.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By just4U on 2/19/2010 11:51:15 AM , Rating: 2
Does it make sense? Sure to their competitors.. It's like free advertising and free prompts right from the get go on a fresh install.

The only issue I really have with it though is it shouldn't be up to Microsoft to offer such things... and they really shouldn't be forced to do so. It should be up to the system builder. Dell. HP.. or people like us who build systems regularily.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By cerx on 2/19/2010 2:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Make HP and Dell handle this.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By porkpie on 2/20/2010 12:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
"Agreed. Make HP and Dell handle this. "

HP and Dell don't own Windows. Microsoft does. If you don't like the product, don't buy it.

Simple logic is too complex for most people, unfortunately.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/20/2010 5:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
"It should be up to the system builder. Dell. HP.. or people like us who build systems regularily"

The commitments offered are intended to allow for an unbiased choice for both computer manufacturers ("Original Equipment Manufacturers" (OEMs)) and end users between Microsoft's browser and competing browsers. The key elements of the commitments are as follows:

(9) Microsoft will make available a mechanism in Windows Client PC Operating Systems within the European Economic Area (EEA) that enables OEMs and end users to turn Internet Explorer off and on. If Internet Explorer is turned off, the browser frame window and menus will not be accessible to the user or anybody else (nor to software products) in any way.

(10) OEMs will be free to pre-install any web browser(s) of their choice on PCs they ship and set it as default web browser. Microsoft will not circumvent the commitments and shall not retaliate against OEMs for installing competing web browsers or by other means.


RE: It's Amazing ..
By erple2 on 2/19/2010 1:33:25 PM , Rating: 4
I don't think that this is a Socialism issue. I think it's just a "We're the EU, hear me roar" issue more than anything else.


Can someone explain to me:
By chruschef on 2/19/2010 12:06:32 PM , Rating: 3
How do people make $$$ off of a browser in the first place? Also, in the EU to be considered a monopoly do you have to make "monopoly profits" as you do in the US? Thanks ahead of time




RE: Can someone explain to me:
By just4U on 2/19/2010 12:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think the only way you can really know if a company is a monopoly there is if they are being sued by the EU.. If they are then they can break out the champagne as they know they've just achieved monopolistic status!

Kidding aside, My guess is .. the $$$ come in via adverstising mostly. A browser is a portal that has default apps (search engine,recommended sites, etc)If the browser has a high adoption rate then it's more likely that advertising that comes thru those will command a higher premium overall. Other's can correct me if I am wrong.


RE: Can someone explain to me:
By jdietz on 2/19/2010 2:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox has a deal with Google. If you search through "Firefox Start" (their suggested homepage), then Mozilla Foundation gets money. If a few million people do it, they make a lot of money. If you search through the search box, they make money too. They have a deal with every default installed search provider except Creative Commons (Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and Answers.com).


RE: Can someone explain to me:
By crimson117 on 2/19/2010 5:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Firefox has a deal with Google

IE has a similar deal with Bing.com (even though they;re both Microsoft-owned).

Microsoft also gains power (if not money) by having their browser be the leader of the pack: they gain brand awareness, asp.NET developer usage, Silverlight licensing fees from content producers (installed in IE!), easier for MS to integrate Windows Media Player into IE8's browsing experience, which can drive people to buy Zunes and/or use the Microsoft Music Store (whatever their version is).

The EU is asserting that, since Windows became popular due to (in the EU's opinion) monopolistic practices, the EU wants to prevent MS from using Windows' ill-gotten popularity to make gains in other markets, such as the browser market.


RE: Can someone explain to me:
By chruschef on 2/19/2010 9:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
thanks for all of that, all of this arguing didn't make much sense. really appreciate it. :)


RE: Can someone explain to me:
By Kurz on 2/20/2010 10:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
Heh I should change my Home page back to Firefox Google.
I really like what they did with 3.6.


EU RULING
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/19/2010 8:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
For everyone interested in this case and the reasoning behind the EU ruling here are some details from commission's documents.

1/2
----------------------------

In the SO, the Commission sets out evidence and outlines its preliminary conclusion that Microsoft’s tying of Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.

The SO is based on the legal and economic principles established in the judgment of the Court of First Instance of 17 September 2007 (case T-201/04), in which the Court of First Instance upheld the Commission's decision of March 2004 (see IP/04/382), finding that Microsoft had abused its dominant position in the PC operating system market by tying Windows Media Player to its Windows PC operating system (see MEMO/07/359).

The evidence gathered during the investigation leads the Commission to believe that the tying of Internet Explorer with Windows, which makes Internet Explorer available on 90% of the world's PCs, distorts competition on the merits between competing web browsers insofar as it provides Internet Explorer with an artificial distribution advantage which other web browsers are unable to match. The Commission is concerned that through the tying, Microsoft shields Internet Explorer from head to head competition with other browsers which is detrimental to the pace of product innovation and to the quality of products which consumers ultimately obtain. In addition, the Commission is concerned that the ubiquity of Internet Explorer creates artificial incentives for content providers and software developers to design websites or software primarily for Internet Explorer which ultimately risks undermining competition and innovation in the provision of services to consumers.

-------------------------------

(2) On 14 January 2009, the European Commission adopted a Statement of Objections against Microsoft, a company incorporated in Washington, USA. The Statement of Objections, which constitutes a preliminary assessment within the meaning of Article 9(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003, outlines the Commission’s preliminary view that Microsoft has infringed EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant position (Article 82) by tying its web browser Internet Explorer with its dominant client PC operating system Windows.

(5) According to the preliminary assessment Microsoft is dominant on the market for client PC operating systems. The Statement of Objections outlines the Commission’s preliminary view that Microsoft technically and contractually tied Internet Explorer to Windows at least since 1996 by licensing Windows only with Internet Explorer included. The Commission provisionally considers that this tying conduct amounts to an abuse of a dominant position under Article 82.

(8) The commitments offered are intended to allow for an unbiased choice for both computer manufacturers ("Original Equipment Manufacturers" (OEMs)) and end users between Microsoft's browser and competing browsers. The key elements of the commitments are as follows:

(9) Microsoft will make available a mechanism in Windows Client PC Operating Systems within the European Economic Area (EEA) that enables OEMs and end users to turn Internet Explorer off and on. If Internet Explorer is turned off, the browser frame window and menus will not be accessible to the user or anybody else (nor to software products) in any way.

(10) OEMs will be free to pre-install any web browser(s) of their choice on PCs they ship and set it as default web browser. Microsoft will not circumvent the commitments and shall not retaliate against OEMs for installing competing web browsers or by other means.

(11) Microsoft will distribute a ballot screen software update to users of Windows PC Client Operating Systems within the EEA by means of Windows Update. Users who have Internet Explorer set as their default web browser will be prompted with this ballot screen. The ballot screen will give users an opportunity to choose whether and which competing web browser(s) to install. The ballot screen will display in an unbiased way icons of and basic identifying information on the most widely-used web browsers.

(12) The commitment will be valid for a period of five years from the adoption date of the Article 9 Decision.




RE: EU RULING
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/19/2010 9:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
2/2
---------------------------------

How will computer manufacturers benefit from Microsoft's commitments?

Computer manufacturers and consumers will now have the possibility to uninstall (“disable”) Internet Explorer so that another web browser can be installed to be the default and only web browser. This had not been possible in previous versions of Windows for over a decade. Microsoft also commits not to retaliate against computer manufacturers which install competing web browsers. Computer manufacturers therefore have a choice of which web browser they want to offer to their customers.

What is the Choice Screen , who will receive it and when?

In order to address the Commission's competition concerns with regard to the tying of Microsoft's web browser Internet Explorer to its Windows PC operating system, Microsoft commits to offer Windows users a choice amongst various web browsers via a Choice Screen. The Choice Screen will be made available through an update to the Windows operating system. All users of Windows XP, Vista and 7 in the European Economic Area on whose PCs Microsoft's web browser is set as the default browser will be offered this update. Users who have enabled automatic updates will receive the Choice Screen automatically. Other users will be asked to confirm if they want this update to be applied to their PCs.

The Choice Screen will contain information on the 12 most widely-used web browsers that run on Windows. It will allow users to easily download and install one or more of these web browsers. The list of browsers included on the Choice Screen will be updated every six months on the basis of several independent sources of market share information.

Currently, the following web browsers qualify for inclusion on the Choice Screen:

Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir and Slim Browser. The five most widely used browsers will be prominently displayed and the other seven browsers will be shown when the user scrolls sideways.

Microsoft has until mid-March 2010 to make the Choice Screen update available to users, at which point it will be directly available to Windows 7 users. The roll-out to all users of Windows XP and Vista will be completed within five months from today. The update will remain available for five years.

The Choice Screen update will be displayed on over 100 million PCs in Europe when it is launched in mid-March 2010 and to around 30 million new PC users per year over its five year term. In addition, from mid-March 2010 onwards, anyone can view and use the Choice Screen at www.browserchoice.eu .

Why does the Commission take the view that the commitments address its competition concerns?

Today's decision follows a Statement of Objections sent to Microsoft on 15 January 2009 (see MEMO/09/15 ) in which the Commission expressed its preliminary view that competition was distorted by Microsoft tying Internet Explorer to Windows. This was because it offered Microsoft an artificial distribution advantage not related to the merits of its product on more than 90 per cent of PCs. Further, the Commission's preliminary view was that this tying hindered innovation in the market and created artificial incentives for software developers and content providers to design their products or web sites primarily for Microsoft's web browser.

The commitments approved by today's decision address these concerns.

Computer manufacturers and consumers will now have the possibility to uninstall (“disable”) Microsoft's web browser and to choose the web browser that best serves their needs.

PC users, by means of the Choice Screen, will have an effective and unbiased choice between Microsoft's web browser and competing web browsers.

This should ensure competition on the merits and allow consumers to benefit from technical developments and innovation both on the web browser market and on related markets, such as web-based applications.


RE: EU RULING
By The Raven on 2/22/2010 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir and Slim Browser. The five most widely used browsers will be prominently displayed and the other seven browsers will be shown when the user scrolls sideways.


This is funny because I know Maxathon and Avant Browser (which I think is great BTW) are built on IE and cannot be installed without it. I don't know about Sleipnir or Slim Browser.

Why doesn't Europe put their money where their mouths are and switch all gov't controlled PCs to Linux. That is where there is the most freedom to choose. But this seems like it is a bunch of politicians trying to look like the good guys ("protecting the consumer") so they can get re-elected. But, we are just as stupid in the US. That's why I can see right through this scheme; I've seen it right here in the States.

This is a crap move by European politicians. I dislike MS as much as the next guy, but this is rubbish. Instead of writing to my congressman to get a law passed to get MS to change, I just won't buy Windows. The EU gov't should do the same. That will get MS to make a change without all the politicians and lawyers involved.

Its either that or just skip to the point where the gov't buys MS and creates a socialist OS. ;-)


RE: EU RULING
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/22/2010 12:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
"Why doesn't Europe put their money where their mouths are and switch all gov't controlled PCs to Linux"

--------

Free and Open Source Software.

FOSS activities and initiatives in the European Union institutions (other than DG INFSO)

The impact of FOSS reaches far beyond research and development activities. This page is trying to give an idea of other activities of European Union in this area.

A good staring point to explain EU activities in FOSS is the e-Europe 2005 action plan, which calls for the consideration of open source software solutions in many areas, in particular in the field of public administrations

IDABC

In parallel the IDABC programme on interchange of data between European administrations studied the pooling of open source software resources and production between European administrations. IDABC program will come to an end on 31/12/2009, and will be followed by the new program "Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations - ISA", which is expected to continue its work for the widespread acceptance of FOSS in the public administration.

Policy actions and non-research programmes are active in promoting use of open source software. IDABC programme has first conducted a study on open source software for administrations, and has created the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR)

Another important source of information is the ePractice eGovernment and eInclusion factsheets, providing an overall picture of the situation and progress of eGovernment and eInclusion, with a strong focus on Open Source.

A consultation meeting on European perspectives for open source software provided the initial input on the main opportunities for open source software in Europe in the coming years.

An important accomplishment of IDABC is the creation of a FOSS license specifically adapted for European law (EUPL) and compatible with some other FOSS licenses. Its purpose is to encourage public administrations to embrace the FOSS model in a framework of legal certainty.
IDABC and ISA are managed by Directorate-General DIGIT of the European Commission

DG Competition (COMP) activity in ICT industry has particularly focused on anti-competitive behavior and state aid monitoring. DG Competition accepts state aid "that is beneficial to consumers, by providing new research grants and encouraging the development of new products, such as open source".

DG Informatics (DIGIT) provides most ICT systems used internally in European Commissions and other European Institutions. It is not involved in policy making, but it uses and deploys open source components for internal use when this is possible

DG Internal Market and Services (MARKT) is involved in public procurement and e-commerce policies, as well as in patenting; all these aspect have direct or indirect connections with FOSS

Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has a number of free / open source software projects; one very significant example is the OPTIMA - Open Source Text Information Mining and Analysis.


RE: EU RULING
By The Raven on 2/22/2010 5:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
I subscribe to the announce feed of OOo and watch adoption of Ubuntu (and linux generally) closely. I know that odf is the official format of NATO (which includes the US by the way).
But I have yet to hear that the EU is not using Windows.

I know there are initiatives to switch from windows, and that is a reason why I think the need for this nonsense of browser choice is nonexistant.

Also, please stop filling the screen with such verbose posts. Use links please. Thank you.


catch 22
By Visual on 2/20/2010 4:46:30 AM , Rating: 2
I can only check if I am connected to the internet by using a browser, but the poll says before I can select what browser to use, I should confirm that I am connected to the internet. Help!




RE: catch 22
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/20/2010 5:03:29 AM , Rating: 2
Browser ? web browser


RE: catch 22
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/20/2010 5:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
*(?) - "is not equal to sign". Damn you DT with your buggy symbols.


RE: catch 22
By BZDTemp on 2/22/2010 8:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
If you can only check you're connected to the internet by use of an browser then I'd say you're not worthy of commenting on this forum :-)

The word "ping" should help get you started.


tech support
By MadMan007 on 2/19/2010 11:02:20 AM , Rating: 3
All calls asking 'Wtf happened to my internet?' should be routed to the EC offices of those who pushed for this.




RE: tech support
By 306maxi on 2/19/2010 11:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
Oh noes! The whole internet has gone down!


RE: tech support
By drycrust3 on 2/19/2010 11:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
"Let's go surfing now, comeon let's go surfing now, comeon and surf with me ... " AAAGGGGHHHH just got wiped out.


This is stupid
By diego10arg on 2/19/2010 1:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
I will start programming my own calculator and I hope they can bundle a link to it. Why should they do that?

Now they are going to force Google to ask you in which Search Engine would you prefer to search when get into google.com?

Come on...!




Fine....
By rbfowler9lfc on 2/22/2010 10:58:47 AM , Rating: 2
So, how do I get to www.mozilla.org to download Firefox or whatever, if I choose not to use IE and there's no browser installed on the machine? Gopher? TFTP? Help!
</sarcasm>




Excellent
By xzc145 on 2/23/2010 10:22:44 AM , Rating: 2
So the Americans moan but as a Brit, I fail to see how this is a bad thing....

- I don't have to go to the trouble of uninstalling a terrible browser and then installing a proper one every time I reinstall my machine
- The EU has made lots of money in Microsoft fines that is redistributed to member states and therefore citizens through various funds (Let the whining about 'Big Evil Superstate' commence)....




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