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Microsoft and the European Union finally seem to be on the verge of working out their differences, with a new Windows 7 balloting proposal.  (Source: MSDN/Microsoft)
The European Commission and Microsoft appear to finally be on the verge of resolving an antitrust dispute over Windows 7's browser

Microsoft has long packaged its Internet Explorer browser with Windows.  The bundling has given Microsoft's browser a dominant position in the marketplace, despite promising alternatives including Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome.  That cozy position could soon change, though, thanks to action by Europe's antitrust watchdog and business regulatory body, the European Commission.

The EC demanded Microsoft offer a ballot selection screen to allow users to pick their browser of choice with Windows 7.  Microsoft at first refused, saying it would not include IE 8 in European copies of Windows 7.  In the end, though, Microsoft came around and agreed to a ballot screen.

The EC had some minor complaints about Microsoft's first proposal -- mainly its lack of information to users about what the browsers were to help them make their selection.  Under the new proposal, which the EC calls much "improved" users could find out information on what a browser is from the ballot screen.  They would also have access to additional information about each browser they could install, to help them make their decision. 

Under the new proposal, the balloting system would work for five years after purchase on any new install.  Windows 7 and all future versions of Windows would implement this scheme.

EC showed Microsoft some love, with a regulator stating, "The commission's concern has been that PC users should have an effective and unbiased choice between Internet Explorer and competing Web browsers to ensure competition on the merits and to allow consumers to benefit from technical development and innovation both on the Web-browser market and on related markets, such as Web-based applications."

Brad Smith, general counsel of Microsoft stated that his company was "pleased by today's decisions."

Microsoft and Europe have had a rocky relationship, with Microsoft fined 899 million euros ($1.35 billion) in 2008 for antitrust violations.  Brad Smith says that situation has greatly turned around, though.  He gave Europe some love back, stating, "It's heartening to see the much better relationship that exists today."

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RE: Capitalism
By fatedtodie on 10/7/2009 1:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
The point that was trying to be made from what I can tell is he dislikes the crapware applications that are installed by default with all their inbred virus goodness that makes buying a prebuilt machine such a beauty of an experience.

Basically if he dislikes the crapware of one, his only other choices are the crapware of the next in line. Your argument that they use this crapware to leverage a price decrease is incorrect as that would mean the price to build your own (minus crapware) is more expensive with exactly the same hardware... this is false, and thus your argument fails.

RE: Capitalism
By fatedtodie on 10/7/2009 1:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Okay what i clicked reply to, and what it replied to are different posts, please rate this down i guess

RE: Capitalism
By afkrotch on 10/8/2009 6:14:37 AM , Rating: 2
Your argument that they use this crapware to leverage a price decrease is incorrect as that would mean the price to build your own (minus crapware) is more expensive with exactly the same hardware.

Build the same box as a $400 Dell for $400. Don't forget the OS too. Good luck, cause it's almost impossible to do.

These large OEMs receive a good chunk of change to bundle in these free bloatware. They use the extra money to lower the retail costs of their PCs or simply gain some kind of profit on them. Majority of your $500 or less PCs have small profit or no profit for a large OEM. If it weren't for tagged on extras, like software, accessories, support, they may not get any profit.

As you get into your $1200+ PCs, the cost savings is mostly negated, as they start increasing the price of the parts. Charging you an extra $10 here and there, versus building your own machine. In this case, yes, you can easily build a cheaper PC than an OEM counterpart.

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