Yesterday Microsoft announced that in Europe it would not be shipping Internet Explorer 8, its market-leading browser offering, with Windows 7, its new operating system which launches October 22. Despite the fact that its primary competitor, Apple's OS X Snow Leopard will ship with a proprietary browser (Safari), Microsoft felt it necessary to unbundle the browser in hopes of avoiding another costly antitrust bout with the European Union.
Unfortunately, for Microsoft its best was not good enough. The European Commission announced late Thursday that it would still be pursuing charges against Microsoft. The EC sticks with its previous assertion that by tying Internet Explorer to Windows, since 1996, Microsoft is "stealing" a unique and unfair advantage.
The EC says it took note of Microsoft decision to not bundle IE 8 with Windows 7, but it felt that the decision did not give users enough "genuine consumer choice". States an EC release, "At the level of both computer manufacturers and retail sales, the Commission's statement of objections (SO) suggested that consumers should be provided with a genuine choice of browsers. Given that over 95 percent of consumers acquire Windows pre-installed on a PC, it is particularly important to ensure consumer choice through the computer manufacturer channel."
The statement summarizes, "Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less."
The EC wants to force Microsoft to bundle rival browsers -- Opera, Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome or Apple's Safari -- with Windows as install options. Microsoft has been unwilling to do this. Its main OS competitor, Apple does not bundle competitive browser offerings.
Opera's lawyer, Thomas Vinje, cheered the decision, stating, "Microsoft must now give users real choice, and not only buyers of new computers, but also existing users. Microsoft should provide a ballot screen through which both existing users and buyers of new PCs can easily select and get a browser of their choice."
Opera Chief Technology Officer Håkon Wium Lie added in a statement, "We note with intereste that Microsoft now seems capable of separating IE from Windows. However, we do not believe that Microsoft’s move will restore competition for desktop browsers. Most users get their operating systems from the OEM channel and Microsoft will recommend that OEMs pre-install IE8. As such, users are unlikely to be given a genuine choice of browsers."
He continues, "We believe that the idea of a ‘ballot screen’ is better: when going online, users will be asked which browser(s) they prefer to use. The browser(s) of choice will the painlessly be installed and ready for use."
quote: The EU has currently 27 member states and i do not know where your homemade webstie got this information on. 40 hours is very normal here. And most of you forget where part of your oil comes from : Nigeria. To all of you i suggest you start to get some education about what is really going on ,on this planet.
quote: Interestingly the Nordic countries are also very well represented in the top of GDP lists. Fx. Denmark is 5 or 6 depending on the list while the US is 15th, 10th and 17th. In $ it's like Danes producing 20-40% more value that the people in the US. I'd say it proves working smart is better than working a lot but maybe someone has a better explanation?
quote: Oh. not only do we work like 35 hours a week we also get six weeks payed vacation and that is not even counting bank holidays, free health care and free education. It really bugs you does it not
quote: - MS still deserves it. For example have you noticed how Microsoft have been bringing out IE8 with their Windows update like a week or two ago.
quote: -DailyTech is stupid for mentioning Apple and Safari in this context. Apple are miles away from controlling the OS market so of course it is irellevant.
quote: Oh. not only do we work like 35 hours a week we also get six weeks payed vacation and that is not even counting bank holidays, free health care and free education.
quote: You can NOT release an OS these days without including a web browser, since most consumers do not know how to download software without one.
quote: If I were in charge of Microsoft, at this point I would go ahead and threaten to totally pull Windows from the market in EU.
quote: ow that's a viable option! Pull out of the largest economy in the world by GDP
quote: Would pulling out of the EU be a significant loss for Microsoft?
quote: Apple gets away with it and M$ doesn't.
quote: All the browsers are free. All it takes is 2 minutes of your time
quote: I don't think the EU should have the right to dictate OS design and implementation to Microsoft
quote: I don't think that any reasonable person would argue that Microsoft succeesfully thwarting competition in the browser market
quote: Because when will it end? Who gets to decide what is on that list? What about other kinds of software - do we have to be "fair to all" and make it that simple to download and install all other sorts of OS-like utilities?
quote: The fact of the matter is that it is already simple to download and install whatever software you like. There's no problem that needs to be solved.
quote: So far there were only two cases of such intervention from EU - media player and web browser. Both are clearly the leverage MS tries to use to catapult themselves in the new market and get another monopoly in there too. Hence both cases are nothing to worry about. MS gets its slap on the wrist, coughs up some Euros and embraces fair competition. Big deal :)
quote: all those dollars M$ earns from bundling free software
quote: unfair to M$ to force them to host their competitors software
quote: this would force MS to ensure that the user's browser experience does not reflect negatively on the OS
quote: In simple terms, this means page after page of forced EULA freeing MS from any possible legal repercussion as well as digital signing to ensure that the user actually agrees to what they are installing
quote: 2-minute savings of not downloading the OS yourself could cost you 20 minutes of server authentication that what you selected to do would be verified so that MS would be assured of legal safety
quote: It is not in the EU powers to tell a company how the product should be designed. This is about antitrust and abuse of power.
quote: they cannot include THEIR solution pre-installed because it supposedly 'harms' other internet browser manufacturers, which is a LIE
quote: Yeah, how do you rationalize that.
quote: you want to force M$ to make life easier for their competitors and host their competitors software
quote: No, of course not. MS should not host competitor's software, they should only host LINKS to competitor's software, as well as give OEMs tools to pre-install any web browser they want, not just IE. This is called fair competition.
quote: so why doesnt apple get sued for selling safari only?
quote: Only monopolies are not allowed to bundle.
quote: Because Apple is not a desktop OS monopoly like MS
quote: What would happen if MS told them off and pulled all product and support out of the EU?
quote: If I download Chrome I want to have Bing as my default search engine and anyone downloading Chrome should be able to choose Bing as their search default.
quote: Microsoft needs to stop taking it and start dishing it back out.
quote: The statement summarizes, "Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less."
quote: by ccmfreak2 on June 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM This is on top of the fact that most versions of XP out there are in 32 bit, which won't recognize all of the unofficial standard of 4GB of RAM that is coming out with new systems.
quote: It's not as simple as the Mac commercials and geeks say it is
quote: For a winzealot it's not, for a normal user it's simple indeed. Run native OS X apps for pretty much everything and use Windows VM for legacy stuff while you're migrating to native OS X apps.
quote: use Windows VM for legacy stuff
quote: another trendy computer maker that really is a monopoly
quote: He continues, "We believe that the idea of a ‘ballot screen’ is better: when going online, users will be asked which browser(s) they prefer to use. The browser(s) of choice will the painlessly be installed and ready for use."