Print 53 comment(s) - last by Monkey's Uncle.. on May 27 at 9:57 AM

Bing is required as the default search engine within Internet Explorer [from the factory]

It looks like the earlier reports were [partially] true: Microsoft has announced a new low-cost version of Windows 8.1 that will be pre-loaded on new computers. The newest SKU is simply called “Windows 8.1 with Bing” and according to Microsoft will allow its hardware partners to “build lower cost Windows devices.”
When first heard rumblings of this Bing-ified version of Windows 8.1 back in late February, it was suggested that it would be made available for free. However, nothing in Microsoft’s announcement today mentions anything about the new SKU being free to OEMs.

According to Microsoft, Windows 8.1 with Bing will look and perform exactly the same as all other versions of Windows 8.1 with Update 1. However, Bing will be mandatory as the default search engine in Internet Explorer (it is our understanding that OEMs can set their own default IE search engine from the factory, but this obviously won’t be the case with a subsidized version of Windows 8.1). Customers, however, will have the ability to change their default search engine if they wish (most probably won’t, which Microsoft is banking on).

Microsoft explains the reasoning behind providing OEMs with this new SKU:
More people—across consumer and commercial—will have access to an even broader selection of new devices with all the awesomeness that Windows 8.1 provides, and get Office too, all at a really affordable price. Additionally, as reach expands, the opportunity for developers and their apps also increases.
So in the end, Windows 8.1 with Bing is all about making Windows devices cheaper for customers.  It’s hard to argue with that reasoning.

Source: Microsoft

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Subject to Lawsuits
By deltaend on 5/23/2014 12:46:12 PM , Rating: 5
I can't see how this won't result in a lawsuit against Microsoft.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Flunk on 5/23/2014 12:52:00 PM , Rating: 5
I can, their competitor (Google) does the same thing with ChromeOS so Microsoft wins even if they get sued because they can then apply the same legal precedent against Google.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By tayb on 5/23/2014 2:06:06 PM , Rating: 5
Google does the same thing with Android which is nearly as dominant in the mobile space as Microsoft is in the desktop space. Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Play, so on and so forth. Google even goes a step further and does not even allow you to uninstall those applications.

I certainly hope Microsoft isn't sued for this because the precedent that it would set would be extremely dangerous.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Mitch101 on 5/23/2014 5:22:41 PM , Rating: 4
You didnt take the EU's lack of knowledge or lack of caring into your statement.

Where there is a buck to be made the EU will find it.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By seamonkey79 on 5/24/2014 9:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
Chrome, maps, gmail and others are system apps on my Nexus 5, meaning they cannot be uninstalled. The only reason they're not system apps on some AOSP builds is that you install the whole gapps package by itself. It's not AOSP that makes them uninstallable, it's being installed outside of the OS insteall that does. Taking into account the fact that the percentage of people that run anything AOSP based is slim to none compared to the masses of millions running a 'stock' build, it's a moot point... Google, by default, does not let you uninstall Chrome or their apps.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/14, Rating: -1
RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By inighthawki on 5/24/2014 4:13:53 PM , Rating: 5
So when proven wrong you throw a tantrum, make excuses why it's acceptable in this one case, and then insult the commenter? Very classy counter-argument.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By inighthawki on 5/25/2014 4:40:46 AM , Rating: 5
I wasn't trying to imply that at all. I just thought your reply was in very poor taste, considering he gave you a valid example of where your statement was wrong, and you just went berserk.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Nortel on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By inighthawki on 5/23/2014 3:34:36 PM , Rating: 5
No, the opposite is true. The fine was ridiculous to begin with. There's no reason to do the same to Google (who is also doing nothing wrong) just because it happened to Microsoft. This isn't some kind of "gotta make things fair and penalize everyone" issue. It's a "this shouldn't have ever even happened" issue.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Mitch101 on 5/23/2014 5:27:12 PM , Rating: 5
Correct as Microsoft's defense stated its like forcing every Coke 6 pack to have a can of Pepsi included. The consumer chose Coke why would they have to ship it with a Pepsi because the consumer didnt want Pepsi.

Microsoft has never prevented anyone from loading an alternate browser and not using IE.

Again this is the EU they wants those internet dollars. Wasnt that a South Park Canada episode?

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 5:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
The EU was really full of crap on that one... As you said, if the prevented anyone from loading an alternate browser it would have been worthy of a lawsuit, but they didnt in any way stop anyone from loading any browser.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By StevoLincolnite on 5/23/2014 6:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
And at the time, Internet Explorer was a fantastic browser to download another browser with.

Firefox and Chrome both had large pieces of the browser pie before Microsoft was forced to pay that ridiculous fine, so it wasn't at-all required for competition reasons.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Mitch101 on 5/24/2014 3:34:12 PM , Rating: 3
I remember when Real Networks wanted Microsoft to include it and was trying to say that Microsoft including a video player was unfair. God I hated Real networks QuickTime was equally as annoying every time you went to play a video do you want to upgrade to pro? NO. Two apps I could call AnnoyWare on Windows.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 3:43:51 PM , Rating: 1
Google needs to suffer the same penalty with forcing all these apps in a non-competitive manner.

I don't know why you people keep thinking that's what's happening.

AOSP Android, from Google, comes with NO forced bundled apps. However carriers are free to customize Android to an extent, and they are the ones forcing apps that cannot be easily removed.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By rsmech on 5/23/2014 4:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Don't take this wrong, I'm agreeing with what you have said so far. MS is "bundling" Bing and IE for cheaper license. You said Google isn't forcing bundled apps so it's different. But wasn't it recently reported that "if" you don't bundle you don't get access to Google play. Correct me if I'm wrong.

MS is forcing while the other is coercing, pretty similar. But either way I agree with you so far.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Spuke on 5/23/2014 5:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
But wasn't it recently reported that "if" you don't bundle you don't get access to Google play.
Still not the same because you can sideload apps or use other app stores. Google doesn't force you to ONLY use GP.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By rsmech on 5/23/2014 9:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Where does Google send out updates? If you want updates better bundle. I'm not saying Google is bad for it but they're not that different either. Different method same results.

Yes you can use others but GP is a must for updates if I'm not mistaken. Not pointing out MS or Google is better than the other but previous statements made it sound like night and day. So am I mistaken that if your a phone manufacturer it's "practical" to bundle Google services?

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Wazza1234 on 5/26/2014 7:32:10 AM , Rating: 2
Still not the same because you can sideload apps or use other app stores. Google doesn't force you to ONLY use GP.

You could 'sideload' other browsers on Windows too. You were never forced to use IE. So it's the same.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Alexvrb on 5/24/2014 12:30:58 AM , Rating: 2
AOSP doesn't give you much of anything anymore - it's very neglected by Google - ask former AOSP head Jean-Baptiste Quéru. In order to build a useful device using Google components you need to go GMS - and that means bundling all the Googleware in the Google-prescribed manner. They don't let you do it piecemeal. All or nothing.

Oh, and if you don't use GMS, you'd better have replacements for tons of software including some APIs (the ones in AOSP are old/junk), browser, app store, cloud and other services, etc. The only two I've seen do it fairly well are Amazon (and they're behind in some ways) and Nokia (debatable).

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Scannall on 5/24/2014 9:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
Except that AOSP is for the most part a hollow shell. Google has pretty much gutted it, taking most of it out of open source.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By TBlain on 5/26/2014 7:30:20 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously, there is no reason why you shouldn't be at least allowed to delete these apps if you do not want them.

There is, actually. Sure it may take a bit of know-how, and an adventurous spirit, but it is possible. Do they make it easy? No of course not. Why should they? It is a free operating system that even affords end users the ways and means to manipulate and custom tailor (again, provided they have the technical experience, but you cannot expect them to teach the average end user coding along with giving out a free product).

In exchange for giving this OS out, the include their cadre of apps that other entities, primarily businesses looking to make money off you, pay Google for the rights to advertise or buy info about you and your habits.

Don't like the apps? Learn to manipulate the software/hardware to customize it to your liking.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Monkey's Uncle on 5/27/2014 9:46:50 AM , Rating: 1
Microsoft had a 1 million dollar a day fine for shipping Windows with Internet Explorer... and you could delete that in 30 seconds.

Actually you can't. Think about this for a minute:

Whenever Microsoft has to put out a security fix for IE, why is it you have to reboot windows, yet Firefox release fixes without requiring an operating system reboot? The reason is that the core of IE, the HTML rendering and protocol components are entrenched there in the core of the operating system itself. Why is it that if you 'supposedly' uninstall every version of IE in your Windows environment there is still an "Internet Properties" that is for IE?

In short, When Microsoft 'uninstalls' IE, it is simply hiding the IE user interface. The 'guts' of IS is still there and can't be removed without breaking windows.

The same is NOT true for google apps. You can install AOSP versions of android on just about any Android-compatible device... Including the Nexus line. You have the choice of whether you want to install the gapps along with it or not. Does either Microsoft or Apple give you that choice? No.

The core of IE (i.e. HTML rendering components) is entrenched right into the core of the operating system itself.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 3:59:54 PM , Rating: 1
". Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Play, so on and so forth. Google even goes a step further and does not even allow you to uninstall those applications - See more at"

That just isnt true at all. It isnt part of the OS. In fact if you install any AOSP ROM none of it is there, you have to install it separately. OEM's control what goes on it and if they embed it in the ROM (cant be uninstalled without root) or if its just done as a regular app (can be uninstalled) but it isn't Google or its Android OS that does that.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2014 1:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
If it does its complete crap. All they're saying is that when the PC is sold it has to default that way. Nothing saying that the user can't change it later.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Motoman on 5/23/2014 1:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
Then you're not very bright.

The OEM pays less money for a version of the OS that they can't change the default search engine in IE in. If the OEM doesn't like that, they can pay the regular fee for the regular OS.

Regardless, even if MS locked IE all together to only use Bing, they could do that and it wouldn't be illegal. Although it is irrefutably true that the *vast* majority of PC users are thoroughly incapable of changing the default search engine in their browser, or of installing and using a different browser, the fact is that you could easily use some other browser in point of fact and avoid IE if you wanted to.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By name99 on 5/23/2014 3:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
This is no about consumers, which means there are fewer legal issues.
It's about the fact that right now search engines pay companies (from Apple down) to set their search engine as the default on a device. This is presumably a win if the cost of this is, say, $5, and the expected lifetime ad revenue generated from the new user is $10.

What this is telling us is that Bing was not doing this until now (or was doing it in the conventional pay-the-manufacturer way). But now the money flow is slight different: rather than Lenovo, say, getting $5 from Google to set the IE default to Google, they'll get say a $5 break on the cost of Windows if they let the default be Bing.

Why do it this way rather than a straight $5 payment? Who knows? My guess is there are tax implications that make it better for one or the other party to view the transaction as "Cheaper Windows" rather than "Normal Price Windows one way, plus $5 the other way"?

MS may also hope to establish a precedent here for the future: accept MS anti-virus and you'll get another $5 discount (rather than that being paid by Norton or Kapersky). Accept MS Movies on Demand Live Bing Edition Pro for SkyDrive (a new service I just invented, named in the usual elegant MS manner) rather than being paid $1 by Amazon or Netflix to ship the box with those services all set up and ready to go, and you'll get another $1 off the price of your Windows...

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By deltaend on 5/25/2014 10:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is the EU and previous precedents that have been set. Doesn’t matter what anyone else does, the EU wants money from Microsoft and they will get it. Additionally, if you flip this concept on its head you can say that only people with more money have a choice of search engine. It's pure bull $hit, but I am sure that it will make its way to an EU courtroom.

RE: Subject to Lawsuits
By Mopar63 on 5/26/2014 8:07:03 AM , Rating: 2
Truth is there is no grounds for any legal action. MS is offering the OEMs and users full choice. The lower cost version requires a default setting but another version is available without the default requirement, the choice at that point is up to the OEM. At the user level the choice is wide open and thus everyone has full freedom of choice.

Necessary to compete
By zephyrprime on 5/23/2014 12:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
This is necessary to compete with Google. Google provides android for free but only because they make money off the ads. MS is now doing the same thing. Heck, if I were ms, I'd make bing the only default search engine in IE on these sponsored versions of Windows. The problem for Microsoft though is that their advertising services are really pretty lackluster.

RE: Necessary to compete
By Solandri on 5/23/2014 1:47:59 PM , Rating: 3
It's actually kinda ironic. Microsoft's tactic in the past was if their product in a market wasn't competitive, just give it away for free to sink the competition. That's what they did to Netscape (the browser used to cost $49, before Microsoft just bundled IE for free to dry up their revenue stream and take control of the browser market). That's what they did to Stacker (transparent disk compression - Stacker refused to license their product to Microsoft, so Microsoft just made their own and included it in XP for free).

Today, Google is giving the OS and office suite away for free, and Microsoft is forced to deal with it.

RE: Necessary to compete
By coburn_c on 5/23/2014 1:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well see that's the problem, Microsoft method of competition was 'make our own version and it'll sell better because we're Microsoft'.

That won't work with web services, they need to play off the competitors weakness, but no one there understands that method.

RE: Necessary to compete
By coburn_c on 5/23/2014 1:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
**Well their advertising companies do, but without the product it just comes off as sour grapes.

RE: Necessary to compete
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Necessary to compete
By themaster08 on 5/23/2014 4:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
and hardly anyone wants to use their web services
I suppose that's why Microsoft are the second largest cloud services provider.

RE: Necessary to compete
By atechfan on 5/23/2014 4:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
And the largest, or second largest, depending on who is counting, webmail provider.

RE: Necessary to compete
By rsmech on 5/23/2014 9:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'll admit I prefer MS for my own personal reasons but I'll agree that yes it us awesome because Google is making MS rethink pricing and services. I couldn't thank Google enough. Competition is good.

RE: Necessary to compete
By w8gaming on 5/23/2014 11:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well, really nothing wrong with bundling. Apple is bundling their "Office" suit, Google, well bundle a lot more by offering several online services free. One of the sad fact in life is economics of scale means a bigger competitor can afford loss leaders to defeat competition. It happens to all businesses, not just software and tech.

By SDBud on 5/27/2014 12:53:18 AM , Rating: 2

MS lost on the IE integration, I FAIL to see why they would think they could do this. But then, they ARE MS in the end.

RE: Huh?!?
By Monkey's Uncle on 5/27/2014 9:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between bundling applications without your knowledge or consent, and telling you up front that the product you are buying has this added feature bundled. The first borders on illegality while the second required a conscious decision on your part to agree with the bundling.

That is why they can do this and get away with it. You have the choice to not purchase the product if you object to this bundling as there are other choices out there, for more money that you can purchase (80% of the Windows 'security' patches are to address vulnerabilities in this core IE code that is included with every Windows operating system installed.

When MS bundled IE into windows, they did not offer customers a choice. You get windows with IE bundled whether you want it there or not. And NO, you CAN'T COMPLETELY REMOVE IT. All you can remove is IE's user interface. 75% it's internal code is still right there inside Windows and it can not be removed without breaking Windows.

The Biz
By coburn_c on 5/23/2014 1:52:06 PM , Rating: 3
Google is buying up everything it can, Microsoft is on its hind legs fighting, and Apple is making the same shit in new colors.

Microsoft is so hated in the web services sector. They need to stop trying to simply clone Google and work with that image. Become the anti-Google if you will, and not with shrill marketing, but with actual services that create antithesis to the things people don't like about Google. Then tie that closely in with their profitable products.

...Microsoft has other revenue streams than advertising, use that to crush Google, don't try to become Google.

Do you like to try Bing?
By onerec111 on 5/23/2014 9:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
Let us try Bing first, i think it is getting better as a default search engine...

By aurareturn on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Nice
By marvdmartian on 5/23/2014 1:36:31 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, was thinking, "How many people actually still use IE??" LOL

RE: Nice
By Da W on 5/23/2014 1:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
ABout 1 billion

RE: Nice
By atechfan on 5/23/2014 4:12:32 PM , Rating: 4
As many as Chrome and Firefox put together, according to Netmarketshare.

RE: Nice
By Mitch101 on 5/23/2014 5:48:31 PM , Rating: 4
IIS is close to passing Apache as well.

RE: Nice
By themaster08 on 5/25/2014 3:51:05 AM , Rating: 2
Deservedly so I'd say as well. We run both LAMP and IIS web servers. The IIS web servers by far have the least problems, are easier to manage, maintain, cluster, and back up. There's also very little, if anything, the IIS servers cannot do which the LAMP servers can, especially after installing PHP and MySQL on the IIS server.

RE: Nice
By marvdmartian on 5/27/2014 8:04:33 AM , Rating: 2
And of those umpteen billion IE users, how many are aware of other, alternate browsers? Could be more a matter of ignorance of choice, than choice itself.

RE: Nice
By inighthawki on 5/23/2014 2:32:08 PM , Rating: 5
Actually IE11 is pretty decent. If I were to ditch FireFox at home, I would switch to IE before I switched to Chrome.

Also you don't even need a different browser. The article very clearly states that this only applies to the default search engine and that OEMs are not allowed to change it. The user of the PC can immediately change it after purchase.

RE: Nice
By chµck on 5/23/2014 8:31:46 PM , Rating: 2

IE is great, especially on battery life:

The general populous is just now reaching the point that techies were at during the days if IE6 when it actually did suck. Now it's just hip to bash IE.

That being said, I primarily use FF for general browsing and IE for watching amazon videos.

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