Google joins EU antitrust case against Microsoft

Google will soon seek European Commission's permission to submit arguments in the antitrust case against Microsoft, the company said in a post on its web site. Google will be applying to intervene as a third party in the EU's case involving Microsoft's IE browser. As an intervener Google will provide background information, legal theories and proposed remedies to the EU in the case against Microsoft

Below are the reasons that Google put forth to join the anti-trust case:

"Google believes that browser market is still largely uncompetitive, which holds back innovation for users. IE is tied to Microsoft's dominant Windows OS, giving it an unfair advantage over other browsers. In mobile market, Microsoft cannot tie IE to a dominant OS and its browser therefore has a much lower usage. Google hopes its perspective in launching Chrome will be useful as the EU evaluates remedies to improve the user experience and offer consumers real choices"

Mozilla joined the case earlier this month to submit arguments in the case. Microsoft was accused of violating antitrust law by bundling its Windows Media player with Windows and using illegal tactics against RealNetworks real player in 2007. Microsoft has been fined more than $2 billion for its violations and for failing to carry out remedies imposed by the Commission in the past.

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I think this is getting absolutely absurd. These companies have not spent the amount of time or money that Microsoft has spent on its software portfolio. Just because Microsoft dominates many markets, doesn't mean they are violating anti-trust laws. Internet Explorer has been a part of the Windows operating system since 1995, why is this all a sudden an issue? Because Apple, Google, or Mozilla can't make a stance in the market? Maybe if they built a user base and spent money on marketing their product, they could have a better share.

Issues like this really get to me, and before anyone jumps on the bandwagon and starts calling me a Microsoft fanboy I am not and I do my share of criticizing the company when needed, and puts me off for trying other company's products. These companies really sound like cry babies, and turn to the EU when they can't be profitable or make a stance in the market. My advice to these other companies: Build a product that works, spend more money in marketing, talk to OEMs and see if you can get your browser included during the build of systems. That list could go on and on, but would it make a difference? No, because if you turn to the EU you'll get your way because they absolutely LOVE fining a company in which if it didn't exist the Internet wouldn't be what it is today.

I actually do not agree with EU antitrust case. I think it's a waste of time. You can't prevent MS from bundling IE with Windows. You can't ask MS to include 3rd party browser with Windows for security reason.

This said MS should promote 3rd party products made for Windows as much as MS promotes 3rd party product made for the 360.

There definately should be a way to un-install IE from Windows and anyone saying the opposite definately needs a reality check.

I don't understand people who shed a tear for MS. MS gets what it deserve. Live by the sword die by the sword. MS is a big corporation that played extremely border line for many years. MS improved lately but the
wounds are still there. Like every big corporation MS will do everything they can to make money and this is what Google do lately.

The way some people have double standard here (like C_Guy) really put a big on my face.

The ignorance of the people is some of these posts is unbelievable. Anyone who knows the history of Microsoft's despicable dirty tricks, will understand why everyone wants to put the boot in. The fact that Microsoft is rapidly becoming an irrelevance is by-the-by. Vista, and undoubtedly Windows 7 are the latest in Microsoft's self inflicted wounds. And I'm a stock MSFT holder!

boho said,
The ignorance of the people is some of these posts is unbelievable. Anyone who knows the history of Microsoft's
despicable
dirty tricks, will understand why everyone wants to put the boot in. The fact that Microsoft is rapidly becoming an irrelevance is by-the-by. Vista, and undoubtedly Windows 7 are the latest in Microsoft's self inflicted wounds. And I'm a stock MSFT holder!

Some know-all having no clue posting random rants right under the comment above... looks really silly.
Sorry.

Boho throws around the word "irrelevant" so much it's clear he's never looked it up in the dictionary.

If he read the comments he'd realize that it's the minority, not "everyone", who "wants to put the boot in"

So, WHO is the ignorant one here???

I think the following facts should be pretty obvous for anyone by now:

  1. Trident rendering engine must NOT be removed from Windows.
  2. Users have ability to install other browsers and set them as the default handlers of different protocols and actions. If some applicatios launches iexplore.exe explicitly Microsoft can do nothing to force it to use the different browser.
  3. Microsoft must NOT provide some FIXED list of browsers to choose after the installation. This is what really would eliminate competition and bring lawsuits and trouble. I explained that several times that such list would be obliged to contain ALL browsers. All thousands of browsers. Even "Super Internet Browser 2009 plus Deluxe with absolute no spyware (I swear!) and a FREE error scan for your PC".

What can be derived given the above restrictions (and assumption that the users want to have some browser installed)? There should be some program that gives the user ability to download and install ANY browser (not from some Microsoft's list).
This program can be as simple as a form with URL text box and a button you press to download and install your browser. This approach has some problems:
  1. You have to manually enter the URL of the browser installer file. Urls are lengthy and typing them is error-prone. Typosquatters can also abuse that by putting some malware-infested piece of software at that URL.
  2. Programs hosted on some sites like SourceForge have dynamic URLs you cannot guess/enter.
  3. You have to know those lengthy URLs. Don't forget that many browsers have different installers/URLs for different OSes languages and versions.
    I ask you: can you really remember this link and type it without errors?
    mozilla.sakura.ad.jp/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.0.6/win32/ru/Firefox%20Setup%203.0.6.exe
  4. And what I think is the most important problem: Choice! How can you choose browser if you are unable to read its description, find other users' impressions, maybe look at some test data?


So I think I showed pretty clearly that a simple "wget-like" program is not enough. Users really need a full-fledged browser to choose and download the browaser they want. I think that the most symmetrical (and fair) situation is if this browser is Windows' native Internet Explorer.

Google believes that browser market is still largely uncompetitive

In other words, Google is not only a complete hypocrite but completely blind. Most people can think of several major browsers off the top of their head. Let's say, Internet Explorer, Safari, FireFox, Opera, Chrome. Now, some of those come pre-installed in an operating system and some don't. But the second most popular one according to market share doesn't come pre-installed on ANY computer.

If FireFox can become the #2 browser without being pre-installed then not only is there healthy competition in the browser market (and good visibility of options besides the pre-installed browser default) but lots of room for innovation as well.

It's pretty sad how stupid Google thinks people are.

C_Guy said,
Google believes that browser market is still largely uncompetitive

In other words, Google is not only a complete hypocrite but completely blind. Most people can think of several major browsers off the top of their head. Let's say, Internet Explorer, Safari, FireFox, Opera, Chrome. Now, some of those come pre-installed in an operating system and some don't. But the second most popular one according to market share doesn't come pre-installed on ANY computer.

If FireFox can become the #2 browser without being pre-installed then not only is there healthy competition in the browser market (and good visibility of options besides the pre-installed browser default) but lots of room for innovation as well.

It's pretty sad how stupid Google thinks people are.


If a computer comes pre-installed with a Linux distribution, they generally include Firefox (same applies to Solaris or any of the BSDs). Yet NO Linux distribution gets whacked for failure to include Chrome (or even Opera). This smacks of economic warfare against the United States (Microsoft IS a US-based company); what's the REAL reason the EU is ticked? (Could it be that the United States refuses to repeal the Wire Act's clause prohibiting Internet gambling?)

Some people at the EU board have to much time on their hands, or is it to much 'gifts' from non-MS manufacturers.

In mobile market, Microsoft cannot tie IE to a dominant OS and its browser therefore has a much lower usage.

That's because Pocket Internet Explorer is utter rubbish compared to its competitors. You either expect it to make a total mess of modern web pages or use something else very quickly.

The normal Internet Explorer actually does well enough, so people use it.

all ms needs to do is bundle IE8, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Maxathon, Safari into Windows 7 and ask which to be default browser upon 1st usage of the pc or first install of windows 7, then no-one can complain. Removing IE8 would be crazy lots of dumb people wouldnt be able to surf the net.

When are they forcing other companys to include competitor products?
Apple for example...
Or why are countrys using things made in their country? Why not get all things from other countrys... Thats anti competitive...

Google is evil!
And they also use their monopoly to spread their browser...
All theyr sites contain chrome links and they publish chrome ads on each page that is talking about another browser...

Face it... google turned into an evil shareholder company...

This anti-trust case is an absolute waste of time and money.

If Microsoft was forcing all Windows users to use IE and blocking the installation of third party browsers then perhaps there would be a case, but the fact is that people can choose to use a different browser at any time. Nothing is stopping them.

At the very most Microsoft should just include links to download Opera, Firefox, Chrome. Whoop-dee-doo. But nobody should want to buy an OS without a browser installed, and it's *pointless* packaging Windows with third party browsers which are going to be out of date before the user ever gets to install their OS and which can't receieve updates via Windows Update. The EU needs to get a clue!

It annoys the hell out of me that an organisation which is supposed to representing my rights as a consumer are actually making things problematic for me, but that's the way the EU lunatics operate. Unfortunately, you only have to look at what happened with Media Player in XP to know that Microsoft WILL lose this, no matter how unfair it is.

So, I say MS should pre-empt the whole issue and save a stack of money on lawyers. Agree to update the N version with no Internet Explorer as well. That solution suited the EU morons fine last time, and will this time too. Then they can just carry on with Windows 7 as they wish as they've made a choice available. That no one will BUY the N version is irrelevant.

Under no circumstances should they agree to bundle other makers browsers, as that hurts their own business.

Back in the day, when microsoft KILLED netscape (netscape is at fault too for not being able to provide a good upgrade from ns4), things like these made sense.
But now it doesnt make sense. Most browsers are the same these days. IE is still the worst of them all, but what can you do. All OSs come with a browser and windows shouldn't be any different. Ironically enough google is in a position to shove chrome down everybody's throats. Just put links to chrome all over the place in every google page (blogger, youtube, gmail, google search). They're kind of doing it already. I bet chrome suprassed opera in market share just because of that. What now? Opera suing google for abusing market position?

Somehow microsoft bundling IE, chrome, opera, safari and firefox doesnt sound like a bad idea.

Julius Caro said,
Somehow microsoft bundling IE, chrome, opera, safari and firefox doesnt sound like a bad idea.

What about Super Internet Browser 2009 plus Deluxe with absolute no spyware (I swear!) and a FREE error scan for your PC?
Answer!

You're right. Should something fault with the other browsers, I'd believe Microsoft would be held responsible by their consumers.

Also, should Safari ever make it in there, they better cut the fat off it. By that, I mean no other dumb options aside from the browser itself to install.

God....DAMNIT!! At this rate those idiots are going to bankrupt MS and then what...

This drew the effing line. Like it or not, I'm using Yahoo.

Idiots, I tell you.

Recon415 said,
God....DAMNIT!! At this rate those idiots are going to bankrupt MS and then what...

This drew the effing line. Like it or not, I'm using Yahoo.

Idiots, I tell you.

Then people can start using Linux, the world would be a better place, I tell you.

how can bundling your own software TO YOUR OWN SOFTWARE antitrust?
-_-

don't get me wrong, I love other browsers, but if some company wants them to be popular, then advertise it.

Michael Jacob said,
how can bundling your own software TO YOUR OWN SOFTWARE antitrust?
-_-

don't get me wrong, I love other browsers, but if some company wants them to be popular, then advertise it.


EXACTLY. Thats what I say. When was the last time you ever saw a google, firefox, or opera commercial? hell, I dont think I've ever even seen an online add. Everything about these browsers are just word of mouth basically. They should be forced to spend a couple hundred million like microsoft in advertising, then when it totally fails, they may have a viable claim.

Most people above this comment seem to be blindfolded MS-lovers...

Let me prove my point:
Try to uninstall IE on windows, and your OS won't work like it should. The point of the suit is that IE is wired into windows and you can't get rid of it. Surely you can install another browser, but IE can't be uninstalled without having problems elsewhere. That makes it unfair competition, because IE isn't necessarily better than any other browser, you can have the best browser in the world and it still won't be able to convince people to use it since your OS won't work properly when you want to use it fully.

MS could bundle anything free with their OS, I don't mind, but if you can't use an alternative at a 100%, it's not fair.

Note: this is based on windows XP, I don't know if this is still the case on Vista, since it's a heaping pile of ****.

Krosan said,
Most people above this comment seem to be blindfolded MS-lovers...

---snipped---

I don't know if this is still the case on Vista, since it's a heaping pile of ****.


LOL troll
Kick him with a stick.

Or better yet - a bat. It's troll mating season right now with the incoming release of Windows 7. Gotta stop em before they multiply

This shows the amount of knowledge you have, Really. But the last line shows your intent regardless of your knowledge.

IE is nothing more than a Web Browser in the Vista7 era, But even if it wasn't - Why do you care if its installed? Do you care about every random DLL and EXE that comes with Windows? I'd think not.

You can take any other web browser and have it completely replace IE in every functionality. IE does not interfer with any 3rd party browser, and vice versa.

chaosblade, in XP it struck me how tangled the IE webbrowser was in windows. Some spyware virusses had taken control of my IE to which I resorted to Firefox and afterwards Opera. However I could not use msn anymore, I could not do websearches in my windows folders anymore and other httpprotocol-dependant services didn't work anymore simply because they refused to use the standard browser and kept using IE. Uninstalling IE was furthermore impossible.

Why do I want to uninstall IE anyway? Because I'd like to keep my system clean, and if I have Firefox, I don't need another browser loaded in my background processes.

And as for my intent: I don't have to use all MS's OS to have a decent image of what MS policies are.

Krosan, at first you should educate yourself about the differences between the terms "web browser" and "rendering engine". Then you should return here and ask a question that actually makes sense.

Google should be sued for not giving enough opportunity to other search engines, they should be forced to have multiple search engine options!

sarcasm with no basis =/

No, it's not. It's like telling a Coca Cola company owned restaurant chain to also sell other soft drinks in their restaurants. Right now, the Coca Cola owned restaurant chain sell only Coke, but doesn't sell Pepsi. Although it lets you bring drinks from outside, many people just don't bother as it's slightly more inconvenient and gets what whatever they sell.

Oh really? And what are those reasons? Tell us please.

...........Go ahead, we're waiting......

Ahh right, you have NO clue. None.

If you want to reply, at least have a grasp of what you're talking about. Otherwise you're wasting everyone's time.

If only we could tell windows to use another browser for opening webpages, browsing FTP etc...
[img]http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/3112/sad-wind.2/0_296fa_7e8c82d5_orig[/img]


P.S. why didn't the first url become link?

Microsoft being forced to install another browser, (which they have ZERO control over.) via their servers/protocols (or opening their FRESHLY INSTALLED MACHINES to other servers/protocols) seems like SUCH a great idea...expeically at MASSIVE cost to Microsoft.

Imagine how many windows installs happen A DAY. Imagine all of them downloading, instead of a built-in pre-installed browser, a 20meg EXTRA "update" to Firefox... Multiply that by the thousands of installs a second over the life of an OS? probbly pushing a million dollars.

all because Mozilla / Opera / Google / Apple have only pushed IE's market share down 40% in the past few years...

Such ridiculous events happening in the world of technology. What that? Can't beat the competition? Seek antitrust legislation against them. Ridiculous.

I've said this before, but the day these companies like MS and Intel and whoever else is the victim of the "antitrust" zealots stand up and refuse to be treated like slaves...that will be the day when real progress starts.

...

It's amazing how much attention the world wide web gets. With FTP easier on dedicated clients, and gopher dead, the web is essentially nothing more than one protocol now. One protocol, one aspect of a global network, yet the software used to access this one archaic technology (which has seen little more than new formatting options over the last 15 years) is so fought over and argued about that legal battles are international.

Frankly, I'm bored to tears with the web. Competition for innovation? How grandiose for a glorified document viewer. The face of business! Blah. Information and commerce. New ways to listen/read/watch something or make/spend money. Who gives a bloody fark how many browser companies there are or which one is dominating? The future of the internet will not be decided by web browsers.

[< snipped > - CalumJR] [Personal attacks on an individual or a company are not tolerated here. This comment was fine the way it was and added to the discussion effectively without this. Thank you.]

There is a poll in the forums asking who is more evil google or Micrsoft. This just shows how low you will go to gain an edge.

Maybe it's time to start using Yahoo...

What about all the other search engines? They could say it's not fair on them for all these browers to have google search as a default search engine but I bet google don't think about that. Double standards if you ask me.

lee26 said,
What about all the other search engines? They could say it's not fair on them for all these browers to have google search as a default search engine but I bet google don't think about that. Double standards if you ask me.

Strongly agree with that.

Companies like Google and Opera are nuts, what they do just something like:"if I can't beat it, sue it". Come on, if your product is great, people will choose yours, and Mozilla Firefox somehow proved that already.

Yahoo and MS should merge as talked about a while back to create the ultimate search engine and overthrow Google's long held crown.

See, I propose my own lawsuit. Google is violating anti trust laws by using Google as a homepage for their browser. Instead, whenever you open the browser over 9000 tabs will pop up and you get to chose your favorite web page instead. Great idea ehh? No. Bad idea, and so if bundling 7 different browsers, media players, other tools with Windows.

MS should tell FF/Opera/Google to F'off

A kernel level scanner that updates itself with the hashes of FF/Opera/Chrome/Safari from the MS Hitlist and all its variants in order to prevent them running on its own operating system...

Now that would be anti competitive...

MS bundling IE is like Apple bundling Safari... If one gets hit the other should.. but its utter BS

I wish Neowin could join the crusade against the EU [< snipped > - CalumJR]

A Neowin writer just wrote an article saying why Windows Mobile is so great. He said that

Since the Pocket Internet Explorer in Windows Mobile is so bad, it led to the development of such great browsers, like Skyfire, which easily overpasses the iPhone's browser.

Same thing would apply in Windows OS's. We know that Internet Explorer isn't the best, but isn't that why there's companies like Firefox and Google? They should be greateful that Microsoft doesn't develop a superior browser and put them out of business.

Firefox is basically asking for Microsoft to destroy their company by creating a new an innovative browser.

Firefox is just trying to kill the reason why they exist. Just doesn't make sense. And hey, sue Apple if you want to, they actually deserve it, bundling their Safari browser with iTunes? Their not even realted programs. Lets sue Apple!!!

If anything, Microsoft should lump this into the N edition of Windows.

No media player, no web browser. It's not like anyone buys it as is, so no harm done.

Interesting idea! All EC members should be permitted to buy the N edition of Windows only too, to promote competition!

A clean install to me means "NO 3rd Party Apps". It's the 3rd party apps that brake down the security. If they are forced to include these third party apps then I can also see another lawsuit. Because every stupid company would die to have their software on a fresh install. Firefox and google need to understand that there are other browsers out there and MS can't include them all. That would be bloatware and a huge security risk. These lawsuits are driven by greed.

With all these lawsuits in the EU, Microsoft should threaten to leave. Then they will have no choice but to drop the lawsuits. I doubt that 90% of EU's companies will be happy that they lost Microsoft support for their computing needs since all of them depend on it.

Titoist said,
With all these lawsuits in the EU, Microsoft should threaten to leave. Then they will have no choice but to drop the lawsuits. I doubt that 90% of EU's companies will be happy that they lost Microsoft support for their computing needs since all of them depend on it.

They probably pay more in fines than the revenue they make in EU.

Nope that wouldn't be smart. A good company does not punish its customers (ie. certain music, movie and game companies).

A possible (and humorous) idea would be to give the EC members a version of Windows stuffed full with every web browser made on planet Earth since time immemorial (like Netscape and yes, Safari on Windows). Give them (the ones who accepted this case) a nice taste of their own medicine.

Do you really believe MS would ever leave Europe when more than 75% of their new products comes from Europe ? While The HQ is in the USA not all "brains" are there

Beside do you think that America ( North and South ), Africa and certain Asian countries , oh and ofc Australia would make it for losing the European income

If you have a company and you do that , then believe me its better to close it down due to the lose of revenue

At this rate, MS is paying way to much in fines. I bet if MS tried to pull out, the people in the EU would try to sue the EU for causing this situation.

I also think that they should just modify that special N version and have it not include a browser at all. That way the EU can not say that MS is bundling its IE.

I can see something implented in the like of how we can choose our default search engine in IE atm, but then on a larger scale. Both parties have their arguments, and believe it or not... we're not living in 1998 anymore, when Windows 98 still booted 'with Internet Explorer' included on the bootscreen.

On the other hand, first WMP, now IE... What's next? Paint's concurrention with Paint.net or Gimp? calc.exe? Maybe even some 3rd party shell that complains that explorer.exe is hard-coded into the OS...
Believe me, this will never end (Well, it will as soon as Windows loses its market share).

MentalDisturb. said,
I can see something implented in the like of how we can choose our default search engine in IE atm, but then on a larger scale.

Something like this maybe?

If they dont include IE they should just put nothing in and just give the option to install IE on setup... if people want to use something else they should not be required to advertise competitors just make it more clear how not to install IE.

Of course if they do that and its selected by default comapnies still complain its anti-competitive, if they dont auto tick it, people will accidentially not install it (novices) who do want it.

Trying to make a company advertise its rivals is not a sensible requirement.

MentalDisturb. said,
Nope, rather something that runs during setup and that lets you select the browser you want and then downloads that browser.

So you think they should include "Super Internet Browser 2009 plus Deluxe with absolute no spyware (I swear!) and a FREE error scan for your PC"? Because if they don't, that's really anticonpetitive advantage for all those Mozilla, Appl and other big corporations.

The fact Firefox has a 20%+ market share clearly shows the market is competitive (that and the fact IE has dropped market share every quarter for 5 years now from 91% down to 67%, and Firefox has increased from 3% to 21%

If Google thought it was uncompetitive.... they really should have the resources being a huge company to realise not to waste their time developing chrome as a product.

Sorry Google not every product you launch does into super stardom instantly. Firefox is probably Googles biggest rival not IE.

Google in this case should stop advertising Chrome on their own ad service and youtube because google are a monopoly in the online advertising market.

This is all about online services, but Windows Live is absolutely unpopular in Europe, so this theory on IE is rubbish...

Translation:

"Google joins the series of whiners that want their browser in the (Microsoft) box as they were not able to break away enough market share (whatever that might be) and W7 is just an excellent opportunity"

Yawn...

uggg, this should be a decision left up the the OEM's such as Dell/Hp/etc... This should not be imposed on MS to include or suport someone elses 3rd party browser, thats insane! Remember about 5 years ago when you bought a windows pc and it came with Netscape/Aol/real player? That was the companies making deals with the OEM's to include their software, they pay the OEM's to have it in there. Now any time a company doesn't want to pay they just complain to the EU, why god why?! The fact of the matter is companies started offering the "do not install all this extra garbage on my PC" option and a lot of customers took it and made sure non or very little of that extra stuff is installed. The users that want it installed are not your average user, and since they have knowledge of the product they are usually capable of going and downloading it. Example: if I want Opera (and i do) I go download it once i install windows, i wouldn't WANT windows to come with it, I would rather do it myself.

So heres the scoop: these are businesses, if you want to compete in the browser arena then DO BUSINESS! Go make a deal with whatever OEM you want, sign a contract, agree to pay, and boom your in. Don't whine that things are unfair because you didn't make a real effort to compete. "Oh but i have a browser thats free to download but not everyone is using it (cry), what do I do?" If you plan on making money off this thing in any way shape or form, learn how to make deals, STOP EXPECTING HAND OUTS!

/end rant
(expect typo's)

poundsmack said,
uggg, this should be a decision left up the the OEM's such as Dell/Hp/etc... This should not be imposed on MS to include or suport someone elses 3rd party browser, thats insane! Remember about 5 years ago when you bought a windows pc and it came with Netscape/Aol/real player? That was the companies making deals with the OEM's to include their software, they pay the OEM's to have it in there. Now any time a company doesn't want to pay they just complain to the EU, why god why?! The fact of the matter is companies started offering the "do not install all this extra garbage on my PC" option and a lot of customers took it and made sure non or very little of that extra stuff is installed. The users that want it installed are not your average user, and since they have knowledge of the product they are usually capable of going and downloading it. Example: if I want Opera (and i do) I go download it once i install windows, i wouldn't WANT windows to come with it, I would rather do it myself.

So heres the scoop: these are businesses, if you want to compete in the browser arena then DO BUSINESS! Go make a deal with whatever OEM you want, sign a contract, agree to pay, and boom your in. Don't whine that things are unfair because you didn't make a real effort to compete. "Oh but i have a browser thats free to download but not everyone is using it (cry), what do I do?" If you plan on making money off this thing in any way shape or form, learn how to make deals, STOP EXPECTING HAND OUTS!

/end rant
(expect typo's)


Exactly, whats the complaint here?

Oh no were loosing money becuase people wont download our free browser because someone has included a free browser in thier OS?

Makes no sense to me, show me how what MS is doing is financially damaging any of these companies with thier FREE browsers.

Unless thats the point, they only give them away for free because people wont pay for something they already have for free. Make MS stop including IE and now you can charge for your browser.

There would be no problem here except for the fact that because microsoft here is immune to things like it's browser not being very good compared to others which would usually force people to switch. If their browser followed all current standards or atleast an acceptable amount and actually was comparable to the other browsers then they can go ahead but ie is a curse for developers because even if something new like a new version of css with new tags comes out they can't use it because most people use ie which takes years to become compliant with new standards heck they finally are css 2.1 compliant.

What gets me is that if MS didn't include a browser and a person were to install a "Clean" copy of windows, they would have no way of accessing the internet to download these competing browsers. You would need to have an install disc of whatever browser you want beforehand. Now, call me crazy but when was the last time you saw a Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc disc available somewhere physical? The "average" computer buyer and/or user would not know to download a copy and burn it to disc so they had it for said install. So if that isn't reason enough for MS to include a browser then what about the things MS has implemented in thier OS that requires a browser of some kind? Finally you have to put the blame on system manufactures who dont bother to add any additional browsers to the OS when they are adding all thier junkware, because lets face it, 90% of computer users bought an off the shelf PC with windows pre-installed.

Personally I think this whole anti trust suit against MS for including things in thier OS is BS. I happen to agree with the previous poster, its MS's OS they can include whatever they want FOR FREE!!! Now if they were the only OS available and they FORCED YOU TO PAY for thier browser and designed the OS in such a way so you could not use any other browser, then I could see a case for a lawsuit. As it stands they are giving you additional functionality for free, I dont see the problem.

Excellent point. What do the EU think we users will use to download another browser? They need their heads examining. The only way round that was if a browers picker was included but that would just be plain stupid.

Highly competitive these companies... I agree, it seems pointless with this lawsuit to keep continuing. If these companies really want to have fair game, then just stop Windows altogether.

oh see, that's where the "remedy" comes in. They will force MS to INCLUDE FireFox and all the competitors to "level the playing field."

Mark. My. Words.

Another problem with having to have physical installation discs of various internet browsers is the extra physical waste that will be produced. So it's better all round that there is a default browser in Windows or whatever OS, and the user can then choose to download another browser at a later point. With this anti-trust lawsuit going on, Microsoft should probably do more to make their users aware that there are other browsers available, for instance the first time they launch IE there should be a screen which tells them that they can get other browsers if they so wish.

This anti trust stuff is way out of hand. firefox isn't a MS product, Safari isn't either as well as Opera. but who gives two ****s about it?

Does the EU expect Coke to include a six pack of Pepsi in their cases? you know- to level the playing field?

Xionanx said,
they would have no way of accessing the internet to download these competing browsers

You can still have access to the Internet without a web browser installed, you just can't visit any websites.

With this in mind, an in-built 'browser downloader', similar to Windows Update, would be an ideal situation.

CalumJR said,
You can still have access to the Internet without a web browser installed, you just can't visit any websites.

With this in mind, an in-built 'browser downloader', similar to Windows Update, would be an ideal situation.


Why do you say you can't visit websites?
There is nothing to stop you visiting websites. The only thing that won't happen is that the HTML won't be rendered so you'd see it in plaintext.

Except t hat the idea , and from the older news , is that MS should make a gui that we can select the browser we want , more or like like they do with their search providers ( not all like live search and go to google )

its that simple - make a multiple choice of browsers at the install part

Here we go!

Its Microsoft's OS, they can bundle what they like.

Get rid of Safari off OS X, the same argument can be applied there!!!

They don't "tie" IE to Windows anymore. Before that was the case with apps and the help system using IE's trident engine to run some stuff, but afaik since Vista, IE is just a browser like the rest.

And saying you can run everything without Safari on OSX is half-truths in this point. How will you go online? Do they install firefox or something for you? If not, then you can't get on the internet right?

Apple doesn't have 90%+ of the marketshare. Also, anyone can uninstall Safari from Mac OS, but the same is impossible in Windows.

I'm on both sides of this fence.. first off, if this is the case OS X shouldn't have Safari by default then. On the other side, it's true you can't truly remove IE without the OS not working right OR it comes back when you load certain Windows apps.

>Apple doesn't have 90%+ of the marketshare.
It does. Didn't Apple tell everyone that Mac is not PC?
Microsoft may have PC operating system monopoly, but Apple has MAC operating system monopoly.

TheNay: the comparison can't be made between Mac OS X/Safari and Windows/IE at this point in time. The reason why it's a big deal is that Microsoft totally dominates the market. Their market share is still in the 90%+, isn't it? Even if it were 85% that's a huge number of people.

So here's the issue: those people use IE by default. Most users either don't know about other browsers or don't care to go through the effort of changing browsers. That means that Internet Explorer, by default and regardless of how good other browsers try to make themselves out to be, will be used and will be the majority's browser. This is an unfair advantage, because it's being used by default and has a load of market share as a result. How else can you explain why Internet Explorer 5 and 6 were used in such huge numbers despite being technologically far behind the competition?

This also creates a problem. If Internet Explorer has such a huge market share and they have that market share by default, rather than because they're really striving to be the best, then their incentive to improve is virtually zero. IE didn't conform to web standards, and it didn't hurt them (until relatively recently, with the FireFox "revolution"). Instead, web standards began to conform to IE. That even further hurt competing browsers, because suddenly users were complaining that pages only looked right in Internet Explorer, yet the other browsers had no idea what Internet Explorer's own internal standards were. (And Microsoft could have changed them at any time.) It's dangerous to give one competing company control of where the proverbial finish line is placed, don't you agree?

What's the solution? It isn't to ship an operating system that lacks a browser, because that's practically essential these days. Offering many browser choices and/or prompting the user for which browser they prefer at start-up would probably be seen as annoying to many people, at first, and Microsoft likely would suffer some backlash as a result. It may not seem fair to Microsoft, but the entire situation was unfair to begin with and it has affected us all. Anyone who can't remember what the internet was like before FireFox became big stuff probably won't know what I'm talking about, but you simply could not use another web browser without having to load Internet Explorer for practically every other website. That's not only bad for other browser companies, that's bad for the end users.

While I can sympathize with Microsoft, the EU has the right idea. Microsoft is an operating system company, but they made the choice to enter the web browser market as well. They're likely well aware that when you reach their size and gain widespread recognition that you gain a lot of power, influence, and control. Our society values the concept of fairness, particularly on the front of giving others a chance. This means that Microsoft needs to be extremely careful about what it does, because even a bit of negligence like IE 5 or 6 can have huge effects and get them in trouble as a result.

I dislike when Apple's marketshare is brought up in any discussion about Microsoft's alleged monopoly.

It makes no sense to cripple a market leader in the name of fairness. If competition cannot be healthy with all participants following the same guidelines, then the problem is the guidelines, not the competitors.

Just like laws must be applied equally to all members of society regardless of their level of influence or wealth, laws must be applied equally to businesses regardless of marketshare. Harsher requirements placed on market leaders do not foster competition--they control it.

And controlled competition is not competition.

GP007 said,
They don't "tie" IE to Windows anymore. Before that was the case with apps and the help system using IE's trident engine to run some stuff, but afaik since Vista, IE is just a browser like the rest.

And saying you can run everything without Safari on OSX is half-truths in this point. How will you go online? Do they install firefox or something for you? If not, then you can't get on the internet right?

Strange i don't see the option to uninstall IE with my copy of Vista ...

The main problem about IE is mostly that it doesn't support all formats and standard. So it play a big role in what the net is and will become. MS improved that a lot with IE7 and even more with IE8 but IE6 was a shame to MS name with imcomplete SVG and PNG support and non standard CSS support. Where PNG would be today had IE6 supported it ? It's by far better than gif.