Microsoft proposes "Browser Ballot Screen" to the EU

We've previously reported that Microsoft was planning to ship Windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer. But now, reports are saying that users could be given the choice of which browser to install when they install Windows 7 in Europe as proposed by Microsoft to the European Commission.

"Under our new proposal, among other things, European consumers who buy a new Windows PC with Internet Explorer set as their default browser would be shown a 'ballot screen' from which they could, if they wished, easily install competing browsers from the Web. If this proposal is ultimately accepted, Microsoft will ship Windows in Europe with the full functionality available in the rest of the world. As requested by the Commission, we will be publishing our proposal in full here on our website as soon as possible.", says the proposal by Microsoft to the European Commission.

When reports came out that Windows 7 in Europe would ship without Internet Explorer, many people were confused on how they would be able to browse the web without a web browser, even though Microsoft has provided documentation on how to install Windows 7 E edition, and Rafael Rivera from Within Windows has also provided a method to download a web browser through Windows Media Player.

A proposed version of the ballot screen is shown below as shown in this Powerpoint presentation. It looks like the European Commission has welcomed the new proposal by Microsoft.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

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Will the ballot box appear the first time the end user turns on the PC? Will it require any passwords or security confirmations? Will manufacturers be setting this?

How are you meant to view the browser ballot webpage when you don't have a browser installed? I really don't know why MS just don't build the browser choice into Windows Update.

You can view a HTML page without a browser installed, which will probably be the way in which thus will probably work. I hate some of the EU Rules and Regulations; but you have to take into account that in one way the EU see Microsoft as the manipulator of browser software, the EU see Microsoft as saying use our browser and forget others like Firefox, Safari, Opera, Netscape, Google. The EU just want people to decide for themselves... I'll say one thing, I would love to see a result of a ballot by Microsoft customers, I would estimate about 20% would like to use MSIE8, 10% use Opera, 10% use Safari and 60% use Firefox.

Would you agree to these figures, the problem with EU regulations is it can be at times a pain in the but for the consumer. I was going to by my copy of Windows 7 Ultimate from the USA but considering there was not much of a difference in price I decided to go for the E version. One good thing Microsoft have done with Windows 7 is put 32-bit and 64-bit all on one DVD CD. Thus makes it cheaper for people wanting to use 64-bit OS, Winfows Vista came on two separate versions 32-bit and 64-bit, whereas 64-bit was more expensive.

as long as other companies pay microsoft to advertise their own browser on that ballot screen, i see no problem in that!

I'm all for a level playing field, but forcing MS into this just seems... well, petty TBH. Vast majority of internet users probably don't even realise there are alternatives (ignorance to blame), and probably don't care. And I think these users will probably not even bother reading the ballot, and just panic, and head straight for the big shiney Internet Explorer button.

As has been pointed out, how long before a Media Player Ballot Screen... A Notepad ballot screen? It's Microsofts product, so how can any one tell them how to make it? Again, it's been pointed out already- you don't have to use Windows, no one is forcing it on you.

The more important question seems to be: with Google Chrome OS on its way out with a philosophy that that OS should revolve around the browser, will MS be allowed to compete with a browser-centric OS themselves?

Or will the government actually lock Microsoft out of an industry?

Sorry to sound a little thick, I've been off work since the 1st July and I have lost touch with Windiws 7... Does this mean in he UK we will only have Wibdows 7E Family bcause we are part oc the EU? So from what the article shows above, we will have an option of installing the browser we like... And we cab install MSIE8 as standard if we want to...?

I still don't see any prices for Windows 7 Ultimate E 64-bit yet anywhere in tge UK only for 32-bit versions. Does anybody know of any websites that have prices yet fit 64-bit only.

Yes, only Windows 7 E will be available in Europe, and no upgrade edition either - but if you hurry you can get 7 Home Premium/Professional E for £49.99/£99.99 at participating retailers. Both the 32 and 64-bit DVDs are included with Windows 7 E.

Thanks for the update, I will be going for Ultimate Edition 64-bit although I'm building a PC for my brother and he's having my Windows Vista Ultimate and I shall get Windows 7 Ultimate for mine. I might get another Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition from MS as they are doing a deal, buy Vusta Ultimate 64-bit and get Windows 7Ultimate 64-bit free when it comes out. The thing is I still need to use Vista as well so I shall dual boot.

nkahoang said,
I just have a little wonder...

... why the Browser Ballot Screen is shown UNDER Internet Explorer window ???

At a guess it's because it's a mock up. It would make sense if a new app was written which displays the web page (since parts of the IE rendering engine still remain in Windows, even with IE removed, for compatibility reasons).

I have to admit I haven't read any of the comments so far, so excuse me if I'm just repeating here, but I just don't understand the problem, here. No one is forcing you to use IE. NO ONE. You install any other browser, make it your default, and you're done. The only task I ever use IE for, these days, is installing Firefox on a fresh OS install. For those too ignorant to understand their choices, they'll stick with the built-in IE. If it wasn't built-in, these people would have no idea how to figure out how to get online with their computers. Those of us who would, would have the sense to download a more full-featured, less security bug-ridden browser.

I repeat: no one is *forced* to use IE; and OS X is certainly still allowed to include Safari as the default browser.

"I repeat: no one is *forced* to use IE; and OS X is certainly still allowed to include Safari as the default browser."

Strict IT administration across schools and businesses worldwide prevent users from using anything but IE6 - it's absolutely horrible.

AaronMT said,
"Strict IT administration across schools and businesses worldwide prevent users from using anything but IE6 - it's absolutely horrible.


Ugh - I agree, it is painful. Plus, IE6 is started to be unsupported by some sites (YouTube being the obvious example).

Si7777 said,
Ugh - I agree, it is painful. Plus, IE6 is started to be unsupported by some sites (YouTube being the obvious example).

Neowin is another one anyway for me.

Our company still use IE 6 and when i visit Neowin often the text of a news just dissapear for not reason. Probably a problem related to CSS.

Luckly i'm working in the web development team so i'm one of the few to be allowed to run Firefox.

But the price we are paying for the FULL version is very similar to the price the US is paying for the upgrade version, give or take a few pounds/euros.

I am sure I mentioned this myself as an idea.

I wonder if Apple, Mozilla, Opera and Google will have to also bundle other browsers into their installs?

WoW microsoft indeed is dumb and fails... that's exactly what EU asked them to do at first not to remove IE completely

Well I was against the idea of a ballot screen originally, because it was assumed to pop-up before a browser was installed, but if Internet Explorer shows it on first use, and as long as it is made clear Microsoft is not responsible for the other browsers, it is a welcome change.

I brought Windows Vista Ultimate OEM System Builder, with an upgrade coupon, I just want to make sure I know what I will be getting come October when Windows 7 is released, will it be...

  • a full edition Windows 7 Ultimate?
  • a full edition Windows 7 E Ultimate?
  • or an upgrade Windows 7 Ultimate edition?

Best idea - the list order should be horizontal bars that can expand to show descriptions

the list order should be based upon downloads/star rating, that the user can define the "sort by"

that way the most popular browser gets first place
1st to 5th place gets small expanded description, while 5th and onwords get just names with option to expand to a description.

SolwayUK said,
Best idea - the list order should be horizontal bars that can expand to show descriptions

the list order should be based upon downloads/star rating, that the user can define the "sort by"

that way the most popular browser gets first place
1st to 5th place gets small expanded description, while 5th and onwords get just names with option to expand to a description.


The top browsers need to be randomised to maintain non-partisanship.

How about not installing ANY internet browser on the new PCs and let the Europeans figure out how to get their favorite internet browser without an internet browser to browse the web.

IOW: (Now) Internet browser + Internet connection = Internet access
(Future) Internet browser + Internet connection = a large headache

CMD
ftp releases.mozilla.org (enter anonymous for both username and password)
cd /pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest/win32/en-GB/
binary
get "Firefox Setup 3.5.exe"

done :D

ok maybe not for average joe...

So if this goes ahead, does that mean that the current RTM build of Windows 7 E will be changed before release? From what I've heard it's already up on Technet/MSDN, presumable sans-IE.

majortom1981 said,
Microsoft shouldnt have to do this BUT, If microsoft is smart they could use it as an advantage against apple.

How is that? If anything this is going to help Apple spread the word about Safari and raise its browser's market share.

xSuRgEx said,
o no opera is not 2nd in the list now they will take Ms to court.

They will be sanctioned if the list isn't randomised. There's no justification for IE being the default except to prejudice other browsers.

I know it isn't the fault of the engineers, but Opera needs to close as soon as possible. Pointless browser. I bought it when it was the best option, but it is now so bloated with crap (always hated the mail component, torrent sucks, unity is useful once in a blue moon) and it fails at rendering a lot of bog standard pages even though it passes Acid3.

Septimus said,
I know it isn't the fault of the engineers, but Opera needs to close as soon as possible.

The more browsers the better. It's good for competition :D

Septimus said,
it fails at rendering a lot of bog standard pages even though it passes Acid3

It's vastly more standards compliant than IE, you can be sure of that. In fact 99% of browsers are more compliant than IE.

You know there's still more browsers besides these big five browsers - one of them being a Mac-only browser that is still for pay. There are also those text-only browsers. Should they also disappear just because they're either "pointless" or insignificant?

It would be fairly interesting after a while to see if market share of browsers in the EU is significantly different to the rest of the world...

Si7777 said,
It would be fairly interesting after a while to see if market share of browsers in the EU is significantly different to the rest of the world...


It is already over 50% of Firefox for in Europe, over 65% in Germany Firefox is winning... It may even drop with ballot box

I wonder if the EU will force Fx to offer a ballot screen if they get to 90%+?

"I know you downloaded this, bur have you considered IE10?" etc.

Shame the EU is run by a bunch of money grabbing old farts. Bigger shame that only less than 1% of the EU population even knows this is happening... or cares.

Septimus said,
I wonder if the EU will force Fx to offer a ballot screen if they get to 90%+?

It's based on the desktop OS monopoly, not the browser %. Even if Firefox exceeds IE in usage, the ballot screen will still be mandated as long as windows has monopoly.

Septimus said,
Shame the EU is run by a bunch of money grabbing old farts. Bigger shame that only less than 1% of the EU population even knows this is happening... or cares.

You have evidence of this? The EC's job is to enforce competition law and that's what it's doing. It's unfortunate you don't live in the EU and therefore have no say in the matter isn't it?

Maybe MS just doing it for "in your face" to other browsers... IE will be still most picked one on the ballot without forcing themselves and stop all these "omg, IE is #1 because people are forced by it" BS.

I'll still install IE.
I'll just indtall something else as well.

It's Microsoft's product, they should be able to put extra features with it as they please. So let's say I make a browser - does that mean mine has to be in the list?
Surely they have to advertise all or none otherwise that isn't fair.

LoveThePenguin said,

Choice is a great thing eh?

It certainly is but I've had a choice all along. Nothing has changed from my perspective except for the minor inconvenience of now having to install two browsers instead of one (IE comes in handy occasionally for my uses).

Here's a thought: If someone types a URL pointing to the WWW in 'My Computer's address bar (not many know that they can, 'cause of the breadcrumbs, but still..) what happens then?

I live in the EU and I am a Firefox user but I think it's too bad MS seems to have surrendered to the ridiculous EU demands.
All this will do is create a precedent for further EU demands in the future.
I can't wait to see the first browser marketshare numbers to be published after the adoption of Windows 7 and see that nothing will have changed with regards to browser marketshares.

LoveThePenguin said,
Where have I heard that one before?...

Your point being?
If there's something you're insinuating just say it and don't hide behind childish trolling.
Your time is better spent making sweet love to your penguin.

What choice do they have? Microsoft has to obey the laws and rules of the countries they sell their products in. With a population of almost 500 million they won't give up such a big market.

How does one get a browser on this ballot box? I might go develop a new browser and cry foul if they dont give me billions of $$ of free advertising by making it one of the choices!

kcbworth said,
Well this is a massive step backwards in the maturity of software (n)

It's a huge step forward in "leveling the playing field". Now we need the US to follow suit!

In a recent statement, the European Union has announced that it is sanctioning McDonald's and threatening harsh penalties if they do not start offering more choices of burgers with their happy meals. "I like their fries and the neat little toys," says Jane, mother of two, "but it would be nice to have the choice of a Whopper, instead of the dinky sandwich it comes with."

Last week, the EU rejected McDonald's proposal to stop offering burgers all together with their happy meals, stating, "We want more choices for consumers, not less." Burger King's cries of unfair, monopolistic practices have not fallen on deaf ears, as the EU seems set to enforce a "burger ballot" measure upon the sale of all happy meals.

The ballot would effectively give consumers a choice between all major, fast-food burgers when they purchase a happy meal and is aimed at creating a more competitive market for other fast-food chains. One Burger King rep said, "We just haven't been able to compete with McDonald's market saturation. This will be a huge boon to us in the European market."
**********************

The real story is as ridiculous as my fake one!!! Apparently, capitalism is no longer welcome in Europe.

LoveThePenguin said,
Inane

I thought my point was fairly clear. Let me restate it sans allegory. A governing body forcing a company to include a competitor's product packaged with their own is ridiculous. Clear enough for you?

Seriously, the EU needs to get over themselves. As long as users are given the option to remove features they do not want to use I do not see what the problem is with including IE (or safari, itunes, etc... for mac users) with an operating system. Nobody is telling you you must use their software, they are merely including it as a part of the operating system. Wouldn't an operating system be incomplete without including the most basic features such as a web browser or a media player? If you don't like it go get something else. If you are purchasing windows it comes with IE, deal with it or install something else. If it doesn't have IE included how do you suppose you are going to go download firefox or whatever it is you use? You can't expect MS to include it's competitors products as options in their OS. That would be like buying Photoshop and having it ask you if you would rather install Gimp instead. Seriously, don't governments have better things to spend your money on? Personally I am a Mac and Windows 7 user, and I love them both. Both came with their browsers and I use firefox on both. However, had it not come with IE or Safari, and I didn't have another means to go get firefox, I'd be up a creek.

It is one thing to force people into using your product, MS is clearly not doing this, neither is Apple. If you like it, they included it in their software for your convenience. If not, go get something else. This is not even remotely close to an anti-trust violation; unless, as the EU seems to see it, making money is an anti-trust violation. Man, would they be screwed if MS told them to blow and pulled out of Europe entirely, dropping support for all Europeans in the process.

tommytom02 said,
Seriously, the EU needs to get over themselves. As long as users are given the option to remove features they do not want to use I do not see what the problem is with including IE (or safari, itunes, etc... for mac users) with an operating system.

When was the last tim you were able to "remove" IE and not just disable it...

bobbba said,
When was the last tim you were able to "remove" IE and not just disable it...

Same difference, so long as I am not forced to use it...how do they determine browser marker share? Oh yeah, by monitoring the browser information sent to a website...iif it was determined by how many systems it was installed on, that would be a useful argument.

Unfair = forced to use it
Not unfair = it is here if you want to use it

If this is agreed on and passed before pre-orders ship, and it should be, lots of time till Oct, then you should get the full version with IE and this ballot screen.

Win7 E is and as I said in other threads about the topic a version MS made because it wanted to ship win7 to OEMs now and not have to wait for the EU to move it's slow feet and Ok some other deal. Basically they just didn't want to wait.

As the MS post says, OEMs will still get Win7 E until the new plan is ok'd by the EU and then OEMs will get the full version + ballot screen change.

Having to use IE to access a ballot screen, that's fail.

MS should just get an application created instead, put it up on Windows Update and configured it in a way that it downloads and installs automatically to Windows 7e machines once internet connectivity is made. Start Menu would then contain a shortcut such as "Select your Browser", clicking this would open said application and could look something like the Firefox Addons window (for example) where you can select a browser. Then it will contact MS servers for the latest valid and up-to-date download link, downloads the chosen browser and then run the install.

Or other browsers could stand on their own merits, oh wait, they need a helping hand to get a market share, or not... Hi Firefox!

Lannister said,
Or other browsers could stand on their own merits, oh wait, they need a helping hand to get a market share, or not... Hi Firefox!

Oh the irony. And how does IE stand on its own merits when it's shipped as the default browser with the OS? The ballot screen is the first step to earnestly creating parity. but I'm incredulous to MS's real intentions. I mean running the ballot screen in IE?? IE being first in the list. That is patently favouring themselves. The list should be randomised (including IE), and a specialised application should be used.

LoveThePenguin said,
Oh the irony. And how does IE stand on its own merits when it's shipped as the default browser with the OS? The ballot screen is the first step to earnestly creating parity. but I'm incredulous to MS's real intentions. I mean running the ballot screen in IE?? IE being first in the list. That is patently favouring themselves. The list should be randomised (including IE), and a specialised application should be used.

Hmm.. Spend all the time making the software.. to be forced in a certain part of the world to include browser makers who are too cheap to do their own advertising..

Yea, I'd put my product first too. So would you. Don't even kid yourself into thinking you wouldn't.

Aahz said,

And why pray tell should I have to use IE in the first place? This is precisely why the ballot screen is being implemented. You can argue to you are blue in the face but it wont change reality.

LoveThePenguin said,

And why pray tell should I have to use IE in the first place? This is precisely why the ballot screen is being implemented. You can argue to you are blue in the face but it wont change reality.

Penguin, where does it stop? Is WMP next? How about Media Center? Maybe Windows explorer, I like a couple of older file manager systems...Most people using windows want to plug the computer in and use it. They do not care about what they use, they just want something to do what they need.

When there is a benefit, it is worth it. This whole argument is about competition, and there is. FF is still growing, Chrome is exploding in usage, that belies the fact that there is no market competition, thus the argument is flawed.

schubb said,
Penguin, where does it stop? Is WMP next? How about Media Center? Maybe Windows explorer, I like a couple of older file manager systems...Most people using windows want to plug the computer in and use it. They do not care about what they use, they just want something to do what they need.

WMP has had the same attention, and justly so. If there are competing products and MS chooses to use it's monopoly to give it an advantage such as with WMP, then yes, the EC should take action. If you look at WMP, it's evident why MS are pushing it, for example, the WMV, WMA formats which they have patents against and make money from clearly gives them an impetus to promote them. Then there is the Zune/WMP suite which is trying to compete against IPod/Itunes. The inclusion in windows affords it an advantage.

schubb said,
This whole argument is about competition, and there is. FF is still growing, Chrome is exploding in usage, that belies the fact that there is no market competition, thus the argument is flawed.

No one would argue that there is no competition in the browser market, quite the contrary, it's highly competitive, but the monopolistic advantage granted to IE by the inclusion in windows is certainly unfair, and verbosely explains its current dominant position. The market will doubtless benefit from the increased competition afforded by the exclusion of IE as the default browser.

The contradiction you mentioned can be explained by the superior security, speed, and user experience of third party browsers. Although your caveat of no competition I digress because of my aforementioned reasons.

LoveThePenguin said,
WMP has had the same attention, and justly so. If there are competing products and MS chooses to use it's monopoly to give it an advantage such as with WMP, then yes, the EC should take action.


And what was the result of all this litigation? Microsoft was fined $794 million and forced to release a version of XP it turns out no one wanted in the first place; Microsoft sold approximately 0 copies of the OS to OEMs and consumers. Apparently the EU, in the name of consumer interest, forgot to ask consumers what they wanted.

I mean, look at the company who initiated the complaint, Real. Real doesn't have a small marketshare because it's being ousted out of the market by WMP. It has a small marketshare because it's widely regarded as the most bloated and intrusive media player out there. They learned the hard way you can't just litigate your way into the marketplace.

ModernMech said,
And what was the result of all this litigation? Microsoft was fined $794 million and forced to release a version of XP it turns out no one wanted in the first place; Microsoft sold approximately 0 copies of the OS to OEMs and consumers. Apparently the EU, in the name of consumer interest, forgot to ask consumers what they wanted.

That's precisely why this time they aren't going to accept an [n] version. MS thought they could pull the same trick this time around, but then later realised it wouldn't satisfy the EC, and so now we have this offering with which MS are trying to control the outcome of the antitrust case.

This is a win for the consumer, and I doubt anyone can successfully argue otherwise. The US should definitely be taking notes from the EC's audacious victory.

ModernMech said,
I mean, look at the company who initiated the complaint, Real. Real doesn't have a small marketshare because it's being ousted out of the market by WMP. It has a small marketshare because it's widely regarded as the most bloated and intrusive media player out there. They learned the hard way you can't just litigate your way into the marketplace.

Regardless of Real's operations, MS should be challenged about its business practises given that it's a monopoly and has a history of surreptitious machinations. If I were the EC I would seriously consider imposing similar conditions concerning WMP, because the ballot screen has clearly worked here.

LoveThePenguin said,
That's precisely why this time they aren't going to accept an [n] version. MS thought they could pull the same trick this time around, but then later realised it wouldn't satisfy the EC, and so now we have this offering with which MS are trying to control the outcome of the antitrust case.

This is a win for the consumer, and I doubt anyone can successfully argue otherwise. The US should definitely be taking notes from the EC's audacious victory.


Regardless of Real's operations, MS should be challenged about its business practises given that it's a monopoly and has a history of surreptitious machinations. If I were the EC I would seriously consider imposing similar conditions concerning WMP, because the ballot screen has clearly worked here.



That is indeed the problem; the US should be noting that THE EC's solutions usually *do not work*.

The N versions (XP) failed, socialized (in other words, *rationed*) medicine has failed (else, why are the leadership of the EC coming in droves to the US for critical treatments?), and their attempts at reining in Microsoft because their homegrown businesses have failed at straight-up competition with them have also failed. Note that all the browsers that are actually competing successfully with IE are not based in (or anywhere near) the EU. (In fact, all are based primarily in the United States.) Also, the comment of yours "given that Microsoft is a monopoly" is "making a postulation"; in other words, it's only true because you say it is (which is what a postulate is; it's an assumption). Nobody with a clue (not even Richard Stallman) has claimed that WMP has the position of preference due to monopoly practices. In fact, there are plenty of products that are competition with WMP that are freely available (and some are even based ON WMP, such as Creative MediaSource 5, which is what I use for MP3 files, and at times even as a video player, because it offers some features that WMP does not, even on Windows 7).

LoveThePenguin said,
And why pray tell should I have to use IE in the first place? This is precisely why the ballot screen is being implemented. You can argue to you are blue in the face but it wont change reality.

You silly goose, you still need IE to get to the ballot screen. LOL

LoveThePenguin said,
And why pray tell should I have to use IE in the first place? This is precisely why the ballot screen is being implemented. You can argue to you are blue in the face but it wont change reality.


As a browser, no you don't have to. But many applications expect its rendering engine to be there, and it will never be removed.

Sometimes I see that both sides to this debate are being ludicrous in their claims. One side expects a complete removal of anything IE-related, and their response to anything that requires the Trident engine is "well, go find another program then." The other side wants a really monotone browser landscape by picking only a handful of browsers that THEY themselves say should exist, and all others can go die because they're insignificant, or in other cases, some say that only IE matters and all others shouldn't bother.

PGHammer said,
That is indeed the problem; the US should be noting that THE EC's solutions usually *do not work*.

The N versions (XP) failed, socialized (in other words, *rationed*) medicine has failed (else, why are the leadership of the EC coming in droves to the US for critical treatments?), and their attempts at reining in Microsoft because their homegrown businesses have failed at straight-up competition with them have also failed. Note that all the browsers that are actually competing successfully with IE are not based in (or anywhere near) the EU. (In fact, all are based primarily in the United States.) Also, the comment of yours "given that Microsoft is a monopoly" is "making a postulation"; in other words, it's only true because you say it is (which is what a postulate is; it's an assumption). Nobody with a clue (not even Richard Stallman) has claimed that WMP has the position of preference due to monopoly practices. In fact, there are plenty of products that are competition with WMP that are freely available (and some are even based ON WMP, such as Creative MediaSource 5, which is what I use for MP3 files, and at times even as a video player, because it offers some features that WMP does not, even on Windows 7).

The above post I find quite interesting. "The N versions (XP) failed, socialized (in other words, *rationed*) medicine has failed (else, why are the leadership of the EC coming in droves to the US for critical treatments?)"

What exactly are you referring to? Is European medicine somehow deficient compared to US medicine? Please explain your statement, if you like you can include a reference to Obama's attempt to make the US health system fairer and more accessible, you know, a bit more "socialized". Please, since you have now made the statement, list, with references, the European leaders "coming in droves" to the US for treatment. Perhaps the EU "should be noting" that "Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75" and "Poverty in the United States is cyclical in nature with roughly 12% to 17% living below the federal poverty line at any given point in time, and roughly 40% falling below the poverty line at some point within a 10 year time span". [Source: Wikipedia] All of whom obviously have excellent health care plans.

"their attempts at reining in Microsoft because their homegrown businesses have failed at straight-up competition with them have also failed." Hmm. So, it's OK to have just one company then, as long as it's American? And is it just the software business, we're talking about? Because there's quite a few European companies which we will have to have removed if there are only to be American companies in the running. You know, moderately successful "socialist" companies like Daimler Benz, Volkswagen, Stihl, Rolls Royce, Airbus, Porsche, Dyson... it's quite a long list covering many sectors. And guess what? They all market in and are subject to United States competition laws. Funny that.

"Nobody with a clue (not even Richard Stallman) has claimed that WMP has the position of preference due to monopoly practices." What has Stallman got to do with this? Has (US citizen) Stallman ever made any comments of any sort about Windows Media Player? Or are you just slandering the man, like some sort of Laura DiDio, to further your argument?

At the end of the day the EU has made a decision and I think most people who haven't got an agenda accept that making the playing field a bit more level is probably a good thing. People, especially those on the US side of the Atlantic, tend to forget that the US Department of Justice imposes conditions and levies fines on European companies selling goods and services in the States. It's a global economy, get used to it. Microsoft seem to have. Even if it means selling software to Godless commies.

I'm usually the Apple guy and would say HAHA M$ IN UR FACE, but come on, it IS their product. Stupid Opera with it's 1% share had to blame it on the fact that people were stupid (unable to download and install a different browser). EU had to be the savior and bust the horrific IE-Windows monopoly.

It's not an Apple vs Microsoft thing for sure, it's just what people use, and people don't use Opera. I recommend Firefox to everyone I know as an alternative to IE, and most now use it. Opera is insignificant in the Browser space, and they know it, and got butt hurt by it so went crying about it.

I wonder how the story would play out if Firefox made a serious run for the mobility market and competed with Opera on handheld devices.

I'm not the sort to hope for a company to go out of business (Nathan's hotdogs aside), but it stands out to me how vulnerable Opera may actually be to ANY competitor. It doesn't seem, in this instance, that MS is doing anything particularly bad, so much as simply competing at all.

There is a mobile FF in the works isn't there? I forget the name. But anyways, it seems that the only place left Opera has is the mobile space. If that does go at some point then it'll be doom and gloom time.

And if you think about it, Android will have chrome mobile, Apple has safari, MS is updating and working on IE mobile etc. If these work as good or better than Opera mobile then soon there is no need for it at all.

CrimsonRedMk said,
I'm usually the Apple guy and would say HAHA M$ IN UR FACE, but come on, it IS their product. Stupid Opera with it's 1% share had to blame it on the fact that people were stupid (unable to download and install a different browser). EU had to be the savior and bust the horrific IE-Windows monopoly.

So MS broke the law, what do you think there penalty should be? Or do you have no objections to big companies breaking the law?

They actually didn't break the law, because bundling a non-commercial product with a commercial product doesn't count as tying. Good luck actually finding a law that would be relevant in the case of including IE in Windows.

This is just what happens when people who are just barely computer literate (how many politicians and bureaucrats do you think even know the difference between Save and Save As?) oversee tech industry regulation.

Joshie said,
They actually didn't break the law, because bundling a non-commercial product with a commercial product doesn't count as tying. Good luck actually finding a law that would be relevant in the case of including IE in Windows.

You don't think live search or bing generates income for MS?? The browser might not be sold, but there sure is a lot of money to be made by being the portal to the internet, that is to say indirect revenue, for why else would MS devote so many resources to it? I mean Mozilla earns over 90% of it's income from google search, so to say it's non-commercial is either idiocy or delusion. Furthermore, antitrust laws in the EU makes no distinction between commercial and non-commercial; if it harms competition, then it needs to be corrected regardless of direct revenues.

Joshie said,
This is just what happens when people who are just barely computer literate (how many politicians and bureaucrats do you think even know the difference between Save and Save As?) oversee tech industry regulation.

The EC solicited opinions from many sources, the public, software companies, OEM's etc. This wasn't dreamt up on a whim by ignorant bureaucrats, but a collaboration across many sectors. And we can see it's had an impact by the decries from MS fans.

Eastwind said,
MS just should not do it IMO... This is outright wrong and force of other products.

No choice. MS has to sell its product to make $$.

Eastwind said,
MS just should not do it IMO... This is outright wrong and force of other products.

If they want to do business in the EU they have to comply with the laws. Simple as that. They are welcome to leave the EU though if they wish

should I expect Pepsi to sell Coca-cola in their soda machines soon, you know..can't have any resemblance of anti-competitive practices can we?

ChrisJ1968 said,
should I expect Pepsi to sell Coca-cola in their soda machines soon, you know..can't have any resemblance of anti-competitive practices can we? :)

funny you mentioned that. In fact, shops across the EU are not allowed to stock one OR the other brand. They have to stock both Pepsi and Cola with the same visibility on shelves due to competition laws!

ManosK said,
funny you mentioned that. In fact, shops across the EU are not allowed to stock one OR the other brand. They have to stock both Pepsi and Cola with the same visibility on shelves due to competition laws!

That is pure bull****

That's an apples and oranges comparison...

Maybe another one is tap water versus bottled water. You can choose not to drink tap water, but it's almost available everywhere and for a relatively low cost. Bottled water advertises itself as healthier for you (which is debatable) but it's not as readily available as tap water, and is pricier.

ManosK said,
In fact, shops across the EU are not allowed to stock one OR the other brand. They have to stock both Pepsi and Cola with the same visibility on shelves due to competition laws!

I wouldn't know a supermarket here that only sells one coke cariant.

Eh, as a Firefox user who disagrees with this whole case, I'll just select IE to spite people, and then get Firefox form elsewhere.
This is the most retarded thing I've ever heard of to be honest. Next up is a company who've developed a new TCP/IP stack that is "50% faster" than the Windows one, and they object to the fact windows users don't get the chance to use theirs because it's not bundled with the OS by default...

What this all boils down to is "Hi, my name is Opera, I'm a great browser, but you have to pay to use me." "Hmm, never mind mind I'll use IE6 instead as it's free, I can't be bothered paying for a browser." Firefox comes along and shows what a free browser can do. "Hi I'm Opera, and I'm now free, please keep using us, even if you have been leaving in droves to Firefox because it's free, we're free now too!." "OK now we have almost zero market share, let's cry like a bitch to the EU..."

Lannister said,
Eh, as a Firefox user who disagrees with this whole case, I'll just select IE to spite people, and then get Firefox form elsewhere.

Not quite sure how that will make you win, or change anything at all??

Lannister said,
Eh, as a Firefox user who disagrees with this whole case, I'll just select IE to spite people, and then get Firefox form elsewhere.
This is the most retarded thing I've ever heard of to be honest. Next up is a company who've developed a new TCP/IP stack that is "50% faster" than the Windows one, and they object to the fact windows users don't get the chance to use theirs because it's not bundled with the OS by default...

What this all boils down to is "Hi, my name is Opera, I'm a great browser, but you have to pay to use me." "Hmm, never mind mind I'll use IE6 instead as it's free, I can't be bothered paying for a browser." Firefox comes along and shows what a free browser can do. "Hi I'm Opera, and I'm now free, please keep using us, even if you have been leaving in droves to Firefox because it's free, we're free now too!." "OK now we have almost zero market share, let's cry like a bitch to the EU..."


Why it is stupid ?

Is it more stupid than MS bundling for free 2 Sega games with the XBox to beat Nintendo and the Gamecube ?

Wait no it is not. Because the console market is a competitive one and if MS promotes their games only the XBox brand will die quickly.

In a competitive market MS could not and would not promote its software only.

If this proposal is accepted, could it mean that full install versions of Windows 7 will be available alongside the Upgrade version earlier? Furthermore, would this affect Microsoft's European pricing strategy from previous announcements?

My interpretation of this is that IE is installed as default but a splash screen comes up (On first use of IE? On first install like the "Welcome Screen" in Vista?) saying you could use another browser if you wish. I wonder how many general PC users would take the time and trouble to change their browser, particularly if they are unsure what it would do to their Windows installation (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)?

Finally, in the European Commission press release it states, "In addition OEMs would be able to install competing web browsers, set those as default and disable Internet Explorer should they so wish." Can this not already be done through "Turn Windows features on or off"? If it's a violation of Windows distribution licencing, then can Microsoft just change that?

I'm the maker of browser XYZ and this proposed ballot screen is unfair to all browsers listed after the 7th position. This causes a disproportionate disadvantage to my company and companies like mine who only desire to compete on a level playing field. Browsers such as IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera have an unfair advantage by being listed first, and without having to scroll to see them as choices.

I propose that the browsers be listed in a randomized order. But the randomizer function cannot be created by Microsoft. Instead, in the interest of fairness, I propose the function be a joint collaboration between nations, tied to the radioactive decay of Cesium 137, guarded by the United Nations at an internationally funded and owned facility....

Yeah, you see where I'm going with this?

ModernMech said,
I propose that the browsers be listed in a randomized order.

Agreed. The list should be randomised for it to be equal. This includes IE, as there is no justification for it to be first in the list.
ModernMech said,
Yeah, you see where I'm going with this?

Yes I do. On a tangent to the far side of the orion belt.

I found it interesting that, at least to me, IE8 has the most convincing description. Chrome's is downright dull, and the other three sound too hypish, particularly Opera (though IE's has a touch of that too, to be honest).

Besides, I think a great deal of less-knowledgeable users will still pick IE since, you know, its the only one with the word 'Internet' in the title. ^_^

Agreed, if I was someone who knows nothing about each of the browsers, I still wouldn't have picked most of the browsers on that list because they all sound so pompous, especially Opera.

Maybe they just haven't planned for enough ahead, but why is that selection in IE? Was this MS's way of appealing to the EU and keeping IE at the same time? All this for going in a big circle, this seems like a waste of tax payer's money to me, poor Europeans.

It basically is, since the argument is that you need a browser to get other ones, and MS isn't going to add other software into it's windows install DVDs, thus, IE has to be there in the end.

Now you get a first "ballot" screen when you run IE the first time. Most people will be like, well, it's already here, so no need. Others will probably just get FF who were going to get that either way.

GP007 said,
It basically is, since the argument is that you need a browser to get other ones, and MS isn't going to add other software into it's windows install DVDs, thus, IE has to be there in the end.

Now you get a first "ballot" screen when you run IE the first time. Most people will be like, well, it's already here, so no need. Others will probably just get FF who were going to get that either way.

I'm sure by tomorrow we'll get a press release from Opera stating that it shouldn't only be a ballot screen choice, but it should be without IE8 installed to begin with.

And then they'll probably also have that Opera should be first on the list

FISKER_Q said,
And then they'll probably also have that Opera should be first on the list :)

They'll argue that the ballot should be in random order. Also, Windows should be able to read the user's intent, so if the click looks like it was intended to hit the Opera link but actually hit another link, it should install Opera.

This really makes no sense. IE is installed by default so we've come full circle. This just means that the problem isn't with the restriction of choice or any anti-competitive practices. The fact that the accepted solution is merely an ad showed that the problem really is the lack of recognition of other browsers and thus it isn't MS's fault that the rest of them don't spend enough on their marketing. So now they want MS to do the marketing for them.

Maybe it should be like when you move your mouse over IE to install it, any other browser install button pops up instead! IE install button plays "catch me if you can".

Jebadiah said,
Maybe it should be like when you move your mouse over IE to install it, any other browser install button pops up instead! IE install button plays "catch me if you can".

When you mouse over the IE link you get a little pop up that says "Are you sure you don't want to try Opera?"

how the heck you say tax money ?

MS still needs to pay :P , this wont be gone with a pat in the back , thank you for doing what we always wanted - a choice ( stupid or not - since well it should had been at the time of setup/install - so we could avoid IE installation and put what we wanted - Dont tell me that setup cant connect to the internet and d/l it )

kheldorin said,
it isn't MS's fault that the rest of them don't spend enough on their marketing. So now they want MS to do the marketing for them.

Opera has already admitted that they don't have the funds to promote their browser to being with. It's a bit sad that when Opera was a pay for browser that it didn't sell that well and they can barely give it away now that it's free.

iamwhoiam said,
It's a bit sad that when Opera was a pay for browser that it didn't sell that well and they can barely give it away now that it's free.

I ran out of pity after this debacle

splur said,
Maybe they just haven't planned for enough ahead, but why is that selection in IE? Was this MS's way of appealing to the EU and keeping IE at the same time? All this for going in a big circle, this seems like a waste of tax payer's money to me, poor Europeans.

not tax payers mate, well sort of we will pay for the EU to do their jobs (SARCASM MUCH JOBS MY ARSE) and they still fine millions of euros does it go back to the taxpayer that's the question that should be asked.

splur said,
Maybe they just haven't planned for enough ahead, but why is that selection in IE?

This is a mock-up, however it is a bit strange. I doubt the EC will be sated by this if it's the end result.
splur said,
Was this MS's way of appealing to the EU and keeping IE at the same time?

It looks like that might be the case. If it is, it will fail. Any contrived attempt to circumvent competition laws will only result in further sanctions.
splur said,
All this for going in a big circle, this seems like a waste of tax payer's money to me, poor Europeans.

It's their job to enforce antitrust laws, so how can that be a waste of money? Furthermore, I hope the US takes note of the EC's victory and imposes the same ruling there.

@cerealfreak

you're right, EU made money from this although it probably won't be used to pay for legal fees nor would it be put back towards the tax payers or improving EU. Bureaucracy is very dirty like that and the EU as an organization seems like it's completely riddled with extended bureaucracy and politics (as blank of an accusation as that is, you know I'm right). I did read that MS is forced to pay for part of the legal fees on the commission's side though, so not terrible on tax payers.

Haha, this is actually well played by Microsoft (In b4 Opera QQ).

So IE8 installs by default, and has to be opt-out, and browsers still remain opt-in, so basically this is changing absolutely nothing, Good job Microsoft.

FISKER_Q said,
Haha, this is actually well played by Microsoft (In b4 Opera QQ).

How so? They were forced to make concession after concession. Seems like they are enacting damage limitation to me.

FISKER_Q said,
So IE8 installs by default, and has to be opt-out, and browsers still remain opt-in, so basically this is changing absolutely nothing, Good job Microsoft.

This is a mock-up. I highly doubt that IE will be the default, or even first in that list, because that again would raise questions of parity. And this changes absolutely everything I'm afraid. Users actually have a choice of their default browser instead of it being forced upon them.

LoveThePenguin said,
This is a mock-up. I highly doubt that IE will be the default, or even first in that list, because that again would raise questions of parity. And this changes absolutely everything I'm afraid. Users actually have a choice of their default browser instead of it being forced upon them.

As i understood from the proposal (of course it could be changed as you mention) they will show this when IE is the default browser.

LoveThePenguin said,
This is a mock-up. I highly doubt that IE will be the default, or even first in that list, because that again would raise questions of parity. And this changes absolutely everything I'm afraid. Users actually have a choice of their default browser instead of it being forced upon them.

Why not? It's exactly the same with selecting a search engine for IE, you get Bing as the first option. I think it's the same with the accelerators.

LoveThePenguin said,
How so? They were forced to make concession after concession. Seems like they are enacting damage limitation to me.

No, it will probably be like this. MS are not good enough to write something like wget, so it everything has to be done from a browser.

LoveThePenguin said,
This is a mock-up. I highly doubt that IE will be the default, or even first in that list, because that again would raise questions of parity. And this changes absolutely everything I'm afraid. Users actually have a choice of their default browser instead of it being forced upon them.

Somebody has to be first in the list. How would it be any better if Firefox was first, or Chrome or Opera?

The question I want answering is this: Just who exactly decides what browsers will go onto this ballot screen? Will there be some kind of criteria based test to get on there? If I write "Rysters Web Browser 3000", am I entitled to get it on the list? Also who decides the order? What gives Firefox the right to be displayed first after IE for example?

LoveThePenguin said,
How so? They were forced to make concession after concession. Seems like they are enacting damage limitation to me.


Or from a less fanboyish viewpoint, they're trying to pre-empt the EC who would probably make a ruling that would require major changes to Windows 7 that would require a recall. Thus delaying the European release, thus making alot of consumers and OEMs unhappy.

And please, drop the spiel about users having a browser forced on them. The reason why IE is dominant is because the market is Ignorant and/or Apathetic to what a browser is, and is more that likely unaware of the existance of alternatives. If there was more education of end-users, and the other browser vendors advertised in the media, we might see a uptake in that portion of the market.

If it was me i would have at the very top part of the page INSTALL IE then scroll down for the others and opera being listed last
I dont see why MS should be forced to do this

tunafish said,
If it was me i would have at the very top part of the page INSTALL IE then scroll down for the others and opera being listed last
I dont see why MS should be forced to do this

Aye, I agree.

tunafish said,
If it was me i would have at the very top part of the page INSTALL IE then scroll down for the others and opera being listed last
I dont see why MS should be forced to do this

If it was me I would make it so they could never install ie, then we would have a lot less security problems, a lot less botnets sending spam to everyone, and it would be a lot easier for web developers everywhere. Microsoft has messed up every implementation of ie since they bought the company, they have had there chance.

They did agree to the proposal... it wasn't like they were dragged kicking and screaming into this idea of a ballot screen.

cakesy said,
If it was me I would make it so they could never install ie, then we would have a lot less security problems, a lot less botnets sending spam to everyone, and it would be a lot easier for web developers everywhere. Microsoft has messed up every implementation of ie since they bought the company, they have had there chance.


Bought what company? If you meant Spyglass... first off, they didn't "buy" Spyglass, they simply licensed Mosaic. Second, there's no "since" as IE was built off Mosaic from day one.

rm20010 said,
They did agree to the proposal... it wasn't like they were dragged kicking and screaming into this idea of a ballot screen.



Bought what company? If you meant Spyglass... first off, they didn't "buy" Spyglass, they simply licensed Mosaic. Second, there's no "since" as IE was built off Mosaic from day one.



I'm thinking cakesy is smoking some good stuff and not sharing, comng up with such things.

IE7 and now IE8 on Vista and now Win7 is one of, if not, THE most secure browser out there. You could argue about standards and supporting them or waiting for them to be ratifide, that's a different story.

cakesy said,

If it was me I would make it so they could never install ie, then we would have a lot less security problems, a lot less botnets sending spam to everyone, and it would be a lot easier for web developers everywhere. Microsoft has messed up every implementation of ie since they bought the company, they have had there chance.

If it was me, blah blah blah, if it was any other company they wouldn't have to do this at all, do you know of any other company that have to promote their competitors products?? It's ********. People want an out of the box experience not having to click on multiple screens. Having set up hundreds of computers, for my clients and hundreds of websites I am far from an advocate of IE but I am for fair proactice. Forcing one company to do this is unfair regardless of how you look at it!!!

cakesy said,
If it was me I would make it so they could never install ie, then we would have a lot less security problems, a lot less botnets sending spam to everyone, and it would be a lot easier for web developers everywhere. Microsoft has messed up every implementation of ie since they bought the company, they have had there chance.

+1
Agreed, IE is the bane of the internet. Without it, the world would be a better place.

tunafish said,
If it was me i would have at the very top part of the page INSTALL IE then scroll down for the others and opera being listed last

Antitrust stipulations are not optional.

tunafish said,
I dont see why MS should be forced to do this

Because they want to do business in the EU? This isn't the US remember where corporations can get away with anything.

This all goes back to the fact that the rules need to change. Large companies should not have to appoligize for their success and then immediately cater to the little guys. They should not be allow to complain and make the market leader advertise for them in their own product.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The fact that Firefox still exists and the fact that it is closing in on its BILLIONTH download means that IE is not Anti-competitive. If Firefox can get ahead without suing their competitor, without complaining to a governmental body, without coming out with inaccurate and false ads. Then that kinda tells me that Opera sucks. If they had a browser that was actually half way decent or offer something that more than its current 1% share wanted to use. They would be in the same seat as Firefox.

Opera says, "Damn I can't get anywhere with my browser. Let me complain and in turn get the EU more money, get MS to get rid of IE, then maybe we can have a chance.." That won't work Opera. If it sucks with IE its still going to suck after you have gotten rid of IE.

statm1 said,
This all goes back to the fact that the rules need to change. Large companies should not have to appoligize for their success and then immediately cater to the little guys. They should not be allow to complain and make the market leader advertise for them in their own product.

You have no idea, do you. I suppose that standard oil should never have been broken up, or AT&T. Having one company control everything is a good thing isn't it?? Having one company charge whatever it wants because they are the only supplier, how could that be bad. Mabye you should move to communist china then comrad? Me, I prefer the free market, and that includes having rules to stop companies become so big and taking over control of everything.

Maybe if MS didn't go around breaking the law, the would get treated better. Maybe if they made a decent browser, so many people wouldn't hate IE. Maybe if they hadn't bought out Vista, they would be a in a better position and be able to fight this more.

cakesy said,
Maybe if MS didn't go around breaking the law, the would get treated better. Maybe if they made a decent browser, so many people wouldn't hate IE. Maybe if they hadn't bought out Vista, they would be a in a better position and be able to fight this more.

What in the hell are you talking about? If so many people hate IE, then why is it the top browser?

What do you mean "bought out Vista?" MS developed Vista which it appears you do not use. What does Vista have to do with being in a better position?

Finally, MS does not "control everything." There are choices and have been choices. AT&T is a bad analogy since people do not have a choice when it comes to landline phone service. If I want a land line, I have to use AT&T. If I want to use my PC, I can install Windows, Ubuntu (or any other distro), or buy a Mac. The only limitation is the OS I choose. No one forces anything on me. I understand about how MS forced the OEM partners, but they have also paid their fine and are complying. I don't remember the order saying, "You must allow the user to choose which browser they want, even if it is not yours."

RangerLG said,
What in the hell are you talking about? If so many people hate IE, then why is it the top browser?

What do you mean "bought out Vista?" MS developed Vista which it appears you do not use. What does Vista have to do with being in a better position?

Finally, MS does not "control everything." There are choices and have been choices. AT&T is a bad analogy since people do not have a choice when it comes to landline phone service. If I want a land line, I have to use AT&T. If I want to use my PC, I can install Windows, Ubuntu (or any other distro), or buy a Mac. The only limitation is the OS I choose. No one forces anything on me. I understand about how MS forced the OEM partners, but they have also paid their fine and are complying. I don't remember the order saying, "You must allow the user to choose which browser they want, even if it is not yours."

1) The reason IE is number 1 is that it is the default installed browser in Windows. You could make it Firefox or Opera as the default one installed with no other browser already on it and guess what? They would be the top browsers market share wise.

2) If you would read the context and not just the word of the sentence you would see he meant to say "brought out vista".. as in he feels Vista should of never been brought out in the first place like how Windows ME should of never been brought out. Windows 7 should of been the next OS after Windows XP.

cerealfreak said,

If it was me, blah blah blah, if it was any other company they wouldn't have to do this at all, do you know of any other company that have to promote their competitors products?? It's ********. People want an out of the box experience not having to click on multiple screens. Having set up hundreds of computers, for my clients and hundreds of websites I am far from an advocate of IE but I am for fair proactice. Forcing one company to do this is unfair regardless of how you look at it!!!

Windows is not IE. Firefox is not a competitor product of Windows at all. The Windows team should be free to do what they need to do to maximize sales and profit. And promoting popular third party applications should be part of it. It just makes sense to say to your users hey we got Firefox it's cool and popular.

In the console market MS promotes 3rd party games A ******* LOT. The reason ? It is a competitive market and MS can't just sit down and promote its stuff only. To sell the XBox 360 MS needs to say hey! we got this popular and hot 3rd party game too. That's why MS wants people to know they got Final Fantasy just like Sony. If MS had an almost complete monopoly in the console market you would not see it spend that much money promoting third party games.

Competition is always good. All parts of MS should be free to do what they need to do to compete, maximize sales and profit. And promoting popular 3rd party applications should logically in a competitive market be part of what the marketing dep of an OS team plan to do big time.

Maybe somewhat irrelevant, but is it just me or is Internet explorer listed as an option to download, while being viewed from Internet explorer (which is pre installed under the proposal?) O.o

Suppose its just a mock-up though

I wonder what happens if you click something else. Will IE8 uninstall itself after the system notices there's another browser installed? Judging from the text, it looks more like you have to go to Turn off Windows features and uninstall IE8 manually. So nothing really changes, although it would be nice to see people actually taking the time to try the alternatives to IE.

In any case this will make life easier because now you can just click to get to each browser's page. I have to install all of them anyway (web developer) so it's nice to have the links in one place.

One of many questionable decisions. What about the order also? If IE is first in that list, that gives it an advantage again! It should be randomly generated in my humble opinion.

Bag said,
Maybe somewhat irrelevant, but is it just me or is Internet explorer listed as an option to download, while being viewed from Internet explorer (which is pre installed under the proposal?) O.o

Suppose its just a mock-up though :p

This is a good thing, because if your version of IE is older than two weeks, you will need to get the latest, since someone has probably found a new security vulnerability.

good move since this would allow users to easily get the most updated version when they first install windows, instead of installing an older version, then needing to update it.

some_guy said,
good move since this would allow users to easily get the most updated version when they first install windows, instead of installing an older version, then needing to update it.

Yes, but funny how it takes a EC antitrust case to get the ball rolling don't you think? Typical MS, dragging their heels at every opportunity.

Oh jeez... This is going to be a nightmare for Microsoft. They should make those browsers pass some sort of certification given that they are going to be expected to provide some support by users. I firmly believe that companies shouldn't be expected to provide other companies' software with theirs...

On another note, it's a shame that Opera's included. LOL Would have been funny if it wasn't. Let Opera whine about that... haha I also find it interesting that Opera's description is the longest and most chest pounding of all the descriptions... They should invest that time in designing a good browser.

I also would have found it funny if Opera wasn't included....not surprised it has the longest description currently.

As for you final statement....why invest time in improving the browser if they currently have no competition?

mwpeck said,
I also would have found it funny if Opera wasn't included....not surprised it has the longest description currently.

As for you final statement....why invest time in improving the browser if they currently have no competition?


if they want to make it fair, Opera shouldn't be allowed to set their own description "best web browsing experience".

M_Lyons10 said,
Oh jeez... This is going to be a nightmare for Microsoft. They should make those browsers pass some sort of certification given that they are going to be expected to provide some support by users. I firmly believe that companies shouldn't be expected to provide other companies' software with theirs...

On another note, it's a shame that Opera's included. LOL Would have been funny if it wasn't. Let Opera whine about that... haha I also find it interesting that Opera's description is the longest and most chest pounding of all the descriptions... They should invest that time in designing a good browser.

MS provides no support for the software anyway, so I don't know what you are talking about. Unless you get a business support package, and I am pretty sure business can figure out what to do...

Sounds good for the competition. It won't hurt IE, as long as their users actually prefer this browser, so with confidence in their own products, MS should have little to worry about. I think this is useful, not even really for the position IE has in the market, but due to how extremely important it is to open the web in order to make companies more willing to develop browsers following standards well, rather than falling for the temptation of focusing on inventing their own standards. The consequence from this is much better web applications and a more rapid evolution of the Internet, a place many spend more time at today than watching e.g. TV. In this sense, web browsers have a special place, and can't really be compared to e.g. an Office application, or an art suite.

Jugalator said,
Sounds good for the competition. It won't hurt IE, as long as their users actually prefer this browser, so with confidence in their own products, MS should have little to worry about. I think this is useful, not even really for the position IE has in the market, but due to how extremely important it is to open the web in order to make companies more willing to develop browsers following standards well, rather than falling for the temptation of focusing on inventing their own standards. The consequence from this is much better web applications and a more rapid evolution of the Internet, a place many spend more time at today than watching e.g. TV. In this sense, web browsers have a special place, and can't really be compared to e.g. an Office application, or an art suite.

I agree with standardization for the internet, but that has been improving. IE7 and 8 are much more standards compliant than IE6, which didn't believe in standards at all. LOL I would be curious to see what gets the downloads myself. I hope those statistics become available...

At the time IE6 was first released it was more standards compliant than Netscape was at the time. People seem to forget this. What hurt MS is that they let IE6 sit there for too long till Vista was done.

The best thing and what should have happend years ago was to untie IE releases to Windows ones. Now we can get a new version of IE before a new version of Windows, we don't have to wait. IE9 should be out before we even see alpha code of Windows 8.

Jugalator said,
Sounds good for the competition. It won't hurt IE, as long as their users actually prefer this browser, so with confidence in their own products, MS should have little to worry about. I think this is useful, not even really for the position IE has in the market, but due to how extremely important it is to open the web in order to make companies more willing to develop browsers following standards well, rather than falling for the temptation of focusing on inventing their own standards. The consequence from this is much better web applications and a more rapid evolution of the Internet, a place many spend more time at today than watching e.g. TV. In this sense, web browsers have a special place, and can't really be compared to e.g. an Office application, or an art suite.

+1

Agreed. If IE is truly the most beloved browser, then let it earn this honor on a "level playing field". However I fully understand why MS has taken this upon them, that is, they do not wish for the EC to define how the ballot screen is implemented, for this would weaken their control of the system.

M_Lyons10 said,
I agree with standardization for the internet, but that has been improving. IE7 and 8 are much more standards compliant than IE6, which didn't believe in standards at all. LOL I would be curious to see what gets the downloads myself. I hope those statistics become available...


IE 7 wasn't that great either. IE 8 was really the first attempt to be fully standards compliant.

Its things like this that make me wish Apple was the market leader so they had to be forced to advertise for other competing companies inside OSX. Apple would be the bankroll for the EU. No you can't bundle iTunes or Quicktime because we said so. No no, you can't bundle Safari in there either.. Too bad.. Microsoft will sue you if you include a security suite.. (Yes, if apple was the market leader, they would need a security suite) Thats just life.. Your prices are to high, lower them or we will fine you 500 trillion euros.

See how Mr. Jobs loves being told how to run his business and what products he can and cannot include with OSX.

statm1 said,
Its things like that make me wish Apple was the market leader so they had to be forced to advertise for other competing companies inside OSX. Apple would be the bankroll for the EU. No you can't bundle iTunes or Quicktime because we said so. No no, you can't bundle Safari in there either.. Too bad.. Microsoft will sue you if you include a security suite.. (Yes, if apple was the market leader, they would need a security suite) Thats just life.. Your prices are to high, lower them or we will fine you 500 trillion euros.

See how Mr. Jobs loves being told how to run his business and what products he can and cannot include with OSX.

HAHAHA, that would be interesting. I think Apple's going to eventually get themselves in trouble with their handling of iTunes.

Apple was once the market leader for consumer computers. But that was more than two decades ago. :P

I can't see them being the market leader anytime soon. But as other Apple users elsewhere have said, that may be for the better. Tighter control over their software and out of box experience is only possible in the position they're currently in right now.

statm1 said,
Its things like this that make me wish Apple was the market leader so they had to be forced to advertise for other competing companies inside OSX. Apple would be the bankroll for the EU. No you can't bundle iTunes or Quicktime because we said so. No no, you can't bundle Safari in there either.. Too bad.. Microsoft will sue you if you include a security suite.. (Yes, if apple was the market leader, they would need a security suite) Thats just life.. Your prices are to high, lower them or we will fine you 500 trillion euros.

See how Mr. Jobs loves being told how to run his business and what products he can and cannot include with OSX.

What the hell has this got to do with Apple? Nothing at all. Do you really love apple so much that you have to introduce it into every story?

cakesy said,


What the hell has this got to do with Apple? Nothing at all. Do you really love apple so much that you have to introduce it into every story?


Well, Apple is much bigger offender of bundling their software, but they keep getitng away with it.

cakesy said,
What the hell has this got to do with Apple? Nothing at all. Do you really love apple so much that you have to introduce it into every story?

It's an analogy. Only two companies I can think of make both an OS and a browser (unless you count Google), so there aren't many options for comparison. Do you love Apple so much you have to object to it being discussed?

cakesy said,
What the hell has this got to do with Apple? Nothing at all. Do you really love apple so much that you have to introduce it into every story?

Did you even read his post...

statm1 said,
Its things like this that make me wish Apple was the market leader so they had to be forced to advertise for other competing companies inside OSX. Apple would be the bankroll for the EU. No you can't bundle iTunes or Quicktime because we said so. No no, you can't bundle Safari in there either.. Too bad.. Microsoft will sue you if you include a security suite..

Fortunately wishing does not make it true.

statm1 said,
Your prices are to high, lower them or we will fine you 500 trillion euros

What would you prefer - A Government which aggressively enforces competition laws and thus consumer rights, or one which sits idly by while monopolistic abuses go unchecked? I know I prefer the EU over the US any day of the week.

statm1 said,
See how Mr. Jobs loves being told how to run his business and what products he can and cannot include with OSX.

Everyone is treated equally in the EU. If Apple abused a monopolistic position, they would be punished just the same. But they haven't committed any such crimes and therefore are not subject to these punishments however much you would like that to be so.

LoveThePenguin said,
What would you prefer - A Government which aggressively enforces competition laws and thus consumer rights, or one which sits idly by while monopolistic abuses go unchecked? I know I prefer the EU over the US any day of the week.


I hear this often from people who don't know what they are talking about. I doubt you even know what law MS broke back in the Windows 95 days. Was it including IE with Windows? No, it was not!! There is nothing wrong with adding new features to an existing product. Sure, it makes competition harder for anyway who was selling those features separately but that is business, you have to fight everyday to keep earning your customers. If a big name comes in with a lot of money and blows you out of the water that is unfortunate but it is the way capitalism works.

Back to Microsoft. The anticompetitive practices MS was convicted of over a decade ago in the US had to do with their OEM license agreement. It had nothing to do with what was included on the Windows install CD. MS basically made a rule that any OEM who wanted to include Windows on their computer was required to have the IE icon on the desktop by default and could not include any other browser pre-installed on the computer. The idea was that company A cannot use its market power to prevent company B from doing business with company C. HP should be allowed to include Netscape if they wanted to, that was the thinking. Computer A can undercut C and do everything possible to make its own products cheaper and easier to use (bundling them free with another product for example), that is just competition. So in other words, MS has stopped the practice that got them in trouble with the US and paid hundreds of millions of fines. In some states they are still working out settlement details to this day. MS as they are currently doing business is in line with US law.

The EU has taken a very different position that might seem to protect the little guys but in my option hurts the industry as a hole and is not very logical. They basically drew a line in the sand around the Windows 95 timeframe and will not allow Microsoft to add any new functionality. They can enhance existing and add a completely new idea so long as it doesn̢۪t step on anyone̢۪s toes, but no, they cannot chose to add something if any company is already selling it. I think this hurts the industry because it prevents the feature set of the OS package from expanding to include the things people expect out of the box. Who wants to buy Windows and know they need to buy 5 other add-on products to make it work as expected?

All I can say is that I am glad the EU started getting picky around the Windows 95 days. Could you imagine what the world would be like if they did this in the early 80s? Early versions of DOS were basically only a kernel with a VERY basic shell and a few simple commands. File managers, picture viewers/editors, disk defrag utilities, GUI window managers and so on all had to be bought separately. And yes, when MS started including those features in with later versions of DOS and ultimately Windows the companies selling those product had a hard time. But can you honestly say you prefer the EU any day of the week if it had led to a situation where nothing could be bundled whatsoever and all those things I just mentioned could not be included with Windows for the sake of protecting the little guy?

LoveThePenguin said,
Everyone is treated equally in the EU. If Apple abused a monopolistic position, they would be punished just the same. But they haven't committed any such crimes and therefore are not subject to these punishments however much you would like that to be so.


Umm??? Can you please explain the differance between MS including a media player and web browser with their OS and Apply including those same things?

I don't think I have ever seen so much EU fanboy FUD in a single posting before :-)

sphbecker said,
Umm??? Can you please explain the differance between MS including a media player and web browser with their OS and Apply including those same things?

The differance[sic] is that MS has a dominant position, Apple doesn't. Only idiots refuse to understand that.

LoveThePenguin said,
What would you prefer - A Government which aggressively enforces competition laws and thus consumer rights, or one which sits idly by while monopolistic abuses go unchecked? I know I prefer the EU over the US any day of the week.

Then you must be a socialist!

CuCumber said,
The differance[sic] is that MS has a dominant position, Apple doesn't. Only idiots refuse to understand that.


That was my point; the only difference is market share, not behavior. The poster stated that the EU laws are enforces equally across the board, MS broke laws and Apple has not.

sphbecker said,
That was my point; the only difference is market share, not behavior. The poster stated that the EU laws are enforces equally across the board, MS broke laws and Apple has not.

They are enforced equally across the board, but Apple is not on the same board as Microsoft. OK, now this has been explained a 1000 time here, the people refusing to understand this now are just being obtuse and deliberately ignorant. It is just like how AT&T were broken up, but other telecom companies in the US were not.

This is a great decision and it would be good to see the US government grow some balls. The whole MS saga is a disgrace, it should have been broken up just like AT&T, standard oil, and you would have two strong companies actually competing against each other and making things better, rather than one trying to dominate everything.

nekrosoft13 said,

Well, Apple is much bigger offender of bundling their software, but they keep getitng away with it.

Much bigger offender ?

As big yes, much bigger definately not.