Microsoft reaches agreement with EU over browser choice

The European Commission said today that it had accepted Microsoft's commitments to give users browser choice.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will need to supply a ballot screen for users to choose their preferred browser. OEMs will also be able to ship new PCs in Europe without Internet Explorer pre-installed. If Microsoft fails to commit to the agreement within the next five years then EC regulators will impose a fine of up to 10% of Microsoft's total annual turnover without having to prove any violation of EU antitrust rules.

In a statement issued today, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "Millions of European consumers will benefit from this decision by having a free choice about which web browser they use. Such choice will not only serve to improve people's experience of the internet now but also act as an incentive for web browser companies to innovate and offer people better browsers in the future."

The BBC notes, the browser dispute has lasted 10 years and resulted in the EU imposed fines totalling 1.68bn euros ($2.44bn, £1.5bn). Microsoft recently proposed a randomized ballot for users to select their browser of choice after Windows is installed. The EU is happy with this change, stating "the approved commitments address these concerns. PC users, by means of the Choice Screen, will have an effective and unbiased choice between Internet Explorer and competing web browsers. This should ensure competition on the merits and allow consumers to benefit from technical developments and innovation both on the web browser market and on related markets, such as web-based applications."

The agreement ends years of legal tangles between the pair over browser choice in Windows. In 2004 the EU forced Microsoft to remove Windows Media Player from its Windows operating system. Microsoft was originally planning to release a browser-less version of Windows 7 (E Edition) but scrapped its plans at the last minute after the EU approved of the browser ballot screen.

Brad Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Microsoft said "We are pleased with today's decision by the European Commission, which approves a final resolution of several longstanding competition law issues in Europe. We look forward to building on the dialogue and trust that has been established between Microsoft and the Commission and to extending our industry leadership on interoperability."

Opera, a vocal opponent of Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer into Windows, also issued a statement regarding the announcement this morning. "This is a victory for the future of the Web. This decision is also a celebration of open Web standards, as these shared guidelines are the necessary ingredients for innovation on the Web," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software.

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so HP, Dell, Asus etc... will be sued for bundling windows as part of the pc?
there's a OS of choice when you open up your computer?
what does EU want now?

Taking this principle to the nth degree, I await the day where companies who produce Calculator and Windows Explorer alternatives come to the fore and cry foul on these same grounds.

All you guys got it wrong. The EU doesn't care about you or any company. The EU was built to make money and that's it. With this economy, the EU seems to be doing a great job.

jesseinsf said,
All you guys got it wrong. The EU doesn't care about you or any company. The EU was built to make money and that's it. With this economy, the EU seems to be doing a great job.

Make money for whom, exactly? It's not a business - the money it receives goes back out to citizens ... like a government, in fact.

I don't agree with this, i'm all for freedom to use what you want, but at the end of the day this is just occuring to Microsoft because they are the market leaders.

If they didn't have the majority market share, MS could bundle all the stuff in the OS they want, just like Apple.

If your going to go and inflict your power on a single company, you could at least make other companies do the same thing.

dave164 said,
I don't agree with this, i'm all for freedom to use what you want, but at the end of the day this is just occuring to Microsoft because they are the market leaders.

If they didn't have the majority market share, MS could bundle all the stuff in the OS they want, just like Apple.

If your going to go and inflict your power on a single company, you could at least make other companies do the same thing.


That MS is the extremely dominant market leader is exactly why this is occuring. It's not an argument against it, it's an argument for it.

Kirkburn said,
That MS is the extremely dominant market leader is exactly why this is occuring. It's not an argument against it, it's an argument for it.


It will never be a level playing field as long as any OS can bundle any browser with it. Call it "insignificant" as you myopics will, but it WILL still distort the freedom of choice.

resol612 said,
It will never be a level playing field as long as any OS can bundle any browser with it. Call it "insignificant" as you myopics will, but it WILL still distort the freedom of choice.

Unless you're suggesting it's better for the EU to law down laws that you can't bundle a browser with an OS ... it's better for them to be reactive to "bad" situations.

damn buncha socialist, next thing they'll bitch about is a ballot screen to choose what OS when you buy a new computer.

LAMj said,
damn buncha socialist, next thing they'll bitch about is a ballot screen to choose what OS when you buy a new computer.

Isn't it fun when people misuse words like "socialist".

Kirkburn said,
Isn't it fun when people misuse words like "socialist".


More fun when people only read the first three words of any sentence

resol612 said,
More fun when people only read the first three words of any sentence

Perhaps it would help if those first three words weren't included, since they contribute nothing to the argument except to randomly insult?

In any case, there's a clear cut difference between software packaged with an OS and the OS itself.

-DanNY- said,
Microsoft IE 8 "The world most popular internet browser". Maybe Microsoft hasn't noticed that FF has higher numbers...

It doesn't, compared to IE as a whole.

sad thing is.... you kinda need a browser to goto a website to download a browser... so if MS bundeled other browsers along with theres they might get sued... the stupid **** ppl sue over...

i don't think it'd ever happen that MS bundles 3rd party software with windows. i just don't see it happening, but as u said, there's always gonna be "anti-trust" issues for microsoft, sadly.

billyea said,
The fact that the ballot has to be displayed within Internet Explorer (or it's rendering engine at the least) is proof in itself that IE is a necessary part of the OS. Without it, there would be no choice. Unfortunately, nobody seems to get this.
What nobody gets is that internet explorer is already pre-installed [which actually breaks the agreement with EU]: just look at the window title... "Information Regarding Web Browsers - Windows Internet Explorer".
Internet Explorer engine *never* was and *never* will be needed to access the internet/networks, but still *is* integrated as part of the OS, even if MS said it is not, and even if they said they would dis-integrate it. Which mean they lied, because they didn't remove it.
If MS cares to be fair [which obviously they don't give a flying guano about], they would use a neutral app to display the browser choices, *not* internet explorer.
And if they really want a fair and simple solution, here it is...
To be fair to all users, the ballot must be displayed in plain old Notepad.
And Notepad can be easily upgraded to display URLs as active [clickable] links [Win32pad (freeware Notepad replacement) for example, does this for a very long time now].
There is no need for a pre-existing web browser in order to get *another* web browser. Get it? ;)
I've said this b4.

To be honest, I still believe this is stupid. It's MICROSOFT'S product, they can do what the want imo, if I didn't like/agree, I wouldn't use Windows.

Plus if I didn't like IE, Im perfectly capable of trying others, I don't see why other people arn't like this.

I want to find the EU commision and say "You can buy that car if you wish, but your not allowed any wheels, you have to get them additionally"

*shakes fist*

Get a clue mate.

It's MICROSOFT'S product, they can do what the want imo

Then your opinion is wrong The very fact that the EU can demand these actions proves your opinion is in error.

Plus if I didn't like IE, Im perfectly capable of trying others, I don't see why other people arn't like this.

Thats not the point. The point is that a large percentage of computer users are completely novices and most of them have no clue that other browsers exist.. they just know that the big blue "e" gets them onto the internet. They dont actually care that it's called Windows Internet Explorer. And that's the problem. Microsoft are using their dominant position in the OS marketplace to give them the IE browser knowing full well that the majority of users will not switch to another browser, or even give it a second thought.

everyone has a choice of using their own browser. DOWNLOAD IT once u get your computer up and running. if you are not happy with IE8 go download whatever you want later on. some rules are just stupid

The fact that the ballot has to be displayed within Internet Explorer (or it's rendering engine at the least) is proof in itself that IE is a necessary part of the OS. Without it, there would be no choice. Unfortunately, nobody seems to get this.

Not so. It would be very very easy for Microsoft to develop a very simple application that offered a browser choice screen without needing to display it in a browser.

Doing it in HTML/ASPX/etc is just easier.

Choto Cheeta said,
may be something which can only be accessible from an European IP (??)..

Nope. Assuming the URL is real, then the site hasn't gone live yet.

This is ridiculous... they're blowing this whole thing out of proportion.

I'm sure they'd rather have M$ force the browser on users so they could make some money off those fines.

I personally hate internet explorer, but I'm not going to make a big argument and try to sue microsoft because they installed it on my system... besides.. that's what I needed to use for the first 5 minutes after I installed windows to download my web browser of choice.

mDaWg said,
I'm sure they'd rather have M$ force the browser on users so they could make some money off those fines.

Logic? Who cares about logic.

mDaWg said,
II personally hate internet explorer, but I'm not going to make a big argument and try to sue microsoft because they installed it on my system... besides.. that's what I needed to use for the first 5 minutes after I installed windows to download my web browser of choice.

Well, now everyone gets that choice straight away. You also aren't a browser vendor, so it's not surprising you don't have a strong opinion.

I don't understand how a *randomized* list will help people choose their browser based on merits. The only way that could happen is if everybody tried all of the browsers on the list before deciding which one to stick with. This will seriously do nothing but confuse new computer owners.

Hopefully OEMs will pick up on this and just preconfigure IE, Firefox, or Chrome as default. You know, the browsers that have figured out how to win market share without a court's help.

Joshie said,
I don't understand how a *randomized* list will help people choose their browser based on merits. The only way that could happen is if everybody tried all of the browsers on the list before deciding which one to stick with. This will seriously do nothing but confuse new computer owners.

Hopefully OEMs will pick up on this and just preconfigure IE, Firefox, or Chrome as default. You know, the browsers that have figured out how to win market share without a court's help.


As much fun as it is to rail on Opera, Mozilla supported this too, and I'm sure similar feelings were felt over in Chrome and Safari land.

Yes, OEMs will preconfigure their PCs with browsers of their choice. And it's fair to say it's difficult to choose between browsers, but people do still communicate with each other about this stuff.

Joshie said,
I don't understand how a *randomized* list will help people choose their browser based on merits. The only way that could happen is if everybody tried all of the browsers on the list before deciding which one to stick with. This will seriously do nothing but confuse new computer owners.

Hopefully OEMs will pick up on this and just preconfigure IE, Firefox, or Chrome as default. You know, the browsers that have figured out how to win market share without a court's help.

I think it was Oprea that wanted randomization, the others were fine with alphabetical order.

jstillion said,
I think it was Oprea that wanted randomization, the others were fine with alphabetical order.

I'm reasonably sure that opinion extended beyond Opera.

(Besides, all the browsers have lots of people working on them - it's not like the browser itself has an opinion, everybody working on them has individual opinions.)

This is only beginning. More lawsuits will now come. Windows Defender, Media Player, Firewall, Media Center, Paint or Sticky Notes...pick one. At the end we will have overpriced barebone OS with zero features because of as**oles in EU. IMHO also Microsoft is stupid. They should never accept this and should send EU to hell or threat them with leaving EU market. There is no way that at the end will customers win this time. Now can Apple rightfully make fun of Windows..

6205 said,
This is only beginning. More lawsuits will now come. Windows Defender, Media Player, Firewall, Media Center, Paint or Sticky Notes...pick one. At the end we will have overpriced barebone OS with zero features because of as**oles in EU. IMHO also Microsoft is stupid. They should never accept this and should send EU to hell or threat them with leaving EU market. There is no way that at the end will customers win this time. Now can Apple rightfully make fun of Windows..

WMP has previously come up. (Do people have really short memories?)

Defender and Firewall are justifiably core parts of the OS. Paint and Sticky Notes and very simple programs that don't really compete with more advanced offerings.

Other browsers are free, other media players are free. When we reach a point where MS remove software customers then have to pay for, then it becomes an issue. As far as I know, we haven't reached that.

So is anti-virus (or at least kernel protection) we saw how THAT worked out. So is arguably a web browser. Where people draw the line is laughable at this point. Required choices of text-editor are no more laughable then browser, or notepad. I legitimately saw complaints over word-pad's 7 upgrades "if it had spell checker, open office would have grounds to complain" really? so making things more useful is now a reason to sue?

AgentGray said,
So is anti-virus (or at least kernel protection) we saw how THAT worked out.

I agree, that was silly.

AgentGray said,
So is arguably a web browser. Where people draw the line is laughable at this point. Required choices of text-editor are no more laughable then browser, or notepad. I legitimately saw complaints over word-pad's 7 upgrades "if it had spell checker, open office would have grounds to complain" really? so making things more useful is now a reason to sue?

No, but substantially improving a free product you supply with something else with a huge market share, thus potentially destroying an open market - that can provide reason.

so... making users happy is grounds to sue. I don't understand this concept. at all. it's mind boggling. Microsoft gives an open platform, and provides a core set of software. These two things are ONE in the SAME when it comes to an OS. It should not be punished for making things better, faster, and more enjoyable for the user. Ever. That's basically the government forcing your life, and your day to day computer experience to be WORSE every single day of your life and is slowing down progress on every single level of technology.

Kirkburn said,
WMP has previously come up. (Do people have really short memories?)

Defender and Firewall are justifiably core parts of the OS. Paint and Sticky Notes and very simple programs that don't really compete with more advanced offerings.

Other browsers are free, other media players are free. When we reach a point where MS remove software customers then have to pay for, then it becomes an issue. As far as I know, we haven't reached that.

I think you forget something. A music player and internet browser are core components to the OS. You can't browse the web without a browser. Which arguably now the customer has a choice. But, the overall usability of the OS right out of the box is hindered due to not having these features.

Lets not forget, Firewall and Windows Defender do actually compete with Firewall and spyware offerings available. Just like with IE, they are already there so most novice customers won't look at the other choices. Yet without these features as soon as the customer connects to the internet they will be bombarded with spyware and viruses. So tell me how these, though small, programs are not competing in any sort of way.

Kutster said,
I think you forget something. A music player and internet browser are core components to the OS. You can't browse the web without a browser. Which arguably now the customer has a choice. But, the overall usability of the OS right out of the box is hindered due to not having these features.

Same as a previous comment, IE hasn't been removed.

Kutster said,
Lets not forget, Firewall and Windows Defender do actually compete with Firewall and spyware offerings available. Just like with IE, they are already there so most novice customers won't look at the other choices. Yet without these features as soon as the customer connects to the internet they will be bombarded with spyware and viruses. So tell me how these, though small, programs are not competing in any sort of way.
True, but in a much clearer way, they are "part" of the OS.

Regarding Windows Defender, Microsoft are perfectly within their rights to include measures in Windows to protect their operating system from being infected. Anybody trying to argue otherwise in court would be laughed out of the door.

TCLN Ryster said,
Regarding Windows Defender, Microsoft are perfectly within their rights to include measures in Windows to protect their operating system from being infected. Anybody trying to argue otherwise in court would be laughed out of the door.

Just like Microsoft was court ordered to Remove IE and WMP for their OS while Apple was not asked to remove Itunes of Safari?

Kutster said,
Just like Microsoft was court ordered to Remove IE and WMP for their OS while Apple was not asked to remove Itunes of Safari?

Simply, Apple is not the 90%+ market leader.

Kirkburn said,
Simply, Apple is not the 90%+ market leader.

So having 90% of the market makes it right for other companies to get away with it.

Lets put it this way. Guy A and Guy B kill a person. Guy A is popular and is awesome and Guy B is a bum and good for nothing. Because Guy A is more popular he is charged with murder and Guy B walks free.

Yes it doesn't work that way with murder but being a market leader doesn't mean anything. For all the EU cares is that Microsoft could sell Windows with no way to connect to the internet, no way to play media, ect. And they would still not be happy even if the OS is rendered useless. How is a person supposed to access the web without a web browser to even download a different browser. That's what EU wanted was no IE installed at all. Tell me how that was supposed to work? No Web browser, internet connection, but no way to get a browser downloaded and installed.

resol612 said,
and he keeps quiet about the WMP part :)

Sorry, has WMP been entirely removed too? Did I miss that?

Yes, MS were made to create an edition without WMP. You weren't forced to buy it.

Kutster said,
So having 90% of the market makes it right for other companies to get away with it.

Lets put it this way. Guy A and Guy B kill a person. Guy A is popular and is awesome and Guy B is a bum and good for nothing. Because Guy A is more popular he is charged with murder and Guy B walks free.

Yes it doesn't work that way with murder but being a market leader doesn't mean anything. For all the EU cares is that Microsoft could sell Windows with no way to connect to the internet, no way to play media, ect. And they would still not be happy even if the OS is rendered useless. How is a person supposed to access the web without a web browser to even download a different browser. That's what EU wanted was no IE installed at all. Tell me how that was supposed to work? No Web browser, internet connection, but no way to get a browser downloaded and installed.


Murder? Jeez.

Yes, market leader means a lot, because it means you may dominate the market. It is the dominating of the market that can lead to issues.

If you aren't dominating the market, it's pretty damn hard for you to push others out of business. It just doesn't make sense.

I refer you back to my previous comment, which I thought was pretty clear:

substantially improving a free product you supply with something else with a huge market share, thus potentially destroying an open market - that can provide reason.

EC regulators will impose a fine of up to 10% of Microsoft's total annual turnover without having to prove any violation of EU antitrust rules

See, now that's some BS right there

Opera already did which is why it's come down to this.

Eu won't because they can still rob Microsoft, as the article says, "without having to prove any violation of EU antitrust rules"

C_Guy said,
Eu won't because they can still rob Microsoft, as the article says, "without having to prove any violation of EU antitrust rules"

I think you "forgot" this part.

If Microsoft fails to commit to the agreement...

Kind of important.

Opera's sales blurb on the screen is pretty lame. I can't see it enticing anyone to try it over any of the other possible choices.

So if I go and make a really crappy browser, can I go to the the EU to sue Microsoft for not having it on their list? And as Ryoken said just above, where does this stop when computers advance further? Why don't I get a choice about Notepad, WordPad, Calculator, WMP, Explorer Kernel, Paint, etc..

Since I cn remember now I always use Winamp for music and Windows Media Player Classic for video... I hardly (if ever) use WMP so why am I being forced to have this? Paint I hardly use, I use Photoshop - so why are Photoshop allowed to make so much money off a product that Microsoft throw in free (please note the sarcasm, I'm just talking in terms of a novice user who this only affects), WordPad I hardly ever use either...

At the end of the day, there's a reason novice users are called novice users, it's not really a good idea to throw people into the deep-end immediately, if they want to use a different browser - surely they'll eventually come across one. Like the many I've come across in my time using computers and the many that seem to appear every year now... This can only get out of hand surely in today's context when more and more browsers with different features appear. Well done EU, you absolute idiots don't help yourself one bit.

Thom said,
So if I go and make a really crappy browser, can I go to the the EU to sue Microsoft for not having it on their list?

No, unless you get an appreciable market share.

Well yes obviously otherwise that'd be one hell of a browser page to read through, but the only user-group(s) this affects are the ones who don't have a great (if any!) knowledge about computing so my point would be as worthwhile because they won't understand the difference between the browsers and will simply go for the one with the most attractive first screenshot and then whine when they can't understand how to use it because it doesn't follow the UI other Windows apps use.

Kirkburn said,
No, unless you get an appreciable market share.


Great, what is appreciable?

I suppose the ones off the screen include Maxthon and some Trident-based browsers...

resol612 said,
Great, what is appreciable?

I suppose the ones off the screen include Maxthon and some Trident-based browsers...


Well, a simple way is to say "Top 10". You obviously have to define some limit, and yes, even governments are able to do this.

Ok, sorry everyone, but am I the only one that sees a major problem with this line:

If Microsoft fails to commit to the agreement within the next five years then EC regulators will impose a fine of up to 10% of Microsoft's total annual turnover without having to prove any violation of EU antitrust rules.

nope i see it to.. i wish they'd impose this rule on every OS used in the EU.. MAC OS X.. Linux and all its distributions.. that should make it a fair deal.. but yet.. im sure before those five years poor ol Microsoft will be back in the court room

IceBreakerG said,
Ok, sorry everyone, but am I the only one that sees a major problem with this line:

It's probably to avoid lengthy and costly proceedings. MS would have failed to commit to the agreement in the first place for it to come up.

dimithrak said,
nope i see it to.. i wish they'd impose this rule on every OS used in the EU.. MAC OS X.. Linux and all its distributions.. that should make it a fair deal.. but yet.. im sure before those five years poor ol Microsoft will be back in the court room


If EU were to charge Apple there might be a riot... I hear some are vicious...

If you go to the presspass report you can get these images from a powerpoint
Screen 1
http://cid-98d6405ff4582ea3.skydrive.live..../webChoice1.png
Screen2 - order presented randomly
http://cid-98d6405ff4582ea3.skydrive.live..../webChoice2.png
Seems like they are still trying to subliminally influence you to pick IE :)

edit - funny how after I post this Neowin update the article, ripping off my image in the process. Thanks for the invisible credit. Neowin should really look at preespass rather than copying the BBC all the time

Well with a slogan like "Opera browser 10 is Internet browser innovation" can you really blame us for bashing them? Opera is the scrawny step-child of the internet browser family, relegated to sleeping under the stairs.

Sub_Zero_Alchemist said,
Good, Finally this is over. now to move forward, just maybe
the Anti-Opera bitching can stop now. and put this behind us.

First for tabbed browsing, first for speed dial, first for mouse gestures, first for in browser torrent; IRC; and email support. Seems to me like Opera's claims have some validity. If Opera can sort out the issues that make sites like Facebook not work properly, they could pick up market share, the only reason it is so small now is because it was payware and adware for so long. In features and functionality it is a match for everything else on the market.

Frank Fontaine said,


First for tabbed browsing, first for speed dial, first for mouse gestures, first for in browser torrent; IRC; and email support. Seems to me like Opera's claims have some validity. If Opera can sort out the issues that make sites like Facebook not work properly, they could pick up market share, the only reason it is so small now is because it was payware and adware for so long. In features and functionality it is a match for everything else on the market.


You're wrong, APPLE INVENTED EVERYTHING

WizardCM said,
Oh, so nothing about Apple bundling Safari, or some Linux distro's bundling Firefox? Hm....


*nix systems almost never give you a pre-installed browser (unless you install a gui which is different) even so you have repos and a gazillion choices for web browsers. all you need to do is list the www folder and make a choice. (oh and they give you all the choices you need when you install the OS so it is hardly like windows) ...

Why don't I get a choice about Notepad, WordPad, Calculator, WMP, Explorer Kernel, Paint, etc..

This whole thing is BS.. If you can't find another browser after you install Windows then you don't deserve to be online.

Ryoken said,
Why don't I get a choice about Notepad, WordPad, Calculator, WMP, Explorer Kernel, Paint, etc..

This whole thing is BS.. If you can't find another browser after you install Windows then you don't deserve to be online.


Notepad, Wordpad, Paint (and Calculator to an extent) are all very simple versions of their type. I don't think it's fair to say they "compete" with the more advanced offerings out there.

Explorer.exe was a silly one to bring up. WMP has already been called into question.

Kirkburn said,

Notepad, Wordpad, Paint (and Calculator to an extent) are all very simple versions of their type. I don't think it's fair to say they "compete" with the more advanced offerings out there.

Explorer.exe was a silly one to bring up. WMP has already been called into question.


in few fews EU will force MS to just ship you the kernel, everything else you got a choice about.

you will install windows 9, and there will be a C prompt

nekrosoft13 said,
in few fews EU will force MS to just ship you the kernel, everything else you got a choice about.

you will install windows 9, and there will be a C prompt


Can we have a reasonably discussion without resorting to ridiculous slippery slope arguments?

IE hasn't been removed.

Kirkburn said,

Can we have a reasonably discussion without resorting to ridiculous slippery slope arguments?

IE hasn't been removed.


The whole concept by itself is dubious at most, so it really doesn't warrant any intelligent discussion.

They don't, but they want to give YOU a choice about how you browse the web. This is beneficial to all the users that suffer at the hands of Internet Explorer and didn't know there was a choice.

epple said,
'give' aka force you to choose.

As much as you were "forced" to click on IE in the first place, yes. It's hardly a strenuous extra couple of seconds you perform once.

Kirkburn said,
As much as you were "forced" to click on IE in the first place, yes. It's hardly a strenuous extra couple of seconds you perform once.

Thanks, but I'd rather not have that extra step forced upon me when I know what I'm buying in the first place.

epple said,
Thanks, but I'd rather not have that extra step forced upon me when I know what I'm buying in the first place.

Right, but it can't mind read that you made the concious choice to use IE. Besides, users rarely buy their OS based on the browser it comes with.

Majesticmerc said,
They don't, but they want to give YOU a choice about how you browse the web. This is beneficial to all the users that suffer at the hands of Internet Explorer and didn't know there was a choice.

Yea I'm sure it is. All that money that goes to the EU is used for a good cause. Oh and Microsoft should put up a ballot screen whether or not users should install Linux instead but then Linux users are locked into Firefox. I can't go with Apple because they use Safari. Oh no's, what do I do? /sarcasm

I agree this is so stupid, the people had the choice all the time, why do they need a browser selection screen for dummies? This slaps the intelligence of the European people, I've got to think they know how to use the search feature, don't they?

gzt7d8 said,
I agree this is so stupid, the people had the choice all the time, why do they need a browser selection screen for dummies? This slaps the intelligence of the European people, I've got to think they know how to use the search feature, don't they?

If that were true, do you think IE would still be in a commanding lead?

It's not about an individual's intelligence, it's about knowledge.

Majesticmerc said,
They don't, but they want to give YOU a choice about how you browse the web. This is beneficial to all the users that suffer at the hands of Internet Explorer and didn't know there was a choice.

i can have a choice, now using firefox and chrome

You make it sound like Microsoft is an orphan child. Microsoft is one of the most profitable companies in the world, and if they're going to be naughty, then they're going to get punished, in the EU at least.

Everyone bundles a browser with their OS, Microsoft are just being screwed over because of their position in the market. You people make it sound like they somehow stopped people from using an alternative browser.

Why not remove safari from OSX? I dont think apple will agree to that.
Its just always microsoft because its everywhere

Yup, it has nothing to do with principles or choice (the choice was always there), it's about lining the EU's pockets with money.

Way to go, EU, standing up for a market freedom that's always existed in the first place.

Frank Fontaine said,
Everyone bundles a browser with their OS, Microsoft are just being screwed over because of their position in the market. You people make it sound like they somehow stopped people from using an alternative browser.

"Everyone"? The OS market is hardly varied - you have basically Windows, OSX and Linux. And Linux bundles all sorts of different browsers (and sometimes doesn't at all).

So really, you mean, "Apple does it too".

Raa said,
Massive thumbs down. Leave Microsoft alone, they've done enough. Next they'll want cash donations!!

So if an big European company was operating in the United States and were found guilty of illegal business practices it would be wrong for us to take them to court and fine them?

VolksDude said,
Who uses Opera anyways??


i use it, i like it better than FF, although i use FF on *nix.
Safari is perfect for oSX .. i think is more of a user preference than anything

Jugalator said,
Russians! A whole lot of Russians. Seriously, it's damn big in Russia.

Not only Russians to be exactly, but whole CIS. It's got 30-40% in average in CIS countries. It's also popular in other Cyrillic countries, like Bulgaria, Serbia with 10% in average.

FloatingFatMan said,
I'm sure Opera will still find something to bitch about with this...

"Since Opera is in a minority position, the ballot randomization should be given Opera a slight extra chance of being placed early in the list, to equalize market differences."

Trust me, it's only a matter of time now.

from an AP article:
"Thomas Vinje, a lawyer for browser company Opera and the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, said it was "not yet clear" that Microsoft's offer would create "a more level competitive playing field where open source software is not subject to Microsoft patent fear uncertainty and doubt.""

HaHa you know whats funny about this.... Eu fines MS $2.44bn and the only way microsoft will get back the imposed fine is by charging high price for the OS and people in europe are paying more for it now. Poor guys, paying extra money just to remove a free software,IE.
MS wins, EU wins, People lose.

still1 said,
HaHa you know whats funny about this.... Eu fines MS $2.44bn and the only way microsoft will get back the imposed fine is by charging high price for the OS and people in europe are paying more for it now. Poor guys, paying extra money just to remove a free software,IE.
MS wins, EU wins, People lose.

Last time I checked,
Windows 7 UK Price < Windows 7 US Price

still1 said,
Eu fines MS $2.44bn and the only way microsoft will get back the imposed fine is by charging high price for the OS and people in europe are paying more for it now.

I'm pretty sure they would not be allowed to do that.

n_K said,
Last time I checked,
Windows 7 UK Price < Windows 7 US Price

Actually, checking the prices from the Microsoft website, Win 7 UK costs $20 more for each edition.

FloatingFatMan said,
I'm sure Opera will still find something to bitch about with this...


...like how the "ballot screen" is biased towards IE, since the caption says "Windows Internet Explorer" and the upper-left corner shows the IE icon...