Ruh-roh, the EU looks to slap Microsoft's wrists over the browser ballot screen folly


A few years ago Microsoft got taken to town by the EU and was forced to offer up “browser ballot” selections screens for downloading an alternative browser for consumers in the EU.

At the time of the ruling, Microsoft was well entrenched in the browser wars but the market today looks dramatically different than that of when the ruling was issued. Well, during an update (post Windows Service Pack 1) the browser ballot screen vanished, which was against the wishes of the EU ruling and they are looking to drop the hammer, once again, on Microsoft.

So, seeing that Microsoft got caught (it is up for debate if the remove was intentional or an accident) not abiding by the ruling, Reuters is reporting that the EU will slap Microsoft’s wrists once again by the end of March.

While there is no indication on what the penalty will be, the EU is not known for treading lightly in the finance department and it could have a material impact on Microsoft’s financials if the EU choose to make Microsoft an example to other companies.

Source: Reuters

 

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why is it i dont see anyone else but the EU fining MS over this if it was that bad, seriously i dont get a choice with osx or any other operating system why are they going after ms constantly time after time after time, seriously man get the **** out

I don't know why Microsoft dont contest this in court. Apple don't offer a ballot so it's breaking the same rules/laws.

It's not about monopolies - it's about abusive behavior as a result of this monopoly. Consider this. You have a small business selling bricks. There's this giant oil company which all of a sudden decides to make sure all its customers get bricks together with their oil deliveries. So they essentially run you out of business not because their bricks are better, but because you never had a chance - you can't compete because customers just can't be interested enough to take a look at your wares. Another example: all Windows buyers get a free Microsoft mouse - this is again abuse - it's fine for a small company, but when monopolies with huge market shares do it it hurts all the other mouse vendors. This is called abuse of a dominant position - it's abusive just like it's abusive when big companies sell at a loss until they run their competitors out of business (which is also illegal). That's pretty much the dumbed down version of why Microsoft got fined. The ballot screen was a compromise solution at the time negotiated between the (now brain dead) DG Competition and Microsoft. Then a few years later, new OS and Microsoft all of a sudden 'forgets' about it. No wonder the EU is ****ed.

Edited by Breach, Mar 1 2013, 12:23am :

But again what about Apple, sure they are not as huge as Microsoft, but their user share is on the rise. If you force Microsoft to do this, its only fair for OS X and iOS. Having a bundled browser is always going to be a part of an OS just as much as a notepad. What Microsoft did with IE6 and below, allowing the browser to be interwoven with Windows explorer was wrong, but all that has since been fixed.
Instead of a ballot screen, why not for IE and Safari, the first start page/home page include info about other browsers.

wv@gt said,
But again what about Apple

Apple doesn't have a monopoly.

- Mac computer have a very low market share. Around 7% i think.
- iPhone market share is good but not even close to be a monopoly. They are at what ? 30% ? Something like that.
- iPod could be considered a monopoly. But the problem is phones can be considered mp3 players too. Mp3 players is basically a dying market that is more and more irrelevant with phones and small tablets.
- iOS as a whole is not close to be a monopoly. This said a couple of years ago (before Android and WP) it could have been investigated (iTune).

What is illegal is not bundling a browser with an os. It's perfectly legal. What is illegal is doing it when you have over 90% market share and are fighting companies who are small and don't have the money and power to fight you. Specially when you are not doing any effort to promote 3rd party alternatives (while you are doing such effort in other competitive markets like the console market where ms promote 3rd party games with a lot of money). It's not really a problem when it comes to things like Notepad but for browsers it used to be big. I agree that today it's not the end of the world and that the EU should let it go. But back when IE6 was dominating the web the USA gouv should have acted and enforced the anti trust law against MS. It's a shame that we are where we are today before of MS laziness and not because the laws in place were enforced.

Having a monopoly has it's advantage (monetary) but also it's disadvantage (antitrust law). This is outside of NA of course cause in USA and Canada the antitrust laws don't exist anymore.

Google could be investigated over Chrome and Google Search though. Dunno what is the market share of Google Search but in USA it's probably clause to be a monopoly and Google should not promote Chrome on the Search Engine home page imo it's unfair for Firefox and Opera.

Edited by LaP, Mar 1 2013, 2:45am :

Anytime this story is brought up people jump to saying what about Google or Apple and then marketshare is brought up. Any who, marketshare shouldn't be a factor, fact is all these 3rd party browsers are available already for Apple OSX and iOS, and probably soon Chrome OS. Apple's market share is on the increase no matter how you look at their numbers. If you are going to require Microsoft to put a ballot screen on their own OS, every os desktop and tablet should be required. Is the EU trying to claim that users don't know how to download others browsers on Windows, same could be said about iOS and OS X. Is the EU trying to claim that users are not aware of other browser, same could be said about OS X and iOS if a user starts with Safari.
Remember this all started because Opera was being a cry baby about their market share then Mozilla and Google chimed in. Google at least markets Chrome all over their Google products. If Opera and Mozilla at least marketed their products differently, more would notice instead of Microsoft to do it for them.

I live in Europe, So, on the Windows 8 consumer preview, it was hard to remove this stupid ballot screen... it has been fortunately easier on the final release but this ballot screen is damned intrusive !

EU should investigate and get Google and Apple to offers same Ballot Screen on Android and iOS...

My version of Windows 7 Ultimate I bought didnt have the Ballot Screen, neither did any of the previews of Windows 8 I downloaded. Not even the Windows 8 RTM I'm still running.

So, the EU originally thought "Hey people in Europe are too stupid to download another browser and we're desperate for money so we'll make up a ruling and say Microsoft broke it so we can gauge a huge chunk of money from them, but we won't include the likes of Apple because we like them, even though if this was a true law it'd apply to everybody". And now they are doing it again.
Pure and simple money grab

HSoft said,
So, the EU originally thought "Hey people in Europe are too stupid to download another browser and we're desperate for money so we'll make up a ruling and say Microsoft broke it so we can gauge a huge chunk of money from them, but we won't include the likes of Apple because we like them, even though if this was a true law it'd apply to everybody". And now they are doing it again.
Pure and simple money grab


No, not really.

MS have a monopoly in the desktop PC market, Apple do not. If they did I would expect a similar outcome.

And neither Apple, MS or Google have a monopoly in the smartphone market.

boo_star said,
And neither Apple, MS or Google have a monopoly in the smartphone market.

That's true, but it's not like in the desktop market where you have a 90 - 10% kind of monopoly - Apple and Google have sizable shares of the tablet and smartphone market each, and they're generally considered to be (at least in the short term) the only two main market share competitors in the space. Fining both Google and Apple and requiring the same ballot screen that's required in Windows would probably impact almost as much mobile market share than fining Microsoft (AFAIK) - Android & iOS combined have almost an 80% market share in mobile OS. If the EU is actually looking out for their people, shouldn't they enforce the same rules across desktops and mobile devices?

My observation is the EU cares about the privacy and consumer rights of it's citizenship (from corporations at least, government is a different issue) where the US gives gentle slaps on the wrists and allow companies to erode consumer protection and rights.

How is this different then someone one probation, violating there terms of probation?

Why are Apple not forced to ask users which browser they use on OSX or iOS? Why are Android users (me being one of them), not asked about which browser they wish to use?

Because the browser ballot was a punitive measure designed to address Microsoft's anti-competitive and illegal business practices - it wasn't simply about Microsoft bundling IE with Windows.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Because the browser ballot was a punitive measure designed to address Microsoft's anti-competitive and illegal business practices - it wasn't simply about Microsoft bundling IE with Windows.

just curious, but do you have a source or something I could understand more about this? I was under the impression this was just because Microsoft wasn't giving users any kind of easy-to-make choice for which browser they wanted

Next time anyone that lives in the EU cries why Microsoft products cost more in Europe - this is your answer. Your politicians think citizens in their countries are retarded and are unable to install a browser on their computers. So they MAKE UP reasons to fine and shake down companies for money their falling apart economies cannot generate otherwise. When you pay higher prices for Microsoft products you simply are paying the fines for Microsoft rather than them being hurt. Then again your politicians really don't care, its about them controlling the population through tax rather than any good their supposed legislation is.

I actually haven't noticed that their products pay more here, maybe the currency converting $=€ but that's what everyone does. But maybe in some other countries they do cost more, not sure.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
I actually haven't noticed that their products pay more here, maybe the currency converting $=€ but that's what everyone does. But maybe in some other countries they do cost more, not sure.

They at times with the xbox did a straight $=€, like €299 and $299 for the xbox 360. On the software side you see the prices usually about $10-$20 higher in the EU.

Well yeah, I'm pretty used to the currency converting 1 to 1 already so that's not a big deal for me nor anyone I think since it's an everyday thing.

If Microsoft wish to trade in the EU then they can damn well abide by our rules. Americans don't hesitate to make the same inference when British people voice opinions on gun control and the same applies here. Suck it up, correct the mistake, and move on. The EU is not obliged to change it's mind just because a few corporate shills get ****y.

Javik said,
If Microsoft wish to trade in the EU then they can damn well abide by our rules. Americans don't hesitate to make the same inference when British people voice opinions on gun control and the same applies here. Suck it up, correct the mistake, and move on. The EU is not obliged to change it's mind just because a few corporate shills get ****y.

If Europeans want to use Microsoft produts then they can EXPECT to pay higher prices. You wonder why Microsoft's software, hardware and services cost more in Europe - because EU babies need diapers changed by their government. Apparently you need your precious government to babysit you and are unable to make decisions yourself. So let your government keep giving fines to Microsoft; the EU population ends up paying for the fines through higher prices.

pgn said,

If Europeans want to use Microsoft produts then they can EXPECT to pay higher prices.

Higher why ? A ballot screen ? Seriously ...

LaP said,

Higher why ? A ballot screen ? Seriously ...

No because cry baby EU politicians impose billion dollar fines, those fines need to be paid back someway and Microsoft simply raises prices on their software, hardware that are sent to the EU. The EU isn't punishing Microsoft, they are punishing their own people and know it. It's just another way to tax the people indirectly.

LaP said,

Higher why ? A ballot screen ? Seriously ...

Taxes. They get charged taxes there as a US company as well as local taxes in the country they are doing business.

So... taxes.

LaP said,
If you think MS needs to up to price because of that you are living in an alternate reality.

Funny story: Microsoft (and many other companies) will raise the price of their products for no reason at all. They don't need a "good reason".

dead.cell said,
Funny story: Microsoft (and many other companies) will raise the price of their products for no reason at all. They don't need a "good reason".
Says someone who knows nothing about markets or running a business.

pgn said,

If Europeans want to use Microsoft produts then they can EXPECT to pay higher prices. You wonder why Microsoft's software, hardware and services cost more in Europe - because EU babies need diapers changed by their government. Apparently you need your precious government to babysit you and are unable to make decisions yourself. So let your government keep giving fines to Microsoft; the EU population ends up paying for the fines through higher prices.

Are you forgetting about VAT?

MrHumpty said,
Says someone who knows nothing about markets or running a business.

Says someone who can't take a joke. Though, I like the part where you developed random psychic superpowers to somehow read my mind to make an accusation you quite literally pulled out of your ass. Bravo, good sir, bravo!

dead.cell said,
Says someone who can't take a joke. Though, I like the part where you developed random psychic superpowers to somehow read my mind to make an accusation you quite literally pulled out of your ass. Bravo, good sir, bravo!
The power of deduction and observation is quite often mistaken for superpowers.

pgn said,

If Europeans want to use Microsoft produts then they can EXPECT to pay higher prices. You wonder why Microsoft's software, hardware and services cost more in Europe - because EU babies need diapers changed by their government. Apparently you need your precious government to babysit you and are unable to make decisions yourself. So let your government keep giving fines to Microsoft; the EU population ends up paying for the fines through higher prices.

Civilised places like the EU have these rules for many reasons, corporations can't just do what they want. Being as you're from the US you wouldn't understand this stuff through. That place is like a 3rd would country and all your politicians and elections are bought and payed for by companies.

Christ this is not the early 90's, anyone using a pc can get another web browser, it's not hard and I don;t see the EU going after apple or Google for pushing their own borwsers on their OS's.

swanlee said,
Christ this is not the early 90's, anyone using a pc can get another web browser, it's not hard and I don;t see the EU going after apple or Google for pushing their own borwsers on their OS's.

exactly. its so ridiculous. eventually its the consumer who hurts from the rule because MS will add lawyers fee to its products/services in Europe. pity.

swanlee said,
Christ this is not the early 90's, anyone using a pc can get another web browser, it's not hard and I don;t see the EU going after apple or Google for pushing their own borwsers on their OS's.

Taking some money from apple would be a good idea, they practically have enough spare to run a country anyway -_-

Brad are you sure about

So, seeing that Microsoft got caught (it is up for debate if the remove was intentional or an accident)

IIRC Microsoft noticed it internally and reported it to EU.

The entire EU is run by monkey feces infested vermin politicans.

This is nothing more than a money grab, that's the way they operate in the EU, shake everyone down.

pgn said,
The entire EU is run by monkey feces infested vermin politicans.

This is nothing more than a money grab, that's the way they operate in the EU, shake everyone down.

And Capitol Hill with all its lobbies is the Church choir...... Sure....

Fritzly said,

And Capitol Hill with all its lobbies is the Church choir...... Sure....

Seriously. All I'll say about the EU/Europe is they're just a bit further down the road than the US.

The E.U. is a bureaucratic nightmare with a bunch of unelected officials whom are ALWAYS desperate for just a little bit more money.

seta-san said,
The E.U. is a bureaucratic nightmare with a bunch of unelected officials whom are ALWAYS desperate for just a little bit more money.

It isn't exclusive to the EU.

seta-san said,
The E.U. is a bureaucratic nightmare with a bunch of unelected officials whom are ALWAYS desperate for just a little bit more money.

FWIW, there's nothing inherently wrong with being 'unelected', especially when most people happily mock your average voter (the people responsible for *elected* officials).

Disparaging 'unelected officials' is a crappy go-to people rely on when they have no genuine criticism to offer at the time.

Joshie said,

FWIW, there's nothing inherently wrong with being 'unelected', especially when most people happily mock your average voter (the people responsible for *elected* officials).

True, but it doesn't leave any room for accountability.

rfirth said,

True, but it doesn't leave any room for accountability.


Again, that's not precisely true. You, and others, use the word 'accountability' generally but interpret it specifically. Everyone is accountable to their superiors. What you mean to say is they aren't accountable to an electorate.

But the thing is, somewhere up the chain of command, there's a superior that is. And that's how the model works, and given the choice, that's the model people would--ironically--vote for. We vote for people to make decisions for us, and some of those decisions are going to be *hiring other people*, and those subordinates will be extensions of the representatives we gave our confidence to through votes.

In the US, agency officials are not elected, but they frequently are appointed through processes that involve scores of people who were. In effect, an agency appointee is actually a better estimation of what the average voter wants than the individual representative involved in making the appointment, since that individual will ONLY represent, by the nature of a republic, a very small fraction of the nation's populace.

A few thousand people can elect a regional representative, but when all of those representatives from all regions are involved in appointing someone, their collective 'proxy' is far better suited to speaking for "all citizens" than any single one of them alone. If an unelected official is the result of that proxy's voice, I'm okay with it.

Microsoft violated a court order, which is a serious offence - individuals can be jailed for doing the same. Whether a fine is appropriate is for the EU to determine but it seems ridiculous that a company the size of Microsoft, one which has a dedicated legal team consisting of some of the best lawyers money can buy, didn't have procedures in place to ensure that the company was complying with the most severe punishment the company has ever received. I really don't have any sympathy.

Mistakes happen. Seeing as nobody - inside the company or outside - noticed the mistake for quite a long time, I think it's understandable. They should get a warning... do it again, and the fine will be triple what we could have fined you for this mistake. A suspended sentence, if you will.

rfirth said,
Mistakes happen. Seeing as nobody - inside the company or outside - noticed the mistake for quite a long time, I think it's understandable. They should get a warning... do it again, and the fine will be triple what we could have fined you for this mistake. A suspended sentence, if you will.

If you're going with "mistakes happen" then by that logic BP shouldn't have been fined $4.5bn by the US government - afterall, they obviously didn't want oil to leak out across the Gulf of Mexico. At the end of the day these companies should have procedures in place to ensure such "mistakes" don't happen; if not then they have to face the consequences.

It was the biggest fine that Microsoft had ever received and yet you expect us to believe that they didn't have anybody in the company ensuring that they were complying with the ruling. That's either gross negligence or deliberate - either way a fine is justified.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft violated a court order, which is a serious offence - individuals can be jailed for doing the same. Whether a fine is appropriate is for the EU to determine but it seems ridiculous that a company the size of Microsoft, one which has a dedicated legal team consisting of some of the best lawyers money can buy, didn't have procedures in place to ensure that the company was complying with the most severe punishment the company has ever received. I really don't have any sympathy.

That was for when IE was number 1 browser which isn't the case anymore. people know how to download a browser but according to EU court they don't.

rfirth said,
Mistakes happen. Seeing as nobody - inside the company or outside - noticed the mistake for quite a long time, I think it's understandable. They should get a warning... do it again, and the fine will be triple what we could have fined you for this mistake. A suspended sentence, if you will.

In the article

The size of the fine could be significant because this is the second time that Microsoft has failed to comply with an EU order.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft violated a court order, which is a serious offence - individuals can be jailed for doing the same. Whether a fine is appropriate is for the EU to determine but it seems ridiculous that a company the size of Microsoft, one which has a dedicated legal team consisting of some of the best lawyers money can buy, didn't have procedures in place to ensure that the company was complying with the most severe punishment the company has ever received. I really don't have any sympathy.

If I take your money against your will, I would love for you say it's up to me to determine if it's appropriate. Wonder what I would say?

S3P€hR said,
That was for when IE was number 1 browser which isn't the case anymore. people know how to download a browser but according to EU court they don't.

Clearly the browser ballot WAS successful, as IE has a considerably lower market share in Europe than it does in the US, Canada or Australia.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft violated a court order, which is a serious offence the company was complying with the most severe punishment the company has ever received. I really don't have any sympathy.

I can understand the punishments for Microsofts actions in the 90's, that was criminal. But fining Microsoft for bundling their own software with their own Operating System? Just because the majority of people don't download another browser it's Microsofts fault? Why should they bundle rivals software? Why doesn't OS X have to offer a choice? The only reasonable answer is Marketshare, but Microsoft fairly achieved that marketshare, they don't force people to use IE, you can easily download another browser and set it as default. Those people who use IE, use it because it works for them.

McKay said,
I can understand the punishments for Microsofts actions in the 90's, that was criminal. But fining Microsoft for bundling their own software with their own Operating System? Just because the majority of people don't download another browser it's Microsofts fault?

Microsoft was fined for anti-competitive behaviour. Microsoft abused its market influence to unfairly prevent other companies from competing, putting pressure on OEMs to prevent them from bundling competing browsers.

McKay said,
Microsoft fairly achieved that marketshare

That's factually untrue.

If you'd actually read up about the case you'd understand why Microsoft was fined but instead your opinion seems to be predicated upon media headlines and conjecture.

theyarecomingforyou said,
That's factually untrue.

Lets be honest here. Nobody forced anyone to use Internet Explorer. Never. Not a single time. Opinions drove the unfair part of Microsoft's browser marketshare. As did a lack of viable alternatives. Here we are some years later and they are getting their clocks cleaned, not for any legal move, but because the alternatives are viable and in some eyes, better.

MrHumpty said,
Lets be honest here. Nobody forced anyone to use Internet Explorer.

Let's be honest here. Microsoft broke the law and abused its market influence to unfairly disadvantage its competitors, for which it was punished by the EU.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Let's be honest here. Microsoft broke the law and abused its market influence to unfairly disadvantage its competitors, for which it was punished by the EU.

You have no mind of your own.

theyarecomingforyou said,

If you're going with "mistakes happen" then by that logic BP shouldn't have been fined $4.5bn by the US government - afterall, they obviously didn't want oil to leak out across the Gulf of Mexico.

Believe me, I know. I'm a Louisiana resident. But you can't compare the worst unintentional offshore spill in history to a browser ballot. We're talking about rules that no other company in the industry has to play by and unprecedented fine amounts... it's very possible that Microsoft could be fined more than BP was for unleashing that enormous environmental disaster on us.

AWilliams87 said,
You have no mind of your own.

If you wish to offer supporting evidence as to why I am wrong then go ahead but I have no interest in responding to personal attacks.

rfirth said,
We're talking about rules that no other company in the industry has to play by and unprecedented fine amounts... it's very possible that Microsoft could be fined more than BP was for unleashing that enormous environmental disaster on us.

While the fine was obviously large, it was proportional to the market advantage garnered by Microsoft through its anti-competitive business practices. It may seem extravagant when compared to the fine imposed on BP for the ecological damage wreaked by the Deepwater Horizon spill but that does not mean it is unjust. Companies should not be allowed to abuse their market position to the detriment of consumers.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Clearly the browser ballot WAS successful, as IE has a considerably lower market share in Europe than it does in the US, Canada or Australia.


trolling? Ie was already having a smaller markethshare in europe before that

theyarecomingforyou said,
Let's be honest here. Microsoft broke the law and abused its market influence to unfairly disadvantage its competitors, for which it was punished by the EU.
I'm well aware of the lunacy that was the "browser" bs in the EU. However, I don't see that a) a competitor has any claim to be part of a default install of the OS or b) Microsoft forced any manu or user to license their OS.

So sure, the EU found the guilty. But I find it to be BS.

And like I expected you think the Government changed it's marketshare... not the fact that their browser became a piece of **** when compared to its competitors.

Seriously. Netscape was a freaking trainwreck... sup layers. It took a *real* browser to compete with IE (Firefox) and more competition from WebKit/Chrome.

But yea, you go ahead pump that fist thanking Government for helping you out... ignorance is bliss.

Mistakes don't just "happen". This is the same as all those clowns who repeat the mantra "**** happens". It doesn't. Mistakes, like ****, usually require an arsehole.

MrHumpty said,
Ok. I'm just going to say it. You're a complete idiot comparing BP's huge environmental disaster to a damned browser ballot screen.

Seriously, Just say it with me now: I'm a statist and I know it.

Hahaha exactly!! This is a frigging stupid browser ballot page which makes absolutely no difference and achieves absolutely nothing...

It achieves something, it gains money for browser developing companies.

Gains them money without having to spend money on advertising, or marketing, or any effort whatsoever. Because it's completely fair that Microsoft should have to spend a fortune trying to advertise & entice people to use their operating system then prompt the user to install a different browser.

While it's not feasible for them, I'd love to see the response if they just didn't have anything included by default to access the web...'Well we're not allowed to include web access anymore because the eu are pricks'

Oh bugger off EU, nobody likes you. I can't think of a single good thing the EU does for me. All I see are petty rules and regulations that add costs to everyday life. Even EU regulations on the shapes of bananas for frak sake.

McKay said,
Oh bugger off EU, nobody likes you. I can't think of a single good thing the EU does for me. All I see are petty rules and regulations that add costs to everyday life. Even EU regulations on the shapes of bananas for frak sake.

Your ignorance to the benefits provided by the EU does not negate their existence.

Since you're this know it all by benefits (for Christ sake you don't even belong in the Euro-zone so I have no idea why I'm even actually bothering with your right now) please do enlighten me what do countries like Germany, Estonia and Finland actually benefit right now instead of paying into other, almost bankrupted, countries?

I don't know if you remember but with the last bailout Finland asked for an insurance that they'll get their money back at some point and it stirred up so much crap that they were on the verge of leaving just because Greece wasn't actually all too much up for giving an insurance to them, this only goes to show that they have no plan to stop spending like brainless morons (I'm not talking about the regular people here) and that shows that countries who are on a good track will keep on paying.

Benefits my ass.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Since you're this know it all by benefits (for Christ sake you don't even belong in the Euro-zone so I have no idea why I'm even actually bothering with your right now) please do enlighten me what do countries like Germany, Estonia and Finland actually benefit right now instead of paying into other, almost bankrupted, countries?

I don't know if you remember but with the last bailout Finland asked for an insurance that they'll get their money back at some point and it stirred up so much crap that they were on the verge of leaving just because Greece wasn't actually all too much up for giving an insurance to them, this only goes to show that they have no plan to stop spending like brainless morons (I'm not talking about the regular people here) and that shows that countries who are on a good track will keep on paying.

Benefits my ass.

Uh, well, Germany pretty much RUNS the economy in Europe because of the EU.... which was basically one of their goals in WW2...

I know that. But instead of actually benefiting from the EU they are in the same position, paying in large chunks of money instead of receiving any "benefits".

McKay said,
What benefits?

Here's a list for starters: http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/pdf/the_eu_for_me_web.pdf

In fact this very topic demonstrates one of the benefits - holding companies to account when they break the law.

My local area has seen a huge investment by the EU's Objective One funding initiative, that has revitalised schools and facilities in the area. We also benefit from some of the strictest privacy laws. The EU is certainly not without its problems but I for one strongly favour our membership.

McKay said,
Oh bugger off EU, nobody likes you.

How hard is it really to rephrase that to "Oh bugger off EU, I don't like you."?

It doesn't help your credibility to speak for others. It really doesn't.

Also to the guy below my last post. Let me give you an example.

While Greece has paid 2.2 billion into EFSF they have received 144 billion + 44 billion from IMF plus some other smaller loans, total comes in near 250 billion. Oh I guess that money comes from air tho right?

LOL! "Child"... Yeah. Right. Keep on begging money And we haven't recived not even close to what Spain and Greece have. Nor are those loans that you ***** actually need to pay back in the end. For what? I have no idea. I'll be happy to sit in my "beloved" country that has a mere 6% loan on us rather than sit in a hole that's near bankruptcy.

Edited by uMadRabbit, Feb 28 2013, 8:14pm :

McKay said,
Oh bugger off EU, nobody likes you. I can't think of a single good thing the EU does for me. All I see are petty rules and regulations that add costs to everyday life. Even EU regulations on the shapes of bananas for frak sake.

Agreed. People (most, hey some left wingers love it...) don't want large governing bodies with loads of regulation and red tape. Then when that "regulation" as it is against Microsoft is unfair (you can't possibly argue that it isn't, iOS doesn't even let you use a different browser from Safari, yes you can use a cruddy shell but they are the same thing) you become unpopular.

I wonder if the EU isn't happy because they are legitimately concerned that a browser with less market share than others is some sort of global threat or some crap or they are just coming to realise that the economy is most parts of Europe is *&*(@^# and they need a bit of cash injection to bail out countries that have fallen through.

EU is scared, hey no one like Microsoft and they happen to have a boat load of cash!! Let's go after them!

McKay said,
Oh bugger off EU, nobody likes you. I can't think of a single good thing the EU does for me. All I see are petty rules and regulations that add costs to everyday life. Even EU regulations on the shapes of bananas for frak sake.

It would seem the only ones who have a problem with the EU in this particular case would be Microsoft and their zealots.

The EU needs to continue to drive the nails of justice into Microsoft at every opportunity because if Microsoft were to go unchecked and unchallenged they will deliberately fall right back into their law-breaking ways practically overnight.

McKay said,
Oh bugger off EU, nobody likes you. I can't think of a single good thing the EU does for me. All I see are petty rules and regulations that add costs to everyday life. Even EU regulations on the shapes of bananas for frak sake.

To put a common front against USA.

Order_66 said,
The EU needs to continue to drive the nails of justice into Microsoft at every opportunity because if Microsoft were to go unchecked and unchallenged they will deliberately fall right back into their law-breaking ways practically overnight.

you can project all you want about what Microsoft would do if the EU loosened up a bit, but doesn't it seem at least a small amount unfair that Microsoft gets punished for this when in Europe Internet Explorer is the 3rd most used browser (http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-eu-monthly-201201-201301), and at the same time Apple doesn't get fined even though they don't allow anything but Safari on iOS (correct me if I'm wrong, I've just not seen any reports of Apple being fined for that)? I don't get why Microsoft is being punished when, compared to the other major players, they're actually making one of the best efforts (not saying it's a good effort, just saying it's better than on Android and iOS). Sure they violated that order, and should be punished for it, but shouldn't Apple and Google be punished for not including a browser ballot screen as well?

Funny you say finland has to pay. This money is just for a safetynet, the imf isnt just the eu countries paying.
also any idea how much is funded in northwest eu countries with eu money. You know its eu subsidairies keeping the whole european farming sector alive? Do you also know thanks to the eu, our borders are open? Which has given incredible wealth to not only our northwestern countries, but also the eastern ones. And when the eastern ones catch up, we will benefit from this largely in return. Also it makes projects like ESA possible. And hundreds of other things. Thanks to a combined eu, we are the most wealrhy and military powerfull nation in the world. Dont like it? **** off. The eu is domnibating, it just has its child deseases. Give it time.

Matthew_Thepc said,

you can project all you want about what Microsoft would do if the EU loosened up a bit, but doesn't it seem at least a small amount unfair that Microsoft gets punished for this when in Europe Internet Explorer is the 3rd most used browser (http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-eu-monthly-201201-201301), and at the same time Apple doesn't get fined even though they don't allow anything but Safari on iOS (correct me if I'm wrong, I've just not seen any reports of Apple being fined for that)? I don't get why Microsoft is being punished when, compared to the other major players, they're actually making one of the best efforts (not saying it's a good effort, just saying it's better than on Android and iOS). Sure they violated that order, and should be punished for it, but shouldn't Apple and Google be punished for not including a browser ballot screen as well?

Apple allows other browsers on ios, a quick search for browsers on my ipod touch app store showed chrome, Dolphin, mercury, opera etc
Some people think apple should be punished for bundling safari in OSX but realistically apple is not monopolizing the pc industry or even close to breaking any laws in that regard.
Microsoft used their dominance to crush competitors, I feel they continue to do this even today with other software products.
Consumers who purchase a pc with a version of windows already installed should be given the option during initial setup to choose their own software from other providers, not just for web browsers but for firewall, antivirus, email etc etc...

Sure it's nice to already have these products already bundled with windows, makes things easy, but others are losing money, why should I buy antivirus when Microsoft gives me one already installed for free on windows 8? software firewall? why purchase something when it's already there for free from Microsoft? Thank you Microsoft and screw everyone else that makes a better product that you'll probably never hear about unless you search for it on your own.

Order_66 said,

Apple allows other browsers on ios, a quick search for browsers on my ipod touch app store showed chrome, Dolphin, mercury, opera etc

Apple allows other browsers in the sense that they let browser makers put their own buttons and menus in, but requires them to use WebKit or render the pages on non-device servers and send basically pics of the page to the user (http://www.quora.com/WebKit/Ar...ed-to-use-the-WebKit-kernel), which doesn't really give the user much choice (which is what, AFAIK, this whole thing was about).

Some people think apple should be punished for bundling safari in OSX but realistically apple is not monopolizing the pc industry or even close to breaking any laws in that regard.

I agree with you there, Apple has nowhere near enough market share in the desktop world to have to be fined for this.

Microsoft used their dominance to crush competitors, I feel they continue to do this even today with other software products.

just like they require OEMs to implement Safe Boot because they're worried about Linux taking over their desktop market share, right? Sure, in the past they definitely misused their dominance, but now IMO they're not doing anything worse than their competitors.

Consumers who purchase a pc with a version of windows already installed should be given the option during initial setup to choose their own software from other providers, not just for web browsers but for firewall, antivirus, email etc etc...

Sure it's nice to already have these products already bundled with windows, makes things easy, but others are losing money, why should I buy antivirus when Microsoft gives me one already installed for free on windows 8? software firewall? why purchase something when it's already there for free from Microsoft?


The problem is, many users simply won't install an antivirus or firewall software (if they even know they exist). Microsoft including MSE, Windows Firewall, etc. provide a baseline where all of it's users get a relatively good amount of protection. If users want more protection, or a different kind of protection, they have the option to purchase it from companies like McAfee, Symantec, etc. If anything, IMO, this improves competition as the antivirus makers need to show users that they are better than the free alternatives.
Thank you Microsoft and screw everyone else that makes a better product that you'll probably never hear about unless you search for it on your own.

If it's a random company somewhere that your average user just isn't going to know about, it makes no difference whether Microsoft bundles MSE with their OS. The well-informed users who do search for it are the same people who would have searched for it before.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Since you're this know it all by benefits (for Christ sake you don't even belong in the Euro-zone so I have no idea why I'm even actually bothering with your right now) please do enlighten me what do countries like Germany, Estonia and Finland actually benefit right now instead of paying into other, almost bankrupted, countries?

I don't know if you remember but with the last bailout Finland asked for an insurance that they'll get their money back at some point and it stirred up so much crap that they were on the verge of leaving just because Greece wasn't actually all too much up for giving an insurance to them, this only goes to show that they have no plan to stop spending like brainless morons (I'm not talking about the regular people here) and that shows that countries who are on a good track will keep on paying.

Benefits my ass.

Estonia doesn't have money to feed its people. If the rules to join Eurozone wouldn't have changed a while ago, they would never be able to join. Just let 'em out. Finland and its woodcutters? They have half Greece' GDP. How are they supposed to pay? Listen, what Finland did was truly outrageous and is what breaks the alleged European's union solidarity. It's clearly you're one of those sheeps who listen the yellow newspapers before elections in order to manipulate the vote... Anyway, it would be truly wasting of time to explain a simpleton like you, here on Neowin about European politics.

According to your sayings, what's next? Estonia and Finland will pay for Italy and Spain who combined have 110 millions population? You're so funny...

The only winner here is Germany. They paid 1, they will receive 5 by a "fellow member". Actually Germany pushed Greece to accept the money. The other mambo-jumbo about simple Germans paying for Greece was just... mambo-jumbo before elections.

In any case, you're too small to put Greece in your mouth. Be sure about.

Edited by PC EliTiST, Mar 1 2013, 1:48am :

Greetings from China. Over here we're sitting on a mountain of dollars and Euros scratching our heads listening to you lot bicker about something you don't have - money. And then you wonder why all your jobs are heading this way. Maybe if you all stopped tweeting your facebooks so much and worked a little harder you'd have a future.

siah1214 said,
EU: Hey we're broke, what company can we wring out some extra cash from?

Then the US must be even more broke considering all the fines it has been placing on British firms ($4.9bn to BP; $3bn to GSK; $475m to RBS; $667m to Standard Chartered) and US companies ($5bn lawsuit against S&P).

Or perhaps it's just that those companies broke the law like Microsoft did.

from what I recall BP hasn't been a British Company for a long time, check the shareholders you'll find its multinational, with huge American share

This is, and has always been, bull****.

It's a browser, it's included with the OS, if that's not ok, then ALL operating systems should be required to have a ballot screen.

Frankly, if a user doesn't have the know-how to go and find a different browser on their own accord, then the usability advantage is in keeping Internet Explorer anyway!

Fine them for something reasonable at least for gods sake.