Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:03 UTC
Windows In a move to basically outflank the EU antitrust investigation, Microsoft has announced that all version of Windows 7 shipped in Europe will not include Internet Explorer 8 by default. This is reminiscent of the Windows XP N editions, which did not include Windows Media Player, but the difference here is that Microsoft will not ship versions of Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8 in Europe.
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no morals?
by lqsh on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:12 UTC
lqsh
Member since:
2007-01-01

So Microsoft will only do 'the right thing' when forced to. Why IE in the rest of the world?

Reply Score: 5

RE: no morals?
by poundsmack on Thu 11th Jun 2009 23:25 UTC in reply to "no morals?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

"So Microsoft will only do 'the right thing' when forced to. Why IE in the rest of the world?"

I am all for choice (posting this from Opera) but how is this, “the right thing?"

This was never about right or wrong, it was about competing companies wanting to take the easy path, complain to a government board that already had issues with MS, and get a lot of publicity and their browsers included in the system as a default, or as an option.

Now again don't get me wrong, I think it will be a GOOD thing to have an additional browser possibly preloaded into Windows if you would like(firefox would be best since it is the second most supported browser by plugins and software vendors). I am just completely against the way this was accomplished.

There was nothing stopping these companies from going to the major (and minor) OEM's and working out a deal for inclusion of their software. And if you have noticed, there hasn't been any report, (and they would have for sure had this happened), of any browser company being turned down for inclusion by the OEM's. THAT would have been justification for possible government intervention, but that’s not what happened.

In the end, this choice affects only a select few. The amount of new computers for home end users purchased online is much less than the amount (on average over the last 5 years) that were purchased in stores (in the USA). But since this doesn't affect the US, and I don't know the sales figures for other countries, perhaps this really will help alternative browser growth as a whole.

What will ultimately happen is that most systems will have "recommended specs" and will include IE (at the OEM's discression) due to the mass amounts of people that could potentially become confused with something different. Confused people potentially equal returns, and returns are never in the OEM’s best interest (in a world where education and knowledge are more accessible that ever before it baffles me that people because dumber and dumber. …actually it doesn’t baffle me, society encourages the masses not to think for themselves, and ignorance breeds stupidity and false entitlement, /end rant).

Conclusion: While many OSS “evangelists” will herald this as a wonderful achievement, in the end it has accomplished nothing. Microsoft has not learned their lesson on standards compliance (even though IE8 was a huge step in the right direction); the vast majority of OEM’s will still have IE as the default browser to please the masses; and fighting your own battles and doing business the way it should be done (you make a product, you market your product, you reach a deal with a distributer to include your product), has been discouraged in exchange for running to mommy and throwing a temper tantrum until you get your way (see previous rant).

Will this ultimately benefit the end users? Hard to say, but it certainly isn’t being done to give them “choice”, it is being done because the companies doing it stand to make a profit by having their browser be the default (weather it be by market share, brand name recognition, etc…). The idea that this is being done to be “fair” is a fair tale, that’s just the way it is.

(first poundsmack post to use spell check. …also some words still misspelled).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: no morals?
by arpan on Fri 12th Jun 2009 05:21 UTC in reply to "RE: no morals?"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

I'm sure both Mozilla and Google will be eager to make deals with OEMs to install their browsers as the default, and will be wiling to pay for the privilege.

I don't care about the agendas of the different companies involved. Fact is, any browser that replaces IE is going to be a vast improvement as far as standards compliance and security is concerned.

End users will definitely benefit from this.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: no morals?
by r_a_trip on Fri 12th Jun 2009 08:50 UTC in reply to "RE: no morals?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm a FOSS supporter, but I don't herald this as a "win". The bundled browser issue is a lost war. Every OS has a bundled browser these days.

Having a neutered Windows 7 in Europe will not restore Netscape to its former glory, it will not magically make Opera number one. It might give Google a leg up, but then again, do we want Google to grow even bigger?

The EU is barking up the wrong tree. The issue isn't applications. The issue is how those applications handle data and how they communicate with each other. This is where pressure should be applied. No secret sauce to ensnare the content of the end user with. Kill lock in, not the products of a company.

Personally, I would like to see a Windows where setting the default browser to something else than IE would result in Windows using the other browser for all browser related tasks. If you than had the option (if you should choose to do so) of removing all vestiges of IE, that would be perfect. Trident can stay as a general HTML rendering system component.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: no morals?
by JAlexoid on Sat 13th Jun 2009 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: no morals?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

There was nothing stopping these companies from going to the major (and minor) OEM's and working out a deal for inclusion of their software. And if you have noticed, there hasn't been any report, (and they would have for sure had this happened), of any browser company being turned down for inclusion by the OEM's. THAT would have been justification for possible government intervention, but that’s not what happened.


Aha! That is exactly the point where you lost the point.
There is an issue of OEM's, same one as Intel was fined, that MS can push them to do anything with almost infinite leverage.

Next, the OEM's need not accept returns based on buggy H/W, and installing IE does not need a return to take effect.

Third part, it that this is not EC's initiative, it's MS'es, and as we know when they do the "right thing" they f*ck it up for the rest of us. As described in the reaction of EC to this statement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: no morals?
by poundsmack on Sun 14th Jun 2009 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: no morals?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

"Aha! That is exactly the point where you lost the point.
There is an issue of OEM's, same one as Intel was fined, that MS can push them to do anything with almost infinite leverage."

Actually this is where you lost me. None of the major vendors have that rule in place. It would be deemed as anto competitive and therfore illigal in most countries. The rules inclusive to having an MS OEM licence do not have any clause in them to that effect, i know from first had experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE: no morals?
by kaiwai on Fri 12th Jun 2009 00:07 UTC in reply to "no morals?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So Microsoft will only do 'the right thing' when forced to. Why IE in the rest of the world?


So you're telling me that Microsoft has a special technology that stops users from installing competing browsers? oh, they don't have that technology?! well, what the hell are you whining about. Download the browser you want and install it if you don't like Internet Explorer. Why is Internet Explorer required to be installed (the javascript/rendering engine etc.) - because it is used by other components such as the help facility.

I truly am shocked - and guess what, the Windows XP N barely budged when it comes to moving product, and this will repeat the same 'awesome' sales that the Windows XP N received.

I really want someone tell me a single positive thing the EU bureaucracy has achieved in its whole existence - apart from wasting $300billion per year on agricultural subsidies, banning people from working more than a certain number of hours per week etc.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: no morals?
by JAlexoid on Sat 13th Jun 2009 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE: no morals?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

"So Microsoft will only do 'the right thing' when forced to. Why IE in the rest of the world?


So you're telling me that Microsoft has a special technology that stops users from installing competing browsers? oh, they don't have that technology?! well, what the hell are you whining about. Download the browser you want and install it if you don't like Internet Explorer. Why is Internet Explorer required to be installed (the javascript/rendering engine etc.) - because it is used by other components such as the help facility.

I truly am shocked - and guess what, the Windows XP N barely budged when it comes to moving product, and this will repeat the same 'awesome' sales that the Windows XP N received.

I really want someone tell me a single positive thing the EU bureaucracy has achieved in its whole existence - apart from wasting $300billion per year on agricultural subsidies, banning people from working more than a certain number of hours per week etc.
"

And that is exaclty why noone believes MS. Even the EC.
EC wants the "no IE"-Win7 not to be a separate product, but all Win7 will be no-IE-installed versions. And that is requested exactly because of "no-WMP" Win XP fiasco.

Reply Score: 2

RE: no morals?
by lemur2 on Fri 12th Jun 2009 00:45 UTC in reply to "no morals?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So Microsoft will only do 'the right thing' when forced to. Why IE in the rest of the world?


There were two "right-thing-to-do" options that were available to Microsoft so that they could legally ship Windows 7 with a browser in the EU.

(1) Make IE compliant with web standards, so that rich content web pages could be made viewable by users of ANY browser on ANY platform (including Windows) without requiring any proprietary plugin such as Flash or Silverlight, or

(2) Offer Windows customers a choice of browsers (not necessarily IE) at least some of which were compliant with web standards, so that rich content web pages could be made viewable by users of ANY browser on ANY platform without requiring any proprietary plugin such as Flash or Silverlight.

Microsoft chose to do neither.

So no, they did not do the right thing.

Edited 2009-06-12 00:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: no morals?
by arpan on Fri 12th Jun 2009 05:23 UTC in reply to "RE: no morals?"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Don't forget one thing. The majority of Windows purchases are with a new system. As such, the OEM has the choice to install whatever browser they want to install, and will choose to do so. I expect a substantial number will choose to install one of the alternate browsers, especially if Mozilla and Google are willing to pay them.

Fact is, no matter how you look at it, this will increase the share of standards compliant browsers.

Reply Score: 2

Has hell froze over?
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:16 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I'm surprised Microsoft would do this. When it comes to abiding by the law and doing what's "right" and fair to everyone vs. screwing everyone else and pissing on the law to their own advantage, Microsoft is notorious for the options they would choose.

As for how people will get a browser... USB thumb drives are so cheap now I'm surprised you don't find them in boxes of Cracker Jacks. They would be an excellent method... not to mention, they will hold far more than a couple Web browser installers.

Also, OEMs can pre-install a browser themselves. Maybe this is why Microsoft would do this; they're confident that every major OEM will choose IE. Hopefully that doesn't become the case.

Reply Score: 5

Bleh
by CrLf on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:27 UTC
CrLf
Member since:
2006-01-03

I find this whole "bundling" thing pretty stupid. Microsoft has the right to bundle whatever it wants with Windows, preventing them from doing only makes them look like poor innocent victims being bullied by the government.

Microsoft knows this and this move, being true, is just a means of getting the public on their side.

Matter of fact, the problem with Microsoft has never been bundling of IE or whatever with Windows. It is the bullying of OEMs to prevent _them_ from bundling competing products on their Windows installs.

This serves no purpose other than cause pain to users.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bleh
by bungle on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:37 UTC in reply to "Bleh"
bungle Member since:
2006-08-21

I find this whole "bundling" thing pretty stupid. Microsoft has the right to bundle whatever it wants with Windows, preventing them from doing only makes them look like poor innocent victims being bullied by the government.


It's more like either you own a monopoly and live with preventions or you don't own a monopoly and you can live without preventions.

Monopolist is never a victim!

Reply Score: 7

RE: Bleh
by LB06 on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:42 UTC in reply to "Bleh"
LB06 Member since:
2005-07-06

There we go again. It's not intrinsically illegal to bundle things. Hence, everybody does it. You probably won't be able to replace the software embedded in your cappuccino machine, for example.

But it is illegal to abuse your (defacto) monopoly in one area (OS'es) in order become a monopolist in another area (browsers). And for a reason, because then the abuser would have an unfair advantage over the competitors. The advantage is not based on intrinsic quality, lower price or better availability or anything, but purely on a monopoly that has on itself nothing to do with the product. Call it predatory bundling. Like with pricing, it's not illegal, but when it becomes predatory it certainly is. Predatory anything is bad for the economy, bad for innovation and hence bad for anyone but the abusing party. That's why it's been declared illegal and has held up in court. Go Neelie!

If Microsoft would have a market share of 50% or lower this wouldn't have been a problem. because then they would not have been able to abuse their position in the OS market to gain market share in the browser market.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Bleh
by kaiwai on Fri 12th Jun 2009 00:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Bleh"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

There we go again. It's not intrinsically illegal to bundle things. Hence, everybody does it. You probably won't be able to replace the software embedded in your cappuccino machine, for example.

But it is illegal to abuse your (defacto) monopoly in one area (OS'es) in order become a monopolist in another area (browsers). And for a reason, because then the abuser would have an unfair advantage over the competitors. The advantage is not based on intrinsic quality, lower price or better availability or anything, but purely on a monopoly that has on itself nothing to do with the product. Call it predatory bundling. Like with pricing, it's not illegal, but when it becomes predatory it certainly is. Predatory anything is bad for the economy, bad for innovation and hence bad for anyone but the abusing party. That's why it's been declared illegal and has held up in court. Go Neelie!

If Microsoft would have a market share of 50% or lower this wouldn't have been a problem. because then they would not have been able to abuse their position in the OS market to gain market share in the browser market.


Bundling as a monopoly isn't inherently illegal either - what the DOJ was against was the OEM agreements that disallowed OEM vendors from installing competing browsers, placing competing product links on the desktop etc. If it were just Internet Explorer being bundled then no one would care - the problem was that Microsoft obtained their monopoly in the browser market by using restrictive OEM agreements over what can and can't be bundled with the operating system by vendors.

I don't think there is anything one can do about clawing back market share so that there is balance in the marketplace. About the only thing I think the EU could constructively do is to demand Microsoft to remove all proprietary components out of their rendering engine and associated components. All web based technologies that Microsoft (or associates) creates (and associated technology; if Silverlight is opened then the CODEC's must be fully documented as well) must be fully documented and open for anyone to implement free of charge.

If they remove the barriers to entry, don't expect change over night but at least all will compete on a level playing field whilst still allowing Microsoft to develop on the proviso that they must open up their specifications.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bleh
by solarcontrol on Fri 12th Jun 2009 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Bleh"
solarcontrol Member since:
2008-11-17

Microsoft's only sin was making IE un-uninstallable.

This lesson goes under the "watch what you wish for" category.

Edited 2009-06-12 12:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

What will Google do?
by jebb on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:29 UTC
jebb
Member since:
2006-07-06

:%s/effect/affect/g

From the general public's point of view, this is almost a non issue: OEMs will never ship a PC without a fully functional browser on bord.
What will be highly interesting is which browser will get shipped. Of course IE8 is the obvious choice (the safest for OEMs), but who knows what deals other browser makers may enter... I can't see Google missing this opportunity to push Chrome.

Reply Score: 4

I assumed that Firefox would be the OEM
by MollyC on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:50 UTC in reply to "What will Google do?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

browser of choice, but you're right, Google will indeed push Chrome. But Google already has so much dominance in other areas, will the EC allow them to aggresively push their browser? I guess it's up to Nellie.

Chrome seems almost too barebones, though, to be shipped by an OEM as the default browser. I love Chrome, but it lacks lots of features compared to FF, IE, Opera, Safari (which is one of the reasons I like it). Is it really suitable for a default browser from a consumer standpoint? I don't know. Not that it matters, I expect Google to pay OEMs to ship Chrome, just as they pay Dell to ship Google Desktop.

Reply Score: 2

Stupid move
by merkoth on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:31 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

I'm not trying to defend MS, but this is a very stupid move. Making the damn thing uninstallable would be more than enough, this will only piss off customers who will need to jump through hoops to get a freaking browser.

On this day and age, shipping a web-unable OS is just plain stupid.

Reply Score: 9

I'm very pleased with this decision.
by MollyC on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:32 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

I've advocated Microsoft doing this for years. In fact, I think they should remove all apps (notepad, calculator, wordpad, etc), just to be safe (and perhaps sell them as a plus pack for 5 bucks, if there'd be a market for such a pack).

Anyway, this is the correct move. But I strongly disagree with those that say this is about doing "what's right". What's "right" would be for Microsoft to ship whatever browser it wants, just as every OS distributor does. This isn't about what's "right", it's about politics. The EC's Nellie declared war on Microsoft, stated her goal is to reduce Microsoft's "share" in whatever market suits her whim to below 50%, and will levy fines every year to achieve that. Microsoft, at long last, after years of utter stupidity, realized the truth behind the saying, "You can't fight city hall."

One thing good about this is that we'll get to have a reprieve from Opera's constant whining. They have 0.2% share, and blame Microsoft, yet Firefox has 40% share in Europe, 20% worldwide. Clearly Opera's problems are their own doing; now they'll have to prove themselves; no excuses (at least in Europe). When they fail (which they will), whom will they blame? Firefox? Google? Apple? All of those companies will have higher share than Opera, so they must be in the wrong somehow.

Incidentally, I'd like MS to dump IE altogether, but there are things it does that I like that other browsers don't do (for example, I like saving .mht files). I normally use IE and Chrome these days. I also have Firefox, Opera, and Safari 4 installed. The EC's notion that the user is being deprived of choice is the height of absurdity. And Windows has had the "Default apps" control panel for years now (allows one to set the default browser, IM client, email client, media player, and even JVM), and OEM's can ship with those setting set to however they please. The EC has no case, IMO, but what they say goes (the EU appeals court has ruled that the EC has dictatorial authority in matters of commerce, even to the point that the accused can be denied due process (such as ability to cross examine the accusers or even get to see all of the evidence)), so what Nellie wants, Nellie gets.

Edited 2009-06-11 22:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

One thing good about this is that we'll get to have a reprieve from Opera's constant whining.


Gosh, I hadn't thought of that. That's indeed a major win.

Reply Score: 3

hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

Maybe, they still will complain when they realize that almost every competing browser has more market share than they do, and it will start again. I look forward to not hearing them for a little while though.

Reply Score: 2

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Oh my god, the EU dares to apply the law.
Quick, let's whine about how the EU has declared war on Microsoft.

And while we are at it, I'd love to see a source for your claim that Neelie Kroes has stated she wants to reduce MS' share in whatever market she choose to under 50%.

Edited 2009-06-11 23:09 UTC

Reply Score: 6

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

The "law" in this case sucks because it's extremely vague, and it's enforced at Nellie's whim. The EC declarations of guilt don't even allow for due process, as the accused is not allowed to cross examine the accusers nor does the accused even have a right to examine all of the evidence. The EC used "secret" evidence in the network protocol proceedings (read "witch hunt"). Microsoft has never lost an actual trial wrt EU law. They've only "lost" the arbitrary proceedings of the EC, then appealed those declarations to the EU appeals court which rubberstamps the EC decisions because the appeals court doesn't have the power to review actual evidence, they only review whether if proper procedure was followed, and they've basically abdicated all authority to the EC. The Intel fine of 1.5 billion was absurd, and not based on Intel losing a trial, but based on arbitrary decision by Nellie and her flunkies.

See, here's the difference:
The US DOJ case was an actual trial. It was resolved by an actual settlement. That regime set up under that settlement has been in place with oversight committees, and relevant portions of that settlement have been extended as agreed to by both sides and OK'ed by an actual judge. That regime bears the stamp of legitimacy because due process was provided.

The EC "regimes", on the other hand, are completely arbitrary, based on whim, because there's no actual trial. So it's just, "Nellie declared Microsoft to be violating law by bundling IE in Windows 7 despite the fact that IE has been bundled in Windows for 13 years." Next, the inevitable fine is levied. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and there's no oversight committee by which Microsoft (or Intel, or any other of Nellie's targets) can submit designs and get approval or disapproval. The EC rejects such overtures with a "It's not up to us to say whether this design follows EU law (i.e. EC whim), it's up to you to follow EU law (i.e. EC whim). This is so the product based on the design in question will be actually released, so the the EC can levy their fines.

You're going to come back with the trite, "Microsoft must follow EU law, and if they don't like it, they can leave", making zero effort to examine if the law and/or the application of such is just. Of course, since you hate Microsoft, whether the law and application of it is actually just is the least of your concerns.

It's no wonder that the far right won the EU elections last week. I think it's a terrible development (hell, even the facist, racist, neo-Nazi British National Party won seats). But that's a reaction to the far left policies of the EU, of which Nellie's declarations are a perfect example. You talk of the EU simply applying law; will you feel the same way if these new right-wing members of EU parlaiment decide to apply neo-facist law? Will you be so unquestioning of EU law even under those circumstances?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The "law" in this case sucks because it's extremely vague


It isn't vague at all. Not the tiniest bit.

Just try to build and run a TV station that sent out pictures that only one make of TV set could use ... oh, and you happen also to be the company that makes the TVs in question. See how far you get.

Try and become a car maker whose cars only run on petrol that only you sell, and can drive only on toll roads that you operate.

A free market economy REQUIRES that different manufacturers can make competing products that perform the same functions using common infrastructure and services.

This is what standards are for. It is basic. Fundamental. It is how the whole economy works.

In the case of web browsers, the standards are set by the W3C. There is a compliance test for standards that have been set and stable for about five years or so (or even longer for some) ... it is called acid3.

IE fails dismally. Microsoft have had over five years to get it right. The areas IE fails in are explicitly those areas covered by non-standard Silverlight functionality. Illegal behaviour. Clear as crystal.

In a web browser, either sell something that conforms to the standards, or sell nothing. Just like a TV broadcast station must, or a TV receiver manufacturer must. Same laws apply.

Edited 2009-06-12 05:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Well - you DO know Neelie is a right wing party member, do you? She's coming from the VVD, This is the party that was the breeding ground and formal home ground of two of the most extreme right wing people that started a party in the Netherlands (PVV and TON).

So - all the talk about left wing tactics falls flat on the face here...

Edited 2009-06-12 05:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06

But that's a reaction to the far left policies of the EU, of which Nellie's declarations are a perfect example.


Neelie Kroes is a right wing politician, with rather right-wing ideas in economy. The EU view is that a large, free market is desired, and the EU's task is to remove those obstacles. This includes national protectionism, but also monopolies.

Reply Score: 4

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

IANAL, but as far as I can see, neither the law nor the principle guiding it is vague at all. On the contrary, I find it pretty clear.

And to act as if the process in the EU is arbitrary and there is no rule of law in Europe is just laughable and insulting. Microsoft is free to take its case to the courts, it did in several occasions and it lost. Why? Because MS broke the law.

And you shouldn't really comment on EU politics if you don't even know which party has Neelie Kroes belongs to, you don't know which parties have the majority in the EC and you don't even know what the role of the EU parliament is. You are just embarrassing yourself.

Reply Score: 4

matto1990 Member since:
2009-04-18

Just so you know. Opera's focus isn't on the desktop really. They make most of their money selling their browser on the DS, Wii and on mobile phones. I believe they have over 50% market share on mobile phone, but I'm not certain on that.

Reply Score: 3

IE ... no trident Yes.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:36 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

According to Microsoft this will not effect existing applications. In order for that to be true, the trident rendering engine at the heart of IE, must already exist in the OS. Otherwise, all of the applications that use the engine would break.

Still, I think its pretty dumb. Of all of microsoft's sins, bundling the OS was one of the most beneficial to mankind. Yes it killed Netscape, thus stunting standards growth by 5- 10 years, but it enabled people to get online easier at a critical time in the internet's life.

Reply Score: 2

v EU being unfair?
by Drumhellar on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:42 UTC
RE: EU being unfair?
by Jokel on Fri 12th Jun 2009 05:31 UTC in reply to "EU being unfair?"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

The EU does NOT demand Microsoft is bundling competitor's products. The EU is demanding only that the user has the choice - not the company itself.

I do not get it. People here are wailing about the fact that the consumer gets the choice in stead of the company. It gives more freedom to the consumer.

Everyone whom is against that is in fact saying the consumer has no right to choose...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: EU being unfair?
by Drumhellar on Fri 12th Jun 2009 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE: EU being unfair?"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

The EU does NOT demand Microsoft is bundling competitor's products.

Well, of course they aren't demanding Microsoft bundle other browsers, but that IS what they've been leaning towards. Also, the user does have a choice already. The EU was attempting to make Microsoft force the choice.

That is why Microsoft decided to un-bundle the browser. Well, that, and to hopefully avoid another massive fine.

The EU is demanding only that the user has the choice

Again, the consumer does have a choice. For example, I'm primarily a Windows user, but IE sucks. I choose to use Firefox instead. I have since v0.7 or so. Of course, I couldn't easily download it without IE already installed.

- not the company itself.

Why shouldn't the company have a choice? It is their product to sell. They do have responsibilities to their investors.

Microsoft frequently abuses their position as a monopoly, but bundling a browser isn't an abuse. It definitely isn't an abuse when they are rapidly losing ground to Firefox.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: EU being unfair?
by Jokel on Fri 12th Jun 2009 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: EU being unfair?"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

"Leaning towards" is NOT demanding. Do not try to bend reality will you?

Microsoft is unbundling the browser because the HAVE to comply to the demands and not because they friendly decided to do so.

You could not remove IE and it was still needed to update windows. Bundling the browser WAS an abuse, because they used it as an instrument to cripple the web standards to an extend other browsers where not able to use websites. It was just a few years ago you can still see the "Only IE" popups on almost every website.

It was that last abuse the EU is really unhappy with.

Reply Score: 2

v Question from the other side
by wawrzyn on Thu 11th Jun 2009 23:02 UTC
RE: Question from the other side
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 11th Jun 2009 23:15 UTC in reply to "Question from the other side"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I feel there will be some troubles on Windows 7 without IE - probably you will have to install IE first, then you will have to register ActiveX control (or it will be registered already after IE installation) to get such app working.


They claim that ALL applications will continue to function - it's in the article.

This tells me that the Trident engine is still in there for applications to hook into to, but that the rest of the browser is gone. This is similar to for instance Mac OS X, where even if you throw Safari away, WebKit is still there.

Reply Score: 1

wawrzyn Member since:
2009-03-24

Because in fact this move is not a real IE removal from operating system. It's just a move to show us something (but I'm not sure what right now) and maybe to satisfy EU antitrust commission. In Ju-Jitsu such technique is called "kaishin" - "evading by bypassing". I don't believe we can consider MS decission to be the sigh of EU success.

If all apps will work still, because there will be webbrowser.ocx avaialbe and registered in operating system with all necessary libraies, we cannot say that the browser is removed. It will be partially removed to hide all the internals, but you would be able to embedd the browser (by placing webbrowser.ocx ActiveX control on yhe form) in any application... This means, that you'll be even able to create your simple web browser based on IE, with the same rendering capabilities in the system which was sold as a Windows 7 with removed IE. Funny thing...

If they will remove IE totally (and in real meaning of the word "to remove") this has to mean that all apps with embedded IE (I mean just one and widely used ActiveX control - webbrowser.ocx) have to stop working.

Unfortunatelly, I think from Windows 7 and other Windows operating systems architectre point of view - total removal of IE is impossible since late versions of Windows 95 and NT 4.0 (after some Service Packs).

Now, I don't nderstand why someone gave me -1 point on my comment. As you can see there are 2 possible options:

- if ALL apps will work still - it's not a real removal, just hiding the web browser user interface. I consider this move to be a kind of "kaishin". After such move, usually you can expect an attack.
- if in fact all apps based on IE (with embedded webbrowser.ocx ActiveX control) will stop working, this means that they really removed IE and all it's components. Unfortunatelly, it's not possibe due to several reasons. Main of them is the general MS Windows OS design, which is not radically changed in Windows 7, as I think (we may consider that to some level all MS Windows versions starting from NT4 through 2000, XP, Vista and now upcoming Windows 7 are very similar in some basic design concepts), and it results in the situation where you just cannot remove IE totally from OS. You can just try to hide the fact, that IE still is in there - which is not the real "removal".

I think, as always, MS prepared something special for us. Watching them is like watching a good ju-jitsu randori with other market competitiors and users. Once again I'll repeat, MS won the fight several times. I don't believe this time they plan to give up. They did this move to make another one, to win some special prize - and one thing we can be sure: "after successful evasion there is always an attack." I'm sure that MS is trying to solve the issue with bundled IE - we have two options:

- to accept that partial removal of IE (which has nothing to do with the expected, real removal) as a solution and agree that the IE has been removed (which is not true from technical point of view).
- to start complaining that the IE shouldn't be removed.

In both situations they make a good background for future moves (attacks?). Thanks to that they can show us that bundling is not so bad.

In my opinion, MS can bundle what they want, as it's their product and EU shouldn't try to generate more and more laws and regulations. The market want to be free, not controlled. We can always decide what we want to use. I'm using Slackware Linux, it suits me very well and I don't need MS at all.

Now tell me, why someone gave me -1 for my last comment :-) It's not so stupid I think.

Edited 2009-06-12 14:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

I wanted to give you +1 because I also thought that your comment is a pretty good one, but it said "this comment can no longer be rated"

Reply Score: 1

without until...
by JrezIN on Thu 11th Jun 2009 23:22 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

Internet Explorer 8 will probably be prompted to install as soon the machine is connected to the internet through a 'recommended' update in Windows Update...

...maybe it will set itself as the default browser too in an accidental way... maybe a default search engine too...

well... at least them we can download the browser we want instead of the crazy bundled version of the alternative browser that will strangely like to open the vendor's home page automatically from time to time (they strangely shows a strange custom google page everytime you enter google or search for something... how unusual...)... or not... well... choice is good as long the vendor is the one doing all the thinking for you, right?!

(in other news: Following Intel steps, Microsoft decide to include coupons to vendors who install the IE8 Pack with their Windows' installations.)

Reply Score: 2

It isn't 1999 anymore
by WorknMan on Fri 12th Jun 2009 00:07 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I MAYBE could've seen a need for this 10 years ago, when most of the web was written for IE. But now? I can't remember the last time I had to fire up IE for anything. So instead of trying to enforce this when it actually mattered, the EU is about 10 years late on this one. And as it turns out, we didn't even need them to get involved in the first place.

This is reason number 39434067 why government should stay the hell OUT of market affairs.

Edited 2009-06-12 00:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by satan666
by satan666 on Fri 12th Jun 2009 00:17 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18

What all of you don't get is that Windows will be shipped with a browser. It's just that the browser is not IE. The OEM will ship computers with Windows preinstalled + a browser of their choice preinstalled too. So what's the problem? It is actually great that IE will not be the default browser. The browser market should be as open as possible. People tend to forget Microsoft's ways to kill compatibility and web standards.

Reply Score: 8

WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Haha, this just gets better and better, as it seems that Opera is none too pleased with Microsoft's move:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10262913-56.html?part=rss&subj=ne...

What a bunch of titty babies. Instead of making their browser more user friendly (so that more people actually want to use it), these clowns are gonna bitch and whine their way right out of the market, just like Netscape did.

Edited 2009-06-12 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

So now they're going to lobby the EC to force Microsoft to ship a browser with their OS? If Nellie agrees to that, then it'll show once and for all what a complete farce the EC has become. I can see it now: "You must ship a browser with your OS or face a 1.5 billion dollar fine!"

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So now they're going to lobby the EC to force Microsoft to ship a browser with their OS? If Nellie agrees to that, then it'll show once and for all what a complete farce the EC has become. I can see it now: "You must ship a browser with your OS or face a 1.5 billion dollar fine!"


I can't see that, it doesn't make any sense.

OTOH, I could easily see a law which said: "If you are going to ship a browser with your OS, it MUST work properly with web standards".

That is essentially the law with everything else. Why shouldn't it apply to web browsers?

"If you are going to ship a product, it MUST work properly with standards". Otherwise, you don't get to ship it. End of story.

I can't see a problem with that.

Reply Score: 2

hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

They were talking about how basically opera is never satisfied with last place and will bitch about any outcome, not about how IE needs to be standards compliant, I fail to see the relevance here. Opera is a company, and NO profit based company is out for the consumers best interest UNLESS it serves their own, that's absolute fact. Next step is that EU makes microsoft put opera on the top of the list, with flashing Vegas style lights and a "HEY CLICK HERE FOR NATURAL ENHANCEMENT" message scrolling by. They need to quiet down, Opera will never gain marketshare as long as firefox, chrome and safari are swimming around.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

They were talking about how basically opera is never satisfied with last place and will bitch about any outcome, not about how IE needs to be standards compliant, I fail to see the relevance here. Opera is a company, and NO profit based company is out for the consumers best interest UNLESS it serves their own, that's absolute fact. Next step is that EU makes microsoft put opera on the top of the list, with flashing Vegas style lights and a "HEY CLICK HERE FOR NATURAL ENHANCEMENT" message scrolling by. They need to quiet down, Opera will never gain marketshare as long as firefox, chrome and safari are swimming around.


If Windows comes with IE, and you cannot remove it, then there are going to be a lot of desktops with IE and no other browser. That is due to Microsoft's domination of the desktop.

If IE is non-standard, and does no render rich web content according to web standards but rather supports only proprietary methids such as Silverlight for rendering such content, then a lot of desktops are ONLY going to be able to render rich web content using Silverlight. That would give Microsoft a dominant position in the provision of rich web content services.

Opera has a valid complaint. Opera renders rich web content compliant with vendor-neutral web standards. There is no Silverlight plugin available for Opera.

Microsoft are trying to use their dominance in the desktop market to eliminate competition for parts of the web services market.

That is illegal. That is antitrust. One way of countering it is to require Microsoft to deliver either a browser that is standards compliant, or no browser at all.

Opera has a strong case no matter how much Microsoft apologists try to whinge and moan about it.

Read more about it here:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20090611180848163

Reply Score: 3

hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21


That is illegal. That is antitrust. One way of countering it is to require Microsoft to deliver either a browser that is standards compliant, or no browser at all.

Opera has a strong case no matter how much Microsoft apologists try to whinge and moan about it.


Then why do they have a problem with Microsoft delivering "no browser at all"? That was my whole point, They are offering just that, and Opera still has issues, acting like they really care for they're costumers, and not themselves. True, Microsoft should be standards compliant, and they have made progress, but I still don't see a valid reason why Opera could complain that they are NOT bundling IE. Would Real have complained more if Media player was removed all together?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Now, what happens when this relationship changes. Suppose MS Europe does not ship IE. Suppose you are DELL and want to ship a PC. If you decide to go with Firefox... you now have to test to make sure all the aspects of Windows work with Firefox (the help, various websites...). Dell has to validate firefox against websites their customers may visit. Dell is providing the bundle... Dell is responsible.


You are kidding, right?

For over a decade Microsoft has shipped an unremoveable browser that was (deliberately) not compliant with web standards and which used proprietary (only works on Windows) extensions, and Microsoft was somehow not responsible (even though it was according to the original DOJ findings) ... and now that Dell can finally ship a compliant-with-standards browser that allows websites to be made which will work on ALL platforms (as the web was designed to work in the first place) ... suddenly Dell is supposed to be responsible because some website owners made their sites work only with IE?

Surely you jest. My irony meter broke.

This is so backwards I don't know where to start.

Edited 2009-06-12 01:04 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

no jest at all.

Who do you think consumers blame when something breaks on Windows. They curse Windows because everywhere on their OS says WINDOWS.

If Dell delivers the solution and Microsoft becomes less visible, they are going to start blaming the vendor. Perhaps a good thing as solutions are what count.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

no jest at all. Who do you think consumers blame when something breaks on Windows. They curse Windows because everywhere on their OS says WINDOWS. If Dell delivers the solution and Microsoft becomes less visible, they are going to start blaming the vendor. Perhaps a good thing as solutions are what count.


You have still got it backwards.

If a given website doesn't work in all browsers, and other websites with equivalent functionality do work in all browsers, then it is the website that is broken, not the client machine.

All Dell would have to show is that the website in question doesn't work in Firefox or in Safari or in Opera or in Chrome on any machine (not just on Dell's machine). Therefore, it isn't the Dell machine that is broken, but rather it is the website.

Here is an example that might help you: if a TV station started to show broadcasts that could only be viewed on Sony televisions, have a guess who would have to fix it? Do you really think that all the dozens of other TV manufacturers would have to fix their TVs, or perhaps, just possibly, the TV station might have to fix their broadcast equipment?

Edited 2009-06-12 02:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

No customer cares about web standards. They care about launching their web browser, navigating to a website, and it works.

Perhaps tat is why Microsoft is successful. They understand that very simple concept.

It doesn't even matter who is 'technically' wrong.
I've worked in telecom where there are always issues connecting different vendors even though there are 'standards'. Even if your competitor is implementing something wrong, you better take ownership of that problem and come up with a solution.

if you can 'blame' it on the other vendor with proof, more power to you. Yet the customer only cares about getting things working. I know I've had to put in some fixes to allow a bad vendor to work well with our systems even if they had not followed the standard.

Edited 2009-06-12 02:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

No customer cares about web standards. They care about launching their web browser, navigating to a website, and it works. Perhaps tat is why Microsoft is successful. They understand that very simple concept.


Clearly you don't understand this concept.

Microsoft's IE browser is very broken and it is actually the least capable. It is years and years behind the competition. There are heaps of websites that don't work in IE, yet work perfectly in any other browser.

http://abetterbrowser.org/
http://dobbse.net/thinair/2003/07/000123.html
http://browsehappy.com/
http://www.geekgirls.com/net_better_browser.htm
http://www.forbes.com/2004/09/29/cx_ah_0929tentech.html
http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/firefox3
http://blogs.gartner.com/ray_valdes/2009/02/24/in-search-of-a-bette...
http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2003/07/17/BrowserDream

I could literally put many thousands of similar links up.

if you can 'blame' it on the other vendor with proof, more power to you. Yet the customer only cares about getting things working. I know I've had to put in some fixes to allow a bad vendor to work well with our systems even if they had not followed the standard.


Do yourself a favour, ditch IE from your systems. Get a better browser. There are many to choose from. It will save you heaps of work.

Edited 2009-06-12 02:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Hey! Look! A bunch of anti-IE sites that *GASP* don't work in IE! Who'd've thunk it?

Reply Score: 2

Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

Most of those sites (checked first 5) work just fine on IE 8...

I don't use IE, mind you. I tend to switch from browser to browser once in a while but I am getting sick of EU shoving this "freedom of choice" down my throat. I can choose my own browser just fine. I live in EU and if I buy Win7 i'd like it to be bundeled with IE8 - I'm not interested in a politicaly-infested crippled version.

Opera: cry me a river, get users to use your product on your own. Mozilla can do this, so can Google. Don't have the cash? Well too bad thanks for playing, good luck in the mobile market.

Reply Score: 1

What Next?
by testman on Fri 12th Jun 2009 00:34 UTC
testman
Member since:
2007-10-15

Seems like the legislators of Fortress Europe want to pull the platform to pieces! What next? Force them to provide the Kernel separately as well?

Reply Score: 0

RE: What Next?
by l3v1 on Fri 12th Jun 2009 07:04 UTC in reply to "What Next?"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, someone has to force them to make Windows more modular. It'd only do them good.

Reply Score: 3

Download a Browser without a browser
by jedimasterk on Fri 12th Jun 2009 01:58 UTC
jedimasterk
Member since:
2006-10-23

So how will European Windows 7 users be able to download an alternate browser without a browser. If IE8 is included but not installed by default. You may still have to install it in order to be able to download Firefox,Opera. etcc. So it sort of defeats the purpose. sure you may need to have a Browser exe on a seperate disc, or flash drive. But will newbees realize this. What if you build your own system or only own one computer and need to re-install Windows 7, but have no browser exe. Things to think about!.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So how will European Windows 7 users be able to download an alternate browser without a browser. If IE8 is included but not installed by default. You may still have to install it in order to be able to download Firefox,Opera. etcc. So it sort of defeats the purpose. sure you may need to have a Browser exe on a seperate disc, or flash drive. But will newbees realize this. What if you build your own system or only own one computer and need to re-install Windows 7, but have no browser exe. Things to think about!.


There are some points here:

(1) The intent of Microsoft is that, in order to be compliant with competition law, the OEM will offer a choice of browser that is shipped with the system as sold. Microsoft of course hope that OEMs will only ship IE anyway, and given Microsoft's sway over OEMs, that is a quite reasonable hope.

(2) The fact that Windows does not have a decent method to install software, and the method often used is search for software on the web and download executables using a browser ... does not mean that therefore Windows MUST be shipped with a browser. An OEM could easily, for example, ship a new Windows machine with a CD that let users install a browser from a choice: Safari, or Chrome, or Firefox or IE could all be offered on the CD.

(2b) On saner platforms, it is of course possible to install software without a browser being already installed on the system. On Ubuntu, for example, one could install a browser (without using a browser) via any one of (at least) these options:
GUI:
Add/Remove Software
Synaptic
Packagekit

Console:
aptitude
aptitude install firefox
apt-get install firefox

Reply Score: 4

jedimasterk Member since:
2006-10-23

But what if your not an OEM. Your a simple computer user that wants to build his or her own system living in Europe with a retail copy of Windows 7. You don't own a laptop or another desktop either. You install Windows 7 without a default browser. Now what?. You get prompted to install IE8 . Defeats the purpose!. Now if Microsoft gave you a prompt to either install IE8, Opera, or Firefox. that would be meet the EU demands and not screw the customer. se hwat I'm getting at. I care less about OEM installs, what about computer users who build their own systems or build one for the first time.

Reply Score: 2

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I care less about OEM installs, what about computer users who build their own systems or build one for the first time.

That is minority geekery, which is not even on the radar. It's up to you to get out of that pickle. You went into the woods, now you find a way to get back on the path.

What if you trashed your old PC, scrapped all install disks and then started to build a new naked PC from parts? How are you going to get an OS on that? Same problem, same answer. It's up to you to get all the required pieces beforehand if you don't go the OEM road.

Ideal? No. Current reality? Very much yes!
Welcome back to the old "have-to-get-Netscape" days.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So how will European Windows 7 users be able to download an alternate browser without a browser.


For people stuck with Windows, here is one method that I found:

Start
Run
Cmd
ftp
o
ftp.mozilla.org
anonymous
anonymous
cd pub/firefox/releases
dir
(choose your version)
cd 3.0.9
cd win32
dir
(choose your language)
cd en-US
mget * (easier than typing the full name with escapes)
close
quit
Fir[TAB] (expands to the full name of the setup file)


It is of course much easier than this on other, saner, more functional operating systems.

Edited 2009-06-12 03:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

douwel Member since:
2009-06-13

"So how will European Windows 7 users be able to download an alternate browser without a browser.
For people stuck with Windows, here is one method that I found:
Start Run Cmd ftp o ftp.mozilla.org anonymous anonymous cd pub/firefox/releases dir (choose your version) cd 3.0.9 cd win32 dir (choose your language) cd en-US mget * (easier than typing the full name with escapes) close quit Fir[TAB] (expands to the full name of the setup file)
It is of course much easier than this on other, saner, more functional operating systems.
"

Hah! This is what I was looking for (I was trying at ftp.mozilla.com, which doesn't exist). However, it is easier to just use the Windows Explorer. Just type 'ftp.mozilla.org' in the address bar and double-click on the choices you listed. After that, use copy/paste to transfer.

Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

I know statistics are wortheless but....
by eantoranz on Fri 12th Jun 2009 06:41 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

... how will this affect IE's market share?

I mean... if I get Windows (god forbid) and it has no browser, whatever the mechanism provided to get a browser (it's be nice to know how it's going to be... if there's any at all), would I download, say, FF at under 9 MBs or IE at whatever size it's right now (which I bet is much more than 9 MBs)?

I think that will make IE nose dive in market share statistics... obviously in Europe, but also worldwide (as a whole, I mean).

Reply Score: 2

sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

... how will this affect IE's market share?


This will in no way affect IE's market share. If some PC manufacturer decides not to install IE as the default browser on their PCs, Microsoft will surely be there to give a "small encouragement discount" for changing their minds.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Coxy
by Coxy on Fri 12th Jun 2009 09:49 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

How's someone going to actually use the internet if their new computer with windows 7 doesn't have a browser (geeks aside of course)?

They'd have to browser to download.com and oh wait... they don't have a browser.

Or are the like of Dell going to offer to install a browser during the initial setup of windows? And what will that be? Even if they ofer a list of browser like firefox, ie and opera most people would probably just pick IE anyway because they know it.

Reply Score: 2

this will make little difference
by crimperman on Fri 12th Jun 2009 11:52 UTC
crimperman
Member since:
2006-11-09

As stated in the article OEMs will be able to install any browser they wish before shipping. Thus I fear this action by Microsoft will make little difference as most OEMs will either
a) install IE8 anyway under their own volition because "it's what our customers demand"
b) be pressured by Microsoft into doing a) in some way

So most OEM machines will end up with IE8 on them regardless. What *is* nice about this is that in theory a customer should be able to ask their OEM to put ANOther browser on instead. Perhaps one day we'll finally get back to the days when most if not all OEMs will allow you to buy a machine with the OS of your choice or without one.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 12th Jun 2009 13:52 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

May I remind people that Internet Explorer 8 has the one and only complete CSS 2.1 implementation. No other browser has this, not Firefox, not Safari, not Opera.

Please rephrase your comments when it comes to IE not supporting standards and therefore not having some right to be bundled.

And yes, this is coming from me, a stalwart standards guy with a website that doesn't come close to working in IE, but then I also have to recognise the facts when you see them.

Reply Score: 1

Great news
by alban on Fri 12th Jun 2009 19:48 UTC
alban
Member since:
2005-11-15

Great news.
I sometimes find I am using Internet Explorer by accident and its a real pain to uninstall it. So it will be good to get a version of Windows that is IE free.

Reply Score: 1

so you can
by Mellin on Sun 14th Jun 2009 10:32 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

remove IE and windows still works ?

microsoft told everyone that windows doesn't work without ie

Reply Score: 2