Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Dec 2009 19:29 UTC
Internet & Networking You thought the whole browser ballot thing in Windows was behind us, right? That everybody was finally happy, so that we could continue doing what an overwhelming number of people have already done without a ballot screen - that is, install non-IE browsers? Not exactly. Opera, Mozilla, and Google still had complaints, which Microsoft addressed, making everybody happy.
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v Delays, Delays & More Delays ?
by shotsman on Fri 4th Dec 2009 19:36 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

These delays are caused not by MS, but by Opera, Mozilla, and Google.

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Here’s Mozilla’s complaints. http://jboriss.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/how-could-microsofts-propos...

Pretty valid I’d say. Microsoft are trying to befuddle people into sticking with IE.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They count the window frame? Are they serious? This is a joke, right?

Might as well not boot Windows at all, since Windows is linked to IE. Not show the Microsoft brand name anywhere in the user experience leading up to the ballot, and up until 30 minutes after the ballot to ensure people don't change their minds and go back.

I'm sorry, but this is just retarded.

Reply Score: 4

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

While the frame itself might be counted unfairly for Microsoft, all other areas that are counted for IE contain the IE Logo that also occurs where you select the browser.

So the amount of area attributable to IE might not be 3.35 time higher, but just 3 times higher.

Changes nothing in the principal fact that Microsoft tries to stack the ballot as much as possible.

A neutral window without a logo, without tabs or other stuff which could remind of IE, plus a randomized order of the items is the only fair thing. Everybody who ever saw the ballot sheet of the nazis containing a big, central circle labeled "Yes!" and a small off-center circle labeled "No" knows this. (http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Stimmzettel-Anschlu...)

Reply Score: 3

Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

'...Changes nothing in the principal fact that Microsoft tries to stack the ballot as much as possible...'

Yeah, just like companies like Opera. Lets face it, people have had a browser choice for years and still Opera has almost no market share.

Reply Score: 2

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Kroc,

The ballot is a stupid idea put in place by a stupid bureaucracy. Why not just require the PC vendors in europe to install at least one 3rd party browser and display it on the desktop? "The idiots", as you seem to think most computer users are, would then get a choice other than IE.

Reply Score: 0

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Here’s Mozilla’s complaints. http://jboriss.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/how-could-microsofts-propos...
Except it's not Mozilla's complaints - as mentioned in the opening sentence on the very link you posted:
[q](Note: This is my personal opinion and doesn’t reflect Mozilla’s official position nor any formal statement from Mozilla)

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Sorry, my original message should have read like this:


Except it's not Mozilla's complaints - as mentioned in the opening sentence on the very link you posted:
(Note: This is my personal opinion and doesn’t reflect Mozilla’s official position nor any formal statement from Mozilla)
[/q]

Reply Score: 2

Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

It depends on whether you think the outer window and all the other red marked areas are really being used for IE. That's just Mozilla's opinion... oh wait. They have their own browser, they wouldn't be baised would they? I don't see that marked outer area as being anything to do with IE, it's just a standard window - you could include the small window icon but that's about all. Using this guy's logic the whole window on his new version/mockup is also favouring IE.

Anyway, that mockup of "a better version" has done more to highlight IE and draw your attention straight to it because the length of the browser name pushes the button further down. It looks different from all the other browsers.

Edited 2009-12-07 08:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

OSNevvs Member since:
2009-08-20

On top of that, under pressure from the three browser makers, Microsoft has agreed to remove the Internet Explorer logo from the ballot screen. It was said that the recognisability of the IE logo would give an unfair advantage to Internet Explorer.


Next month:

On top of that, under pressure from the three browser makers, Microsoft has agreed to remove the Internet Explorer name from the ballot screen. It was said that the recognisability of the IE name would give an unfair advantage to Internet Explorer.


No more IE ;)

Reply Score: 1

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

The EU needs to put their foot down and stop any more Windows 7 sales unless the choice is included. But I don't have much hope of this happening any time soon.

Or the EU could stay out of regulating things they don't understand like the free market. That would save everybody a lot of money.

It is sad that 2009 is almost over and the MS/EU antitrust circus show is still going on.

Reply Score: 2

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

The EU antitrust circus obviously is being needed to even GET a free market.

Microsoft had a monopoly on desktop operating systems, which they unfairly used and are still trying to use to monopolize the browser market and gain vast control over used web protocols.

The US market watchdogs got sleepy during the Bush administration years, and the EU is trying to re-establish a healthy market, because if in a market with network effects monopoly power is abused, the market becomes dictated by a company - it becomes something that closely resembles communist economy, with 5 year plans and stagnation (as seen during the years of >90% IE marketshare).

Not very capitalist or pro free market of Microsoft, don't you think?

Reply Score: 7

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Bull.

Please pull your head out of the 90's We are going to be 20 years on from the issue soon and the EU is still worrying about something that is no longer an issue.

The EU might as well just come out and tell MS that they cannot use IE at all, except for the few places that the Triton engine is used by the OS functions and let the OEMs install the browser they feel would best serve their customers.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Bull.

Please pull your head out of the 90's We are going to be 20 years on from the issue soon and the EU is still worrying about something that is no longer an issue.


Bureaucracy takes years - 20 years in this case.

Edited 2009-12-06 13:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

I used to be anti-MS. I used the "Microsoft" crap and used Linux exclusively... used OS X and Linux when I needed more than what Linux could offer me at the time.

I got excited in 1998 when all the Linux magazines printed stories of what a future with a broken up Microsoft would do to the industry. I still think that Just Jackson's original ruling should stand, HOWEVER, MS has changed a lot since those days. Only the zealot anti-fanboys can't see that.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I'm not a "zealot anti-fanboy".

I'm just replying to your comment that we should all just ignore MS now that they've decided to play legal despite the fact that this case is part of the bureaucratic fallout from the high-profile cases of old.

Like it or not, the legal system DOES sometimes take this long and just because MS have changed their tactics doesn't mean the EU courts should suddenly drop the charges of MSs previous actions.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

except IE's share is dropping, and Firefox's just passed 24%. Google Chrome is doing ok. Opera still sucks.

Seems like the market is pretty fair to me.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

except IE's share is dropping, and Firefox's just passed 24%. Google Chrome is doing ok. Opera still sucks. Seems like the market is pretty fair to me.


The real issue isn't so much market share (although it is to Opera, I suppose), but rather standards compliance (and the lack thereof in IE).

If all web browser could render the exact same as-served page including rich content, then and only then would there be true competition in the browser market. This would be far better for almost everyone on the planet.

If there was true competition, then no party could possibly hope to impose anything as silly as this browser ballot.

Reply Score: 2

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

If opera can't bring up its market share in the current market, then that is there fault.

As someone who has tried using their browser, I can tell you, their browser sucks. Firefox is a great general browser and Chrome is a fantastically fast browser. IE is always my last choice, and Opera is never in the list.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Or the EU could stay out of regulating things they don't understand like the free market. That would save everybody a lot of money.

It is sad that 2009 is almost over and the MS/EU antitrust circus show is still going on.


So you'd prefer the "free market" of the US where big multi-billion corporations pretty much do as they please?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by telns
by telns on Fri 4th Dec 2009 19:36 UTC
telns
Member since:
2009-06-18

I'm just waiting for the a browser selection dialog in ChromeOS.

Reply Score: 16

RE: Comment by telns
by gustl on Sat 5th Dec 2009 14:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by telns"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Crome OS is not brought onto people through exploiting a monopoly in desktop operating systems.

Therefore it is not bound by the rules which apply to monopolist market players.

Please Microsoft apologists and Microsoft shills! Stop trying to insinuate that other browser makers who happen to also make minority desktop operating systems were somehow bound to the same rules as Microsoft.

Microsoft has a monopoly of desktop operating systems. It is DIFFERENT in that regard from ALL other companies on this planet, therefore it has to follow DIFFERENT rules. Rules that ensure a free market can come to pass.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Comment by telns
by Bobthearch on Sat 5th Dec 2009 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by telns"
RE[2]: Comment by telns
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 6th Dec 2009 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by telns"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

last I checked MS has not prevented the OEMs from using an OS other than windows on their machines.

Your beef is with the OEMs, not microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by telns
by Mellin on Sun 6th Dec 2009 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by telns"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

they used other ways

if you sell pcs without or with something else than our os your company will have to pay higher prices on windows in the future

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by telns
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 6th Dec 2009 03:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by telns"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

They don't do that anymore. Try adventuring into the 21st century.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by telns
by Laurence on Sun 6th Dec 2009 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by telns"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

They don't do that anymore. Try adventuring into the 21st century.

Your original statement was generalised though - thus peoples response.

Besides, the damage has already been done.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by telns
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 6th Dec 2009 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by telns"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

and paid for.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by telns
by Laurence on Sun 6th Dec 2009 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by telns"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

and paid for.


Personally I think the fine they received is peanuts compared to the money they've made from their actions.

Each to their own though

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by telns
by BluenoseJake on Sun 6th Dec 2009 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by telns"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Sure, in 1996. They can't do that anymore, and haven't been able to for 10 years.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by telns
by Mellin on Mon 7th Dec 2009 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by telns"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

they used it against netbook sellers to remove linux


(in sweden you can't get a linux netbook)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by telns
by BluenoseJake on Mon 7th Dec 2009 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by telns"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Perhaps that's the OEM's fault? Do you have proof that MS is till doing that in Sweden? I wouldn't think the EU would let them get away with it, seeing how the EU has to stick it's nose into everything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by telns
by Laurence on Sun 6th Dec 2009 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by telns"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

last I checked MS has not prevented the OEMs from using an OS other than windows on their machines.

Errr, yeah they have.
They used to threaten OEMs constantly to stay exclusive to MS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by telns
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 6th Dec 2009 22:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by telns"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

LAST I CHECKED, which would be since the US DOJ and the EU banned them from doing that back in 1999.

MS has not been using that tactic. the OEMs are choosing to stick with Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by telns
by Laurence on Sun 6th Dec 2009 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by telns"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

LAST I CHECKED, which would be since the US DOJ and the EU banned them from doing that back in 1999.

MS has not been using that tactic. the OEMs are choosing to stick with Windows.


So the hefty cash incentive MS provided to netbook OEMs to ditch Linux for XP had nothing to do with their decision to stick with Windows?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by telns
by lemur2 on Mon 7th Dec 2009 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by telns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"LAST I CHECKED, which would be since the US DOJ and the EU banned them from doing that back in 1999. MS has not been using that tactic. the OEMs are choosing to stick with Windows.
So the hefty cash incentive MS provided to netbook OEMs to ditch Linux for XP had nothing to do with their decision to stick with Windows? "

The hefty cash incentive MS provided to netbook OEMs to ditch Linux for XP, after an initial success, is apparently starting to fail:

http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/12/linux-regaining-netbook-market...
Despite this ABI Research published some new data last month and the results may surprise you. They place the 2009 market share for Linux on netbooks at 32% with 11 million units preloaded with Linux shipping this year. In an interview with DesktopLinux.com, Jeffrey Orr of ABI makes clear that dual boot machines (i.e.: the Acer Aspire One AOD250-1613) and machines that are purchased with Windows but later have Linux loaded do not count in the 32% number. That number is pure Linux sales. This data confirms comments made first by Jay Pinkert and later by Todd Finch of Dell that one third of their netbooks sales are Linux machines and that there is no higher return rate for Linux systems than there is for ones sold with Windows preloaded.


Caveat: I'm pretty sure that the "2009" in the above text should actually read "2010". AFAIK the ABI Research stuff was a prediction, not a statistic.

Anyway, this is particularly interesting now that Microsoft are apparently going to try to insist on $50 from OEMs even for Windows 7 starter on a netbook.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/06/microsoft-currently-a...

If Microsoft cut out XP Home for netbooks (reportedly $5), and insist on at least Windows 7 starter and $50, then they will lose the netbook market. Linux-on-ARM will spring up everywhere, $150 cheaper, way more functional out of the box, malware free, much faster, and running three times as long on batteries as Windows 7 starter on Atom.

Edited 2009-12-07 00:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by telns
by Laurence on Mon 7th Dec 2009 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by telns"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Caveat: I'm pretty sure that the "2009" in the above text should actually read "2010". AFAIK the ABI Research stuff was a prediction, not a statistic.

Personally I think the article reads better as 2009 rather than 2010.

Interesting link though - thanks for posting it (I'd have +1'ed you if I could)



I really wouldn't want to predict how the netbook market will evolve from here.
It's not really a technology driven market like laptops or gaming desktops as the whole point of netbooks is cheap, low powered hardware.
However, with that in mind, logically the market should have deflated before now - but clearly it hasn't.

So what happens from here is anyones guess.

Reply Score: 2

Ridiculous
by WereCatf on Fri 4th Dec 2009 19:38 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

"The biggest issue these three browser makers had with Microsoft's proposal was that by listing browsers alphabetically by vendor, Apple's Safari had an unfair advantage."

So, they basically claim that users can't go past the first entry and will by default click on whatever is the first one? That's ridiculous, and they are sending a message that they think end-users aren't much smarter than a bunch of monkeys. How wonderful. Besides, having things in alphabetical order is what people expect and are used to. Having them in a random order just gives very poor image of both Microsoft and all the browsers in the list.

And most of all...how does this make the life easier for the end-user? This should be all about end-user and their computing experience, NOT about market share!

"On top of that, under pressure from the three browser makers, Microsoft has agreed to remove the Internet Explorer logo from the ballot screen. It was said that the recognisability of the IE logo would give an unfair advantage to Internet Explorer."

This too is nothing more than nitpicking. Yes, plain, simple nitpicking, with nothing of value for the end-user.

God I wish we lived in a world where people and their needs came first, then companies and the pockets full of money.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Ridiculous
by DeadFishMan on Fri 4th Dec 2009 21:08 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

"The biggest issue these three browser makers had with Microsoft's proposal was that by listing browsers alphabetically by vendor, Apple's Safari had an unfair advantage."

So, they basically claim that users can't go past the first entry and will by default click on whatever is the first one? That's ridiculous, and they are sending a message that they think end-users aren't much smarter than a bunch of monkeys. How wonderful.


To be honest, most people that I know really do not know anything about computers, panic immediately at any dialog window that appears and will click OK without thinking twice - not even reading the damn thing! - just to get rid of it as soon as possible and therefore it is very likely that whatever was selected as default in the said dialog really has the bigger chance of being selected by the majority of computer users. Heck, I have a friend who purchased a very expensive laptop mostly for Live Messenger chat, Facebook and to listen to music. She doesn't know how to watch DVDs nor even where her files are stored!

Now, I am not exactly saying that Apple is being given an unfair advantage here as I don't even think that it would be selected by default on the ballot but it is not hard to stretch a little bit the behavior described above so that these users would select ANYTHING - and hence, the first option no matter what - just to get rid of the dialog.

People DON'T read dialog windows at all. PERIOD. Those here that think otherwise are deluding themselves.

That's why I think that to randomize the list is the most fair approach to take, as far as this ballot nonsense goes.

Also, I really don't see support technicians getting confused with the random order on the ballot screen and if they do, they're REALLY lousy support technicians to begin with and probably have problems to keep their business afloat and nobody should shed a tear for them.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by lord_rob on Sat 5th Dec 2009 11:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

A good option would be using random order and putting a visible button to sort the list alphabetically IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ridiculous
by larwilliams2 on Sat 5th Dec 2009 04:27 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
larwilliams2 Member since:
2009-12-02

"The biggest issue these three browser makers had with Microsoft's proposal was that by listing browsers alphabetically by vendor, Apple's Safari had an unfair advantage."

So, they basically claim that users can't go past the first entry and will by default click on whatever is the first one? That's ridiculous, and they are sending a message that they think end-users aren't much smarter than a bunch of monkeys. How wonderful. Besides, having things in alphabetical order is what people expect and are used to. Having them in a random order just gives very poor image of both Microsoft and all the browsers in the list.

And most of all...how does this make the life easier for the end-user? This should be all about end-user and their computing experience, NOT about market share!

"On top of that, under pressure from the three browser makers, Microsoft has agreed to remove the Internet Explorer logo from the ballot screen. It was said that the recognisability of the IE logo would give an unfair advantage to Internet Explorer."

This too is nothing more than nitpicking. Yes, plain, simple nitpicking, with nothing of value for the end-user.

God I wish we lived in a world where people and their needs came first, then companies and the pockets full of money.

Most aren't smarter than a bunch of monkeys LOL

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ridiculous
by Karitku on Sat 5th Dec 2009 12:46 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Captain America to rescue!
Hey couldn't we sue Opera and others for insulting our intelligency? Atleast in USA it should be possible.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ridiculous
by jthomas on Sat 5th Dec 2009 18:02 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
jthomas Member since:
2006-09-03

>they think end-users aren't much smarter than a bunch of monkeys.


actually, IE actual share seems demostrate this..

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by WereCatf on Sat 5th Dec 2009 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

actually, IE actual share seems demostrate this.

Laziness doesn't equal stupidity; most regular end-users find IE's features all they need and it's already there, so it's an obvious choice them. And you know, there's nothing wrong with that. If it fills their needs then it fills their needs, no point in trying to find something else which does exactly the same.

Also, knowledge doesn't equal smarts; most regular end-users don't know of the security issues in earlier IE versions (I've heard IE8 is a lot more secure nowadays, haven't verified it myself) and thus you can't blame them for that. Not everyone is interested in knowing about the innards of a browser and everything it involves.

Oh, and did you know that the higher you ride on a high horse the easier it is to drop you from there?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ridiculous
by jthomas on Sat 5th Dec 2009 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
jthomas Member since:
2006-09-03

Doing this for work, I see most people not only don't know there's an option beside IE, mainly they don't even know there's something else than IE6, even people working in the Internet to often don't know there something called update (not only ignore there arealternative browsers).

Reply Score: 1

Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

How long before overworked and bored computer technicians (or overworked, bored *and confused* users) start installing the wrong browser on customer machines because the ballot order keeps randomizing? ;-)

Reply Score: 6

Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

What choice even could be considered wrong? Modern computers are perfectly capable of functioning with multiple browsers installed and at this point all browsers are capable of meeting an average users requirements. Which browser to use is pretty much a matter of personal taste at this point, at least until html5 spreads more, then IE would be at a disadvantage once more.

I also think this whole issue is rather silly. It might have made sense back when IE had 95% market share and the antitrust stuff was going on. But to get involved when IE's market share is in freefall and firefox is becoming the market leader in several countries, and more companies than ever are entering the browser wars. It just seems their timing is way off.

Reply Score: 2

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, none of them would be wrong in terms of functionality but you might get the "wrong" choice in the sense of "Not what the user expected" or, possibly even, "Not what your manager asked you to install". And subsequently in terms of "My internet doesn't look right" ;-)

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

And subsequently in terms of "My internet doesn't look right" ;-)


Queue the old tech support joke "I need a copy of the internet, is this floppy big enough?"

Reply Score: 2

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

Heh :-)

There used to be a joke website with a "download the internet" button, explaining that pages would load much faster. If you clicked it you got a version of the standard IE animation of files flying from a globe into a folder, except that the globe itself was repeatedly flying into the folder.

The final punchline was that after a while a dialogue box would pop up saying "Out of space on drive C, please insert a floppy in drive A"

Reply Score: 3

Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

And here it is: http://www.w3schools.com/downloadwww.htm

The site is w3schools.com and hey used to have a link to "download the internet" on their homepage. I can't find it there any more, but Google came to the rescue.

Reply Score: 1

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Do you know how many times I've had to answer IE8's 20-questions? Hundreds of times. Hundreds.

Putting these choices in front of users before they even have the chance to use the product just confuses the experience for the user and makes everything much more difficult for them as they go into panic mode.

Not least that I am sick to death of going through that dialogue. A browser should just open and be usable straight away, and do the right thing by default.

IE, and this browser ballot is one giant leap backwards, that only serves to strengthen the fright users have of Windows and its clunkiness and may very well nudge a number off onto Mac / Chrome OS.

Reply Score: 2

The average user doesn't care
by Kalessin on Fri 4th Dec 2009 20:57 UTC
Kalessin
Member since:
2007-01-18

I hate IE. I won't touch it with a ten-foot pole if I can avoid it. However, many, many people use IE and just don't care. They use what's there and off they go. They want to browse the internet. They aren't thinking about the browser. If you were to suddently get rid of IE and every new Windows box had Firefox installed, most users would probably either not care or be annoyed that the browser is different from what they're used to.

Much as I agree that there should be choice, the average user is likely just going to be confused and irritated if they have to choose a browser. They've probably never even heard of most of them. It wouldn't surprise me if the average user didn't even know what their web browser was called.

I can totally understand having the option to select which browser is going to be on your computer - it's more fair to each browser and allows people to start off with the browser that they want - but most people just don't care. And for those of us who do, it's not like it's all that hard to just go and grab your favorite browser.

The attempt at fairness is great, but I really don't expect it to do much except annoy users and make the EU and the other browser companies a little less unhappy.

Reply Score: 0

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

making it all the more apparent that this was an action based out of resentment for MS and not out of concern for market competition.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Firefox-Overtakes-Internet-Explorer-...

The EU should just be honest and fine MS for being too successful and not European.

Reply Score: 3

j.blechert Member since:
2006-01-04

your own link states that these results are questionable.
Also germany is only a small part of the EU, making up only 15% of the populace.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

your own link states that these results are questionable. Also germany is only a small part of the EU, making up only 15% of the populace.


So what at the very least FF is even with IE in Germany? How is that not a competitive market? Are you going to argue that Germans have better access to Firefox?

Opera would actually be in Firefox's position now if they didn't insist on charging for their browser. It was only pressure from Firefox that made them release a free version.

Reply Score: 4

essdeekay Member since:
2006-01-31

Opera would actually be in Firefox's position now if they didn't insist on charging for their browser. It was only pressure from Firefox that made them release a free version.


Not quite. It was money from Google, Amazon and eBay which helped them release a free version.

http://gigaom.com/2005/09/21/google-made-opera-browser-free/

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

"Opera would actually be in Firefox's position now if they didn't insist on charging for their browser. It was only pressure from Firefox that made them release a free version.


Not quite. It was money from Google, Amazon and eBay which helped them release a free version.

http://gigaom.com/2005/09/21/google-made-opera-browser-free/
"

Your link is from 2005. Ad revenue was around before then.

Opera made a massive mistake by insisting upon charging $20 for their browser when the competition was free. There were complaints about this for years but the CEO was insulted by the idea of giving Opera away or even charging something reasonable like $10. Everyone I knew who had tried Opera in 2000 had the same opinion: works better but isn't worth the price. It had even won a bunch of software awards then but their pricing model was unrealistic.

ZDNet Editor's Pick, 2000
Tech Cruiser Award 4 Excellence, 1999
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_(web_browser)

Reply Score: 2

essdeekay Member since:
2006-01-31

My point was that Opera became free due to deals with the likes of Google etc., not because of Firefox.

Opera had an existing revenue stream because some users were paying for the browser. They only gave up that revenue stream once other revenue streams came into play.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

My point was that Opera became free due to deals with the likes of Google etc., not because of Firefox. Opera had an existing revenue stream because some users were paying for the browser. They only gave up that revenue stream once other revenue streams came into play.


My point was that those revenue sources were around long before Firefox became popular.

It also doesn't execuse the CEO for charging $39 for the full version 10 years ago. That was far too high when IE was free. IE6 was a case of 'good enough tech' winning over a superior but high-priced alternative.

The Opera CEO had an unrealistic pricing plan and only changed it after he was under pressure from Firefox. Now everyone is defending him as if his tiny share is the result of IE. All lot of people aren't aware of how Opera kept the price of their browser high for years or how Netscape Navigator once had a majority share even when Windows had a larger desktop share than they do today.

Everyone wants to believe this revisionist version of browser history of IE only gaining share because of Windows. There are plenty of old articles on how loyal Navigator fans switched to IE5 due the latter being a huge improvement. Netscape got lazy and Opera charged too much. That is really why IE had little competition until Firefox showed up.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

My point was that those revenue sources were around long before Firefox became popular.

It also doesn't execuse the CEO for charging $39 for the full version 10 years ago. That was far too high when IE was free. IE6 was a case of 'good enough tech' winning over a superior but high-priced alternative.


Not only GET (Good Enough Technology) but it actually worked; I still can't use Opera because of numerous sites that it is incompatible with - not websites I can find an alternative but websites I need for university study. I've submitted bug reports over and over again and nothing is done. If Opera want to make their browser attractive then they firstly need to fix up the UI and more importantly - for the browser to be seamless to the end user. When they move from one browser to Opera that they lose no functionality and they can still visit the same websites as they always have. As soon as you start telling them, "oh, well, you can't visit that, this or that one over there" they're not going to give a brass tack as to why that is the case - in their eyes Opera is deficient and will go back to what was working before.

Opera is in the situation that it is in because they fail to address the short comings of Opera - I then question whether Opera is actually genuinely interested in the desktop or whether the desktop browser merely exists for presence on the desktop rather than a genuine desire to grab marketshare.

Reply Score: 2

j.blechert Member since:
2006-01-04

my argument would be that an internet browser is not a part of the OS.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

my argument would be that an internet browser is not a part of the OS.


That is all very well and good assuming you're going to provide no help files. The help files within Windows are rendered by the trident engine - or are you expecting two different engines? As far as I see it, GNOME is going to move to a single engine (webkit) and replace gtkhtml and gecko with webkit for both yelp and epiphany.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"my argument would be that an internet browser is not a part of the OS.
That is all very well and good assuming you're going to provide no help files. The help files within Windows are rendered by the trident engine - or are you expecting two different engines? As far as I see it, GNOME is going to move to a single engine (webkit) and replace gtkhtml and gecko with webkit for both yelp and epiphany. "

Actually, rather the opposite. Why not include two or even three HTML rendering engines? This is especially desirable if your help files are all written in a version of HTML that is not web-standards-compliant.

On my current Kubuntu desktop there is KHTML for the help files (and for Konqueror, but who uses that?), there is webkit included in Qt (which the Arora browser uses), and there is geko within Firefox.

If I installed Dillo for a fast, small and lightweight browser for some other purpose, then there would be four renderers.

Edited 2009-12-08 02:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

making it all the more apparent that this was an action based out of resentment for MS and not out of concern for market competition.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Firefox-Overtakes-Internet-Explorer-...

The EU should just be honest and fine MS for being too successful and not European.


LOL. Quite funny.

However, I don't think that there's much question that having IE built into Windows has allowed Microsoft to use their monopoly to push their browser. The problem is how to make it fair. This idea may or may not be a good one, but it is at least attempting to even the playing field a bit.

Still, the other browsers are just like anyone else who's looking to compete. They're not really looking to match the winner. They want to beat them and be the winner. They'll do whatever they think they can to beat Microsoft and IE. They'll take advantage as much as they can of the EU's attempt to keep Microsoft in check. Just because Microsoft deserves to be kept in check, doesn't mean that the other players are really trying to play fair either.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

However, I don't think that there's much question that having IE built into Windows has allowed Microsoft to use their monopoly to push their browser. The problem is how to make it fair. This idea may or may not be a good one, but it is at least attempting to even the playing field a bit.


So the playing field is even in Germany?

The playing field must be extra fair in Ukraine where Opera has a majority share:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-UA-monthly-200811-200912

Perhaps Windows isn't as popular there? Oh wait I guess not
http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-UA-monthly-200811-200912

Windows actually dominates in the Ukraine more than in the US.

I think it is pretty obvious that the goal here is to reduce the share of IE. It isn't about fairness. All the browsers are free and can be downloaded by anyone. The EU isn't trying to make a fair playing field, they're trying to equalize the teams.

Reply Score: 3

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

The EU is doing nothing to keep microsoft in check. This would have been a great measure 20 years ago, but the market is in the middle of correcting itself, by products which are superior to what is currently dominant.

Firefox is gaining share every year, and surpasses IE in a great many countries and market segments. They didn't do this through litigation or lobbying, they did it through good work and solid marketing. Apple's webkit is a phenomenal product, and they have gone from nothing to being one of the companies that pushes the bounds of the internet in an extremely short time. Nowadays, their engine is being used by pretty much anyone who needs a browser on a new platform, or needs something embeddable. They also accomplished this without litigation or lobbying. Google Chrome has only been out for a year, but has managed to hit 4% already (something old school IE competition was never able to do for close to a decade). They did this by defining a clear goal, working towards it, and letting their audience find them.

Microsoft is currently market share at a greater and greater rate every month. They feel the need to market IE for the first time since v4 or so. The clear goal of 7 and 8 is to work better with everyone else, not to go their own way. The reason this is the case has nothing to do with the EU, and everything to do with the browser market being the best it has been in years.

The only reason to legislate is when a market is in bad shape and needs correction. If a new vendor can go from nothing to being used by 4 out of every hundred people in the world in a year, things are pretty good.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Perhaps Coke should be fined for selling more products than Pepsi?

Netscape dominated the browser market during a time when MS dominated the desktop. Should the EU have intervened then to help IE gain share?

Should OSX be forced to include Opera and other browsers that people have no interest in downloading? What about the iphone? It dominates, perhaps the EU should force Apple to include Opera mobile?

Where does it all end? This is what happens when you decide that the government should have a monopoly on equalizing competitors. It becomes endless insanity.

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

No, no, no.

This is about a company (Microsoft) with a monopoly in one field (operating systems) having an unfair advantage in an other field (browsers).

Geez, how many times does this need to be explained ?

Look at people using Apple Mac's, a lot if not most are using Safari.

Look at people using Linux-distributions like Ubuntu, they use Firefox.

This is an advantage and if you have a monopoly in one, you are not supposed to automatically gain an advantage in the other.

Before people start pointing to Linux/Firefox as well: if Linux had a desktop monopoly... ; Let me just say, Linux distributions are the only one out of these 3 that actually have the closest thing to giving choice without being annoying. If you take a default install go to any application-installation tool like: Synaptic, you can choose what you want to use and if you want to remove the current one. If you install epiphany with webkit and remote Firefox you could say: look mom no gecko-based browser anymore.

Your mom may not understand what you are talking about, but you did have choice. You didn't loose any functionality other then what was provided by program1 and which isn't implemented by program2, but you might have gained something else.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

No, no, no.

This is about a company (Microsoft) with a monopoly in one field (operating systems) having an unfair advantage in an other field (browsers).

Geez, how many times does this need to be explained ?


How many times does it need to be pointed out that anti-trust laws exist to protect consumers from abusive monopolies? How are consumers being hurt by this when:

1. All browsers are free and can be downloaded by anyone

2. IE share is dropping and in some markets like Germany where MS still dominates on the desktop the majority has chosen an alternative browser. What is the EU saying here? That Germans and Ukrainians are capable of choice but not everyone else? It certainly isn't a question of accessibility.

The only rationale behind this action is for the sake of hurting Microsoft. The browser market compared to ANY market is healthy given that all competing products are free and can be downloaded at any time.

It's also a myth that IE originally gained majority share by being bundled with Windows. It's a dirty secret that Netscape once dominated but got lazy and with IE5 users switch en masse.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The browser market compared to ANY market is healthy given that all competing products are free and can be downloaded at any time


No, that isn't enough.

We have a free market in television sets. Lots of companies make televisions, and they can all receive the television broadcasts. This is because the television broadcasts all conform to a standard.

There is healthy free market competition in the supply of television sets because there is no competition in television broadcast standards.

This is not the case for web browsers. Because they don't all follow the standards, then not all of web content is rendered equally in all browsers. Because of that, there is no free market.

The issue has nothing at all to do with the cost or availability of the browser client software. Rather, it is an interoperability issue.

1. All browsers are free and can be downloaded by anyone


Not important. It is an interoperability issue, not a cost issue.

2. IE share is dropping and in some markets like Germany where MS still dominates on the desktop the majority has chosen an alternative browser. What is the EU saying here? That Germans and Ukrainians are capable of choice but not everyone else? It certainly isn't a question of accessibility.


That is right, it isn't a question of accessibility. It is an interoperability issue. IE does not conform to the standards. Because of IE, it is not possible to write rich web content in web standard format and have it render the same way on all client browsers. Because of IE, the web has to be brought down to "the lowest common denominator". That is the issue.

Edited 2009-12-07 02:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

This is not the case for web browsers. Because they don't all follow the standards, then not all of web content is rendered equally in all browsers. Because of that, there is no free market.


There is a free market, but it is a market where products don't follow standards that you would like them to. That's a completely different issue.

If a government thinks it is best for all products in a market to follow standard xyz then they should pass laws that require that standard. It doesn't make sense nor is it fair to fine the competitor with the largest global share simply for having it or for tacitly enforcing an undesirable standard (though this was not their justification).

If they want a product to follow standard xyz then they should just pass a law requiring companies to follow that standard. Or they can use passive means like requiring companies who do business with the government to support xyz.

Fining MS for encouraging a standard that is undesired by a minority would be like fining Coke for using corn syrup instead of cane sugar, simply because they are the largest producer and a lot of people *would like* Coke to use cane sugar.

It's government policy based in bitterness and resentment of the largest producer. If they want standards for all market players to follow then they should simply set them.


IE does not conform to the standards. Because of IE, it is not possible to write rich web content in web standard format and have it render the same way on all client browsers.


IE8 follows 4.01 strict which covers the majority of web content so at least be more accurate and describe IE8 as following common standards but not features you would like it to. If you were talking about IE6 I would agree but IE8 is a massive leap in improvement. I've dealt with the horror of IE6 first hand so I find general statements about IE8 not following standards to be insulting.

Reply Score: 2

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

The EU should just be honest and fine MS for being too successful and not European.


For all those poor fellows who think that Microsoft is being fined for being successful and not European, here the top fees paid and who paid them:

1) Car glass cartell: EUR 1.4 billion (Companies: french Saint-Gobain, den japanese Asahi, GB Pilkington and Soliver from Belgum)
2) Elevator Kratell: EUR 992 million (Companies: german Thyssen-Krupp, ? Otis, der finnish Kone and swiss Schindler)
3) Microsoft monopoly abuse: EUR 899 million
4) Vitamin cartell: EUR 855 million (Companies: european and japanese Roche, BASF, Aventis, Solvay, Merck, Diichi, Eisai, Takeda)
5) Kartell for gasisolated switches: EUR 751 million (Companies: Alstom, Areva, Fuji, Hitachi Japan AE Power Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Schneider, Siemens, Toshiba and VA Tech)
6) Wax cartell: EUR 676 million (Companies: RWE, Sasol, ENI, ExxonMobil, Tudapetrol, MOL, Repsol, Total and Hansen & Rosenthal)
7) Rubber cartell: EUR 519 million (Companies: Eni, Royal Durch Shell, USA Dow Chemical tschech Unipetrol Trade-Stomil)

There is a new number one or two coming which is Intel.

If you look at above list, you will find very few companies from the USA which had to pay fines, and all of them have been found guilty of market manipulation first by the commission, and the commissions findings have been found correct by an independent court.

All those whiners from non-EU countries should check the facts before accusing EU commission of racist or discriminate actions.

Having less free markets with a higher amount of market manipulation in the US is a problem only the USA can solve by acting against abusers and fine them more money than they gained from their wrong actions.

Reply Score: 5

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

And so where does that money go? Back to the consumers? To the 'loser' companies who have been abused?

Or into the black hole of gov't spending?

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Having less free markets with a higher amount of market manipulation in the US is a problem only the USA can solve by acting against abusers and fine them more money than they gained from their wrong actions.


How is there not a free market when it comes to browsers?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Having less free markets with a higher amount of market manipulation in the US is a problem only the USA can solve by acting against abusers and fine them more money than they gained from their wrong actions.


How is there not a free market when it comes to browsers?
"

Not all browsers work to the same standards. Therefore, it is still possible, to this very day, to have a website (for rich web content) that is "IE only".

That is like having a TV station that is "for Sony TVs only".

Unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. Not a free market.

Edited 2009-12-07 09:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Not all browsers work to the same standards. Therefore, it is still possible, to this very day, to have a website (for rich web content) that is "IE only". That is like having a TV station that is "for Sony TVs only". Unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. Not a free market.


No an analagous TV market would be one where the consumer has plenty of choice when it comes to televisions but a vocal minority doesn't like how the leading TV producer ignores the desires of content creators who would like all TVs to have specific features.

It's a free market but like the EU you're unhappy with the choices that people have made.

Eastern Europe has chosen minority browsers over IE.
http://my.opera.com/dstorey/blog/2009/03/16/a-look-at-desktop-marke...

So are you going to argue that the post-soviet states have a free market but the West doesn't? I think your definition of "free market" is obviously skewed. What you really want is a market where all browsers have to follow the standards that you would like them to. Why not just maintain that position? It's perfectly valid.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by j.blechert
by j.blechert on Fri 4th Dec 2009 22:04 UTC
j.blechert
Member since:
2006-01-04

Now all we need is a notepad-ballot. Seriously, notepad sucks and there are free (...) alternatives that are waaay better, it's just not right for microsoft to force unkowledgable user into using an impairing editor, that can't even edit files in hex :/

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by j.blechert
by Praxis on Fri 4th Dec 2009 22:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by j.blechert"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Now all we need is a notepad-ballot. Seriously, notepad sucks and there are free (...) alternatives that are waaay better, it's just not right for microsoft to force unkowledgable user into using an impairing editor, that can't even edit files in hex :/


Anyone who would want to edit files in hex knows how to install a better text editor. I don't see the ballot style application chooser being applied to anything else, This will end up being a one time exception, because to start applying it on a wider basis would lead to shear insanity that not even the EU would enjoy

Reply Score: 0

M$ should be fined 10 billion
by nt_jerkface on Fri 4th Dec 2009 23:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by j.blechert"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

for not including notepad++.

Notepad only dominates because of the Microsoft monopoly.

Consumers are being hurt by having to take 5 minutes to download and install notepad++.

Reply Score: 2

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Not to mention the calculator application that is 'bundled' with Windows. All of the past and present authors of freeware calculator programs should sue for a Calculator Ballot during the Windows installation.

And of course the EU gov't could prop themselves up with another fine against Microsoft for Anti-Competitive Calculator behavior. Since every Windows version since at least Windows 95 has included a bundled calculator, the fine should include ten years' of punitive damages - should be good for at least twenty billion dollars.

But to get the ball rolling, we'll need a committee of self-affirmed experts in freeware calculators. Fill the internet with blogs (stupid word for "essay") about how Microsoft doesn't follow the FCSC (Freeware Calculator Standards Committee) rev. 12.57.b...

Whatever. The whole thing is freakin' ridiculous. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Oh for ***** sake.
by orestes on Fri 4th Dec 2009 23:58 UTC
orestes
Member since:
2005-07-06

Who's really demanding this farce be added, consumer wise? Serious question. And for that matter why are the Euro courts allowing/encouraging companies to litigate themselves into market share rather than earn it the old fashioned way?

Yeah you can say MS have done some underhanded things in their time to get IE where it is, but end of the day I don't see where this convoluted crap is helping the consumer at all.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Oh for ***** sake.
by gustl on Sat 5th Dec 2009 15:28 UTC in reply to "Oh for ***** sake."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Who's really demanding this farce be added, consumer wise? Serious question. And for that matter why are the Euro courts allowing/encouraging companies to litigate themselves into market share rather than earn it the old fashioned way?


I am a consumer, not of Microsoft software, but of free and open source software. And I demand it. I want consumers of Microsoft software to have to make a conscious choice.

Because a further acceptance of Microsoft using a monopoly in desktop operating systems for gaining and maintaining a monopoly in browsers directly influences the web's readability and accessibilty to me. Only standards-compliant websites are easy to access for users of 64 bit Linux systems. If Microsoft had it's way with IE-html, ActiveX, Silverlight and other Microsoft-only formats and protocols, I would be a second-class citizen in the internet world.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake.
by orestes on Sat 5th Dec 2009 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh for ***** sake."
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

And when 99% of them hit the big blue E because it's from Microsoft and they want the stupid computer to stop asking them questions so they can get on Facebook faster... What exactly have we accomplished? Besides annoying everyone involved and wasting loads of various parties' money?

The way to fix all the proprietary crap on the web is to apply pressure to the webmasters who use it to come into compliance, not to play shell games with MS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh for ***** sake.
by sbenitezb on Sat 5th Dec 2009 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake."
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

No. The webmasters follow the web tendency in their coding. When Firefox gained a lot of market share, we were able to see a lot of IE only sites break and then being redesigned to accomodate the new trend. That's how it works in the real world. Today a site that doesn't work in a standard browser is doomed. And standards are dictated by use, not by the w3. It happened that IE had the majority of market share, so it could dictate its own standard (de facto). In industry, lots of standards are de facto.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake.
by BallmerKnowsBest on Sat 5th Dec 2009 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh for ***** sake."
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I am a consumer, not of Microsoft software, but of free and open source software. And I demand it. I want consumers of Microsoft software to have to make a conscious choice.


Yes, because trying to ram a choice down consumer's throats is a GREAT way to get them on your side, consumers really love getting "do what we say, we know what's best for you" attitude from products they've paid money for. And if you're lucky, most users will fail to grasp the irony of having no choice about making a browser choice.

This will be just as much of a failure as the EU's last half-assed anti-Microsoft scheme, AKA the "N" edition of XP. The only question is: how will the Anything-But-Microsoft sheep dodge responsibility and try to spin their latest failure as Microsoft's fault?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake.
by Bobthearch on Sat 5th Dec 2009 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh for ***** sake."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I am a consumer, not of Microsoft software, but of free and open source software. And I demand it. I want consumers of Microsoft software to have to make a conscious choice.


Consumers make a choice, each time they decide to buy Windows or a Windows-equipped PC. As a result of their initial choice they can either a) live with IE, or b) spend two minutes downloading and installing an alternative browser of their choice.

There is no browser lock-in, even though it would be easy to build a restriction into the OS (just like Apple does with their hardware). The Microsoft EULA doesn't even 'forbid' anyone from installing a different browser. Heck, they don't even discourage it, however casually.

The entire episode was a sham, perpetrated to line the EU government pockets and to strong-arm non-EU businesses.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Oh for ***** sake.
by cerbie on Sat 5th Dec 2009 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

I hate it, but I think you're right. Microsoft did good allowing IE, like WMP, to be easily uninstalled or installed, as the user wills. The problem of it being integrated into the OS is now gone, so individual users who care about that can happily be rid of it, and software devs can't rely on it being there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake.
by deathshadow on Sat 5th Dec 2009 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh for ***** sake."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

I am a consumer, not of Microsoft software, but of free and open source software. And I demand it. I want consumers of Microsoft software to have to make a conscious choice.

A conscious choice Joe Sixpack doesn't WANT... and is usually not qualified to even MAKE in the first place!

There's a video that is relevant to that, Barry Shwartz talking about the "paradox of choice"
http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.ht...

Something those of us fluent in computers and on things like installing software often lose sight of is the majority of end users don't give a flying **** about the so called software "freedoms", the technical details of the different softwares, or most of the stuff we discuss on sites like this.

They don't understand Internet security, and really don't care... and no amount of 'education' on the subject or 'forcing' choice upon them is going to fix that. While we might understand that using IE is basically playing Russian roulette with your OS, over 4 billion people worldwide use IE everyday and don't CARE about anything else - and don't WANT to care... and stuff like this is just going to piss them off!

Though as someone else mentioned, this is all little more than strong-arm propping up of companies who can't actually compete on product be it because of shortcomings in their products, or a lack of even trying to market them properly (Yes Opera, I'm looking at you - Love the browser, hate your politics, and you need to actually HIRE a marketing team) - combined with the EU fining anyone and everyone they can to continue to artificially inflate the value of the Euro driving investor speculation.

Oh it's gonna be fun to watch that speculation bubble burst when companies finally say "enough is enough" and start folding European operations, and investors realize they are gutting the companies that drive the economy reducing the value of products produced. Remember, deflation can be as unhealthy to an economy (driving unemployment) as inflation. See the current deflation in the US with the creditors tightening their belts/cutting down on 'giving credit to anyone who shows up'... Which was driving inflation - since as Peter Schiff took Obama to task for "Credit is not the lifeblood of the economy, it's the cancer"

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake.
by nt_jerkface on Mon 7th Dec 2009 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh for ***** sake."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Because a further acceptance of Microsoft using a monopoly in desktop operating systems for gaining and maintaining a monopoly in browsers directly influences the web's readability and accessibilty to me. Only standards-compliant websites are easy to access for users of 64 bit Linux systems. If Microsoft had it's way with IE-html, ActiveX, Silverlight and other Microsoft-only formats and protocols, I would be a second-class citizen in the internet world.


So what exactly is your fear? Having IE dominate because of Windows? Did you miss all the headlines that last 10 years about Firefox gaining share?

I think some of those concerns would have been valid during the days when IE6 dominated but with the rise of OSX and Firefox this is all just a shakedown initiated by the Opera CEO who knows his browser is in trouble.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh for ***** sake.
by lemur2 on Mon 7th Dec 2009 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh for ***** sake."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Because a further acceptance of Microsoft using a monopoly in desktop operating systems for gaining and maintaining a monopoly in browsers directly influences the web's readability and accessibilty to me. Only standards-compliant websites are easy to access for users of 64 bit Linux systems. If Microsoft had it's way with IE-html, ActiveX, Silverlight and other Microsoft-only formats and protocols, I would be a second-class citizen in the internet world.
So what exactly is your fear? Having IE dominate because of Windows? Did you miss all the headlines that last 10 years about Firefox gaining share? I think some of those concerns would have been valid during the days when IE6 dominated but with the rise of OSX and Firefox this is all just a shakedown initiated by the Opera CEO who knows his browser is in trouble. "

The problem isn't primarily about share.

Because IE still has a decent share, it means that authors of web pages must cater to IE as the lowest common denominator. Because IE is so lacking, it means that web page authors cannot take advantage of standards technologies that they should be able to use.

SVG is the classic example. Everyone should be able to see this tick in their browser without using a plugin:

http://ourlan.homelinux.net/qdig/Exactly_correct/tick.svg

If you are saddled with using IE, you will need a plugin that most people won't have.

Therefore, web page authors cannot freely use SVG and expect everyone's browser to be able to render it. Therefore, they don't.

Because there is not much SVG on the web, due to the reasons above, then Opera's advantages over IE aren't as important as they should be.

That is why Opera doesn't get the share that it should. It is because of the lowest common denominator, IE, being as poor as it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Oh for ***** sake.
by nt_jerkface on Mon 7th Dec 2009 06:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh for ***** sake."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26



Therefore, web page authors cannot freely use SVG and expect everyone's browser to be able to render it. Therefore, they don't.

Because there is not much SVG on the web, due to the reasons above, then Opera's advantages over IE aren't as important as they should be.

That is why Opera doesn't get the share that it should. It is because of the lowest common denominator, IE, being as poor as it is.


Most web designers wouldn't use SVG files even if IE could display them without a plugin. The typical website doesn't need scalable graphics to the nth degree since most browsers fall within a standard resolution range.

But let's say you are upset that a company doesn't provide xyz functionality because they are in a market dominant position and don't have to. It's still wrong to fine that company billions of dollars under a false pretense. If the EU wanted greater support for SVG files or any format they could simply support feature-specific browsers for government websites.

As for Opera if it has such low share because of IE then how does Firefox have so much more than Opera?

Opera doesn't even have 10% of FF's share in the US. The CEO blew it by insisting upon charging for the full version. As I pointed out before Opera was in fact receiving awards as early as 1999 but people didn't want to pay that much for a browser when IE was free.

Look at this early review that shows Opera was freaking $39 for new users:
http://www.winplanet.com/article/1526-1646.htm

Opera has the share that it deserves thanks to the mistakes of the CEO. A ballot won't help them now because they will be going against Chrome and Firefox which have better name recognition. The Opera CEO called 1800MOMMYEU for help but it is too late. Next time don't charge $39 for software that has to compete against free.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Oh for ***** sake.
by lemur2 on Mon 7th Dec 2009 09:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oh for ***** sake."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Most web designers wouldn't use SVG files even if IE could display them without a plugin. The typical website doesn't need scalable graphics to the nth degree since most browsers fall within a standard resolution range.


You miss the point. SVG is not simply a static scalable graphics format for the web. SVG can be animated, and it includes elements for interactivity. In conjunction with SMIL or ECMAscript, DOM and animated SVG provides the equivalent functions as .swf.

One can eve write an interactive game in .svg.

A few simple examples:
The game of life:
http://kamhungsoh.com/0009.xhtml

Dark invaders:
http://www.billholohan.de/ShootEmUp.html

Space invaders:
http://static.boundvariable.com/space-invaders/

SVG Tetris:
http://www.croczilla.com/bits_and_pieces/svg/samples/svgtetris/svgt...

It is not just for scalable pictures on the web. SVG is the standards way of doing the equivalent of flash animations (SWF).

http://hoffmann.bplaced.net/svgtest/
http://srufaculty.sru.edu/david.dailey/svg/SVGAnimations.htm
http://apike.ca/prog_svg_smil.html

(The last one above uses SMIL. This works in webkit but not yet in Geko).

But let's say you are upset that a company doesn't provide xyz functionality because they are in a market dominant position and don't have to. It's still wrong to fine that company billions of dollars under a false pretense.


It is not a false premise. If Microsoft get their way, and Silverlight dominates, then people will need to have IE with Silverlight on Windows in order to enjoy the full rich web content. People with other platforms (such as ARM) will miss out.

Unacceptable. Especially since there are standards ways of doing what Silverlight does. These standards pre-date Silverlight by a number of years.

Also, using a desktop monopoly to create a new monopoly in the delivery of rich web content ... that is illegal. It is illegal all over the world. In the US, the laws that make this illegal are called "anti-trust" laws. This is why Microsoft gets fined when it tries this type of thing on.

If the EU wanted greater support for SVG files or any format they could simply support feature-specific browsers for government websites.


No. That is precisely what standards are for. They are meant to make it so that a service provider (i.e. web site) can deliver content to any user using any standard client. There should be NO feature-specific browsers when it comes to the means of delivery of the information. This is PRECISELY what needs to be browser agnostic. This is PRECISELY what needs to be included in EVERY browser on every platform.

Edited 2009-12-07 10:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Oh for ***** sake.
by nt_jerkface on Tue 8th Dec 2009 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Oh for ***** sake."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

You miss the point. SVG is not simply a static scalable graphics format for the web. SVG can be animated, and it includes elements for interactivity.


No you miss the point. Supporting a fine against a company because YOU think their product should contain features that YOU would like is unjust. Most consumers could care less about SVG. They just want to shop at amazon and check their mail. It isn't the government's job to make sure that creating animated websites for them is as convenient as possible for YOU.

Declaring SVG to part of 'teh standards' may make you feel morally justified when serving your own self-interest but there is no legal authority when it comes to browser behavior. There are proposed standards from various organizations but they are not legally binding in any way. Browsers are free to render websites in any way they see fit.

You know I would like it if all browsers had silverlight installed. Perhaps I should petition the government to fine all browser producers for not making my life easy enough.

Perhaps I should get sanctimonious about it like you and declare that the web is being held back because Silverlight has to be installed through a plug-in. Lots of developers in fact would like Silverlight to have widespread adoption. Maybe we should form a union, declare ourselves to be a standards-setting organization and then lobby the government.

As I pointed out before if a government wants to encourage the adoption of a technological format they can simply require that adoption when it comes to providing access to government resources. Worldwide governments forget that they are also content producers with massive influence.

But then the fine against MS and ballot proposal had nothing to do with protecting consumers or encouraging technological standardization. The point was to get cash from MS and help its competitors.

What the EU government really wants is to reduce the size of MS which is a massive leap from encouraging competition. It's an action based in resentment, not out of concern for consumers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Oh for ***** sake.
by lemur2 on Tue 8th Dec 2009 02:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Oh for ***** sake."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"You miss the point. SVG is not simply a static scalable graphics format for the web. SVG can be animated, and it includes elements for interactivity.
No you miss the point. Supporting a fine against a company because YOU think their product should contain features that YOU would like is unjust. Most consumers could care less about SVG. They just want to shop at amazon and check their mail. It isn't the government's job to make sure that creating animated websites for them is as convenient as possible for YOU. Declaring SVG to part of 'teh standards' may make you feel morally justified when serving your own self-interest but there is no legal authority when it comes to browser behavior. There are proposed standards from various organizations but they are not legally binding in any way. Browsers are free to render websites in any way they see fit. "

Sorry, but I'll stop your little ranting tantrum right there.

In the event that there are competing standards, and the consumers want a market (where interoperability is important) so that the product they buy "just works" no matter whom they buy it from (which is nearly ALWAYS the case BTW), then what is needed is at least the most widespread standard (amongst the various suppliers) in the event where there is not complete consensus.

W3C standards are followed by all major browsers except IE. W3C standards can (and do) work on all platforms and devices (including tablets, netbooks, smartbooks, UMPCs, MIDs and smartphones, on ARM, MIPs, PowerPC and SPARC as well as x86, on Symbian + Android + Maemo + BSD + Linux + Mac OSX + Solaris + Haiku and even OS/2 as well as Windows), not just on Windows (or Windows and Mac) x86 desktop systems.

Therefore, W3C standards are it. Not Silverlight. Majority rules, because we essentially have consensus from all but one player. Too bad for that one player, then, they have bet on the wrong horse.

PS: When one chooses the most widespread standard across the various suppliers, one gets competition in the supply of those goods or services. Vendors can compete to supply a product that works best to the common standard. This, BTW, is how a free market works.

Edited 2009-12-08 02:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

MS should just migrate to Webkit.
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 5th Dec 2009 23:40 UTC
modmans2ndcoming
Member since:
2005-11-09

Web Kit is a better rendering engine. All the competition will be in Javascript engine speeds, etc. And MAYBE they could actually try bringing some new features to a browser like integrated python support after they stop having to support a rendering engine.

Dump javascript bring perl, python and ruby to the browser!

Reply Score: 2

Just get them to fix the browser!
by Zifre on Sun 6th Dec 2009 01:15 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

The browser is a fundamental part of the OS. Why should MS have a ballot for IE and not for Notepad and Calculator? There are plenty of better text editors and calculators!

The real problem is that IE is terrible and holds back progress on the web. If IE wasn't so bad, none of this would matter. The EU needs to find a way to force MS to comply with standards and not invent its own.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The browser is a fundamental part of the OS. Why should MS have a ballot for IE and not for Notepad and Calculator? There are plenty of better text editors and calculators!

The real problem is that IE is terrible and holds back progress on the web. If IE wasn't so bad, none of this would matter. The EU needs to find a way to force MS to comply with standards and not invent its own.


Hear hear. Absolutely correct. Spot on.

If IE simply implemented the proper web standards, such as DOM2, SVG, SMIL and correct and fast ECMAscript, (HTML 5 and canvas would be nice too, but let's just worry about the web standards that have been in place now for 5 years or more) then there would be no need for any such a ballot.

People could create functional websites with rich multimedia content, and anyone (using any platform) could be able to view it (without having to get any plugins). It wouldn't matter then if Windows could ONLY run IE.

NOte to Microsoft devs: It is great that IE scores well on CSS compliance tests. Wonderful. But the web standards are more than just CSS ... SVG and DOM2 or DOM3, please, and compliant ECMAscript are far more important than any more polish on CSS. Getting over 90 on acid3 would be an acceptable start.

Edited 2009-12-06 13:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Random? No, that's pseudo random...
by bousozoku on Sun 6th Dec 2009 08:16 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

I predicted about 3 months ago that they would try to generate the order randomly and at that point, the various parties would argue for another 3 months about what constitutes a true random number generator.

They'll also have someone get number samples to check the randomness and make sure that no one has more than their fair share of first, middle, or last place positioning.

Once the committee gets the reports, then they'll submit new code for random number generators which favour their browser and the argument can start anew.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Coxy
by Coxy on Mon 7th Dec 2009 08:18 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

Well I hope they include away for people to uninstall Chrome/Opera/Safari and re-install IE for all the poor people who will just click on whatever closes the window so that they can start using the internet.

Most people haven't a clue what a browser is - it's just what they click on to use the internet. There are going to be alot of unhappy people stuck with something like chrome or opera and they aren't going to know how to get back to IE.

The descriptions also need some work... they can't all be the fasted browser offering the safest internet experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Coxy
by Lanadapter on Tue 8th Dec 2009 03:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by Coxy"
Lanadapter Member since:
2009-10-01

If all you want is to start using the internet why would being 'stuck with' opera/chrome make you unhappy?

Edited 2009-12-08 03:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1