Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Mar 2013 11:54 UTC
Legal "The European Commission has imposed a EUR 561 million fine on Microsoft for failing to comply with its commitments to offer users a browser choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft until 2014. In today's decision, the Commission finds that Microsoft failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012. 15 million Windows users in the EU therefore did not see the choice screen during this period. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that time." Burn.
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whoah
by chekr on Wed 6th Mar 2013 12:07 UTC
chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

That is a huge penalty! I guess this is what happens when you give the EC the middle finger and ignore a ruling...

Reply Score: 6

RE: whoah
by Sodki on Wed 6th Mar 2013 13:24 UTC in reply to "whoah"
Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

That is a huge penalty! I guess this is what happens when you give the EC the middle finger and ignore a ruling...


I don't even agree with the mandatory browser choice ruling, but Microsoft ignoring it is just plain stupid.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: whoah
by BushLin on Wed 6th Mar 2013 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: whoah"
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

I wonder if they also took into account the browser choice bug which exhibited itself shortly after it's initial release on XP where the prompt to run the file was hidden behind the window.

I don't think that ever got fixed, accidental or otherwise I'm sure MS were happy with the situation... until now.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 6th Mar 2013 12:29 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Hurray for browser choice, but the MS browser selection tool was rather annoying.

Reply Score: 4

I don't agree
by Invincible Cow on Wed 6th Mar 2013 12:58 UTC
Invincible Cow
Member since:
2006-06-24

As long as they allow other browsers I didn't really see the problem. It's worse on mobile operating system with fixed app stores. When you just can't install any other program, that's a real problem.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't agree
by Alfman on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:44 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Invincible Cow,

"As long as they allow other browsers I didn't really see the problem."

That was the problem, microsoft was prohibiting OEMs from installing any other browsers (god knows they weren't prohibited from installing mountains of other crapware), and making it impossible for competing browsers to be included. This is classic anti-trust behavior and the browser choice screen was intended to rectify it. The original problem may be gone, but it was foolish of microsoft to test the court's resolve.


"It's worse on mobile operating system with fixed app stores. When you just can't install any other program, that's a real problem."

I completely agree, it will be a sad state of affairs if closed computing devices take over the consumer market.

Edited 2013-03-06 14:46 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: I don't agree
by RawMustard on Wed 6th Mar 2013 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

I completely agree, it will be a sad state of affairs if closed computing devices take over the consumer market.


Then stop buying them, it's not hard!

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I don't agree
by Alfman on Wed 6th Mar 2013 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't agree"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Alfman,

"Then stop buying them, it's not hard!"

I can stop buying them myself, but I cannot stop others from buying them and the fact is their buying decisions do affect my long term market choices.

Reply Score: 6

v RE: I don't agree
by Tony Swash on Wed 6th Mar 2013 18:14 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
RE[2]: I don't agree
by Fergy on Wed 6th Mar 2013 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I am interested in your comment about not being able to install other programs (presumably you mean apps) and I was wondering what programs you think are prohibited. The reason I ask is because, taking iOS as an example simply because it's the one I know first hand, I can install alternative browsers, email clients, mapping apps, contact app, calendar apps, e-book readers etc, and use them instead of the packaged apps that come pre-installed with the system, so I was wondering what you think is being blocked.

Just try to install Firefox on your iPhone or Windows Phone. You can't because they block it.

Edited 2013-03-06 18:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I don't agree
by M.Onty on Wed 6th Mar 2013 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

They block all alternate browser engines, i.e. all browsers that are more than a skin.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: I don't agree
by Tony Swash on Fri 8th Mar 2013 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't agree"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

They block all alternate browser engines, i.e. all browsers that are more than a skin.



So what's the advantage of non webkit browsers for users?

I am still trying to fathom what actual features Apple's model precludes end users from enjoying (other than malware obviously).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I don't agree
by M.Onty on Fri 8th Mar 2013 14:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't agree"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Currently, not many. But tech moves fast. There are all sorts of new technologies springing up on the web, and many waiting to spring up that aren't being publicly discussed. Its not beyond the realms of imagination that Apple won't be the first to implement all of them in their engine, or won't have the best implementations.

Also, I'm not confident about this, but isn't the Safari Javascript engine mandatory too? Which would mean users can't get Google's faster V8 engine.

In any case I was correcting you, not arguing whether it is good for the users or not. This restriction might still be good or neutral for the users in the long run irregardless of the above points.

I wouldn't know --- that's not my game.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't agree
by Johann Chua on Fri 8th Mar 2013 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't agree"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

You're totally blinkered when it comes to Apple, aren't you, Tony?

Edited 2013-03-08 14:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't agree
by Soulbender on Sat 9th Mar 2013 01:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't agree"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So what's the advantage of non webkit browsers for users


Yes really. I mean, how could actual competition possibly benefit users in any way whatsoever?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't agree
by JAlexoid on Sat 9th Mar 2013 07:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't agree"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Really. You don't know who Tony is? If it competes against the Holy Apple, it's bad.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't agree
by JAlexoid on Sat 9th Mar 2013 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't agree"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Your trolling is getting ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't agree
by BushLin on Thu 7th Mar 2013 09:48 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

Lol Tony, in trying to make your usual Apple slanted post you're just highlighting the problem on iOS which no one directly mentioned before.

Apple don't allow competition with their own apps on iOS, they didn't even allow tools which efficiently converted flash into their own proprietary format in the name of... er... openness?

MS and the days of IE6 were bad times, Firebird (as Firefox was called back then) was the shining light so at least those who saw what was happening could switch and others followed.
What are you going to do on iOS today? It's only webkit in different dressings (and artificially hindered compared to Safari).

Wish you'd kept your mouth shut or just stuck to MS bashing?

Edited 2013-03-07 09:54 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Nothing new from the EC
by Hieper on Wed 6th Mar 2013 13:52 UTC
Hieper
Member since:
2010-12-08

Another great decision from the people who gave us 'Windows N'. Always fighting the fight 10 years after it would have made any sense.

If at all, we need browser choice on iOS, not on Windows!

The only possible good that might come of this fine is the removal from office of Mr. Balmer. Now, that would be a feat with the power to turn me from a EC/EU cynic into a true believer ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Nothing new from the EC
by majipoor on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:47 UTC in reply to "Nothing new from the EC"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

"If at all, we need browser choice on iOS, not on Windows!"

Windows has 95% market share while iOS has less than 10% market share. This makes all the difference because such rules applies to monopolies only.

Then concerning MS fine, it is not about having choice but about pre-installing a browser on a monopolistic OS.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nothing new from the EC
by Alfman on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:56 UTC in reply to "Nothing new from the EC"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Hieper,

"Another great decision from the people who gave us 'Windows N'. Always fighting the fight 10 years after it would have made any sense."

Alas, that is the problem with all courts. The trials go on for years, and the resolution may apply years after that when the landscape is wholly different and everything in the case is history. Can justice, served 10 years too late be called justice at all?


"If at all, we need browser choice on iOS, not on Windows!"

Extend that to all applications & app stores, no reason for a browser to be a special exception.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Nothing new from the EC
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:46 UTC in reply to "Nothing new from the EC"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If at all, we need browser choice on iOS, not on Windows!


iOS is not in a position to be the only viable option for the most. You can substitute iOS with Android and suffer little discomfort.

Reply Score: 3

v For god's sake
by Vinegar Joe on Wed 6th Mar 2013 13:58 UTC
RE: For god's sake
by judgen on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:55 UTC in reply to "For god's sake"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Sadly many companies do, (hardly microsofts fault though) but that is indeed not what this ruling was about anywas. It is about consumer browsers.

Reply Score: 3

Typical EU
by andrewclunn on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:04 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

Microsoft has a monopoly! We need the government to come in and force them to give users other options!

They didn't, yet they still lost their top browser spot due to actual competition? That can't be right! The people NEED us to fine large companies hundreds of millions of dollars... IT's for their own good! Now quick, what other American company can we 'protect' our people from?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Typical EU
by Kochise on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:33 UTC in reply to "Typical EU"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

The File Explorer is a total mess, I prefer using Total Commander, far better and with plug-in extensions. Microsoft should be fined for embedding such a poor file explorer and not giving the users a choice.

EU resident. I don't understand this sillyness as well, since Microsoft never prevented me to install some other file explorers.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Typical EU
by looncraz on Wed 6th Mar 2013 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Typical EU"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

An operating system is understood, legally, to consist of the following, in part, or grouped together.

1. A layer of software to abstract the hardware (kernel / drivers / HAL / file system).

2. A layer of software to permit application software to interface with the aforementioned software layer (API, libraries).

3. User interfaces to interact with and control 1 & 2.

A file system browser is protected as part of the OS as the file system is part of HAL (#1 above).

An internet browser, on the other hand, does not serve to interface with the HAL or API, though it obviously uses both, it serves to interact with external resources created by third parties. This, by definition, as an application.

Laws apply differently between the two. Microsoft can change their OS all they want, they have no obligation to provide alternative kernels, libraries, or UI. They do, however, have an obligation to not use their OS dominance to gain or enforce and advantage for any of their other products which fit the definition of application.

--The loon

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Typical EU
by Kochise on Thu 7th Mar 2013 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Typical EU"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

OS architecture varies, from monolith to exo-kernel. It is understood that Windows, since "VMS" (NT4 then NT5 aka 2000) is mixed monolith-micro kernel. So it's hard to draw a line.

The Windows' file explorer could be seen as an application as well as Nautilus is under Gnome desktop. The "minimal" API for user interaction would stay the CLI (command line), the good ol' DOS way (cmd.exe) and the file explorer a win32 application that works as a GUI abstraction layer.

Then the file explorer could be diteched as well.

Otherwise you could tell that Internet Explorer is closely tied to the TCP/IP stack and also provide rendering falicity services as well (WebKit like) that could serve, say, Opera that just become a new UI above a web rendering engine.

Iiiiiifffff I was an operating system creator, I would wipe all that mess from the table (table flipper mode) and shout out loud : "Go fuck yourself, you anti-virus and internet browser scum, go scramble your own operating system !"

Mozilla started to take that way with its own OS, Chrome also. And if they want to let Opera and Microsoft, if not Norton and MacAfee, to enter their ecosystem, that's their own problem.

But I find rather strange that moaning third parties are imposing Microsoft to accept having his own OS defaced that way. The anti-trust towards OEM is something that must be prevented, like the UEFI mess, because the end user have no choice to get a computer OS free (OEM) or install something else on its hardware (UEFI).

But pluh-ease, this internet browser affair is so childish it leaves me puzzled. Users just have to seek for another web browser if the one provided with does not suit their tastes, many have done by themselves. Why EU should force Microsoft to do so ? If users are stupid, even to install a myriad of toolbars, while there is internet forums, wikis, dedicated press, that explain them not to and how to get rid of it, and they still not figure how ?

I'd sum it up in TWO words : natural - selection !

So kick Microsoft's ass on the OEM and UEFI ("security") stuffs, but sorry, you won't get my hand up on the internet browser case.

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Typical EU
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Typical EU"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

But pluh-ease, this internet browser affair is so childish it leaves me puzzled. Users just have to seek for another web browser if the one provided with does not suit their tastes, many have done by themselves. Why EU should force Microsoft to do so ?


It's childish because "someone" has not read the reasoning behind this all. It's bundling, pure and simple. It's illegal, when it hurts market competition. By being the default, users are lead to believe that it's the only way to experience the web. If it weren't for Google, IE would still be there at 60%. The market forces have failed that market, because Microsoft's OS is not substitutable.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Typical EU
by Kochise on Thu 7th Mar 2013 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Typical EU"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Still, they could use Google through IE to search for another web browser. Millions of people have made that way to switch to Firefox, Safari, Opera and so on, without the help of the EU.

And if an operating system should just consist in a bunch of APIs and just a bundled file explorer, sorry, but this is as gross as returning in the good ol' DOS days with DosShell.

That would render "Windows" rather useless and pretty expensive for the offering. Please don't vote me down on anger, just think about what I just wrote down.

Kochise

Edited 2013-03-07 17:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Typical EU
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Typical EU"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Still, they could use Google through IE to search for another web browser. Millions of people have made that way to switch to Firefox, Safari, Opera and so on, without the help of the EU.

Firefox stalled at 30%, while Chrome was pushed by Google. If web search wasn't associated with Google who pushed Firefox and then Chrome, we would still have IE as the dominant browser(that much, I'm absolutely sure about). No attempts at marketing their browser helped Opera in countries where Windows is largely legal(Russia is the counterexample).
That meant one thing only - Microsoft's dominance in desktop OS market, that got them the top spot in the browser market, kept IE as the top browser.
If you read the whole 2004 decision, upheld by the court in full, you'll see that the position is very much reasonable.(Granted, you have enough knowledge of macroeconomics)

And if an operating system should just consist in a bunch of APIs and just a bundled file explorer, sorry, but this is as gross as returning in the good ol' DOS days with DosShell.

That would render "Windows" rather useless and pretty expensive for the offering. Please don't vote me down on anger, just think about what I just wrote down.

Keep in mind that I did not address that part of the comment, because even the EU competition commission agrees that a browser is needed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Typical EU
by Kochise on Fri 8th Mar 2013 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Typical EU"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

What baffles me is how much you disregard corporate IT policies about installing other browser than IE. How many firms dared to use something else than IE/outlook ? Bam, first half of the problem answered. Then the average consumer : why would they use Firefox or Opera if the sites they are browsing are not "IE compatible" thus are rendered very grossly ? Bam, second half of the problem answered.

The W3C is slow as hell into delivering solid, consistent and long lasting web standards so, of course, Microsoft could play with the specs until further notice. But it's the webmasters and web designers to stick to the standard and somewhat "force" Microsoft for compliance.

I don't see where IE is a problem : it is known to be flawed, bugged, toolbared, whatever, but it's ok, people still love it. When people gets fed up of IE, they seek for some other alternatives. When people gets fed up of Windows, they seek for another operating system.

In what a web browser is more important than reading PDF or browsing our pictures portfolio ? Would the EU impose a carousel to select between Adobe Reader/Foxit Reader/..., or ACDSee/Irfanview/..., etc... so that every part of the Windows operating system could be finely tuned according to the user's needs and feeling ?

The EU commission should focus on OEM/UEFI and interoperability (playing BR discs with other video player than the few "licensed") and remove some useless software patents. THAT would be interesting, not the stuff happening behind the users' back about advertising revenue using this or that browser and imposing this or that search engine.

Because everything lies there : advertising revenue, NOT users' choice over one web browser or another.

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

RE: Typical EU
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Mar 2013 14:39 UTC in reply to "Typical EU"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Now quick, what other American company can we 'protect' our people from?


Most fines like this have actually been levied against European companies - like Siemens.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Typical EU
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 6th Mar 2013 17:03 UTC in reply to "Typical EU"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Punishments always come after the crime and last for years after. This is punishment from the 1990's microsoft behavior. Escaping from jail with a year left on a 99 year sentence is still a crime...

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Typical EU
by zima on Sun 10th Mar 2013 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Typical EU"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Escaping from jail with a year left on a 99 year sentence is still a crime...

That's actually not the case everywhere - IIRC, at least in one Nordic country. There escaping from jail is seen as a natural human need, hence carries no additional penalties itself (as long as the escape didn't involve any other crime!).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Typical EU
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 6th Mar 2013 18:55 UTC in reply to "Typical EU"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Now quick, what other American company can we 'protect' our people from?


While it's not at the EC level, it looks like France and Germany are hard at work trying to find ways to extort money from Google, in exchange for granting them the "privilege" of indexing & promoting news media from those countries:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/germany-wants-google-to-...

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/google-threatens-to-cut-...

Fortunately, Google doesn't seem to have any patience for that BS and has said that if the relevant laws go through, then they will simply stop indexing those sites... Which of course resulted in an orgy of faux-shock & self-entitled whining from French politicians, who were apparently stupid & arrogant enough to believe that Google would bend over and take it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Typical EU
by Alfman on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Typical EU"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BallmerKnowsBest,

I'm not terribly familiar with those laws, but from the sources I see (including yours) everyone is allowed to display excerpts, such as those displayed by search engines today. It's just longer pieces that would need to be licensed for republication.

I can understand why google opposes it, but it still isn't their content to do with as they please. If the copyright owner wants to license it to google, then google should pay or forfeit publishing rights. I am aware that google cannot pay them for their content without setting into motion events that would undermine google's principal business model of using everyone else's data for free. Still unless I'm missing something it's hard for me to side with the pro-google agenda. Publishing rights beyond excerpts should lie with the content creator.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Typical EU
by BallmerKnowsBest on Fri 8th Mar 2013 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Typical EU"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

BallmerKnowsBest,

I'm not terribly familiar with those laws, but from the sources I see (including yours) everyone is allowed to display excerpts, such as those displayed by search engines today. It's just longer pieces that would need to be licensed for republication.


Really, now? From the very first paragraph of the first article I linked to:

"The lower house of the German parliament, known as the Bundestag, has approved a new bill that would require search engines to pay a license fee for re-publishing content longer than 'individual words or short excerpts.'

Of course, the actual amount of text isn't defined, so for all we know it could be anything beyond the headline. That would be consistent with the earlier extortion attempts by French media:

"Google already has a licensing deal with Agence France-Presse, the French newswire. That deal was struck in 2007, after AFP filed a lawsuit saying Google's use of snippets violated copyright."

I can understand why google opposes it, but it still isn't their content to do with as they please. If the copyright owner wants to license it to google, then google should pay or forfeit publishing rights. I am aware that google cannot pay them for their content without setting into motion events that would undermine google's principal business model of using everyone else's data for free. Still unless I'm missing something it's hard for me to side with the pro-google agenda. Publishing rights beyond excerpts should lie with the content creator.


In that case, they (and you) should be thrilled that Google has stated that they will simply stop indexing news from countries that pass protectionist IP laws. But no, they seem to be even more about about that possibility.... it's almost French & German news media want to have their cake (referral traffic from Google news) AND eat it too (laws that allow them to leech money from foreign companies). But that can't possibly be it, we all that things like that only happen the US.

Frankly, I hope those idiotic laws pass and Google stops indexing those sites. And I'm sure there are French news sources in other countries that would be more than happy to get that referral traffic & fill the gaps.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Typical EU
by Alfman on Sat 9th Mar 2013 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Typical EU"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BallmerKnowsBest,

I honestly think your making a bigger deal than it is, especially if you are just going by the arstechnica links. I don't see it as very likely for google to pull french and germain indexes as revenge for an ideological grudge when they can still legally use excerpts without paying for them. That would put their search results at a competitive disadvantage to others who are operating within the law.

I'd bet that after all the commotion settles down, the only change you'll notice is that google will have to pull full-text articles from their webcache.

Edited 2013-03-09 03:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Typical EU
by Alfman on Sat 9th Mar 2013 06:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Typical EU"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BallmerKnowsBest,

"Of course, the actual amount of text isn't defined, so for all we know it could be anything beyond the headline."

If it's the ambiguity of "excerpt" that bothers you, then yea I can agree it's a problem. While the principal of the law doesn't bother me much, leaving such obvious ambiguities in the wording is bound to provoke and even encourage merit-less lawsuits.

Lawyers never get things right the first time, it gives them job security ;)

Edited 2013-03-09 06:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Wed 6th Mar 2013 15:36 UTC
Wafflez
Member since:
2011-06-26

When they will fine Goog£€ for supplying Android phones with Android browser and not letting to remove it without voiding waranty?

Or worse.. App£€?

In true spirit of "heu heu heu Micro $oft"

Edited 2013-03-06 15:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Wafflez
by artworx on Wed 6th Mar 2013 17:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
artworx Member since:
2008-07-21

When you can't use a phone unless it runs Android and Google won't let anyone selling a phone unless it runs the stock browser.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Wed 6th Mar 2013 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

What happened to "Linux rocks my socks, not like windblows"? Wi-fi works, printers work, you have steam.

You can run other operating systems, clearly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You can run other operating systems, clearly.


I can. And I do. However, I still have to have Windows 8 installed, because Linux and OSX are not yet full substitutes for Windows. That argument was used by Microsoft in the EU sv Microsoft case, but struck down by both commission and CJEU.

Last time I checked, Mr Wafflez is not superior to CJEU.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 6th Mar 2013 18:03 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I think it's ridiculous anyone thinks users need a dedicated browser choice screen in the first place. If the default browser that comes bundled with your OS isn't for you, download an alternative and install it. A monkey wouldn't have any problem doing that.

What's next, will OS makers be forced to bundle every possible browser along with the OS? Why stop there? How about media players, ftp clients, ssh clients, image viewers, solitaire, you name it.

Some of this stuff is fruitier than a mai tai.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Mar 2013 02:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think it's ridiculous anyone thinks users need a dedicated browser choice screen in the first place. If the default browser that comes bundled with your OS isn't for you, download an alternative and install it. A monkey wouldn't have any problem doing that.


LOL, it's these f--king liberals who are constantly bitching and whining about how people can't think for themselves, so we need the government to constantly step in and do that for them, instead of letting the market sort it out. In this case, IE lost its dominance not because of government interference, but because of actual competition, making the whole argument pointless.

Some people claim that the EU was 10 years too late in its decision, but I don't think anything the EU did or didn't do made much of a difference, esp since the browser choice screen wasn't even present for a long time.

Edited 2013-03-07 02:03 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by darknexus on Thu 7th Mar 2013 03:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"I think it's ridiculous anyone thinks users need a dedicated browser choice screen in the first place. If the default browser that comes bundled with your OS isn't for you, download an alternative and install it. A monkey wouldn't have any problem doing that.


LOL, it's these f--king liberals who are constantly bitching and whining about how people can't think for themselves, so we need the government to constantly step in and do that for them, instead of letting the market sort it out. In this case, IE lost its dominance not because of government interference, but because of actual competition, making the whole argument pointless.
"
This, precisely. I'd +100 you if I could. When will people learn that, when demand is high enough, there will eventually be a product that will rise to it? The only thing government interventions like this accomplish is to pay the lawyers which, upon reflection, is exactly what said lawyers desire. We wanted a web that wasn't dominated by Microsoft, and we got it not because governments fixed it, but because Mozilla and those like them provided a better product. Those better products balanced the market. It did take time, but we're far better off now than we would have been had anti-trust laws actually worked. If they had, we'd not have khtml, Firefox, Webkit, nor any of the amazing browsers we have today. There would have been no motivation to create them and even less to improve their progenitors. These amazing engines were born out a desire not to equal IE, but to be better than IE. This is as it should be.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Soulbender on Thu 7th Mar 2013 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

instead of letting the market sort it out


Because THAT works fscking great.
Blind faith in free market self-regulation is just as delusional as blind faith in government regulation.

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Mar 2013 07:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Because THAT works fscking great.


Um, actually it did ;) Granted, it doesn't work in some cases, but in this case, I'd say we made out okay.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

No it did not, in this case. It took another dominant player in a different market to make deals and promote their own browser through their site. There was little competition. Even Firefox was being promoted by Google.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Mar 2013 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

No it did not, in this case. It took another dominant player in a different market to make deals and promote their own browser through their site.


In other words, the market found a workaround. Exactly what I was talking about.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A non free market resulted in a workaround. That is not the goal of the competition regulators.
The competition(general sense, not separate companies) in the browser market was restricted.

That does not mean that both perpetrators should get off free(legally though, Google can't be persecuted). Microsoft was there first and had a bigger role in IE's long-standing dominance, also easier to prosecute.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"LOL, it's these f--king liberals who are constantly bitching and whining about how people can't think for themselves, so we need the government to constantly step in and do that for them, instead of letting the market sort it out."

-100, but only to cancel out darknexus ;)

I'll grant you that government execution is often poor, but without any antitrust enforcement we'd be in a pretty sad state of affairs. It's not just about the anti-trust violations that end up in court, it's also about additional violations that would occur if they knew they could get away with it. For example, without the threat of government anti-trust regulation, microsoft could very well have insisted that manufacturing partners lock down x86 systems via UEFI secure boot and prohibit owner overrides, like they did with ARM.

The market can only work it out if the playing field is sufficiently level.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Mar 2013 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

For example, without the threat of government anti-trust regulation, microsoft could very well have insisted that manufacturing partners lock down x86 systems via UEFI secure boot and prohibit owner overrides, like they did with ARM.


There isn't anything inherently wrong with UEFI secure boot. In fact, it does have its advantages, and the government has absolutely no business telling MS (or anyone else) that they can't implement it. They don't exactly try and hide it, so you either buy it with a locked bootloader, or you vote with your wallet and pass on it.

What IS wrong is the government telling consumers that they are legally not allowed to unlock their own devices if they choose to. That is the government's doing, and you guys want MORE government intervention? This idiocy never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it would be a sane argument if the government was actually competent at regulation, but as even you admitted, they're exceedingly poor at it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"There isn't anything inherently wrong with UEFI secure boot. In fact, it does have its advantages, and the government has absolutely no business telling MS (or anyone else) that they can't implement it."



Maybe you are deliberately missing the point? Besides the government never said any such thing anyway. The fundamental problem is that monopolists can win by manipulating markets rather than by competing with merit. If microsoft were allowed to use it's market power to coerce manufacturers to lock competing software off the hardware, that would pose a significant problem to the free market.


Keep in mind that anti-trust came about because of a long string of competitive abuses & monopolization within the free market. Anti-trust was necessary to break down the barriers that corporations were deliberately placing to block competition.

If you want to repeal antitrust, that's fine if that's your opinion but we kind of already know where that gets us. Can you propose a new mechanism by which we could avoid a few monopolists & oligopolists controlling all our markets, or do you think that is an acceptable outcome?



"What IS wrong is the government telling consumers that they are legally not allowed to unlock their own devices if they choose to."

Of course I have to agree, but what logic are you using to connect DMCA with anti-trust law?

Edited 2013-03-07 20:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If you want to repeal antitrust, that's fine if that's your opinion but we kind of already know where that gets us. Can you propose a new mechanism by which we could avoid a few monopolists & oligopolists controlling all our markets, or do you think that is an acceptable outcome?


Well, I'm not willing to comment on ALL markets. For example, if some large corporation started hording the country's water supply and charged through the nose for it, that would be a problem, since people need water to survive.

But in the narrower context of our discussion in regard to locked bootloaders on x86 systems... do I think that would be 'acceptable'? In my opinion, no; it would suck balls ;) Do I think it should be illegal? No. In general, I don't think ANYTHING in regard to software licensing agreements should be legally binding, that can't technically be enforced. So if a vendor wants to release a product with a stipulation that you can only use it every other Thursday, and puts DRM into their product to try and enforce it, more power to them.

But as I said before, I think consumers should be able to work around these artificially-place limitations if they are able. And if they're not, what they SHOULD be doing is boycotting the products and giving these vendors the middle finger, instead of crying to the government. There is a reason why I only buy Nexus phones these days; those phones are unlockable out of the box. And if they weren't? Fuck 'em ;) I don't need a smartphone that badly. In general, I just want the government to stay the HELL out of these affairs.

Of course I have to agree, but what logic are you using to connect DMCA with anti-trust law?


The DMCA is a PERFECT illustration of how anything the government does usually has unintended consequences, even if they originally meant well. And you see the same thing with patents. In the beginning, some elected official must've thought that was a good idea. And now look where we are?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"In my opinion, no; it would suck balls ;) Do I think it should be illegal? No."

Well, haha I guess we have a difference of opinion since I'm glad to have antitrust to prevent things from getting that bad. Anyways it wouldn't really be directly illegal per-say, it's just the antitrust *coercion* which is illegal.


"The DMCA is a PERFECT illustration of how anything the government does usually has unintended consequences, even if they originally meant well."

The DMCA was crafted by corporate interests, it was never conceived for the public benefit. If it were up to me I'd kick all corporate lobbyists out of the lawmaking process.

Edited 2013-03-07 22:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Mar 2013 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The DMCA was crafted by corporate interests, it was never conceived for the public benefit.


I think that's too simplistic of an explanation. As far as the government was concerned, without the DMCA, there would be much more rampant piracy, which would mean an end to the content industry as we know it, and hundreds of thousands of people would be out of a job. Although opinions differ, I personally think this would've been the case. But even so, I don't think it was the government's job to save the content industry either, and they should've left it alone. When technology renders your product obsolete by making it possible to replicate your product an infinite amount of times for $0, and you can't make money anymore as a result, it's time for you to find a new career. Many industries (like the horse & buggy) have gone by the wayside as a result of technology. Why should the content industry be any different?

Anyway, the DMCA was just an example of businesses trying to survive off the government's teet; not really a whole lot different than what many individuals are trying to do. And I can understand why they did it too. Everybody wants the government to do their bidding, to make some problem that they're having go away. In the end though, they usually end up causing more problems than they solve. As far as most liberals are concerned, I don't disagree with them in regard to how shitty some things are, I just don't look at the government as our ultimate savior.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

In this case, IE lost its dominance not because of government interference, but because of actual competition, making the whole argument pointless.


IE was holding on to it's majority stake even despite major marketing campaigns by Firefox. And it took another dominant power in another related market to actually push IE down. Competition? May be. Free market competition - definitely not.

Reply Score: 4

A pattern of breaking its promises
by benali72 on Wed 6th Mar 2013 22:15 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

The important point here is that Microsoft signed an agreement with the EU, then failed to uphold that agreement. No surprise there... MS was originally sued by DOJ in the USA in the 2001 court case because the company failed to uphold the 1995 Consent Decree agreement. As everyone in the valley knows, you just can't trust MS.

Reply Score: 5

Open and shut
by Nelson on Wed 6th Mar 2013 22:54 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Microsoft had legally binding obligations, they did not meet those obligations, they were fined. Period.

I feel bad for the Product Manager that screwed this up.

Reply Score: 4

Bad news for Google.
by bentoo on Thu 7th Mar 2013 00:36 UTC
bentoo
Member since:
2012-09-21
RE: Bad news for Google.
by TechGeek on Thu 7th Mar 2013 01:08 UTC in reply to "Bad news for Google."
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

That guy doesn't know what he's talking about. He is just like all the critics who spelled out DOOM for Google here in the US, and nothing actually happened. This was just pressure being played by Google's competition to try and make them falter.

Edited 2013-03-07 01:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bad news for Google.
by bentoo on Thu 7th Mar 2013 05:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad news for Google."
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

He is just like all the critics who spelled out DOOM for Google here in the US, and nothing actually happened.


You mean the investigation that Google bought their way out of with $18M of lobbying (not to mention the $25k "award" for the FTC chair)? Maybe they can do the same in the EU.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bad news for Google.
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bad news for Google."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Really? So Google was not against SOPA? And Google gave that money(all of it) directly to the FTC chairman? How about the fact that the commission is a commission, as in there are many people there.

This has literally nothing to do with Google.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Bad news for Google.
by bentoo on Thu 7th Mar 2013 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bad news for Google."
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Really? So Google was not against SOPA?


They spent $18M to fight SOPA all in the first 30 days of 2012? Really? Did you look at their filings?

And Google gave that money(all of it) directly to the FTC chairman? How about the fact that the commission is a commission, as in there are many people there.


You don't have to bribe everyone, just someone in power (chairperson, senator, etc.). Google has gotten dirty over and over on this.

This has literally nothing to do with Google.


Back on topic. If you read the linked article the problem is the EU fined Microsoft the maximum 10% fine. If Google gets fined the same amount it could be ~$5B. So, I would say this literally DOES have something to do with Google.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Bad news for Google.
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bad news for Google."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They spent $18M to fight SOPA all in the first 30 days of 2012? Really? Did you look at their filings?

While I did not look at their filings, I'm pretty sure they did not spend the whole $18m on just one thing, like you implied.

You don't have to bribe everyone, just someone in power

Sure. Like I said in the relevant article thread - They should just stop giving to charitable NGOs, because some of them might just give an award to a person that was in a relevant position of power.(They should be like Apple, just stop giving to charity to shut conspiracy theorists out.)

Back on topic. If you read the linked article the problem is the EU fined Microsoft the maximum 10% fine. If Google gets fined the same amount it could be ~$5B. So, I would say this literally DOES have something to do with Google.


Nope. They fined them much less than 10%. They were fined 3% of their annual profits, while max is 10% of global annual revenues.

Microsoft's revenues for calendar year 2012 are 21.46+16.01+18.06+17.41 = $72.94bn
That is the max fine for Microsoft is $7294mil (or €5571mil)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Bad news for Google.
by bentoo on Fri 8th Mar 2013 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Bad news for Google."
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Nope. They fined them much less than 10%. They were fined 3% of their annual profits, while max is 10% of global annual revenues.


My mistake. The linked NYT article says 1%.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad news for Google.
by Soulbender on Thu 7th Mar 2013 04:42 UTC in reply to "Bad news for Google."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No, not really. See Nelson's post why this has no effect on Google at all.

Reply Score: 3