Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Jul 2009 07:29 UTC
Opera Software Last week, the European Commission announced that Microsoft is willing to implement a browser ballot screen in Windows so that users can select a browser to install when installing Windows or when setting up their OEM computer. While this makes Opera very happy, Opera would like to see Ubuntu and Apple offer such a ballot screen too.
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RE[4]: What about Maxthon?
by MollyC on Tue 28th Jul 2009 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about Maxthon?"
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I think Microsoft should have stayed with their original plan. It's totally legal. Well, antitrust law in the EU is even more vague than it is in the US; trials aren't even required, simply decrees by the EC which are rubberstamped by the appeals court. But would even the EU appeals court rubberstamp an EC decree saying that Microsoft not shipping a browser was illegal? The EU appeals court would lose whatever credibility it had left and become a laughing stock around the globe.

Here are some problems with the ballot scheme:

Right now the EU is saying that the top 5 usage share browsers should appear first, each accompanied by a product pitch, while the rest of the browsers are simply listed below. So the EU is in effect freezing the market into these top 5 browsers. How is a new browser supposed to break into the top 5 when those are getting preferable ballot placement based on their share, which increases (or maintains) their share, which keeps them in the top 5 on the ballot, which maintains their share, which keeps them in the top 5, etc, etc...

The ballot scheme deprives the OEM of making deals with the browser companies. Google is (or was) paying Dell to bundle Google Desktop with their computers (which is why I stopped considering Dells). Google would be more than happy to pay Dell to bundle Chrome as the default browser. But this ballot scheme precludes any such deals like that.

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