Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 17th Jan 2009 15:29 UTC
Internet Explorer After successfully battling Microsoft over the company's bundling of Windows Media Player, the European Union is now ready for more. The European Commission has charged Microsoft with violating competition laws because of the Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.
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the real issue
by psycroptic on Mon 19th Jan 2009 11:57 UTC
psycroptic
Member since:
2009-01-19

I would hope that the EU (or whoever the filing party might be here) realizes the true root of the "anti-competitive" nature of what Microsoft was/is doing. I don't really think that installing a default browser into the OS (even when the OS does indeed possess monopoly power over most of the world's PC market) goes against any sort of logic or ethics. Rather, it's the extent to which it has been bundled. On most other desktop operating systems, the browser is a separated component from the OS. In OSX, all Linux distributions, and so on, the "Web Browser" application can be removed by the user after the fact. Yes, most will come with at least one, and some Linux distributions include four or five different browsers, but the difference with Windows is that IE is entrenched within the OS itself, to a point at which removing it becomes no longer an option. (And no, "hiding access" to an application is not the same as removing it.) The heart of the issue here is that to use Windows, you MUST have IE on your system, and we've seen flaws in different OS components that nonetheless use IE code (I vaguely remember a Help&Support bug a while back that made all Windows systems vulnerable whether you were actively using IE or not.)

With all this said, I'm pretty sure that at the moment, the Web and most of the people who use it have wisened up to the fact that proprietary standards scaffolded over what is inherently a (mostly) free network just introduces more problems and headaches than any "problems" it purports to solve. So, many of the issues regarding proprietary IE-only language are fading pretty quickly. I think computer users with any sort of technological competence absolutely have the ability and wherewithal to download and install a different browser (I've been doing it with firefox/mozilla on multiple OS's including Windows for over 5 years without any problems at all.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: the real issue
by lemur2 on Mon 19th Jan 2009 12:28 in reply to "the real issue"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So, many of the issues regarding proprietary IE-only language are fading pretty quickly. I think computer users with any sort of technological competence absolutely have the ability and wherewithal to download and install a different browser (I've been doing it with firefox/mozilla on multiple OS's including Windows for over 5 years without any problems at all.)


I don't think so.

The main reason, for example, why SVG is not commonly used (even though it is a W3C standard) is that IE doesn't support it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Vector_Graphics#Native_suppor...

We wouldn't need Silverlight, or flash for that matter, if the proper standards (in particular, SVG and SMIL) were supported by all web browsers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W3c#Standards

If the standards were followed by all, as they should be, then we could have device independence for viewing the web.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Device_Independence
http://www.w3.org/TR/di-princ/

Device Independence is actually a design aim of the web in the first place.

IE is Microsoft's deliberate vehicle to undermine the very concept of device independence, and require everyone to use IE on a Windows platform in order to view web content. Microsoft's strategy CANNOT be allowed to succeed.

The EU is doing good work to help to see that Microsoft's strategy for the web does not prevail.

Edited 2009-01-19 12:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: the real issue
by psycroptic on Mon 19th Jan 2009 13:40 in reply to "RE: the real issue"
psycroptic Member since:
2009-01-19

Sure; we're not there yet by a long shot, and it most likely will take some outside force in order for Microsoft to update IE to be fully (or as full as possibile) standards compliant. But I think it's safe to say that there's been significant progress made since, I don't know, '99 or so. I mean, the whole MS DHTML deal kinda died down after it was shown to be quite un-portable. And while Silverlight still is a bit unsettling to me simply because it's entirely created within the Redmond walls, it seems to me (on the surface at least, cause I haven't delved into the details) that they're being a bit less imprisoning of the specifics of the whole thing.

Idk; I tend to hold out hope for open standards in general, just cause I think they work and I feel that they overall tend to make things easier.

IE is Microsoft's deliberate vehicle to undermine the very concept of device independence, and require everyone to use IE on a Windows platform in order to view web content. Microsoft's strategy CANNOT be allowed to succeed.


If you were to ask them, I suppose they might answer you with something along the lines of "it's our business model." While I do think that you can absolutely attack them for deliberately not complying with decades- and half-decades-old standards, it sounds as if you're making IE out to be this malevolent entity.

My original opinion (on tying the browser into the OS as much as MS has) still stands, though.

Reply Parent Score: 1