Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Jun 2009 13:55 UTC
Internet Explorer Yesterday, Microsoft dropped a bomb by announcing that all versions of Windows 7 released in Europe would ship without Internet Explorer pre-installed. This was in answer to the EU antitrust investigation currently under way regarding possible illegal bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. The first reactions to this news are coming in, with Opera and the EU both lamenting the move.
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The whole argument is getting old
by panickedthumb on Fri 12th Jun 2009 14:03 UTC
panickedthumb
Member since:
2007-01-04

I am not a Microsoft fan by any stretch of the imagination, but in this day and age, people expect some basic things out of a PC they buy or OS they install, and one of those things is to be able to browse the internet immediately. I understand the non-competitive argument, but this takes away essential functionality.

If there is no browser bundled, how are you going to go download a browser? Are we going to see retail IE and Firefox packages now, like Netscape back in the day? Yes, the user deserves choice, but it makes no sense not to include a browser anymore.

I support making it easier to remove IE entirely in fresh Windows builds, and making it much easier for OEM's to install whatever browser they want, but out of the box, either way, there needs to be a browser, and the EU and Opera are just being naive to think their plans are good for the consumer.

Reply Score: 3

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Uhm, that's exactly the point the EU and opera are making.

They want a browser out of the box, they just don't want it to be IE by default. That's why they want give users a choice upon install, something MS obviously doesn't want to happen.

So you are basically agreeing with the EU and opera and slamming them at the same time for something MS chose to do.

Reply Parent Score: 3

panickedthumb Member since:
2007-01-04

Thanks, I didn't flesh that out enough.

I don't agree with the EU and Opera going after Microsoft to begin with. Their monopoly argument over IE is what annoys me. As far as the current arguments presented in this article, I agree with what the EU is saying now, but it's obvious that Opera's current argument is just because they feel like nobody wants to play with them.

I also disagree with MS taking IE out of Windows 7 as a solution, because it takes away from the user experience.

Thanks for pointing out my inconsistency there, typed it while otherwise occupied and missed part of it ;)

Reply Parent Score: -1

jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

They want a browser out of the box, they just don't want it to be IE by default. That's why they want give users a choice upon install, something MS obviously doesn't want to happen.


So that raises the question of what browsers and why get to ship with windows rather than browser XYZ. Further more, why doesn't software ZXY ship with windows too because it's a complete replacement for microsoft's own ABC? This road doesn't lead to any reasonable ending.

At best, just leaving IE in windows forcing microsoft to allow complete removal of the browser would be a just cause but adding in software from other manufacturers is no more reasonable than what we already have.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Uhm, that's exactly the point the EU and opera are making.

They want a browser out of the box, they just don't want it to be IE by default. That's why they want give users a choice upon install, something MS obviously doesn't want to happen.

So you are basically agreeing with the EU and opera and slamming them at the same time for something MS chose to do.


So what one could do is allow the browser providers to have access to the Windows Windows update service so that they can offer their product through the Microsoft updating mechanism. Microsoft doesn't want that because it would end up with end users realising there is a massive selection out there; they could try out each browser till they find something they like.

The problem with Microsoft is they see Internet Explorer as the gateway where they can link Microsoft services that they provide, Microsoft's server products and their operating system. It is one of the many glue's that hold the Microsoft monopoly together. Get rid of Internet Explorer's proprietary technologies, demand the royalty free access to Microsoft's technologies (network protocol, file format etc) and numerous other bits and bobs and you'll find the Microsoft monopoly would die pretty quickly.

Reply Parent Score: 6

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

**read this with a cup of coffee around - and with a sense of humour**

-----

If there is no browser bundled, how are you going to go download a browser?


Well, use a ftp-client to download a browser, as I did with NT4, since no newer sites worked with IE2. Of course, without a ftp-client you can't do that. In which case you use a cd. There are tons of cd's with IE, FF and ftp - they tend to come with any software magazine.

Besides that a browser isn't system essential. The underlying libraries are essential. A browser is just an end user application and does not make the system more or less functional. It's just impractical without a browser ;)

You can get browsers from everywhere, so your scenario is essentially a non-issue. That said, a software store in Windows wouldn't be a bad thing. From that store (where one could add his/her own channels) one could download (for free or for money) a browser according to personal taste.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

While MS business culture is detremental to say the least, they do hire some of the brightest programmers before hamstringing them with marketing and strategy demands. They could allow some of the bright developers enough freedom to solve the problem rather than push the agenda.

Even still, there are other options.

ftp.exe, it's still there and ftp.firefox.com isn't a very cryptic address to guess nor is ie.microsoft.com.

Windows Update seems to be a local utility rather than browser app. You don't need a browser to connect, get your updates and add a browser of your choosing along with other programs. As I mention elsewhere though, there are "business" reasons this would be hard to do rather than any technical challenge.

Browser installs don't take much space, a selection of installs on the original disk wouldn't be noticable.

Preinstalls are how most get there Windows license and I'm pretty sure Dell and the other's can figure out how to download a chosen browser and include it into the standard system image.

On Maemo Linux devices, there is an icon; "Skype". Skype isn't installed but when you hit that icon the first time it asks "say, should I go download and install Skype for you?". This works after the install's first boot very easily.

Along that same line; if your installing Windows on a non-networked machine browsing is probably not your primary concern. This means that your likely going to have a network connection available when you do install it if browsing is going to be a desired function of the system. By extent, they could simply have a network ping to grab the latest browser list and pull the install from the applicable location rather than off the original disk.

I just don't see a system installed without an initial browser being a real challenge. The question is elsewhere in this particular "whatif" scenario.

Actually, my thinking is that the crippled Win7 EU edition is along the lines of the Mediaplayer less XP EU edition; sold at the same price while advertising less included software. Ultimately, they'll be able to engineer a market failure of that SKU number and go "but the market wants our bundled software".

Reply Parent Score: 2

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

If you don't have an Internet connection you may go to a library, Internet Cafe (do these still exist?) or WiFi hotspot and download one onto media that can be used on your computer and install one, or more, from there.

If you do have 'net access you may simply use an FTP script, hopefully provided, since not many end users will want to develop and test their own.

If facilities such as wget or curl are available then robust rc file, command scripting and security and recovery options could be provided to successfully retrieve installer files. And, here also, "provided" means by someone willing to do so as well as capable of doing it, not enforcing some learning regimen on the end user.

This would avoid the "gotcha" of having links or elinks installed since those are browsers even though their very presence and feature sets might encourage users to try other products. (o;)<

Reply Parent Score: 3

scorched earth
by mabhatter on Mon 15th Jun 2009 04:34 in reply to "The whole argument is getting old"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

I am not a Microsoft fan by any stretch of the imagination, but in this day and age, people expect some basic things out of a PC they buy or OS they install, and one of those things is to be able to browse the internet immediately. I understand the non-competitive argument, but this takes away essential functionality.

If there is no browser bundled, how are you going to go download a browser? Are we going to see retail IE and Firefox packages now, like Netscape back in the day? Yes, the user deserves choice, but it makes no sense not to include a browser anymore.

I support making it easier to remove IE entirely in fresh Windows builds, and making it much easier for OEM's to install whatever browser they want, but out of the box, either way, there needs to be a browser, and the EU and Opera are just being naive to think their plans are good for the consumer.


They're playing at "scorched earth" here. Microsoft will remove IE from the retail product to make a scene. Then OEMS will turn around and install it right back again.... a few will install Opera or Firefox, but ALL will install IE because that's what customer will be told to expect in all the ads.

For retail copies, the first time you need Windows Update, or Silverlight you'll get IE on the "highly recommended" listing every single time until you give in.... or you pick automatic updates and get it anyway.

Microsoft will then point to how 95% of PCs sold are shipping IE because "customers want it" and how 95% of the retail customers download it the first time they update.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: scorched earth
by strcpy on Mon 15th Jun 2009 07:07 in reply to "scorched earth"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

But perhaps that is at least partially exactly what customers actually want?

That is to say, at least I do not believe the mantra of certain FOSS people; that poor Windows users would hypothetically immediately switch to another products if they are just "educated" about the choices.

Sometimes I just find the "sheep herd consumers" -thinking condescending, especially when coming from a bureaucracy such as EU.

Reply Parent Score: 1