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: Why?
by molnarcs on Mon 27th Jul 2009 15:42 UTC in reply to "Why?"
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

Well, it's more about control. Microsoft has control (a monopoly) of the desktop OS market, and the problem is that they leveraged that monopoly to create a new one in the browser market. That's what the EU ruling is about.

Opera's demand is as ridiculous as it can get. You can argue for a ballot in case of MS Windows, because you have no control over it. On the other hand, you have full control (and I mean YOU, the user or YOU a company) over any Linux distribution except for some branding stuff. In other words, Opera, if so wishes, can take Ubuntu, strip away trademarks, and release the whole distro as Opera Linux with Opera as the default browser, with no obvious ways of installing other browsers if they really want to limit consumer choice. You can't force Ubuntu to do anything because they already gave you the choice to do anything YOU want (provided you don't violate the GPL).

Once you can legally obtain the source code of MS Windows, rebrand it, and distribute it freely on whatever medium you prefer (including the source code) - then we can talk about demanding the same from Linux distroes and MS Windows. Until then, Opera's request should be properly ridiculed by the internet community ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Why?
by Yamin on Mon 27th Jul 2009 16:15 in reply to "RE: Why?"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

I don't get your distinction at all.

Anyone is free to take Windows and install Firefox or Opera on it. Dell, HP, lenovo can do it. You can do it on your own. You don't need source code to do that. nor do you need any kind of rebranding.

I'm not against the anti-trust ruling against MS. I think its 'reasonably' fair as a CORRECTIVE PUNISHMENT due to Microsoft prior actions while in a monopoly position (needlessly tying its browser into the OS, pressuring vendors not to install other browsers by default...).

However, it's not a general principle that can or should be applied to other companies and situations.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Why?
by drTRS on Mon 27th Jul 2009 20:20 in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
drTRS Member since:
2008-07-29

This is not quite true.. If you remove IE, than you cannot install recommended updates easily from Microsoft , due to the problem with compatibility (ActiveX I think). The sec fix will update automatically (if is set)..
So IMHO the Microsoft did not completed the dependency on IE in Vista at least (I don't know the 7) or actually they left a needed usage for IE...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Why?
by molnarcs on Tue 28th Jul 2009 06:38 in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Ok, to put it into simple terms - Opera is free to take a linux distro, make any modifications to their liking, and distribute it themselves. They can do what they want - they don't need to request linux vendors (althouh it's a lot more convenient to do so). If they want different defaults for windows, they have to beg Microsoft and/or pressure them via lawsuits. That's a big difference imho.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Why?
by hangman on Mon 27th Jul 2009 22:10 in reply to "RE: Why?"
hangman Member since:
2007-09-05

Opera's demand is as ridiculous as it can get.


Did you even read beyond the insane and sensationalist BS by the article author?

What Opera's CTO actually said: "Apple and Ubuntu are not monopolies as per the legal definition of a monopoly. Still, it may be a good idea to offer it"

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by molnarcs on Tue 28th Jul 2009 06:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Ok, you're right, they didn't exactly demand the same treatment. My writeup seems a bit harsh in retrospect, but I maintain that when it comes to understanding how free software in general and linux distributions in particular work, they are rather clueless.

Reply Parent Score: 2