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[2]: What about Maxthon?
by darknexus on Mon 27th Jul 2009 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE: What about Maxthon?"
Member since:

If trident is fully stripped it would break more than just browsers that wrap it. There are many applications out there that rely on it for one thing or another. Help files are typically chm which the app would then have to provide their own rendering engine just for help functionality.

I think MS should just sell a version of windows without any brower. No ballots, no links that will help download one. If Opera is going to be difficult, MS could just make it more difficult for the user to get ANY browser.

Microsoft were recently threatening to do just that, and perhaps Windows 7 RTM will be released this way in the EU as I doubt they have time to implement a selection screen for the initial RTM as of now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: What about Maxthon?
by sbergman27 on Mon 27th Jul 2009 19:07 in reply to "RE[2]: What about Maxthon?"
sbergman27 Member since:

Microsoft were recently threatening to do just that...

"Threatening", of course, being a very appropriate choice of term. The intent, of course, being to "demonstrate" that regulating MS's anti-competitive behavior is bad for the consumer. Of course, there are much better ways to deal with this case of their using their OS monopoly to leverage their Internet Explorer browser product (so that they can then continue to use that to leverage yet other products). And the best way that I've seen so far, and the one that has seemed pretty obvious from the start, is this ballot screen idea.

Of course, as things stand, MS still has plenty of wiggle room for "stuffing the ballot" in favor of IE. I threw out a few ideas off the top of my head the other day:

While I do like the general idea, it needs to be executed properly or it's worse than nothing. And I'll believe that MS is going to do that... when I see it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: What about Maxthon?
by MollyC on Tue 28th Jul 2009 00:35 in reply to "RE[3]: What about Maxthon?"
MollyC Member since:

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1