Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Jul 2012 21:12 UTC
Windows The moment Microsoft announced it would lock other browsers out of being installed on Windows RT, we all knew regulatory bodies the world over were wringing their hands. Today, this has been confirmed: in the wake of an investigation into Microsoft not complying with the existing antitrust rulings regarding browser choice, the EU has also announced it's investigating Windows 8 x86 and Windows 8 RT (ARM).
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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Jul 2012 21:28 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I've wondered why Apple is getting a free pass on their browser and email lockdown on the iPad, which dominates the market, while Microsoft is already receiving scrutiny for a product that isn't out yet.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by No it isnt on Wed 18th Jul 2012 22:18 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Because Microsoft was investigated for and found guilty of abusing their monopoly in operating systems to obstruct competition in browsers. Apple hasn't been investigated for that, and I can't see how the situation is the same: even though iOS dominates the tablet, it is far from dominating the web -- it's actually closer to Linux than to OS X in market share, i.e. insignificant.

Remember back when the web was 'designed for IE6'? That's what happens when a monopolist is able to kill its competition.

Edited 2012-07-18 22:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by shmerl on Thu 19th Jul 2012 00:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

and I can't see how the situation is the same: even though iOS dominates the tablet, it is far from dominating the web


Well, that's easy to point out - codecs. Apple dominates the web with allowing usage of only MP3 and H.264 on their devices for web audio/video, and banning browsers that could allow using open codecs (Vorbis, Theora, VP8 and etc.). This way they indirectly push Web developers to use these closed codecs if they want to target Apple mobile devices (which are a big part of the market and can hardly be ignored).

Essentially Web publishers are forced to encode their content twice - in open codecs for normal browsers, and in closed codecs for mobile Safari (same story will be with Windows RT it seems). Encoding in closed codecs requires licensing if publishing has commercial purpose. Plus doubling hosting space costs money and less efficient closed codecs waste more energy, being bad for the environment. So in essence Apple does dominate the web with their ban on alternative browsers for iOS.

IE on mobile MS devices has the same issue. On the desktop, IE can be remedied with installing plugins to support open codecs, while on mobile devices with their crazy restrictions this is impossible.

Edited 2012-07-19 00:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by bassbeast on Sat 21st Jul 2012 19:01 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

How can you not see how they are similar? Desktops are a mature market like washers, people don't replace them until they break. Mobile is the new desktop and Apple has taken every page out of the Gates playbook and THEN some. Even in his wildest dreams did Gates even think about locking out third parties completely yet Apple, which just FYI owns the top of both the pad and the phone markets by a pretty large margin, does so and nobody even blinks.

I'm sorry but Thom is right, there needs to be an investigation but not of MSFT but the whole mobile industry. All they will do is bum another check from MSFT while Apple take their place in this new market and if they aren't careful just as MSFT was investigated years after the companies that could have competed closed their doors so too will Apple get a slap on the wrist while the competition dies.

I mean for the love of Pete Jobs was able to single handedly destroy Flash on mobile, which just so happened to give developers a way to bypass the appstore and you don't think that is significant?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Delgarde on Wed 18th Jul 2012 22:34 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I've wondered why Apple is getting a free pass on their browser and email lockdown on the iPad, which dominates the market, while Microsoft is already receiving scrutiny for a product that isn't out yet.


Because the iPad has never been anything other than a locked-down, integrated product, hardware and software sold as one - there's simply no expectation that users should be able to do stuff Apple don't allow.

Whereas Windows has a long history of being a general purpose OS that can be installed on most hardware, and customised to the user's tastes. Microsoft, therefore, are seen as being anti-competitive by taking away rights that the user previously had.

Which isn't to say that Apple *shouldn't* be investigated, but it does explain why the two cases are treated differently.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Jul 2012 23:40 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

But that's the thing. There is no history of Windows on tablets, either.
At least, on anything even remotely resembling an iPad.

Of course, most of Microsoft's market is based around Windows being a software platform open to developers, but just a few short years ago, that was also true about Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by MollyC on Thu 19th Jul 2012 00:07 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Sounds like you're providing the defense that Microsoft should use.

For WindowsRT does not have a "long history of being a general purpose OS that can be installed on most hardware and customized to the user's tastes."

WindowsRT is like iOS in that:
WindowsRT apps can only come from the MS app store (exceptions made for people that develop their own apps.) And WindowsRT cannot be purchased by consumers. WindowsRT is only available as part of "integrated" hardware/software devices that are made for sale.

So, if your theories are indeed what allows Apple to get away with anything they want wrt iOS, then the EU doesn't hav a leg to stand on, since WindowsRT is the exact same thing. The EU would be complete and utter hypocrites if they attack Microsoft for WindowsRT while letting Apple do whatever the hell it wants wrt iOS.

P.S.
Note that WindowsRT can't run any Win32 apps, and therefore cannot take advantage of the apps that the "monopoly" OS runs. So x86 Windows being a "monopoly" OS is meaningless wrt WindowsRT. So the EU can't even use that argument with a straight face.

Edited 2012-07-19 00:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by 1c3d0g on Thu 19th Jul 2012 00:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

I disagree. We can clearly see there is an obvious double-standard being used here. I hope Apple drowns in its own arrogance.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 18th Jul 2012 22:52 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think you just found Microsoft's defence, and potentially the path to the larger investigation that Thom is asking for.

MS wouldn't really care that much if they lost this as long as the EU also wallops Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by wocowboy on Thu 19th Jul 2012 10:56 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
wocowboy Member since:
2006-06-01

There are several different browsers you can install on an iPad and use besides Safari.... Google Chrome, Dolphin, just to name two, check out this list:

http://appadvice.com/appguides/show/ipad-web-browsers

Microsoft is not going to allow any other browser to be installed on Windows RT. Huge difference.

As for email, there is the excellent Sparrow email client. The one thing Apple does not allow, and I agree this is wrong, is that you cannot change the setting for the default client for email and web browsing.

Edited 2012-07-19 11:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by MollyC on Thu 19th Jul 2012 19:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

iOS mandates that 3rd-party browsers use the webkit engine that comes with iOS, though. So Firefox is banned,because Firefox uses gecko. Only if Mozilla changed Firefox to use the iOS webkit engine, would Apple allow Firefox to run on iOS.

Microsoft isn't nearly as harsh in that respect. Microsoft will allow Firefox to run on WindowsRT, but Mozilla says that their javascript engine won't run fast because WindowsRT lacks access to certain Win32 apis (WinRT only supports a subset of Win32 api).
So Microsoft is already treating Mozilla better than Apple does. Moreover, just as Mozilla could change Firefox to use webkit when running on iOS, Mozilla could change Firefox to use the IE engine (I think it's called "Trident"), when running on WindowsRT.

So WindowsRT is at least as permissive as iOS wrt Mozilla, and actually more so. Mozilla is being hypocritical by complaining about WindowsRT (which as zero percent marketshare, BTW) while not lodging similar complaints against iOS, which has a harsher policy AND controls 80% of the ARM market.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by tomcat on Thu 19th Jul 2012 20:18 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Microsoft is not going to allow any other browser to be installed on Windows RT.


Not at present, anyway. But Apple didn't allow any other browser than Safari on the iPad and iPhone initially, as well. There will undoubtedly be pressure on Microsoft to allow other browsers and, like Apple, they will probably relent, since they have corporate customers that use other browsers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by zima on Sat 21st Jul 2012 22:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There are several different browsers you can install on an iPad and use besides Safari.... Google Chrome, Dolphin, just to name two, check out this list:
http://appadvice.com/appguides/show/ipad-web-browsers
Microsoft is not going to allow any other browser to be installed on Windows RT. Huge difference.

Those are just UIs to iOS-included Webkit engine, basically the same as used by Safari, but with worse javascript engine.

Essentially just what MS wants to do with RT ...which is in a way less restrictive: you can use your own HTML parser (but not js engine, performance of which will hence also suffer)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Lorin on Fri 20th Jul 2012 07:48 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

Keep asking that question publicly and it will be Apple's turn

Reply Parent Score: 2