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EC To Pursue Antitrust Despite Microsoft's IE Move 484

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-try dept.
snydeq writes "The European Commission will proceed with its antitrust case against Microsoft regardless of Microsoft's decision to strip IE from Windows 7 in Europe. Europe's top antitrust regulator said the EC would draw up a remedy that allows computer users 'genuine consumer choice,' noting that stripping out IE from Windows 'may potentially be positive,' but 'rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less.' Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera, whose complaint to the European Commission at the end of 2007 sparked the initial antitrust investigation, said Microsoft is 'trying to set the remedy itself by stripping out IE. ... Now that Microsoft has acknowledged it has been breaking the law by bundling IE into Windows, the Commission must push ahead with an effective remedy,' he said."
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EC To Pursue Antitrust Despite Microsoft's IE Move

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  • by elrous0 (869638) *

    I know this is /., where everyone just loves to bash MS at every opportunity. But the EC is way out of line on this one.

    First of all, the old "bundling a browser with your OS is unfair" argument is a relic from the 90's, when browsers were still a bit of a novelty. But it's 2009. *EVERY* OS comes bundled with a browser now--Apple, Ubuntu, everyone. Forcing MS not to bundle a simple default browser with their OS isn't leveling the playing field, it's forcing them to play with a disadvantage over everyone el

    • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:55AM (#28309173)

      I agree completely. I don't use IE myself, but the EC's position that MS should not only not bundle their own browser, but instead bundle *competing* browsers is inane. I'm not a gung-ho laissez-faire capitalist, but forcing companies to promote competing products is over the line.

      Of course, not bundling a browser is problematic as well. The technologically illiterate, and even the semi-skilled could not figure out how to download a browser without having a browser to start with. All I'd like to see is the option to uninstall cleanly, not a mandatory release of a browser-less (read: near useless) OS.

      • by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:12PM (#28309467)

        MS's plan is to allow OEMs to include whatever browser they want in the EU version of Windows. No manufacturer is going to be foolish enough to ship a system without some sort of browser installed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sdnoob (917382)

          You mean, "No manufacturer is going to be foolish enough to piss-off Microsoft by not installing Internet Explorer for them."

          Just another way Microsoft will skirt around the antitrust issues. Too bad no one in the EU or USA had the kahunas to do what needed to be done a decade ago when it would've actually made a difference.

          • by The Evil Couch (621105) on Friday June 12, 2009 @01:07PM (#28310349) Homepage
            I don't normally correct grammar or spelling issues, but I really have to here, because this is hilarious.

            Too bad no one in the EU or USA had the kahunas...

            Kahuna is a Hawaiian word that translates something like "wizard" or "expert". I think what you want is the Spanish word for testes: cojones. But the idea of the US and EU needing wizards to deal with MS is pretty awesome, too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrLang21 (900992)
        Clearly what MS should do to appease the EC is bundle every copy of Windows with IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Netscape, SeaMonkey, K-Meleon, Amaya, Maxthon, Flock, Slim, KidRocket, PhaseOut, Crazy Browser, Smart Bro, ShenzBrowser, JonDoFox, Avant, xB, Sleipnir, spacetime, Browser3D, 3B Room, Bitty, Grail, Lynx, and Happy Browser. Clearly this will improve Windows performance and usability for the average consumer.
        • by the_humeister (922869) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:50PM (#28310099)

          That wouldn't actually be a bad idea. When the user first turns on the computer, a screen should pop up with the following:

          As a result of recent EU regulations, please choose a preferred internet browser.

          • IE
          • Firefox
          • Google Chrome
          • Opera
          • Safari
          • Netscape
          • SeaMonkey
          • K-Meleon
          • Amaya
          • Maxthon
          • Flock
          • Slim
          • KidRocket
          • PhaseOut
          • Crazy Browser
          • Smart Bro
          • ShenzBrowser
          • JonDoFox
          • Avant
          • xB
          • Sleipnir
          • spacetime
          • Browser3D
          • 3B Room
          • Bitty
          • Grail
          • Lynx
          • Happy Browser

          That should get people riled up!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I agree completely. I don't use IE myself, but the EC's position that MS should not only not bundle their own browser, but instead bundle *competing* browsers is inane. I'm not a gung-ho laissez-faire capitalist, but forcing companies to promote competing products is over the line.

        Maybe you're forgetting, this is punishment for a crime. Your argument is like saying it is inane to force someone to sign their house over to another and then spend three years in a small room. That's perfectly true unless they've been caught extorting money for years from the guy they're supposed to sigh the house over to.

        All I'd like to see is the option to uninstall cleanly, not a mandatory release of a browser-less (read: near useless) OS.

        The EU is not mandating that, it's MS's idea. Your goals are not the goals of the EU commission who is charged with stopping particular crimes and creating remedies to restore the market

    • by Krneki (1192201) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:00PM (#28309245)
      Microsoft uses partners to sell their product. Now M$ won't have the option do decide what browser we will get, instead the reseller will provide one for use.

      The consumer will still get Windows with an Internet browser.

      I know this is already the case with some dealers, but now EU said it's totally up to them what to bundle with Windows and not a Microsoft decision.
      • by zoips (576749)
        And so what happens for the people who go to the store and buy a copy of Windows? There are more ways to obtain Windows than on a prebuilt Dell, you know...
        • by Krneki (1192201)
          You can go all the way to the store, but you can't have an Internet Browser on your USB stick?
          • by Manfre (631065)

            "You can go all the way to the store, but you can't have an Internet Browser on your USB stick?"

            They were able to buy a computer, but why can't they just code their own Internet Browser?

            My argument makes more sense than yours because all computers come with the tools to write a browser, but they all do not come with a USB stick. Having the skills to shop at a store in no way implies that a typical user would know to purchase a USB drive and then find a way of installing a browser on to it.

            • by Krneki (1192201)
              Makes perfect sense.
              Going to the shop, buying the Windows CD you need, install Windows on a new PC is easy. But buying an USB stick and get the Internet browser is beyond human capability.

              Get real.
               
        • by Lennie (16154)

          They also get an option in the installer which says: install or not install IE

        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          ...Or those of us who still like to build our own systems, or those small scale non-Dell/non-HP computer makers who don't have any special deal with MS.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I know this is already the case with some dealers, but now EU said it's totally up to them what to bundle with Windows and not a Microsoft decision.

        The simple truth is that OEMs already have the opportunity to delete the IE icon, and put a big fat Firefox on the desktop. But that's not customer choice, either. People who know they want Firefox are going and downloading it; OEMs have the option to bundle Firefox now, but usually don't.

        I have a real problem with forcing Microsoft to remove functionality from the Operating System. I maintain that the solution to Microsoft's evil deeds (and they were sufficiently ill to be called that, in my opinion) is to

        • by Krneki (1192201)
          Fining a company for misbehaving is not the perfect solution. The best thing to do is to make it impossible for them to break the law in the first place.

          This is like saying speeding is ok, as long as you pay the fines.

          And customers will get the damn Internet browser, if the reseller can't be arsed to put one in, they should be out of business anyway.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Fining a company for misbehaving is not the perfect solution. The best thing to do is to make it impossible for them to break the law in the first place.

            You're fucking hilarious.

            It's impossible to prevent people from breaking the law without putting them into padded rooms.

            This is like saying speeding is ok, as long as you pay the fines.

            Another stupid comment from you; speed limits are set to make money, not to save lives. If we wanted to save lives, we'd find an alternative to cars. (Hint: there are numerous alternatives already.)

            And customers will get the damn Internet browser, if the reseller can't be arsed to put one in, they should be out of business anyway.

            I agree with this, but it's still stupid. I predict that the majority of computers sold with Windows will come with IE whether Microsoft is allowed to make it part of the default OEM install or

          • by mpe (36238)
            Fining a company for misbehaving is not the perfect solution.

            Where said company is a monopoly supplier then at best fining them is pointless. Unless the fine is large enough to bankrupt the company in short order it'll be the customers who wind up paying the fine. (Plus any interest if the fine was big enough to cause short term cash flow problems.)

            The best thing to do is to make it impossible for them to break the law in the first place.

            Making it more difficult for a company to break the law in futur
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:27PM (#28309701)
        The big OEM's *already* have the option to bundle Firefox/Opera/etc. as their default browser (Firefox would certainly be a big improvement over all the other useless crapware and adware they bundle with most off-the-shelf computers these days). Pretty much none of them do (that I know of). The EC doesn't want to give the OEM's the option of installing an alternative browser (they already have it), they want to TAKE AWAY their option of leaving IE as the default browser (as they pretty much all do now). I don't see how that benefits the consumer in any way. It just seems like a spiteful jab at MS and a double-standard that they don't apply to Apple, Canonical, etc.
        • by Krneki (1192201)
          As far as I'm aware IE can still be the only browser shipped with Windows, as long as the OEM decides to make it so.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222)

      First of all, the old "bundling a browser with your OS is unfair" argument is a relic from the 90's

      I don't agree. MS still has a lot to gain by having their browser remain the "default". Thankfully, they got lazy and IE fell far enough behind that Firefox grabbed some market share... but several years ago it was very common to have IE-only web sites. This guaranteed that, even if you ran Mac or Linux OS software you still needed a Windows license to use certain sites on the internet.

      They should not be allowed to leverage their monopoly to push into other markets, either. If Apple someday commands 90% of

    • While I fully second your opinion that MS should be honored to remove the IE from Windows 7 and therefore create more choice, I would say the the EC should continue its antitrust case until:
      - this is officially communicated by MS, and
      - the antitrust committee decides that only the inclusion of the IE in Windows was the reason for the antitrust case.
      Forcing MS to present other (competing) browsers at installation time would be completely wrong, already because somebody would need to make that choice of brows

    • There is this most amazing shill swarm going on all over the web because of this issue. On comments to the New York Times article, even on Microsoft's own web site where they calmly state that out of respect to the EU ruling they would desist from bundling IE in Europe, the comment section is filled from comments from their own sock puppets. It is time somebody spoke out about this. This is no less than the "Death of Web 2" and free speech. Just watch how fast this gets modded to oblivion, for example, in s

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pentium100 (1240090)

      MS broke the law, they will be punished for it, even if they stopped breaking the law.

      Or are you saying that if a serial killer stops killing, he shouldn't go to jail?

      Forcing MS not to bundle a simple default browser

      The problem is that IE is not simple. MS markets it as a fully featured browser, so people use it. If IE was like MSPaint (compared to Photoshop), everything would be OK, people would use it to download a real browser.

      Apple and Linux do not have a monopoly, so they can do whatever they want. If Apple or some distribution of Linux replaces Wind

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I know this is /., where everyone just loves to bash MS at every opportunity. But the EC is way out of line on this one.

      Wouldn't it be nice if people had a clue before making such strong, declarative statements?

      First of all, the old "bundling a browser with your OS is unfair" argument is a relic from the 90's, when browsers were still a bit of a novelty. But it's 2009. *EVERY* OS comes bundled with a browser now--Apple, Ubuntu, everyone. Forcing MS not to bundle a simple default browser with their OS isn't leveling the playing field, it's forcing them to play with a disadvantage over everyone else.

      That would make a lot fo sense if MS were being convicted of the crime of bundling a browser with an OS. That's not what they're being convicted of, just the particular method by which they're doing it.

      Here's a car analogy. Bob is arrested for grand theft auto after taking the action of driving a car home. Tom and Sue are not arrested, even though they also drove a car home. The difference is that Tom and Sue each own

  • Wait what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spike15 (1023769) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:55AM (#28309171)
    Even if I could understand / appreciate the whole "anti-trust" thing, and conceded that it was the government's place to interfere to stop monopolies (which I can't), how is it EVER logical to suggest that it's up to a for-profit company to provide "consumer choice" by touting its competitors' products? That's just totally ridiculous. You say that Microsoft is breaking the law by bundling IE with its software, great, I could argue that, that shouldn't be against the law, et cetera (but I won't, because it's not really relevant to the matter-at-hand), but how can you suggest that rather than just making them not bundle IE, you should ALSO make them provide ipso facto advertising (for free) for their competitors by offering so-called "genuine consumer choice"?
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Even if I could understand / appreciate the whole "anti-trust" thing, and conceded that it was the government's place to interfere to stop monopolies (which I can't), how is it EVER logical to suggest that it's up to a for-profit company to provide "consumer choice" by touting its competitors' products? That's just totally ridiculous. You say that Microsoft is breaking the law by bundling IE with its software, great, I could argue that, that shouldn't be against the law, et cetera (but I won't, because it's

      • I think the EU should mandate that major sellers like Dell offer at least one computer model in each line with Linux (one netbook, one desktop, one notebook).

        This is fucking retarded. A private corporation is under no obligation to offer anything in the way of computers.

        And nobody would buy the fucking things anyway.

        Learn to think.

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      I'm all for keeping the government out of the economy as much as possible, but unless you consider a monopoly a good thing, what solution is there besides government intervention to break a monopoly in any realistic fashion?
    • Re:Wait what? (Score:4, Informative)

      by cobbaut (232092) <{paul.cobbaut} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:38PM (#28309899) Homepage Journal

      Because Microsoft used illegal tactics to gain that market share. They forbid OEM's to bundle Netscape with Windows, which means they used their monopoly on the home OS market to get a monopoly in another market. This is illegal and should not go unpunished. Not even when Microsoft tactics delayed the whole process for ten years.

      The EU does the same thing to European companies that refuse to obey the law.

  • On what basis? (Score:2, Interesting)

    On the basis? That they're NOT bundling IE now? I despise Microsoft as much as the next Ubuntu DVD-wielding geek, but if they pull IE out of Windows 7 in Europe, along with the stuff they opened up (apparently to the EC's satisfaction) haven't they complied with the EC's demands? Does the EC have something else on Microsoft?

    I'm just a bit puzzled here. Someone enlighten me.

  • wrong tag (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I see the tag damnedifyoudodamnedifyoudont, but I think the tag damnedbecauseyoudid is more appropriate. Do you not put a suspected thief on trial because he put down the TV he was stealing when the policeman stared right at him?

    • by maxwell demon (590494) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:04PM (#28309317) Journal

      He wasn't stealing it. He just wanted to check how difficult it is to carry the TV around, in order to make a more informed purchase decision.

    • by zoips (576749)
      Not really a very good analogy, that...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spike15 (1023769)

      Do you not put a suspected thief on trial because he put down the TV he was stealing when the policeman stared right at him?

      No because you can't convict people on suspicions alone. In the example you gave, the "suspected thief" didn't actually steal anything. He put the TV down before he stole because the police officer was staring right at him. That it may be "obvious" to our "sensibilities" that he was going to steal the TV is irrelevant. The law is functional because it does NOT allow us to jump to such conclusions, and require that someone ACTUALLY OFFEND and have this offense PROVEN for punishment to be inflicted upon t

    • by Albanach (527650)

      I see the tag damnedifyoudodamnedifyoudont, but I think the tag damnedbecauseyoudid is more appropriate. Do you not put a suspected thief on trial because he put down the TV he was stealing when the policeman stared right at him?

      This is a fair point.

      Others don't seem to like the EU saying just not bundling isn't enough. I suspect the EU fear Microsoft are simply going to not bundle IE, but instead make it very easy to install with nothing pointing to competing browsers.

      Think along the lines of a 'connect to

      • by ScentCone (795499)
        Whereas I think the EU are after something that says "You'll need an internet explorer, Please select which you would like to download and install *internet explorer *firefox *safari *chrime".

        How about, "Being able to display web content is now an essential part of using your operating system. As the makers of that operating system, we've provided a web browsing application that does a very nice job. You can change to another web browsing any time you want, just by visiting this link: www.microsoft.com/f
      • by Samalie (1016193)

        I'm sorry, but who the fuck thinks its wrong for a company to say "Hey, you need a browser, want ours?" IN THEIR OWN FUCKING PRODUCT?

        I used this analogy once on another forum...lets see if I can get flamed here too...

        I make widgets. Now, not only do I make widgets, but I'm a smart and greedy son of a bitch. So I own the mine where the metal comes from for my widget, I own the patents on the mining equipment, I own the transportation...I own it fucking all.

        Now, imagine that exactly 1 widget is required in

        • Of course in the physical world eventually your patents expire and other people could make your widgits and undercut your profits forcing you to compete.

          Both browsers are technically free, so I don't see how it's a big fucking deal. But I'm with you in the fact that the I feel what the EU is doing is wrong and I don't even use any Microsoft products.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Do you not put a suspected thief on trial because he put down the TV he was stealing when the policeman stared right at him?

      If I'm shopping and a cop starts checking me out major I'll go shop someplace with less cops.

      Are you rooming with BadAnalogyGuy by any chance? Or did you just subscribe to his newsletter?

      Microsoft's bundling of the browser was found to be anticompetitive only because they offered superior terms to OEMs which did not bundle competing browsers. Since they have stopped doing that, bundling IE is no longer anticompetitive. I agree that Microsoft should not get a free pass for unbundling IE, but I also believe t

  • Yes, well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:03PM (#28309309)
    You have to stop and take a look at this from the EU point of view.

    In the US, we seek humanistic solutions to what we see as wrongs done to the individual. In the EU, they seek procedural solutions to what they see as services gone wrong.

    Bracketing non-EU style commendation onto the situation is risking stereotypical generalization (and milk soaked Wheaties) - walk in their shoes a bit first, before you firebomb their reactions.
    • As a life long Human and Us citizen, I don't think I've ever pursued a humanistic solution. What ever that means. At least not on purpose. Anti trust law deals with the companies misdeeds against other companies that then act to harm the consumer. There's nothing wrong with gouging/ mistreating the consumer as long as you don't prevent another company from providing better service. The US Government attorneys prosecuting the Microsoft anti trust case were going after Microsoft in a similar way. Could you
  • Give the EU a break (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:12PM (#28309463)

    I mean, have you seen the economy lately? How else are they supposed to have a balanced budget without leveling massive fines on American companies?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Microsoft isn't really an American company, they have offices, design centers, and so on all over the world and can safely be considered multinational.

  • OMG people! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:19PM (#28309577)

    This is a GOOD THING. I can't believe all the rabid anti-EU postings here. Somebody finally has the courage to stand up to Microsoft, and you people want to sting them up!

    Look: Microsoft has obtained their monopoly by unethical means. They have maintained that monopoly by illegal means. They are illegally leveraging their monopoly to extend their dominance into other markets.

    Thank goodness the EU has the guts to fight this.

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:23PM (#28309643)
    what is a real issue today is the ability of buying a PC either desktop or laptop with an OS other than microsoft, [eg] FreeDOS, BSD, Linux, not giving consumers a choice of OS when buying a PC is the bigger monopolistic crime...
  • First, I agree with EU.
    American antitrust is proven not to work. Microsoft always abused of its monopoly position and you, americans, did nothing. Zero. Nada.

    This decision is thought but I think that MS will be forced to provide a simple webpage that will direct the users to the main web-pages of the most diffused browsers.
    How do I browse the above web page?
    With a simple one page only browser that is allowed only to display that page.
    I know it sounds ridicolous, but it's what the EU will force MS to d
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)

      First, I agree with EU. American antitrust is proven not to work. Microsoft always abused of its monopoly position and you, americans, did nothing. Zero. Nada. This decision is thought but I think that MS will be forced to provide a simple webpage that will direct the users to the main web-pages of the most diffused browsers. How do I browse the above web page? With a simple one page only browser that is allowed only to display that page. I know it sounds ridicolous, but it's what the EU will force MS to do... And if you think carefully is the only way MS can't force the PC vendors to embed once again IE. Sorry guys but we all know that if MS can cheat/bribe they will do it. At least is what they have done in the latest...15 years? Be honest: do you really think that if MS will leave (so called) free choice to PC vendors, behind, those will be forced to embed IE? Cheers,

      Oops, messed the previous reply up with the quote tags. Here we go again. Your idea sounds ridiculous(as you admit), because it IS ridiculous. How and who will decide what browser choices will you get on the first run? If I make a browser that sends all the URLs to my server under the guise of anti-phishing can I force MS to bundle it and offer it as a choice? What order will the browsers be listed in?

  • by zoomba (227393) <mfc131 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:29PM (#28309737) Homepage

    Ok, Microsoft is found guilty of abusing its position of controlling the currently most popular PC OS on the market. Through bundling and anti-competitive practices they're nailed for being a monopoly.

    The media player gets stripped out per an earlier EC case.

    Now, in 2007, Opera complains about the browser bundling, saying that it gives Microsoft an unfair advantage in the browser wars. The EC says "Yeah, you're right! Ok MS, take out the bundled browser"

    Microsoft complies, stripping out the IE user application from copies of Windows 7 to be distributed in Europe.

    Opera and the EC, faced with getting exactly what they asked for, are now mad again because what they REALLY wanted Microsoft to do was to bundle a competing product with the base OS. They don't want a level playing field, they want to tip the scales in their favor (specifically to Opera).

    I'm sorry, but there is a line being crossed here where we went from semi-valid to out-right ridiculous. Strip down the OS, fine. Let the OEMs decide what browser to install on a system. Let retailers sell $5 CDs containing Firefox, Opera, Safari etc with their copies of Windows 7. If you want the OS to be a neutral platform for applications, then it has to be just that. If you try to mandate what browser IS bundled, you're defeating the whole point and just creating a new monopoly for whoever the lucky guy is whose browser you choose (likely Opera).

    Considering current browser usage statistics, I think the entire browser monopoly concept is antiquated. With IE currently holding around 41% of the total market, and Firefox with 47% (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp) it's pretty clear that a) it's not a monopoly anymore and b) bundling is not hurting other browsers.

    What this really feels like is Opera is tired of being in last place (and probably especially pissed that up-start Chrome blew past them in just a month or two) and instead of capturing marketshare with a more compelling product, they're going to try and legislate themselves into a stronger market position.

    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday June 12, 2009 @04:11PM (#28313343)

      Ok, Microsoft is found guilty of abusing its position of controlling the currently most popular PC OS on the market. Through bundling and anti-competitive practices they're nailed for being a monopoly.

      They were nailed for abusing a monopoly, not being one.

      The media player gets stripped out per an earlier EC case.

      But the media player wasn't stripped out. It was removed from a special version of Windows while people who bought that version still had to pay for it. It was functionally no different than throwing the player away and failed miserably to remedy the market imbalance. That market is still horribly broken (for numerous reasons).

      Now, in 2007, Opera complains about the browser bundling, saying that it gives Microsoft an unfair advantage in the browser wars. The EC says "Yeah, you're right! Ok MS, take out the bundled browser"

      WRONG! The EU said no such thing. They said they think MS is guilty and started looking for ways to undo the damage MS had done over the years. MS then said they were pulling IE from the next version of Windows voluntarily in the hopes the EU would not impose a harsher and more effective punishment and remedy.

      ...what they REALLY wanted Microsoft to do was to bundle a competing product with the base OS. They don't want a level playing field, they want to tip the scales in their favor (specifically to Opera).

      Opera doesn't even want their browser bundled with Windows. They primarily make money licensing the mobile version. They want the market fixed so they don't have to spend millions engineering around broken Web pages that were the intentional result of MS's crime. The EU wants the market restored to competition. Just stopping a crime does not solve the damage done by it. It's like if a person stabs you then when the cops show up they pull out the knife and say, "see I stopped, it's all good". In such a situation is it "unfair" and "biased" if the police throw the stabber in prison and make them pay the medical bills of the victim?

      Let the OEMs decide what browser to install on a system.

      It's way, way, way too late for that. OEMs have a vested interest in supporting fewer applications. OEMs have a vested interest in stalling IE since only it can deal with the broken IE only pages and applications on the Web. That is a direct result of a criminal action. It's like letting the robber keep all the money they stole so long as they stop. It is far too little, far too late.

      Considering current browser usage statistics, I think the entire browser monopoly concept is antiquated.

      You're completely ignorant. This isn't about a browser monopoly. It's about their browser having an unfair market share because of leveraging of a desktop OS monopoly. If you don't even know what crime MS committed how can you sit here and tell us why the punishment for that crime is not suitable?

      What this really feels like is...

      ...Incredible ignorance or astroturfing.

  • Argue the right or wrong about MS and the browser bundling.. ok. but when MS says..ok.. we'll NOT do what you said we are doing and thats not good enough.. it just seems like a piss fight that the EC *knows* they can win and will make it unbearably obvious for the mere purpose of rubbing MS (and by inference the US) nose in it. We're big, we're bad. and we make a difference now that we're all together. I think it ticked em off when MS said fine we wont squirm for you any more, we'll just screw you back with
  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:50PM (#28310103)
    Opera is being a crybaby. I am saying that being a longtime user of Opera exclusively. In fact I am typing this on Opera 10 beta that I just installed and is pretty slick. But really, they gotta stop this nonsense.

    "If Microsoft got its way there would be no ballot screen, just a version of Windows that has no browser at all -- just like the edition 'n' of Windows that resulted from the earlier European antitrust case," he said.

    Ballot screen for a browser is BS. How and who will decide what browser choices will you get on the first run? If I make a browser that sends all the URLs to my server under the guise of anti-phishing can I force MS to bundle it and offer it as a choice?

    What will the order in which the browsers are presented? WTF is going on with the EU?

    The only sane way for MS to comply was to remove IE. And they did that and still the whining continues.

    "Now that Microsoft has acknowledged it has been breaking the law by bundling IE into Windows, the Commission must push ahead with an effective remedy," he added.

    Uhh? The case is still running and this is a pre-emptive measure to stop large fine. From MS's blog:

    In January 2009 the Commission sent Microsoft a âoeStatement of Objections.â In it the Commission advised Microsoft of its preliminary view that the inclusion of Web browsing software in Windows violates European competition law. The Commission said in this document that it intends to impose a fine for this.

    To avoid the fine, MS removed IE, and still there's a lot of BS going on.

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