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IE Rivals Oppose Ballot-Screen Solution for EU

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Anonymous
September 29, 2009 5:37:44 PM

I demand that every time Opera, Adobe Systems, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems software is installed it gives me the chance to choose an alternate competing product!

Are these companies frickin' serious?! I'm no MS fanboy, but it's already ridiculous that MS has to even allow the option...and these companies are crying all butthurt that it's not enough! Unbelievable!
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28
September 29, 2009 5:40:58 PM

Yeah. Do they realize its a MICROSOFT product?
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26
September 29, 2009 5:41:38 PM

A simple solution is for the user to select the default browser of choice, delete the shortcut, and the problem is solved. I would hope that just about anybody who is taking on the task of installing windows has at least a functional amount of working IT knowledge and can choose their own web browser.
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9
September 29, 2009 5:55:44 PM

I don't know for you, but I'd be damn pissed if someone would tell what and what not to do with MY product. It's not like they're forced to use Windows. Microsoft should stop this madness once and for all and stop selling Windows in the EU. "You don't want IE in Windows? How about no Windows at all? Have fun with Linux, EU!"
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21
September 29, 2009 5:55:59 PM

I don't understand the difference, they are all free products. Does Mozilla lose money when someone picks IE?
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8
September 29, 2009 5:58:15 PM

As long as it doesn't come with them all installed
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7
Anonymous
September 29, 2009 5:59:49 PM

It's like telling Ford they can't bring out a new model anymore with their own custom tires, because many users prefer Michelin tires!
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19
September 29, 2009 6:05:59 PM

First of all, I don't recall SnowLeopard giving you the option to NOT install Safari on the system, and that's not even the update engine it uses for the OS.

Anyway... this is probably the most worthless arguement in history. EVERY system comes pre-loaded with software. Norton/McAfee, WildTangent... etc. etc. Windows has been designed with an integrated browser for a very long time because it's considered part of having a software operating system. Can you imagine a Blackberry without the Blackberry browser, or an iPhone without Safari? Sure you can install others, but how would you get there?

MS, my advice, remove IE from the system, don't include an internet browser, and include a "free trial" disc with IE loaded on it. If the customer wants to download a different browser... uhh... through... uhh... someone else's computer... and then... uh... load that on a flash drive... then bring it back to their PC, they can do that.

Offer the OEM's an 'option' to include a "Free Preloaded" version of Internet Explorer at the cost of... say... $.01 (which is exactly what the retail value of say, a free trial disc of AOL is) and give them the option to not take it. Problem solved.
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September 29, 2009 6:06:42 PM

They probably want their product to be installed instead of IE. What if the user doesn't want that web browser? They uninstall it and they are stuck with no web browser. Unlike the people on this site most people are completly clueless, you need to tell them the exact, for THEIR computer, how to install the web browser. These companies want to increase there marketshare regardless of if the user knows what they are doing or if they mess up anything the user tries to do.
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September 29, 2009 6:25:53 PM

dam edit killed my post.

Anyways it's a MS product they already was forced to put your shitty crap all on their os why can't they just leave them alone already or ask that MS become Open source in the EU because obviously providing a product that isn't by nature harmful is no longer good enough to be left alone in the EU.

Hell give me the option to install WindowsLive toolbar or yahoo toolbar, I don't want to always see install Google toolbar that company has a like 70% monopoly on the search industry and all these programs offer if i would like to install google toolbar i find it's unfair to the other companies.
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September 29, 2009 6:41:04 PM

The only reason the EU is able to do this is because MS integrated the browser into the OS, rather than just included it. While OS X has Safari in the OS, it's not integrated, and can just be deleted. Same with Linux distros, Firefox is usually bundled, but it can be deleted.

This doesn't in any way affect user choice, it's just how they decided to do it. The problem with it is that it IS intended to reduce competition. There simply is no other reason to integrate the browser.

For those of you who don't understand why people are up in arms over a "free" product, it's because the browser makers get money when you use them to search. You may not be paying for it, but someone is.
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Anonymous
September 29, 2009 6:51:03 PM

If I were living in EU country, I'll file a lawsuit to VW, M-Benz and BMW by not giving the option of using Ferrari or Porsche engine for performance and option of Honda or Toyota engine for fuel economy.
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1
September 29, 2009 6:51:42 PM

A simple solution would be to include all the software from the companies that are crying with Windows and then get rid of some bloatware to make up for it.
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-1
September 29, 2009 7:03:08 PM

@Groveborn: he is right when he says:
"The only reason the EU is able to do this is because MS integrated the browser into the OS, rather than just included it. While OS X has Safari in the OS, it's not integrated, and can just be deleted. Same with Linux distros, Firefox is usually bundled, but it can be deleted."
I agree, Safari can be dragged to the trash can and it is gone, unlike Windows.
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1
September 29, 2009 7:03:40 PM

yet another reason to be glad you dont live in europe
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Anonymous
September 29, 2009 7:15:38 PM

Actually, you *can* uninstall IE in Windows 7, so that solution already exists.
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5
September 29, 2009 7:15:40 PM

Solution:

MS: "Due to EU interference, we can't afford to continue business in these countries. As a result, we will be discontinuing both sale and support of all Microsoft products (including Windows and Office) as of Jan 1, 2010. If you would like us to resume business, then please contact your EU representative."

75% of population: "WTF DID YOU DO?!?!"

EU: "...I think we messed up."
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19
September 29, 2009 7:21:09 PM

This whole issue is just plain ridiculous.
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2
September 29, 2009 7:31:31 PM

"the user to confirm and answer threatening and confusing warnings and questions."

Really. Somehow I doubt that.

Are these guys really not going to be satisfied unless all of the browsers are pre-installed in Windows? This whole affair is completely ridiculous.
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6
Anonymous
September 29, 2009 7:33:20 PM

They can't stop selling their product in the EU, too much money to be made it would be ridiculous. They can, however, pull out all Microsoft jobs - any development sites, packaging factories, offices, etc... Then the EU can put that in their pipes and smoke it. Their socialism is already coming home to roost, and unemployment is skyrocketing in most of the EU. What now, b*tch*s?
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5
September 29, 2009 7:34:08 PM

How about Mozilla, Opera, and all those other whiney nutjob organizations make their own operating system, with which they can include their own browser, and shut the fuck up already?
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2
September 29, 2009 7:36:53 PM

supertrek32Solution:MS: "Due to EU interference, we can't afford to continue business in these countries. As a result, we will be discontinuing both sale and support of all Microsoft products (including Windows and Office) as of Jan 1, 2010. If you would like us to resume business, then please contact your EU representative."75% of population: "WTF DID YOU DO?!?!"EU: "...I think we messed up."


Nice one. +1 :-)
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Anonymous
September 29, 2009 7:42:29 PM

From the comments here I see that most people totally miss the point the EU is trying to make. As a result of the fact that Microsoft bundled internet explorer for years it gained such a big market share that most people don't even know other browsers exist. I am not talking about the TH visitors but the average users. Even putting a shortcut on the desktop will give MS a competitive advantage because users will choose it. Not by choice but because they don't know better.
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September 29, 2009 7:45:24 PM

I think Mozilla is paid by Google when somebody uses the search from Firefox's default home page. So when somebody uses IE instead of FF, Mozilla "loses" money.

Internet Explorer was integrated into the Windows OS. You can not, not have IE on your Windows computer. You can delete all desktop icons, and links to IE... but it's there buried in the Windows folder. But you know what, if you don't like how Microsoft and their near Monopoly on OS installed on computers... you can just sue them in the EU. But maybe there is some unfair practices going on with Microsoft. Look at what Intel was fined for, again by the EU. Intel and Microsoft are somewhat unique, they have a near monopoly on what they do. Steam launches IE on my computer when I click links, and it annoys the hell outta me that it doesn't use FF, my default browser.

The vast majority of people using computers don't know how to use them properly. Is that Microsoft's fault? What the EU should do in my Enraged Opinion is make the manufactures install a few browsers, there's plenty of HD space, and/or pay a programmer to make the ballot ( or who said it was entirely ineffective could try to do better). Better yet! Make a law that says there can be no fine, fees, or retaliation (read: price increases) from Microsoft to install a competitors program on a Windows PC for OEMS. I like that idea, you could select your web browser like you do other options from Dell or HP customized PCs. But does that mean that the OEMs have to support whatever browser you have installed just like they do support for Windows?

Last point, my boss is tech savvy, but not up to date on all technologies. He has FF installed and it's his default browser, but he uses IE everyday to view his homepage because the link is on the desktop. Now, he didn't WANT FF installed on the comp, but when there was a scare about virus' and malware hiding in picture files I got him to install it, and slowly he's using FF more and more. Old habits die hard for a lot of people, this will not kill IE's browser market share domination. The foundation is laid for FF, Opera, Chrome, hell even Safari, and all comers to take more and more market share from IE.
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September 29, 2009 7:46:24 PM

sot010174Yeah. Do they realize its a MICROSOFT product?

"Microsoft has cunningly found a way to accept the commission's suggestion of a ballot screen, but to do so in a way that will be entirely ineffective."
It seems that they do: they say that MICROSOFT has worded the questions in a way that can be confusing or threatening.

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-1
September 29, 2009 7:51:13 PM

This mess is starting to get out of hand.

They asked for ballot, then they refuse it, what's going to happen next?
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5
September 29, 2009 7:55:36 PM

precariousgrayHow about Mozilla, Opera, and all those other whiney nutjob organizations make their own operating system, with which they can include their own browser, and shut the fuck up already?

It's not that the browser is "included," it's that there was no way for people to uninstall IE from Windows (until Windows 7, which is coming out several years after this complaint was filed).
There is also the monopoly facet of this: Google, Apple, etc. do not have a monopoly on operating systems the way MS does with Windows, and according to the EU MS unfairly used that advantage with its OS marketshare to give IE an unfair advantage over competing browsers. And even though most browsers today are free (they weren't always), there is competition among them that drives things like the acceptance of existing web standards and the generation of new standards (WebGL, HTML 5 features, etc.). We can see what happened when MS had so much share of the browserspace during the IE6 years: stagnation in the browser, lax security, use of non-standard markup and abuse of proprietary web technologies. There's a reason many web pages to this day are still "IE Only" or "Best viewed in Internet Explorer," and it's mostly not because the other browsers are lacking.
So that's some of the reasoning the EU Commission used to determine that MS violated their anti-competitive laws and levy a fine against them.
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September 29, 2009 8:00:59 PM

MS should make a version that is just the OS. Remove everything that has third party support, ie no built in network support, no built in graphics support, no built in audio support, no built in desktop. Let the EU deal with that.
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0
September 29, 2009 8:01:26 PM

I think for the average user they would still pick "Internet" Explorer. If I didn't know any better I would look at Mozilla or Firefox and be like. "What the Hell is this?" Then throw it away cause it didn't have internet in the name.
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September 29, 2009 8:07:13 PM

The ballot is a good solution, the problem is that it's a poorly executed one. You shouldn't have to go through extra confirmation if you choose a non-IE browser, and IE shouldn't add a desktop icon if it wasn't chosen.

In any other circumstance, it would seem like competing companies are just whining, but when 90% of all computers out there are running your competitor's OS and they're giving your product the short end of the stick, then it's completely understandable to be pissed. It's basic business ethics, there's nothing to argue.
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September 29, 2009 8:14:30 PM

I wonder if this is why they only offer the Zune HD in America. Maybe MS is finally afraid of the EU.
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September 29, 2009 8:17:08 PM

Oh geez. More whining. Someone get my violin and some crackers I'll play a little tune for them.
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4
September 29, 2009 8:41:34 PM

The f***tards at Mozilla and Opera should not force me to use their browsers' integrated download manager. I want to be able to use any download manager in the world, but I want them to integrate these options in the install sequence and to make this in a way the user is not influenced in any way to select one over the other. I will spend the rest of my life trying to find one that would work for me... since it will be impossible to decide since they'll all be presented as being equals. Hopefully I would have had time to produce a son before I started off to install Opera or Firefox, so he can take my place in front of the screen when I die, so that the search for an adequate download manager may continue...
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0
September 29, 2009 9:00:50 PM

This is just a joke, it was the other browser companies who requested the ballot idea in the first place and now they don't like it? So does the EU cater to these companies or what?
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1
September 29, 2009 9:05:03 PM

There's a logic behind Microsoft's bundling their own web browser with the OS. For one, it's easy because there's no licensing to deal with. But mainly, because it would be horribly irresponsible and crippling for users to not have web access out of the box. Most computer buyers don't have a second computer to download programs with. And as the Internet is a primary medium to attain software now, most especially drivers for your system, the user HAS to have a way to access them out of the box. I know, as one who has installed Windows from scratch multiple times on multiple machines, if I did not have IE at the ready on the outset, it would have been a major annoyance, especially when I didn't have another computer or flash drive handy.

Before that, there was no incentive for Microsoft to promote a competing product. They never impeded users from downloading and installing them. But it's not their responsibility to market every browser out there. It's an all or nothing sort of thing; unless they make a deal with Microsoft, there is no reason for them to promote Firefox or Chrome. So, they have IE, it goes in.

I wish it was shown publically what "confusing and threatening messages" Microsoft shows. But, I assume it's probably something like this:
"This program is not supported by Microsoft and is provided with no guarantees. We are not responsible for any harm it may cause your computer or any incompatibilities it may have with websites you may visit."

Because Microsoft is TOTALLY out of the loop in these browser's development process, they cannot make any unsubstantiated claims. So, this is totally reasonable. To be honest, I think if I got a ballot with a wall of choices of a default browser to install, I would be all for it. I'd be interested if it comes to the USA.

And for the record, I keep Chrome as my default, but have Firefox for dev work and IE for compatibility for the rare occasion that I need it. All three I find very usable nowadays, though I prefer Chrome above the others.
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2
September 29, 2009 9:11:22 PM

I WANT AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE EU - I DONT LIKE THE FACT THAT IT COMES WITH EUROPE
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6
September 29, 2009 9:12:16 PM

mrblondeI think Mozilla is paid by Google when somebody uses the search from Firefox's default home page. So when somebody uses IE instead of FF, Mozilla "loses" money.

Not quite. Google pays Mozilla $75M per year to add a google branded home page as the default when Firefox is installed. It is a flat fee and has nothing to do with # of users.
Internet Explorer was integrated into the Windows OS. You can not, not have IE on your Windows computer. You can delete all desktop icons, and links to IE... but it's there buried in the Windows folder.

You can uninstall IE in Windows 7.
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0
September 29, 2009 9:34:59 PM

Isn't the issue that IE is also used for Windows Update, accessing control panel, explorer, etc, etc? Therefore unable to be removed without compromising system stability?

Actually, isn't explorer virtually IE with a fancy file: protocol UI?
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1
September 29, 2009 9:36:29 PM

Don't they understand that there are alternatives to Windows? It's almost like they're implying that Microsoft has a complete monopoly over the OS market.

And why aren't they bitching at Apple for bundling Safari with OSX?
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1
September 29, 2009 9:44:14 PM

Who cares if IE is integrated or not?

This EU ruling goes to show that if there is a component that is integrated into Windows that someone else has a freeware copy of all you have to do to get it distributed at someone elses cost and expense is cry to the EU.

They are interfering in matters that are beyond their knowledge and they are overextending their authority. This is only further confusing end users, not making things easier. They think they are acting to the letter of the law, but this is a law that they invented using the letters that they make up as they go along. They are not acting in the best interests of the users, only themselves to desperately show that they are relevant and every time I think of the EU trying to fuck over Microsoft I think of the old saying

"Cutting their nose off to spite their face"

Good luck to the writer of the alternative Solitaire program, at this rate you will get it forced into Windows 8 against my will, along with 100 million other bits of shit software that I didnt ask for or want, but the EU thinks is good for me.

Fuck the EU, fucking techno retards!
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2
September 29, 2009 10:51:24 PM

I have IE shortcut on my desktop and quick launch toolbar but i always use Firefox. IE is there just in case i have to uninstall Firefox for whatever reason, I still have a fallback browser to use. Don't see anything wrong with that.
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1
September 29, 2009 11:10:11 PM

hmm, Microsoft get the final say in how any solution is executed? I wonder why that is? oh... thats right... because it's THEIR SOFTWARE!!!
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1
September 29, 2009 11:10:34 PM

goeugoFrom the comments here I see that most people totally miss the point the EU is trying to make. As a result of the fact that Microsoft bundled internet explorer for years it gained such a big market share that most people don't even know other browsers exist. I am not talking about the TH visitors but the average users. Even putting a shortcut on the desktop will give MS a competitive advantage because users will choose it. Not by choice but because they don't know better.


Let's take another example. Say you live in a town where there is a Ford dealership. Now, there are other dealerships, but people you know bought Fords (happy or otherwise). Now is it Fords job to advertise for the competition? NO!

This is crazy. It is a MS product. You want another browser, download one. These companies should spend the money to advertise instead of trying to find free advertisements.

Quote:
A recent report in the Wall Street Journal quotes the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), an industry organization whose members include Opera, Adobe Systems, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems, says Microsoft's proposed "ballot screen" isn’t a solution.


So will Oracle offer MS SQL db's as an alternative to theirs? I doubt it. Will IBM offer other competitor's servers? I doubt it. Will Red Hat offer different versions of Linux? I doubt it.

asdfrankThey can't stop selling their product in the EU, too much money to be made it would be ridiculous. They can, however, pull out all Microsoft jobs - any development sites, packaging factories, offices, etc... Then the EU can put that in their pipes and smoke it. Their socialism is already coming home to roost, and unemployment is skyrocketing in most of the EU. What now, b*tch*s?


I agree with this idea (I don't know where you got socialism however). MS should pull all their jobs from the EU countries. This would hurt WAY worst than not selling MS in Europe. The money the would lose from the job loses would be staggering. Hopefully MS would do this.
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1
September 29, 2009 11:47:05 PM

ryanegeigerFirst of all, I don't recall SnowLeopard giving you the option to NOT install Safari on the system, and that's not even the update engine it uses for the OS. Anyway... this is probably the most worthless arguement in history. EVERY system comes pre-loaded with software. Norton/McAfee, WildTangent... etc. etc. Windows has been designed with an integrated browser for a very long time because it's considered part of having a software operating system. Can you imagine a Blackberry without the Blackberry browser, or an iPhone without Safari? Sure you can install others, but how would you get there? MS, my advice, remove IE from the system, don't include an internet browser, and include a "free trial" disc with IE loaded on it. If the customer wants to download a different browser... uhh... through... uhh... someone else's computer... and then... uh... load that on a flash drive... then bring it back to their PC, they can do that. Offer the OEM's an 'option' to include a "Free Preloaded" version of Internet Explorer at the cost of... say... $.01 (which is exactly what the retail value of say, a free trial disc of AOL is) and give them the option to not take it. Problem solved.

Actually, Microsoft offered to sell a version of Windows 7 in EU without Internet Explorer. Not to mention the fact that you can completely remove IE in Win7. But for the EU, that just isn't good enough. The EU instead forced them to go with a ballot solution that includes all the major competing browsers.
audioeeMS should make a version that is just the OS. Remove everything that has third party support, ie no built in network support, no built in graphics support, no built in audio support, no built in desktop. Let the EU deal with that.
See above. The EU wouldn't let them drop network support and would still force them to include all the major browsers (ballot option). Not sure if they would care about them stripping out other stuff (GUI, audio support, etc), but that would be stupid. They would just kill their sales. Who the heck would buy it? That's even worse than pulling out of the market completely, which as also foolish.

You know the old saying: Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The EU is giving MS a royal raping, right through the pants, no lube.
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0
September 30, 2009 1:10:07 AM

Um, how come every time I visit google.com it doesn't show me a ballot screen with Yahoo! and Bing?

When I walk into Starbucks, why don't they offer McDonalds Cafe or Tully's?

When I buy a Toyota, I'm not offered a Ford steering wheel or a Honda transmission?

I understand that MS has a monopoly, what I don't understand is punishing them for it. Last time I checked, I wasn't FORCED to buy a windows PC. Thats why I have a Mac. Are you going to force OS X to include all other browsers too? An iTunes competitor? AIM/YahooIM due to iChat? Some random calendar program?

These browser companies need to stop turning to lawyers for profit and start using their heads for innovation.
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3
September 30, 2009 2:26:01 AM

AlexTheBlueActually, Microsoft offered to sell a version of Windows 7 in EU without Internet Explorer. Not to mention the fact that you can completely remove IE in Win7. But for the EU, that just isn't good enough. The EU instead forced them to go with a ballot solution that includes all the major competing browsers.

Actually the ballot was Microsoft's offer. The EU hasn't forced them to do anything. That's why they're still reviewing the possibility instead of already mandating it.

vantI understand that MS has a monopoly, what I don't understand is punishing them for it.

They're not being punished just for having a monopoly. They are being fined for abusing the monopoly position of their OS to unfairly compete in the browser space.


Why do I even bother? 9/10 people who comment in these threads have no clue what they're talking about, that's why the keep saying utterly stupid shit like "FORD DOESN'T HAVE TO ADVERTISE TOYOTAS!" or "MAC BUNDLES SAFARI!" Most people don't even recognize that the issue is about monopolies otherwise they wouldn't make comparisons to complete non-monopolies and pretend their analogy was valid. A lot of people seem to conveniently forget the facts of the case ("EU FORCING MS TO USE A BALLOT!") even though this issue has been covered plenty right here at Tom's. Read the damn article: "ballot proposal!" I get depressed every time these threads come up because of the rampant illiteracy, ignorance, or failures of reading comprehension.
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September 30, 2009 3:42:29 AM

I heard an interesting reason for why the EU even let this lawsuit get filed in the first place, let alone let it continue as long as it has. I know someone who was born and raised in Romania and who keeps fairly on top of what happens in Europe. He said that the EU really doesn't like American companies dominating sectors of the European market at the expense of European companies, and punishes those American companies that do. Since MS has a virtual monopoly on the OS market in Europe, and since there are no real European OSes to speak of, the EU wants to see MS brought down a peg or three and will let anyone jerk MS's chain.
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September 30, 2009 3:43:58 AM

Agree with Wheels here. Many people here are just DUMB and THICKHEADED and think that the EU just want to bash Microsoft. They don't have space in their TINY mind to understand that M$ is ABUSING it's MONOPOLY in the OS space to BLOCK other competitors in the BROWSER space.

Comparing with OSX that has NO SIGNIFICANT MARKETSHARE is STUPID.

And the 'browsers are free' comments are also DUMB. It's free to USERS, but not to THEM. Marketshare still means INCOME, through advertising and what-not.

Say it with me:

ABUSE MONOPOLY POSITION
ABUSE MONOPOLY POSITION
ABUSE MONOPOLY POSITION
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September 30, 2009 3:55:01 AM

Dumb readers will rate me down.

Thank you for proving my points.
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!