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Microsoft's EU Hearing Scheduled for June

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

Microsoft last week responded to EU antitrust charges pertaining to its Internet Explorer web browser. Today reports say the Redmond company’s hearing is scheduled for June.

The European Union issued a preliminary Statement of Objections in January, claiming the company’s practices "undermine product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice." MS responded late in April but the details of the company’s response are not yet known.

European Commission spokesperson, Jonathan Todd told Reuters that the closed hearing will commence on June 3 and run through to June 5. "It will be an opportunity for Microsoft to state orally the arguments they outlined in their response to the statement of objections," he said.

The Commission claims that bundling IE with Windows, the most popular operating system, is anticompetitive. The charges have been criticized on some levels, given that Apple is guilty of the same actions but is not under EU scrutiny.

A couple of you suggested some pretty decent ways to resolve the situation. Among them was offering a basic version of IE that had access to Microsoft updates, the Microsoft site and a shared site paid for by all players in the browser industry, containing brief descriptions and respective download links. Another reader suggested that Microsoft install Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, (all told less than 100MB of data) and run the user through a selection wizard when they first connect to the web.

Have you got a better suggestions as to how this situation could be resolved? Leave your thoughts below.

Cheers to jeraldjunkmail and tpi2007 for the solutions offered above.

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  • 13 Hide
    tenor77 , May 5, 2009 3:44 PM
    Anyone else feel like the EU is like an unstable girlfriend? You never know what's going to set them off.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    tenor77 , May 5, 2009 3:44 PM
    Anyone else feel like the EU is like an unstable girlfriend? You never know what's going to set them off.
  • 0 Hide
    JMcEntegart , May 5, 2009 3:47 PM
    tenor77Anyone else feel like the EU is like an unstable girlfriend? You never know what's going to set them off.


    +1
  • 0 Hide
    starryman , May 5, 2009 3:49 PM
    tenor77Anyone else feel like the EU is like an unstable girlfriend? You never know what's going to set them off.


    I agree! If they don't like Windows then don't use it. Ultimately they are looking for a way to get leverage or advantage. If the EU wins, all Americans (whether you like MS or not), lose. As of late it's always EU vs. USA. Thought we were allies? I guess they forgot Normandy.
  • -1 Hide
    dman3k , May 5, 2009 3:58 PM
    Solution, kill the web browser.

    Fully integrate the "web browsing" experience into the functions of the operating system.

    The browser war is a meaningless battle.
  • -1 Hide
    mrhappy50 , May 5, 2009 4:21 PM
    they need to STOP COMPLAINING!!!! use a browser that you like. no one is making you use IE.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 5, 2009 5:04 PM
    All Operating systems come with browsers included.

    How else would we get online to download the browser of our choice if the browser wasn't included?

    Years ago, you could easily log into a BBS using a Terminal Client to download programs, but these days, BBS's are few and far between unless you count such as AOHell.

    You don't see the EU sueing Apple, RedHat, Sun or any of the other OS creators and Lord help us if they went after any of the Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Knoppix or any of the others.
  • -1 Hide
    kittle , May 5, 2009 5:20 PM
    somebody had a good suggestion a while back -- MS should take their OS out of the EU marketplace.

    It still seems like a good idea seeing as the EU appearts to be constantly comming up with more stuff to throw at MS.
  • 0 Hide
    bucifer , May 5, 2009 5:20 PM
    I have no problem with IE. Yes it is a piece of junk that brought Windows a lot of security holes but it helped me get Firefox(or other get whatever browser they use). So what if a vast majority still uses IE, they should be happy they have a browser to use. It's not MS fault that they don't know any better. Any decent PC users should know how to install a browser of their preference. If not it only their fault.

    On the other hand MS is wrong because they haven't made possible for users to completely remove IE. The good thing is that they are doing it with Win7 so everyone should be satisfied. So IE will be completely optional which is THE BEST thing to do. I don't agree with people saying MS shouldn't include any browser at all(why not) or all browsers(that was kind of a dumb suggestion)

    I am also curios why Apple is getting away with it's Safari. Justice for all right?

    @starryman Keep your comments on the topic dude or go make a play about history. This has nothing to do with EU vs US
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , May 5, 2009 5:30 PM
    "If the EU wins, all Americans (whether you like MS or not), lose"

    If the EU wins, all Americans wins too, Microsoft will think twice next time they try to monopolize any market.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 5, 2009 5:51 PM
    Simple solution for Microsoft, plead guilty / no contest or whatever to EU, and run an automatic update to un-install IE from all MS OS versions currently running in the EU, see how 70% of users enjoy their government complaining about bundled software then.
  • 3 Hide
    The Schnoz , May 5, 2009 5:55 PM
    So I expect they'll make the same rules Apply for OSX than? Or maybe force the iPhone to have more browsers. I guess Windows mobile should also have to have more browsers. And Linux too. How about every Operating system either ships with no browser at all or every browser in existence. Would that make you happy EU or would you find some other bull shit excuse to leach money off of prosperous American companies that innovate while you masterbate. Fuck the EU!
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 5, 2009 7:39 PM
    Quote:
    Among them was offering a basic version of IE that had access to Microsoft updates, the Microsoft site and a shared site paid for by all players in the browser industry, containing brief descriptions and respective download links.


    Which is pretty much what's going on now, people using IE to get to Mozilla and downloading Firefox.

    The mere fact that competition exists just nullifies EU's argument. Either come up with a new term, or just STFU and go home, EU.
  • -1 Hide
    laserlight_2 , May 5, 2009 8:39 PM
    dalethepcmanSimple solution for Microsoft, plead guilty / no contest or whatever to EU, and run an automatic update to un-install IE from all MS OS versions currently running in the EU, see how 70% of users enjoy their government complaining about bundled software then.

    Thing is IE has been in the OS forever. It's a core feature that has to be there or the OS will crash. In the future it will be more optional, then hardcoded in. A wizard would just confuse the average user.

    Choices:
    A. Firefox - lots of plugins, but the more you install the slower it gets. I use firefox, so don't start whining.
    b. Chrome - secure, only browser not hacked at Pwn2Own.
    c. IE - the standard browser, my mom calls it the internet.
    d. Safari - lots of mac love. I have never used it.
    e. f. g... Could be a long freaking list of browsers.
  • 0 Hide
    matt87_50 , May 6, 2009 12:36 AM
    who funds these ppl! was there seriously nothing more pressing for the EU to deal with? here's my solution: ditch this department, spend the money on fixing up Europe's financial troubles and stop these pointless wastes of time. WIN WIN.
  • -2 Hide
    laserlight_2 , May 6, 2009 1:55 AM
    They are trying to get money, to fix their mistakes...lol.
  • 0 Hide
    sandmanwn , May 6, 2009 3:31 AM
    dalethepcmanSimple solution for Microsoft, plead guilty / no contest or whatever to EU, and run an automatic update to un-install IE from all MS OS versions currently running in the EU, see how 70% of users enjoy their government complaining about bundled software then.

    Ha that would be something to watch. You start your update installation, it finishes and asks to reboot. When it comes back up you are greeted with a notice stating "Due to new laws governing free web browsers the EU commission would like for Microsoft to remove your browser from your computer. If you would like to reinstall IE click here and pay a EU tax, otherwise you have two options; go to the nearest PC store and buy a browser, or do whatever you want... Good Luck.

    P.S. you can write a letter to share your feelings on this decision with your EU commissioners by clicking this link, printing, and mailing to the following address... Please feel free to write multiple letters."
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 6, 2009 6:23 AM
    It's just as anti competitive to include stereos in cars.. think of all the competition if you came with home in the dash and u had to shop for a new one. They are always making the units harder to get out too so people can't be bothered and kills market for buying new one... A lot easier to get a new browser if u don't like IE but why should microsoft be punished for providing a more complete product out of the box... They killed lots of other 3rd party companies over the years too..who uses winzip anymore as well as other media players and tons of other stuff so why they crying so much over just the browser, lets go back to 95 when you needed to get at at least 10 progs b4 u could do anything... anyway sorry rant ova.
  • 0 Hide
    antic84 , May 6, 2009 6:43 AM
    laserlight_2c. IE - the standard browser, my mom calls it the internet.


    That basicly tells that the antitrust case is about. For us who know better we have no proplem getting other brownser because we know we have lots of choices and know how to get them and for us biggest real proplem (if any) with IE is that you can't remove it. But most users don't know anything compared to the average around here and for many IE has really become the only way to internet as they know and unless something is changed it will continue and IE will maintain signicant market share simply because it's the one bundled with windows. As far as I recall IE6 (not 7 or 8) is the most common brownser today and as it happens it's the version of IE that comes with XP the most popular OS, see any connection there...

    It's almost like the only shop in town stopped selling all other soft drinks except coca-cola and only way to get other soft drink would be to drive to the next town to buy them. I'd say many would simply buy more coca-cola rather than drive to the next town each time they felt like having a soft drink and in time kids of that town might think that soft drink==coca cola.

    And what comes to macs and other OSs I think the main difference is most of their users know that there are other brownsers out there besides Safari or whatever comes bundled, thing that really can't be said about many windows users. In case of linux you can even get it bundled with many different brownsers even at install so you have the choice even before installing but there's no way to buy windows with anything besides IE.
  • -4 Hide
    antic84 , May 6, 2009 6:59 AM
    tenor77Anyone else feel like the EU is like an unstable girlfriend? You never know what's going to set them off.

    Better it than the warnut boyfriend who's ready to shoot anyone in their way...

    Or did USA eliminate Al Quida in Afganistan? Did it find chemical and biological weapons in Iraq it had intelligence of? Or did just lots of people die...
  • 1 Hide
    vectorm12 , May 6, 2009 10:00 AM
    To be honest I would be pretty damned pissed about not having IE installed as a default in windows. At this point every OS needs a browser and to be quite frank I've downloaded and installed Google's Chrome on every Windows machine I own. Not having a browser bundled with the OS would send us back to the days of windows 95 where you had to run through your CD stack to find a copy of Netscape. A uninstall function is fine, but don't give me any more of that "please choose your search provider" crap that shows up every time I start a fresh IE session. Windows comes with IE, OS X comes with Safari and Linux comes with Firefox, works great for everyone and if someone wants to make a switch they are more than welcome to do so. Personally I'd hate the fact that I would have to choose a browser each time when reinstalling a PC rather than installing it when I feel like it.

    That being said... a UNINSTALL function would be great(hate having Safari on OSX and not being able to get rid of it properly) same goes for Windows.
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