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OP: Why Microsoft is Innocent with IE8

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 308 comments

The never ending browser wars: Firefox is gaining, Chrome is here, Safari hits version 4, Internet Explorer should be canned. So many opinions, so many rulings.

Microsoft this week announced that it would not ship Internet Explorer in Windows 7 for the European market. No thanks to rulings and regulations by the European Union, Microsoft would face big fines if it decided to bundle IE with Windows 7. Still, Windows 7 shipping elsewhere will have IE--and thank goodness!

I understand the need for competition. But this bashing against Microsoft by the EU is getting out of hand. Because of the nature of the operating system, it's a matter of convenience for the user to have a browser shipped along. Imagine installing Windows only to find out you can't even get online to grab a 3rd party browser.

To be frank, I like to use Firefox. After a Windows install however, the first thing I do is go and grab the latest drivers. How does the EU expect me to be able to do that without a browser installed? Does the EU expect me to use possibly old drivers from the CD that came with the motherboard, graphics card and whatever else I have? No thank you.

How can I even get Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, or whatever else I wanted without getting to each browser's respective website to begin with?

Here's the kicker though: almost all recent operating systems ship with browsers. Flavors of Linux, Mac OS X, etc., all ship with browsers already packaged. And why does the EU think people lack choice if Microsoft includes IE? I don't. I can still use whatever I wish. Microsoft never forbid me and doesn't forbid anyone from using a different browser.

Removing the browser from the operating system is a disservice to the customer, not a favor. Please EU, get your heads around this. If you're going to force Microsoft to remove something that is a matter of great convenience for me and everyone else, enforce this rule for all operating systems. Imagine getting your Mac home only to find that you can't do jack without Safari installed. Imagine building your custom rig, booting up, only to find that you can't grab the latest drivers because there's no browser.

Is that called choice?

Sorry EU, that's called moving backwards.

I am sure the EU recognizes this issue. So what's the cause then? Could it possibly that companies who develop other web browsers are crying over the fact that their release isn't as popular? Could they possibly be making the claim that they're not shipping enough because Microsoft has an unfair advantage?

Let us be reminded that a long time ago, IE was the arm-pit of browsers, and Netscape was king. What happened there? What occurred was that Microsoft came up with a better and more convenient solution for end users. Period.

Technology and advancements often will make certain business go out of business or become unpopular. But so what? If you can't adapt, you're going to be phased out. That's just the nature of, everything.

I want a browser in my operating system. If I want or need to, I will go grab something else. But don't force me to, EU.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Lan , June 13, 2009 2:28 AM
    afrobaconWhy not just do something simple like including the top 3 browsers at the time of the OS's launch? Giving people not only a browser, but an up front selection.Would be nice skipping over the M$ exploder altogether; but at the price of not having access to something better isn't worth it.


    Why should Microsoft have to pay extra money and time to their developers to have them include a competitors product? The EU should pay Microsoft if they want that choice. Microsoft did the right thing to comply with the problem.

    You rip out IE, and the problem is solved, while at the same time making it difficult for the EU.
  • 22 Hide
    Lan , June 13, 2009 2:21 AM
    To be fair, I'm sure most of you know that the EU was actually pushing to get a list of browser choices to use pop up right after you load Windows, but instead to their credit, Microsoft just ripped out IE instead.

    Now the EU is scrambling to try to make Microsoft play their way, and I doubt that will happen. Not in time for Windows 7 anyway.
  • 19 Hide
    Pyroflea , June 13, 2009 2:06 AM
    How are you supposed to even get a different browser without one to begin with..? Are they expected to burn the installation .exe to a CD, or copy it to a flash drive, then transfer it on to their new computer...?
Other Comments
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  • 19 Hide
    Pyroflea , June 13, 2009 2:06 AM
    How are you supposed to even get a different browser without one to begin with..? Are they expected to burn the installation .exe to a CD, or copy it to a flash drive, then transfer it on to their new computer...?
  • 15 Hide
    keither5150 , June 13, 2009 2:09 AM
    How would you connect to the internet to download your browser of choice?

    This will be overturned quite quickly once someone explains the facts to the EU.

  • 16 Hide
    Pyroflea , June 13, 2009 2:10 AM
    I can understand how they want people to have choices, I agree with that aspect. This is just stupid though. We have choices. Hell, I'm using Vista and Firefox right now. IE is part of Windows, accept it.
  • 22 Hide
    Lan , June 13, 2009 2:21 AM
    To be fair, I'm sure most of you know that the EU was actually pushing to get a list of browser choices to use pop up right after you load Windows, but instead to their credit, Microsoft just ripped out IE instead.

    Now the EU is scrambling to try to make Microsoft play their way, and I doubt that will happen. Not in time for Windows 7 anyway.
  • 24 Hide
    Lan , June 13, 2009 2:28 AM
    afrobaconWhy not just do something simple like including the top 3 browsers at the time of the OS's launch? Giving people not only a browser, but an up front selection.Would be nice skipping over the M$ exploder altogether; but at the price of not having access to something better isn't worth it.


    Why should Microsoft have to pay extra money and time to their developers to have them include a competitors product? The EU should pay Microsoft if they want that choice. Microsoft did the right thing to comply with the problem.

    You rip out IE, and the problem is solved, while at the same time making it difficult for the EU.
  • 17 Hide
    TheMan1214 , June 13, 2009 2:30 AM
    I have no idea what the EU has going through their heads. thank god i don't live in the EU, what are they going to do next, make sure calculator doesn't come with computers....jeeze
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 13, 2009 2:30 AM
    "Microsoft never forbid me and doesn't forbid anyone from using a different browser."

    This is true, but the average computer user still isn't aware of the fact that there ARE other browsers. If you think I'm full of it by saying that think about how big the tech support industry is. For every one of us that's computer savvy and on top of it there are scores of others that just want to sit down and have their computer work.

    That said, none of these people are ever going to think twice about using IE because they wont even know there are other options available to them. I always like to use my mother as an example. Shes a smart and inquisitive woman who enjoys using her computer for things like photos, sending email, etc... but she doesn't know the first thing about good PC maintenance.

    Naturally all of you have a point that without a base browser to get online to begin with how will you be able to go download another one... but that line of thinking is exactly what Microsoft has been banking on for years. Why not have software bundles available to choose from when you purchase your new computer? Why can't I go in and say: "Ok, I'm buying a new laptop with windows 7 and for my free software bundle I'll choose the one that comes with Firefox, Nero, etc blah blah blah" Have your employees on hand educating consumers about their options so they can choose wisely. Don't just give them one option and keep shoving the product out the front door...
  • 8 Hide
    falchard , June 13, 2009 2:31 AM
    You can always use Windows Update to install IE explorer.
  • 10 Hide
    Lan , June 13, 2009 2:33 AM
    CopperBot"Microsoft never forbid me and doesn't forbid anyone from using a different browser."This is true, but the average computer user still isn't aware of the fact that there ARE other browsers. If you think I'm full of it by saying that think about how big the tech support industry is. For every one of us that's computer savvy and on top of it there are scores of others that just want to sit down and have their computer work.That said, none of these people are ever going to think twice about using IE because they wont even know there are other options available to them. I always like to use my mother as an example. Shes a smart and inquisitive woman who enjoys using her computer for things like photos, sending email, etc... but she doesn't know the first thing about good PC maintenance.Naturally all of you have a point that without a base browser to get online to begin with how will you be able to go download another one... but that line of thinking is exactly what Microsoft has been banking on for years. Why not have software bundles available to choose from when you purchase your new computer? Why can't I go in and say: "Ok, I'm buying a new laptop with windows 7 and for my free software bundle I'll choose the one that comes with Firefox, Nero, etc blah blah blah" Have your employees on hand educating consumers about their options so they can choose wisely. Don't just give them one option and keep shoving the product out the front door...



    See above. If some government or agency wants that functionality, they should pay Microsoft to include it. Microsoft did the right thing from a business standpoint.
  • 16 Hide
    TheMan1214 , June 13, 2009 2:34 AM
    CopperBot"Microsoft never forbid me and doesn't forbid anyone from using a different browser."This is true, but the average computer user still isn't aware of the fact that there ARE other browsers. If you think I'm full of it by saying that think about how big the tech support industry is. For every one of us that's computer savvy and on top of it there are scores of others that just want to sit down and have their computer work.That said, none of these people are ever going to think twice about using IE because they wont even know there are other options available to them. I always like to use my mother as an example. Shes a smart and inquisitive woman who enjoys using her computer for things like photos, sending email, etc... but she doesn't know the first thing about good PC maintenance.Naturally all of you have a point that without a base browser to get online to begin with how will you be able to go download another one... but that line of thinking is exactly what Microsoft has been banking on for years. Why not have software bundles available to choose from when you purchase your new computer? Why can't I go in and say: "Ok, I'm buying a new laptop with windows 7 and for my free software bundle I'll choose the one that comes with Firefox, Nero, etc blah blah blah" Have your employees on hand educating consumers about their options so they can choose wisely. Don't just give them one option and keep shoving the product out the front door...


    So then apple and linux shouldn't be able to use browsers too.
  • -1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 13, 2009 2:40 AM
    falchardYou can always use Windows Update to install IE explorer.

    Besides which, how difficult would it be to set up a splash window when the user tries to connect offering 1) information about web browsers, 2) a list of the most popular browsers, 3) FTP to grab the latest version of whichever browser the user chooses and then start the installation process?

    In practice, I bet OEMs are going to bundle IE (or Firefox or Opera) with all the Win7 machines they sell to Europe. People who forgo OEMs, putting their own machines together, will probably already known enough to have drivers and their browser of choice ready on a CD or thumb drive or whatever.
  • -7 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 13, 2009 2:42 AM
    TheMan1214So then apple and linux shouldn't be able to use browsers too.

    Try again when Apple and Linux have a monopoly in OS/Browser-space (or even more absurdly, when all Linux distros use the same default browser).
  • 12 Hide
    maban , June 13, 2009 2:58 AM
    They should ban Win7 if you can only use Windows on it.
  • -3 Hide
    computabug , June 13, 2009 3:10 AM
    MS should consider making a light weight browser that only does html with none of those pre-installed flash/java stuff, and doesn't write anything at all to the hard drive while surfing the web with it. Heck, it doesn't even have to display images. Integrate that into windows explorer or something. We'll just use it to DL essential stuff without fragmenting our newly installed OS with cache/history/cookies and all that poo.
  • 5 Hide
    NuclearShadow , June 13, 2009 3:22 AM
    While I don't use IE I see no problem with having the option to use it and it coming with Windows. Heck I even had to use it to get FireFox how would I have got it otherwise?

    Also I don't see how this could be considered a monopoly as I doubt MS makes any profit from IE itself. IE costs nothing and is just included with the OS. IE doesn't have any built in advertisements or anything so its not like they are profiting from it in anyway.
  • 10 Hide
    keither5150 , June 13, 2009 3:39 AM
    agawtripcan't you surf the web with "Windows Explorer" or to "My Computer" address bar?


    That opens up IE.

    Let's tell Apple that they have to offer Firefox and Chrome along with Safari.

    I am no fan of Microsoft but they are clearly in the right here.

    They should just not offer Windows 7 until the EU pulls their head out of their asses or offers a solution at no cost to MS.

    I find this funny..... wait a second.... is this one of the weekend jokes?

    It should be, it is funnier than most of the weekend jokes.
  • 13 Hide
    slothman , June 13, 2009 3:40 AM
    WheelsOfConfusionTry again when Apple and Linux have a monopoly in OS/Browser-space (or even more absurdly, when all Linux distros use the same default browser).

    It isn't a monopoly. You named their competitors. Monopoly would imply a lack of ability to compete. Apple certainly competes.
  • -1 Hide
    keither5150 , June 13, 2009 3:41 AM
    Sorry "offer them Windows 7"

    I miss the edit feature.
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