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Microsoft Responds to EU Antitrust Case

The hoopla was originally kicked off when companies behind competing browsers accused Microsoft of using the fact that the majority of computers ship with Windows to create a nice little browser monopoly for itself. The European Union issued a preliminary Statement of Objections in January, claiming the company’s practices "undermine product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice."

While Microsoft has said that the next version of its operating system will give users the ability to switch off Internet Explorer 8, it hasn’t stopped companies such as Google and Apple chiming in to complain about Microsoft's dominance in the browser market.

Reuters today reports that the Redmond company has responded to the EU’s antitrust charges and a Commission spokesman has said the response will be studied carefully.

Do you think Microsoft is guilty in this instance? Many of us can claim to have introduced one of our less tech-savvy friends to the joys of Firefox, a browser they had no idea existed because IE had come bundled with their PC. However, without Internet Explorer, we’d have had no way to download an alternative making it a catch 22 situation.

  • dman3k
    If only EU gives Apple equal treatment...
    Reply
  • daft
    yeah, i use IE to watch flash because firefox uses an entire core for some reason. each browser has its place, if the EU wants MS to put multiple browsers on, then it would only slow the computer down more and use up more space
    Reply
  • rooseveltdon
    lol it's funny to me that apple wants to join in on this they are a lot worse with their software.
    Reply
  • tenor77
    One browser to rule them all!

    Personally while I know a good chunk of people are oblivious to the existance of different browsers I don't see why MS shouldn't include their browser since it's free. That is as long as they're not hindering people from using alternatives.
    Reply
  • rage machine
    I don't think Microsoft is doing anything wrong here with bundling its browser into the operating system. Most the people I help out don't even know what a web browser is, they just know to call it "internet". If anything Microsoft is just helping those users who are unaware of any alternative. Most people who are aware seem to have Firefox somewhere on their PC anyway. I'm not sure how they should respond, if they take off Internet Explorer there is no way to add other browsers for those users who cannot operate a PC very well, if they put on other browsers then it might cause some confusion or even a trust lawsuit. Who knows what will happen :|
    Reply
  • tpi2007
    Computers with internet access as a mass market product ends up having this sort of problem. Users in general use what the OS comes with.

    Back in the days when IE was in version 1.0 or didn's even exist, people would browse the web using Netscape Navigator, which the OS didn's come with, instead they mostly grabbed a copy from a magazine, or from a friend.

    Now some people are lazy, some just don't have the time to find an alternative. If IE is good enough, they won't switch.

    In spite of this, Firefox has steadily been capturing market share back from Microsoft (ironically IE captured its market share from Netscape, which is now, in some way, Mozilla - Netscape Navigator's engine codename).

    This argument could go both ways, but ultimately I guess it could be easily solved: Microsoft could bundle a very basic Internet Explorer which could basically access Windows Update, the Microsoft site (for download of windows related programs), and finally a shared site, maintained and paid for by Microsoft and all other browser manufacturers interested in adding their name, with a brief description of each broswer, and a link to the respective download. The browser names would display in a random order, each time the page would load, so as to avoid having the discussion "who goes first".

    I think this would solve the problem.
    Reply
  • Sicundercover
    So why is this MS's responsibility?

    Why not the OEM's? Hell they already install a bunch of their own propriatary garbage. There isnt even anything in the OEM agreement that prevens you the OEM from doing so.

    Dell disables Windows Gadgets and installs Googles instead as the default handeler. Acer installs that garbage bar of theirs, which does little more then screw with your boot time and mess with your networking.

    So again, why is this being blamed on MS and not the companies who actually install, Package, Sell, and ship the products world wide?
    Reply
  • hotroderx
    tpi2007and finally a shared site, maintained and paid for by Microsoft and all other browser manufacturers interested in adding their name, with a brief description of each broswer, and a link to the respective download. The browser names would display in a random order, each time the page would load, so as to avoid having the discussion "who goes first". I think this would solve the problem.That is pretty much the best solution available the majority of people are not tech savvy enough to go out and figure out which browser best meets there needs.

    But I still feel this is going to be a attempt futility. Most companies will continue to use IE because there local Intranets are setup for it and there security policies are written for it since most companies will still be using it most people will feel most at easy with it and feel safer and more secure. You will have more people who will be happy to see the change but I have a feeling just as many if not more will be upset they will few this as just more bloat wear to windows. Windows is starting to become the new AOL. If you ever played with old AOL Software like ver. 8 it was a dream come true it was enjoyable to use it had just the right features for someone who wasn't really tech savvy but wanted a good browser. Then they started adding more and more features and look where they are now.
    I feel the truly best solution for this issues is to have the ability to turn Microsoft's Internet Explorer completely off and have it removable so that if someone does choose to use a different browser they can do so with out having extra bloat on there PC. But I do think it should be up to the person to find there new browser seems like society today is becoming lazy not ever thing should be handed to us.

    Reply
  • I have a very easy solution to this problem.

    Microsoft: STOP DOING BUSINESS IN THE EU. Leave the marketplace all together.
    Reply
  • hotroderx
    Sorry to those who will say I contradicted my self I don't mean to I just kinda feel split both ways I feel one reason why people are not more tech savvy when they should be is because ever thing is so easy now days
    Reply