Microsoft browser-rival Opera Software has welcomed a European Commission statement that the company has broken European competition law by including Internet Explorer with Windows. Opera chief executive Jon von Tetzchner said the Commission's statement demonstrated that it's serious about getting Microsoft to "start competing …
What a bunch of morons.
IE/wmplayer/whatever else is included with windows because its basic functionality that the user expects. If they want a really shitty experience where they have to go find a bunch of 3rd party apps to get stuff working they can use linux.
Everyone who wants to use a browser or media player other than what comes with windows will go out and get it. If Microsoft prevented them from picking an alternative, that would be a problem. But thats not the case.
All this does is waste consumers time and taxes. Is the EC out for Microsoft just to be dicks or are they completely incompetent?
But they would say that, wouldn't they?
As they've duped the idiot eurocrats into another ridiculous decision. Doesn't change anything - still won't use opera - it's sh*t. I even rate IE and Safari over it, but would sooner use FF.
maybe it's just me
but as an hardcore opera fan who paid for it before it was free, I think Opera should leave the court action and focus on being the best browser. FF and Chrome are fast-moving competition, and FF has huge marketshare in some European countries.
And they should hurry up and get on the iphone! Even if they are only allowed to make a wrapper around webkit, I think they can still come up with a raft of usability enhancements, like fit to width, gesture-based navigation, etc.
Chicken and egg
So, if my OS doesn't come with a browser, how do I download a browser?
Even if it had say, 3 browser to choose from on install... who gets to choose which browsers are featured? What is Mr. Joe Average User going to make of it all? Most likely get more confused and annoyed.
Forgive me if I'm being dumb, but can somebody explain to me why MacOS and Safari are less tied than Windows and IE? Last time I installed MacOS, Safari was the default (and only) browser.
I haven't installed Windows in years so maybe IE is more insiduous ;)
Maybe then, but not now
Maybe back in the mid-90s, when relatively few people used the internet, would it have been advantageous to include a browser with the operating system, but they have no excuse now. Personally I think people should have more than one browser on their machine, for example I visited a site today and had to use my three browsers before I could get it to load properly. Either that, or there should be more publicity telling average users that other browsers are available, like on the Radio Times ads.
a) they would say that now wouldn't they
b) agree heartily
Shut up already Opera
Because of this idiocy I have personally stopped using Opera on principal.
This is what Opera is sounding like: "Whaaa, MOMMY, but ITS NOT FAIR!"
I realize that Microsoft can be overbearing with some it products, but Users DO have a choice about what browser they use, Firefox will change the file association so that ALL html documents are opened in it (some applications might specify IE when you click on an internal link, but this is a minority).
I wonder why the EU is actually paying attention, since with IE8 MS is making an *attempt* at making a standards compliant browser.
The story so far...
Opera > "So, get them to stop shipping IE with Windows!"
EU > "Ok, we'll see what we can do, ok?"
MS > "Umm, ok, we'll no longer ship IE to any Windows PC's in the EU, we will also apply a forced update to all Windows based PC's through Windows Update to uninstall IE from all Windows based PC's in the EU, that work for you?"
EU > "Yes!"
3 days later
Guy > "Honey? Wheres the little blue E thingy gone?"
Gal > "The little blue E?"
Guy > "Yeah, you know for the internet"
Gal > "Isn't it there?!"
Guy > "Wait, theres a message..."
Message > "Due to an EU ruling Internet Explorer has now been removed from all Windows PC's within the EU, please click this link to go to the IE home page"
Guy > clicks link
Guy > "What? Nothings happening when I click this link!"
At an important world wide number 1 business place
BOFH > "IT support, this better be good, I was just about to complete leisure suit larry!"
Fella > "Umm, we can't seem to access the company network any longer"
BOFH > "Let me check" click click click "Everything seems to be working fine on this end, what appears to be the problem?"
Fella > "The big blue E has umm, vanished"
BOFH > "What?!"
Fella > "There is a message" (says message)
BOFH > "So now I have to install IE on all the computers in this entire place, or recode the company intranet sites to work in browsers other than IE? Wheres my cattle prod"
Farmer > "I shall just check ze subsidies I am due mai qui!"
Farmer > "WZF? Ow am I supposed to check zee subsidies now and claim my money for doing no work! I shall have to go on strike and burn zee sheep!"
At the EU place
IT Support > "Well yes, the entire company really needs IE to function properly, all our web pages are designed to be run with IE but now that MS has followed your orders and removed it, we no longer can, and as none of the computers have an internet browser now, we cannot use them to download the latest version, we're screwed really"
EU Chaps > "Wait, you mean 70% of the EU can no longer access the internet because of us?"
IT Support > "Looks like it, I really hope they can understand why you did it!"
EU Chaps > "Because its the right thing to do?"
IT Support > "Don't be stupid, becaue Opera is an EU company!"
Didn't Microsoft produce a browser-free version of Windows a few years ago, and nobody wanted to buy it?
They should spend thier money on getting better than FireFox or Chrome, rather than pushing for MS. Else they should get really serious.
No Browsers included with ANY OS.. Just because you can't uninstall IE doesn't mean they should bitch about it.. Let's take it further - Make sure you can not ship a browser with any OS.. Safari - Gone, IE - Gone. KDE has a browser Right? GONE..
Opera preinstalled ? NFW!!!
Wait... If Microsoft isn't allowed to include Internet Explorer on Windows, what do I use to download the browser I WANT to use?
Seems to me that at least SOMETHING has to be included by default...
A proprietary OS with no proprietary browser?
As stated often enough above an OS without a browser is a bit daft really.
Only politicos with dull (un) civil servants could arrive at that one with both having an aim to influence something big.
And, to be fair to MS, it is very easy to install the browser(s) of your choice using IE as the means to make the download happen.
I think the EU 'views' Windows as an open source OS rather than a proprietary one. Love or hate it or professionally admire it it is a proprietary browser on a proprietary OS.
The EU should be giving kudos to MS for offering a proprietary OS that supports so many diverse different software organizations rather than thumping it - as should Opera.
chicken egg problem
like someone already posted.
If you have no browser you cannot go online to download a different one either... Ah well.. guess that's too difficult for the UE to grasp.
And yes i AM an opera user. have been since version 3.x. Don't want anything else anymore.
Uh, Apple aren't a monopoly that has abuse the power from the monopoly to quash the market in another areal. Added to that, you can remove Safari and you can't remove IE (to the extent that security bus in IE STILL need to be patched).
But apart from that, yes, they should go after apple. WHEN THEY ARE A MONOPOLY.
Fuck. What a moron.
re: But they would say that, wouldn't they?
And Microsoft would do any dirty trick they could manage to make more money.
Include lock out any other players from making any money from something that MS don't control.
Its about tying....
Its not about shipping IE with Windows. Its about tying IE and Windows together. You CANNOT get rid of IE, you might install other browsers and change all the preferences but it is still there and from time to time IE will pop up and slap you in the face just to remind you that its there.
Most of the people reading this are well aware of the Er, limitations of IE. I'll bet that a fair few are using other browsers.
But this does not help the masses of people who use Windows. Why? A LOT of people who use a computer are not comfortable with it. Try explaining to these people the difference between a program installed on a computer crashing or a driver crashing and you will get Windows is crashing. They don't see the difference between the things added to or the things required to use a gadget, it's Window's fault. That's not to say that these people are stupid, just that the experience or expertise does not necessarily translate to understanding what Windows or any other operating system is telling them.
This is universal to any operating system, those who doubt it just need to do a search for help and the name of the OS to see a multitude of forums about different operating systems.
I suppose your wondering why I'm saying all of this. It's because people who don't know these things are frightened because they don't understand and are frightened by change. Decoupling IE from Windows or offering a choice of browser to install will not make much of an impact in my opinion because these people will just say "I need a browser for the interweb, I'll choose this Microsoft one because they made Windows so it must be the best". A lot of people can't tell the difference between their computer going wrong and a web site being unavailable.
These things are not only in the realm of the scared and clueless, witness a huge amount of web sites infected with sql injection attacks redirecting traffic all over the place, programmers not bothering to check user input, shitty drivers crashing gadgets and games.
Only today I read about a virus infecting ~9million Windows computers, even though the patch to stop it was issued by Microsoft in October 08. They were blaming lazy admin staff not rebooting servers to apply the patch before it spread.
I have even seen people on forums proudly proclaim that they are running a version of Windows with no updates since before service pack X. What can you say to these people? They turn around and say crap like it interferes with some gadget/bit of software.
Mind you, when someone will not patch their O/S because some software will not work, I wonder how much that has to do with not having a legal copy or letting the support fees slide?
Still, having twonks proclaiming that you don't need to update and telling less knowledgeable people that they will also hurt is just mental. Especially, when some of these people admit to running a different primary O/S and duel booting into Windows.
So with all this bollocks going on and much more, how can any third party browser hope to see a more level playing field? The way I see it, the only way is with a multi million prime time advertising campaign on TV and in the national medial.
I know it's already been posted but...
...I can't help agree that if you don't bundle a browser with the OS, how is a run of the mill user going to download a competing browser? It's not really competition anyway. Nobody's paying to download a web browser. At the end of the day IE gives you a starting block to go and choose your preferred surfing tool.
The IE share is declining . I hate IE but like windows media player. I remember win 95. I had to open up an FTP session and download Netscape. Do you want to tell your average user to do that ??
"my OS doesn't come with a browser, how do I download a browser?"
1) FTP - windows explorer works as a crude FTP client
2) Bundle the installers for the major browsers with the OS and let the user decide on first login.
1) It's not specified that any judgement would be applied rectroactively as you're suggesting (and I'm sure you know that)
2) "all our web pages are designed to be run with IE"
Well that serves the company right for using a frontpage kiddie instead of designing to the standards. Which is half of Opera's point.
3) "Don't be stupid, becaue Opera is an EU company!"
It may have changed, but last time I looked Opera was a Norwegian company. Norway is not a member of the EU, but it is a member of the European Economic Area (and Schengen).
As an avid user of Opera because of the functionality it offers (it has a long history of adding functionality years before anyone else... tabs would be the most obvious one to the casual surfer.. zooming in on webpages woudl be another (quite useful on my 24" when I sit leaned back)) I think I should point out that Opera is actually not an EU company.
As mr. T Blair stated a few years ago "But Norway isn't even in the EU!"
No, we're not mr. Blair. I believe it is called having the last laugh.
Caveat: Anyway, yes, I know; tabs and zooming webpages are pretty run of the mill these days, but they were already old news on Opera whenever FF and IE caught on to the idea. I won't even try to describe the things I can do today :o) Rest assured, in about 2 years time you will rant on about similar features on your html parser of choice ;o)
Oh, and I don't think that IE should be removed from windows, _that_ would just be silly. I believe the point is to make it less tightly integrated with windows... yet still shipped with it... (have you ever tried removing IE from windows? No? Trust me, it's like separating conjoined twins).You might as well try to play audio in itunes without quicktime.
Doesn't opera bundel an email AND Bit Torrent client with their browser?
Call the browser police! Opera are bundling stuff!
Their browser sucks. Hell, it's free, and still nobody uses it. Firefox came from nowhere to take 20% of the market share in 5 or 6 years. Opera has been lingering around for about 13 years, and still can't get over 1% of the market share. Why? Because it's utter crap. I'd rather use Netscape Navigator 4.01.
The EU are of course looking after their own here. Pathetic.
MS have been told before to do this and they are due another eye wateringly massive fine. They may come from the land of bribery and barbarians but the EU will put manners on them. I can almost see the veins bulging on Ballmer's pinhead.
The reason noone cares about OS X is because if you buy an apple you're just a consumer end user type buying into a shabby proprietary system.
PS What's with the degenerates supporting Microsoft they seem overly simpleminded even for MS supporters.
...intersting, with a touch of de-ja vu!!!
Judging by many of the comments above my post, one would naturally think you guys had something to lose in Microsoft's Internet Explorer not being the default web browser on every PC in the known universe. Do you guys have something to gain in keeping the status quo?
Opera may or may not have a legitimate issue with Microsoft's business practices in Europe, but are you people posting on a UK website from America, somewhere around Redmond?
I doubt this comment will even be shown in this section, do not upset the corporate sponsors and all (of coarse I will make it available on other sites, and by other means). But I do know this, if you depend on the Microsoft infrastructure (MCSE, MVP, .NET/VB programmers etc) , you will decry anything BUT Microsoft. This is after all, your duty.
I have cut and pasted this reply into other forums across the web, it would be nice to know a UK website was not dependent on an American company for anything more.
Black helicopters? Who owns your PC, I'm not sure if I own the computer I'm typing this on?
Bundling isn't the problem
It's the fact IE implements non standard features and encourages their use thereof.
If MS had stuck with the standards, I.m sure there wouldn't be so much fuss.
As mentioned above, if you bundled 3 or more web browsers, customers would probably be confused.
It saddens me that even today, if I have a customer on the phone & I say open up a web browser, they don't know what one is... Closely followed by open up an Explorer window, and they of course open Internet Explorer.
In their defense...
My issue with IE is it cannot be removed from a Windows machine, it's so tightly integrated you simple are not able to remove it without borking the entire system. Can I remove Firefox from my linux box? An easy peasy one line command.
And as for everyone bleating about how you cannot get a browser without having a browser in the first place there are other ways of doing it - I could imagine a small app using wget that gives you a choice of browser installers to fetch. It's ugly, but it's possible.
Personally I think it's MS's right to include their browser on their OS and I think it's daft if they should be forced to include any competitors software, but they world would be a better place if:
a) the OS didn't depend on the browser for critical functions, eg Windows Update
b) a user could remove IE if they wanted to
c) MS got with the program and starting supporting the current standards rather than making their own ones
RE: The story so far
LOL I like that post.
On a side note I have to agree that this is stupid. Just because windows comes with IE doesnt mean you have to use it. FF is fast gaining in market shares, and even Chrome has more users than Opera.. Come on already.
Jessica Simpson - Because even she is confused why Opera would push the issue.
The more I think about it ...
the more uncouth Opera's statement seems to be.
The MS proprietary OS and proprietary browser provide a fantastic opportunity for a third party (in this case Opera) to flaunt its skills.
If the Opera team do not like that well let them design, market and sell a suitable alternative OS (proprietary or open).
Same goes for other organisations making lots of dosh or otherwise on a proprietary OS. Yes?
Now i don't like MS anymore that the next computer guy, but if Microsoft want to include a web browser with as part of its windows distribution wheres the problem?
Note to Moron Eric, one of the main reasons why Linux Mac, and every Major OS except Windows, is more secure and stable than windows is its built its built in package and dependency system, every application that you could ever need readily available and a few clicks away to install, and it keeps everything up to date and running smoothly, (well unless you use Ubuntu, but thats not a real Linux Platform, its a developer toy, lol :) Mac, Linux, Solaris, don't really have this dodgy third party vendor issues that Windows users suffer, so for Microsoft to at least include a web browser is surely a good thing.
The concerning part of this case is the precedent it would set, it would be open season every time a software outfit got upset that an OS vendor was opting to support and preinstall a piece of software, i like having a selection of apps integrated into the OS, it improves the desktop experience and functionality, thats why i won't use windows, too much downloading and purchasing of dodgy apps that don't really work in balance with the system,
so for once, leave MS alone, or all hell will break loose.
I'm sure you're all missing the point
Microsoft sells most copies of Windows to PC manufacturers, not end-users. The ruling has to do with MS insisting that IE be pre-installed along with Windows, instead of the PC manufacturer having the freedom to choose any browser. (For an end-user to buy Windows with IE and WMP included free I don't think is a problem legally.)
Also, I think the reason why it doesn't apply to Apple is because they're in a different market - Apple are a hardware company not a software company. So Apple aren't selling their OS to PC manufacturers and saying "you have to install IE and WMP as well", they're selling to end-users who have the freedom to choose to buy a PC from a different company.
IF it stinks like.....
My problem with IE is first it's shit and second it cannot be removed.
Yes i can add/remove windows features and it hides but it is still there. If i want to run windows update IE has to be used.
As for how do you get on the internet without IE, really simple when inputting username etc. on first boot you get to pick a browser too, default install all, you untick what you don't want.
I think it's important to remember Apple have a very small share of the market and when you drag safari into the waste bin it stays there software update still runs.
Until FF came along we were all stuck in active X hell and Microsoft nearly succeeded in killing it with their questionable business practice back when it was netscape.
I agree the pro-eu/opera crap is annoying (I am not a fan) but it might help us all have a happy ending.
Why you could have blown me over with a feather.
Later that day, virus writing HQ:
"Say Joe, we're going to have to be more sophisticated and write a better virus. Everyone won't have IE and we will need to find new loopholes in non-Microsoft code. It won't be as easy as before!".
I use FF, but even so having IE is still better than any other browser like opera or safari. I hope they're going to stop apple shipping safari with apple's?
It's going to be quiet a hassle to get windows started in the EU now.
1) Go to another computer
2) Download Web Browser
3) Buy flash disk
4) copy Browser to Flash disk
5) Go back to original computer
6) Install Browser
Yeah.. great step forward.
Nobody seems to have noticed that the complaint is about an issue starting in 1996 when a browser wasn't as critical or integral as it is today.
By leveraging its desktop monopoly to bundle IE, MS created a large base of non-standard clients which couldn't render standards-compliant code properly. This in turn prompted developers to code specifically for IE which locked out standards-compliant (non-IE) browsers by making them appear broken. This further consolidated the desktop monopoly as only Windows (realistically) supported IE. It was classic, embrace, extend, extinguish behaviour.
MS, as the incumbent monopoly supplier should have played nicer than that in the past. One way to do that in the present, would be to stop breaking windows-update (as launched from the control-panel) if IE isn't the default browser. General web-browsing and OS-specific update utilities don't need to be combined.
No-one is suggesting removing IE, but they do need pay for past offences which continue to benefit them today. A bit of punitive action to discourage future offences wouldn't go amiss either. Companies will keep breaking the law until it becomes unprofitable for them to continue to do so.
"IE/wmplayer/whatever else is included with windows because its basic functionality that the user expects."
It is now, it wasn't back when all this started. This ruling is an acknowledgment that MS set the browser market back a whole decade with their tricks in the 90s. Only now have we got enough competition to drive innovation in this field and don't have to suffer their boring buggy shit any more. Of course you can't go back in time and it would be dumb to try and insist they stop providing a browser these days but maybe all people who suffered virii and spyware and general shitness for the last 10 years deserve some compensation now?
" If they want a really shitty experience where they have to go find a bunch of 3rd party apps to get stuff working they can use linux."
Have you ever used Linux? Find me a single modern desktop Linux distro that doesn't come complete with Browser, IM, Email/News and Office Suite pre-installed and I'll buy you a copy of MS Office - moron.
Head... meet wall
I’d really like to see my cash being spent more wisely than this… I mean really, honestly, does the average end-user really give one whether or not they use IE? Microsoft doesn’t put a spanner in the works if you want to change your browser (for those who have a personal preference) and so what if IE is integrated with the OS? Obviously that’s the way MS built their software, it doesn’t stop you using FF or whatever so stop bloody moaning before we end up back in 1995 installing browsers from whatever demo disk is doing the rounds this week.
My major gripe is the commentarts that make blanket statements like “My problem with IE is first it's shit and second it cannot be removed” – what planet are these people on?? The times when I read these comments looking for clever, informed and TECHNICAL incites sadly seem to have disappeared… IE 6 was crap and should burn in hell alongside roller-skates and Cliff Richard – IE 7 is much better (thanks to competition of course) and it sounds like IE 8 will improve even further.
OK so let’s throw in a hypothetical and say MS completely remove IE and all ties between IE and Explorer. They produce two versions, one with IE and one with no browser, put them next to each other on the shelf and price them identically – which one, honestly, would the average user buy? Let’s go even further and say that you couldn’t buy Windows with IE anymore… how long before OEM’s include IE in the standard build anyway??! And the only browser they would include would be IE because… it’s what the user knows. Sure they might include a list of available browsers but I’ll bet 9/10 users would click on that big familiar blue e everytime.
It’s a browser… they are free… you can have as many as you like! Whether we like it or not IE has the biggest market share, it’s the most used browser in the world and it’s the only browser I would allow in an enterprise environment (see GPO and WSUS).
FF is great, I love it but it’s not without its flaws and I’m so tired of people screaming about its open source credentials… FF hasn’t been fully open source for years – and before you start flaming go and check.
And don’t get me started on Apple…
There is no Chicken and Egg!
Many comments have made the same idiotic objection as this one:
> If you have no browser you cannot go online to download a different one either...
> Ah well.. guess that's too difficult for the UE to grasp.
Hohum. Can be done same way as people installed browsers in the beginning of the WWW: Many alternatives:
(0) Sell in stores on CD. I myself bought a copy of Netscape Navigator this way circa 1996, before Microsoft's bundling forced them to first distribute the program for free, and then go under. (I wonder if that CD is already a collector's item?)
(1) Supply on magazine cover CD or DVD. Before bundling it, Microsoft used to distribute IE this way to WIndows 3.1 and 95 users.
(2) Download with the text-based FTP client that is standard on most operating systems (even on Windows). MIght be difficult for some totally computer-illiterate people, but they could help friends or even a PC maintenance service to help.
Support for alpha blend PNG
not much to ask, but it is stuff like that, that makes IE such a bloody annoyance.
And if MS wanted to come across cool, just create an IE for Linux, it is the small things that would gain them support.
Anyhow, I think MS should reduce their IT involvement and become a bank, the market is right for it, their brand is pretty well known, I think they would have more fun, what is not to like about that transition.
The thing is, Opera may have included all of these features for years but they've managed to put it together in such a way that it feels shit to use. I liken it to certain smartphones - absolutely bundled with features but about as pleasant to use as having your ball hair plucked. It's just a perfect example of something technically excellent but functionally awful.
Opera's lack of browser "market share" has very little to do with MS bundling their browser with Windows and almost everything to do with poor marketing of a fairly poor product.
Your post made me laugh, I especially liked the French Farmer and his "WZF?"
What part exactly of Norway isn't in the EU didn't you understand!? Besides, accusations of protectionism from an 'Merkin!? Very rich... It isn't about including/not including IE. It. Is. About. Uncoupling. IE. From. Windows. You need to get your reading age up mate... Oh to every one mentioning Apple/Linux. At what point was either mentioned in the article? You Microsofties have got to understand its a massive piece of bloat!
MS illegaly leveraged a monoply position in pc operating systems to gain a near monoply in internet browser software. Why? Because they famously missed the internet as Netscape became the preferrred browser. The plan? - "embrace, extend and extinguish".
Apple does not have a monoply in pc operating systems and thus can bundle whatever they want without breaking anti-competition laws.
PC OEMs could (and would) supply browser software to meet consumer demand.
MS was busted thoroughly by the US DOJ only to be let off by the incoming Bush administratiom.
Have they really thought about this
Ok, microsoft removes the browser so that windows comes without any browser out of the box...how do you download a browser if you don't have a browser to get to the website with browsers for download???
They really haven't thought this through, have they?
The problem is in informing the user
The problem that the bundling causes is that for many of the less technical users, Internet Explorer ends up being the internet. It may sound stupid to us but it is a fact: a lot of people are still not really aware that you CAN use another browser than IE to access the internet because by default IE is used.
That is where the competition issue lies: Microsoft is not making users aware than IE is just an application and that it can be replaced. What should happen is that the first time a user wants to access the internet it should start a small application that will connect to a page called "how do you want to browse the internet" and allowing the user to select a browser (a bit like an app store page). If a non-MS browser is selected that browser is automatically downloaded and installed. This should also give the option to easily disable IE (for those who don't trust it for security reasons).
There is nothing user-unfriendly about this and it would make the user aware that a choice of browser exists.
BTW, on most Linuxes more than one browser often installed by default (for example if you have KDE you automatically get Konqueror in addition of Firefox) and in the case of Ubuntu alternative browsers are displayed in the add/remove program applet for the user to install.
"According to Opera, the browser is the "most important application on the PC."
So they want MS to remove there browser, so theres no (and they used the word) "important" software to use to get another browser.
Why don;t they stop making crappy browsers, that might help there market share.
"Apple aren't a monopoly that has abuse the power from the monopoly to quash the market in another area."
yeah cause bundling a browser with itunes that is required for your ipod isn't abusing is it.
Missing the point
The decision is one about unfair competition and that the media player decision can be seen as a precedent. There have been many analogies for other industries which don't need repeating here. What probably is important is that it makes it less likely that Microsoft can railroad Silverlight through as the rich runtime. But the decision also sends a warning to Google's nascent ambitions with Chrome.
Have you all forgotten already?...
back in good olde days, the browsers came in a CD yup the round thing you put into the drive! Oh yeah that's a good way to obtain any browsers in one CD. More choice that way....
Standards compliant browser?
This will break all of the sites that don't work properly except with IE 6. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
/Wipes tear from eye.
Most of the professional web developers I know use FF and then get it working with IE because its the easiest way round and FF comes with lots of free tools that make life easy. But the bedroom boys and girls use IE because that's what they've got to hand, and they outnumber the rest of us about 10:1.
IE is *part* of the OS, it's in the DLL's strewn everywhere. Uncle Bill explained that a while back in a response to some questions in court with the US. There was a huge crowing noise coming from slashdot and other places along the lines of "you mean it's not modular? you mean that compromising the browser can compromise everything?"
Yeah, windows isn't modular.
This is why Windows is such a mess, it follows the "big ball of mud" design pattern and it's very hard to fix one thing without breaking something a long way off in the code base without even knowing you have.
So you can't get rid of IE, can't uninstall it, it's baked in. You can just choose not to use it.
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