back to article Google backs EU's Microsoft antitrust battle

Google has backed European regulators in their effort to prevent Microsoft from bundling the Internet Explorer browser with its ubiquitous Windows operating system. On Tuesday afternoon, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory told the world it has applied to become a third party in the European Commission's antitrust proceeding …

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Boffin

IE

I maybe wrong? MS developed IE?

I thought they brought it, hacked, ruined, and published within an OS?

Developed is a STRONG & WRONG word I feel.

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Flame

Won't matter...

...unless any potential fine is a significant percentage of Microsoft's underlying asset value. If not, they'll just grin and bear it to maintain their (near) monopoly. Consider; if they get fined a billion Euros every three years as a result of successive actions they can easily cope.

Also the litigation process is so slow with appeal after appeal that they can do what they want to because any retribution will be years away.

The European Parliament is the highest authority in Europe. I think that if they're sufficiently pissed off and want decisive immediate action, then order the break up of Microsoft in Europe.

Break them and let the heavens fall.

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Thumb Up

why should google care?

it's not as if chrome is going to catch on anyway. how many users actually use chrome after installing it? me i just went back to good ol firefox.

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RW

IE History

IE was originally Mosaic, the web browser that got the web off the ground, though Netscape rapidly took over.

MS bought Mosaic and transmogrified it into IE.

Whether any of the original Mosaic code still lives on inside IE I don't know.

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Linux

Problems with implementation?

How does MS exactly "play fair" with this? Bundle every browser on the planet with their OS and let users pick from a daunting list (with IE conveniently placed at the top, and the biggest competitors such as Firefox and Safari at the bottom), or at least provide a list of mirrors for each of these that their selection app then fetches? (The user wouldn't be able to go get one themselves, having no E. Unless Windblows has a native wget utility?)

Bunches of Linux distros just stick Firefox as the browser, with wget and sometimes links or lynx ready in the shell, and the user can go get a different one online or through the package manager if they like. So it should be with MS. Sure they have an advantage, but that's about all they have going for them with IE usage. Keep making the browser loads better than IE; MS will improve IE by copying the ideas to keep the masses from flocking away (tabs!), there's the competition to do something better and innovative.

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Anonymous Coward

Cue

complaints about anti google bias

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Silver badge

Pot to Kettle:

"YOU'RE A MONOPOLY!"

"NO, YOU'RE A MONOPOLY!"

(repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseam)

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Jobs Horns

OSX + Safari

Surely, by applying the same logic, Apple is equally guilty since Safari is bundled with its OS?

Apple will argue that they do this because MS abandoned IE on the Mac several years ago, so need to supply a replacement. However, by bundling their own browser in exactly the same way as MS, what's good for the goose is good for the gander (maybe that should be 'bad for the goose....').

As a user of Macs for over 20 years, I am obviously pro the Apple platform, but it does not stop me from pointing out the parallels. Nor for stating that Firefox is, IMHO, a much better and safer alternative.

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Paris Hilton

And yet...

Apple can and have bundle itunes with quicktime, OSX with safari, and effectively lock everyone without an ipod/phone out of their itunes store since the dawn of time, when it began back in the 70's.

Personally I think it's about time Microsoft fucked off the EU altogether and ceased all sales of licenses sold here in this over-controlled big brother state we live in and rendered all licenses void. 500 million euro fine for bundling Windows Media Player with Windows? Fuck right off.

Watch the outcry and the single applaud coming from me.

Paris, because she gets screwed just as hard as Microsoft.

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Silver badge

We will know success...

When Microsoft isues a version of IE for Linux. Until then divorcing IE from Windows is the best solution (as everyone knows). The original US anti-trust solution was the best idea. Will it be implemented? We can only hope!

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N

@ Ian

You missed out bolloxed

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So what do they suggest?

People buying browsers in the shops? ahaha....

Microsoft bundling other browsers? MS are paranoid about that sort of thing... they've licenced code in the past but I don't think they'd be willing at all to just randomly stick another company's app in the base install without changes.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh good..

.. if google back this then maybe we will stop seeing the google toolbar being loaded on by OEM resellers, as that will mean its being provided with the os and according to them, that is wrong.

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DoubleClick

Are there still people who don't actively block all doubleclick material??

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Coat

@Paul Uszak

The Council of the EU is the highest authority in Europe, and this article is about regulators from the European Commission, not the European Parliament.

Mine's the blue one with 12 gold stars on.

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Boffin

!same as Linux or Mac O/S

Neither the Linux distro's or Apple are using their monopoly in one area to illegal distort the market in another.

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Stop

no browser, how to navigate to download.com?

OK, so I download my favourite distro and install it, bet there's no browser software bundled with it 'cause it's anti-competitive, how the hell do I get onto filehippo to download a browser?

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Go

if you want to be fair and open

If the EU wants to be force a fair market, there is a very simple way.

Just permit the EU to switch the browsers around. If Microsoft insists upon bundling a browser, let the EU decide which one it is. Or, change it from time to time.

Microsoft must believe that is fair, right? They will get their rotation. And so will Google and Mozilla.

Or, do not bundle any of them and require Microsoft to compete just like everyone else does. You can offer downloads or you can box it up.

Only fools think they must be able to force the distribution of their crap.

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@chris

FTP might be an option ?

(otherwise.. wget should do it as well)

Still, i'd be dancing in the streets way before this decision would be made, since your fav distro would need to have a monopoly in the OS market.

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Dom

Waste of money

I'm no MS fan, but I see the irony of Linux distro bundling Firefox and Apple bundling Safari. Apple IMHO are worse than MS, because many customisable aspects of Windows are well and truely locked out from the user by Apple. As someone else mentioned, Quicktime, Itunes etc. Courts should be FAIR and prosecute them all.

Why shouldn't MS bundle IE? Why don't Google, Firefox, Opera and the rest just fuck off and start writing OS's if they feel that strongly?

Or take Apple to court for bundling Safari - but no-one would dare do that.......such talk is heresy, and will doubtless get the Mac boys whinging like crazy!

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Happy

How To Make Ballmer's Head Explode

Can you imagine Ballmer being told that he had to distribute Firefox or Chrome!!!

Priceless.

oh please god make it so...

[maniacal gales of laughter]

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The cherry on the top is to address the previously sold MS OS’s in the EU.

MS to use their Update Service to offer this as a Critical Update (This is valid, as it is at least as critical as WGA).

This would need to be offered to any one in the EU

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Stop

Is this just about the Browser ?

Is it just me - I can't managed to even get Firefox to be my default browser - Windows Live Messenger still fires up IE if I have a new hotmail email. I also think IE is what's behind the file explorer.

Sure, you can offer a choice on installing Windows, but it'll take some engineering and somewhere within the OS there will be elements of IE.

I'm sure someone else can comment wit authority on the level of tight integration of IE within XP/Vista...

I prefer Firefox and if the new Safari is indeed much faster than Firefox I'd like to try it...

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Pirate

What about Nokia?

Nokia S60 does not allow you to change your default browser from the Nokia product. It's a good product, but I much prefer Opera Mini. I have no way to have email links fire off Opera Mini currently.

I'm curious to hear what the Anti-M$ crowd has to say when MS is replaced with Nokia.

Personally, I am for choices in my browser, but believe the free market should push OS manufacturers by demand not by legislation. Don't like it, don't buy it. As Android matures I will move from Symbian to Android most likely and currently I'm using Ubuntu.

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