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back to article EC retires the Microsoft watchdog

The European Commission has relaxed the requirements of the 2004 anti-trust order against Microsoft - the software giant no longer needs its behaviour watched by a full-time “monitoring trustee”. Brussels said it no longer needed a permanent observer to ensure Microsoft was obeying a European Union order to share technical …

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Gates Horns

Have they actually paid yet?

Just asking...

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Bronze badge

They have given up

because MS have not taken a blind bit of notice?

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Unhappy

The banks

didn't need monitoring, either.

But MS is an entirely proper business, unlike those folks that were selling mortgages.

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Gates Halo

Bootstrapping

"In a separate anti-trust case in January this year, the Commission accused Microsoft of stifling competition by bundling its Internet Explorer web browser with the Windows operating system."

Assuming one has a version of Windows without a web browser installed, how precisely does one find a web browser to install? It's not like you can actually download a better browser without having one to access its web site in the first place.

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Thumb Down

Amazing

As Microsoft continues it's 'dominant monopoly' policies unabated.

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Pirate

@Richard Devenport

Perhaps MS could "innovate" a minimal browser-downloading app that offers the user a choice of several browsers, then downloads and installs said browser(s), and even allows the user to choose which will be the default browser. I wouldn't think that would be too difficult, now would it?

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Bronze badge

Richard Devenpor

Assuming one has a version of Windows without a web browser installed, how precisely does one find a web browser to install? It's not like you can actually download a better browser without having one to access its web site in the first place.

Its called FTP. ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/

You click on start>run>cmd

then type ftp.mozilla.org OF course I wouldn't want to have to walk the average user through line commands .

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Bronze badge

@richard:Bootstrapping

You do have a point, maybe MS should bundle Firefox, Opera, Safari et al with Windows. A nice little tick box to select preferred browser is all that is required.

There is ftp but the vast majority of users would not know which ftp server to connect to, nor most likely how to use the MS command line ftp proggy.

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Paris Hilton

@ Richard Devenport

"without a web browser installed, how precisely does one find a web browser to install?"

Have you ever heard of Telnet ?

Or of FTP ?

Do you know that Interned was created long before the first web browser ?

Paris, because SHE knows better...

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One's supplier, or sysadmin

puts one on.

Alternatively, a chip, CD or FTP.

If still unclear, here is kitten

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/midgley/2987321809/" title="Tangle: crop by Adrian Midgley, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3197/2987321809_89737e6bff_m.jpg" width="240" height="240" alt="Tangle: crop" /></a>

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Stop

@ kain preacher

"You click on start>run>cmd

then type ftp.mozilla.org OF course I wouldn't want to have to walk the average user through line commands ."

Good job too, since what you've suggested doesn't work. Of course, you can't slag off 'Joe Sixpack' if you give them correct instructions to follow, can you?

@ Pirate Dave : sure, they could do that. But in the real world why should they? It's their product so what they parcel with it is up to them. The whole anti-competition thing, in this case at least, is invalid.

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@AC 01:47

"@ Pirate Dave : sure, they could do that. But in the real world why should they? It's their product so what they parcel with it is up to them. The whole anti-competition thing, in this case at least, is invalid."

You would be entirely correct if you weren't so absolutely wrong. There's a reason we have anti-competition laws. In this case, Microsoft is using it's dominant OS position (monopoly) to artificially increase adoption of it's browser (gain a competitive advantage in another area). Many people have used the line "But they give IE away for free, so it's not as if it makes them any money". This line is both true and false. It is true that Microsoft gives IE away at zero cost. However, it is false that it doesn't make them any money. It doesn't directly make them money, but the indirect money is very lucrative. It goes like this -- 1) bundle IE with Windows; 2) people use IE because "it's already there, so why should I bother finding another one?"; 3) websites code to IE's non-compliant browser because that's what the majority of people use; 4) those websites won't work on non-IE browsers; 5) IE is only available for Windows; 6) If you want to browse those websites, you'll need Windows.

As for the question of how to obtain a browser without having one already, the answers have already been given, but I'll sum them up here anyway -- 1) the computer's distributor will put one on (like they do with trial/junk software); 2) possibly telnet; 3) FTP; 4) installation CD or USB drive. For those people in a business, the network administrator can/will install it, or it will be available from a shared network path. On any networked system, if you have downloaded it on another networked machine (even a Linux box which has no browser installed but does have wget) with SMB/CIFS (file sharing) configured, you can copy it from that file share. In short, there are multiple ways of obtaining a browser without having one installed already. Just because you may not know how to do it doesn't mean it can't be done. I don't know how paper is made, but I'm pretty sure it can be done.

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Pirate

@ The above

Don't need a browser if a package manager is available with online capabilities. Oh wait, M$ lacks that kind of common sense.

More to the point:

There is 'Add/Remove Programs' in Control Panel, where you could simply choose to enable or disable Internet Explorer. BUT..

The real point of the anti-competitive 'bundling' of IE is that is installed and tightly (read: impossible to remove due to system-wide dependencies) integrated into Windows.

Once IE becomes a stand-alone application which is not installed by default, but can be selected from Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Windows Components, the whole discussion becomes irrelevant.

Microsoft is just too pig-headed to admit not only did they lock in their users (or addicts, if you will), they locked themselves in too because it's a big mess that is near impossible to correct as their whole product catalogue depends on the integration.

They could have done it starting with Vista, but you know what over 6 years development brought us don't you? Same story for Windows 7, only this time it's delivered faster.

If they start over with Windows now and break out the dependencies with IE code, it will be a good 10 to 15 years before you will see another release of -just- Windows for desktops.

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Go

MS = MicroScorpion

A turtle was happily swimming along a river when a scorpion hailed it from the shore.

"Dear friend turtle!" called the scorpion. "Please let me climb upon your back and swim me to the other side of the river!"

"No," replied the turtle, "for if I do, you shall sting me, and I shall die."

"Nonsense!" replied the scorpion. "If I kill you in the middle of the river, you shall sink, and I shall drown and die with you."

The turtle thought this over, and saw the truth of the scorpion's statement. He let it upon his back and began swimming towards the other side of the river. Halfway across, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck.

"Why have you stung me?!" cried the turtle as his body began to stiffen. "Now you shall die as well!"

As the pair sank to their death, the scorpion replied, "Because it is in my nature".

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Pirate

@AC

"sure, they could do that. But in the real world why should they?"

Maybe because their bacon is in deep, hot grease with the EU. If they gave the user an easy way to choose which browser(s) to install, and even HELPED the user install the browser(s), they could at least claim they'd taken the high-road. And perhaps such gestures would diffuse some of the heat directed at them by their competitors.

Or they could just do as you implied and continue their claim of "it's our software and we'll do with it what we please and if you don't like that then fuck off". That hasn't really worked too well for them thus far.

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Linux

@Richard Devenpor

start>run>cmd ?????

Remember, these are WINDOWS users!!

Stop the command-line chaos.

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Coat

@BLoad

That would be the Mozilla mascot piping it's output through the little hole in the blue 'e'.

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