Microsoft is continuing to insist it has gone to great lengths in recent months to appease European antitrust watchdogs by saying it will “respect the user choice of the default browser” in Windows. However, rival browser maker Opera, which brought the original complaint about Microsoft tying its browser to its operating system …
And their strenuous efforts to give all us users so much choice don't address the issue of providing an alternative browser. If I want Firefox then wouldn't I have to install IE first, then go and download my real choice?
The US government should have split Micro$haft up when they had the chance.
Am I the only one....
..sick of Opera whinging?
They complained it was bundled, so they unbundle, but nope, still not good enough.
i really hope MS are forced to bundle rival browsers and they choose FF and Safari !
I don'get it...
I REALLY don't. How could these people (the EU, Opera et al) expect company A to include competitors software ? What's next ? Are they going to insist car manufacturers to include car radios from every possible brand with their vehicles ? 18 sets of tires ? Maybe a few cans of paint in every color from every supplier ?
For Pete's sake, what did we do to deserve this madness ?
Opera should just shut up
Why are Opera even allowed to get away with this. Imagine what Windows would be like if every vendor of an alternative product whined in the same way, vendors for alternative mail, calculator, even solitaire. Can you imagine what a mess it would be if Windows had to make the same prompt for everything you ever ran on it?
"All of which prompts us to ask the question: why didn't Microsoft have that option in place before now?"
Er, they did. If you set your default browser to summat else and then fire up IE, it comes up with a dialogue saying that it's not the default and would you like to make it so? IIRC it even has an "I know what I'm doing, don't ask me this bloody stupid question again" option therein and you can also control this behaviour through Internet Options (check whether default on start).
As far as I can see, the only change is that it now asks "up front" on install as well rather than assuming "yes" (not unreasonably* IMHO, as you've gone to the trouble of installing it) and leaving you having to go off and thump FF or whatever in its "make me the default" option.
Just out of interest, does anyone know if Opera does this? I haven't installed it from scratch in a while now and I wonder if there's a bit of pot and kettle going on here.
*However annoying to some.
IE8 can set itself as default browser
"IE will never install, or become the default browser without your explicit consent. However, we heard a lot of feedback from a lot of different people and groups and decided to make the user choice of the default browser even more explicit. This change is part of our ongoing commitment to user choice and control.”
So why then, when I installed IE8 through windows automatic updates last night, did Firefox then complain it was no longer the default browser?!
Who the fuck uses Opera!!!???
How do I tell the EU to...
just bugger off? My default browser is now FF3.5, and I'm happy with that. I'm also a regular IE8 user for many reasons. However I don't think that any company should be forced to include any competitors product, where does it stop? You have IE, and FireFox, and Opera, and Safari, and Chrome, and a whole host of other little ones too. Should they all be included? If not, by what criteria do you say no?
By what right are Opera complaining anyway? So they're loosing out on some downloads of something that they give away for free. If your whole business is based on something you just give away, then you have a flawed business model. If you want to compete, have a better product (I've tried Opera, and never liked it), and let people know that you do. Make people WANT to change to you.
So, as a European citizen, how do I tell the EU to just bugger off?
They were probably talking about Windows 7, which I presume you weren't running as the RC comes with it installed already.
Why don't Apple get the same treatment
Where are the EU directives for Apple to offer other browsers.
And anyone not pc literate enough to find/download another browser won't care that IE is the default browser, as long as they can view their pretty pictures their happy.
So windows musnt come with any browsers installed because thats not fair! (throw toys out of pram)
So if you follow this through windows shouldnt come with any software were an alternative is available as above thats calculator, remote desktop, solitare, remote desktop, file browser, the list goes on.
In fact windows shouldnt even come with windows as thats no fair on other operating systems.
instead inserting a Windows DVD into your machine should just format your harddrive, it should then be us to the end user to download and install every seperate part of windows. although how you do this without a borswer, os, or even networking im not sure.
Seriously Opera should get lost.
Apple bundle apps
Linus bundles apps
And BMW bundle engines and gear boxes FFS!
> So why then, when I installed IE8 through windows automatic updates
> last night, did Firefox then complain it was no longer the default browser?!
Why? Because when you installed IE8, you explicitly selected an install option that included making it the default browser.
What? You didn't actually read the page before you clicked "Install"? How is that Microsoft's fault?
> If I want Firefox then wouldn't I have to install IE first
No. Most magazines come with a DVD filled with umpteen different browsers. Also, how many people only have access to one PC nowadays? It's a very simple matter to download (as an example) the setup.exe for firefox from another PC in the house or a friends computer, stick it on a USB key and then run it after installing Windows 7.
Although I think the whole thing is ridiculous. No one is making Apple remove Safari from OSX. If a user REALLY wants a different browser on the PC before they buy it there are any number of PC builders who, I'm sure, would be only too happy to stick Opera/Firefox or whatever on there to get a sale.
For people who know nothing about PC's, Microsoft bundles a browser. For those of us who know what we're doing, the choice is there. I really don't get where the problem is?
Other browsers are available
Maybe Windows or IE should display a message "Other browsers are available" every time you attempt to connect to the internet? Or the EU could force IE to be even shittier so everyone would be forced to download another browser? Maybe this has already happened?
This is just picking on Microsoft, as other people have said. Apple force everyone with an iPod or iPhone to install iTunes, and go to a lot of trouble to stop other software working with their hardware, and yet the EU doesn't seem to see anything wrong with that, despite Apple's dominant position in the MP3 player market. Perhaps they could force Apple to sell their iPods without the crappy default headphones too.
I was tempted to download and use Opera but know that I know they are a bunch of winging cry babies I won't bother.
MS should just ditch IE and should bundle Firefox with Windows. Then everyone's shut up and happy except Opera (but since they are winging cry babies that's a good thing in my opinion).
So the question is how do you get a browser installed on your system if you do not already have one.
The answer: some kind of Package management system.
A lot of OS's have had package management system's for a long time.
Why not one in windows? MS do have more $ and experience then any other provider.
Or like many other OS, provide a choice of browsers, maybe IE, Opera and Firefox?
Skull and cross bones, because Microsoft are the Pirates
Not sure what you think the effect of telling the EU to bugger off would be; the article is about a recent interview given by Opera and subsequently gives some perspective on recent EU activity — they've done nothing new. Opera complained to the EU, the EU began their investigation, Microsoft instantly cried "we're dropping the browser! The EU made us do it!" and the EU have subsequently pointed out that they did nothing of the sort and don't consider the dropping of IE to be a good move. Microsoft are gurning towards those that read every story through the filter of anti-EU bias, no more.
Of course, this has all worked out exceedingly well for most European consumers. OEMs are free to install any browser they chose, including Internet Explorer, so people that buy computers off the shelf aren't affected. Meanwhile, the full retail copies of Windows 7 E cost the same as the upgrade copies of Windows 7 everywhere outside the EU, so at least some of people that buy the OS separately get a substantial discount.
The only disadvantaged people are those that buy upgrade copies of the OS and don't know how to install a web browser on their own. Which isn't a great number.
Backing up AC's comments above. During the IE8 install you get an option to accept defaults (or something like that) or customize. If you selected the default option (as you clearly did) IE8 will be made the default browser, if you'd selected customize you would have been presented with a yes/no option to make IE8 default or leave well alone (amongst other options). I never, ever trust an installer to know what I want to install with these default settings as you don't know what extra software they sneak in.
MS should have made it clearer that IE8 will be made your default browser if you selected the option you did - and I'm guessing that's what they'll be doing, or perhaps even just having the option prior to that step.
For me personally, Opera is really the best browser, and I love using it. However, I think it's sad how ridiculous the company behaves, it's really a shame.
And I love Microsoft's decision to simply include no browser at all, that's what I'd have done as well.
is this how your taxes are being spent?!
gotta love the EU. they decide this is more important than education and the homeless and go off on a crusade... and all of Europe are paying for it (which is why they have to levy a fine somehow to cover themselves)
Big deal if Windows comes bundles with a browser. If you've heard of Opera and want it then use IE to get it. Oh, but Opera made a fuss so now that's hard and so they're going to have to get magazines to include them on DVDs or get DVDs into stores so people can pick up a copy and that'll cost them money which isn't fair (no matter the pain and moeny they've cost Microsoft)
Somehow I manage to have IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari on my machine and it wasn't that hard. IE8 is actually back to being my default now though I sometimes use Chrome. Opera... I don't bother with that after a couple of experiences
It's worse than that, Jim
Win7E will not include any browser and (unlike the US version) will not support in place upgrades from Vista. I assume this is because Microsoft don't want to risk complaints that they're piggy-backing on existing configs with IE as the default.
According to the M$ web site: "Windows 7 E does not come with a browser in the UK and also requires a clean install ... You will need to back up all your files before starting and you will need to have a browser such as Internet Explorer 8 or a browser from another software manufacturer saved to a CD/DVD or external storage device before starting."
Now, this doesn't affect me as I always recommend a clean install (for reasonably savvy users), but there are a lot of folks for whom that's going to prove a little challenging. Thanks a lot, EU.
I sincerely hope...
Opera is put out of business from all this. I mean their whole argument is frankly ridiculous - okay MS isn't a loved company, okay IE isn't a great browser, but all this is doing is causing more hassle for the average Joe user, who might not be technically savvy enough to go through the whole process. Just because Opera aren't getting enough users.
Maybe they should try investing in making their browser worth using and switching to, rather than trying to get another company to market their software for them.
Paris, because we all know she'd never manage to handle all that.
It's not the bundeling
It's the ability (or lack of) to remove it, 100%.
On ubuntu, I can rip out firefox in a few clicks (although saying that, I probably couldn't remove web capabilities out of gnome's nautilus - but I could remove Gnome and chose a different desktop)
However, a browser is so integral to a PC now days, I think it is a bit silly to complain.
I guarantee though, we'll soon forget about this one... the next will be google complaining that bing is the default search engine.
MS *should* offer a bunch of alternatives ...
Considering the veritable cornucopia of (free) web browsers available for Windows, MS can easily come up with a list of alternative browsers that Windows7 will gladly offer to install - so many alternatives, in fact, that Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera need not be included on the list.. ;)
What the F***
This is not choice, why cant I buy Win7 with IE or Win7 without. Just because I live in a group of islands off the coast of europe I can only buy the later. What about those elsewhere - can they only by Win7 with IE. Can I order my copy from the US of A?
Fail and Hakon Wium Lie
Opera has not failed because of Microsoft "bundling" IE; it's failed because its competitors are:
1. the world's biggest software company;
2. the world's biggest shiny-computer company;
3. the world's biggest open source project;
and 4. the world's biggest web company.
Sometimes, it's best to just find a new market to compete in, although under the leadership of their current CTO, I'm not sure there is a market in a bad enough state for Opera to break into. Possibly UK government health IT contracts.
That is all.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't IEs market share fallen against Firefox in the last few years?
Surely if competition was being affected we'd have seen the reverse of that trend?
Smacks of aload of rather tedious self-promoting bull if you ask me.
(Picking up my coat as I leave the Opera - Firefox here I come)
I hate to say it, but the EU is right:
"... Microsoft has now tweaked the IE 8 first run process to prompt users, who are using a different browser ..."
Any user who is already using a different browser at that point in time, doesn't need much info. It is the ones who don't have it already who need to be asked which browser they would prefer, and given a mechanism to load it, which of course is somewhat tricky without a functioning browser.
A tick-box extra is not a significant change, particularly since IE is well known for 'forgetting' that setting.
missing the points
If MS doesn't include IE, you can't download other browsers. If they do include IE, they're not including an alternate, and even if I install an alternate, all I can do is switch off IE, I can't REMOVE it.
I don't want them to not include IE, I want them to INCLUDE and UNINSTALLER!
Once I've put in the app of my choice, I want there's GONE.
For other apps, it;s easy enough simply not to bundle, since as long as i have a browser, it's real easy to go get the medai player, or office package of my choice, but if they drop the browser, I can't easily get another one (unless I happen to know an FTP site off the top of my head, since I'd be incapble of looking on up on that machine),
If Microsoft is allowing it to be in a "not installed" state, why would that be technologically different from UNinstalling it? If 7 can operate with IE "not installed" why can't i make it a "not installed" stae LATER? That is what M$ is failing to convince the EU of, and why this is a major issue.
They knew this was an issue several years ago, and yet even given the opportuniuty to change the code base, correct the lack of an uninstaller and modify the GUI to have it;s own independent, not tied to IE rendering engine, but they did not act, and somehow it's our fault?
Next thing you know, they'll comply, but then they'll update their website to only work with a newer version of Silverlight that only IE 9 supports, and force everyone to upgrade to it to make Windows Update work at all, or to use any microsoft services...
"MS should just ditch IE and should bundle Firefox with Windows. Then everyone's shut up and happy except Opera (but since they are winging cry babies that's a good thing in my opinion)."
I didn't particularly like Firefox last time I used it, so I wouldn't be too happy.
But I like the idea of it. It would be fun to see the reaction to the EU picking on a non-profit foundation.
It would also be fun to see Mozilla's reaction if Microsoft actually did it, considering they're currently siding with Opera. Would they complain about competition in the browser market then?
Opera need to be boycotted wordwide until it goes down, Theyhave clearly no businness model of any kind
1) Why should MS remove their own software from their OS AND THEN provide ways to download competing browsers?
2) Who the fcuk uses Opera? NO REALLY? I'm sure Chrome has more users than that pile of sh1t and not many people (compared to FF / IE) use that browser.
3) Will Opera give lusers download links to FF / IE / Chrome et al to provide fair competition?
No, no they won't. STFU Opera you WORTHLESS FKERS. When you make a decent product, then feel free to whine about something, but until then, return to your shitty hole and CURL UP AND DIE.
Why can't the stupid EU open their eyes and see that this whole situation is FUCKING RETARDED AND TELL OPERA TO keep developing their "internet changing browser" or whatever the tw4ts said (I don't care don't correct me.)
GOD THIS WHOLE SITUATION PI$$ES ME OFF MAKES ME HATE (LIVING IN) THE EU MORE THAN I ALREADY DO. IS THIS REALLY GOING TO GET MORE PEOPLE TO INSTALL THEIR SH1TTY BROWSER? NO. Everyone is going to stick with something they are familiar with. EG IE or FF not fking opera, which really is a terrible browser.
STFU Opera and kthxbi
Firefox 3.5 makes itself default without getting permission
"All of which prompts us to ask the question: why didn't Microsoft have that option in place before now?"
I installed upgraded Firefox from 3.0.11 to 3.5.1 this morning on an old machine that had IE as the default browser. After the upgrade, Firefox was the default - I wasn't prompted to permit the change of behaviour.
As others have pointed out, IE does prompt.
Skirting the real problem
The issue ISN'T whether Windows comes with IE or not, but whether NOT using it restricts or impairs your access to parts of the OS, update websites, or other applications (like Outlook Web Access for example)...
This is tabloid trash
The Register and other sites keep spinning these sound bytes so hard that they're almost lies.
Today's Register story revolves around an email to some other site. Was this unsolicited? Did Haakon just wake up this morning and fire off a random email, or was he reponding to questions put to him by Computer World?
You portray Opera as ranting about this whereas it seems that a lot of what's being reported is just the replied being given to the IT press pestering them about the EU situation. And when was the last time one of these articles felt like mentioning the support and help the EU investigation has also got from Mozilla, Google and others? Why is the focus on Opera, with a negative spin?
These are basic tabloid tricks to fill a quiet news week.
"Is that Noel Gallagher?"
"Yes, who's this?"
"It's The Sun. What do you think of Alan Sugar?"
"You know, Alan Sugar - The Amstrad bloke off The Apprentice?"
"Oh, him. The bloke with the big Roller? Dunno, I've never watched his show or bought an Em@iler."
"Hello? Are you still there?"
Tomorrow's Sun: World Exclusive - Oasis star SLAMS 'capitalist pig' Alan Sugar and boycots products and programmes!
Windows 7 "E" Move?
Bundling hard drugs with Windows is indeed controversial.
pin the shills up against the wall.
To those who don't "get it": check out what "anti trust" really means. Check out what "abusing a monopoly position" means. If the US hadn't been such lazy, incompetent shits Microsoft wouldn't be able to continue their tricks today. Instead, it's now up to the EU to stop that giant from doing to others what it did to Netscape - abusing it's monopoly position and killing off competition.
If that means that Microsoft be forced to offer an "auto-install" option for the user's choice of browser, then so be it. Frankly, I don't think it'll be enough, but it's a start.
I'm sick and tired of the Microsoft shills trying to redefine the term "criminal behaviour" to mean something less than harmful. Trying to let a company that everyone KNOWS acts illegally when it suits it to keep on getting away with that behaviour.
Microsoft started it's life with a lie by selling a product that they didn't own yet. They went from strength to strength doing just about every illegal trick in the book until they became dominant, then continued their illegal tricks right to the present day. The only people who are big enough to put this giant cockroach down are large governments. Thank the gods the EU is up to the task of taking this behemoth on since the US government basically just gave up on its duty to protect the public.
Go Opera. Keep on fighting, because SOMEONE needs to stop this pit of corrupt pestilence from continuing to crush innovation and continuing to train people that sub-standard products are somehow "OK".
opera who cares
it's opera who cares, MS should just buy them and set fire to there offices and staff surely opera can't be worth more than what 70 quid after VAT.
Let this die, already
I agree with a lot of the coments about why we shouldn't force a vendor to include a competitor's product.
I think Microsoft should offer a version of WIndows that comes with no installed browser and a bucket of DVDs so the user can authoritatively pick which browser they want. No tricky checkboxes--you want Opera, get the DVD out and install it yourself.
While I enjoy Opera as a mobile browser on my Windows smartphone, I'm sick of their complaining. Almost makes one want to move away just out of spite.
Depressing fucktards pwn the comments
Dear Moderatix - couldn't you pump them full of electroshocks as they spew their soft cock bile?
It's about choice. If a browser was just a browser then there wouldn't be anything to discuss. But Microsoft has tried to use the browser to maintain a proprietary hold on information exchange. IE 8 complies with only some of the standards of the body of which Microsoft is a memeber. CSS 3 anyone? How about SVG? HTML 5? Oh, the internet is okay as long as it's the Microsoft internet.
To the poor fuckwits pouring scorn on Opera on this page - you are probably only too ready to complain when petrol/booze/blow becomes more expensive and you have no *choice* but to buy from your single supplier.
To the deluded idiots haranguing the "EU" - what total cocks you are. The EU is a political federation. You might do better aiming your spleen at the European Commission or better still at the relevant directorate. This is the very same Commission that has just fined Intel, E.ON and others for price fixing, has forced telephone networks to reduce at least somewhat their extortionate prices and perhaps most importantly pushed through the open skies policy on air travel. And all of this in opposition to national governments batting for their favoured "national champions".
To the sad yanks out there who think this has anything to do with politics - demographics, demographics, demographics. The EU is a larger market than the US but if you think we're bad just wait till the Chinese get their act together.
@raving angry loony
I don't think Microsoft would bother shilling the likes of El-Reg but I agree that the level of vitriol directed at Opera is silly. Microsoft didn't just bundle and integrate IE with the operating system but went out of their way both technically and using their market power to stop anyone else doing the same.
Imagine if Microsoft Office was bundled with Windows. If they did the same with Office they would then integrate it with the operating system in such a way that you could not actually replace Office with a competing product offering the same functionality. Technically this could be done by denying access to APIs or by designing the system in such a way that you couldn't remove Office to let anything else replace it. Using their market power they could strong-arm OEMS or restrict the product licenses to stop them even putting an icon to a competing product on the desktop.
Where would the Office suites be if Microsoft had done the same as they had with Internet Explorer? I would suppose that the quality of their own products would suffer from lack of competition (as we saw with IE) and it wouldn't have been until Open Office that we would have had a competing office suite (as Firefox competed with IE).
The big difference seems to be that they offer IE for free and that is a get out of jail free card but the fact is you still pay for IE with Windows which makes it even more open to abuse as they don't have to compete on price. They can just add the price to the operating system. No one is arguing that they shouldn't be able to offer IE for free but rather that given the fact that they abused this ability by stopping any competing products from being shipped with the OS, there should be some consequences to help repair the damage.
To me the whole thing leads on to the question of whether Microsoft have done the same for operating systems (or are trying to). For a long time it was easy to argue that there was no competing product. Now Linux has some commercial backing wanting to put it on desktop machines, will we see or have we already seen the same anti competitive tactics in stopping OEMs from shipping an alternative operating system? We've already seen plenty of evidence of the technical measures they have taken after all (patented proprietary protocols anyone?).
Why don't Opera STFU?
I'd love to know how Opera expect people to get Opera onto their shiny new Windows 7 PCs without a browser on there to download it?
I just don't get it. OS X comes with a browser as far as I know, Ubuntu comes with FF preinstalled so what's the problem?
If you have IE8 and don't want it you can just go download another browser.
Its supposed to hurt! - Its called punishment :)
If found guilty of abusing its dominant market position then there are two parts to any judgement:
1. Punishment - Fine the guilty party.
2. Impose a solution on the guilty party to stop the abuse.
1. 2B EURO's?
2. Offer Choice of browsers.
Oh and no MS don't get a choice - if found guilty - the court does not ask the guilty party to set its own penalty! They either do as they are told or face harsher penalties.
^The car manufacturers mentioned have not been found to be abusing any dominant market position yet so no they don't have to offer competitor products. (and there are lots of car makers not just one with a 95% share).
^^MS took IE out of MS WIN7 not the EU - blame the right people.
The EU are looking for more choice not less.
^^^Its the bundling of products with the monopoly OS that is anticompetitive not offering the product.
So ms's new anti virus product would be OK as a separate download but not as part of the os.
^^^^Some of the astroturfers are getting lazy - lots of the paid for comments above look to be cut and past - shame on you :)
@raving angry loony
I'm with you 100% ! And don't sell yourself short - you are not loony.
THE SHILLS ARE SO STRIDENT I can almost hear the caps lock keys being hit from down here in Orztray-a!
Shills, stop defending the indefensible - MS has been convicted a number of times of criminal behaviour, and has forfeited rights to some privileged position as "computer industry leader".
It certainly deserves special treatment - special HARSH treatment, sufficient to slow it down until serious competition or a major shift in the marketplace pulls it back into line (just as happened to the previously infamous IBM).
Somewhere dowen the track, I expect we might be raving again in the same sort of terms over someone like say Google, and for exactly the same reasons: "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" (for more on this see http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Leonard_H._Courtney).
gawd guys, have you forgotten the basics???
YES, you can download things *without* a browser!!
learn your dos network commands, and use ftp, wget, gopher...
The Ultimate Setup Experience
Thank for purchasing your brand new Dell Computer with 2GB RAM and a whppping 250GB hard drive.
We have preinstalled Ubuntu, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, OpenOffice, Gnumeric, F-Spot, The Gimp, Banshee and many more free and opens-source apps on one partition, and on the other Microsoft Windows 7 with a choice of Internet Explorer 8, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Mircosoft Office 2007 or OpenOffice, The Gimp or Photoshop.
If you opt for Microsoft Windows 7, please have your credit card ready . That's just £70 for the Starter Edition, £50 for your choice of Norton Antivirus, McAfee or Kaperksy. If you want Microsoft Office 2007 that's another £70 for the basic student edition or £200 for the professional edition. It's up to you!!
as for opera...
I am an opera fan, but their problems come from them ignoring the many requests of its users, removing good features, and keeping it 'secure' , rather that 'compatible'.... every time gmail, yahoomail, hotmail, etc change its (not W3C compatible) code, Firefox continues to work, but opera does not...
People get tired of waiting for a fix, and go away... like they are going away from MS, to apple (that is why safari is now beating most to 3rd place...)
If opera stops messing about with its 'pet projects' and swallows its pride, makes it 'work properly like FF does' (some sort of 'pact' with web devs like FF has?????) then it will see a big rise in use...
and yes the company is now reduced to just 'groaning like a granny'... they know it is mainly powerless, desperate for attention.... :( :(