So if Microsoft were to bundle firefox then opera would be happy?
Somehow I dont think so.
Opera is complaining to the European Commission that Microsoft is continuing to abuse its dominant position by tying its browser to its operating system and by not following web protocols. Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera, said: "We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make …
If MS were to effectively support web standards then Opera would have no grounds for complaint. Personally I am very glad of the existence of Opera, even though I don't use their products. MS can spread FUD about Firefox using their anti-open-source nonsense. But Opera is a successful commercial company pointing out clear anti-competitive practice by MS to the detriment of all web users. Very valuable indeed.
From the Opera web-site: "[Opera] requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop."
So what they'd actually like is for MS to unbundle IE *and* provide a selection of pre-installed web-browsers. So you could imagine, in a wholly unrealistic alternate reality, the pre-installed Vista (say) coming with a number of installation packages for all the most popular browsers and no default browser.
Unfortunately since the IE code is actually intertwined into the kernel for every Windows OS since Win98 it's unlikely that MS have the ability to remove it now without, yet another, re-write.
Why once again they speak about bundling? Screw it. Ubuntu bundles Firefox and it's fine but MS cannot. Get on with life, everybody's free to bundle whatever they want.
But standards are different thing: MS effectively kills other browsers because of this. That should be addressed a long time ago. Especially if a company is a convicted monopolist. Same should be happen to opening of all communication protocols. I know it happened, kind of.
Just my 2p.
BTW: I use Ubuntu and love it!
Allow some API to be produced that, as long as a browser supplies the calls, will replace IE's rendering engine, allow system builders to produce windows bundled with any browser technology and remove IE as a requirement for receiving updates.
For the latter case, have a separate application to do the downloading. There's no need for it to be an internet application embedded in the browser (except so far as to make IE with it's ActiveX technology a REQUIRED part of the OS). When I use Linux, clicking on an rpm calls up the packaging manager and the browser is merely used to download the package to pass on to the application.
I don't see how MS can be forced to follow standards. If they offer a sub-standard browser product, surely that's their choice. In any case, how many standards are we talking about here and how long after publication should MS be given to implement support? How many and how soon do Opera manage and do they really want MS to be legally obliged to beat them?
The bundling seems a better case. MS have, at various times, used Windows as a vehicle for bundling DOS, IE and Media Player. Each time they've been taken to court. Each time they've lost the case. Presumably they'll lose this one, since it is almost identical to the Netscape case, and Opera will enjoy the same benefits of victory as Netscape did.
I'd of liked to have read this article but the woman pointing at me and trying to make me roll over the advert in the middle of the screen pissed me off so much I couldn't concentrate.
Anyway from the jist off the comments -
Get real, why not talk about Mac unbundling?
People want their OS to come with a browser, a media player, basic text facilities, etc etc. and if the company make their own for their own OS then why not. If you want to install something else go ahead.
Actually, I think Opera would be quite happy if firefox got bundled. What they are really after is raising Joe User's awareness to the fact that there are alternatives to IE (the fact that the alternatives are better is a bonus!). Once Joe sees that there are options, he might go looking for further options and stumble across Opera. Or Open Office. Or Linux.
True, Mac and Linux bundle.
And indeed that's not a problem.
But what's illegal is not bundling. It's abuse of dominant position. Bundling for a company in a dominant position is abuse. Windows is in a dominant position.
Thus, bundling in windows has several times been ruled illegal.
Now for Linux and Mac, what's missing to have the same result is simply that they don't have a dominant position they could abuse. Thus, nothing's wrong with them, and citing them to make a case for allowing bundle in windows misses the point (not to say a point can't be made for windows to bundle, but that's certainly not by citing Mac or Linux)
I don't think the problem is necessarily bundling, more to do with the fact that you can't unbundle it, nor can you uninstall IE in its entirety.
There's also the fact that MS have made IE the only choice if you ever want to use Windows Update.
Personally I never use IE for any other purpose than testing my web apps (as the majority of users will be viewing with IE) and for Windows Update.
I don't think bundling an installation package for all the major browsers would work. When given the option of installing IE, Opera or Firefox, Joe User will just install the one they currently use as it's safe and familiar.
MS can continue shipping IE with Windows, I still won't use it.
Bundling bungled software encourages users to write sites which don't work with compliant software. Ergo, unfairly using their position to kill off other browsers (or in this case stifle the competition).
Opera has been around a long time and is very good at supporting standards, Microsoft have been around a long time and intentionally break standards, and always have.
How long after publication? Each new major release would do.
You are right to an extent concerning bundling. But, the issue isn't with bundling, it is with a monopoly bundling. There is a separate case altogether. If Ubuntu were a monopoly, they would not be allowed to hide other browsers from install time choices. Although overall no one should really bundle, it isn't a huge problem.
However, removing the bundling will force MS to make a better browser for people to want to choose it over the other ones. Therefore, unbundling will help force compliance.
But, as you say, just forcing them to comply to the standards would be a start.
Ask for both they may get one ;)
So you have IE with Windows, so what? Nobody, not even Microsoft forbids you to install another browser. Which you can then use instead of IE. Nobody is forcing you to use IE here, people. The first thing i do whenever i installed Windows is download and install Firefox. I then try not to use IE for anything anymore, except for those badly-designed websites that can't handle anything but IE. Is Microsoft knocking on my door like a Jehova's Witness and try to get me back to IE? No. Does IE force you to make itself the default browser? No. So what if they bundle *their* software with the product *they* sell? You're not forced to buy that either! I don't really like Microsoft and their products, but come on! Equal opportunity to sell your product is nice and everything, but let Mozilla make their own OS first and then they can bundle their browser with their own software too.
Oh, obviously i'm not a lawyer (no need for this disclaimer i suppose), and so i make comments that are probably dumb in the eyes of others :)
And now i'm off to sue KDE for making Konqueror their default browser. It should be banned!
What? It integrates into the desktop too? Monopoly! Yeah, i know i chose to have KDE and i should have known that they have 'bundled' this software. Yeah, i know i could have installed something else but i feel like whining.
I don't see a huge problem with shipping Windows with IE. Without it the PC would be useless to 99% of buyers, and finding a web browser without having the web would be difficult. I also really can't see why everyone gets their panties in a wad over the fact you can't uninstall it - just don't use it or hide the shortcuts. IE provides internet access as part of the Windows API and more than just IE use it. I've even written some small apps that use it that would break if it wasn't there.
That being said, the only thing I use IE for is downloading Firefox and testing sites for compatability. It's a disgrace that it renders HTML so appallingly badly - it's holding the web back by years and wasting hundreds of millions of man hours in development times. If it rendered pages properly and did what it was told I really wouldn't mind it. At the moment it's the bane of my existence.
What may be required is some form of standards body to implement a spec that must be adhered to. If your browser doesn't pass, you can't call it a web browser. Maybe the W3C should start making some trademarked kitemarks?
Unbundle the Windows GUI! ;0) - ooh - can't!
I'd love to see alternative WMs for Windows. KDE for example, or some of the really lightweight ones - be more stable that Vista, let's face it! I'd like to be more in control of my desktop. To control my own computer - shape my own destiny... oh - I already do - I dual-boot with Linux!
As a Soft Eng, when writing c++ commercially I am constantly plagued by the many non standards MS choose to inflict on developers. There are standards out there for C, C++ and the STL but M$ consistently ignore them or 'extend' them. The bastards.
In my spare time I have been known to create websites for myself and for friends. I'm sure anyone in my position can understand why I absolutely fucking detest M$ and everything they do.
When writing websites I code it up using W3C standards (HTML, XHTML, CSS) and it works on every browser except for IE6 & IE7.
For personal sites I do a bit of browser detection and if they are using MS I give them a bunch of links to standards compliant browsers and tell them to come back once they have some decent software, however if someone has paid me for a site I have to jump through hoops to support both IE6 & IE7 because of their huge market share.
Of course if you un-bundle your browser from the OS the user won't be able to search for another, so there needs to be a choice of browser provided on the first install.
Let's face it MS should just stop bothering with IE, it's shit and IE7 only improved in useability terms by copying the rest - they just didn't bother fixing the bugs that count - rendering, security, & standards compliancy.
There just aren't enough expletives to adequately describe the bunch of sneaky, money grabbing cunts that are Microsoft.
PS if you haven't tried Opera, you really should - very fast, very useful. Oh and it just works!
1- i can use it to go to www.getfirefox.com
2- the IE Tab plugin for Firefox would be useless without it
3- i can pay my bills faster (my bank's website only supports IE)
4- i don't need to install it seperately after installing Windows
5- more competitors arise on the market
6- works with Active Directory policies
7- articles like these and the comments they spawn
8- i liked it better than Netscape Navigator
9- my scripts can depend on it due to its availability
10- most people know what you mean with IE. Can you say the same for FF or O?
okay so the last one was kind of hard for me to think of ... Come on, it's difficult to think of 10 good reasons :P
Does Firefox also have a grammar-checking plug-in that would have replaced the fucking abomination that is "I'd of" with the correct and actually-sense-making "I'd have", thus saving Anonymous Coward the immense effort of not being a cretin?
On a more general note, to those who are complaining about Windows Update being tied to Internet Explorer: you should upgrade to Vista, in which Windows Update is a standalone application.
"a monopolist make choices for them."
" a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller"
So WTF is Apple? Sun? Linux? Opera? Firefox?
So you bunch of morons, you want standards, yet can't even use the f****** dictionary.
I can, if I want, install and use any of the above, but I don't it's my choice. Don't force your software on my pc thanks.
Where the No Beardy Geek Icon (or just an LED in a darkened room will do)
It's I'd HAVE not I'd of
Secondly, the whole arguement is about Microsoft monopoloising the market.
Fine let them produce their own browser etc, but you don't have to bundle it all together thus stopping people from ever learning that there are better options out there. So many people just blindly follow MS because they know no better. I now use Firefox and will never go back to IE because it is far superior, in my opinion. I am constantly telling people of other browsers that are available because they have no idea what so ever of the choice out there.
Maybe MS should bring out a removal tool for IE as Symantec did with their product.
"Internet Explorer" and "Windows Explorer" (which runs the Windows GUI) are basically one and the same thing - they both run on mshtml.dll (well in XP and earlier anyway - they may have redone it for Vista). The only way IE could be "unbundled" would be to removed (most of) the Windows GUI.
The guys at Opera _must_ know this, so I'm guessing what they're really pushing for is getting the EU (who've already slapped MS's wrists) to leverage Microsoft to invest some effort in their crappy, non-compliant rendering engine. Something MS have had no incentive to do since they "won the browser war" against Netscape 8 or so years ago.
Still - they could be cutting their own throats bit here, if IE wasn't so totally useless why would we use Opera?
(Yes, yes, yes I'm using Firefox atm rather than Opera if the RegBots are reading my userAgent - but that's because FF has all the shiny web developer plug-ins, for most people Opera is actually a far better browser).
The abomination isn't "I'd of", it's "I'd have". The reason people keep writing "I'd of" is because conservative private schoolboys refuse to let them write what they say: "I'd've" or "I'da'".
Most people never say "I'd have" in their entire lives. However, they try to please the grammar nazis and make a "full word". Their best guess is "of".
The thing with the Nazis was that they believed in a pure master race that never existed.
The thing with grammar nazis is that they believe in some pure master tongue that never existed.
(The Anonymous English teacher.)
Spot on janimal, the problem Opera are trying to get at is not the fact the IE is bundled it's the fact that IE Breaks just about every recognized standard, I used to be a prof. web designer, since have given it up yet i still design sites in my spare time... take IE6 not supporting transparency in PNG's what the hell is with that?
All M$ really need to do is just sort out IE so it follows standards just like every other bloody browser out there...
I personally use FF when desigining sites, yet i always have to fire up IE 6.0 to check that the site will work in IE Due to the unfortunate majority of people that still use IE!
If it was up to me i'd code everysite with a lookup to check if they were using anything other than IE If they were you can view the site if not, here Http://getfirefox.com install that and you can come back to this site...
But thats not the way because M$ is a monoply they can get away with brining out buggy as fuck browsers that don't follow standards!
I really hope Opera win this case! GG Opera!
YES various linux distros have FF bundled, BUT it can be *totally* removed, and the OS wont even notice.... Unlike MS...
Duncan Hothersall has the right Idea at least..
Just one big 'fly in the ointment' for Opera... they just DONT want to go out and shout about it, the way that FireFox fans do!!! 'eww, that's not very polite'... FF may be brash and 'in yer face', but it gets *noticed*
...it's all because of Silverlight. I remember a blog post of some Opera guy. He wrote that MS had agreed to support Silverlight in Opera. But when Silverlight was released there were only IE, FF, and Mac Safari listed. Now Opera files a lawsuit, and I’m sure they will add SL support for Opera. Now MS uses SL heavily on its site and I get pretty annoyed with the fact that I have to switch to IE to see yet another Halo add.
I agree, Opera is great for web surfing and FF for development. So I have both installed :)
Thanks for that lesson in the difference between knowledge and understanding. As a wise man once said: knowledge tells you that a tomato is a fruit, understanding tells you not to put it in a fruit salad.
You have a standard dictionary definition of monopoly there, but if you understood the concept and the reality of PC OSes, you would immediately see that MS does indeed have an effective monopoly. Arguing against this is like arguing for tomatoes in a fruit salad.
It is this effective monopoly which allows MS to embrace and extend web standards and turn them into perverted de facto standards. And consumers directly suffer, because their banks only work with MS browsers, or their email only works with MS software, despite the fact that governments and standards bodies all over the world have already spend millions of our tax money ensuring that nobody had to be reliant on a single vendor for these things.
I simply cannot understand the mentality of a person who defends this action from MS. It is anti-competitive, anti-consumer profiteering.
Unfortunately most dictionaries do not always have every technical use of a word so misunderstandings can be apparent. The term monopolist is being used in a legal and economic sense, I believe this term can be applied a firm with 40% or greater market share and who takes part in anti-competitive practices.
The idea of solely bundling your own products has already been decided as anti-competitive, mainly because person XYZ who just uses their computer and doesn't know/care what software resides on it will not download or pay for any other software, even if it does it better, and that is the real issue here. If people don't know there are alternatives, or they are too lazy or scared to learn how to use another piece of software. By having just one piece of software permanently associated with a process, such as IE and connecting to the Internet, people do not realise there is competition out there, hence make choices as to which browser to use. If there was a choice of extra browsers being installed this would go some-way to pique uers' interest outside of IE.
As Microsoft try to define their *own* standard, and many users use their product, it means that there is an economic incentive for designers and coders not to follow the more efficient standards or design for other browsers.
Essentially it looks like Opera are trying to stop the 90% of users use IE days.
"..What may be required is some form of standards body to implement a spec that must be adhered to..."
That's a recipe to kill innovation - "here is a box - do all your thinking inside it or we'll get the cattle prod out"
By the way - W3C do have approval marks which you can stick on compliant pages - and a very good compliance tester.
IE (and Media Player) can be completely removed from Windows integration by using add/remove windows components. That won't suit all the Hard Disk scrapers out there of course - FFS - this is 2007 - 50Mb is not a lot of HD space. Of course you can always nLite your install and save a bit of HD - but that is really for all the FDisk every six months crowd.
Thank you Stu for pointing that out for us. We would be lost without your wisdom, well thought out arguments and insightful comments. You have the gift of being able to give a voice to the vast but mostly silent majority who loves the constancy that our Redmond rulers represent like constant things should be loved. Yours is a noble duty.
There'd be no FOSS jihad, no kernel mailing list, and no rabid linux fanboys cluttering up the place with their ill informed flamage, because all the decent coders would have jobs at profitable software companies. There'd be no slashdot.
Imagine that world.
There'd just be Stallman, crying in a computer room somewhere, and no one would give a fuck.
So in that respect at least, MS have lot to answer for, bastards.
You can remove FF from Ubuntu and use Nautilus to browse the web. Or install Opera. Or even Lynx. You don't have to have FF installed to use Ubuntu.
But you can't uninstall IE and by uninstalling I mean that when you've clicked "Remove Program", you don't have to worry about any security vulnerabilities from IE affecting your system.
That lass in the icon, she's smarter than you because at least she shuts up about stuff she knows nothing about.
IE and media player ICONS can be removed completely. However, you still need the application to, for example, download patches. Your Windows OS will decide when it wants to run IE, so having the user front-end installed is NOT going to stop it. So your computer can still get hosed by an IE exploit, which is FAR more important than the size on disk (or even, nowadays, in memory).
The real issue isn't what comes with the OS or not, instead it's with the general IT ignorance of the unwashed public that is the reason for so many of these problems.
"IE is only in the position that it is because people don't know any other/better".. what about educating them then?
At the end of the day, the general public don't want choice (choice confuses), they don't want the very best/latest you can get and they certainly don't want to have to make any effort to find anything out and download then install it.. they just want their computer to work and do the basic office productivity, a bit of creativity (movie, audio and picture making/editing) and porn.. erm, web browsing. If their OS does this without ever having to go somewhere then people will use what comes with it, simple as.
It's up to us, the geeky, to inform and educate the people you know about how they should do things rather than sit here, whining that the crappest products seem to become standard because the majority have no clue.
Opera should have complained about this years ago, at least as far back as Windows 98, did IE become part of the OS. You can't wait for umpteen generations of Windows to go by and the decide this is a problem. Really Microsoft's position is no different the it was ten years ago in terms of market share.
I think there other side of the coin is you can complain about most tools bundled with Windows as being the same abuse; look at all the DOS shells and Windows file managers that became irrelevant when Windows 95 introduced Windows Explorer. Makers of file editors, backup programs, bitmap editors, email clients can all complain the same way. Even Trumpet Windsock should have complained long and loudly when Windows 95 brought in Dial-up Networking.
I think their complaint is largely without merit and sounds like special pleading. I think Firefox has done Opera much more harm than Internet Explorer ever has as they're competing more or less on an equal footing.
I've got no problem with people using contractions in writing; it's people mindlessly writing down the noises they make when they talk with no thought for whether the resulting sentence means anything.
If you really are an English teacher, you're obviously part of the problem. 'Hey kids, as long as it would sound like "you're" if I read it out loud, who cares how you write it, yeah? Right on!"
Looks to me like the vultures are circling for MS blood. It's a big surprise MS are not appealing the European ruling as it's a big chink in their armor regarding every single bundled application that isn't directly relevant to the OS. Some would even argue that the windowing system its self is a separate application. Ha,ha,ha, funny comment but it's separate in 2008 server so why not for all versions?
@Matty, KDE4 is being developed for use on MS systems. It's on RC2 at the mo and still a bit buggy but will be ready in a month.
One thing I can never figure out is how come just about every poxy little site on the net works ok in konqueror, firefox etc. but all the big ones like banks and corprations are f****d up?
Never tried opera but don't hear anything bad about it, good luck to them.
I don't think it's realistic to expect Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer.
If anything the problem doesn't necessarily lie with Microsoft. What bugs me isn't IE, but the sites that are written such that they break when used in anything else.
For example, I use Safari, and most sites work in Safari. I can install Safari in Windows and use that quite feasibly, so I don't see the problem with IEs presence. It's the individual sites that cause grief.
We all need to take responsibility for educating others in the use of other browsers. Not just Microsoft. And webmasters need to do some serious compliance work.
"The abomination isn't "I'd of", it's "I'd have". The reason people keep writing "I'd of" is because conservative private schoolboys refuse to let them write what they say: "I'd've" or "I'da'".
Most people never say "I'd have" in their entire lives. However, they try to please the grammar nazis and make a "full word". Their best guess is "of"."
Bollocks. I hear people use the phrase "I'd have" all the time. It's nothing to do with making "full words" and everything to do with the fact that "I would of" makes no fucking sense whereas "I would have" does.
Maybe you should try teaching this distinction instead of complaining about grammar Nazis. After all, if you are teaching people to use English to communicate, then they need to learn the accepted standards in order to do so effectively. Then again, English departments have never been reknowned for their deductive skills have they Niall "Anonymous English Teacher" Tracey.
Maybe that's what a one year diploma from the OU and a TEFL course gets you. How's the weather in Edinburgh?
The problem as I see it, is that 99.999% of the installed Windows user base automatically assume that the big blue 'e' _is_ the internet.
My 9 year old understands that she can use IE, Firefox, Opera or even Safari on her moms Mac Book.
When I'm in the local pub chewing the fat many of my friends express their personal experience with the t'internet as the big blue 'e'.
This is because M$ bundle the browser, and do not give Joe User the option. How many years have I had to suffer conversations around phising, pop-ups, malware and all other kinds of s**t because M$ haven't had to compete in the browser market?
Bring it on, the sooner the better.
For less of a rant.
1. How are the great uneducated to get FF / Opera / IE or A.N.Other if no browser is installed? Are you sugesting we go back to the good old days of picking up Netscape (eeuuggghh) from W.H Smiths or PC World, which will no doubt come with all there crap installed?
2. I hate companies / groups whinning about the bullys. Market share of i.e is falling and has done for a while now. Having i.e actually is GOOD for the browser wars, it stops piss poor stagnant software stting there, again remember Netscape, it failed because it was awful. The reverse is also true, that FF & Opera make i.e better. The same could be said of Linux, like it or not, the too actually need each other. Without MS we'd proberbly still be stuck at text based pc's or paying for overpriced MACs. At the same time Linux has made MS wake up and try to secure the products.
So for Opera to say "please do this, don't do that"...is a cop out, make a good product, let people know about it and then see what happens. i.e8 will come along and it will be better than 7, putting pressure again on FF & IOpera to make a better product again. We all benefit from this.
Netscape died not because of the bundling, but because it was crap. i.e was also crap, but at least it was free crap.
Could be worse, SCO-Unix could of won the O/S wars.
My first thought when I heard this article was "good for them, let's hope MS have to bundle more browsers". A moment's thought, however, and I began to hope Opera would fail in their quest.
Currently, I can feel (relatively) secure browsing the web using my Linux machine and Firefox, Opera or Konqueror or, when I have to, Firefox under Windows. If, however, more people used the alternative browsers, we would be more likely to see more exploits (there, I said it). Admittedly, FF or Opera would likely be more secure than the bag-of-holes that is IE, but there would still be more problems.
So, I say, let the ignorant and the lazy continue to use inferior software, and fall victim to malware -- like the low-hanging fruit, or lame wildebeest they're there to protect those of us who know better from danger.
So, I would like to close by saying a big thank you to all those who fight the corner of Windows and IE.
Oh, and blaming the horrendous "I'd of" on "not being allowed to contract it to Id've" is a cop-out -- if you paid enough attention to know that you're not supposed to use the abbreviation you ought, at least, to have asked what the correct form was. Besides, what exactly would the sentence "I would of" mean? Surely it should be obvious that the sentence you are trying to type is "I would have" as it actually makes some sense?
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