back to article EU says Microsoft violated law with IE on Windows

Microsoft has violated European competition law by including Internet Explorer with Windows, according to the European Commission. The Commission said other browsers are prevented from competing with IE because Windows includes Microsoft's own browser. Furthermore, the remedies put in place under the US government's landmark …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Still waiting

"Under that ruling, Microsoft agreed to separate IE from Windows and allow users to de-select IE as their chosen browser."

And yet, seven years and three versions of Windows later, and we're STILL waiting for them to separate IE from Windows. Removing an icon is not the same as removing an application (and its security vulnerabilities).

0
0
IT Angle

In some things

EU = great big yawn

With apologies for overseas cousins for EU's inordinate dullness and lack of wit and foresight.

0
0
Coat

Get a grip lads!!!

"other browsers are prevented from competing with IE because Windows includes Microsoft's own browser"

This is just plain nuts! If they feel that way then surely:

"other text editors are prevented from competing with Notepad because Windows includes Microsoft's own text editor"

"other graphics programs are prevented from competing with MSPaint because Windows includes Microsoft's own graphics program"

"other pointless computer-based card games are prevented from competing with Solitaire because Windows includes Microsoft's own pointless computer-based card game"

It's almost like there's a whole un-elected, not accountable to anyone bunch of people out there calling themselves politicians and trying to justify their expense accounts. Oh, hang on a minute...

Mines the one *without* a copy of Office 2007 in the pocket.

0
0
aL
Thumb Down

so..

let say windows has no browser included.. how would you get ff or opera? snail-mail them for a cd?

ALL os:es include browsers by default! microsoft has done a lot of bad thing but this is just stupid..

0
0
Thumb Up

Good job EU!

Hang 'em up by the balls like the US never had the guts to do!

0
0
Heart

An odd idea just floated through my skull

Why didn't the court order MS to include a windows update that displays a popup to the tune of:

"Internet Explorer iz t3h suXx0R!!11!!11!1!!!!eleventy You are free to try one of the alternative internet browsers. Why not google the opinions of actual IT pros regarding browser choice?"

I think it is high time that the world had a separate, independent, IQ-screened set of judges to rule on IT related issues. Oh, hang on, that might cause democracy and privacy and freedom and all those horrible things.

Heart icon? I dunno! I'm drunk and I don't really use it often....

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Buh-bye IE

My first 'real' browser was some Mozilla derevative on the Amiga (it's been so long I forgot the proper name), on dialup, 13 odd years ago, on my Demon account I still have, then went onto using iBrowse (really liked that browser). I tried AWeb and Voyager but I prefered iBrowse.

Eventually (reluctantly at the time) moved onto a PC because the Amiga's power/performance/price just wasn't increasing like it should have done IMHO, when I moved onto Windows the main browser I used was Netscape because pages/scrolling just worked quicker than IE (who uses 'smooth scrolling' on IE? it's atrocious!).

Had to ditch Netscape in favour of (well, forced) IE when too many website layouts just wouldn't display properly and vital functions were inacessable, but when I got my Eee's they came with FireFox, so I gave it a try and really liked it - it had a Netscape feel to it, in that things just worked, quickly, without fuss.

I've been using IE6 on this W2k machine for a long time and it's been ok except for the occasionaly crash, well it crashed on me for the last time today, hello FF3! and fuck off IE! you slow, bloated, bug-ridden, malware-friendly, monopolistic piece of corporate trash - you won't be missed!

0
0
Linux

IE Bleaters

It's tied in far too much with the OS making it much more difficult to sandbox. I certainly hope the EU does force MS to decouple IE from the OS, MS should have done this themselves a long time ago.

And for those Muppets who keep bleating that you need a browser, OK here is the solution that MS need to supply

Control panel > Add remove programs> Remove IE

For the MCSE's out there REMEMBER to do this AFTER you have installed your other browser of choice

0
0
Thumb Up

heh amazing

Even if you "uninstall" IE, in XP it still magicly appears if you check your email, or do a windows update. grrr. Good on the EU

0
0
Stop

needing a browser does not mean you have no choice

Needing a browser does not mean you should be required to buy a particular brand.

If you are hungry does it mean you must buy a Big Mac?

If you want to wear a shirt, must it be a Polo brand?

Needing a product NEVER means you are denied your choice as a consumer. Unless it is done illegally.

If you think everyone should be required to buy a browser with their OS then they should have the choice of which browser not forced to buy IE. Unbundle it from the OS or give consumers the choice.

Just like a burger or shirt for your back. If you must wear one, at least give the consumer the choice over which one they buy. Being free does not change that.

0
0
Go

Other option ....

Why does everyone assume that anti-competition means to remove IE ?

Think positive, just install a couple of browser by default, there is already a raft of other junk you have to remove so why not a browser ?

Linux will offer a bundle (from real install disks, admittedly not so much Live)...

0
0
Thumb Up

MS harms the web

Microsoft has been hindering progress on the web for years by refusing to support standards correctly. It's about time someone took them on for this. The US gov dropped their case after George W Bush came to power. Luckily, the EU commission don't have to rely on campaign contributions.

Go EU!

0
0

This is growing tiresome

Microsoft deserves what they've gotten and what they get. They should know better by now.

In a way, Microsoft has become one of the biggest corporate law firms in the world by their own doing.

0
0
Thumb Up

Apple vs MS

Apple isn't considered a monopoly and their bundling of Safari is therefore not problematic wrt. competition law. Microsoft, however, IS a mopoly and therefore has to abide by other rules. They've been abusing their Windows monopoly for too long -- I'm happy to see them roped in this time.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Simple Solution

Vendors of operating systems should be obliged to distribute two browsers, in addition to their own, with the OS.

The user should be given the choice of which one to install, and should be asked to confirm that choice every month for three months, and quarterly thereafter.

0
0
Paris Hilton

re: So there is still that one question to answer...

Same way they got IE before they preinstalled IE.

1) Installation by OEM (they don't preinstall MS's AV software, they use Norton or something)

2) CD installation (Verizon include a CD to "install" internet connection still)

3) FTP

and many, many more.

And they can use FTP to handle downloads through a bespoke FTP client, rather than DEMAND IE be used.

And here's a message you won't find from any of these fanbois slurping up Gates product:

IE for Apple Mac OS X was ended. The reason? MS said they couldn't compete with a browser that was built in to the Operating System.

Oddly missed by Simon and all the usual faces of pro-MS shilling, despite the fact that this would bolster their claims that Safari should be unbundled too.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Apple / Safari

Strange how the people how bleat on about how MS has 95% of the market and Apple are lucky if they have 4% are now going on about how a ban of a monopoly product (OSs) being bundled with another product (Web browser) should apply to Apple.

Are Apple a monopoly player or not?

Most of the time you say it isn't by a looooooong shot.

But here you say they are.

Dumb fucks.

0
0
Paris Hilton

@Chris Beach

Nope, use of IE is declining but the userbase isn't because you CAN'T UNINSTALL THE FRIGGING THING.

Very much more pertinent today, where in the past MS used the "People WANT to use IE, that's why it's used by so many people". Well, it isn't now, so why make it deeply embedded in the OS and keep it there?

0
0
Gates Halo

for all retards bitching about mac and linux

To start off... anti trust types laws only come into effect if you control a market in the way MS do. So you won't see mac and ubuntu hit by rulings like this unless they get to control 90% + of the market!

You can't control a market by forcing less than 10% of users to do something, stop being so stupid!

Second: Ubuntu doesn't just bundle Firefox, you have a choice of lots of browsers through the package manager, or you can just install kubuntu (also a canonical product) which uses Konquerer as the default browser.

You can also completely remove whatever browser you don't like, show me the option in XP or Vista to do that. OK the option may be there but it doesn't do anything.

As for that "Ford windscreen" comment, LOL, a better analogy would be that if you buy a Ford it will only work properly on Ford roads, while cars from all other makes work on normal roads.

Halo Bill? because it will probably slip and strangle him!

0
0

I'm sick and tired...

Of the EU wasting my tax-euro's with this cr*p. I'm seriously considering filing an official complaint against the EU for misappropriation of taxes and wasting resources, while ignoring serious matters vital to the constituants of the EU.

0
0
Stop

Here we go again...

Like the EU forced MS to ship a version of XP without Media Player, and MS did as required....guess how many licenses were sold over the 18 months period they started shipping them? 15 !!!!

This is nothing more than yet another brainless EU motion. And there is nothing to stop any OEM in shipping there machines with Opera or Firefox or anything else on it. Some have, most don't. But they can. The consumer does have some choice here, find a manufacture who will ship you the machine with Firefox preinstalled (and yes, they do exist). Now, where's a Jesus phone without Safari? I want to use Opera on that and not this crap Safari thing...oh yeah, no option at all there!

If they do it for MS, they need to act exactly the same across all platforms. No browsers on any machine, and no media playing abilities on anything....and guess what, they'll kill the market quiet quickly!

This is nothing but EU looking for yet more cash from MS and generally trying to make themselves look useful. They need to bugger off and go straighten some more banana's. MS provided a choice, and its up to the choice is with the consumer, and the OEM to make it. If they do so, is up to them.

0
0

Can't see the wood for the trees?

I applaud the EU for its repeated refusals to be bullied by MS. Most commentators in this thread seem to ask the same question - how do I download an alternative browser if I can't get online in the first place? (it also implies that a lot of comments are made without even a cursory reading of earlier comments in the thread). It's ok for a default browser to be shipped with an OS but as part of the initial system set-up users should be given a choice (and a means of implementing their choice).

This isn't a big issue for me but if EU precedents are to be set perhaps they should address all the unnecessary and junk applications that so many system suppliers choose to install with their offerings.

Options to accept/deny/uninstall such stuff should be a mandatory requirement and this should apply to all products. I suppose I'm really thinking of Dell here where the undesired bloatware can only be removed without some level of research or help from a third-party IT person. Not all users are IT specialists and the vast majority of PC buyers suffer because they assume that ‘Caveat Emptor’ will protect them.

Products should be labelled rather like foodstuffs and include a list of ingredients as a warning to users. Unlike foodstuffs however the option to remove or not install components should be made too.

0
0
Happy

Hands up those who think bundling was the problem!

Yes I see you in the comments above.

Bundling isn't a problem for a monopoly unless you do something like, oh, maybe deliberately break the standards to tie users to your own platform. You can be a monopoly as in Europe as long as you don't harm the consumer. With IE, MS used its monopoly and harmed the consumer quite a lot.

Like it or not, major incumbents have more responsibilities to play nice than the smaller players. So yes, it *is* one rule for MS and another for Apple & Linux.

If Office was bundled with Windows I'm sure the competition agencies would have more to say. A browser may be standard fare now, but when MS obliterated Netscape it certainly wasn't.

Remember, governments are "for the people", not, "for companies," so any country which decides to confiscate all MS's assets an ban the use of Windows, they are entirely within their rights to do so.

0
0
Linux

Another dimension?

Does Windows not update through IE, and only IE due to their shoddy standards?!

Another reason this is stupid then, millions more unpatched PC's ripe for infection if MS did unbundle IE.

But of course they won't, everything shall carry on as normal, which is why this is nearly a non story.......

0
0
Stop

Easily solved?

IE is the browser UI of a component that's widely used throughout the OS, so it's not going anywhere. Hell, if they removed it, Maxthon and AvantBrowser (who punt browsers based on the IE component) would be the next people complaining to the EC.

The browser UI can easily enough be put out of sight and out of mind, though: an OEM could do this, as can any computer user with thumbs and an IQ over 12. Anyone saying otherwise possibly does not belong in either of these groups, or has a very low opinion of their fellow hu-mans.

It would be a doddle to make a popup appear on first run of a new Windows install, offering a choice of browsers and explaining in idiot-proof terms why this choice is being foisted on^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H granted to you. Browser "vendors" would submit their offering to a vetting process (to ensure their "browser" is not a trojan or other naughty thing), then if they win inclusion, the popup will include an entry for their browser and a button that will download and install it (using a disguised instance of the IE component, I shouldn't wonder). Look at the Firefox "Get new add-ons" applet and you can see how this might work.

However... who exactly oversees this registry? I guess it can't be Microsoft, nor any other group that has a browser to punt (so the W3C are out, thanks to Amaya/W3M). I know, how about ... Another public-funded EC committee? And of course the legion of technical advisers, chauffeurs, staple-removers and toenail-polishers these august mandarins will require in order to best serve the Glorious European Consumer.

0
0
Alert

I'm no fan of Microsoft...

But I think this could get silly. It depends whether you see the browser as an essential part of the computer IMHO.

For example, when you buy a car, you expect it to come with seats - and you're not usually too bothered if the seats are produced by the same company that made the rest of the car. No-one worries that this puts pressure on the after-market in replacement car seats.

I'd say the situation with browsers isn't too different. Perhaps the real issue is that a bundled IE is also used as a channel to sell Microsoft content services and, indeed, to lock unwary customers into those services. But then your car probably also comes with a warranty that requires you to use an authorised dealer for parts and service.

I don't really like what Microsoft do, but how is it different from loads of other sharp selling practices?

I think the real problem isn't the browser, it's the monopoly. Oh and being american, of course, can also be seen as a problem in some parts of the EU.

0
0
Coat

Ignorance

There seem to be a lot of historically ignorant presumably-teenage MS fanbois/MS employees (same thing?) posting more garbage than usual here. For them, here is a very short lesson.

1) MS got where they are today by illegal abuse of monopoly. Apple, Sony, etc haven't been found guilty of monoply abuse so they don't have to worry so much about anti-trust rules.

2) Before the days of torrentz, you got your free non-IE browser on a CD, maybe free with a PC comic, or at the cash desk at PC World, pre-installed (or on a CD) with the PC, or via a mate. Those would still work fine in a world where Windows comes without IE bundled.

Or more inline with MS's ultimate long term goal where you "rent" Windows, they could ship IE installed and working initially (as with XP) but require paid-for "activation" after seven days (long enough to download a proper browser).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

MS should simply drop out of the EU market

To many problems for MS here and it appears the EU will never be happy. So why not simply drop out of the EU market? Simply let those in power know that operations and support will cease in the near future. Basically, tell the EU to stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

0
0

Another excuse for the EU to milk Microsoft

This is complete crap, and I think the EU are acting like criminal mob bosses, they don't like Microsoft, they want to make some easy money so their looking for some excuse to scrounge some cash out of Microsoft.

If windows was sold with no browser at all that would do nothing but hinder people, how does the EU expect the average user to get on the internet and download a browser when they have no browser to start with?

Microsofts lawyers will rip the EU to shreds over this, where apple's lawsuit for bundling safarii with its OS?

0
0
Linux

My three cents...

1. What some of you don't know is that Firefox is not "bundled" with Linux distros.

Cannonical / Redhat do not have a vested interest in Mozilla. In order for an application to be distributed, it has to be FOSS software.

2. You all have to realize that a lot of regular users think that IE *IS* the internet.

3. MS should include other browsers in their install.

(Oops I forgot the $ in MS)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh dearie dearie me

Having ploughed through all the comments above I see that once again the vast majorit ar along the lines of 'well how would you get a different browser then?'. This is not the issue here children, the issue is that even if you do choose a new browser at present, you cannot remove IE because MS will not let you and it is automatically used by lazy 3rd parties to save them having to work out what browser you have set when you ask their product to check for updates.

I say hoorah for the EU in this matter as without them kicking MS, there will never be a need for MS to put out something which works in a reliable manner and to defined standards (NO Bill, not the one's you made up after too many hours staring at your bank balance). Without a real product from MS there is no incentive for the Mac and Linux boys to put any polish on their products and so everyone actually loses.

So perversely, a well-regulated and well-behaved MS makes everyone else work harder to produce better products......wierd

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Fascinating

A while ago virtually the same thing happened in the US, and this was seen as "a good thing™".

Now the EU decides to do the same and it's "a bad thing™".

Make up your minds people!

0
0
Boffin

Make the browser a component

I don't see anything wrong with MS bundling IE with Windows. The real problem is that IE is so entangled with Windows that you can't get rid of it , which is complete bullshit. Ironically, they did this to thwart anti-trust litigation. MS needs to untangle the browser from the OS so that we can uninstall it when we upgrade our browsers. Everybody should stop coding around IE with their little HTTP_USER_AGENT tricks and just put a blanket statement on their site that it wont work under IE and they need to upgrade their browser. If enough big sites did this, like YouTube, IE would be history.

0
0

Safari vs IE

Ah yes, the old "but Apple provides Safari" straw man defence of the indefensible.

Folks, Apple provides Safari, yes. BUT I CAN REMOVE IT if I don't want it. It's just another program. Microsoft provides IE, but it has deliberately and maliciously made it impossible to remove it from the system in favour of something else. That's the illegal bit. They're forcing you to use their product when there are others available. They bankrupted Netscape with that strategy (and weren't punished nearly enough for it).

That's what is called a "tied product", and in countries with decent consumer protection (so, nowhere in North America), you can't do that.

So, to clarify. What Apple is doing is legal. What Microsoft is doing is illegal. Capisce?

0
0
me
Paris Hilton

A little history,

OK, first am not a fanboy, I use Windows and Firefox on an IBM PC clone.

1, Lets look at purposes, Internet exploder was purchased and integrated into Windows 95 with the intention of killing Netscape. Microsoft saw the browser as a potential platform capable of running applications which may have hurt it's cash cow Office and other Microsoft programs.

2, Microsoft used its position with it's dominant browser in its usual manner, embrace, extend and corrupt... standards got ignored.

3, If you don't have a default browser installed.... its simple, to all of you too young to remember FTP, a simple script and a call to the relevant FTP site (implemented to be easy for the user) will bring you IE, FF, Opera, Safari, Chrome or whatever you wish to use. No need to have a browser loaded by default on installation.

4, To those bleating on about Apple Macs being closed, the pc was closed initially even thought the hardware could be bought off the shelf. The BIOS was wholly proprietary to IBM.

Microsoft had the genius to arrange for a license to produce DOS for its own purposes.

Compaq (I think) worked to reverse engineer the bios code, and marketed a CLONE pc.

Because of the Microsoft DOS license an OS could be legally procured. Had that license not been in place the IBM PC XT/AT would STILL have been closed.

Apple have retained control of their hardware and OS. No external licence, no third parties able to independently make Mac clone PCs. OSX is their program, Apple can do with it as they wish, there is a strict limit on the hardware that the OSX license approves. Apple hardware ONLY. Bleaters, get over it.

0
0

The real problem

And the so called elephant in the room is what everyone is overlooking here.

I wouldn't care if they bundled internet explorer and I could uninstall it straight away, but they have integrated it into the OS to the point where it is impossible to remove, impossible to get updates without it.

In that regard, look at linux which has a repository browser which will allow you to install any linux browser supported by that distro. And uninstall any browser you want, including the one that was bundled with the distro (generally firefox).

So what Microsoft needs to do is set up a repository browser (ala the various linux variants) which will query a (microsoft) server, which will in turn link that browser to the appropriate programs. In this case, that repo-browser would need to give you the option to install a couple of the more popular browsers. Obviously Microsoft can't include every browser in such a list, but they should make an effort to include as many as possible.

More importantly, they would need to completely unlink IE from the OS, allowing any browser to take over any functions that they can't do without a browser. They can keep explorer (and probably have to expand it a bit) for local files, though they should do the same thing there and seperate it from the kernel so that it can be easily replaced (through the repo-browser at the minimum) by the end user.

0
0
Gates Horns

This isn't about IE, rather Windows

Look, IE was bundled to protect Windows. This has nothing to do with including a browser per se so it doesn't mean that Apple has to remove Safari or Linux can't be shipped with Firefox. Microsoft didn't just include IE, they forced it to be part of the OS that could never be removed. To compound the problem, they also made sure that IE wasn't standards compliant and that their web page design tools wouldn't work on anything else. Finally, after IE was established they killed the versions for UNIX and later MacOS and make IE Windows only.

IE was all about a land grab. MS was late to the internet party and Netscape was talking up the idea of using the browser as an app delivery platform. If successful, the Windows monopoly would have been broken and MS just couldn't risk that. By making IE a forced part of Windows, preventing OEMs from including other browsers and by making IE non-standard so that other browsers couldn't render pages designed for IE they made Windows the only viable way to work on the internet (or that is what they planned anyway).

In the end, the internet has reacted to MS and prevented them from achieving their aims. Firefox is a product of their aggressive move which effectively killed Netscape and forced the company to open source the browser. Sitting on IE6 for 5 years meant that developers really felt the pain. If you can remember the time when 95% of users were on IE and how tough it was to browse using anything other than IE you will remember how close to winning MS got.

This ruling is about their illegal use of their monopoly to grab control of the internet and their continued attempts to prevent other browsers from being shipped by default on Windows by OEMs. Technically, there is nothing to stop an OEM from shipping Windows with Firefox as the default, except they still can't remove IE and MS will also still react badly to such an OEM.

As for Safari on the Mac? I can remove it from the OS and it is gone entirely. Also, you may think Safari is crap but it is at least standards compliant thanks to KHTML/Webkit.

0
0
Thumb Up

Good Job.

To all the people who say you can simply download a new browser, yes you are right (from an avid Firefox user) but IE is so integrated into Windows you cant get rid of it. THIS as a developer is irritating to say the least.

Microsoft could simply create an OS and include all the other so called useful programs (IE is NOT) on the installation DVD and if people want to install them, they can. But do not force a browser smack bang in the middle of an OS.

To those who whine about linux having a browser like ubuntu, ermm its free?

0
0
Thumb Down

What about the Wii

Opera have a monopoly on the Wii as that's all that is legally available. So presumably Nintendo will also be forced to offer alternatives to Opera? I cant wait!

0
0

@y Phil Edwards and others

IE was chosen as the posterboy for this because just about everyone understands web browsers and most PC users will use it daily. Very few will use editors, compilers and other things on a daily basis (though MS slaughtered those too).

It would be very easy to implement this: First time the user hits the web icon they'd be given a choice of three (or more) browsers to install.

0
0
Stop

@ the "nobody pays for browsers anyway" crowd

That's BECAUSE Microsoft flooded the market with a free product.

Dime bar? Diiiiiiiiiiiime barrrr?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I didn't get it

I mean, MS don’t lock the users into IE (see IPhone/Itunes), they don’t make things difficult if you want to change browsers and putting personal preferences aside IE is a great browser for the average user. Where’s the beef? My car came with a Toyota stereo installed, I need special tool to remove it, then a wiring adapter and THEN I’ve still got to take my car to Toyota to get them to re-config the ECU to allow my new stereo work.

@ all the "you can’t download a browser without browser" commentards *cough* the FTP function built-in to Windows Explorer *cough* …oh no here comes another EU ruling…

0
0

Linux/Firefox Vs Windows/IE

Someone pointed out that OSX came with Safari pre-installed and Linux came with Firefox. Perfectly true. My problem is not that IE comes pre-installed with Windows - my problem is that I can't get rid of it.

With Linux, when I un-install Firefox, it is *gone*. When I "uniinstall" IE under Windows, all that happens is that a few desktop links are removed. IE is *still* there, and rears its ugly head on a regular basis (try doing a Windows Update without IE and see how far you get). Add the fact that some of MS's own software seems to have IE-calls hard-coded, so that even if you tag Opera or FF as the default browser IE turns up... Yeah, I have a problem with MS and IE.

As I do not run OSX or Vista (XP and Linux only), I cannot speak as to their respective handling of the above.

0
0
Stop

Think about it

For all the "what about Safari on Macs' comments, Microsoft after a long court case, were found guilty of abusing their monopoly position to destroy competition. Apple have not. Potentially MS could have forced a situation with IE and IIS that no other web-browser or OS would work properly on the net; so innovation in Firefox and Opera etc would have ground to a halt - and almost did so. As it is, people have to give away browsers to compete. Apple don't have a monopoly on OS's, nor does Linux distro's so they have to play by different rules. And Apple have to play nice with others on there near monopoly on online music distribution (iTunes) and Google with search, or they will get slapped as well.

For the 'how will we download without a browser', the web is not the internet; iTunes, bit-torrents, windows updates, instant messaging could all run without a browser. Nothing stopping the Windows update service offering a range of browsers when you first go online. That said, I am happy to use IE to download FF - the first thing I do on an fresh install, but it bugs me that I have to do a couple of extra steps to move IE start page and default search from Live.

Nobody has a problem with Notepad or Paint etc being bundled; these things are not used to kill competition (though a Photoshop clone might damage Adobe I guess) and they use open standards like ASCII/Unicode text and PNG/JPG. It is not wrong for MS to bundle stuff with Windows; just if they use this to try and stop competition.

0
0
Linux

@Confused...

One of the problems is that IE is the ONLY browser bundled with Windows and it is written (I use the term loosely) by the the vendor. With a typical Linux install Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, Epiphany and Lynx are included for you to install/use as required without having to perform another download. Hence the CHOICE within Linux as opposed to the lack thereof in Windows. There would not be a problem if the Windows install discs included multiple competing browsers in the same way that the Linux ones do.

0
0
Silver badge
Stop

Missing the point

I think a lot of complainers are missing the point. IE is still firmly embedded in the OS and is the default source for opening xml files, ftp sessions etc. I think what they may be after is windows without IE on it in any way shape or form, then MS can bundle a disk with it on. That way it's up to the user whether they install the shit. It's splitting hairs but it makes sure there is a choice in the matter. I wouldn't rule out them being vindictive over unpaid fines though.

As for other OSes, Apple would be in breach at present whereas I don't think Linux would. Both MS and Apple have the problem of forced bundling of OS with hardware (MS with OEM deals) which gets you a different rulebook. Linux doesn't have a problem as you can do what you want with it.

As for the OS having no browser, if it had something handy like wget or apt-get etc then there wouldn't be the issue. It's a thorny issue but I do believe it's the level at which the browser has been intertwined with the OS and other apps that is the real issue.

0
0
Alert

The real pain in the @$$...

... is that once you've installed your browser of choice (in my case, firefox), set it as default, and gone through all the motions to banish IE from your windoze box...

Guess what happens when you click on an URL in HTML Help?

0
0

Hahahahaha!

"Under that ruling, Microsoft agreed to separate IE from Windows"

Which will be why half the updates for IE require me to perform a system reboot because it's not at all tied into integral system components......

Realistically they need to ask upon OS install which browser you want installed - which is the only way this could possibly work for the majority of users. That said, they have to use the same rule for everyone and would have to offer the same choices on EVERY OS and not just pick on MS.

To be honest, it sounds like the Opera people are just getting pissy because despite their efforts, they still have one of the least popular browsers, at least among those whose names are relatively well known. MS's monopoly doesn't seem to have affected the take-up of Firefox, which continues to gain ground on IE.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The thing is...

...all they be getting rid of is IE frontend. The rendering engine, etc is part of the Operating System, your desktop, Explorer and other Microsoft apps like Outlook.

If they were ordered to remove the rendering part as well since it's part of IE, Microsoft would have to rewrite Windows.

And like what other previous posts said... If there is no web browser, how can the average person download an alternative?

I don't know what the EU Commision is on (about), there is nothing stopping people from installing alternative browsers.

The Commision will also need to force web sites that are IE only to change their design.

0
0
Thumb Up

I'm for it

The sooner companies are forced to strip the crap out of their OS's the better.

I want my OS to be small, functional and fast. I don't want it to include applications, only system tools. I'll choose the applications thank you.

But is a browser now an essential system tool, or an application?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018