back to article ACT backs Microsoft in Brussels' IE legal spat

A trade group representing tech firms including Oracle, eBay and Microsoft has unsurprisingly thrown its support behind the Redmond firm in its current antitrust spat with the European Commission. The Association for Competitive Technology has been accepted as an interested third party in the case. Mozilla, Google, the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    ACT an opinion-for-hire

    Like most industry-lobbying groups, ACT is an opinion-for-hire that, unsurprisingly, echoes the will of its masters. That they were approved to weigh in on the latest EU disagreement with the Vole, however, is a surprise.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMFG!

    This bundling and leveraging thing has not been resolved yet!? How many YEARS has it been since M$ bundled IE with Windoze all but killing off Netscrape? The only reason Firefox, OPera, and others are gaining ground now is because M$ sat on their big-fat-rear-end and did little-to-nothing to plug the security swiss-cheese that was/is Inetrnet Exploiter.

  3. Richard

    "Microsoft - commmited to open source"

    Yes but as every page of The Register tells us ... "Microsoft - commmited to open source" (SIC)

    So that is alright then.

  4. Dimitrov
    Thumb Down

    US =/= EU

    "Not only has the same case already been adjudicated in the US..."

    I've heard rumours that the average american's grasp of geography is loose at best, but surely even they must know that the US and EU are on different continents and are, in fact, independant (well, more or less). Also, the concept that the rest of the world doesn't have to follow the US legal decisions is apparently hard to understand.

    </yankeebashing>

  5. Lan ser
    Paris Hilton

    third party?

    So a group partially funded by M$ is an unrelated third party?

    Paris because even she can see something screwy with that

  6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: OMFG!

    Oh, it's been *resolved*. Microsoft were told they shouldn't have done that, and then carried on doing it anyway. Just like they were told not to drive DR-DOS out of existence or force OEMs to pay for a MS-DOS licence even when selling a clean machine. The OMFG factor is simply why anyone would ever expect legal action against MS to achieve anything.

  7. Juan Inamillion
    Gates Horns

    Come on El Reg - this lot have <ahem> form

    http://www.prwatch.org/node/520

    "The Association for Competitive Technology, which was created and funded by Microsoft to defend its interests against charges of ...."

  8. raving angry loony

    anything goes for the Vole

    Adjudicated in the US, maybe. More like the justice system was bought off. However, US court cases don't apply in Europe. ACT of course knows this, but opinion-for-hire will say anything their masters tell them to say.

    I too am surprised they were given any form of standing. But hey, I guess the EU is bending over backwards to not only BE fair, but APPEAR fair as they march Microsoft to its long-awaited, much deserved meeting with a financial guillotine.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?!

    "Not only has the same case already been adjudicated in the US, but Microsoft's Internet Explorer is no longer even the No. 1 browser in Europe, let alone the dominant one."

    1. The nature of the complaint as I understand it is that MS is using it's dominant position in the OS market to punt it's browser. Whether or not the browser is the most popular is irrelevant to the complaint.

    2. You're not going to make any friends in Europe by claiming the US courts have any duristiction here.

    So it seems they don't understand the complaint and they are trying to antagonise the court. Are they sure they are on Microsoft's side?

  10. James

    Seriously

    Who cares?

    It's a web browser.

    I'd be pissed if I bought an OS that lacked a browser.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    It's just a typical EC shakedown

    What else is new? The EC can't have policies fostering innovation within its borders, hence the lack of any technology leader in any industry residing in the EC. (Name one - I dare you.) So it's strategy is to shake down people like Microsoft, eBay, etc for money.

  12. Joe
    Alert

    Firefox nudging IE on market share

    Whose figures are these? According to...

    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0

    ...whose stats match those of all the sites I manage, IE has about three times the market share of Firefox.

    I wish it weren't true, I really do...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What application is next?

    Drop the IE nonsense. It'll soon enough be conflict over some other application.

    A market where a player that has more than 30-40% market-share needs some serious regulation, and here we're talking 90% or more. It's time to place a ban on secretive OEM-deals instead. Every offer that involve a HW+SW bundle must specify prices separately. In case someone is tempted to offer a bundle with SW listed at ridiculously low prices they must be required to offer any number of licenses of said software separately for the specified price.

  14. Psymon

    a bizzare case indeed

    the EU are so far behind the times with this one, it is pretty surreal. Forcing MS to release an IE-free version at this late stage in the game would actually be counter-productive, considering the level of intergration that has undergone between IE and windows.

    Don't get me wrong, I use Firefox and Opera at home, and much prefer them to the MS counterpart, but in a corporate environment, I wouldn't dream of using 3rd party browsers.

    When it comes to security, IE is the only choice. With all its configuration settings defined from a well thought out group policy, it makes firefox look like a trojan. You can lock down every aspect of IE until it squeaks.

    Before you disagree, do you know what group policy is? No? Then shut up. I don't have time to educate the ignorant on this matter, suffice to say, this is the only way you can effectively manage software when you have a large network.

    Until Mozilla and Opera abandon the 17+ year obsolete technique of storing their configuration options in randomly located .ini files instead for the registry where they can be properly managed, there will never be a wide adoption in the corporate market, and thus, any action by the EU will be relatively pointless

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Market Share

    The EU will only go after companies that have a dominant market position, if MS can simply show they no longer have a dominant market position with IE then the EU will be unable to do anything as they tie their own hands.

  16. Adam

    Who cares?

    Seriously, who cares? Anyone who cares will already be using another browser anyway.

    If you buy a computer package that includes an OS, which includes a browser, what's so bad about getting a computer with an OS and a browser? That's what you paid for!

    What next, anti-competition cases because Microsoft also includes a calculator application and a couple of games? Does that really impinge on the market-share of MathCad and Rockstar Games? Should they also leave out the clock in the bottom right corner in case it upsets Accurist?

    I'd like to see them force Renault/BMW/Mercedes/Ford to sell cars without engines because some people might prefer to put a lawnmower engine into their new Mondeo. Don't let the fact that most people don't know how to / can't be bothered to fit an engine into a car bother you. Most people don't know/care about Linux/FireFox/Opera/Safari/Chrome/Thunderbird/<insert name of obscure browser here> either.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    RE: It's just a typical EC shakedown

    I'll name an industry leader... me. :^P

    Given the extent of the security breach that IE represents, it's not a simple case of anti-trust anymore, it's for the health of your windows system... kinda like the EU suing manufactures for requiring a lead paint-job and asbestos interiors on all production cars.

  18. Lewis Mettler
    Stop

    Settled not the same as complying with the law

    In the US, Microsoft is still violating the law as determined in the DOJ v Microsoft anitrust law suit.

    Yes, the DOJ changed their client and settled on whatever terms Microsoft would accept. You are not sure? Then President Bush said it was the US policy NOT to litigate against Microsoft. In other words represent Microsoft instead of either the industry or consumers.

    The truth is that the DOJ ignored the law as decided in the DOJ case. Commingling code between the OS and IE was determined to be illegal. Microsoft appealled that specific issue to the US Supreme Court and the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal. That is NOT a remanded issue. It is an issue decided by the appeallate court against Microsoft and does in fact represent the status of the law in the US, The fake settlement does not. No settlement ever does.

    The laws in the US and Europe are much closer than some claim. Refusing to enforce the law by the US DOJ does not change it either. It only harms consumers and the industry.

    If ACT really thinks that all consumers should be forced to buy IE perhaps they can explain why. Microsoft needs to explain why it forces all consumers to buy IE regardless of their needs or preferences. Perhaps those at ACT could explain why that has to be a forced sale?

    Hint for the slow learners: There is no reason at all that all consumers should be forced to buy IE. And that is true regardless of the current market shares. And it is true for all applications.

    Consumers have the right to pick and choose their own applications. ACT and Microsoft think that all consumers should be forced to buy IE. Nothing is more clear than that.

  19. wim

    RE: It's just a typical EC shakedown

    I'll name an industry leader

    What about TomTom ?

  20. RPF
    IT Angle

    RE: It's just a typical EC shakedown

    Industry Leaders:

    Nokia,

    Pagani,

    Ferrari,

    Mercedes-Benz,

    BMW,

    Audi,

    McLaren,

    QinetiQ,

    Novartis,

    Airbus,

    BAe Systems,

    Rolls-Royce,

    French Nuclear Industry,

    .......or do you just mean Information Tech?

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