For the inevitable flood of Wintards and MS shills...
Before you all post your ignorant bullshit and paid for bollocks - a quick guide for the uninformed:
1. Is MS a de facto monopoly in the computer Operating System space as defined in legal terms rather than some misconception that your average Wintard or MS shill will pull out of their arse? Yes.
2. Has MS been convicted of abusing that monopoly to the detriment of other software developers? An emphatic yes. Many times in many different jurisdictions including the US, EU, Korea, Japan, etc. and for many different reasons.
3. Is one of those abuses in the browser space? An emphatic yes.
4. Wasn't a remedy applied by the US early in the 2000s? In legal terms yes, but in reality no. It was a failure in terms of promoting competition and MS continues to abuse its monopoly to this day.
5. Why is this happening in the EU now? See 4. above. MS is still abusing its monopoly in the browser space to the detriment of the competition and the end-user (if there is a single person who thinks that IE is the best browser out there, they need not only their head examined but a damned good kicking for being such an unmitigated idiot).
6. Why is this thing with the EU happening? Because this is entering the remedy stage where they are to be punished for the abuses they have already been found guilty of.
7. Why is it happening now and why didn't it happen sooner? Because MS do absolutely everything in their power to delay, delay, delay. See goings-on during prior US anti-trust case.
8. Why are people on this forum responding in such a negative way to the EU and Opera in these stories? Three possibilities - they are either complete, fucking morons or they are an MS shill (see prior US anti-trust and look at wikipedia for the definition of shill). It is one of their known dirty tactics in legal cases of this ilk. The other option is that they are idiot Americans who object to the EU having to do their work for them (see 4. above).
9. Why aren't Apple being forced to do the same with Safari? Because none of 1 to 8 applies. They aren't a monopoly in the computer Operating System space. They do not have a monopoly in browser usage (even on their own OS - Safari is only used by about 60% of Mac owners) to abuse. Their browser can be easily deleted without breaking any functionality of the OS. None of their software relies on Safari being installed.
10. Ditto Linux and Firefox.
11. But how will people get onto the internet without a browser? You don't need a browser to go online. An easy-to-use UI to a browser download site using SFTP or any other appropriate protocol would be trivial to create and display to a user as soon as they went online.
12. But who will choose which browsers I get to download if that is the remedy? The EU, and the OEMs, probably on the basis of which ones are most popular after removing IE's inflated share of the market (which would be the only fair way to do it at this time). In other words, the people themselves.
13. But won't this impede MSs ability to "innovate"? MS haven't innovated a god-damned thing for over 20 years. There is nothing to impede.
14. But aren't MS the bestest, evar, cuddliest, nicest, company who saved the World™ with their OS and IE? Are you effing, kidding me?
End of public service announcement