back to article Microsoft thought of the children and decided to ban some browsers

Microsoft has updated its family filters to block some rival browsers and says it's done so to think of the children. The changes are part of its bid to end the compatibility clashes caused when non-Microsoft browser barons push updates, breaking the restrictive Windows 10 family settings. The Reg understands that clashes …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Lawsuit Time Again

    Is the Slurp begging for another beat down? This time let's hope the shysters get it right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lawsuit Time Again

      This only affects those who have already engaged the Family settings for their offspring

      Not saying there won't be some aggrieved users but that comes down to terms of usage changes?

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Lawsuit Time Again

        This only affects those who have already engaged the Family settings for their offspring

        That may be true.. But how long before one of the many (rumoured) settings-breakingcorrecting updates screws with changes your settings to some MS-mandated spy on your kids "family friendly" settings automatically, just in case you're a parent with kids and you haven't found out how to change such things yourself?

    2. Richard Jones 1
      WTF?

      Re: Lawsuit Time Again

      Perhaps I am reading this all wrong, (rather than holding it all wrong). I am certainly feeling no desire to get rabid or hysterical.

      MS, (whatever you think of them) provided a facility to users, (parental controls) which allowed the USER to try to profile THEIR machine account(s) to meet certain of their user needs. MS found that certain add-ons broke the profile and allowed actions that the USER might have expected to have blocked. So MS took steps to stop this bypass on those machines and accounts that had the parental controls switched on.

      Can someone explain how this is not right?

      MS are NOT saying you cannot use your browser of choice. They are saying that if the user wants a certain facility to work more closely as they expected, then MS have tried to align the performance with the user expectations.

      1. Novex

        Re: Lawsuit Time Again

        I think it's probably true to say that in the case of internet access software (predominantly thinking browsers of course) then the controls shouldn't be in the browser but as close as possible to the connection to the internet itself. Then it wouldn't matter what software you used to access the internet. The error is that MS are trying to implement access restrictions in Edge.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lawsuit Time Again

          Surely the issue is: if children are able to install their own software, they are bound to be able to install something browser-like. A browser is just Webkit wrapped in an executable. There are bound to be tons of them available for download. They could even build their own from source.

          But if you configure the device so they can't install or build their own software, then they are not going to be able to install Chrome/Firefox etc anyway, and this new measure from Microsoft is not needed.

          So what's the point?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Lawsuit Time Again

            But if you configure the device so they can't install or build their own software, then they are not going to be able to install Chrome/Firefox etc anyway, and this new measure from Microsoft is not needed.

            Precisely, also it would appear that MS are being inconsistent - although this nothing new. With the Xbox and family filters set to on, when my children decided to load a movie DVD, they got a warning, to which I easily gave permission and haven't been bothered with similar requests since. Likewise, my son was recently given Call of Duty, on first load Xbox gave warning: son asked, we had a discussion, permission given, he can now play when he want's subject to our agreed usage rules (which naturally MS's family filter is totally unable to enforce).

            So I would expect similar with software... But then given my children currently use Chrome on Win7 with a variety of security, filtering and blocking software that I find helpful and don't restrict me and my partner in our work, I see little real value in the Win10 family filters...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Roland6 - Lawsuit Time Again

              ... when my children decided to load a movie DVD, they got a warning, to which I easily gave permission and haven't been bothered with similar requests since.

              Perhaps you typed your password in plain sight?

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Roland6 - Lawsuit Time Again

                Perhaps you typed your password in plain sight?

                That is a real risk with my son :) In fact, I have to regularly check the Kinect login credentials, after he walked into the room and the Xbox said hello to my wife!

                However, in this case, this wasn't the cause. Having an Xbox and a discrete DVD/Video player, I decided that if we had a physical DVD which my son could access then it was pointless preventing him from loading it into the Xbox; so I simply defaulted the family settings to permit family members to view any physical DVD (other than R18) and kept the Xbox in the lounge...

                It also avoided the stupidity that arises when watching stuff for older people and younger family members walk into the room and the system pauses to "protect the children".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lawsuit Time Again

          "the controls shouldn't be in the browser but as close as possible to the connection to the internet itself."

          But then you would likely block more than browsing...Controls on browsing should ideally be part of the browser.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Lawsuit Time Again

        MS, (whatever you think of them) provided a facility to users, (parental controls) which allowed the USER to try to profile THEIR machine account(s) to meet certain of their user needs. MS found that certain add-ons broke the profile and allowed actions that the USER might have expected to have blocked. So MS took steps to stop this bypass on those machines and accounts that had the parental controls switched on.

        This is just a bollocks excuse that blocks the competition by design. Even OS X parental controls work with Chrome and Firefox (it sets up a local HTTP proxy for all browsers).

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Lawsuit Time Again

          "Even OS X parental controls work with Chrome and Firefox (it sets up a local HTTP proxy for all browsers)."

          yes, but OSX is BSD under the hood, so it's much easier to make this happen. We're talking an abortive cluster-blank excuse for an operating system, known as 'Win-10-nic'. THAT, and MS needing an EXCUSE to LEVERAGE their CRAPWARE onto the next generation of youths.

        2. Paul Hampson 1

          Re: Lawsuit Time Again

          It isn't bollocks if you use the service. Parents can only filter websites using the service if the child uses Edge (in Windows 10). Since some parents will assume that the filtering they set is watertight, and other browsers on the system are not controlling access this means the parents (who can still use the other browsers) are actually getting the restrictions they want.

      3. Tchou
        Holmes

        Re: Lawsuit Time Again

        If the parental control is overwritten by add-ons, the culprits are (in order) :

        - The add-on

        - The parental control module

        By taking a somewhat legitimate-like topic, MSFT arrogate itself the right to enforce... its own browser instead of fixing the issue - i.e. no third party software should be in position to temper with, or overwrite, user settings above all settings that regard any type of security, and above all by anything remotely web related.

        craziness it is.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Lawsuit Time Again

          They don't tamper with or overwrite user settings, they just bypass the parental controls by, er, connecting to a server on port 80.

          Any parental controls that can't cope with a browser doing that aren't up to spec. Blocking the competition is disingenuous.

      4. Patrician

        Re: Lawsuit Time Again

        A better and more honest action would have been to work with those browser developers to help them to code their browsers to be compliant with Family filters.

        But all this really is, is MS trying to dictate what browser is used in their OS and trying to force users to Edge.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lawsuit Time Again

      "Is the Slurp begging for another beat down?"

      Google are not likely to get beaten down this far in. Unlike say Google Hangouts where they sure have been beaten down...

    4. energystar
      Windows

      Re: Lawsuit Time Again

      Basic Parental filters are part of the OS itself [because those are part of profiles]. Ecosystem know and should submit.

      Good AV packages include better parental filters. Even AV Houses have to align and restrict to OS directives. I'm with MS on this one.

      On the other side of the issue: Without a stabilized and frozen protocol to interact with [Internet] profiles, amounts to privileged self-access.

  2. Tchou
    Childcatcher

    Microsoft, more aggressive than ever - slurping data, forcing upgrades, blocking browsers, resetting er... user settings.

    For fuck sake we need a simple OS, if for anything else just for security!

    1. Dave 15

      Simple?

      I guess a simple OS would be useful, perhaps CPM?

      Perhaps if the linux admirers of the world would be more helpful when things go wrong and not insult people asking questions linux would already be that.

      But I like the MS bashing here, wonder how easy it is to even install a nonApple browser on an iphone or ipad (real question, ever tried, but I guess it is probably not easy)

  3. Tromos

    Starbucks

    The Windows 10 of coffeehouses.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Starbucks

      with no free upgrades either

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Starbucks

        @Ole Juul

        Here's hoping there is no more nagging too... I managed to keep W10 from nagging me too much, only one mobile computer in our fleet begged for it. Whew!

        I'd say won't someone think of the children, but I think the tramp is more appropriate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Donald Trump

      the Microsoft of politics?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Donald Trump

        Erm, no, it's the other way around:

        Microsoft, the Donald Trump of software.

    3. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: Starbucks

      Oh I dont know, I had a Starbucks once, and it didnt fill me with the feeling of nausea and disgust that Win10 does.

      I think SB is more like WinME, the ingredients are more or less correct, but it just doesnt taste quite right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Starbucks

        WinME was fine, I can't believe all the nonsense after all these years. Vista yeah, it blew.

        But being on the MS release team for ME was awesome and our calls dropped by almost %45.

        The Hype about it being bad was just bullocks and circulated by twenty-something tech reporters

        who couldn't tell rem from ram if their life depended on it.

        Grab a Bios upgrade and you were fine to play with a regback or system restore.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Starbucks

          None of the Win 1, 2, 3, 95, ME were "fine".

          Some were tolerable, some were not.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Starbucks

            None of the Win 1, 2, 3, 95, ME were "fine".

            Some were tolerable, some were not.

            The late Tom Moffat who used to write for the magazine Electronics Australia ran some software he wrote to control a weaving loom on Win95 for several years without needing to restart the computer. I asked him to confirm this when he visited a few years ago and he said that most problems attributed to Win95 were due to crappy hardware and crappy applications. I ran NT4ws as soon as it came out so can't comment. NT4ws was pretty smicky and gave me no serious problems and such as there were tend to confirm Tom's observation.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Starbucks

              Most systems running with a "lucky" set of drivers and some well behaved single application can run for a very long time. Even Windows 9x. Not really a strong test of robustness.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Nanny Microsoft strikes again

    Another footgun episode.

    It is almost as if Redmond does not want us sources of advertising data (a.k.a customers) to use their software at all OR any software that isn't approved by the Redmond 'Thought Police'.

    Can one of the MS shills (downvoters) please tell me again of the compelling reasons why I should run their software?

    If MS carry on this way then I feel that the ownership of the 'walled garden' will have moved from Apple to Microsoft.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

      Can one of the MS shills (downvoters) please tell me again of the compelling reasons why I should run their software?

      As I read your post I notice 2 things :

      1) A pile of downvotes

      and

      2) Deep silence broken only by the deafening roar of crickets.

      1. Seajay#

        Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

        2) Deep silence broken only by the deafening roar of crickets.

        The reason for the silence is he asked Microsoft shills to answer and there aren't any here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Holmes

          Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

          Strange..

          <ping>

          Paging RICHTO/Vogon...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

          The reason for the silence is he asked Microsoft shills to answer and there aren't any here.

          ..or El Reg is one of the sites now filtered out by Microsoft to Save Our Children so they can no longer get here. Good, that ought to get rid of a lot of downvotes when someone's critical of Microsoft.

          :)

          1. largefile

            Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

            Or maybe El Reg is just a place for Microsoft haters to hang out? I guess you folks have to be somewhere. Meanwhile back on the farm, my Microsoft stock is kicking arse and not taking prisoners. Amazing, actually, considering that I've been reading about the death of Microsoft for the last decade on El Reg. I can only imagine your disgust as Microsoft turns the corner, profits grow, and embrace and extend is back in action.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

              Seems like any place not called "Redmond" is a place for Microsoft haters to hang out.

            2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

              "I can only imagine your disgust as Microsoft turns the corner, profits grow, and embrace and extend is back in action."

              Right... So you like "embrace and extend"? Do you work for MS or have shares in MS by any chance?

              Can't see why else you would like "embrace and extend" as a policy?

              Well, I got some news for you, your little baby has grown into an old and disfigured monster that will soon be dead.

        3. James O'Shea Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

          "The reason for the silence is he asked Microsoft shills to answer and there aren't any here."

          Oh. My. Gawd. That's the funniest thing I've seen on El Reg in ages.

        4. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

          "The reason for the silence is he asked Microsoft shills to answer and there aren't any here."

          then where did all those downvotes come from?

          nanny microsoft. watch MSNBC (triangle-head and doughboy) for more than 5 minutes, and that's a good representation of how their internal company politics work, too.

          well, MSNBC is rated *LAST* in the cable news networks last I checked, lower than CNN even. And Micro-shaft is soon to have their OPERATING SYSTEM ratings do the same thing, once the end-users wake up and smell the LINUX.

        5. Daniel B.
          Trollface

          Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

          The reason for the silence is he asked Microsoft shills to answer and there aren't any here.

          Still haven't stumbled into TheVogon, eh? That's only the most known one. There are many more out there. I guess they're sleeping or too busy shilling on other articles...

    2. Dave 15

      Re: Nanny Microsoft strikes again

      In days gone I would have said because it is bad but not as bad as the others.... tbh these days I don't think that argument works anymore.

      But walled gardens still seem to be gaining ground because no one seems willing to stand up against the scaremongers who claim the internet is a den of porn and perversion that our little ones should be kept clear of (after all no perverts in the BBC and ALL their reporting is clearly accurate... cough cough)

  5. Oengus Silver badge

    Move on, Move on. Nothing to see here

    Microsoft has updated its family filters to block some rival browsers and says it's done so to think of the children.

    No anti-competitive behaviour here. We have children to protect. Move on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We have children to protect

      Perhaps M$ should consider entering Politics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We have children to protect

        Microsoft is already in Politics, but perhaps in "unconventional" ways. For instance, here in Canada a Microsoftie was appointed to review technical needs for a large government department and determine what software best suited its needs. Guess what they went with. And, of course, at the end of the appointment where did that appointee go back to for work?

        That aside from the Lobbying and campaign contributions.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: We have children to protect

          "here in Canada a Microsoftie was appointed to review technical needs for a large government department"

          OMG! How provincial.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Move on, Move on. Nothing to see here

      Yeah, get office365.com on the block list.

      And don't run with scissors.

      All sensible precautions.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good call. While you're at it, you should look into this site called Bing which I understand people use almost exclusively for searching for explicit content. Someone should really shut it down.

    Funny because it's true.

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Boffin

      What does "Bing" mean?

      As a child, I lived in central Scotland - Fife is about 2/3 of the way up the the UK.

      There were a lot of Bings but they are less common when I go back now.

      A bing is one of those funny shaped hills that use to be so common where there were coal mines. They are all the rubbish that was dug up but do not contain much that is useful.

      1. Mikel

        Re: What does "Bing" mean?

        Bing is a recursive backronym, like GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix.". Bing stands for "Bing Is Not Google."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What does "Bing" mean?

          "Bing is a recursive backronym, like GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix.". Bing stands for "Bing Is Not Google.""

          I used to work at MSFT and no one seemed to know if that was actually the case or not (not that anyone spent a lot of time talking about Bing). I think they just shortened the word "Bingo." I don't think MSFT marketing has any idea what GNU is or the recursive convention.

      2. Chika

        Re: What does "Bing" mean?

        I used to have an Uncle Bing. He died some years ago though...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What does "Bing" mean?

          Yes Bing Crosby is much missed by the elderly generation, but admittedly not a bad singer-comedian for his day

      3. Daniel B.

        Re: What does "Bing" mean?

        Bing is (or used to be) an ice cream parlor franchise in central Mexico. Haven't seen much of those lately.

      4. Shades

        Re: What does "Bing" mean?

        Slag

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What does "Bing" mean?

        "A bing is one of those funny shaped hills that use to be so common where there were coal mines. They are all the rubbish that was dug up but do not contain much that is useful."

        Haha, it would be great if one of the Bing designers actually had this in mind.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "this site called Bing which I understand people use almost exclusively for searching for explicit content"

      Just like most other search engines then...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is actually a lot more lop sided for Chrome. NetMarketShare always overestimates IE. In unrelated news, MSFT is a major funder of NetMarketShare.

    1. Wibble

      IE's nowhere near that figure. Safari's much more - just look at your iOS stats.

      Probably something around 50% chrome, 30% Safari (which is mainly iOS) and 10% IE

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Probably something around 50% chrome, 30% Safari (which is mainly iOS) and 10% IE"

        Not globally, maybe in affluent western districts (which have a high concentration of iPhones). Android has 82+% market share globally vs iOS's 14%. Chrome is dominant on smartphones. They are also the leader by a wide margin on desktops.... The piece about IE/Edge having 10% is probably close to accurate, more like 5% if you factor smartphones and tablets but dropping rapidly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The total end user market share for Windows is only 12% now (across smartphones, tablets, PCs) and falling rapidly, so they have a maximum IE/Edge market potential of 12%... and Chrome is the leader by a wide margin on Windows desktops, so, with Firefox as well, IE/Edge are probably at 3-4% at best of browser installs... and falling rapidly. Usage is a little different as desktops tend to have more browser usage than phones, but in that ball park.

    2. NotBob
      Holmes

      Chrome has a big market share probably helped by bundling with their android OS offering.

      When do we start the legal work against them like we did Microsoft of olde?

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Not forgetting them sneaking it into software updates from various AV companies like @~#>* a couple of years back.

        * Censored for legal reasons.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I am not worried about Chrome, because people have choice. Chrome is now the dominant browser on Windows machines, where people went out of their way to download Chrome, reset all their defaults away from IE/Edge, etc.... MSFT is still the one to worry about. Google largely wins in their markets by just being better than the competition, as opposed to MSFT's strategy of being the only option.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Chrome has a big market share probably helped by bundling with their android OS offering."

        Yes, but like IE & Edge, only bundled with their OWN OS. None of my Android devices are Google backed offerings and none came with Chrome pre-installed. Google and Chrome and their pre-install program on their own OS backed devices is almost certainly a much smaller contribution to the stats than MS own offerings.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    They are acting more and more like the Gestapo but without the nice leather coats and hats.

    1. MrDamage

      But will they allow images of the Fallen Madonna With the Big Boobies to be shown to children?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Allo Allo...

        "Fallen Madonna With the Big Boobies"...by Van Klump

      2. MrTuK

        "But will they allow images of the Fallen Madonna With the Big Boobies to be shown to children?" - Best response I heard in ages using Allo Allo TV series from an age ago !

        I wish I could give you 100 upvotes for that - really great comment even better than the MS is like the Donald Trump of politics but worse - ROFL !!!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          "Best response I heard in ages using Allo Allo TV series from an age ago !"

          Diitto, and upvoted too, FYI Allo, Allo is currenly re-running on Yesterday (cable and sat.) From the beginning, but up to series 5 now.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      >They are acting more and more like the Gestapo but without the nice leather coats and hats.

      Are you trying to get el reg onto the fetish-site list?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Tim99 Silver badge
    Windows

    Microsoft Indoctrination?

    "Give me a child and I'll shape him into anything." B.F. Skinner: Wikipedia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Microsoft Indoctrination?

      The Jesuits did that first, you know; give us a child up to 5 years old (or other age) and he (always he, Jesuits meh) will be ours for life

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Edge is at 3.91 %

    But I thought Windows 1 0 had finally reached 25% market share ?

    Shouldn't that mean Edge should be at 25% market share as well ? Or am I supposed to believe that 90% of Windows 1 0 users are tripping over themselves to install Chrome/Firefox/whatever and NOT use the vaunted Microsoft solution ?

    1. Candy

      Re: Edge is at 3.91 %

      W10 has 25% share of Windows desktop OS.

      Edge has 4% share of the browser market including Windows clients, *nix, mobile, etc.

      Not comparing like with like...

    2. Draylynn

      Re: Edge is at 3.91 %

      When I installed Win10, I (and everyone I know) immediately ran for an alternate browser.

      Customisation? Extension support (can't live without my password vault extension)? Tons of mission functions? Profiles? + other problems regarding performance, retardation with connection status etc.

      Win10 is so bloated and tied into other processes, change one completely unrelated thing over here and suddenly, browser don't want to work (which in my experience is a huge red flag; software that is tied into the system in such a flawed way leaves the system vulnerable(Norton virus's anyone?)).

      You just don't expect this behaviour from what is suppose to be a 'leading-industry' developer.

      It wouldn't surprise me to see other people running for Chrome or even Firefox to escape the special snowflake called Edge.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Hmmmm....

      That'd certainly explain Pascal's observation (above)

      Hmmmm.... "Pascal's observation" sounds like one of those computery pseudoscience things that bubble up when someone wants to appear to try to sound clever...

      Pascal's Observation states that M$' marketing B$ never adds up

      :o)

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm....

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

  12. SVV Silver badge

    Stop whining about MS behaiour

    Haven't you learnt by now ?

    Keep buying their shit, keep putting up with this sortt of shit.

  13. PassiveSmoking

    Think of the market share

    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't there something going on in the 90s related to browsers and Microsoft? Something about antitrust? I don't think it was a big deal at the time so I might not be remembering it right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Halo

      Re: Think of the market share

      1999 US vs Microsoft Corporation

      It was a brinkmanship game between Bill and "uncle Sam" which rumbled on for years. Looked like something was actually going to be done for a moment, then Bill caved, the _NSAKEY was slipped in, and it all just went away.

      M$ has been an untouchable intelligence asset ever since. Nothing of substance will come of this latest abuse... or the next one... or the one after that...

      1. Mikel

        Re: Think of the market share

        Bill was Very supportive of a presidential candidate, who won. Immediately after the election the Justice department officials said president appointed became less interested in pressing the issue than their predecessors had been.

    2. Mark Allen

      Re: Think of the market share

      Yeah, that was the one where MS were forced to give a list of alternate browsers. Yet Apple were still allowed to keep it Safari only on their OS. As well as a lot more pre-bundled and locked in software that MS ever had.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Think of the market share

        You seem to forget that MS had > 95% of all desktop/home computing at that point in time. That is why they were thumped down and not Apple (or Sun, SGI, etc, who were minor players at the time).

        They still have the majority of PCs sold, but obviously not total computing devices now with Android taking the lion's shore of the smart phone market.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Think of the market share

          You seem to forget that MS had > 95% of all desktop/home computing at that point in time. That is why they were thumped down and not Apple (or Sun, SGI, etc, who were minor players at the time).

          You forgot a "minor" player: IBM. OS/2 also came bundled with a free web browser. As it happens, MS Internet Explorer wasn't free; at least not initially. When Win95 came out, you had to purchase the Plus Pack separately to obtain the browser. There were howls of protest because MS were charging for what everyone else gave away. So MS gave IE away for free with Win95 OSR2. And were punished for that as well. There was no way MS could win and I suspect we are now reaping the consequences.

          1. captain veg

            Re: MS gave IE away for free

            No they didn't. They "integrated" it with the operating system, going way beyond "free" bundling by making it impossible to uninstall. This was judged to be an abuse of their monopoly position in the desktop operating system market, and rightly so. Neither Apple nor Googls has (yet) such an O/S monopoly to abuse. Now, if Chrome became a de facto monopoly browser, and Google used that to illegally manipulate some other market (online purchases, say), I would expect the competition authorites to take an interest.

            -A.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Think of the market share

        since when did Apple have the vast majority of Desktops running OSX?

        If you mean iOS then again, since when are the vast majority of mobile phone iDevices?

        Microsoft had to offer multiple browsers because of their majority position in the market.

        I run OSX with Firefox. I can't remember the last time I used Safari apart from to download firefox.

        When FF is set to the default browser it stays that way. Unlike Windows where MS love to try to get you to use IE and Edge instead of your preferred browser at almost every opportunity as well as making microsoft.com a PITA for anything including the latest version of IE.

  14. Efros

    Thinking of the children...

    of their shareholders more like.

  15. jason 7

    Hmmm...

    if parents ask me to do this sort of thing I just set Family DNS on the router and give the kids a standard user account. The Parents have a password admin account.

    Dad will have to find his jollies elsewhere...

    But then you look around at all the tablets...phones etc.

    Token gesture and all that.

  16. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Windows

    IE @ 21%, shit, I thought we had taken the Windows Cleaner and Surface Expert brigade behind the shed, what happened?

    If you use IE your opinion does not count, if you enforce IE-only GPO bs, your place is in a museum.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge
      FAIL

      If you use IE your opinion does not count

      How very tolerant of you. And if your bank's online banking software only works with IE you don't deserve to have an opinion. Very good...

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Holmes

        @Pompous Git

        And if your bank's online banking software only works with IE you don't deserve to have an opinion.

        No. If your bank's software only works with IE, they do not deserve your business - or even the privilege of looking after your overdraft.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If you use IE your opinion does not count, if you enforce IE-only GPO bs, your place is in a museum."

      Like the overwhelming majority of businesses / enterprises / companies you mean?

  17. Saatdhann

    Another reason to avoid WIN 10 like the plague!

    Why is Microsoft determined to make every new itteration of Windows worse than the previous one?

    Don't get me wrong, they've had heaps of practice so they are highly skilled at it.

    We're forced to have all their stupid little folders, were forced to have their stupid "links", "favorites" "libraries".

    After 15 years they managed to create a search system that's worse than WIN3.1 which has you watching the green line of death which can crawl across the window over 2 minutes to change the drive using an I7 chip whereas it would have been instantaneous with WIN3.1 and a 286 chip.

    We are now moving to USB 3.1 after a decade of USB3 and Windows still hasn't a clue how to recognise a USB3 from a USB2. I connect a USB3 device with a USB3 cable to my USB3 only PC and Windows tells me it could run faster if I connected it to a USB3 port.

    The fact is, Windows is and always has been a failure that needed re-writing but Microsoft has spent 2 decades trying to cover it up. With Vista and every itteration after it, Microsoft started changing all the settings to hide them so users couldn't find them, not to protect the user but because the OS is so unstable it falls over if you do anything to it. Add to that, adding spyware.

    I assume this banning of other internet browsers in WIN 10 is just another attempt to both save the system from falling over and because it's a lot harder to spy on someone using an alternate browser.

    Am I wrong? We have whole industries set up to overcome Windows failures: Anti-virus companies, Registry repair companies, companies to do hard drive maintenance and backup (because WIN restore never worked). Companies to change or remove Windows settings, alternate internet browsers, alternate explorers, alternate search engines, alternate email agents. All because, as I see it, Windows is a failure.

    WIN10 lasted 5 minutes on my PC. Why? Settings failed, programmes didn't work, a stupid and childish layout, an overwhelming persuit of spying. As I pointed out to Microsoft when I removed it: "You have finally managed to reach the level of "Not even for free" with your OS. There is simply too much that needs changing before it's useable." Fortunately I had an OS backup because their programme to revert to the previous WIN7 version destroyed it.

    My point: I doubt there has been anything done to the users benefit in the past several itterations of Windows. Everything you see for your benefit has an underlying: Not for your benefit but for Microsofts benefit. Don't risk it.

    1. MrTuK

      Re: Another reason to avoid WIN 10 like the plague!

      I think a lot of Win 7 users have the same opinion about Win 10 as yourself and some they have pushed too far like myself that have jumped ship completely to another OS !

      Sadly for yourself you will have to make a decision at sometime in the future whether you can abide the data slurping/spying OS called Win 10 which could be in a far worse state than it is now by only allowing you to download software etc from the MS Store only allowing certain browser that conform to MS demands so that they can data slurp it and separate the data from the adults from the kids so that they know what adverts they can pump at the user at any specific time and many other benefits as far as MS is concerned but not the end user - ROFL !

      If you do need to upgrade your PC, take heed that the latest CPU's from intel and AMD will not be supported unless you are using Win 10 - Alternatively you will be able to install any non-MS OS and it will work fine and as an added benefit it will be more secure/stable/efficient and be truly 64 bit :)

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Another reason to avoid WIN 10 like the plague!

        > take heed that the latest CPU's from intel and AMD will not be supported unless you are using Win 10

        ORLY?

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Another reason to avoid WIN 10 like the plague!

        If you do need to upgrade your PC, take heed that the latest CPU's from intel and AMD will not be supported unless you are using Win 10 - Alternatively you will be able to install any non-MS OS and it will work fine and as an added benefit it will be more secure/stable/efficient and be truly 64 bit :)

        I think we already disposed of that piece of bullshit here. Win 7 and 8 will run fine; just not support the latest cpu extensions.

        As for non-MS OSs being more "secure/stable/efficient" I today discovered that "upgrading" to Linux Mint 18 borked both Steam and Civ V. I manged to get Steam to run, but it would seem that I need a new video adapter to get Civ V to work. AMD Radeons are no longer fully supported. Nor nVidia it would seem. Sadly, my Matrox Millenium II adapters are long gone and IIRC weren't PCIe anyway.

        FWIW I'll be attempting to install Snow Leopard next week. Maybe I'll have more luck with OS X...

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The fact is, Windows is and always has been a failure that needed re-writing but Microsoft has spent 2 decades trying to cover it up."

    Somebody will be along shortly to tell you that you can't say things like that because Windows is wonderful, object-oriented, more modern in design than all these Unix-derived OSs and that drive letters aren't in the least clunky.

    Nevertheless you might have a point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nevertheless you might have a point.

      In fact: Several very good points covering "2 decades trying to cover it up"

    2. Chika

      Somebody will be along shortly to tell you that you can't say things like that because Windows is wonderful, object-oriented, more modern in design than all these Unix-derived OSs and that drive letters aren't in the least clunky.

      ...which they ripped off CP/M anyway, an operating system that was released in 1973. It seems that the business world seems determined to cock the world up one way or another, all for the sake of familiarity and a fast buck.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        because Windows is wonderful, object-oriented, more modern in design than all these Unix-derived OSs and that drive letters aren't in the least clunky.

        ...which they ripped off CP/M anyway, an operating system that was released in 1973. It seems that the business world seems determined to cock the world up one way or another, all for the sake of familiarity and a fast buck.

        CP/M didn't have windows. Nor subdirectories IIRC. I think the business world wanted software to get the job done. Basic, easy-to-use accounting and payroll software on Linux? Dream on... I bet you'd be the first to complain if your employer moved to Linux and told you you couldn't be paid for several months while they re-instituted manual accounting and payroll because the computers could no longer manage such things.

        1. captain veg

          Re: CP/M didn't have windows

          Neither did DOS. It only got subdirectories in version 2, which had to support the XT's hard drive.

          -A.

    3. sitta_europea

      Drive letters

      [quote] ... and that drive letters aren't in the least clunky.[/quote]

      That made me laugh...

      TODAY after fifteen years I finally managed to get one of my clients to NOT use drive letters on one of his shares.

  19. Fugegi
    FAIL

    Banned Microsoft Windows, switched to Linux!

    Based on the fact that Windows blatantly disregards user choice and privacy* we have chosen to protect our kids by removing Windows and replacing it with a trustworthy Linux operating system. We could not be happier about our choice so in some sense we feel the need to thank Microsoft for bullshitting their customers. No longer a customer.

    Oh, and our workplace (a web agency with 38 employees) is also strongly considering moving away from Windows.

    * https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-disregards-user-choice-and-privacy-deep-dive

  20. BitDr

    "think of the children"

    When it comes to (most) businesses a cynical take on the motivation for their actions is generally proved true. I think MS sees the writing on the wall and is playing the "Think of the children" card to lower resistance to what they are doing. It's an emotional play, one of the strongest you can use as people will do anything to protect their children, up to and including sacrificing the future freedom of those children.

    A policy such as this gets them using edge or IE when they are really young and under the control of their parents, as opposed when they are older and their parents only think they control them. "Think of the children" gets rational thought out of the way. You really liked Chrome? Oh, sorry, you have family settings in place to protect your children, Chrome doesn't respect your choice to use this feature of WX, but you can re-enable them, just [long-convoluted process] and turn them off.

    It's a pretty slimy psych-tactic that will probably work.

    Of course I could be wrong, it could be all sunshine, kittens, and unicorns and they actually could have your child's online safety at heart, and if you believe that then perhaps you'd also be interested in some ocean frontage in Saskatchewan.

  21. Mikel

    Force the kids to use IE?

    Counselling isn't cheap.

    If you're going to handicap your kids that badly why not take away the PC all together? Once they learn to get along with only mobile devices they will be better prepared for the future anyway.

  22. cortland

    Ah! THERE'S reason to not DL the latest "required update". I'm only 72, FAR too young to be allowed to bypass parental controls.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Microsoft, but I can look after my own kids

    And if I couldn't, I still wouldn't want you to.

  24. MrTuK

    I am still trying to get my head around how many people have actually upgraded - It really doesn't play well for the future but then again they have been conditioned to allow themselves to be data slurped since they have been using smartphones from all source be it Google or Apple !

    To be honest even ISP's (Mi5 in the UK,NSA in USA etc) probably know a hell of a lot about you from your browsing habit, not even sure if VPN's make you truly mean you are anonymous these days with the powers that be to number crunch your every data transmission on broadband and if they can't do it on the fly the ISP has to keep it all under the retention law for 1 year or possibly longer - life is so Orwellian the world over these days - but its all done in the best possible taste as Kenny Everett but at least he was a happy person !!!!!

  25. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    MSN default homepage ???

    Another example of why MS fails, MSN, possibly the most sluggish image and flash heavy site if there ever was one, and these idiots decide to have it as a homepage.

    Google is minimalistic for a reason...

    MS must live in a bubble or some kind of echo chamber

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: MSN default homepage ???

      MSN, possibly the most sluggish image and flash heavy site

      Possibly the most shitty and cruddy "news" site too. Just look at it. Lousy gossip newskebabs, "people" stories and clickbait. Makes one physically sick. Frankly, I would be at the Daily Mail if I needed that.

      Vomit-chan.jpg

  26. Omar Smith
    Childcatcher

    Microsoft innovation strikes again ..

    a. Disable other browsers under the pretext of protecting the children.

    b. Run the battery down under other browsers.

  27. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Hi kids!

    I looks like you are trying to use another browser!

    Good luck with that.

    - Evil Clippy

  28. Draylynn

    Children are smart.

    Unfortunately, children are smarter than you think, especially with computers. There are ways around this 'blanket block' on 3rd party browsers already - all of this can be searched, installed and initiated regardless of whether or not family settings are in play or what browser you use and regardless of the new browser block.

    Still think Micro**** are 'thinking of the children'? I would have thought they were smarter than that... Sounds more like they're trying to 'imprint' their browser on young kids - Gotta get them whilst they're young, eh?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proprietay software sold incorrectly

    I think MS should market things differently so that the und user is not disappointed and disgruntled.

    They should sell their OS (desktop version) for say around £400 to £500.

    But included with this is free use of a desktop pc supplied by MS.

    That way people understand the reality that it is not their PC but Microsofts and so should only use it in a way that Microsoft instructs them.

  30. Cardinal

    In the browser popularity list - was there a 'Pale Moon Rising'?

  31. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Windows is not a PC operating system any longer.

    They (MS) dabble in areas that belong to other types of devices.

    They are trying to rescue the PC as a viable do-it-all for the next generation. Unlikely to succeed. Especially since they are ruining it, and making it less attractive.

    A PC is a tool, not to be randomly interfered with by some distant party at their whim.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgusting, desperate attempt to grow Edge's market share

    But it's Microsoft. At a fundamental level, the company culture hasn't changed much since the DOS era.

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