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Author Topic: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again  (Read 2483 times)

roseway

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Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« on: January 19, 2009, 07:56:09 AM »

Once again, they're accused of anti-competitive behaviour.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7834792.stm
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oldfogy

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 10:27:11 AM »

Personally I don't agree with the ruling.
When I was in business as a electrical contractor, I had to make sure that my own business was both adequately advertised and equally as good if not better than my competitors (which was not hard to do as my main competitor was the MEB)

However if by giving away my services meant that I would sell more equipment and make a bigger profit then would that be wrong?

My customers had a choice, the same as Microsoft's competitors and that was to get out there and earn a reputation.

Quote
In its statement on Friday the Commission said: "Microsoft's tying of Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice."
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kitz

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 11:40:13 AM »

As a long time 'nethead' I can recall the days when about 90% of online users used Netscape - back in the days when M$ didnt pre-install IE in their operating systems. 
To get online those days you relied on the browser offered on the dial-up disk sent out to you by your ISP - which was most likely to be Netscape.

Then in 98 MS started including IE in their OS and within a short time the shift changed so that IE soon became the most popular browser as MS users no longer had to source a browser themselves before getting online. 

This is a bit egg or chicken syndrome - if you need a browser then you need to go online to download one..  if you have a new system which doen't include a browser then what do you use to download a browser (hence the old ISP disks).

If this ruling continues, then what about other OS that now also come installed with any sort of web browser.  Mac/Safari?  Linux distros?





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roseway

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 11:55:37 AM »

I think that the point about IE is that it's an inextricable part of the OS, not just a browser which happens to be included. I don't think that the EU would have any reasonable objection to MS giving away a browser with their OS; their objection is that you can't have the OS without the browser.
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oldfogy

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 12:05:01 PM »


.... their objection is that you can't have the OS without the browser.

Then let MS add the IE browser as a add-on, in the same way as it's games etc.

Kitz,
You make a valid point, which in a way is what I was trying to get at (in a round about way)
So let all these other browser suppliers start to educate people with regards to their browser, instead of sitting there griping, the main reason being is because they are losing advertising revenue no-doubt, what do they want, their cake and eat it.

"Netscape obviously did it in the past by producing the masses of CD's that were used"
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kitz

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 12:06:36 PM »

>> I think that the point about IE is that it's an inextricable part of the OS, not just a browser which happens to be included.

Oh right - yes get what you mean now :)
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oldfogy

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 04:39:14 PM »

If it wasn't included and pre-configured, how could auto update work effectively.
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tonyappuk

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 07:51:41 PM »

"If it wasn't included and pre-configured, how could auto update work effectively."

Surely Firefox autoupdates regularly doesn't it? Mine often says there is an update available during the boot up and if you agree it will be updated.
Tony
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oldfogy

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 10:35:37 PM »

Yes, FF or any of the browsers work just the same as software which will update "once installed"
But with MS installing IE it gives windows the opportunity to get updated as soon as it's loaded.
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UncleUB

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 08:44:47 AM »

I myself am a FF convert,but I think Microsoft aren't doing anything wrong in installing IE (their own browser) with their own operating system.After all you wouldn't expect Ford cars to come with Vauxhall mats,would you?
Its no big deal to install the browser of your choice once you have your new PC.Its not as though you are stopped from doing it.
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Floydoid

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2009, 07:11:22 PM »

Precisely Uncy, I don't see the big deal either... if you don't like IE then don't use it.  Simple.
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Weaver

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Re: Microsoft in trouble with the EU again
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2009, 05:21:27 PM »

I myself can't understand this kind of reasoning from the EU. IE doesn't "compete" against "competitors" whose browsers are all free anyway. The EU seems to have gone insane. It's a bit like threatening oxfam with legal action for being more successful at giving stuff away than another charity. Or am I missing the point?

(And btw, I don't work for Microsoft.)

In Windows 7 we are already seeing the disappearance of several nice apps in terms of being "in the box", and some apps are simply going to be downloaded immediately by a lot of users straight away.

In the past Microsoft was in some circumstances quite good at frustrating those users who preferred to use other people's web browsers, but even though I dislike that, I can understand it, putting my developer's hat on. As a developer, it's awkward if people start phoning you up to complain about bugs in your product when they are actually bugs in components written by someone else. And so using alternate browser's engines to provide critical bits of Windows functionality isn't on.

An earlier poster mentioned windows update. A very good point, this is why Vista has made Windows update into more of a proper dedicated vista application rather than just a flaky badly lashed-together heap of junk trying to live inside a normal web browser. (I presume that Vista's win update UI is an XAML-powered app so uses that for a UI rendering engine rather than the rendering engine in any web browser.)

There has to be a limit to people's whinging. People really who don't like IE that much perhaps should buy another o/s, as there are a couple of others out there that some people seem to like. If someone doesn't like IE because they don't trust it, then it's odd that they are willing to trust other microsoft software so much that they would be willing to buy an o/s from the same company.

Microsoft have behaved very badly in the past, and I would be count myself as both a fan and vehement critic. But it's ludicrous that the legislators have nothing better to do than make end users' lives more complicated in gesture politics which make no practical difference. And they are doing this when MS has finally been persuaded by pressure groups (of which there have been many, WASP is one that comes to mind) and do something about sorting out the issues of user choice surrounding the web browsing experience, has come up with a new product that heads some way towards the state of the art in some areas of web standards compliance, and after being dismally bad in terms of security has already some while back advanced to be undeniably light years ahead of all the browser competitors on the Windows Vista platform in terms of security with the exploitation of low-rights/"protected mode".

No seriously, I have never been a Microsoft employee. Rather the opposite in fact.
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