and ms update
and will we be able to access and install updates without IE ?
Microsoft has offered to let European PC customers pick the browser they want running on Windows PCs, hoping to placate anti-trust regulators. Users will be able to pick one of five most popular browsers via a proposed Ballot Screen, which will be available for download to Windows Vista and Windows XP via software update, …
"Microsoft has also promised a mechanism for PC manufacturers and users in the EU to turn off its browser, IE, and to make IE unavailable from launch. ... IE would not be turned on through anything other than user action, and there won't be any icons, links, or short cuts in Windows to download or install the browser."
I'll believe that when I see it. Maybe IEXPLORE.EXE won't launch explicitly without user action, but Internet Explorer most certainly will. It's tied too closely to Windows.
1. Windows Explorer (EXPLORER.EXE) *IS* Internet Explorer. Open Windows Explorer, go to the address bar and type in a URL. Once loaded, go to the Help menu and see "About Internet Explorer. Now open Task Manager and notice that IEXPLORE is nowhere to be found. So, what, you're running Internet Explorer, but not really? Is Microsoft having a 1984 moment?
2. Internet Explorer is the engine used for Windows' help system.
3. While not directly Microsoft's fault, let's not forget the thousands of apps which use Internet Explorer via OCX/DLL linking. A vulnerability in IE can be exposed through any of these apps as well.
Also, if there are no "icons, links, or short cuts in Windows to download or install the browser", does that also mean that IE will not be updated via Windows Update? After all, if you're installing an update, that clearly indicates that the product is installed (as we all know it will be). But if you do not at least allow the user to install the updates, then you are leaving the system vulnerable to known problems.
This isn't about forcing Microsoft to play fair from now on, its about attempting to in part undo some of the damaged caused by its past misbehavior.
They rigged Windows so it would break if IE was removed, they forced OEMs to offer IE as the only browser choice ... they blocked other browsers from accessing the windows update site ..
Now they have to bend over backwards to make sure the end user gets to chose what browser they want to use.
Seems fair and reasonable.
They probably are I guess. So one also wonders if Google's mooted OS will also come, for the EU, with the choice to select browsers or if it will be integrated with it. So if it is the latter, one wonders whether the mighty EU will look at this with the same level of scrutiny. Anything else will smack of imbalance.
This is excellent news for everyone, Microsoft seem to be the good guys after the EU say they were being stubborn for not complying. The EU gets what they want. The consumers will benefit overall.
Let's hope they'll start to reprint those Win7 discs for the EU edition.
I am completely surprised that Microsoft decided to change their mind over this, perhaps some bizarre Public Relations, by offering the customer choice after seeing so many comments and suggestions? In any case, I hope this works out well for everyone.
"without first giving written notice of the reasons of any cancellation"
They didn't actually say that they wouldn't use it as the reason though.
This is our written notice of cancellation of your Windows license, due to installing someone else's browser on your machines.
yours sincerely, B.Gates esq."
I really don't understand this. OK I accept that they may have abused their monopoly and they have obviously buried their rather unpleasant browser in the O/S, but is this really necessary? Leave MS alone for flips sake!
Why haven't they had a go at Mac for Safari and Linux for FF/Konquerer?
I use a Mac and Linux, so this doesn't really bother me directly, just stop picking on MS!
So if it's based on the top 5 in monthly usage share, the list will look something like
1. Internet Explorer 8
2. Internet Explorer 7
3. Internet Explorer 6
I can't wait to see what Opera would do then. Probably have a fit of hysterics so bad that its head explodes en-route to Brussels ;)
Sorry couldn't resist it :D
But on a more serious note:
MS are still trying to control their own punishment.
They know there are going to be forced to at least implement a Ballot of other browsers... so they try to push their own least worse solution, before the EU lowers the boom on them.
This is a good development but remember that if this was allowed:
MS wont have set the precedent of carrying competing software in their OS build disk( something they desperately want to avoid).
IE would still be built it to the OS as the default, it can just be changed. So it still has a privileged position over other browsers.
Most users get their OS with the PC set-up by their OEM... ms is known to have a LOT of influence over their decisions.
If the OEM chooses IE do users still get the Ballot screen?
Will the Microsoft update be marked Critical?
I think we knew this would happen, eventually. Everyone could see that Microsoft's "We won't ship any browser at all" policy was just a bit of show.
Is it enough? What if you start a new browser - you're then at a competitive disadvantage until you're in the top 6.
I think it's certainly a step in the right direction, but I think it'll really confuse consumers. How are they meant to choose between browsers? Surely if they used IE before, they'll click the nice IE icon they normally click to get to the internet. Or they'll get confused because they didn't know IE wasn't The Internet. Or they'll click the pretty fox because it looks nicer than the big blue e...
I'm not sure it'll really make much difference - people don't switch from IE because they don't know any better - a ballot screen from Microsoft is not going to change that.
I don't care what web browser they ship with.
Just don't ship Windows 7 E without any web browser, as the current plan looks to do.
If you're building your first computer, or in a location without any computers, how are you supposed to get online to download a web browser?
This is insane. I thought we left this kind of crap back in the early 90's when I got shipped a CD-ROM Drive.. with the DOS Drivers on CD.
Dear EU commission,
it is nice and cute to have the choice of browser when you first start a new system. To install another browser has always been possible, though. And they don't even cost much.
A real change towards more competition, enhanced user experience, freedom of choice, etc. would be if you forced the hardware manufacturers to offer multiple choices of operating system when buying the machine.
Why should MS have to punt other companies' products as part of their OS? Sure, make it so that IE can be disabled, but you've got to wonder why you don't see the EU chasing after Apple, demanding that they include various browsers as part of OS X. You also don't see anyone complaining about default browsers bundled with particular Linux distros.
Picking the "top 5 browsers for the past 6 months" is just as anti-competitive to new browsers as the current situation. Why should it be 5 browsers? Why not 10? 15? 20? It's Microsoft's product, they should be able to bundle their own browser with it, with effectively a killswitch, and to hell with everyone else. If you don't want to use it, you don't have to - download something else and install it yourself.
The EU is wasting time and money (and even if they fine MS a fortune, that cost just gets passed on to the end uers eventually) fighting a cause that only Opera really give a damn about. If Opera's browser was a good enough product, it'd be number 1 regardless. It's not, therefore it isn't. The fact that Firefox has a near 50% market share at the moment is a clear demonstration that this isn't a problem that needs solving - the competition is already perfectly healthy.
Then surely Apple should be forced to do the same - Safari is not the only Mac browser out there! IMO Apple are far more controlling of the end user experience than MS.
And which browsers will we get a choice of then? Who will make that decision?
I know IE is hated by many, mainly because of previous versions, and the fact it came out of Redmond, but this is just going to generate a lot of confusion for joe public when they buy a new Windows 7 PC. Another decision they have to make instead of simply getting on with it, when in reality they couldn't give two hoots!!
This sets a dangerous precident - bullying tactics by the EU. Sadly yhey appear to have successfully got away with this, what will they try in the future?
Surely Microsoft isn't actually beginning to start to understand the concept of misbehaviour followed by subsequent punishment then being a good little child? That the fines were not victimisation by the EU but punishment for being arseholes?
I think I just saw a pig flying past moments before hell froze over. Some phrase containing "leopard" and "spots" or "battle" and "war" springs to mind.
If they are going to do a ballot system of the top 5 browsers being used on the net and offering them up as choices* Does that mean that the top 3 options will be IE 6, 7 and 8 followed by Firefox and Chrome? Or are they going to limit the choice of IE versions just to the current? On a side note from what it appears (if they only go with one IE version) that Opera will actually make it onto the list but will there also be the percentage of people using it listed there as well? Double edged sword for the whiners at Opera, you made it on but now the whole world can see your no where near the top of the list.
/PH because Im sure shes about as clueless on this one as I am
Looks like your EU bureaucrats have finally succeeded in forcing you to waste more time setting up your PC! What's next, a ballot screen to choose a media player and a email program? How about the calculator? I know there are lots of alternative calculator programs and other little Windows programs in download.com. Don't they deserve it also?
Seriously, all EU is doing is giving huge free advertising to all MS competitors at MS expense. That's as unfair and stupid as it gets in my opinion. If they are going to force the ballot screen, at least they should make it a paid spot where companies have to bid for it. In fairness, MS should keep the money. But in EU's spirit, maybe the money raised can go to schools or something. (I know EU would rather funnel the money straight to Opera folk's pocket but hey, they can't be too obvious.)
Nothing Microsoft agrees to would ever permit fair and open competition.
Even under the proposal Microsoft remains the only company that sells its browser too all consumers even if not enabled. It is called a forced sale as it has always been.
ISV will known that Microsoft continues to force the sale of IE even if disabled.
Only an idiot, fool and uneducated would think that solution will result in a fair and open marketplace for browsers.
... in a "complete, timely and accurate manner" (IIRC) means that either
a) MS won't be doing it and they are putting one over the industry - AGAIN
b) MS will be doing it THIS TIME which must be interpreted as a clear indication that the war has shifted to another front - possibly Linux and the GPL as seen by the "release" of heaps of code (see other articles at Vulture Central).
But this is stupid. Should MS also offer to install Ubuntu rather than windows if you prefer, or (God forbid), iTunes instead of Media player. IE is part of the OS, just like (I'm guessing), Safari and iTunes is part of the MAC OS, or Firefox and Open Office is part of Ubuntu. Are they also to stop bundling their software?
And being that IE is so built into the OS, the probability is that the only thing missing from Win7 E is the bloody icon.
The first thing I do when installing Windows is download Firefox, reload my bookmarks and install my favourite addins, it's not hard, MS don't block the Firefox site or anything. I then DL VLC.
Finally - seen on the internet so unsure of its validity, we may not get the family pack (3 installs for $149 US dollars), supposedly because of this anti trust ruling: Way to queer the pitch Euro Overlords
I fully expect my Windows 7 copy to have no browser and to not hassle me about it either. I'm perfectly capable of installing my own. (Of course, if games makers made their games Linux compatible, I wouldn't bother financing Microsoft at all.)
For those who aren't capable of such a thing, perhaps they should learn how to use their computer. If they can't, they're probably not fit to own one.
That's definitely a relief for those of us who have held off pre-ordering the E version, because what's the first thing you'd need to do when it comes? Flatten the machine and load the OS from scratch.
I've pre-ordered the E version of Professional from Amazon, and, while I don't mind wiping the machine (just to get rid of the last little bit of Vista on there), it would be a benefit if we could upgrade.
Interesting development. Not entirely unexpected, and definitely more welcome.
Weighting it by current popularity should be fine. I suppose a comment on the software saying "You can use one of these browsers to merely search for and download any other browser you prefer" would maybe help too - after all, how many of you have "www.getfirefox.com" as the first and only link you visited using IE on a fresh windows install? Sure, Firefox will make it to the big 5 listed initially by the software, but, same concept.
What a ridiculous waste of time.
Anybody who is fanatical about their browser will already know exactly how to download it and default it (or will already being using a variant of Linux of a Mac anyway).
Any corporate admin will most likely prevent them from doing so via Group Policy.
Any 'PC World' type home user will click either the first, or the prettiest looking icon, until they break it, take it back to PC World, and return home with IE installed.
Most OEMs will probably bundle IE anyway.
Opera will still go bankrupt.
So now it DOES ship with IE?
And now we get an extra window offering 5 other browsers? I didn't know there WERE 5 other browsers..
I'll just do what I always do and install IE and Firefox shall I? Screw the extra screen, screw Opera for making it more confusing and lots of epic fails over at EU headquarters for thinking this is in any way a good idea.
And as if any manufacturer / supplier is going to take the IE removal route, nobody is going to believe Microsofts "of course we wont mind" statement.
'Announcement: Given the number of difficulties and legal arguments we've faced over providing free Internet browsers and media player software, we've decided to withdraw all client versions of Windows from the EU market for 12 months whilst we hold a thorough internal review.'
Pleas ecan we just sort this out, it is NOT hard.
All boxed versions of windows come with IE. Anyone who is ordering a boxed version is almost certainly savvy enough that they're gonna change their browser straight away
OEM versions come without a browser. Make it illegal for MS to use discounts on/threats-of-removing-the-OEM's-license-to-distribute Windows to as an incentive to install IE.
Make IE FULLY uninstallable.
Problem solved, no need to promote alternate products.
Actually no, they won't be offering three versions of IE as some people suggested, because Windows refuses to install an older version of IE (Vista won't even allow stand-alone versions). That pissed me off immensely when I was a web designer testing layouts for compatibility. And they'll figure out a way to make the link work. They're MS for christ's sake, can't be that difficult.
"Microsoft said it'll disclose all the Windows APIs that IE relies on in a "complete, accurate and timely manner" so rival browsers are not at a competitive disadvantage to Microsoft."
Why is it that I get the feeling that Microsoft have their own definitions for the words 'rely', 'complete', 'accurate', 'timely', 'competetive', and indeed 'disadvantage'? Oh, and 'all' as well.
Why is that every time we have an article about this we get the same bunch of idiotic comments. Don't these people read previous comment threads so they can actually learn why this is happening and why it's a good thing?
Register, whenever you do one of these articles again, please can you make the following notes at the bottom to stop this barrage of total stupidity on the comments page:
1. Microsoft have a MONOPOLY. A monopoly is very damaging for business and for the consumer and that is why measures need to be brought in to deal with it. That is why Apple are not having similar measures taken against them, because APPLE DO NOT HAVE A MONOPOLY LIKE MICROSOFT DO.
2. It is perfectly possible to download a web browser WITHOUT ALREADY HAVING A WEB BROWSER INSTALLED.
please refrain from posting on any more articles regarding MS/IE until such time as you:
1: understand the terms "monopoly" and "abuse of position"
2: understand that Firefox is not integrated into the Linux Kernal (ditto Safari/OSX)
3: understand that the www is NOT the Internet and that it IS possible to download a browser without a browser installed
4: understand that the population of EUROPE is more than twice that of the United States and that we're charged considerably more in Europe for MS software than our American counterparts - MS are quite unlikely to stop selling to EU countries (which account for about 500 million of the 730 million people in Europe) in a fit of pique - it's a larger more lucrative market
If you could just do this small amount of research it would save the rest of us from reading the same half-dozen fucking comments over and over and over again - that is all, thank you.
MS had obviously seen this one coming as ever since Vista, Windows Updates have been delivered through a built in application and not ANY web browser.
I still want to know who's making any money out of free web browsers and therefore, why it matters at all about whose OS ships with which browser...
vista and win 7 do not use ie to download updates they are done throught a control panle app if you do go into ie and go to update.microsoft.com you get a message telling you to use the app
"Once a browser is picked, an install link will connect the user to the browser manufacturer's site to begin download"
I asume they are talking about some sort of automated process in witch it is downlopaded and installed throught some sort of background ftp action
no all versons of ie are ie as MS dose not let you download earler ones and anyway they WANT you to move to IE8
Apple, Firefox, Ubuntu etc etc ARE NOT EFFECTIVE MONOPOLIES and are thus not governed by the various laws on ABUSE OF A MONOPOLY POSITION. Jeez.
Does Apple have to provide an alternative to Safari? No. Apple is not a monopoly.
Does Canonical have to provide an alternative to Firefox? No, but they do (and different window managers...and...and...). They are not a monopoly.
I don't really care about IE being installed on Windows, I just want the ability to totally and utterly remove every single last vestige of it from my PC. I can do that with Firefox on Ubuntu (or Windows for that matter), but I can't with IE.
MS should be forced to release all IE's APIs (or better yet, forced to comply with W3C standards) so that the other browser and support MS update etc.
But back to the morons; MS is only in this trouble because THEY ABUSED THEIR MONOPOLY POSITION (in the opinion of the EU etc). The others (Apple et al) are not monopolies and thus can't abuse that position.
Try using your brains for a change.
iTunes is the default music player on OS X. It can be completely and utterly removed. It can be completely and utterly replaced. I have Amazons MP3 downloader installed on my mac and it works a treat. Songbird and VLC player also work superbly. As for options in iTunes installers, since it's an OPTIONAL install for Windows in the first place, and as stated, can be replaced as the default in OS X, why should they? It's the end users choice whether on not they install iTunes and Quicktime or not. No abusive behaviour has taken place.
Ultimately your post is pointless, not because it's just plain wrong (it is), but because this action has NOTHING to do with Apple. If and when Apple abuse a dominant position in the OS market, then the appropriate authorities will take action. If you, as an obvious fanboi, want to stop those nasty people in the EC from picking on 'icle old Microsoft, then encourage Microsoft to STOP BREAKING TRADING LAWS. It really is that simple.
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