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Thread: EU could force Microsoft to bundle Firefox with Windows

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    seti is offline Member
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    Question EU could force Microsoft to bundle Firefox with Windows

    Hi,

    I don't know if anyone else has come across this which I got from PC Pro, or what you may think the results would be if it was tried or even if it is practical.


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    HappyAndyK's Avatar
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    From Source :

    On January 15, 2009, the European Commission issued a statement of objections expressing the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law.

    According to the statement of objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer. We will have an opportunity to respond in writing to the statement of objections within about two months. We may also request a hearing, which would take place after the submission of this response. Under European Union procedure, the European Commission will not make a final determination until after it receives and assesses our response and conducts the hearing, should we request one.

    The statement of objections seeks to impose a remedy that is different than the remedy imposed in the earlier proceeding concerning Windows Media Player.

    While computer users and OEMs are already free to run any Web browsing software on Windows, the Commission is considering ordering Microsoft and OEMs to obligate users to choose a particular browser when setting up a new PC. Such a remedy might include a requirement that OEMs distribute multiple browsers on new Windows-based PCs.

    We may also be required to disable certain unspecified Internet Explorer software code if a user chooses a competing browser. The statement of objections also seeks to impose a significant fine based on sales of Windows operating systems in the European Union.


    The other browsers have done well for themselves, inspite of, and at the cost of, IE (a part of the OS) being bundled with Windows, so I wonder what more they are still expecting ... So I think this issue could be a little outdated .... but hey if that happens, MS is going to feel the pinch ! Maybe its time MS started demanding that IE be bundled along with every FF download !

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    Corrine's Avatar
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    Such a remedy might include a requirement that OEMs distribute multiple browsers on new Windows-based PCs.
    I suppose the EU doesn't care that OEMs will then be tempted to charge the consumer extra to not install multiple browsers.

    It will also be more costly for OEM distributors to change the images as those multiple browsers are updated for vulnerabilities. That, or they'll leave the vulnerable version and the customer will blame Microsoft when their new computer is infected.

    I don't mind that IE is included with the OS -- although I very seldom elect to use IE over Firefox. Inclusion of IE provides the immediate option of downloading and installing the software programs, including browser, that I choose.

    It isn't as though alternate browsers are fee-based or licensed and having IE is hurting that vendor -- unless it is the add-on toolbar or other pre-checked software install that some vendors include.

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    Corrine's Avatar
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    Thank you for bringing this up, seti. It has been churning inside me all day and I finally decided to "spout off" a bit in a blog post, Microsoft and the European Commission.

  5. #5
    ajaypathak is offline Microsoft MVP
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    Why does Microsoft have to bundle so many browsers? Is apple is doing this, linux or any other os provider doing this, then why Microsoft?

    Can EU tell whether, without any web browser, can any one connect to the internet, and download the browser?

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    seti is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
    Thank you for bringing this up, seti. It has been churning inside me all day and I finally decided to "spout off" a bit in a blog post, Microsoft and the European Commission.
    Hi Corrine, if I haven't done so welcome here by the way. I have bookmarked your page. Read your article and went to the link there as well which makes you realise just how much gets added on if you are not careful, it seems everyone wants to put extras on.I totally agree with everything you said there and I get reallywith the EEC or wahtever it calls itself for such spouting. One day people will realise that as is generally accepted without MS there wouldn't have been the PC revolution nor affordable pc for everyone. So now they want to take that awy???????????????? You can't punish someone for being successful There I've had my say now

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    As I see it, Windows is a MS product and as such they are free to bundle a browser, a mail client or a disk defragmentor or any such software as they deem fit.

    Why should MS (or OEMs) be made to bundle 3rd party apps or sw ? Are they going to be made upto MS specs ... or will MS again be blamed if there are security issues or if it messes up with Windows? Arent we already seeing enough craplets on OEMs causing Vista freezing issues???

    A user has the freedom to use any browser of his choice. Firefox has grown ... without any help from the EU !!! The user preference shall prevail, in any case.

    And what if tomorrow a Pidgin or a Fedora make similar demands ? What if everyone demands a free ride on the Windows gravy train ?

    Microsoft is and will remain everyone's favorite punching bag.

    Edit : Nice blog post Corrine Almost missed it.

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    opera market share is languishing-maybe that is the reason it wants the free ride
    nice read corrine.

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    Corrine's Avatar
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    Thank you, Seti.

    The comments in the AppleInsider article, Europe revives claims of Microsoft web browser monoply, are interesting. (I updated the blog post to include that reference.)

    (Thank you Andy and Doug)

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    Just send the EEC the results of our "what browser do you use" poll and that will be the end of it. Obviously IE does not have a monopoly!

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