Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Internet Explorer Mozilla The Internet News

Mozilla To Join EU Suit Against Microsoft 422

Posted by timothy
from the judges-make-the-best-software-decisions-of-all dept.
CWmike writes "The European Commission (EC) has granted Mozilla the right to join its antitrust case against Microsoft, a spokesman said Monday. If the charges stick, Microsoft could be forced to change the way it distributes IE, as well as pay a fine for monopoly abuse. Mitchell Baker, Mozilla's chairperson, said in a blog over the weekend that there isn't 'the single smallest iota of doubt' that Microsoft's tying of IE to Windows 'harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mozilla To Join EU Suit Against Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • by C_Kode (102755) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:35PM (#26801907) Journal

    ultimately reduces consumer choice

    No, it doesn't reduce consumer choice. Many consumers are just to lazy to look or even care. IE does what they want, and IE is on the desktop and doesn't require downloading and installation. Those words alone terrify some users even though they should be more terrified of actually using IE.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lwriemen (763666)

      Yes, it does. Your argument is specious and assumes IE will always be/has always been on the Windows desktop.
      What if the consumer had both IE, Firefox, and Opera on their desktop? Why isn't this possible? If installation is such a hardship, then let the computer vendors install one or more browsers. Maybe it would be a point of competition.
      The same is true for all applications. Bundling applications used to be a point of competition for hardware vendors.

      • by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:58PM (#26802431)

        Then shouldn't this be brought up with the OEMs not microsoft? The old argument about microsoft raising the license fees if the OEMs do this or that is gone see linux being offered bt Dell, HP, probable others too. If HP and Dell can include all of this other software (DVD players, DVD/CD recording software, trials of anti virus software, etc.), then the OEMs could also include firefox, opera, or another free software. Come on Dell has an option to install adobe acrobat reader which is free. Adding a check box for a web browser is not too hard. Go after the OEMs. They are already selling PCs with a non microsoft OS, adding a free web browser is not going to cost the OEMs that much more.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @04:10PM (#26802639)

          If it is entirely possible to remove IE from your computer without borking the OS, then yes, it will be something to bring up to the OEMs. If IE MUST be on the computer regardless of the user's or OEM's wishes, then we should continue hitting up Microsoft until they untie the browser from the OS.

          I have IE on my computer. I don't want it there. I can't remove it. Various Microsoft programs insist on launching that damned thing despite OS set preferences for Firefox. Something it would not be able to do if I truly had the freedom of CHOICE rather than the freedom of adding extras. If IE wasn't such a big security risk I wouldn't be nearly as concerned, but microsoft has proven itself to me that it is unable to make a secure application.

          • Unfortunately, mshtml.dll is a part of IE that is a component useable by C++ and .NET programs. That's the primary reason why IE can't just be removed.

            To name a few programs that do use it:
            Valve's Steam content delivery system
            Norton Internet Security (preemptive "No one should use Norton any more, it's a piece of crap!")
            Everquest II
            basically anything that wants the capability of displaying webpages but doesn't want to integrate its own browser.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jasmusic (786052)
              EverQuest 2 uses the Mozilla engine in-game, and IE for the launcher I believe. At work I've written C++ and C# software that uses the HTML control for cleanly auto-formatting status displays and rich inline help information.

              In Vista when you don't have a legitimate product key, the OS opens an IE window for you to buy one online. Likewise, the help files viewed in the HTML viewer optionally connect to the internet for extra or updated content.

              You'd think the people here on Slashdot would actually pret
      • by digitig (1056110)

        What if the consumer had both IE, Firefox, and Opera on their desktop?

        "Both"?

        Anyway, as soon as the general public discovers that the Microsoft web site kicks them off if they're not using IE, they'll soon learn to ignore the others. What's on the desktop isn't the end of the issue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't hiding the fact that there is even a choice reducing consumer choice, even if it's laziness on the consumer's part?

      • by Xaoswolf (524554)
        You mean how IE redirects any traffic to mozilla.org to microsoft.com?
        oh, wait, it doesn't do that...
    • Redundant? On the second post? He's got a valid point guys. It's the same reason people use whatever anti-virus software came preinstalled and whatever word-processor came preinstalled. They're going to use those programs for the same reason they bought a $500 computer in the first place - it's good enough to do what they want to do.
      • by Endo13 (1000782)

        Redundant? On the second post?

        You must be new here.

        (That, btw, could be modded insightful, funny, redundant, or offtopic. So it will probably end up with +2 informative.)

    • by Hordeking (1237940) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @04:07PM (#26802583)

      Many consumers are just to lazy to look or even care.

      Bad assumption.

      Quite a few users probably don't think they have a choice or realise that the browser is a replaceable tool.

      If you don't realise there's a choice, you will never get to the point of asking what the choices are.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Your point? If it does what they need it to do, why _should_ they look for a replacement? If it doesn't, there are plenty of alternative browsers available.

        In the end, this just comes down to a bunch of whiners who can't understand that most people don't _care_ about which web browser they use and that the idea of a browserless OS is a ridiculous anachronism.

        OEMs are free to put other browsers on the machines, Opera and Firefox can most certainly work with the OEMs to become that browser.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by orclevegam (940336)
          The point is, if they don't know there's an alternative, they won't know if it "does what they need it to do" or not. A lot of technologically inept users treat their computer like some sort of magical device, they recite the magical incantations they were taught by and then are grateful for whatever happens whether it's what they wanted or not. They don't bother to try something new, or even realize that there's more than one way to do something because they don't really understand what it is they're doin
    • consumers do NOT have to be hardworking, or care to have better choices inside a product they BOUGHT in order to conduct their daily lives or business.

      they buy it to make their lives EASIER. not HARDER. they are NOT buying an operating system in order to have to WORK HARD and not be lazy to 'have options'.

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      The "reduces choice" logic goes something like this:

      The only reason that IE only features can be used by developers/content producers is due to the ubiquity of Internet Explorer. If content uses IE only features, consumers are forced to use IE. The only reason Internet Explorer is ubiquitous is because Microsoft used its Operating System monopoly to create massive market share in the Browser market.

  • IE (Score:4, Funny)

    by Chabo (880571) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:36PM (#26801923) Homepage Journal

    that there isn't 'the single smallest iota of doubt' that Microsoft... 'harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.'

    I agree. They never should've made IE for OSX.

  • Someone held the bastards feet to the fire..
  • How, exactly?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TrebleJunkie (208060) <ezahurakNO@SPAMatlanticbb.net> on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:37PM (#26801941) Homepage Journal

    I see IE's bundling with Windows as a *boon* for browser competition.

    I mean, without IE pre-installed on the box, how is Joe User going to go and download Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome?

    • by Chabo (880571)

      Well, last I'd heard, Opera was asking for their product to be bundled with Windows, in addition to IE.

      • by htnmmo (1454573)

        Well, last I'd heard, Opera was asking for their product to be bundled with Windows, in addition to IE.

        Great! So now they have something they can use to download Firefox, since mozilla doesn't want it to be bundled.

        • hypocrisy (Score:4, Interesting)

          by eleuthero (812560) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:48PM (#26802211)
          It strikes me as somewhat hypocritical for Mozilla to join the suit against MS while at the same time saying they don't want any of the viable fixes to be applied. This is basically asking for a handout that is only going to see the lawyers win in the end. MS makes money because they make a product that for all its problems is easily usable (apparently) by 90% of the world. For all that we complain here, telling a software company what they need to include in their program in order to sell it does not sound too good to me--I can see telling a company, "don't include viruses" but telling a company it can't include something that is foundational to the system's operation (for most people) is not just 'antitrust' enforcement, it's crippling a legitimate (however much disliked) business.
          • Re:hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

            by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @05:01PM (#26803573)

            It strikes me as somewhat hypocritical for Mozilla to join the suit against MS while at the same time saying they don't want any of the viable fixes to be applied.

            What "viable fixes" are you talking about? Did you read the same article as the rest of us?

            This is basically asking for a handout that is only going to see the lawyers win in the end.

            Mozilla has "interested third party" status, they don't get part of reparations in this case. They just get to make comments to the courts about reparations. How is that a handout?

            MS makes money because they make a product that for all its problems is easily usable (apparently) by 90% of the world.

            So are you objecting to antitrust law in general or in this specific case? You are being vague. Do you think if I have a monopoly on something I should be able to use that to drive people who have better products than I do out of a different market, provided my product is "good enough to be usable" even if it isn't as good as the competition?

            For all that we complain here, telling a software company what they need to include in their program in order to sell it does not sound too good to me--I can see telling a company, "don't include viruses" but telling a company it can't include something that is foundational to the system's operation (for most people) is not just 'antitrust' enforcement, it's crippling a legitimate (however much disliked) business.

            Do you even understand antitrust law or this case? Telephone handsets are pretty critical to the telephone system business. Before the antitrust laws were enforced people were paying thousands of dollars over their lifetime to rent a rotary dial phone available only in black with no call waiting, answering machine, caller ID, or even speed dial. It's the same law applied in the same way that is why you can buy a functional home phone with good features for a few bucks. If you're arguing we need to change the law, I hope you have good reason. If you're arguing it does not apply to MS in this case, you'd beetter have a good reason. I'm all ears. Enlighten me.

      • Re:How, exactly?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @04:00PM (#26802479)

        Well, last I'd heard, Opera was asking for their product to be bundled with Windows, in addition to IE.

        Really? Where did you hear that? Last I heard Opera complained about the abuse and asked the EU to specifically address broken standards. As far as I know they have asked for no specific remedy. A lot of pundits and MS themselves have made comments about forcing MS to bundle Opera as well, but as far as I've heard neither Opera nor the EU have proposed any such thing. Do you have a source?

        • by Chabo (880571)

          Hmm... maybe I just saw the "Mozilla doesn't want Firefox bundled with Windows" article, and inferred that Opera did want that... Dunno. :/

      • And the OEMs are entirely free to do so.
    • by oahazmatt (868057)
      That is the issue. How would most users get their browser if it wasn't already installed?

      I think a better solution, rather than fines with no forseeable change in pattern, is to try to work with Microsoft and convince them it is in the consumer's best interest to package other popular browsers (Firefox, Safari and Chrome) with Windows as well as Internet Explorer.
      • by IgLou (732042)
        I'd rather have the installers available on disk but not actually installed. Then when you go through the OS installation you can pick which browser to install, or better yet, give a "have disk" option or install later. The key thing is give an end user the choice. If the system is boxed then you should go through setting up IE when you go through your initial setup.

        As an aside, personally my big grief for a while there was not being able to remove IE. If I find a browser that does everything I want an
        • You can most certainly delete the IE icon from your machine and not run IE. I'm sure you think you have a reason to "remove" IE, but you simply don't. You have tons and tons of other garbage on your machine that you don't use, a few DLLs and a few EXE's are no different.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Because we know OEMs never install software on top of the default OS.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by roemcke (612429)

      I mean, without IE pre-installed on the box, how is Joe User going to go and download Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome?

      The same way they download drivers for their netework cards?

    • Re:How, exactly?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Foofoobar (318279) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:54PM (#26802353)

      I mean, without IE pre-installed on the box, how is Joe User going to go and download Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome?

      The consumer could choose on the OEM's site what browser to install or the OEM's could make a deal with a browser company to install their browser by default. OEMs make their money through installed software contracts. Very few people purchase computers without a browser these days. If people purchase Windows OS, they could easily put a separate IE instyall disk in the box (like they used to).

      But by separating the browser from the OS and the file browser, this gives consumers the option to attach whatever browser they want to the system rather than having the OS route all calls through their browser by default. And if the OEM's handle the install process and all the consumer has to do is make a choice from the top 5 (opera, safari, firefox, chrome and IE) then you have covered 99.99% of the market. Others can easily uninstall and reinstall their browser of choice.

      • by N1AK (864906)

        And if the OEM's handle the install process and all the consumer has to do is make a choice from the top 5 (opera, safari, firefox, chrome and IE) then you have covered 99.99% of the market. Others can easily uninstall and reinstall their browser of choice.

        But why is 99.99% of the market ok, but 70+% (IE in various forms) isn't. Six years ago MS could have argued they were already distributing the browser used by 95% of the market (IE) does the fact that IE back then was the only big choice justification fo

        • by Foofoobar (318279)
          Because that .001% who complain about 'obscure browser' already know how to FTP and install that browser. They are educated and knowledgable users. They have the option to install the browser of their choice like everyone else... it's just that OEM's can only provide a limited selection.

          I'm totally fine as a knowledgable user installing my own software as long as I know Microsoft isn't going to walk all over my install choices.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Well... ok, but OEMs *could* already do that right now and they're choosing not to. What makes you think a lawsuit would change anything?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'm unclear why this is informative or what you're babbling about. You do know that OEMs are entirely free to do this now, right? The OS only "routes calls" to their browser only if the application developer chose to do so. You can most certainly choose not to use MS's browser DLLs, and only MS apps would use it.

    • I see IE's bundling with Windows as a *boon* for browser competition.

      I mean, without IE pre-installed on the box, how is Joe User going to go and download Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome?

      See here [slashdot.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Florian Weimer (88405)

      I mean, without IE pre-installed on the box, how is Joe User going to go and download Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome?

      With an FTP client, like in the old Netscape days. ftp.mozilla.org and ftp.opera.com are still around, ready to serve files.

  • So, which is it? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271)
    Didn't some Firefox exec just say bundling doesn't lead to market share if a competitor is good enough [slashdot.org]?
    • Just because they don't want to be bundled doesn't mean that MS isn't damaging the market by tying something unnecessary to the OS.

      Perhaps Mozilla is just being fair and thinking a single company or court shouldn't decide which browser the consumer gets.
    • by Endo13 (1000782)

      Yeah, I was going to post that if no one else did. I'm looking at the summary, and all I really see is a giant WTF?! plastered over it.

  • Mike and Mitchell (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rinisari (521266) *

    I think Mitchell Baker, Mozilla CEO, and Mike Conner, Firefox architect, need to talk about yesterday's Slashdot article, Firefox Exec Says Windows Bundling Is a Bad Idea [slashdot.org] and figure out exactly what Mozilla wants.

  • Bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elrous0 (869638) *
    I use Firefox exclusively, and including IE by default not only didn't stop me from downloading and using Firefox, it actually helped. How else was I supposed to access Mozilla's website on my new PC?
  • by dreemernj (859414) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @03:45PM (#26802135) Homepage Journal
    Are they talking about getting rid of the blue E and bundling other browsers or are they actually talking about stripping IE out of the OS completely?

    I ask because, while I never use IE now that all the sites I frequent work in good alternative browsers, I do use HTML Applications based on IE regularly. Many of the software installation CDs I have use a simple HTA as the frontend for when the disc is dropped in and I frequently build simple HTAs to "streamline" windows for family and friends.

    I don't care if "Internet Explorer" as the window that opens when you click a URL is replaced with something else and while I think bundling an arbitrary group of 3rd party browsers is bizarre, I don't really care if they do that. But, if they actually strip IE from the whole system and remove the HTML Application functionality, it would cut out a portion of the OS that's (at least somewhat) useful that isn't really connected to the issue at hand.

    Is that what they are going for?
  • This sounds like a really good way for Apple to gain market share. It is a visually appealing, simple system that is easy to learn and when customers find that the government has broken their new computers, they'll take them back and get something that works.
  • Who is John Galt? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by A. B3ttik (1344591)
    I'm sorry, mod me as a troll if you like, but this whole thing reeks of Government putting its nose where it doesn't belong.

    The EU tried them a while ago for anti-competitive practices, fined them, and forced them to release a bunch of code. Microsoft complied. The EU came back again and said it wasn't enough, fined them again, and forced them to release more. Yet again, Microsoft complied. Finally, the EU fined them a THIRD time and forced them to release even more code. Microsoft, again, complied.

    The
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tres (151637)

      Back when the antitrust trial was happening in the US, it looked like MS was going to be split up... until Bush took over and scuttled the case. At the time many were saying that Gates et al. would regret not being split up just because things like this would happen.

      Being a monopoly has given MS lots of money, but it has effectively limited the ways that they can leverage themselves in new directions.

      Your car analogy doesn't quite work. We're talking about two separate products; the web browser is not a pa

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cabjf (710106)
      That car analogy would fit better if BMW had 90+ percent of the market and is telling consumers to use only their own brand of gas in their vehicles. It's abusing their standing as a monopoly to reduce competition.

      And weren't the original complaints against Microsoft by the EU around the browser being tied to the OS? I think this reflects that they didn't really change it enough and are still discouraging any competition.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Snowblindeye (1085701)

      Obligatory car analogy: It's like getting angry at BMW for using BMW driveshafts in their vehicles instead of offering vehicles with all 3rd party driveshafts.

      Except BMW doesn't have a monopoly on cars. If they did, maybe we would actually tell them to open up certain things to 3rd party products.

      It's the monopoly that makes it the governments business.

    • I think it's pretty much Government's job to keep the playing field balanced (no monopoly). If it's not the Government who else, companies like Microsoft getting ashamed by their own behavior?

    • "It's like getting angry at BMW for using BMW driveshafts"

      No, it's like getting angry that 90% of the gas stations service only BMWs. Sure, you can get a VW, and you'll have "plenty" of gas stations that will service it. Oh, have I mentioned that 90% of the parking spaces are only for BMWs too?

      • by Endo13 (1000782)

        Hmm... I think we can improve on the bad car analogy.

        It's like getting angry that 100% of the gas stations service only BMW's. But hey, you can still buy something else and use diesel, or an electric car and plug it in every night. What? No, we don't need more diesel stations or places to plug in electric cars. Not many people use them anyway. Now go buy a BMW. Oh, and don't forget to make sure you have an extra BMW license for every person in your family who wants to use it.

    • Re:Who is John Galt? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @04:37PM (#26803131)

      I'm sorry, mod me as a troll if you like, but this whole thing reeks of Government putting its nose where it doesn't belong.

      Yeah, that crazy EU government and their enforcing the laws... the same laws we enforced against MS for the same crime which they still haven't stopped committing. Seriously, I hope you're an astroturfer, instead of just an honest someone they've managed to completely mislead.

      The EU tried them a while ago for anti-competitive practices, fined them, and forced them to release a bunch of code.

      Wrong. It forced them to document APIs for communication between two of their products so people making the one that was not Windows on the desktop could compete. They even let them charge for said documentation.

      Microsoft complied. The EU came back again and said it wasn't enough, fined them again, and forced them to release more.

      Actually, MS refused to comply, which is why the EU continued to fine them until they did comply, that is fully document the APIs so others could compete. MS just tried to pull a fast one by releasing incomplete and incorrect APIs and hoping the EU would not call them on it.

      Then you've got the entire EU saying "We recommend you don't use Windows. Our government isn't going to use Windows, either." which is all well and good, they certainly have that liberty.

      Yeah, governments often recommend against doing business with repeat offender criminals, but the EU never said they would not use MS, they are just not a preferred vendor.

      Now you've got them suing based on the fact that MS packages a damn browser with their operating system (the one thing 99.99% of people buy computers for) and its anti-trust, too.

      Wow, you never get tired of being wrong do you? There is no lawsuit. Opera reported a crime. They did not file a lawsuit. The crime they reported was antitrust abuse. The fact that the antitrust abuse happens by way of bundling does not imply bundling is illegal in the general case. Your argument is like claiming someone being charged with murder for shooting someone should be let go, because lots of hunters and target shooters fire guns as well and are not arrested. You're fundamentally failing to comprehend either the crime or the reason for the law and basically being an embarrassment to people who bother to learn about something before spouting off about it.

      Geez, can you leave them alone already?

      Geez, can't they stop committing crimes already? They only have a million lawyers.

      If people want firefox, they can download firefox or opera or anything.

      Irrelevant. It does not mitigate the antitrust abuse.

      If they don't want Windows, there's plenty of free alternatives.

      Irrelevant, MS is not charged with having a monopoly. Having a monopoly is legal.

      Fine, you think their products suck. Don't use them.

      For OEMs the option of not buying Windows to pre-install on computers they sell is not an option. It sucks, but it isn't illegal. Making them take IE too is illegal. Even if I never use Windows or IE, they're still costing me money when I do Web development. They're costing Opera and Mozilla money every day as well, and they're doing so by breaking the law. If I were breaking the law and costing you money would your ignoring that law (the one everyone else has to obey) seem like a reasonable option to you, just because other people have choices? How does that help you?

      But don't hold a gun to their heads and tell them they can't sell a certain product.

      But here's the thing. They can make and sell IE all they want. They can fricking bundle it with MS brand mice. They just can't legally bundle it with Windows and they've been breaking that law and counting on it to make them more money than it c

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It takes away from Gimp downloads.

  • Does Opera and Mozilla want a settlement from Microsoft? Do they want their browsers pre-installed with IE or IE completely removed?

    An OS without a browser.. the people who didn't know about choices in their browser are going to be the same people who can't figure out how to put a browser on the computer to begin with.
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @04:10PM (#26802629) Homepage
    I'm genuinely surprised how many simpletons are confused because Mozilla claimed they don't want to be bundled and then the other people wondering how to get online without IE being tied into Windows.

    The situation is not black and white. It's not a case of tying IE to Windows or bundling Mozilla. They're right that in both instances. Mozilla shouldn't be forced on people as well. Nor should IE be tied to the OS. The solution should be that the consumer gets to choose.

    This can be achieved by making IE uninstallable for those that don't want it on their system and by not having it tied to the system the OEM can give consumers a choice in a browser.

    It's not enough to just say "oh well OEMs can just install Firefox now". That is true but it doesn't factor in the fact IE is setup to try to take over as your default browser and it's not even a case that you can to never open IE because even if you don't want to open IE but use something like MSN messenger then it ignores your browser choice and uses IE anyway which will, by default, ask you to change your default browser settings.

    If your parents are too dumb to sort out getting a browser themselves then how are they going to handle the constant nagging from applications to use IE . If half their applications make them use IE anyway then where is their incentive to use something else and put up with the constant changing of the interface depending on how the browser was launched?

    If IE is untied from Windows there is no way OEMs will ship a system without a browser. So I dunno why people worry about that. It'll be better because they'll be able to give people a choice.

    And again Mozilla wanting to see an end to MS' deceptive tactics does not automatically mean they want to bundled. The amount of options as to what people can do will be much larger if no browser is forced on people and they know this. For once a company is being good and why not? They know they have a superior product and don't need to force it on people.

    But they do know there are a lot of people that can't use computers that well and when their PC keeps saying "hey don't you wanna use IE instead?" then they probably will because people hate to be nagged and in the end their choice is limited.

    I would have thought this would be obvious to people on a geeky website.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't understand what Mozilla's problem is, they have every opportunity to create an OS and bundle their browser with it. Then they will actually being giving people a choice.

      I have a choice to put either Linux or Windows on my computer when I install it. But when I install Ubuntu I don't see IE on it, I only see Firefox? Where is my choice?

      • You uninstall Firefox and install the browser of your choice including IE [spacesurfer.com] and then you don't have to worry about any other browser trying to take over or wasting space that could be filled with something else.

        Mind you may not be able to install something newer than IE but that's down to MS and not Linux.

        That is choice and one you don't get on Windows.
    • by EvolutionsPeak (913411) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @04:52PM (#26803403)

      What nagging? The first time Internet Explorer starts up and is not the default browser it asks if you want to make it the default browser. Uncheck the "always ask" box and click "no" and it never asks again. I have been doing this for years and never been "nagged". The worst thing that happens is that some programs (non-MS programs even) open sites in IE even when it is not the default browser. If you or anyone can give an example that will cause incessant nagging then please state it, and it should probably be reported as a bug.

      As far as sites not being compatible with non-IE browsers or requiring ActiveX or whatever, that is not a reason to say they are acting unfairly by bundling their browser. They offer an extra feature unique to their browser which comes with their operating system, what is unfair about that? People are perfectly free to not use their OS or their browser.

  • The way I got Firefox on the three PCs that I use for personal and professional reasons was through an HTTP download from Mozilla's website accessed through Internet Explorer. It was easy and efficient to get Firefox this way.

    To me, the sole reason that IE has existed on my PCs, was to serve as the program that allowed me to download Firefox. Once Firefox was installed I disabled IE from being able to visit any website (zero addresses are on the allowed list) so even if a program automatically boots up IE

  • came with a radio installed. I'm going to sue Ford for their monopoly on car stereos.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by strabo (58457)

      My car came with a radio installed. I'm going to sue Ford for their monopoly on car stereos.

      So if you want a different radio, can you remove the existing radio and install a new one, or do you have to install another radio in addition to the existing radio, or the car stops working?

  • microsoft lost this case. Ec doesnt like this kind of thing. they will shave off ie, or force other browsers, OR, force ms to shove the ability to choose multiple browsers in people's eyes.

    my best bet, they may require a central, nonprofit organization to list available browsers for windows, and an easy way to remotely fetch them from there on selection and install.

    do your preparations accordingly everyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @05:50PM (#26804403)

    This is kind of silly. What about Windows calculator utility? "No one downloads competing calculator applications because Microsoft comes with one built-in!" Give me a break.

    Really, all Microsoft needs to do is open their update platform. Look at Ubuntu (or any Debian flavor)... in Ubuntu, if I want Firefox, I just open a console and type apt-get install firefox. Or I can use synaptic. Or aptitude. Or adept.

    Windows Update only allows updating of existing Microsoft software on the machine. If this were opened up to support updating AND INSTALLING of Microsoft AND 3RD PARTY applications, then they could give users a choice of what they want to install without hunting it down on the internet and it would all be over. IE could be removed from the base platform entirely, and can be retrieved through Windows Update at any time... just like Firefox, Opera, Chrome, whatever.

    But I digress.

  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:39PM (#26805201)

    Honestly I can't agree with this. Microsoft has the right to ship whatever browser they want in their OS, if the EU or the UN or whatever told Canonical to ship IE with Ubuntu I'll be really pissed off.

      Yes the IE monoculture is harmful (surprisingly, due more to it being IE than being a monoculture) but the real problem is the Windows monoculture, instead of fighting to install firefox in Windows the goal should be to force OEMs to offer more OS choices.

      Of course we can't blame OEMs for not offering Linux because desktop Linux is a very young platform (the first Ubuntu LTS is not even 3 years old).

      If anything we should sue MS for the OOXML fiasco.

  • Standards... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by yoshi_mon (172895) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:49PM (#26805331)

    It's not just that MS abused it's monopoly by bundling IE and then further integrating it into Windows. It is that they then made up their own standards so that they could force people to use IE.

    I can't count the number of people that when talking about other browsers say something to the effect of, "Well yeah but some sites don't work in Firefox/Opera/whatever." Which then in effect forces IE's use on people.

    IE needs to be made standard complaint and fully removable. And in that order imo.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

Working...