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  1. #1
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    Microsoft finally gives in about Internet Explorer

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    As I said a few weeks ago, Microsoft will begin offering other browsers to users of IE and on new Windows installations. After $2.44 billion in fines from the EU, users will be given the choice of up to 12 different browsers to install instead of IE.

    Web developers around the world fell to the ground with tears of joy and relief.

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    Trinithis (12-18-2009)

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    Regular Coder brad211987's Avatar
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    It's kind of a double edged sword IMO. Does Apple or Google have to do the same? So far as I know, safari is bundled and is the default on OSX. I'm right up near the front of the line when it comes to wanting IE to either die or get its standards support on track, but when does it become OK to dictate to ANY company what they can and cannot sell with their products? If I write two applications and bundle them together, am I being anti-competitive? What about ubuntu? It bundles firefox and leaves it as the default browser.

    This should certainly help trim down market share a bit for IE (though many non-technical people will probably still choose IE because they don't know anything different.)

    Not trying to be argumentative, but seriously, why is this OK? I don't think anyone doubts that Microsoft isn't exactly a friendly competitor, but as far as I'm concerned it has every right to bundle its own software together, after all, they wrote it. If you don't want it, don't use it......seemed to work for me just fine.

    I guess the core of my question is, other than than their reputation and scale, what makes this any different than Apple, Ubuntu, or any independent software company that bundles its own software together?

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    I'm all for trimming down the market share of IE, Windows, and anything Microsoft as well. It does seem kind of unfair that they can be fined billions of dollars just because they're winning out competitively. It just seems like Kmart suing Wal-mart because more people go to Wal-mart.

    But I'm just glad IE's market share is going to fall. It's an annoying browser. I hope Windows falls down a bit from its ridiculous 91% world market share as well.
    Last edited by Dean440; 12-16-2009 at 04:13 PM.

  • #4
    Senior Coder tomws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad211987 View Post
    Not trying to be argumentative, but seriously, why is this OK?
    It's OK because it's 1) the EU, and 2) Microsoft. The EU doesn't like free enterprise. No one likes Microsoft.

    Most everyone will look the other way until it affects a corporation they like. Perhaps MS will counter that Sun/Oracle should offer MSSQL and Access along with its own db products. Or Burger King will argue that McDonald's should offer Whoppers alongside Big Macs. Who knows?

    I also don't mean to defend the festering canker that is Internet Explorer (or anything from Microsoft, for that matter), but this should be called what it is: just another unnecessary governmental intrusion into the private sector. It's coming to the US, too. We're already beginning to dictate compensation for corporate executives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad211987 View Post
    Does Apple or Google have to do the same?

    Not trying to be argumentative, but seriously, why is this OK?
    Because Microsoft performed illegal anti-competitive measures in Europe. THAT is the reason all this came about. It's the same reason they were fined over a billion dollars in the US and more by 7 US States and are under continued Federal oversight right now.

    I thought we went over all this before.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomws View Post
    The EU doesn't like free enterprise.
    To the contrary, this came about to defend free enterprise.
    No one likes Microsoft.
    Why do you think that is?
    Perhaps MS will counter that Sun/Oracle should offer MSSQL and Access along with its own db products. Or Burger King will argue that McDonald's should offer Whoppers alongside Big Macs.
    What anti-competitive measures did McDonald's and Oracle do to deserve that?

  • #7
    Senior Coder tomws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    To the contrary, this came about to defend free enterprise.
    Ostensibly. "[D]efend[ing] free enterprise", though, typically does not mean that companies must provide competitors' products. In this context, it should rather address inhibiting/prohibiting access or use of those products, which is where all this started, of course. These are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    Why do you think that is?
    Honestly? Because they're big and "successful". Most people probably won't care about their anti-competitive history, their ineptness in various fields, or that Internet Explorer is a steaming load. Many are simply jealous that Bill the geek is a billionaire and they're not.

    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    What anti-competitive measures did McDonald's and Oracle do to deserve that?
    If you're implying that they've never practiced anti-competition, I think you're incorrect. However, the point, again, is that companies shouldn't be forced to provide the competition's products. That's monkeying with the market and it's not a job for the government in a (nominally) capitalistic society.
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    Here we go again ^_^

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick1988 View Post
    Here we go again ^_^
    Yeah, people would rather make things up without reading the facts spelled out long ago.

  • #10
    Regular Coder brad211987's Avatar
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    All I have to say on the topic is:

    1. Yes Microsoft has a history of being anti-competitive, no new news there.
    2. The idea of requiring ANY company to provide competitor products is just plain ridiculous. Bundling your own software together to provide a better out of box experience is NOT anti-competitive, just many many other things that MS does, is quite anti-competitive. As said previously, its an invasion into the private sector that shouldn't happen.
    3. The only true way to force MS to compete with companies instead of destroy them, is to educate people. It's slow but its working, as evidenced by the slowly declining IE market share over the past years. Legislation like this just causes more potential problems for many other companies.

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    Regular Coder brad211987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick1988 View Post
    Here we go again ^_^
    You're right, but its part of what makes this forum interesting and engaging

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad211987 View Post
    Bundling your own software together to provide a better out of box experience is NOT anti-competitive
    You're right but Microsoft locked out competition doing so and that IS anti-competitive.

  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad211987 View Post
    Legislation like this just causes more potential problems for many other companies.
    Sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes things are better.

  • #14
    Regular Coder brad211987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    You're right but Microsoft locked out competition doing so and that IS anti-competitive.
    Maybe its just me, but I don't remember MS stopping me from installing firefox, chrome, opera and safari. How did they lock out the competition? Refusing to allow competitors products to be installed is locking them out, but to my knowledge this never happened (kind of surprisingly though).

    With the way the court systems work (by ruling based on similar past cases), this legislation could easily be applied to apple once the EU has gotten bored with MS, and to any other company is so desires. Complete invasion of the private sector. The net effect of doing this to MS is good, but the ends doesn't justify the means in this case.

  • #15
    The Apostate Apostropartheid's Avatar
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    I believe MS used wrongful business practices to force OEMs not to preinstall alternate browsers. Or something.

    @drdr: I thought MS agreed to do this ages ago.


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