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Mozilla To Join EU Suit Against Microsoft

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the judges-make-the-best-software-decisions-of-all dept.

The Courts 422

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.'"

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422 comments

Join (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26801867)

Opera, join!

ultimately reduces consumer choice (5, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801907)

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:ultimately reduces consumer choice (3, Insightful)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802159)

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.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (5, Insightful)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (2, Insightful)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802561)

Ok, did nobody read the article stating that Mozilla did NOT want their products bundled with Windows? So just what is Windows supposed to do, ship their OS with no way of getting on the web? That's just silly.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (1, Troll)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802727)

Well, making IE uninstallable would be a start. It may also help if they changed their activex object to just use the default browser in browser embedded applications (mmo launchers & such).
No body expects them to advertise for mozilla, and they shouldnt have to, but they fight the consumer tooth and nail to make IE integrated into EVERYTHING, and thats what we're fighting.
If i remember correctly, if you manage to uninstall IE manually (not easy) in XP- simply putting the windows cd in your drive will auto reinstall it.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802177)

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

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (1)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802871)

You mean how IE redirects any traffic to mozilla.org to microsoft.com?
oh, wait, it doesn't do that...

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802209)

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.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (1)

Llian (615902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802345)

Have to agree with this post. People are lazy. IE does the job for them (and some actually like it). Say M$ stops bundling IE with windows, what are they going to use as a web browser if the vendor doesn't pre-install one (and no you cannot assume they will)?

Also, look at the N versions in the EU. They don't sell. It was a useless lawsuit that created a useless product that no one wants. M$ is the EU's cash cow. Nothing more.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (1, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802549)

I just don't get it. How can mozilla, a non-profit organization sue someone claiming they have a monopoly? They are basically asking for free money. They are not meant to make money but they are suing a company because that company does something that limits the amount of money they can make? I just don't get it.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802719)

How can mozilla, a non-profit organization sue someone claiming they have a monopoly? They are not meant to make money but they are suing a company because that company does something that limits the amount of money they can make?

Non-profit [wikipedia.org] doesn't mean they can't make money.

Re:ultimately reduces consumer choice (3, Insightful)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

First European Dinosaur (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26801919)

RAWR RAWR We are going after Microsoft ! RAWR RAWR

IE (3, Funny)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801923)

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.

It's about damn time! (1)

MrLinuxHead (528693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801927)

Someone held the bastards feet to the fire..

Grandma's? (1)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801933)

Great, now my grandma is going to call me up to ask why the Internets isn't working. Then I will have to go to Walmart just to buy my free webbrowser.

Re:Grandma's? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802385)

Great, now my grandma is going to call me up to ask why the Internets isn't working. Then I will have to go to Walmart just to buy my free webbrowser.

No one said you shouldn't be able to download it. The best suggestion I've heard so far is an addition to Add/Remove programs that allows you to find apps on the web and install them from there. Third party apps could be included as well with Group Policy settings and local App Download Servers (like WSUS) for corporate environments that want to control what can be downloaded and installed on corporate computers.

Anyway there are plenty of ways to do it; the challenge is for MS to do it in a way that a) doesn't suck and b) allows fair access by third party apps.

Re:Grandma's? (1)

theascended (1228810) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802819)

This is NOT Microsoft's responsibility. As long as they aren't actively limiting the ability to install other pieces of software or creating an environment in which other programs can not run, Microsoft has done their job. I don't know much about EU law, but it is ridiculous to think that Microsoft should be forced to bundle their operating system with competitor software... that's up to the distributors/OEMs, and if people buy direct from Microsoft, they can't bitch that non-Microsoft software isn't included.

How, exactly?!? (3, Insightful)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801941)

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?

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801981)

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

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

htnmmo (1454573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802021)

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 (3, Interesting)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:How, exactly?!? (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802745)

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

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802537)

This is because they can't compete with Firefox, not IE. Which makes this "partnership" all the more ironic.

Re:How, exactly?!? (3, Funny)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802025)

Re:How, exactly?!? (2, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802095)

Great, so now you have to somehow download and install cygwin just so you can download mozilla! ;)

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802325)

Oh yes, because wget comes preinstalled on windows, too.

I doubt it.

Re:How, exactly?!? (2, Funny)

chrismsummers (629478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802463)

And how exactly are the grandmas supposed to get wget for Windows?

Re:How, exactly?!? (4, Funny)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802513)

How would downloading the linux version help a windows user?

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802141)

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.

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

IgLou (732042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802787)

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 and I don't need IE anymore why should I keep. Unfortunately, due to my work I need it at home so I haven't tried removing IE. Otherwise I'd be fine using Flock/Chrome.

Re:How, exactly?!? (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802205)

Because we know OEMs never install software on top of the default OS.

Re:How, exactly?!? (2, Insightful)

roemcke (612429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802333)

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?!? (0, Redundant)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802347)

I see IE's bundling with Windows...

...without IE pre-installed on the box...

Bundling with Windows != bundling with the box

FAIL!

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

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:How, exactly?!? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802409)

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:How, exactly?!? (2, Insightful)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802805)

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.

Hate to say it.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26801987)

but this whole fiasco has made me NOT want to use Opera. Total removal of IE can't happen. Well, it can, but most people are going to re-install IE as most apps these days require the API's IE uses. I like the effort Opera, but this should have been done in 1999, not 2009.

So, which is it? (2, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26801999)

Didn't some Firefox exec just say bundling doesn't lead to market share if a competitor is good enough [slashdot.org] ?

Re:So, which is it? (1)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802231)

They did. I was just puzzling over how competition is being harmed (per this article) if bundling doesn't lead to market share and, therefore, causes no harm to competition (per the previous article). Their PR and Legal departments need to get their execs on the same page.

Re:So, which is it? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802383)

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.

Re:So, which is it? (1)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802501)

So, just bundle multiple browsers instead of removing the only browser currently bundled. Once the user is aware they have choices, they might start to seek out lesser known alternatives. Even if users don't initially start looking for other alternatives, some will eventually and it will make it easier to develop a competing browser.

Huh?! I think I've got a headache. (1)

N!NJA (1437175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802007)

just the other day they (Mozilla) said that bundling does not boost adoption.... now this. was that a decoy or the man was indeed a bozo?

Re:Huh?! I think I've got a headache. (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802621)

just the other day they (Mozilla) said that bundling does not boost adoption.... now this. was that a decoy or the man was indeed a bozo?

Yesterday the personal comments of one Firefox developer/architect were made into a Slashdot story. The comments of one of the actual executives, which said basically the opposite, were ignored. I can see why one might get the wrong idea, but you have to pay attention to the context. Sure, the guy was a bozo, but most of us knew that yesterday.

Antithesis! (0, Flamebait)

bossy (257050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802009)

So yesterday we have this story(http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/09/1537203) about Firefox Execs not wanting to be bundled and today they want to join the lawsuit!!!

Mike and Mitchell (1, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802031)

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.

An OS with no browser? (1, Troll)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802037)

I love FireFox. It's all I use unless I'm confronted with some horrible IE-only site... but, are we really going to try and force Microsoft to stop including IE with the OS? If you have no web browser how are you supposed to go about getting one? Memorize an FTP address? Conveniently have one on a thumb drive or CD ready to go? Mozilla has already said they don't want to be included.

The answer to this is obviously less important to techies such as ourselves. I can, however, imagine the sad conversation I'd end up having with one of my less savvy peers.

Re:An OS with no browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802189)

Exactly what I was thinking. I'm ok if they include some message with links to other browsers on first run, but you have to include a web browser with vanilla os install.

Re:An OS with no browser? (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802659)

Exactly what I was thinking. I'm ok if they include some message with links to other browsers on first run, but you have to include a web browser with vanilla os install.

How about this plus IE can actually be uninstalled without killing the OS.

Re:An OS with no browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802425)

step 1: Buy a computer magazine with a browser article

step 2: Use the command line based ftp application to connect to the server listed in the article

step 3: Download and install

Then you party like its 1993!

Re:An OS with no browser? (1)

Who Is The Drizzle (1470385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802469)

There is nothing in this decision which stops an OEM from installing any browser they want on top of the OS just like they do with countless other things. This decision has to do with breaking the integration of IE with the Windows OS not that an OEM can't preinstall a browser (even IE) on to a box that they sell. Please tell me you aren't really that daft.

Re:An OS with no browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802723)

Mod parent up, this is exactly the case.

Grandparent is wrong.

There goes the neighborhood. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802047)

I suppose if the retarded socialists have their way I soon will be forced to purchase a 3rd party calc.exe because MS "tied" the calculator application to the OS thus forming a calculator software monopoly, as well as being forced to buy Lotus Notes or some other hideous word processor because write.exe and notepad.exe were "tied" to Windows as a form of word processing monopoly.

I wonder exactly how many bullshit monopolies I could come up with removing all the "basic" functionality of a modern Windows OS under the guise of "unfairness that the competitors products were not of sufficient quality to be purchased or licensed by Microsoft as to provide greater functionality to their OS."

For fucks sake, maybe people should stop crying begging for handouts and actually improve their own products.

Then again maybe all lawyer need to be put against a wall to face a firing squad.

Re:There goes the neighborhood. (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802261)

You do realize that Microsoft's bundling of IE made it so they didn't have to improve it to the point of being competitive? (Same goes for the per-processor agreements for DOS/Windows/MSOffice.)

Re:There goes the neighborhood. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802525)

One of these days I'll have to register just so I can use my mod points on posts like yours.

Integrating IE into Windows made Windows better. And I refuse to believe you are actually dumb or naive enough to back your own statement. Companies don't include features in their products as to make them less competitive, especially when there is real competition and the competition is seen by consumers as adequate or better.

Besides that, what is the difference between MS bundling IE (or any browser) and say, Apple bundling Safari? Does Mozilla have the right to sue Apple for the exact same thing? Every Mac I've used is bundled with Safari, every iPhone I've seen is bundled with Safari, every iPod Touch I've seen is bundled with Safari.

What about linux? Ubuntu is bundled with Firefox, do MS and Apple have the right to sue Canonical?

Whoever mentioned the mafia in this thread was pretty much dead on.

Re:There goes the neighborhood. (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802739)

The question is can you uninstall Safari from OSX? If not then Apple should, as well, be forced to rectify that.

They Include FTP and Telnet Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802089)

That must really damage the competition for those clients...

The whole thing is nothing but an old fashioned shakedown of MS by the EU. The mafia would be proud. Sad to see Mozilla even getting involved in this.

Bullshit (1, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802123)

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?

Re:Bullshit (1)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802259)

Telnet?

Re:Bullshit (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802599)

And copy and paste the binary data from the terminal? .. Genius!

Re:Bullshit (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802717)

Microsoft bundling it's own telnet program is also clearly another antitrust issue. How are other vendors supposed to compete. Oh and the calculator, notepad, outlook express, paint, WMP, and even the shell have to go as they are blocking competition.

Re:Bullshit (1)

hannson (1369413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802767)

Firefox could have been pre-installed by the OEM. If you bought an OEM/Retail license it might have been possible to choose to install IE in the installation process (not mandatory).

Can someone explain something for me? (4, Interesting)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802135)

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?

Re:Can someone explain something for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802281)

think they are talking about IE since explorer has it's own version of IE in it.

Re:Can someone explain something for me? (1)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802335)

I believe that is what they're going for - at least, that's what I'm getting out of it. I think the better solution is to force Microsoft to include Firefox, Opera, Safari (at the least) and perhaps one or two more. I would think it more important to forcibly inform the user that they have choices by confronting them with choices on first boot than to forcibly inform them by removing their only obvious choice. Personally, I think that would make most users angry and cause them to stick even more doggedly with IE and refuse to try other options.

Is this more of the trend? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802137)

Mozilla creates great open source browser.
Google injects a lot of money into project.
Google influences direction and politics at Mozilla despite denials.
Google creates own browser, creates friction (no shit)
Mozilla now enters into lawsuit against Microsoft using Google money, Google doesn't even have to get involved.

Whatever happened to "lets just create a great open source browser, compete on functionality and quality, and beat them at there own game?"

Am I woefully out of touch or just hopelessly naive?

Re:Is this more of the trend? (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802361)

Both. Microsoft had a monopoly long before Google came around, and was convicted of using it in an anti-competitive manner. Look at the market share numbers for the personal computer market lately?

Re:Is this more of the trend? (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802493)

I think the issue is that functionality and quality don't go as far as they should in winning browser share. Mozilla fundraises to develop a good browser and market that browser. And that marketing made a big difference, especially right at its launch. This whole thing with the EU and the politics just seems to be going too far to me though.

I lost a lot of respect for Opera when they started whining about it and I feel the same loss of respect for Mozilla if they really jump in this too. Their fundraising has been justified (for the most part) in my opinion as a way of growing support for the standards, but that was a case of them building a good browser with functionality and quality and using it as the selling point. This is using politics to sabotage.

Bundling browsers leads to...what? (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802155)

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/09/1537203 [slashdot.org]

Wha... tying the browser to the OS kills competition, but at the same time it doesn't lead to bigger market share?

*head explodes*

'Firefox Exec Says Windows Bundling Is a Bad Idea' (0, Troll)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802233)

Haven't they said just recently

'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face. As people become aware there's an alternative, you don't end up in that [monopoly] situation. You have to be perceptibly better [than Internet Explorer].'

this suit makes me wonder (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802249)

Yesterday there was a post about windows 7 basic being limited to two applications.

If this anti-trust suit goes thru, won't another one be waiting when someone points out that windows update, and other MS Products don't count as part of the limitation?

mod dowtn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802257)

Ocr 8islead the

What about my mom? (1)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802275)

I despise IE, I loathe it with the fury of a thousand suns. But what happens when my mom (the last remaining luddite) is finally compelled to upgrade her aging PC. She opens the box fumbles through the wires, even gets windows running through trial and error, then spends two hours shouting and weeping looking for her browser. I am the one who has to talk her through, or remote assist her before she destroys the machine with the keyboard.

Re:What about my mom? (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802407)

Do what I did, pay the Apple tax and buy her a Macbook. Now applecare takes ALL of her questions no matter how basic or crazy.

Best money I ever spent!

Re:What about my mom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802603)

honestly enough melodrama, when was the last time you actually ran IE? I think the stability issues were fixed after 3.0 came out. We are now on 7. As far as crashing name a browser that doesn't, and any of us who use computers knows it's usually a plugin for Firefox or IE which causes it to crash.

And what you're too lazy to walk upstairs to help your mom install her computer, really remote assistance from the basement, talk about lazy...

One iota of doubt (0)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802311)

FTA: She said 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."

I have one.

How exactly does one download firefox without a browser pre-installed? Is MS to install Firefox on their systems and then support it when people call their call center. Should they put Opera on as well...how bout Safari...wait I forgot chrome. Who gets to say which ones it can and cannot install.

What competition exists in the browser space anyways? Is there competition between drinking fountains. All these tools are free.

How does the Mac preinstall it's browser. Should we sue them to.

If the goverment is so concerend about this why not just spend the money advertising on TV that there are alternatives versus spending even
more in judicial system.

I guess no good deed goes unpunished. MS put out a superior browser to Netscape and made it free and now they are getting sued. So they bundled it so it is used by the OS. I think you can delete the big blue E from your desktop. So what if the binaries are still there and used by Outlook. I don't want the goverment making technical decisions.

If you don't like the way MS designs their software...install Linux or buy a Mac. If your software vendor doesn't support it find another software vendor. I remember pretty clearly when IE 4 came along and the idea of customizing folder views with HTML. I thought it was a cool idea. MS probably messed it up, but I don't see the problem having to use IE to see system folders and then using Firefox to browse the web. It has no effect on my use of firefox or my decision to use it or not use depending on what I'm doing. If KDE using some QT library is that killing competion in some other graphical library.

IE and Firefox both popup a warning saying "make me the default browser". For the technical changing it really isn't that hard. For the non technical even understanding the concept of a default browser is. I'm okay with having IEs first page being...look you have alternative to this, but then we should make all browser do the same thing and who decides what alternative should be on this page.

Honestly I think the government should spend more time sponsering open source then trying to kill MS. The money alone from this anti-trust could have developed real alternative to some of the windows only products still out there.

Re:One iota of doubt (1)

End Program (963207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802687)

How exactly does one download firefox without a browser pre-installed?

ftp releases.mozilla.org

Granted that this is not a good option for most end-users...

Mac OS anyone? (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802329)

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? (2, Interesting)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802337)

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.

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.

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.

Geez, can you leave them alone already? If people want firefox, they can download firefox or opera or anything. If they don't want Windows, there's plenty of free alternatives.

Fine, you think their products suck. Don't use them. Tell other people not to use them. But don't hold a gun to their heads and tell them they can't sell a certain product.

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.

John Galt caused the recession we are in. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802703)

Microsoft dictating how you can and cannot use your computer is just as bad as the government dictating to corporations how they can and cannot fight their competition. If Libertarians want to be seen as credible, they are going to need to start holding powerful corporations to account for their behavior as zealously they do powerful governments.

Re:Who is John Galt? (2, Insightful)

tres (151637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802725)

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 part of the OS.

Re:Who is John Galt? (2, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802817)

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:Who is John Galt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802849)

One word monopoly.
I can't go to a store and choose a different browser or a different operating system. All new computers have windows. Nobody is angry with Mac OS or Ubuntu for not including different browsers by default. For this only reason Microsoft has to follow different rules. It's as simple as that.

I think MS should stop bundling paint.exe... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802369)

It takes away from Gimp downloads.

Re:I think MS should stop bundling paint.exe... (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802697)

I would have downloaded GIMP and donated to the open source project, but I never even knew it existed because microsoft put paint.exe in my Accessories menu. Oh the humanity!

do this with my broadband provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802471)

i see all of this antitrust, anti-monopoly stuff going on in the EU, and i wish we had that pressure here, especially when it comes out our ISPs and our telcos.

i have 2 choices for an ISP (i like neither), and many places around here only have 1 choice. i wish someone would help us with that issue.

How is the even remotely intelligent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802489)

I use Windows and I use Firefox. So IE is included with the OS, who cares? It's never affected my choice of browser, but it has made it easier to get my favorite browser. Do you know what affects my choice of running a particular piece of software? Bundling. I remove every piece of software that wasn't created by the OS manufacturer in the first place. I guess that Microsoft must have cornered the Word Processor market by bundling Word Pad. Should Fedora be forced to include proprietary drivers? Seriously the EU needs to quit their friggen whining.

How would this help? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802517)

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.

Am I on Slashdot or some where else? (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802629)

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:Am I on Slashdot or some where else? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802885)

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?

Absolutely Rediculous (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802647)

Apple bundles Safari, Ubuntu bundles Firefox... the whole pissing contest is unneeded and a waste of time. The ONLY thing Microsoft should have to do is give an option to install/uninstall at will.

I wrote a calculator application, does this mean that I can go after Microsoft too? Or how about my custom Explorer.exe? Hell no.

How was I supposed to get Firefox without IE? (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802669)

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 for some reason the site will be blocked as all other sites are.

I would be shocked if most people didn't obtain Firefox this way, downloading the install executable from a link using IE.

This suit makes zero sense. If you're buying a PC with a Windows OS in it, your default internet browsing option is going to be IE. The suit would make sense if MS forbid PC owners from installing Firefox but you have a choice of what browser you want as you can download Firefox. If for some reason you refuse to open IE that one time, you can get a friend to give you the install on USB or CD.

who cares if its bundled (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802699)

Could we say the same thing with KDE or Gnome? In both circumstances Gnome with Firefox, and KDE with Konqueror, a browser is bundled with the desktop.

Without IE (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802733)

How would you download Firefox on a new computer without Internet Explorer? The first thing I do with a fresh install of Windows is start Internet Explorer and download a real browser.

CEO Browser Whiners... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802815)

Microsoft doesn't owe these browser builders jack shit. Let them build their own operating systems.

Double Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26802827)

undermines product innovation

Um ... no. It actually encourages it. Firefox, Opera, and Chrome have been the ones innovating in order to compete with M$. Examples: Firefox's superior add-on support, Opera's Speed Dial, Chrome's In Private browsing.

ultimately reduces consumer choice

Exactly how does that happen? All the choices still exist, its just that the general population doesn't make the choice. M$ cannot be blamed for that.

If Microsoft is dinged for this, it will be setting a double-standard for the industry. Does this mean that Safari cannot be bundled with OSX? or Firefox with Ubuntu? Absurd.

My car... (1)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26802843)

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