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Microsoft Agrees To EU Browser Ballot Screen

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the vote-early-and-often dept.

Windows 438

An anonymous reader sends in coverage from Ars Technica of Microsoft's capitulation to the EU, after European regulators requested that Redmond bundle multiple browsers on new PCs. "Microsoft has decided that the last thing it needs in this economy is some combination of the following: fines, legal bills, and a delay of Windows 7. It has offered to adopt the European Union's preferred solution for browser competition: a browser selector screen at startup."

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438 comments

Wimps (4, Funny)

Slothrup (73029) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811629)

Go down fighting!

Re:Wimps (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812033)

The correct quote is: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

If you're going to bastardize it, at least make it something elegant: The difference between theory and practice is often much smaller in theory than in practice.

Or even just remove the redundant part of your own version: The difference between theory and practice is that in theory, there is no difference.

For Christ sake, you sound like a retard trying to explain quantum mechanics. "Cows are black and white except when they're brown, in which case they are not black and white because they're brown, unless you put them in a box and then you don't know what color it is unless you open the box which will reveal the color that the cow is, and it will either be black and white or else brown unless it could just be black, or else dead, but only because you looked at it. Anyway, cows have fur..."

Re:Wimps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812129)

lol i loved your retarded explaination

cheers xD

Re:Wimps (2, Insightful)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812239)

I think they should have just been made to do what every other company does. Not a big M$ fan but who decides which browsers get to be on the ballot? This ain't 1996 and it's too late now. I would like to see more interoperability from the M$ servers and the clients. Like if you have a Windows server you can't afford to replace but want to replace your clients then you have to kludge things to get that to work. This really locks in small businesses to using their total solution. I guess Apple is the same in fact, but I don't know too many people that use their servers.

In before the morons (2, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811635)

But but but......Apple and KDE and GNOME and Google don't have to bundle other browsers so the EU sucks and just wants to hurt a successful MERKIN company!!!!!

Re:In before the morons (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811725)

Apple and KDE are valid comparisons. Google would be soon too. They're just not as easy a target, nor as deep pocketed. How the EU can justify forcing MS to do it but not the others, I'm not sure, except by saying "MS has a larger market share." To which I say: So fucking what. A vertical monopoly is still a monopoly.

Re:In before the morons (4, Insightful)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812187)

I'd mod you up if I had points, I don't really get it either. It's a good thing if anti-competetive behaviour is punished but the whole browser story really is beating a dead horse. The EU is trailing reality by a few years again, just like when they forced Microsoft to release a Windows-N without Windows Media Player. All the poisoning Microsoft could have done to the market when it comes to media players is already in the past. There really isn't anything stopping you from installing alternate media players or browsers in WIndows, forcing file associations or whatever. As much as I'd love to see the world move away from Windows and Microsoft, I really don't see the point in making their life hard over media players or browsers right now.

I expect the EU to be fining Microsoft for deliberately screwing up standardization of office document formats... In 2020...

Re:In before the morons (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812369)

Well, if it really doesnt matter, then why did microsoft decide to spend oh about 500 million euros in their defence at this lawsuit?

If it wasnt such a big deal, they wouldve done what they needed to comply with the regulators of that market: they are the boss, givem what they want.

Re:In before the morons (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811789)

perhaps MS should create a system GUI similar to synaptic that doesn't need a browser to download software like pretty much every GNU/Linux distro in use does. That way they can claim one more feature and be able to comply with the EU without bundling software. Each browser that wants to have a shot at it only needs to supply MS with a repo address and maybe a way of verifying software integrity [md5 at the least]

Re:In before the morons (0, Troll)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812263)

a way of verifying software integrity [md5 at the least]

MD5 hasn't been a way of verifying software integrity for a while now. Microsoft would be doing the world a great disservice by enabling people to distribute software through a synaptic-like program with only md5 verification.

Re:In before the morons (-1, Offtopic)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811891)

Why would that be moronic?

Does Apple bundle non-Apple browsers with OSX?

KDE and GNOME aren't operating systems, and Linux doesn't qualify because it is packaged (generally) in a distribution and there are many distributions to choose from with many different browsers so you can do your choosing that way.

I have a hard time fathoming why Microsoft would have to do this but not Apple...

Re:In before the morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812093)

w3 browser shares
-----
IE: 40.70%
Safari: 3.1%

cyber-vandal is right. Whenever this topic comes up, it gets dominated by American nationalism, to the point that the damage Microsoft did with IE gets totally overlooked.
And it's not easy to overlook what a piece of non-standard compliant crap IE is, so well done.

Re:In before the morons (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812233)

What has American 'nationalism' got to do with equality under the law? If the point is that Operating System vendors should supply their users with a choice of browsers during installation, why would Apple get a free pass?

What has your opinion of what is or is not 'crap' got to do with what is right? Personally, I couldn't care less if Microsoft has to offer other browsers, I only use IE8 at work, I use Mozilla at home, but what's good for the Goose should be good for the Gander, yes/no?

Re:In before the morons (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812383)

And it's not easy to overlook what a piece of non-standard compliant crap IE is, so well done.

Was.

Force standards compliance -or- force freedom of choice. Choose one.

Re:In before the morons (2, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812109)

> I have a hard time fathoming why Microsoft would have to do this but not Apple...

Because, for now, Microsoft is a huge, damaging monopoly that destroys competition, choice, and freedom. Apple is a tiny, non-damaging, single-area monopoly (for now). If Apple were to do the same thing (be forced to have no default browser), it wouldn't change anything. Plus, Apple doesn't design the OS around the browser like MS does.

But requiring MS to do it- well, that means 90% of the market will have a browser choice from the get-go. I don't think it is all that much of a remedy (to being a damaging monopoly), and it is certainly "too little too late", but it does have a certain logic to it.

Re:In before the morons (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812313)

You're arguing that this is putatively a punishment rather than a compliance enforcement. That doesn't seem to be the case according to the disposition of the EU which is that to avoid further fines, Microsoft needs to comply with the EU's desire that PC users be given the opportunity to download multiple browsers; ergo, everyone should have to do this.

Hell, it's ridiculous to argue that they shouldn't since, supposedly, people are aggrieved with Microsoft because they denied people choice - yet arguing against making this requirement pervasive is doing the very same thing.

I'd like to see Mozilla offered to OSX users on install/activation/first-run, why should the 'degree' of oppression matter when we're talking about what is a black and white issue? :)

Re:In before the morons (1)

bwintx (813768) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812189)

Until Microsoft quit making IE for Mac, yes, Apple did bundle IE with OS X.

Re:In before the morons (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812231)

>>>I have a hard time fathoming why Microsoft would have to do this but not Apple...

For the same reason why the U.S. Government broke-apart AT&T but did not touch other telephone companies like Sprint or MCI. (Hint: AT&T had a near-monopoly and so too does MS.)

Re:In before the morons (1)

thebjorn (530874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812457)

I have a hard time fathoming why Microsoft would have to do this but not Apple...

*sigh* because, according to courts both in the US and EU, Microsoft should not be able to unfairly use its Windows monopoly against competitors in the browser (and media-player etc.) markets. Apple doesn't have an OS monopoly. It is not the bundling that is the problem, it's the bundling as a strategy to crush competitors when having a platform monopoly. The EU also raised antitrust issues with Apple regarding the iTunes store, where they found Apple did have a monopoly.

Changes nothing (1)

lostinbrave (1183917) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811655)

Yeah watch it have IE bigger than everything else by like 4 times.

Re:Changes nothing (4, Funny)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811745)

Good god. The whole thing is ridiculous in the first place, now you're going to measure the fucking icons?

Re:Changes nothing (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812159)

Once you go down the crazy road, who's to say where to stop. I bet they will not only regulate the size of icons, but the order in which the browsers are presented will have to be random. Then you have the question of which versions of which browsers will have to be included in which release of Windows, and which ones will be left out and why etc.

Nobody Gives a Shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811673)

It's Friday afternoon. Is this the best you can do?

Did your parents teach you to be a dumb and lazy nigger??

Re:Nobody Gives a Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811739)

One might ponder how one can be 'taught', and thus *learn* to be 'dumb'.

Because we all know... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811681)

... its the government's job to ensure a fair and even playing field for a product that IS GIVEN AWAY and that NOBODY WOULD EVER PAY FOR, and that's its a stretch to demonstrate anybody leveraging or truly profiting from to any meaningful degree due to the competition that already exists without the help of know-it-alls in the EU.

IE will still dominate (5, Insightful)

gstep (1583577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811699)

My guess is most people will still choose to use Internet Explorer, unless they already use Firefox/Chrome/Safari or whatever. People like what they're used to, even when it's crap. I try hard to convince people to stop using Internet Exploder but they always tell me they like it because it's what they know.

Re:IE will still dominate (1, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811853)

At the very least it will get them on a current version of IE. IE8 is actually pretty good. MS finally started improving their browser once they had some serious competition, and that's good for everyone regardless of what you use. Outdated IE users are bad for the whole internet.

Re:IE will still dominate (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812203)

At the very least it will get them on a current version of IE. IE8 is actually pretty good. MS finally started improving their browser once they had some serious competition, and that's good for everyone regardless of what you use. Outdated IE users are bad for the whole internet.

I don't mean to offend, really; but speaking as someone who does "web stuff" for a living - the only people that really believe "IE8 is actually pretty good" are people who don't know very much about what's possible even in the currently-defined HTML and CSS standards, or those that have never used anything except Internet Explorer. IE8 may be incrementally better than IE7; but Microsoft has a significant distance to cover before its browser is anywhere near feature-competitive with the competition.

I freely admit that the group I defined IS pretty large; but this is (ostensibly) a tech-oriented site.

Re:IE will still dominate (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812347)

People that praise IE8 praise it for its near-complete implementation of CSS 2.1 (even though it has a fair share of bugs). This is a dramatic improvement from IE7.

But you're right. IE is still lacking in other areas, notably in the DOM implementation. Does IE8 even support HTML 2.0 link elements' navigational properties (table of contents, previous, next, up,...) yet?

Re:IE will still dominate (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812289)

Perhaps I should upgrade then.

I'm currently using IE7, and compared to Firefox it's a horrible browser. It frequently freezes for 5-10 second intervals, and also my google searches are being hijacked by some adware that takes me to an entirely different search engine.

When people tell me "Explorer is not bad" my mouth literally drops open. It. Is. Bad.

Re:IE will still dominate (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812425)

And you tolerade adware being on your computer longer than the time it takes to find a removal tool? Egahds. I don't know how you'd manage to live with the computer equivalent of a brain slug attached to your head.

Re:IE will still dominate (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811863)

Well it does have the word "Internet" in the name

so I suppose if someone just glances over and has no clue they would click on IE

and then the blue E icon is synonymous with internet for a lot of people

Re:IE will still dominate (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811901)

I'm sure Microsoft is hiring engineers from Diebold to implement the ballot. No matter what you click on you will have a 90% chance of getting IE. The interesting thing is that there will only be a 90% chance of installing IE if you click on IE.

Re:IE will still dominate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811961)

In Europe, firefox already has a market share of about 35% (numbers from TG Daily / April). Even now it would be too much to say that IE is "Dominating" ;)

It definitely wont hurt if people at least notice that there is a choice.

Re:IE will still dominate (0, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812167)

I sold my elderly mother on Firefix with its two keystroke text sizing. Firefox is a real boon to the aged. And gees, a browser is a browser; if you can use IE you can use Opera.

Re:IE will still dominate (2, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812225)

well, it clearly depends on where you are. I am living in the US for 6 month and I grew up in France. I would say that Firefox has a huge market share in France (To give an idea, I would say something like 70% of computer I looked at used firefox). I was petrified when I saw Firefox was almost unknown in the US.

certainly people will have a different experience, but I really believe there is a difference. Have other people noticed something similar ?

Re:IE will still dominate (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812367)

I try hard to convince people to stop using Internet Exploder

Why? I was the same way towards IE cause I was used to it being piece of crap, but the latest version is not so bad and if people like it better let them use it. The main reasons I use Firefox are the few add-ons that I really couldn't live without (which is why it's particularly annoying that some of them break with each new release) but if they don't need them what's the big deal.

I wonder what choices they will pick? (2, Funny)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811709)

I would select (if I was them)
IE8
safari (the first release for windows not the most recent)
firefox 2 or maybe even a pre firefox name chanage release
elinks
and konq

Re:I wonder what choices they will pick? (3, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811947)

If I was them (and I'm a nice person, so this comment is written purely as an exercise in evil :) I'd do it like they so the search provider option:

Choose your internet browser:
    1. Microsoft Internet Explorer, optimised for Windows 7 (tm). Microsoft recommends IE8 for super-fast and safe internet surfing.
    2. A different browser. Note that Microsoft corporation has no control over other browser's safety, speed or features. Packages listed may not be as suitable for Windows 7 (tm) as other browsers, users may use one of these at their own risk.

option 2 takes you to a list of alternatives, with another option to go with IE8 (of course)

Re:I wonder what choices they will pick? (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812195)

Actually, looking at what they do with IE8, I think that you're almost right. To be accurate, what (IMO) is most likely is that when you install 7 you'll get a dialog box that says something like:

Please set up your browser experience:
1)Express setup (use default settings for browser, email and blogging)
2)Custom setup (choose your custom applications for web, search, blogging, email, messaging, help, tags and a variety of other confusing minutae that you really don't want to spend 45 minutes going through.

They'll make option 2 intimidating and a total PITA that most people will pick option 1 (which, of course, installs ie8.)

From the perspective of the dumbuser... (1)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811711)

Try looking at this from the perspective of the dumbuser...

"Oh look, I can't browse the Internet without clicking on this screen and waiting for this f*ing statusbar to fill up!?"

either that or they'll look at the screen and the huge blue E will be the only thing they recognize. This would be a good opening for FF et al. to take advantage of, but to do that they need brand recognition. Who wants to pay for Firefox TV ads?

Re:From the perspective of the dumbuser... (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812217)

Oh, you mean the same as the perspective of.....

"Oh look, I can't use this MS Windows computer at all without reading a f*ing, 20 screen EULA in tiny fonts and then agree to it?"

But you are right in such that both will be meaningless to the majority of users.

How about this instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811721)

How about an OS selection screen when you turn on the PC for the first time?

MS just needs to pull out. (1, Flamebait)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811723)

While a risky move, Microsoft just needs to pull out of the EU and say "Piss off"

Seriously, they should have the right to bundle their browser with their OS. It's not like they are keeping other browsers from being installed.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811951)

Every European government would say "thank you very much" and continue using MS software without paying for it. They even have the source (MS gives copies to governments so they can confirm it isn't full of NSA spyware). And I'm sure the governments would have no trouble finding some national security legislation that would make it completely legal.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811975)

You do realize that if they pull out of Europe then Europe will have little choice but to move to alternative OSs right?

The last thing that Microsoft wants to do is push a large market to (possibly free) alternatives.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812009)

Yeah, but forcing such a large area to find an alternative is going to be a headache. Not to mention most alternative sources are going to have a bigger problem with compatibility.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (2, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812261)

Don't underestimate human behaviour. I think it's pretty save to say that if Microsoft gives us Europeans the finger, we're going to be pretty pissed and we'll be looking for the most hurtful alternative we can find just out of spite. Yeah, we're funny that way.

What has me stumped, though, is this negative attitude toward this idea. Perhaps my memory is just failing me, but I thought this was exactly what Slashdotters were crying out for just weeks ago when they said they would sell 7 without any browser at all (which I found pretty amusing an idea).

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812025)

Yes please.
Honestly, the only people who think that would be a problem are MSE's or dumber.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812139)

Almost right. They'd still want to sell to the EU countries. Just shut down all operations and make sure any Microsoft money goes entirely from the EU to Microsoft. So no research groups, development sites, anything - fire them all and close up shop in the EU other than sales offices.

You're a genius. (5, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812169)

Seriously, Microsoft should just pull out of an economy of $18.394 trillion GDP? While in the meantime, the governments involved would most likely invoke the "national security" clauses in copyright treaties to allow piracy of Windows and Office, whilst simultaneously launching accelerated projects to switch to Linux asap? What do you think this would do to the MS stock price? And why should any corporation have the right to violate the laws of democratic nations anyway? Microsoft is not the only corporation to have been fined by the E.U. [slashdot.org]

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812209)

You are extremely ignorant of real world situations. Pulling out of the EU would be suicide. Linux would get a massive boost in popularity (and more programs would be made for it) and it would become more and more massive with a power level of over 9000. But srsly, go outside more. You need to learn how to negotiate. Being stubborn WILL GET YOU NOWHERE.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (2, Insightful)

exasperation (1378979) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812253)

While a risky move, Microsoft just needs to pull out of the EU and say "Piss off"

Lolwut? Why yes, Microsoft should pull out of the world's largest market, probably cutting their revenue by about 30%, just to stand up to some pushy EU bureaucrats, that makes good business sense!

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812287)

Microsoft just needs to pull out of the EU and say "Piss off"

Why on Earth would Microsoft do that? To prove a point? Because Microsoft is prideful? Because the EU hurt Microsoft's feelings?

If they "pull out" two things could happen: either the EU would switch to alternatives (OpenOffice, Mac, Linux, etc.) or they would just make a decree to the effect of "corporations that refuse to follow our laws are not subject to copyright protections" and use MS products without paying license fees. Both of those outcomes bring no money to Microsoft.

All Microsoft (and, indeed, any business) cares about is money. They would only "pull out" if the fines being imposed were greater than the profits they make in the EU. Given the size of the EU market, that isn't likely. Evidently, Microsoft has decided that it is cheaper to provide browser options in their OS than it is to deal with noncompliance fines or shipping delays.

It's about the money. "Pulling out" is ridiculous and I don't know why people keep suggesting it, as if it were a credible threat.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812331)

I'd like to see MS do that, it'd give things to talk about for months.

Do you realize how monumentally stupid would that be? You're really suggesting that MS should throw away half its market share, lay off thousands of employees (disrupting projects in the US), and liquidate huge amounts of inventory over an issue that's a tiny thing in comparison with the consequences of pulling out?

If they did that, the shareholders would crucify whoever was responsible.

Europe wouldn't be that affected. Apple, Red Hat and Novell would throw a huge party, and without MS being present they couldn't defend its copyright, so everybody would just pirate their stuff with impunity.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812393)

>>>they should have the right to bundle their browser, [word processor, and spreadsheet] with their OS. It's not like they are keeping others from being installed.
>>>

This is the kind of thinking that drove once-number one Netscape, WordPerfect, and Lotus 1-2-3 into bankruptcy. Now were're stuck with Microshit Office as the "standard". That's like being stuck with Blurry VHS instead of a High Def DVR.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812399)

Like most other people here, you forgot that Microsoft has a monopoly on OSs, and has long been abusing it through bundling IE into its OS.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (2, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812405)

It's not like they are keeping other browsers from being installed.

What you say is true, now; but if you're older than a teenager you'll remember that in the 1990s Microsoft on a couple occasions apparently did sabotage both Netscape Navigator and Apple Quicktime.

The EU is acting based on Microsoft's history as a convicted monopolist, not based on the company's current behavior.

Re:MS just needs to pull out. (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812451)

While a risky move, Microsoft just needs to pull out of the EU and say "Piss off"

Wait, hold on. Why is this modded +5 Insightful? Did everyone on /. collectively go insane? It seems too obvious to me that pulling out of the EU would be one of the poorest business decisions ever.

Seriously, they should have the right to bundle their browser with their OS. It's not like they are keeping other browsers from being installed.

No, they shouldn't have the right to do that. That's the whole point. You didn't give any valid reason to support your opposing view.

Stupid people will still be stupid (1)

Kayden (1406747) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811763)

No... I don't want to watch Opera, I want to the explore internet.

Re:Stupid people will still be stupid (4, Funny)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811837)

My odds are that Microsoft will go with a "butterfly ballot" style and convince them to either install IE or Pat Buchanan.

maximum win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812013)

nice one.

Re:Stupid people will still be stupid (5, Funny)

ifchairscouldtalk (1031944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811881)

Easy solution: let's rename Firefox. I suggest Porn.

Re:Stupid people will still be stupid (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812151)

That's not a bad idea; "exploring" for porn with IE is about as smart as using a condom with holes punched in it.

Re:Stupid people will still be stupid (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812433)

Microsoft Porn explorer: Where even looking can get you infected.
Mozilla PornFox: For furries
Google Chrome & latex: BSDM
Opera: It's not porn, it's art.
Apple Safari: Gay and transsexual.
SeaMonkey: Watersports
AOL Explorer: MILFs
Dillo: Masturbation
Netscape Porn Navigator: Necrophilia.

Re:Stupid people will still be stupid (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812447)

"The internet is for porn. The internet is for porn. So grab your clit and double-click, the internet is for porn."

My brother calls it Foxfire.
He's dyslexic.

Google Chrome (4, Interesting)

akcpe (1438869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811799)

Here's something I think is interesting but haven't heard mentioned. Since Google Chrome is a likely candidate for the "browser ballot" I can see a scenario such as this: Most people have no idea what a web browser is to begin with as evidenced by: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4MwTvtyrUQ [youtube.com] Clearly many people think that "Google" is a browser rather than a search engine. This seems like a great way to exploit that percentage of the population by offering this "browser ballot". Many people will see "Google" and think "Oh! That's what I normally use. I'll choose that" Thoughts?

Re:Google Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812311)

I much like the pithy response from one of the youtube commenters:
"It proves that the 'browserï war' isn't a preference issue its an issue of ignorance."

Ballot screen? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811803)

"OK, Joe...which engine do you want in your new Chevy? A Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, or Honda engine?"

I (sort of) understand making them not tie IE to windows. But actually using MS resources to provide other browsers?

Is MS now on the hook to provide the source code for the open source browsers in this bundle? Since they are providing the binaries, I'd say yes.

Re:Ballot screen? (3, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812305)

> "OK, Joe...which engine do you want in your new Chevy? A Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, or Honda engine?"

If Chevy had 90% of the market, were declared a damaging, predatory monopoly, and you could load a new engine as easily as a browser...

sure, why not?

non story.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811831)

they complied, now stop the fucking microsoft hating you unwashed basement dwellers

Why not OEMs? (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811845)

European regulators requested that Redmond bundle multiple browsers on new PCs

Excuse me? I can understand requesting IE to be unbundled, but telling MS to bundle other browsers is just stupid. Let the OEMs do that. I hope the summary isn't having a rare moment of accuracy.

Re:Why not OEMs? (1, Redundant)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812097)

How would having it unbundled work at all? You turn it on, no browser, then go where for the installer? getfirefox.com? with what browser? You'd have to either have another PC to download it with (most people don't) or use Windows Update to install IE anyway just to get a different browser.

Re:Why not OEMs? (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812133)

That's only fair; They've been slapped for putting the squeeze on the OEM's to install nothing but their product. Now they can repair the damage they've done.

Good idea for Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811885)

Someone on another forum brought this up. Microsoft should offer a list of about 100 browsers in the EU version of Windows. Literally 100. Put IE first and then put the rest in random order.

Then tell the EU to put that in their pipes and smoke on it.

I've have a better idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811899)

An operating system ballot screen.

  Please select one of the following:

  1. Microsoft Windows NT
  2. Microsoft Windsows Vista
  3. Microsoft Windows 2000
  4. Microsoft Windows 98
  5. Microsoft Windows ....

  N. Microsoft Windows Whatever-Nonsensical Name-Ballmer-Chooses-For-A-Crap-OS

Yours In Communism,
K. Trout, C.I.O.

Re:I've have a better idea: (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812277)

Better:

  1. Windows
  2. KDE Linux
  3. Gnome Linux
  4. BSD

However, I don't like the idea; your hard drive would be full of nothing but operating systems that you would have to install or wipe. Better would be to have the computer manufacturer preinstall other OSes on its machines, and you would choose OS when you bought your computer.

New standard (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811911)

They'll solve the problem of "how do you download a browser without first having a browser installed?" by providing a minimal front-end whose only purpose is to download a browser:

That screen would allow users to choose from a number of competing browsers, which would then be downloaded and installed on the machine.

To allow this, each browser will need to provide a stable, standard URL that will download the latest version of its browser. Hopefully this can be standardized enough that other OS's can use these stable URLs as well.

Re:New standard (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812205)

More likely they'll include a semi-recent binary for the installation of each, and assume that the browser will do a fair job of updating itself after it's installed and being used.

Choice you can believe in! (1)

R4nm4-kun (1302737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811919)

Now if they would just impose the same conditions on computer manufacturers regarding the OS.

Yay (0, Troll)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 4 years ago | (#28811949)

Wow. How hard was that, Microsoft?

You'll get used to it eventually, playing by the rules I mean. Just like the rest of us, you're not above the law.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812123)

The EU seems to be.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812343)

What rules are you talking about? A willing customer is purchasing a product from a willing seller.

What law is Microsoft above when they bundle MS IE with MS Windows?

An OS shouldn't come with a browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28811967)

There is no reason for a browser (or a media player for that matter) to be part of an operating system. Windows can have a HTML rendering widget and a media infrastructure, but the applications should not be there. It is an OPERATING SYSTEM, not an application collection.

A browser selection at installation time is just plain retarded. It's never going to be complete or up-to-date.

Don't include Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28812011)

This is good, but don't include Opera. IE/Firefox/Chrome... maybe even Safari, but tell Opera to fuck off. I think including the top 4 browsers around is more than fair? Opera's demand for the top 5 browsers is driven by the fact that they are stuck at #5.

Choices (1, Interesting)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812059)

1. Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
2. Lynx
3. Mosaic
4. None

That will fill the requirement while shoving a boot up their collective asses

Utterly stupid (3, Insightful)

Darkon (206829) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812143)

Who gets to decide which browsers are included in this "ballot screen"? Based on what criteria?

If it's simply going to be the top 5 or whatever based on current market share then this is simply cementing the status quo rather than helping competition and innovation, and if any any every browser gets a look in then what's to stop SuperSpywareBrowser2009 from appearing in the choices?

Business plan to defeat (1)

devleopard (317515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28812439)

Will they be the binary distributions? Or just links to download? So while MS's update system is integrated into OS, they might be bundling an old, insecure version of Firefox. (It took *how* long for 3.5 to be shown as vulnerable?)

And is it *only* the big players - IE, FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera? This seems blatantly against the spirit of competition. Shouldn't they also include accessible browsers as well?

Say somebody starts up an incubator company with a couple of million dollars. They start 200 companies, $10,000 seed capital each. Each company is really just a sole proprietorship: a halfway decent college CS student. Each company is tasked with writing a browser, using various HTML renderers (Trident, Gecko, WebKit, etc). Each of these 200 companies would have a legitimate claim to be included in the ballot screen.

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