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Opera CTO Thinks IE Will Be Forced To Support SVG

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the even-paternalism-has-the-occasional-perq dept.

Internet Explorer 411

Julie188 writes "Opera Software is, as expected, preening over the forthcoming browser ballot box feature in Windows 7. It will put the Opera name in front of millions of users who probably never heard of it. But that's not the only reason Opera is gloating. CTO Håkon Wium Lie feels that today's decision will force Microsoft to make Internet Explorer do a better job of supporting standards, particularly the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). Lie would also like to see Apple and Linux makers follow suit with browser ballot boxes of their own."

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anonymous coward thinks this is first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28829743)

and it is.

Ballots and ballets (2, Funny)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829791)

It's an official opera now!

Re:Ballots and ballets (2, Funny)

Curien (267780) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829887)

It is your regulation, Sire. No ballet in your opera.

Re:Ballots and ballets (4, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830879)

It's weird, but unless they add some kind of description along with the browser name (that is displayed by default, not after a click or mouse-over), the layperson will think it's a multiple choice test to pick the browser from the list, not which browser to use.

Because from these names (and only the names), which of these would 'seem' to be a browser:

Internet Explorer
Safari
Opera
FireFox
Chrome

From these names, the only one that people would read and link with the internet/web would be Internet Explorer.

Re:Ballots and ballets (2, Funny)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830919)

From these names, the only one that people would read and link with the internet/web would be Internet Explorer.

especially if they have been living on the moon for the last five years.

A browser ballot is stupid (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830345)

Forcing a company to ship its competitors with its own product is ridiculous and anti-capitalism. Microsoft isn't forcing anyone to use Internet Explorer. People are free to download Opera on their own, and if Opera's CTO wants more people to know about Opera, they should do what a business is supposed to do and get the word out about their product, not plead to the government for assistance. If that still doesn't get more people using Opera, then that's just life.

Some people have adopted this crazy idea that there is supposed to be balanced competition at all times, enforceable by the government. The point of competition is that someone is going to end up on top, and the others have to fight to compete. The government should only be stepping in when the competitor on top is illegally affecting the market in some way, but that's not the case here. You can download Opera the moment you start up your Windows PC for the first time.

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (3, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830399)

I mostly agree with your post, but this part:

Microsoft isn't forcing anyone to use Internet Explorer.

Har! That's a joke, right?

If you don't think so, then I could suggest some reading for you that would show you that Microsoft pretty much does everything it can to force people to use IE.

AFA TFA, if this ballot box can make IE + MS even more standards compliant, I say go for it. It's been the other way for far too long.

Please do suggest said reading... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830939)

I know I might be forced as an employee at DumbCorp to use IE because they rely on ActiveX elements. But that's not Microsoft forcing me, that's DumbCorp forcing me by not hiring coders to re-write the things.

I know I might be forced by StupidBleedingCustomersBank to use IE because -they- rely on ActiveX elements. But, again, not Microsoft. Dumbass bank and most likely I'd tell them the reason I'm leaving them for another bank.

But, please, do go ahead and post a list. I'm genuinely curious.

Just to note - please prune any and all arguments regarding the -engine- (Trident etc.) being used by, say, help files or in-app browser screens. That's -not- IE the browser (and on top of that, the help file / app authors -could- have chosen to use a different format (PDF) or even html rendering engine. Just 'cos they found the one readily available on Windows easy to implement doesn't make it that Microsoft is forcing them to use it, or -me- to be subjected to it.

Thank you.

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (2, Interesting)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830505)

You can download Opera the moment you start up your Windows PC for the first time.

Can you do it without using Internet Explorer?

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (3, Informative)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830617)

Yes.

Step 1) Download Firefox using FTP: instructions [boutell.com].

Step 2) Use Firefox to download Opera.

(you can probably use the method above to directly download Opera, but I'm too lazy to figure out how right now)

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830821)

That's a nice idea except, for example, Windows 95 did not ship with an FTP client; and once the FTP client become essential again, 3rd party FTP client authors will want the same treatment as HTML viewers...

My favored Car Analogy for browsers is Tires. It's hard to drive to the tire store without a set being preinstalled, and it's hard to get a browser without already having one.

IE is just like the usable, but not particularly great tires that come with many cars. It works, and most won't bother to replace it until there is a problem.

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830979)

or . . .

step 1: download virtualbox
step 2: download an iso of your favourite [debian based] distro
step 3: install iso retreived through step 2
step 4: launch distro
step 5: launch commandline
step 6: apt-get install opera
step 7: realise step 1 requires IE
step 8: slap self on forehead
step 9: reap multiple +1 funnies
step 10: wonder why they mysteriously always finish at +4

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28831027)

Um, USB drive?

I swear, I thought people around here were smart.

Re:A browser ballot is stupid (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830615)

I disagree. Many or even most Windows users aren't smart enough to know that another browser exists or even that it is possible for another browser to run on their computer, after all - how can you explore the internet without internet explorer? I feel that when your company is a large monopoly, the free market is not capable of competing. Cellular and broadband internet are good examples of this problem in many areas too.

Apple and Linux, too? (3, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829833)

MS has to do this because of monopoly concerns... Apple certainly won't be doing it anytime soon, since they emphasize integration between programs so much. Linux? Sorry, Opera, but your software isn't open source.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (2, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829959)

You seem to be under the impression there's only one browser on Linux?

If you RTFA, it sounds like Lie suggested it because it's a Good Ideaâ rather than because he wanted to see Opera on it.

Q: In your opinion, should Apple also be expected to offer a ballot box for its computers? Should Ubunto?

The Microsoft case is based on antitrust law, something that only applies to monopolies. Apple and Ubuntu are not monopolies as per the legal definition of a monopoly. Still, it may be a good idea to offer it; the browser is the most important tool for most of us, and having access to better browsers is a good thing.

1) Ubunto?
2) I don't see him specifically saying Opera should be on it. There's many good linux browsers, for different purposes.

Firefox, Konquerer, Chrome (getting there; it's really fast compared to the rest), Lynx. ;)

I find Firefox to be bloated and slow on Ubuntu. It runs slower on a 2.6ghz Athlon X2 than Firefox does on a 2.0ghz Athlon XP, in Windows 2000.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829973)

Apparently the TM (trademark) char turns into an a with a ^ overtop it. Or maybe my browser is just being ornery.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (1)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830085)

Slashdot isn't a fan of Unicode, sadly.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (2, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830349)

What are you talking about? I use Unicode all the æ±åOE--å...çSæ-ç'åå¦ããï¼OE2åæãRubyã'ç"ããYåYæoeçsããf--ãfããf©ãfYãfãã'å...ä®ç'ç®ãã--ã¦ãããèç®--æ©YæSè"è...ã'ç®æOEã(TM)ãYãã®è義ããçããSï¼OEãã"ããääã'éèOEã(TM)ãæéã®çãçã¦ï¼OEèfãæ-ï¼OEãfãfãf¼ãfæ-æã®æææã'æ±ãå¦ãããã"ãã'ç®çsãã--ã¦ããã

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830355)

I'm certainly aware that there is more than one browser on linux. Personally I use Arora [google.com], a Qt/Webkit browser, because I can't stand firefox and frankly, Konqueror sucks.

Doesn't change the fact that most distros either have mechanisms already in place to allow the user to choose their browser (as well as other preferences), or default the user to some sort of sane default (basically the same thing Apple does). Having some sort of dialog solely for the purpose of letting the user pick a browser would be rather inconsistent imho.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830657)

Arora isn't bad. I used it a couple times while trying out browsers.

I can't speak to the consistency of offering a choice of browsers on first boot.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829999)

Many linux distributions have been known to ship with non-free but gratis software packages such as Pine, Pico, GNUplot, Affero Ghostscript.

Linux itself is free, but not necessarily everything distributed with it.

Nothing really prevents Linux distributions such as SuSE or Redhat from including closed source software, so long as the vendor of the software allows them to distribute it with Linux.

Enterprise for-pay Linux distributions have even been known to include commercial software that is not even available free of charge.

It's mostly the Free-software leaning community projects like Debian that have a "pure free software policy" and so reject non-free packages from being distributed with it.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830381)

Gratis = free.

Oh, I see, you actually meant to say "open source" instead.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830017)

Ah yes, the elitist open sores argument. *strokes neckbeard*

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830367)

Sorry, Opera, but your software isn't open source.

Wait... are you implying that an OS provider should have a choice as to which browsers are included in their distribution? It's a close call, but if I had to choose between MS and the government controlling things, I wouldn't choose the government.

Irrespective for any individual's hatred of MS, this decision reeks.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830561)

Just as soon as one linux vendor control 95% of the market, then absolutely you bet your damned ass that I would expect them to provide a choice as to which browser to install by default.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (4, Insightful)

sqldr (838964) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830699)

Mod parent up. it's Microsoft's monopoly and use of OEM licensing to force vendors to sell machines with windows on them which the EU should be addressing.

Re:Apple and Linux, too? (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830897)

Apple certainly won't be doing it anytime soon, since they emphasize integration between programs so much.

As did Microsoft, but you see where that got them.

HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829841)

I do not belive SVG ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svg [wikipedia.org] )has that bright future, the Canvas tag in the HTML 5 specification ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canvas_(HTML_element) [wikipedia.org] ) seems to gain allot more traction these days. SVG may be better from a technical standpoint, but that alone is not enough.

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829871)

Where is the canvas tag widely used? I know that SVG is considered the standard for vector graphics on Wikipedia.

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830379)

Not widely used at all, due the the lack of HTML5 support except in the very latest browsers (and nothing by Microsoft, who alas still are the majority of browsers out there).

You'd be nuts to make an HTML5 only page at present... a few years down the line, who knows.

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830451)

SVG is good for (mostly-)static vector graphics. While it was designed with a DOM and proper handlers in place to facilitate animation, in practice it's A) not fast enough and B) a very, *very* large standard.

If you want to see Canvas used for animation, check out the Chrome Experiments [chromeexperiments.com] page. Most of the animation there is done using Canvas. It's a smaller standard, and it's very close to already-implemented 2D-model engines, like cairo [cairographics.org].

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829939)

Canvas will probably see more use for interactive stuff, but I don't think vector graphics programs are going to start storing images as a series of javascript instructions.

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

daniel_newton (817437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830201)

Canvas will probably see more use for interactive stuff, but I don't think vector graphics programs are going to start storing images as a series of javascript instructions.

Very good point... But then again, Windows Metafiles are just that, a dump of GDI api calls

Works for postscript. . . . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830339)

NT

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830555)

That's true, and it's why Inkscape [inkscape.org] uses SVG to store static vector information. SVG is XML-based, making it very easy to parse (there are tons of libraries in practically every language to parse XML), and supports CSS, which is also has widespread support. The problem isn't with static graphics, it's with animations. If you want to design an interactive control to use in a browser, you'll going to need 5-times the amount of code to do so in SVG than you would in Canvas, and it'll be both slower, and supported on fewer systems.

The Canvas spec is smaller (much smaller compared to SVG), easier to implement, and is already supported on Firefox and Webkit-based browsers. This is the most practical advantage it has -- availability in the field.

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

Fallen Seraph (808728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28831005)

Have you ever actually USED the SVG animation specs? I have, I've built an entire page using pure SVG and SVG animations as an experiment. To animate something, it's a single line of code. Additionally, writing SVG is about as easier than writing HTML in my opinion, and the animations run very smoothly in Opera. Do tell me how canvas is better see as how it has more overhead, and is more complex?

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830269)

It's worth noting that Microsoft was committed to supporting SVG at one time, before they disbanded the IE team and stopped development on IE6.

VML was a preliminary standards proposal that evolved into SVG, if I remember correctly. So, its not that IE can't do vector markup, they just need to get it up to speed with the latest specs.

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830283)

First of all, Canvas is pretty crappy. It's 25 pages in the HTML 5 1000-page spec, and is nothing more than a bunch of Javascript methods for drawing bitmaps. There's no way to scale something once it's been drawn, figure out what shape has been clicked on, no animation, etc. But at least you could implement it in a week.

By contrast, the latest JS (ECMAscript) draft spec is smaller than 250 pages.

On the other hand, SVG is a monster 700-page spec. It appears to have been designed by Adobe to either be a replacement for Flash or just a means to write Illustrator files as XML. Unfortunately, it is so big that it's almost impossible to completely implement. I don't think even Adobe has implemented it all, and none of the existing implementations are entirely compatible in the subsets they implement. Although there is a "tiny" version of SVG, its spec is still over 400 pages.

The thing is, even once you implement the whole SVG spec, you still have to create a whole rendering and animation engine to actually display anything. Luckily MS already has such a thing in their browser to support VML (which was designed to support rendering Office files in HTML). This means that you could just use XSLT to convert 99% of all SVG to VML and not need to change IE at all.

dom

Re:HTML 5 Canvas tag (3, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830373)

the real problem with SVG is that it's a "kitchen sink" Committee made spec. When Adobe didn't own Flash, they wanted a spec that was a "flash killer" so threw all sorts of garbage in SVG that doesn't belong there. We're in the situation where most browsers support "most" SVG, but they're all at different stages of unique implementations and don't do the SAME things right in the SAME way. I like how another poster mentioned SVG tiny and that's probably what should have been done first to make the tool usable on as many platforms as possible and to make pages compatible between browsers.

Even with HTML5 the big companies like Apple and Google are pushing how THEY want things done and have them already done, versus the guys like Opera and Firefox that want clean specs first, then implementation.

The sooner we get all the other parties supporting things is when web developers can just start ignoring IE, especially at non-work sites where people should be accessing pages from home. When people start using HTML5 at home.. then it will push into workplaces.

Self Interest (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28829851)

"Lie would also like to see Apple and Linux makers follow suit with browser ballot boxes of their own"

Only if that ballot includes Opera.

Re:Self Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28829943)

Why thank you, Captain Obvious.

It doesn't really matter (4, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829891)

It will put the Opera name in front of millions of users who probably never heard of it

And the majority of users will simply ignore it and click on a name they've heard of. If Opera doesn't come up with some sort of educational advertising campaign, having this choice in Windows 7 won't make a damned bit of difference in the usage of their browser.

Re:It doesn't really matter (0)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830027)

I used to use Opera back in the day (before firefox existed), and I liked it. However, with the other browsers out there now, the last time I used Opera I didn't care for it, nor do I see any reason to give it a try again unless somehow every other browser turns to crap in a few years.

People who actually know what a browser is (sadly, there's many people who don't know what a browser is - they think that IE IS "the internet") are well aware of the other browsers out there besides IE. Some of them, like a few IT people I know, say "IE does what I want, why would I change to another browser?" even though people repeatedly point out all the security flaws in IE. The rest of us already have tried several other browsers and have decided what we want. Most of us did NOT choose Opera and putting a box to select a different browser will probably not increase Opera's market share much, if at all.

Re:It doesn't really matter (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830223)

The rest of us already have tried several other browsers and have decided what we want. Most of us did NOT choose Opera and putting a box to select a different browser will probably not increase Opera's market share much, if at all.

I agree that it won't directly help much, but I think it will help Opera indirectly in several ways. One of Opera's biggest weaknesses is the inability to handle nonstandard pages written for IE as well as Firefox and Safari do. The more alternative browsers that are in use, the fewer such pages will exist and the less this hurts them. Opera spends a lot of money working around those kind of pages both in their regular browser and compromisingly on their mobile browser. This means they can spend less money on that and more on making their browser better and they can make more money licensing their mobile version and services to mobile device OEMs. As you point out, many users don't know they have a choice in browsers, this makes that perfectly clear to them and even if they don't pick Opera from the list, they might consider evaluating different browsers in the future. This isn't an automatic win for Opera, but if gives them an opportunity to compete on even ground, which is all they really want. With the ballot situation users might end up using whichever browser is best, motivating all makers to work hard to be the best.

Re:It doesn't really matter (0, Troll)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830517)

Do you really think someone who doesn't know that there are browsers besides IE (or don't even know what a browser is) will choose something other than IE? Most likely not. If they do, it'll probably be Chrome due to Google's name recognition.

Firefox and others haven't had the advantage of this "ballot box" and yet they have a much larger share than Opera. The simple fact of the matter is that most people just don't want to use Opera. People can make excuses of "unfair fight" or your comment about them not being able to render some pages right (I've never had that problem in any other browser), but in the end, you'll realize that the other browsers out there just do a better job than Opera and Opera will never be number 1 (unless they can BS the EU into making it mandatory that Opera be the default browser in Windows 8).

Re:It doesn't really matter (-1, Troll)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830047)

Microsoft should put the top three on there. IE8, Firefox 3.5, and Chrome.

Fuck you, Opera.

Re:It doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830147)

Microsoft should put the top three on there. IE8, Firefox 3.5, and Chrome.

Fuck you, Opera.

Chrome isn't in the top 3.
Fuck you, FishWithAHammer.

Re:It doesn't really matter (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830249)

Safari on Windows is nonfunctionally bad, and a tiny slice of the total Safari share anyway. You sure you want to go that route?

Re:It doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830565)

Go what route? All he did was point out that you were wrong to list Chrome as one of the top three.
Nothing you said in this post was relevant to the fact that you were wrong.
After these three posts, you now look:

A) Stupid and uninformed.

B) Like a general douche-bag.

Cheers

Re:It doesn't really matter (4, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830181)

Fuck you, Opera.

What are you, 12? What is it with all the Opera hate on Slashdot?

If market share is what's important (and ignoring that the market share stats are very dubious, and unfairly biased against Opera, which until recently identified as IE, and even now some users have to identify as IE due to poorly written websites, not to mention that browsers that don't cache as often will get more hits), by your logic we should all be using IE.

Re:It doesn't really matter (-1, Troll)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830271)

What is it with all the Opera hate on Slashdot?

It's a company that comes off as being whiny about everybody who can make a popular web browser. They've had fourteen years to work, and they were eclipsed by Chrome in under a year.

So I like the idea of seeing them lose out. Schadenfreude, if you will. Think of it like the freetards and their Microsoft-hate if you like.

Re:It doesn't really matter (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830081)

It will put the Opera name in front of millions of users who probably never heard of it

And the majority of users will simply ignore it and click on a name they've heard of.

Ahh, but some small number of users will choose Opera for one reason or another and that benefits Opera. And some other subset of users will choose anything other than IE which means they'll be running a standards compliant browser that is mostly interoperable with Opera and thus Web developers are more likely to use said standards which means users who do use Opera will have a better Web experience. Further, every user who isn't using IE is learning they have choices, which might mean they actually look into other browsers and start to decide which to use based upon actual merits of the browser.

Re:It doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830273)

A minority of Windows users is still a lot more than Opera has now.

Re:It doesn't really matter (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830275)

Well a lot of people will learn that there is a choice. It's a start. People will switch away from IE and/or Microsoft will have to actually compete for market share, and quality goes up. It's really win win.

Re:It doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830479)

Well... given the % of people who click on the stupidest Spam, this is still going to mean a major expansion of Opera's user base. It's going to become harder to joke that there's just twelve of us.

But more importantly it's going to change the kind of user Opera has. Like with Ubuntu for Linux, it's not going to be just keen & forgiving enthusiasts anymore. How well Opera retains (& possibly expands) this new user base will be a real indicator of how well their browser can do among the general populous going forward. If they don't retain these new users, then Opera is going to have to reconsider their business plan. We might not see an Opera 11 for the desktop.

Disclaimer -- I've used and like Opera since 3.5. I tell friends and family to use Firefox.

There is a marketing term called "Brand Awareness" (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830723)

"Brand awareness is a marketing concept that refers to a consumer knowing of a brand's existence; at aggregate (brand) level it refers to the proportion of consumers who know of the brand." [Reference [wikipedia.org]] Most businesses put an extreme amount of weight into brand awareness...it is one of the very important foundations of the meaning of commercials. ...but they all could very well be wrong.

In Opera's case, users may not decide on it the first time. But the next time they see the icon, the more likely they are to try it out because they recognize it.

cheers

How the ballot box will work (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28829905)

Opera Software is, as expected, preening over the forthcoming browser ballot box feature in Windows 7. It will put the Opera name in front of millions of users who probably never heard of it.

Windows Setup, Screen 25:

As per litigation by the European Union, please select your internet browser:

[ ] (large IE logo here) MICROSOFT(tm) INTERNET EXPLORER(tm) 8(tm) — The NEWEST, most FASTEST web browser from MICROSOFT(tm)! See all your favorite web pages load up to fourteen hojillion percent faster than ever before with brand new MICROSOFT(tm) SUPERFAST WEB(tm) technology! Browse in the utmost of safety with the latest and bestest of MICROSOFT(tm) security! Witness the splendor of MICROSOFT(tm) STANDARDS(tm) in webpages worldwide! All available as soon as your MICROSOFT(tm) WINDOWS(tm) 7(tm) computer is set up!

[ ] Other — You will be prompted for a URL to download an executable installer for your browser.

Re:How the ballot box will work (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830055)

Actually, I think they'll just display the icons of each browser and the name, with a radio box.

But the MSIE radio box will be selected by default, so the user who just clicks 'next' will automatically pick Microsoft's preferred browser.

Also several pages before it will have two radio buttons, "Use Microsoft recommended settings" and the second option will be "Customize advanced internet settings (for expert users only)"

Choice of browser won't even appear unless you elect to see advanced options

Re:How the ballot box will work (2, Insightful)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830157)

You really think the EU will let this through? Where the vast majority do not have a ballot displayed? I doubt it. Much more likely that this screen will be required for all installs, including the final setup that OEM version do when you turn them on for the first time...

Re:How the ballot box will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830153)

Much more likely to be

Please choose from the top 5 browsers as rated by [insert ratings firm here]

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (Compatible with the vast majority of websites)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (This is the recommended option for your computer - features enhanced security and speed)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (This is not recommended. Upgrade to Microsoft Internet Explorer 8!)
Mozilla Firefox (An alternative browser similar to Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 - link downloads version 3.5.1)
Google Chrome (Link downloads version 0.9.7)

Re:How the ballot box will work (2, Insightful)

pankkake (877909) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830213)

Version numbers are especially important - users will use the one with the highest version, i.e. IE 8.

Re:How the ballot box will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830241)

actually that's true. also i just checked my version of chrome and it appears that i downloaded version 2.0.172.38, which is rather more advanced than my vlc-inspired 0.9.7 was. chrome's obviously catching up quick on firefox!

Will a ballot really be that effective? (2, Interesting)

AnonymousIslander (1603121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28829995)

But what's stopping MS from simply putting IE as the first choice? Or in the case of Linux whatever the distro's favourite browser choice? While it's a nice idea, Lie seems to forget that a large number of people buy pre-configured systems, and even then there's a good chance they'd pick the first choice offered out of lack of awareness. Unless the organisations behind Opera, Firefox et al can whip up a major advertising campaign rivaling anything MS can pump out it's not as simple as putting a few choices on the screen.

Re:Will a ballot really be that effective? (3, Insightful)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830177)

Well, if the EU is smart, they will impose some basic rules on the ballot screen:

1) No default selection

2) Random order of displayed browser choices

3) No MS propaganda on the screen.

That should do it.

Random Order (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830899)

While random order would be nice, it is hardly likely. More likely will be IE first, Opera second (after all they have money to spend to put it there), then Chrome (Google has money too) and then Firefox, with other low penetration browsers following.

Re:Will a ballot really be that effective? (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830267)

but now Dell can legally add Firefox, Opera, or Chrome right to the desktop and Microsoft can't sanction them for it! That's the REAL winner, because you are correct, people tend to use what's working and OEMS are basically banned from including anything pre-installed and on the desktop except IE.

For example my Acer Aspire One shipped with the full dock of Google apps preinstalled... Desktop, Gadgets, Earth, Picassa but under Microsoft's current iron fist they can't include Chrome without backlash. In another example IBM seems to like Opera for many of it's Linux/workstation machines as it's cross-architecture/platform embedded reader... again, they could "encourage" Leneovo to add that to thinkpads for their in-house teams. HP has pretty good ties with Apple still, they could ship PCs with iTunes/Safari ready to go and connect to their home servers for backup, etc, etc.

Re:Will a ballot really be that effective? (2, Insightful)

Hunter0000 (1600071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830757)

This is the issue. The ballot box is idiotic and does not address anything anti-competitive (Really? you must include your competitors products with yours? How about the EU makes it illegal to not offer pre-installed after market parts for new car purchases instead of the manufactorer's version?) The real anti-competitive behavior here was punishing pre-installers for including non-IE browsers, thats what should be prevented, not Microsoft only including its OS with its browser.

Re:Will a ballot really be that effective? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830385)

Why shouldn't Microsoft be able to put their browser as the first choice? Windows is their product, and Internet Explorer adds value to it. This whole idea is stupidly socialist. Nobody is forcing you to use Internet Explorer--you can download Opera yourself the moment Windows boots up using the very browser that is conveniently bundled with it.

I only hope SVG spec doesn't mention transparency (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830001)

I only hope SVG spec doesn't mention transparency, otherwise, we're screwed!

Microsoft should just fork Firefox (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830101)

Forget individual standards and other pointlessness, Microsoft should just give up on the browser wars and fork Firefox. They get a browser (largely for free) that's arguably better than there own efforts, even though they've been trying to do better. This nets them numerous benefits:

1) They can spend a lot less money developing their own competing product that's slowly hemorrhaging market-share regardless of what they do. There's not much money in the browser market anyway and they can make a few modifications to point the default search at Bing instead of Google.

2) They get all of the wonderful extensions that Firefox already has. In fact, they could have a few of the really nice ones enabled by default and claim that their browser offers more protection out of the box.

3) They can use it as an excuse to get the EU off of their back. It's not longer so much their browser as it is a rebranding of some other popular browser. Hell they could even include a version of Opera that defaults its searches to Bing.

4) If there's some horrible exploit released it will hit both Firefox and IE users so it can't be said that one is more secure than the other. This even gives Microsoft the added benefit of railing against the problems of Open Source software and claiming that their own closed source solution would be better, even though that's probably not true.

5) They can stop worrying about the browser market and actually focus on something that actually matters. If all browsers are standards compliant and have similar performance, does it really matter which browser a person actually uses? Microsoft hasn't been able to leverage any of its encoding formats through their browser. MP3 and AAC have completely outstripped WMA and I'm not aware of any major player utilizing WMV on the video side. That battle has been lost for Microsoft and to carry it on any further is futile and counter-productive.

6) They get to talk about how they're embracing open standards and open source so that they can appear like good guys when in reality the move would give them plenty of angles to play in the future and several ways to deride open source software.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't see a reason for Microsoft not to make this transition. Formats are going to slowly slip through their fingers and they'll only end up loosing market share to superior browsers. If they would fork Firefox and toss their own interface on it so that it looks more like IE, then there's no real reason to use Firefox instead of IE. Neither is more or less secure and both would offer the exact same opportunities for customization and extension. Hell, a move like this could really hurt Mozilla which makes most of its money through their partnership with Google. Any exploits would also affect Firefox and someone is likely to have a decent patch available long before Microsoft would generally make one available. They would have to do a minimal amount of work and stay completely caught up with the Joneses.

Re:Microsoft should just fork Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830175)

Why would they want to fork Firefox? It would make more sense to fork Chromium or just use Webkit. Performance and standards support are both significantly better there than with Gecko.

Re:Microsoft should just fork Firefox (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830193)

Because Firefox is better known than Chromium. If you tell people "Hey this is the guts that power Firefox" you are going to get a lot more people to look at it than if you say "Hey this is the guts that powers Chrome".

It's not about media formats (2, Informative)

benwaggoner (513209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830225)

Microsoft hasn't been able to leverage any of its encoding formats through their browser. MP3 and AAC have completely outstripped WMA and I'm not aware of any major player utilizing WMV on the video side.

Media formats are pretty orthgonal to the browser; most playback is via plugins, and there are WMV playback plugins available for all major browsers. Microsoft has a NSAPI implementation for Firefox, Distributes Flp4Mac for free. And of course Silverlight supports WMV (along with MP4 and MP3), and is supported in the codec pack for Moonlight.

WMV is quite widely used for premium content where the studios require DRM, as Windows Media DRM and PlayReady is the only widely deployed DRM available for license (Apple's FairPlay is only available to Apple as a publisher and Apple as a device vendor). So WMV is used for Netflix, Blockbuster, and other services in the USA, and it's used even more widely in Europe and Asia's video services.

But again, nothing to do with the browser.

With Silverlight supporting H.264 and AAC now, the actual codecs and media formats aren't the interesting point of competition. The big differences between Silverlight and Flash today are much more systems layer stuff like adaptive streaming and rich presentation layers. HTML5 is interesting, but even the proposals are well behind what Flash and Silverlight have already deployed for complex players.

Re:Microsoft should just fork Firefox (3, Insightful)

pankkake (877909) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830259)

They won't do it, because some websites work only with IE (ActiveX intranets and lousy javascript mainly) and they will want to keep it that way.

Re:Microsoft should just fork Firefox (1)

Targen (844972) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830327)

Microsoft should just give up on the browser wars and fork Firefox.

4) If there's some horrible exploit released it will hit both Firefox and IE users so it can't be said that one is more secure than the other. This even gives Microsoft the added benefit of railing against the problems of Open Source software and claiming that their own closed source solution would be better, even though that's probably not true.

(emphasis mine)
My (limited and probably inaccurate) understanding of free software licenses tells me the GPL would probably not allow this except for some very slow and impractical trickery, but I'm not sure about the LGPL and MPL. How could they manage to do this?

Re:Microsoft should just fork Firefox (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830645)

LGPL is only viral within the library/dll. The MPL only applies to the contents of the file itself (not other files that use it). So IE 2009 could be a closed source binary linked to the LGPL gecko/firefox libs, or a closed source binary (publishing any changes to gecko/firefox code).

Re:Microsoft should just fork Firefox (2, Interesting)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830691)

5) They can stop worrying about the browser market and actually focus on something that actually matters.

There is no browser market. There are two markets that Microsoft sells to: Average home users and businesses. They build IE to cater to both of these markets, and if you are honest with yourself, you will see that they have done a pretty good job of augmenting their platform with IE. They have always been focused on "something that actually matters", which is giving their customers what works for them. Whether or not those customers are making decisions that have a positive result or negative result in the long term is besides the point.

Microsoft may not achieve their goals in a way that aligns with the interest of the masses, but they are not dumb. It is said that Microsoft knew far more about, and better understood, Netscape's defects than Netscape ever did, solely to be compatible so that IE would meet the needs of their market.

Forking Webkit or Gecko would be in the interest of web developers and standards nerds, but it would not meet the needs of Microsoft's market. I still have to fire up IE 6 at work because we have brain-dead intranet apps that require it. Until web developers or standards nerds mean more to Microsoft than average home users and businesses do, there is not much for Microsoft to do other than PR work [cwilso.com]. That said, IE 8 is actually very good. I'd probably be happy to use it if it was the only browser available.

SVG is GOOD for mobile and other devices ! (2, Interesting)

johnjones (14274) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830121)

SVG tiny is a great thing for the whole of the web to actually support !

it enables mobile web browsers to show content regardless of the screen size and thats a GOOD THING

firefox just needs to support SVG tiny...

regards

John Jones

Why? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830145)

Lie would also like to see Apple and Linux makers follow suit with browser ballot boxes of their own."

What would this accomplish? For one, it makes it a heck of a lot easier if Ubuntu has to only support one or two browsers, especially when there are multitudes of browsers available. Then there is Apple which a non-Apple browser would again, ruin the unified experience. If Opera wants to be used then release the code if you want your rendering engines to be accepted release the code. Don't start complaining about how much you want open standards to be followed when your browser itself is the most closed browser next to IE.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830297)

Idiot. Open standards are not at all the same as open source.

Re:Why? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830361)

For one, it makes it a heck of a lot easier if Ubuntu has to only support one or two browsers, especially when there are multitudes of browsers available.

..and it would be a heck of a lot easier for Microsoft to only ship one browser, and even easier still if it was their own browser.

Do you think that Ubuntu doing what Microsoft has been doing, is acceptable because it is a "heck of a lot easier" for Ubuntu?

Re:Why? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830425)

The difference is, MS doesn't make most of its money with support. MS makes most of their consumer sales by sale of the OS and applications alone. Ubuntu makes all of its money with support.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830951)

The difference is, MS doesn't make most of its money with support.

What you are saying is that the people who make money providing support should provide less, while the people who spend money providing support should provide more.

Did you actualy think about it?

Gentoo's already got them covered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830199)

Gentoo doesn't come with ANY browsers by default, not does it prompt you to install one at all.

Now everyone just ignore that appearance of epiphany in "emerge gnome"'s output.... /insane pe

Preening? (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830231)

I don't think that word means what you think it means. Given the context, I expect "gloating" or "crowing" or "celebrating" would've been a better fit.

Signed,
Your eight-grade English teacher

Re:Preening? (1)

lfaraone (1463473) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830641)

I don't think that word means what you think it means. Given the context, I expect "gloating" or "crowing" or "celebrating" would've been a better fit.

Signed, Your eight-grade English teacher

*eighth*, anyone?

Re:Preening? (3, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830655)

I don't think that word means what you think it means. Given the context, I expect "gloating" or "crowing" or "celebrating" would've been a better fit.

Signed,
Your eight-grade English teacher

Main Entry:
        preen [merriam-webster.com]
Function:
        verb
Etymology:
        Middle English prenen, alteration of proynen, prunen, from Anglo-French puroindre, proindre, from pur- thoroughly + uindre, oindre to anoint, rub, from Latin unguere -- more at purchase, ointment
Date:
        14th century

transitive verb
...
3: to pride or congratulate (oneself) for achievement

Signed,
Merriam-Webster

opera forced plugins (ever?) (1, Interesting)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830331)

If IE is forced to support SVG (yeah right); then maybe opera will be forced to finally accept plugins? The browser is really nice, but it's pretty much worthless if you're accustomed to plugins.

Re:opera forced plugins (ever?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28830493)

Plugins? Meaning Flash, Java, etc? It has those, lol. If you mean extentions, it has widgets.

Re:opera forced plugins (ever?) (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830945)

Probably means that security nightmare of "generic ActiveX control being used in a webpage". Yeah, cos I *want* that in a browser.

IE6 almost did support SVG (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 4 years ago | (#28830827)

...or so I heard. It was supposedly removed a couple weeks before release for reasons unkown to me.

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