Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Tweaks Browser Ballot As EU Deal Nears

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the roll-1d6-and-a-browser-will-be-assigned-to-you dept.

The Courts 187

CWmike writes "Microsoft has revamped the browser ballot screen demanded by European Union antitrust regulators and may get final approval as early as Dec. 15, a source familiar with the case has told Computerworld. As first reported by Bloomberg, Microsoft modified the ballot screen after rivals, including Opera Software and Mozilla, demanded changes. Last month, Opera, Mozilla and Google submitted change requests to the European Commission, asking that the order of the browsers be randomized and that the ballot be displayed in its own application, not in Internet Explorer. According to the source, who asked not to be identified because the terms of the settlement have not been officially approved, the top five browsers — IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Apple's Safari — will appear in random order each time the ballot is displayed."

cancel ×

187 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30332794)

Eat my shorts slashdot
  !!

Nice hair! (1, Redundant)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332850)

If they appear one at a time in random order, and assuming the browser names' first letter is the first thing in each line, we could occasionally get COIFS!

Opera... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30332852)

Opera has no business on that list, but otherwise it sounds good.

the way they want ballots to work in Redmond (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30332906)

<ul>
<li><small>Opera
<li><small>Firefox
<li><large><large><large>IE
<li><small><small><font color=white>Chrome
<li>Safari
</ul>

Heh heh -- Newall

Re:the way they want ballots to work in Redmond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333584)

That's an interesting usage of HTML. Do you happen to develop for IE6 only?

Oblig XKCD (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332922)

Well, randomly, we'll always get IE at the top of the list.

http://xkcd.com/221/ [xkcd.com]

We know what this is really about (2, Interesting)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332926)

The top five browsers — IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Apple's Safari — will appear in random order each time the ballot is displayed

If you have any idea what a "browser" is, and which browser you need, which most people simply don't, then you wouldn't need random order to "help you" in your choice. We know what this is really about: the other 4 browser makers hoping to gain some market share by confusing the Windows users. I'll call it the casino browser installer. Make your lucky pick!

I wonder how long it would be before a bunch of lawyers make a company with a quick Firefox clone and sue EU/Microsoft for not being included in that ballot deal.

Re:We know what this is really about (2, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332940)

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all have decently large user bases. This entire idiotic situation is arising because Opera is upset that most people don't like their browser. It's rather immature and the only reason the EU is going along with it is so that they could take another few million from MS to line politicians pockets.

Re:We know what this is really about (2, Insightful)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332992)

This entire idiotic situation is arising because Opera is upset that most people don't like their browser.

It would be rather ironic if this additional exposure to unsuspecting users backfires as people start sharing "avoid the Opera option in the ballot, it's bad", and that creates an overall bad image causing Opera's market share to plunge additionally.

I am an occasional Opera user (and well of all browsers, as a web dev), and appreciate its strengths, but its UI and features have a number of specifics compared to other browsers, not the least of which is a single-click file sharing server. For this type of functiona we know is a security nightmare in the hands of the average user (or unsuspectingly, their children).

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333726)

It would be rather ironic if this additional exposure to unsuspecting users backfires as people start sharing "avoid the Opera option in the ballot, it's bad", and that creates an overall bad image causing Opera's market share to plunge additionally.

Except it wont because Opera is great.

I am an occasional Opera user (and well of all browsers, as a web dev), and appreciate its strengths, but its UI and features have a number of specifics compared to other browsers, not the least of which is a single-click file sharing server. For this type of functiona we know is a security nightmare in the hands of the average user (or unsuspectingly, their children).

so your saying people are too stupid for this browser? and its browsers fault?

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334140)

I love Opera, which is my main browser and has been for a looong itme - mouse gestures, speed... FTW), but "people are too stupid for this browser? and its browsers fault?": YES.

If a piece of software targetting ... everyone... is too hard / risky to use by the average user (or, rather, the general populace) then YES, it's its fault.

I personally don't think Opera's file sharing is very risky (Opera is NOT MS, they know their security), and it's a very handy feature. But, generally speaking, I disagree with your statement.

Re:We know what this is really about (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333092)

What is doubly sad is that Opera has exclusive contracts with many cellphone and others companies that ensure the Opera browser is the only one on that platform yet they bitch about this.

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334150)

it's not quite the same

in the mobile market, they had a chance to present their product, and argue their case with OEMs. Obviously, OEMs liked what they saw.

on the desktop, they got no such chance, and most people are too lazy / stupid to check them out.

In both cases, users are still free to change browsers. Except on the iPhone ^^

Re:We know what this is really about (2, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334204)

What is doubly sad is that Opera has exclusive contracts with many cellphone and others companies that ensure the Opera browser is the only one on that platform yet they bitch about this.

What is triply sad is that Opera's mobile browser sucks. I dropped my data plan when I had a phone with Opera, because the web was so useless via Opera mobile.

Re:We know what this is really about (3, Informative)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333978)

Opera is hands down the most used browser in Eastern Europe. Market share of Opera is never below 40% there, and often over 50. So you can drag all the politics you want into this (you are an American after all), the simple fact of the matter is that Opera is actually used, a lot, in large parts of Europe, much moreso than Safari for example, and therefore should be in such a ballot screen.

Re:We know what this is really about (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333038)

So if people really don't know what a browser is, and they really don't, what does it matter if they pick a random one? And why _not_ provide more choices than the top 5? Linux provides a few firefox clones, swiftweasel, iceweasel, no big deal... Right now, the windows user that knows nothing about browsers, has this choice made for him by microsoft. Besides the illegal tying thing, is that really a better way to go? I think not..

Re:We know what this is really about (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333070)

Right now, the windows user that knows nothing about browsers, has this choice made for him by microsoft

So what? Your choice of seat cushions is made by the car company.

AFAIK, there is *NO* restriction on PC manufacturers to install whatever browser they want. If the EU really cared about "choice" they would just ensure that PC makers are allowed to install whatever browser they want, not force Microsoft to give a free ride to the competition.

But as usual greed wins and the "big bad microsoft" is made out to be the boogey man.

Re:We know what this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333100)

Well if you actually read what you're saying, instead of blindly defending microsoft, you're advocating that the actual choice should not be made by the user. But by OEMs or microsoft. That's terrible. Even if the user currently knows nothing about browsers, at least with this he'll gain awareness that he has a say in what he can possibly use.

Re:We know what this is really about (2, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333152)

I make a competing calculator app. I want mine included in Windows. I feel like my calculator app has more features, greater standards support, and provides more functions.

I also make a competing notepad, sticky note, media player, web browser, desktop shell, icon set, sound theme, etc.

There should be twenty ballots before the user can start Windows. Clearly, Windows has hurt my marketshare in numerous areas. I should be subsidized by the government and people should have to pick between five different calculators, five different shells, five different notepads, etc. It's only fair.

P.S.: I also make a separate kernel, and I think it's unfair that Windows users are forced to use the NT kernel, not to mention the userland.

Re:We know what this is really about (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333170)

Is Microsoft using its monopoly in operating systems to hamper competition in the calculator app space?

I don't appreciate you side-stepping what i'm asking in previous posts, but whatever. If you actually read cases like this, you'll see that these companies are not demanding fairness in distribution of their apps for the sake of market-awareness fairness. They're asking for it because IE is damaging competition in the browser market.

Read up on the US vs Microsoft case:

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm

Check out how he defines the markets and how he concludes that microsoft was indeed hampering competition. Then come back and make a similar case for your calculator app we can discuss. :]

Re:We know what this is really about (4, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333372)

Isn't everything Microsoft includes in their OS damaging to competing markets?

I mean, and this isn't even hypothetical, if no Notepad came with Windows, there'd be many, dozens of alternatives with marginally more features. This was the case even when Windows just came out, that applications with hardly more features were on the market. I don't know about the state of calculators, but certainly Notepad and Wordpad killed an entire marketplace.

If Microsoft in a future version of Windows adds an Expose like functionality, or a virtual desktop functionality (like Mac's "Spaces", or Linux' typically built in virtual desktop functionality) will they be abusing their monopoly? Why? Both of their two largest competitors have those feature built in. What about search? Including decent search in Vista, and even better search in Windows 7 killed at least a handful of worse search engines. Heck, even Google Desktop was pretty significantly hurt by the release of Vista, as poor as the reception was. Windows 7 improves on the indexing and search, and goes further and adds search federation. Is that abusing their monopoly?

This is the problem. Microsoft produces an operating system and desktop environment. What people EXPECT in other operating systems and desktop environments far exceeds what the average Slashdotter would admit should be legal for Microsoft to include. When I run Mac OS X, I expect a lot, ditto with Linux. Yet, for Microsoft to even come close to feature parity would be many, many lawsuits waiting to happen.

Re:We know what this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333626)

Sure, well define the market. Identify barriers to entry etc and let's make comparisons. :]

If you infact do prove that microsoft is illegally using it's monopoly to crush your application it is just that you go against them in court. All the rest you're saying is that people expect to find windows in the illegal-tying-way they are today. That is a mater of personal opinion though. I would say that presenting them with choice through a ballot screen would actually add to their experience. The EU, as they do with other cases, favor user choice. Anything subtracting user choice is carefully examined. And Microsoft's illegal tying of IE (and possibly more applications as you claim to believe) is one of those cases.

Re:We know what this is really about (1, Troll)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333896)

Well then they shouldn't have repeatedly broken the law then should they? It's one of the downsides of being a criminal.

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333890)

Are you really this clueless? Google Microsoft Findings of Fact as a starting point rather than trotting out the same tired old bollocks that always seems to crop up on this site.

Re:We know what this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333310)

you're advocating that the actual choice should not be made by the user.

No, the user always has a choice to install whatever they want. This is about defaults. Defaults are called defaults because the PC manufacturer who is the selling point for the end user, thinks this is what the user wants.

Different PC manufacturers can bundle different apps to make their package more attractive to different users.

Making a ballot screen implies NONE of the browser makers could convince any of the PC OEMS to consider their browser to be worth bundling. Now, as along as there is no shady deal with MS and the OEMs, all that is left to do is call the waaambulance.

All the EU should be deciding on is whether PC OEMs can bundle their own defaults w/o interference from Microsoft. Thats it.

Re:We know what this is really about (1, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333052)

If you have any idea what a "browser" is, and which browser you need, which most people simply don't, then you wouldn't need random order to "help you" in your choice. We know what this is really about: the other 4 browser makers hoping to gain some market share by confusing the Windows users.

Err, no, they are hoping to gain some market share of confused windows users. A demographic that now goes nearly 100% to IE, profitting MicroSoft, the authors of confusion.

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333204)

I'd say that Wusers are more ignorant that confused. They aren't confused about browsers now: They have Internet Explorer. It accesses the Internet. Why would they want or need a different browser? Offering them a choice is bound to confuse them, even though it's a good idea technically.

Re:We know what this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333224)

Err, no, they are hoping to gain some market share of confused windows users. A demographic that now goes nearly 100% to IE, profitting MicroSoft, the authors of confusion.

Oh really, and how are they profiting from IE? Should I remind you there's a friggin' ballot on the search engines in IE already? IE with Bing is now literally two ballots away from happening. I wonder what excuse will be next that someone will bitch about.

Re:We know what this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333344)

If you've purchased the Operating System, Microsoft has profited. Your selection of browser has 0 impact on Microsoft's bottom line and of course 0 impact on the -FREE- alternatives.

Try again.

Re:We know what this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333096)

If you have any idea what a "browser" is, and which browser you need, which most people simply don't, then you wouldn't need random order to "help you" in your choice.

Yes ! Many browser manufacturers have found that there is no easy way to advertise for browsers and get users to legitimately install one. So they're resorting to strong-arming through the government. Its the usual corporate mantra..

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333290)

Nope. People will just stop before clicking (or come back to it later, provided there's an option), call their friend who knows more about computers than they do to get advice. It's like how everyone in a group of friends ends up with an iPhone/hotmail account/whatever, or how things like FF and OpenOffice get installed in the first place. Except, unlike FF and OO, this choice will necessarily be made by every user.

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333840)

Not, really. IE will probably be listed as "Microsoft Internet Explorer" and people, familiar with the Microsoft name, will still go for that one.

Re:We know what this is really about (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333848)

That's the point. Now people who don't know what to choose will pick one at random, or ask a friend, rather than just defaulting to Internet Explorer. This prevents Microsoft from using their monopoly in the OS market to get a monopoly in the browser market (in theory).

Next, they will not be happy with randomozation (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332928)

...the top five browsers -- IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Apple's Safari -- will appear in random order each time the ballot is displayed.

Guess what! Next, the complainants will not be happy with the way the randomization code is implemented. I guess they will propose an Open Source one.

Frankly, I cannot wait to get finished with this bickering, and besides, Firefox is not doing badly in Germany at all!

Sad (2, Interesting)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332946)

will appear in random order each time the ballot is displayed

The implications of this are very saddening. That's beyond promoting competition, and just dividing up the booty.

Why stop at browsers then? We could breath new life into the text editor market, casual picture editing market, file compression market, file browser market, music player market, etc. These ALL existed! Where are their randomized ballot windows? Hell, that's free advertising! Where do I sign up to have the VB 3 based browser I wrote in 8th grade added? We could all be using HyperMonkeyMarkup right now!

If this is what the web browser market needs to be competitive, imagine what it could do for open source. There is redundancy up the wazoo, we could have random ballots for EVERY category. Then people will have the ultimate freedom, and those who merely pick the top of the list will randomly populate lopsided projects like Gnome/KDE, Linux/*BSD/OpenSolaris/Hurd, GIMP/MyFirstPictureEditor, MySQL/Postgres, vi/emacs. It makes PERFECT sense, Hurd+KDE+mono port of emacs has been in the shadows too long, time to send the clueless masses that way and even things out.

On a serious note, when has choice in Linux ever been randomized? What message would that send?

Re:Sad (4, Insightful)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332994)

How would you display them otherwise?

By number of units sold - IE would be first as it comes with all operating systems, and they're all free now
By the letter of the alphabet - Is it "Microsoft Internet Explorer" or "Internet Explorer", "Firefox" or "Mozilla Firefox", how soon do you think a browser called "aaaaBrowser" will appear just to appear the first
By popularity or market share - based on who's stats... it's well known the expression here "Netcraft confirms it"

Random really does seem the best for now, and as long as these 5 browsers are not hardcoded... though it would be interesting if Microsoft would launch "Microsoft SilverlightBrowser" or something in Windows 2010 or something like that and as it's sold with the OS there will probably be two MS browsers in first 5

Re:Sad (5, Insightful)

Gigiya (1022729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333002)

Overreact much? Display is random, it's not like it randomly chooses and installs one automatically. If that's what a user does, it's their problem.

Re:Sad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333084)

Why stop at browsers then? We could breath new life into the text editor market, casual picture editing market, file compression market, file browser market, music player market, etc. These ALL existed! Where are their randomized ballot windows?

Absolutely none of these are anywhere near as central to the average user's computer usage as the web browser is. And regardless, there's no problem with those anyway as Microsoft only packages minimally functional implementations of those programs with Windows which don't offer any real competition to more serious products in the same categories.

Furthermore, the quality or lack thereof of those bundled programs doesn't really affect much. So what if MS Paint doesn't have fancy filters? So what if Notepad doesn't have multiple kill buffers and advanced scripting capability? So what if Explorer doesn't have multiple panes? However, Internet Explorer's dominant position offers Microsoft significant influence over the development of the web, and held it back massively until Firefox started eating into its market share, and still does to a significant extent.

Where do I sign up to have the VB 3 based browser I wrote in 8th grade added? We could all be using HyperMonkeyMarkup right now!

You can bug the EU to make Microsoft include your browser in the ballot when far more people than just you use it. In case you didn't notice before jumping to the comment box to write your whiny rant, they're not putting every random asshat's pet project in there. They're only including the top browsers.

If this is what the web browser market needs to be competitive, imagine what it could do for open source. There is redundancy up the wazoo, we could have random ballots for EVERY category. Then people will have the ultimate freedom, and those who merely pick the top of the list will randomly populate lopsided projects like Gnome/KDE, Linux/*BSD/OpenSolaris/Hurd, GIMP/MyFirstPictureEditor, MySQL/Postgres, vi/emacs. It makes PERFECT sense, Hurd+KDE+mono port of emacs has been in the shadows too long, time to send the clueless masses that way and even things out.

On a serious note, when has choice in Linux ever been randomized? What message would that send?

Breaking fucking news, the rules are different for monopolies, especially for abusive monopolies.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333604)

However, Internet Explorer's dominant position offers Microsoft significant influence over the development of the web, and held it back massively until Firefox started eating into its market share, and still does to a significant extent.

This is bullshit. If you want your browser inlcuded, go cut a deal with OEMs. Exactly how the trial-ware and shovel-ware companies cut deals with OEMs to include their shit.

Forcing MS to promote their competition is ludicrous.

Re:Sad (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334192)

Yep. It's so easy to go talk to Dell about junking MS.

More winning ideas ?

Re:Sad (2, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333906)

Try not to get too angry. There are so many people on here who don't have the ability to run a google search to see why MS are so unpopular and just blindly believe it's because the ungrateful Yooroes who would all be speaking Kraut if it wasn't for Uncle Sam are punishing a successful US corp for being successful.

Re:Sad (0, Troll)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333098)

Why stop at browsers then?

Wait, who said they would? At this point I'm firmly convinced that EU will continue to pursue their aggressive agenda against Microsoft, until their have a monetary incentive to do so (and a big monetary incentive at that). The sad truth is, the current outcome with the browser ballot is not what EU commission expected or hoped for, and they will seek for a formality that would allow them to fine Microsoft anyway.

And after that, come the other lawsuits. You better get ready for lots of new ballots, and Windows versions, because they're coming.

Re:Sad (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333916)

A court imposing punishment for breaking the law. What were they thinking? Oh no it's an aggressive agenda designed to punish success by evil Yooroe socialists. Even though the US courts did it first.

Re:Sad (1)

tylernt (581794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333218)

The implications of this are very saddening. That's beyond promoting competition, and just dividing up the booty.

Why stop at browsers then?

The fair solution is to not have any kind of (pre-installed) browser or a ballot at all. A user is greeted with a desktop with no prompts or programs. If the user wants a web browser, they can install one from media.

I'm assuming MS decided that was no good -- can you imagine the tech support calls that would generate? So they agreed to the next best thing, a ballot prompt. I think it's really in MS's best interest, given the alternative -- how well will a desktop OS sell that, out of the box, can't access the web without installing a browser from removable media?

Re: How would you get a browser without one? (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334202)

The fair solution is to not have any kind of (pre-installed) browser or a ballot at all. A user is greeted with a desktop with no prompts or programs. If the user wants a web browser, they can install one from media.

I would agree if Windows was a GNU/Linux distribution with some kind of free software package manager where you could emerge arora or apt-get install lynx. But it's not and (ab)using a browser seems to be the only easy way to get a browser on that OS. Get a CD/DVD sounds like a bad solution.

They apparently wrote a "ballot" browser "package manager" and my humble opinion is that they should place it under "Internet" in the menu, not pop it up in peoples face.

Re:Sad (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333324)

There go my mod points...

We could breath new life into the text editor market, casual picture editing market, file compression market, file browser market, music player market, etc.

Do you understand why IE is a problem?

IE bastardized the web standards it supports, and failed to support any decent new ones, for about a decade. After dropping support for other platforms, it effectively meant that many web pages were Windows-only. This was sometimes through no fault of their own, simply because they tested it with IE and assumed that worked. Sometimes it was deliberate -- why waste time supporting less than 5% of the population, when 95% can view your page?

Only when Firefox started seriously threatening its marketshare did IE start to improve, and it has done so incredibly slowly, compared to any of its rivals.

Yet even now, the damage has been done. To this day, if I want to be taken seriously as a web developer, I have to spend roughly 10-25% of my time hacking in support for IE6.

To compound this problem, you do kind of need a web browser to download another web browser. So even if I wanted to make a conscious choice to use, say, Firefox, I'd have to visit the Firefox download page from IE. It isn't as though Microsoft can reasonably be expected to ship an OS without a browser, unless we leave it up to the manufacturers, as most users would not know how to use ftp at the commandline to get Firefox.

So this is a sane solution to a real problem.

Compare this to your other examples. It isn't as though Notepad royally screws up text -- recent versions probably even handle Unicode properly, and even if we all adopt the defacto Microsoft standard of CRLF, it's not hurting anything -- nor is there a significant monopoly problem with text editors. And if notepad isn't there, you can download something else.

Same with casual picture editing. Download Paint.net or Gimp, and even if you don't, it's not as though there's some scandal with the png and jpeg file formats that makes them a nightmare to work with because some asshat breaks the standard every chance they get.

File compression? Standards work, there isn't a monopoly problem, and you don't need a file compression utility to download a file compression utility.

And so on.

Where do I sign up to have the VB 3 based browser I wrote in 8th grade added?... GIMP/MyFirstPictureEditor

What's the marketshare of your browser? How well does it support standards? Where's the indication that it's a legitimate choice?

Is there any indication that Gimp is a monopoly of anything, or that it's abused that monopoly power?

randomly populate lopsided projects like Gnome/KDE... MySQL/Postgres, vi/emacs

Because that's so lopsided right now. Also, what standards has Gnome created that KDE breaks? They seem to cooperate pretty well. MySQL and PostgreSQL seem to both support standard SQL, and vi/emacs seem to both support Unicode well enough.

Linux/*BSD/OpenSolaris/Hurd

This is the only analogy that comes close to making sense -- yet all of these seem to support POSIX and X11 decently well.

On a serious note, when has choice in Linux ever been randomized?

When has any needed to be? Come to think of it, when has Linux, or anything currently running on Linux, ever abused monopoly power, or had a monopoly of anything to abuse?

On a serious note, I actually think it would be a bit easier to simply force Windows to ship without a browser, and let the OEMs sort it out, but I don't have much of a problem with the "random ballot" -- other than that it's going to lead to the best marketing winning, not the best software.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333648)

Do you understand why IE is a problem?

You are a moron. You're advocating government intervention when the software that *YOU* think isn't good, dominates the marketshare. Not everybody agrees with you. If browser makers want their own browser to be the default on PCs, the let them cut deals with OEMs like how the thousands of other shovel-ware and trial-ware companies do.

This is about getting free advertisement and a free ride through government strong-arming Microsoft to promote their own competitors. This is really shameful for the EU.

Re:Sad (1)

Dewin (989206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333668)

It isn't as though Notepad royally screws up text -- recent versions probably even handle Unicode properly

Oh REALLY?

1. Open Notepad
2. Type "this app can break"
3. Save the file.
4. Close Notepad
5. Reopen the file in Notepad.

Happy (2, Insightful)

HobophobE (101209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333338)

The object of this ballot system is to let users know that a choice even exists. It's not to promote any specific competitor. You seem to overlook the fact that there are people out there (and quite a few, I might add) that don't know they have a choice. They don't know what a browser is. They just know they click that specific icon to get on the internet. They don't know there is an internet separate from the web. A lot of computer users have very limited knowledge.

As to why they should know, that is everything to do with economics. You can go read about that in depth, but the gist of it is that information is the lifeblood of a market (particularly an information market). The more nuanced an understanding the average participant has of the marketplace, the healthier that market will be. This is because as sophistication grows in the market, the options must become refined to compete. To put that in terms of browsers, as more browsers compete they all become standards-compliant and have to differentiate on other factors such as speed, security, extensions, portability (both the browser and the data), and so on.

Re:Happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333576)

As to why they should know, that is everything to do with economics. You can go read about that in depth, but the gist of it is that information is the lifeblood of a market (particularly an information market).

Nice spin ! It isn't the job of MS to improve customer awareness. That falls under advertising and marketing. If it was Safari that was the default and if some other company was suing for having a browser ballot you'd be screaming bloody murder.

This has nothing to do with MS. Other browsers have failed to convince OEMs to include their browsers. And no, this time you can't blame MS for it. OEMs don't give a shit about other browsers. THis is just strong-arming through govt. Sigh, I thought Slashdot was against that. Too bad all the anti-ms hate has screwed up your objective beliefs.

I can see the next Mac vs PC ad, Mac just opens up the macbook and is ready to go, PC opens it up and has to click on 10 different things to select browsers, media players and what not, gets confused and the ad stops there.

Re:Happy (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333830)

It isn't the job of MS to improve customer awareness. That falls under advertising and marketing.

This would be true except for one very very important factor: by making IE a "standard" part of the Windows install, Microsoft has leveraged their monopoly position to "advertise" and "market" IE. What better way is there to advertise your product than to have it preinstalled on almost every PC sold? No one except Microsoft can do this, and that's what makes it illegal.

Lets be clear on this: leveraging one market in order to increase your share in another is not illegal; leveraging a market in which you have a monoply in order to increase your share in another is illegal, and that's what this is about.

If it was Safari that was the default and if some other company was suing for having a browser ballot you'd be screaming bloody murder.

Why? I know I'm not the poster you replied to, but I think that shipping any one browser with Windows is a terrible idea because it puts the browser vendor in a position so powerful that they can dictate what everyone else is doing. For the record, I have never used Safari because I don't own a system that can run it.

Other browsers have failed to convince OEMs to include their browsers.

But would the same have been true given a level playing field? If IE had never been bundled with Windows and vendors had always had a choice over what browser to install as standard, would Microsoft have succeeded in convincing the OEMs to include IE in such a large proportion of installs? I can certainly remember vendors bundling Netscape with machines instead of IE before IE became bundled. The truth of the matter is that the playing field is _not_ level - there is very little reason for vendors to go to extra effort to give their customers another browser (whether or not it is better), and that's exactly what it is, extra effort, purely because IE is bundled and other browsers are not.

Personally, I support the idea of banning Microsoft from bundling *any* browser with OEM copies of Windows so that there is no "lazy path" for the vendors to take; but even if this happened, IE has been bundled for so long that it would take a long time for it to be displaced since too many end-users associate the IE icon with "the web" instead of "a way to access the web".

OEMs don't give a shit about other browsers.

I think that statement needs refining a bit - as explained above, OEMs don't give a shit about what browser they give their customers, so they pick the easiest option - the one that is bundled with Windows. No one except Microsoft can provide an "easiest option", and that's why it is a problem. There are only two possible solutions to this problem; either you bundle multiple browsers, making them all equally easy, or you bundle no browser, making them all equally hard.

Too bad all the anti-ms hate has screwed up your objective beliefs.

I'm not anti-MS; I'm against a single vendor getting enough power to influence the market as significantly as MS has. MS's lack of IE development and failure to embrace standards has seriously held back development of the web; this isn't really a comment on MS, it is a comment on their position - no vendor should be in a position to screw over the *whole* web as badly as MS has done.

This is also why I hope that Chrome doesn't gain a majority market share, because I don't think that it is a healthy thing for a single vendor to have complete control of a significant platform.

I can see the next Mac vs PC ad

The difference here, as has been stated numerous times, is that Microsoft is a monopoly, Apple isn't. However, Apple are indeed far more abusive of their position than Microsoft is, and being taken down a peg or two by similar rulings would do the consumers a lot of good in the long run (Apple can't be far off being considered a monopoly in certain markets by now).

Allowing a single vendor to use their monopoly position in one market to gain or maintain a position in another market is very bad for the consumer in the long term. Preventing this from happening is usually bad for the consumer in the short term but provides massive long-term benefits. Unfortunately, many people are only interested in the short term view and therefore oppose measures to fix the problem. The problem here is that always looking at just the short term and ignoring the long term leads to a gradual decline and its only when things have got *really* bad that you notice; then the fix is often far far more painful than it would have been if you'd acted earlier. I would argue that we are already a long way down that decline, which is why the short-term pain from this fix is so bad - if we had put a stop to the whole thing as soon as MS started bundling IE then things would have been a lot better..

Re:Sad (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333844)

The EU has already dealt with the Music Player market. There are "N" variants of most of their versions of Windows which don't have Windows Media Player, allowing you to install Winamp, Real Player or whatever instead. They cost exactly the same as the versions with WMP and they have sold approximately zero copies of it in the EU.

Re:Sad (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334176)

Yeah, it's weird, a browser ballot screen??? Wouldn't it make much more sense if they required IE to be distributed in a way similar to the other browsers? That is, no mentioning of IE at all anywhere in Windows. Users who want it can download it somewhere. And to be able to do that, a text-only browser is in Windows created only for the purpose of downloading software.

Re:Sad (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334224)

Linux does not have 80+% marketshare, more like 1%: nobody cares about what they do. And they are not a convicted monopolist, so they can do whatever they want.

Starting heavy-handed supervision with the browser makes sense, since MS's prevalence was having a very clear negative impact in terms of security, standards compliance... and even features were not up to par.

I'm not against widening it after wards. Windows standard editor, media payer, image editing... are sorry pieces of crap. But, at least, they are not trying to (subvert) embrace and extend the Web.

As a long time Opera user (2, Interesting)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332960)

As a long time Opera user, all this nonsense makes me want to just install Internet Explorer to spite the lot of them. (OK, as a web developer I know I will be installing all of them on my test computer)

The reason I have always prefered Opera is that I get all the functionality without having to install other plug-ins and programs. I'm getting too old to just keep tinkering with my setup. In my youth I probably spent 90% of my time installing new stuff & writing programs to streamline my system and only 10% actually being productive. These days I want it to be 10% tinkering and 90% productivity.

So it annoys me that when I install Windows I now have to install mail and web programs because Microsoft were forced to separate them all.

People keep saying that people use Internet Explorer because they don't know any better (and don't know the opposition products), but I don't think that those people outside the geek community WANT to have to know about them. They just want to use a computer to do stuff. It is only as I have got older that I have really appreciated this.

Re:As a long time Opera user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333020)

Perhaps it's time to look at a mac...

I spend 99% of my time in the productive realm, the other 1% is on /.

Re:As a long time Opera user (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333412)

Perhaps it's time to look at a mac...

I have 4 Macs, but 3 of those are pre-OSX. I really had high hopes for Mac OS X, because it sounded like the answer to all my dreams. Much of my tinkering time back in the Amiga and early Windows days was adding all the Unix utilities that I had come to know and love at University. The Mac OS X had all that built-in, but I found it lost a lot of ease of use in the GUI that the previous versions had. It had things like coloured buttons with no indication as to what they would do if you clicked them.

It came just at the time when my need to command line utilities diminished in favour of the graphic interface. Unfortunately, the Windows interface seemed easier for me. These days I can use either system, and I don't really see either as being dramatically better than the other one. I'm just more used to Windows these days.

I spend 99% of my time in the productive realm, the other 1% is on /.

I'm the opposite. The biggest killer of my time is that I have broadband internet where ever I go. Damn you, Slashdot!

Re:As a long time Opera user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333078)

As a long time Google user, all this nonsense makes me want to just use Alta Vista to spite the lot of them. (Ok, the other ones behind the complaint doesn't have much of a web presence to support)

Re:As a long time Opera user (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333294)

As a long time Google user, all this nonsense makes me want to just use Alta Vista to spite the lot of them.

Funny you should say that. The simplicity of Google's search interface and accuracy of the results (in the early days at least) was the reason that I switched to Google. There was less choice, but it was more productive if all I wanted to do was just find a website. This was exactly what I was talking about in regards to operating systems.

Re:As a long time Opera user (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333514)

Then do it. Don't whine on /.. Just do it. Report back around year or so later how it's on the other side. Maybe it would be good for you. Who knows.

This is just stupid (0, Redundant)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332964)

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I'm on their side with this one. This is just stupid. There's no reason Microsoft should have to do this.

1. All the browsers listed are free (as in you pay zero for them). Selecting something other than IE gets them exactly zero in additional revenue.

2. If you are too stupid to figure out how to download and install an alternative web browser, how is that Micorsoft's fault or problem?

C. Why not demand that Microsoft offer alternatives to every application that is bundled with Windows? (Notepad, Paintbrush, etc)

Re:This is just stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333022)

I don't really care about 2 and C, but point 1 is actually just wrong.

That it is free to the end user does not mean that they do not make more money the more the browser is installed. For example, Google pays to be the default search engine in Firefox. I doubt they paid a total fixed sum, but rather an amount based on aggregate downloads/installs.

Re:This is just stupid (2, Insightful)

Dustie (1253268) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333060)

How do you know that no part of the windows selling price is for development of IE? Do you think all the apps in Windows is made by programmers in their free time and the OS itself is made when they are at work? Notepad, freecell, IE. Non of them are free.

Re:This is just stupid (1, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333082)

Because of things like your list.

Microsoft hard-coded things like your "three options labeled 1, 2, and C" in Internet Explorer so that it took ten years for the web to get users to realize why other browsers were needed.

Re:This is just stupid (1, Insightful)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333130)

If you are too stupid to figure out how to download and install an alternative web browser, how is that Micorsoft's fault or problem?

I'm reminded of the time when IE was in its infancy and it had trouble downloading Netscape Navigator. FTP worked fine, Mosaic worked fine, and NN could download itself - but IE often stalled at ~98%. Not saying that was a deliberate act on the part of MS, but an odd co-incidence, no?

Besides, if the threshold for a computer licence was "figuring out how to download and install Application X", the world would still be be using typewriters, doing budgets in ledgers and cashbooks by hand &/or calculator, listening to music on the radio or stereo system, and surreptitiously buying Playboy at the local corner store...

Why not demand that Microsoft offer alternatives to every application that is bundled with Windows? (Notepad, Paintbrush, etc)

Because they haven't been accused, charged and convicted of leveraging their effective OS monopoly in an attempt to ensure Notepad, Paintbrush, etc are the de facto text / graphics / etc program, nor have they been accused, charged, and nearly convicted of deliberately stalling to delay following up on their legally-mandated penalties and obligations in relation to the original conviction?

(Oh, and it usually goes "1, 2, 3" or "A, B, C" - I don't think you get to choose to mix and match ;-)

Re:This is just stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333356)

Because they haven't been accused, charged and convicted of leveraging their effective OS monopoly in an attempt to ensure Notepad, Paintbrush, etc are the de facto text / graphics / etc program, nor have they been accused, charged, and nearly convicted of deliberately stalling to delay following up on their legally-mandated penalties and obligations in relation to the original conviction?

Sweet piece of circular logic there. So they've been convicted about browsers and not notepad, because they've been convicted about browsers and not notepad.

Re:This is just stupid (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333350)

Polar example bad. The only other program that mostly fits into the same category is Windows Media Player. The others are stripped down very basic utilities. Internet Explorer and WMP are not stripped down in any shape or form.

The other issue is that both programs have a much larger impact than the other ones you described. There are very real reasons to look into. Zero revenue is outside of the scope of the problem now.

Re:This is just stupid (1)

token0 (1374061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333710)

Does it have to be repeated each time? 1. Making Opera popular makes Opera's mobile versions popular, profit. Making Chrome popular makes web apps popular, profit. Besides, anyone who coded web pages for IE feels a moral need to make it disappear, it's a pain I wouldn't wish on anyone. 2. It's the masses that are too stupid. It's not ok for Microsoft to profit from their OS's popularity (let's assume it's because it's good) to make their crappy browser popular. It's about monopoly, there's no simple small market analogy, but promoting competition (yes, through restricting someone's freedom) works. C. Because Notepad and Paint aren't a threat to competition. I know it seems they're all basic apps for doing basic stuff, so it's natural to include them with an OS, but browsing the web isn't basic at all from an economic point of view. That, and IE is making the web worse, Paint isn't making art or design worse.

Re:This is just stupid (1)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333796)

"2. If you are too stupid to figure out how to download and install an alternative web browser, how is that Micorsoft's fault or problem?"

Maybe you do not remember the late 90ies. Without Mozilla we wouldn't call the web "Web 2.0" today, it would be "Microsoft Web 2.0" and would nor work without "Microsoft Internet Explorer(C)". This being a linux/unix centric site, i guess most readers would be out of luck browsing the web and more importantly using web applications (no company webmail from at home for you sir).

I don't understand all the bitching on this topic, people seem to forget so quickly. Web applications are the future, it was clear to some in the late 90ies, today every one working in IT should know this! If one monopolist can control the web, we sure have a problem in the future.

Kind regards,
-S

Re:This is just stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334156)

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I'm on their side with this one. This is just stupid. There's no reason Microsoft should have to do this.

1. All the browsers listed are free (as in you pay zero for them). Selecting something other than IE gets them exactly zero in additional revenue.

It was never about revenue. It was about control of protocols and software.

The internet was new technology back then and Microsoft was poised to take it all over without much of a fight. If things had been left as they were, the internet would probably be very different. And not in a good way. probably.

You are either very young, or very naive.

2. If you are too stupid to figure out how to download and install an alternative web browser, how is that Micorsoft's fault or problem?

Now you're being kind of a jerk. Most people I know never (purposefully) install any other software beyond what their computer came with. Most people aren't geeks.

C. Why not demand that Microsoft offer alternatives to every application that is bundled with Windows? (Notepad, Paintbrush, etc)

Well, at least I know the answer to whether you're young or naive. You counted all the way to C, congratulations! But to answer your question, Notepad and paint are local programs, they don't interact much with the outside world. Having a monopoly in that software doesn't have an effect on other markets.You can still share pictures and text with me if I don't have your program. Not so with the whole browser thing. Microsoft could have changed the web in nearly any way they wanted if they had a monopoly of the browser market.

anti-free market (0, Troll)

TenBrothers (995309) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332974)

The EU is really treating Microsoft unfairly. Not to mention the amount of money spent on bureaucracy of the most inane kind.

Re:anti-free market (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332980)

Unfairly? The company should have been busted up for the shit they pulled. They're getting off easy. I hope the EU perpetually causes them grief, they have earned it in spades.

Consumer friendly? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333018)

If browser selection screens are consumer friendly why doesn't Chrome OS have one?

Re:Consumer friendly? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333400)

If browser selection screens are consumer friendly why doesn't Chrome OS have one?

Because Google has not been convicted of illegally using Chrome OS's monopoly market share to dominate the browser market. For that to even be possible, Chrome OS would first have to achieve a monopoly.

There's too many people in this discussion acting surprised that Microsoft is being held to a different standard. Yes, Microsoft IS being treated differently here. It's not because a bunch of Windows-haters are running the EU. It's because they are a convicted monopolist. They have already caused problems and broken laws, and now being forced to do things that Google is not being forced to do is part of their punishment. There's nothing unfair about this. Microsoft is not on equal ground compared to other companies that are not convicted monopolists. Please stop acting shocked that there are two different standards in effect.

Re:Consumer friendly? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333930)

It's because they are a convicted monopolist

And part of the confusion comes from people using phrases like this. Having a monopoly is not illegal. Once you have a monopoly, however, certain things are. A legal monopoly is not the same as an economic monopoly. You don't have to have 100% of a market to have a legal monopoly, you just have to have enough that you can act as if you do. If you have a monopoly in one area, then you may not use this to gain market share in another area. This is an obvious restriction. Without it, a company that got one monopoly would then exploit it to get a monopoly in all related areas, then all areas related to that, until you just had one company providing everything and employing everyone.

When a company with a monopoly in one area attempts to enter another market they should expect scrutiny. These laws are the same in the EU and USA, the only difference is that the EU is doing a slightly better job of enforcing them.

Re:Consumer friendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334218)

but, but, but....free markets....and....invisible hand....err....

Um....uh....RON PAUL 2012! YEEEEEAH!

I mark my ballot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333032)

for Buchanan so that nice Mr Gore can win the election

Open source had its chance here and blew it. (-1, Troll)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333034)

This would have been great for open source if Firefox 3 didn't suck. (There are no less that 19 threads on the Firefox forums containing the phrase "Firefox 3 sucks".) Firefox 2 was small, fast, and reliable. Firefox 3, even now, is less reliable than Firefox 2, slower, and a memory hog. Open source had its chance and blew it.

Re:Open source had its chance here and blew it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333086)

Firefox 2 was small, fast, and reliable. Firefox 3, even now, is less reliable than Firefox 2, slower, and a memory hog. Open source had its chance and blew it.

Kinda trollish don't you think? "Open Source" isn't actually a person or entity that may have a chance and blow it. It's just an attribute of software distribution. Plus, may you be reminded Chrome and Safari are also open source.

Re:Open source had its chance here and blew it. (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333248)

Open source had its chance and blew it.

So they'll never be able to optimise it, huh? It shall remain bloated forever.

Re:Open source had its chance here and blew it. (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333322)

Good thing that Firefox 3.5 is faster, more reliable (than 2 and 3), and uses less memory, right? Oh, huh: it has been out for quite a while (I've been using it since at least April), too.

Nevermind that Firefox 2 really doesn't work all that well anymore. The web is a lot different now than it was then: much more javascript, more CSS2 with odd crap that looks horrid in FF2, and a lot more creative ads (does AdBlock support FF2 anymore?)

I don't like the bloat of 3 or 3.5 vs. 2, but seriously... it is quite an improvement none the less.

A nightmare for tech support (-1)

paleck (10298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333048)

The randomization is bad for one big reason. Since they will never be in the same order, when family calls for help I can't just tell them to click on the middle one(or the one on the far left, etc) I have to either tell them what to look for or have them read off to me what is on their screen until they get to the one I am wanting them to look for. The same thing goes for helpdesk/tech support type set-ups. On the upside big corps probably have a standard disk image with whatever their standard is, but imagine say an ISPs support desk having to deal with a bunch of ridiculous calls just because users who aren't familiar with their computers are call them up asking them which button they should push.

Re:A nightmare for tech support (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333136)

The randomization is bad for one big reason. Since they will never be in the same order, when family calls for help I can't just tell them to click on the middle one

Oh come on now. I'm sure your family may not be tech wizards, but it's taking it a bit too far to say they can not discern distinct objects based on a simple description. How did they learn to read? I'm pretty sure that "click the blue E, red O, planet with fox, compass icon, four-color beach ball" would be enough of a guide for any person who have enough intelligence for basic daily tasks to select the right one.

The question is, would everyone have someone on the phone giving advice during setup? Not always.

Re:A nightmare for tech support (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333942)

click the blue E, red O, planet with fox, compass icon, four-color beach ball

I first thought you were making a comment on Safari's stability, but it turns out that Chrome's icon really is based on the cursor that OS X apps get when they crash. Interesting marketing decision.

Ballot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333114)

You have chosen....
"FireFox 3.5".
Are you sure about your decision?
(Clicks on Yes)
You have clicked "No". Resulting to default browser. Now installing Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I'd like to see the same for search engines (1, Interesting)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333214)

Mozilla at least is honest about the process - the addtional search engines are alphabetical. There's a whole boatload of them to wade through, but at least it's fair. IE8, on the other hand, chose to show the additional search engines by some unknown process, and put Google (the engine that most people would want to add) on the second page of choices, right next to unkonwn providers such as Freebase Visual Search and Findname.cn. Having a ballot of the top 5 additional search engines would be a lot better than what either Mozilla or Microsoft has.

Re:I'd like to see the same for search engines (1, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333286)

IE8, on the other hand, chose to show the additional search engines by some unknown process, and put Google (the engine that most people would want to add) on the second page of choices,

I am not sure if it was IE7 or IE8, but I found that installing an additional search provider in IE after making Firefox the default browser was impossible. Instead of opening an IE window to download and install the search provider, it opened the default browser (now FF). The one time that IE should have been hardcoded as the browser to open, the default browser is opened instead. Accidental?

Re:I'd like to see the same for search engines (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333318)

I find all kinds of times IE should be hardcoded to open, and it never is. It's an accident. IE8 asked me at install time what I wanted, in itself.

Re:I'd like to see the same for search engines (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333354)

I find all kinds of times IE should be hardcoded to open, and it never is. It's an accident.

What's the saying? Once is an accident, twice is coincidence and three times is enemy action.

Remember the posting about how some poor developer spent months on Vista's shutdown button? Things like this get a lot of scrutiny at MS and don't happen by accident.

Re:I'd like to see the same for search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333684)

You're seeing evil geniuses where you should be seeing humans. Cut the paranoia.

Re:I'd like to see the same for search engines (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333948)

One time is a bug, twice is a copy and paste error, thrice is a coding convention.

Hypocrites. (2, Interesting)

baboo_jackal (1021741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333228)

The only possible reason that you would care about your position on a serial list of choices is if you knew that the majority of people making said choice really don't care about what they're choosing, and their choice would end up being random (i.e., primacy effect, serial position effect, google it).

But the premise of this whole debacle is that people are not given a choice of browser when they install an OS, and that is the reason that IE has such a large market share (since it's installed by default).

So basically, these other browser makers are fighting over how to get their browser randomly selected the most among people who don't care what browser they use. So that they can claim that their browser is used more. How does that make any sense?

Re:Hypocrites. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333392)

It makes sense because those neophytes might actually try another browser. They could even end up comparing it with their friend's choice of browser to see which is coolest..

It gives the people in the list an incentive to make a better browser ... based on what users want, not some political agenda. How's that for a radical idea??

Re:Hypocrites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333910)

Not to mention the benefits to web standards.

Not nearly enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333406)

I demand a new random order each second!

Can we get this for real ballots..? (1)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333436)

They will choose browsers more fairly then politicians are chosen. I would love to see randomized ballots so voting the party line actually requires some knowledge.

People who just vote Democrat or Republican every election for all levels of government are ensuring we won't be able to get any real improvement (yes I didn't say change) in the US. Randomized ballots would make it more difficult to do, and might, make them learn a little more of who they are voting for...

corporate users (1)

Darkon (206829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333528)

Microsoft may offer tools for volume license customers that prevent the Ballot Screen update from being installed on all computers covered by the license.

I'm still waiting for some confirmation on this. I do not want this thing appearing on my carefully locked down staff and lab desktops, which incidentally all use Firefox anyway in case you're thinking I'm an IE astroturfer.

Funniest part of it all (or saddest) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333908)

Is this came WAY too late. This would have mattered back 3+ years ago, but now? You're not getting rid of IE6 users anymore, they'll certainly not update to Windows 7 (especially business users)
I've used IE7, it is actually quite decent when it comes to rendering some basic layout, IE8 can only get better. (shame about the awful GUI)
Microsoft aren't trying to slow down the evolution of the web any more, they are at the Embracing stage, and partially extending with silverlight, but that is only a good thing since Flash is awful, competition might fix that.

What Microsoft should do is release a heavily sandboxed and minimal version of IE6 for the sake of companies who refuse to let go of their crapware and ActiveX intranets.
Make it a plugin for IE8 (9) similar to how Chrome Frame works, simple no-hassle setup, bham, problem solved. (for the most part)

Errrr... other browsers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334002)

what about all these? [wikipedia.org]

Ultimate acai max (0, Offtopic)

stephenjarrad (1693720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334042)

Microsoft has revamped the browser ballot screen demanded by European Union antitrust regulators and may get final approval as early as Dec. 15, a source familiar with the case told Computerworld today. Ultimate acai max [goarticles.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>