Monday, January 19th 2009

Microsoft's Official Statement Following EU Commission Objections on IE with Windows

It is not the first time that Microsoft has had run-ins with the European Commission. The problem that keeps coming up is what the commission believes to be anti-competitive practices, being that Microsoft is bundling its own software with Windows instead of offering them separately. As has been seen with Windows 7, Microsoft has tried to keep them happy this time, by only including Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. The rest can be downloaded free of charge, by what Microsoft has named the Windows Live Suite. It seems that this is not enough however, despite Internet Explorer being included in Microsoft's operating systems for over ten years, they have decided that this is an anti-competitive move by Microsoft, and as such have issued a Statement of Objections. The commission has given Microsoft approximately two months to respond, the official statement from Microsoft follows:

Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law. According to the Statement of Objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer. The Statement of Objections states that the remedies put in place by the U.S. courts in 2002 following antitrust proceedings in Washington, D.C. do not make the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows lawful under European Union law.

“We are committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law. We are studying the Statement of Objections now. Under European competition law procedure, Microsoft will be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing to this Statement of Objections within about two months. The company is also afforded an opportunity to request a hearing, which would take place after the submission of this response. Under EU procedure, the European Commission will not make a final determination until after it receives and assesses Microsoft’s response and conducts the hearing, should Microsoft request one.
Sources: Hexus.net , Microsoft
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87 Comments on Microsoft's Official Statement Following EU Commission Objections on IE with Windows

#1
Viscarious
I say MS doesn't bundle IE with windows for all the computers they use at the EU. Then let them figure out how they are going to get on the internet and write emails of corruption.
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#2
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
if IE wasnt integrated into the OS, we would probably not have the problems we do today, but i say this, this case has been out since the days that Netscape was considered a good Alternative Browser (To me= NOT!)
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#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
EU leadership is an idiocy geyser as reliable as Old Faithful herself. They're just looking to make a withdrawl from Microsoft's bank.
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#4
blueskynis
Lillebror said:
The only thing they have to do, is to make it OPTIONAL to install it ;)
Exactly!! :cool:
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#5
Unregistered
This kind of total bullshit is what the British tax payer pays the EU many billions of pounds for every year, as you probably already guessed it we get absolutely jack all in return!
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#6
silkstone
Another point, Bundling IE with Win95 was the downfall of netscape nav, back then everyone was "against" MS, funny how now they are "with" ms.
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#7
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
silkstone said:
Another point, Bundling IE with Win95 was the downfall of netscape nav, back then everyone was "against" MS, funny how now they are "with" ms.
Times change, We need someone to be angry at and now its the EU's turn for being erm .. truly useless.
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#8
Laurijan
And why isnt the eu-commision sueing varios linuxes for using mainly firefox?
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#9
Cheeseball
blueskynis said:
Exactly!! :cool:
This is exactly what they need to do. MS got nailed for WMP because you couldn't uninstall the damn thing at all. Hell, I'm using an N version of Windows XP (which I got quite cheap) since I think WMP is useless, but at least I have the choice of installing it back in [off the Microsoft website] if I get drunk or something. :nutkick:

Internet Explorer, though not quite as useless as WMP to me, is needed by the masses in the case of getting an alternative web browser, after which they should be able to uninstall it instead of leaving it on their system taking up space. That would be perfect.
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#10
Disruptor4
Get stuffed! If this is a first computer for someone who has no knowledge of other browsers etc, how the hell are they supposed to get another browser in the first place! FFS.
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#11
Lillebror
Microsoft could make download buttons for the most known browsers, when you boot into windows for the first time.
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#12
dani31
What a ton of crap

Can't believe how much aggressiveness and stupidity on this thread - no wonder everybody hates the fuckin USA.

Nobody asks to ship Windows w/o IE, just prompt to install and allow full removal.
It would always be available for (re)install on the Windows installation disk.

Today IE is hard-coded in the OS which sucks because forces people to keep two browsers if they want alternative. It is also hard-linked, meaning that a lot of functionality doesn't look for the default browser but for IE directly. This sucks a lot but here in EU we like to unsucker ourselves.

Some smart ass mentioned linux - take any linux distro, all packages can be fully removed and replaced.

Apple OSX is not a focus for the Competition Council because it does not have a dominant market position. Ever heard of "dominant position"?

:nutkick:
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#13
Triprift
Fair enough but i dont see how having IE with windows as anti competitive its not like Microsoft made it so you cant dl any other browser. Just go and dl ur Firefox or whatever other ones you use and let IE gather dust thats what i did with wmp11 and the picture viewer.
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#14
beyond_amusia
I almost feel bad for MS... Everything that's truly a feature in Windows has been getting them sued since... Well, Windows 1, lol. Apple tried to sue over Windows having a GUI. Most people I know would not even think they could download an alternate ANY THING... if it's not bundled with the OS, they assume it don't exist, e.g. movie maker, IE, paint, ect... These same people also would send $300 to fake bank in Kenya to get money sent to them, and think that they won a contest they never signed up for, but still... Isn't that most people in the world? In fact, isn't that anyone in the government? LOL.
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#15
Triprift
Yep and they are the same ppl who if you have no browser with Windows woudnt have a clue how to get online and certainly would have no idea about browsers other than IE.
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#16
beyond_amusia
Triprift said:
Yep and they are the same ppl who if you have no browser with Windows woudnt have a clue how to get online and certainly would have no idea about browsers other than IE.
x_^ !!! Yes! They are just under pressure from Opera (I love them, but they need a 'Lite' browser!)... MS would roll over and die before putting an alternate browser with windows, and the EU would jump up and down on their corpse like kids on a sugar high... I assume the next law suits will be that it's anti-competitive to have Windows on a PC - that they MUST provide a 3 choice selection on boot, Linux, OS X, or Vista... and that it's unfair to have an Xbox 360 in an Xbox 360 box at the store, and instead MS must provide Wiis and PS3s as in-box options... =/ The courts would be better used fighting for civil rights.
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#17
laszlo
i don't blame EU; why to be forced to use from the start IE? the os even without IE can connect to internet (is updating and information is sent in background) so Ms need to allow the user after os install to see a list of compatible browser with the os (which the os can retrieve in the background from MS server) and the user with a single click will be able to download from the source.


no need to compare with apple os which are sold with hardware in general and linux is free so they can integrate whatever they want if is free
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#18
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
laszlo said:
i don't blame EU; why to be forced to use from the start IE? the os even without IE can connect to internet (is updating and information is sent in background) so Ms need to allow the user after os install to see a list of compatible browser with the os (which the os can retrieve in the background from MS server) and the user with a single click will be able to download from the source.


no need to compare with apple os which are sold with hardware in general and linux is free so they can integrate whatever they want if is free
Proof of what he said, after removing ATI or Nvidia drivers the OS will try to phone home and install a set on its own, thats why Driver Cleaner Pro specifies to disable your NIC or unplug it from the modem/router.
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#19
beyond_amusia
eidairaman1 said:
Proof of what he said, after removing ATI or Nvidia drivers the OS will try to phone home and install a set on its own, thats why Driver Cleaner Pro specifies to disable your NIC or unplug it from the modem/router.
well, I am sure even 7/Vista rely on IE for it's updating at least in part. Heck, in XP they were wielded together... As to the auto driver install, I think it's a good thing... It helps users from stupidly installing 3rd party wifi managers and other crapware that Windows already provides. If it offends you so much to use MS software (directed at all the IE haters) then get a Mac or Linux.
*sigh* But, the anti-IE ppl also have a point... Windows without IE could be sold as a different version... Let's call it 'The most secure version of Windows Ever!!! No browser included to protect you from yourself!!!" :roll:
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#20
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
i still say the major downfall of them is the Active X since they wont buckle it down.

Btw Mac Never, Linux Maybe, ReactOS probably when it gets to a Solid Release.

also my Grandfather can attest to Win 7, smaller Install, seems to load quicker, UAC has been controlled better, as he was testing on a P4/P4S8X/R7200 graphics machine (my second Motherboard heh) he is going to send me a copy so i can install it to one of these old 80 Gig HDs here (Dual Boot using separate HDs FTMFW!!!)
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#21
beyond_amusia
eidairaman1 said:
i still say the major downfall of them is the Active X since they wont buckle it down.

Btw Mac Never, Linux Maybe, ReactOS probably when it gets to a Solid Release.

also my Grandfather can attest to Win 7, smaller Install, seems to load quicker, UAC has been controlled better, as he was testing on a P4/P4S8X/R7200 graphics machine (my second Motherboard heh) he is going to send me a copy so i can install it to one of these old 80 Gig HDs here (Dual Boot using separate HDs FTMFW!!!)
Windows 7 is great! Once the bugs are ironed out and Vista's 'Extras' are added, it'll be a great OS. :rockout: Also, I agree on the Mac... I got an old Crapple, and it's my 'public' pc so that I don't have to remove spyware daily from friends visiting porno sites when I'm not in the room... :ohwell: (please people, restrain yourselves from screaming about how secure OS X and Linux are, because we all know that they'll be struck down soon as they get a good sized user base that can be monetized) :p
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#22
tigger
I'm the only one
The eu gidgers are nuts,i dont see any problem if windows comes with ie.You use that or dl another one.

Ms should have a eu version of windows,which comes with no integrated software at all.
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#23
Assimilator
dani31
(anti-Microsoft bile)
Hey it's the obligatory Linux troll!

dani31
Today IE is hard-coded in the OS which sucks because forces people to keep two browsers if they want alternative.
Wrong. Windows includes an HTML rendering engine which shares many features with IE (in fact it's the same engine IIRC). You do not have to have IE installed to use that rendering engine. And before you go off on another rant said:
It is also hard-linked, meaning that a lot of functionality doesn't look for the default browser but for IE directly.
Also wrong; as mentioned above, the built-in HTML rendering engine is not IE. As for your blathering about the default browser, why do you think XP has "Set Program Access and Defaults" in Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs? If you issue the correct system command, the default browser will start up regardless of whether it's IE, Firefox, or telnet.

Speaking of telnet, you can use it to download a web browser without having one installed! Although I guess that means the EU should classify telnet as a web browser and prevent it from being installed with Windows.

God, when will this madness end?
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#24
Lillebror
Telnet cant and will not be a web browser - its a ip connector program at most.
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#25
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
silkstone said:
Another point, Bundling IE with Win95 was the downfall of netscape nav, back then everyone was "against" MS, funny how now they are "with" ms.
Windows 95 was released on the dawn of the Internet for consumer use. The purpose it served then is the same purpose served now...


dani31 said:
Today IE is hard-coded in the OS which sucks because forces people to keep two browsers if they want alternative. It is also hard-linked, meaning that a lot of functionality doesn't look for the default browser but for IE directly. This sucks a lot but here in EU we like to unsucker ourselves.
Look at it from Microsoft's perspective: They need code in order to obtain and install updates for the operating system. That means a whole lot of protocol code behind the scenes. Now, why not use HTTP and use the same code base for more than one application? That's exactly what they did: Make an update client and slap a browser on to it.

What Microsoft is having to do now is completely hide that underlying code base and only access it for update routines; however, for quality control purposes (spoofing browsers, spoofing websites, etc.), Microsoft cannot expect a third-party browser to allow updating because that puts the entire operating system at risk.

So what it comes down to is this:
a) A high security clearance browser with strict access controls.
b) A high security clearance update application with strict access controls and an unenforceable security clearance browser with application derived access.

"a" fulfills two roles securely; "b" fulfills the same two roles but at the same time producing a potentially massive security hole.

Internet Explorer made sense back then and it still does today: it's update role is required for safe operation of the computer and expanding upon it merely makes life on a freshly formatted computer a little easier. It's a win-win situation.


Simply put, if you can't stand Internet Explorer, you shouldn't be using Windows. They are one in the same--at least until the EU raped Microsoft and forced them to change their programming model in Internet Explorer 7 (IE6 could do FTP, local, and HTTP without changing executables, IE7 can only do HTTP). EU has done a whole lot of absolutely no good in this case.
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