Microsoft no longer has to promote rival browsers in Europe

By Jos ยท 15 replies
Dec 18, 2014
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  1. Back in 2009, to comply with a court order, Microsoft began offering a choice of browsers to European customers who were booting up a copy of Windows for the first time. The screen offered the option to download Chrome, Internet...

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    Once again nothing has changed.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,320   +1,412

    I always thought that was kind of silly. If you don't know that IE is a bad choice then you don't know enough about the internet to browse it safely. I also thought that this was particularly dumb considering that Apple wasn't required to do the same as it comes preinstalled with Safari. If you think people should be required to choose their browser right from the get-go then all operating systems should present people with a variety of browsers.

    And, to be fair, IE isn't nearly as bad as it was in 98 and XP. It's actually a pretty nice browser now I just prefer chrome.
  4. I was about to type something related to the above, but its a good thing I read all the way to the end of your comment.
    Many people tell me the same thing. I neither use Chrome, although I had it installed for a time, nor do I make use of Google, but once upon a time that's all I used. That is, until I stopped caring. I have two points that must be satisfied regarding the internet and related viewing technologies.
    1. Can it show me the internet?
    2. Are the search results returned relevant?
    IE and Bing achieve both of the above, and they do so very well. The best part is that they come with Windows so I no longer have to go out of my way to change things. You may argue it takes but mere minutes to make the necessary changes, but as I mentioned above, I stopped caring what such technologies I use as long as it works and does so fairly well. I've used IE, all versions, through the years and I must say it has gotten to the point where not caring what I use has become the easy choice to make as IE, as you mentioned in your 'fair' remark is in fact a really good browser that simply lacks some luvin' by those who go out of their way to find an alternative before using it. It may not have all the cool bells and whistles, probably why most people that look for alternatives do what they do (Hey I like shiny pointless things as much as the next guy, just not these kinds of shiny pointless things), but they were never features I ever used anyway, so no love lost there. I am a developer and I quite enjoy IE's built in dev tools. Simple. Intuitive. To the point. Exactly how it should be. Chromes dev tools? not so much.
    Bing produces nearly identical results compared to Google. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to get into how Bing operated, but I can honestly say I no longer need Google for anything. Soon I may shut down my GMail account down as its just gather dust and spam. works well, as does OneDrive, and Bing itself produces exactly what I want. The only complaint I might have is the map feature which I believe is still a little inferior to Google maps, but of this the only real feature I miss from Google maps is the street view, and how often do you need that really?
    You may claim this is a very pro Microsoft comment, and you are right. It just goes to show how much I don't care for the alternatives out there when everything works 'out the box' and does so with enough efficiency to allow me to not care. Although, I constantly read tech news and am informed about the latest stuff, but nothing has caught my attention to make me want to go through the hassle of downloading and installing something else.
    And, to be fair, Chrome isn't a bad browser as per everyone's claims. It's just that there's nothing I've experienced from using it that makes me want to keep using it, I just prefer IE.
    Ultimately though, if Microsoft stopped development on IE and bundled Chrome with Windows (as if), then that's probably what I would be using, or whatever Microsoft decided to bundle with it if it was decent enough. IE6 was a mediocre browser and deserved the ridicule it got, IE11+ is not, and doesn't deserve such ridicule.
    To be even more fair, The EU should impose on Google, as they did for Microsoft, a forced option to choose your search engine. It may be pointless as the Microsoft case was, but to be fair...
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,041   +678

    What I got from this when I first read about it, was that Europeans must not be too bright if a third party had to tell them they didn't have to use IE. :|
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  6. This never made any sense whatsoever and, right along with the email/media player treatment, really appeared to me to be a "let's get at Microsoft" thing. Nobody ever tried to prevent Apple from bundling Safari, Mail or iTunes with their hardware, let alone examine their monopolising practices on various markets, so I'm not surprised that this has now become a non-issue as it always should have been.
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    There are a lot of silly things the EU has to answer for.
  8. Re: the guest's comment above. You're obviously a fan of Microsoft, and so I can understand why you have written what you have. IE is much improved now, and when I've used it as you say it works fine, there isn't any need for a different browser. However I'd say it isn't just "bells and whistles", there are many reasons why Chrome/Firefox/et al get better reviews than IE - speed/memory footprint/update cadence/addons/crossover with mobile/security etc. I don't really understand the comment about it being a hassle to set a browser up either, with account linking it's far easier to just install Chrome or Firefox or whatever, log in, and then have all your addons/settings switched over to the Windows/Linux/etc. computer you're using.

    The reason the ruling was good - if not completely fair, as Apple have always done it as well - was because they used their monopoly in the PC market to monopolise other software. And I and I'd guess many others have grown up with Microsoft doing that (well that and them coming across as closed/arrogant in general)... and that's why if I can avoid using Microsoft software then I do (although I'm typing this on Windows 8.1). As well don't you think that partially because of this ruling - the main driver being increased competition of course - has meant that Microsoft have actually improved their browser so that it is (finally) decent ?
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,665   +1,097

    Unlike the US, where you can't choose from more than 1 ISP/product and the government only cares about the end profit of these incredibly large companies, the EU actually cares about the consumers (at least it does something from time to time as to not appear bad in the eyes of everyone).
    Come back and say that we're not too bright when you'll have the option of getting 1Gbps fiber for 16$ like me ^_^
    I'll also remind you that when firefox came out, EU was ahead of the rest of the world in switching to it from IE.
  10. @yRaz - The difference is that Apple didn't bake Safari into the operating system and it can be uninstalled at any time. Microsoft on the other hand made Internet Explorer a critical part of the Windows OS and gave no option to uninstall it until Vista was released. Even today it's a multi-step process to get rid of Internet Explorer on Windows 7 and 8 and occasionally I have uninstalled it for clients and watched there operating system get hosed as a result.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    Tiny country, tiny infrastructure. Remember the US has double the total area of the entire EU and is one government trying to make it all work while you have separate governments able to work on their own areas. Also our infrastructure is older and harder to upgrade than a lot of yours allowing you to have faster, cheaper access. You also have more people in that smaller area meaning that the infrastructure can reach more people with less total work, that tends to affect prices and speeds. You can't make a comment like your unless you are actually comparing like to like.
  12. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,665   +1,097

    neah, it's just the companies refusing to invest money into the US infrastructure. and for your own knowledge, Romania isn't exactly small. it's a medium sized country, both in territory and population and it's also one of the smaller economies in the EU. we managed to do it. I'm sure the US has the means and money to do it too.
    the problem in the US are the laws. the worst laws I've ever seen when it comes to protecting the interests of big ISPs. why is the US government preventing the local authorities from creating their own broadband infrastructure by passing laws lobbied by ISPs? you guys have extremely limited choices when it comes to broadband internet (usually 1-2 bad ones) and what's worse is that you don't even understand how expensive and slow and generally limited your internet is. I can get better 3G/4G internet than your "fiber". no competition in speeds above 10mbps is really problematic.
    if people don't take to the streets and start demanding changes, nothing will actually change.
  13. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,041   +678

    Compare like to like? I'm talking about the article, and you and another fellow are talking about ISP's. So I'll stick with my original comment on the issue of the (FREE) browser selection.
  14. Lot of the comments suggests that people don't know anything about anything. To get it out of the way EU parliament contain NON ELECTED bureaucrats, so people in EU are not the one, who chose them. To say even more, they are representing all kinds of lobbyists. They are not able to build good enough economy, so that any kind of Microsoft, or Google rivals will emerge, but they are first, to slap each and every big corporation from US. Don't get me wrong, I do live inside EU and I think US is also not the best in many aspects, but the point is that when a big company spends tons of money, to meet regulations instead of research or quality control, we the customers are suffering every time, both in EU and US in that case.
  15. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 222   +143

    The way I see it: Microsoft were ramming their crappy browser up everyone's throat through their ubiquitous OS. In other words, abusing a monopoly to dictate how people should browse the internet. And it was a bad suggestion at that, riddled with browser helpers that had you formatting partitions in a flash, if you were careless.

    The EU representatives tried to combat that very idea. That leading into the generic "Europeans are stupid and can't find other browsers unless they're being pointed to them" doesn't make the poster look very smart.
  16. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,665   +1,097

    what are you talking about? members of the EU parliament are directly elected. each country votes for their representatives. do you really live in the EU?

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