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E.U. Regulations May Hand Google More Power In Search, Says Microsoft

 11:49 am on May 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

E.U. Regulations May Hand Google More Power In Search, Says Microsoft [reuters.com]
Microsoft says EU regulators will hand Google more dominance of the Internet search business if they go ahead with planned regulations on Microsoft's Windows operating system, the Financial Times reported.
The FT said on Saturday that the move by Microsoft was contained in a confidential last-minute submission to the European Commission aimed at heading off antitrust action.

A Commission spokesman said in response to the report: "The Commission will examine all the arguments outlined by Microsoft in their reply to the statement of objections."



 3:32 pm on May 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft must have a very low opinion of the technical savvy of the EU Commission. All that is required (when bundling multiple browsers and offering the user a choice) is to offer the user a choice of default search engine and home page.



 2:40 am on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

If the EU Commission is going to dictate what browsers MS must include with their OS, then it might be fair for them to also consider the farther reaching impacts of their actions. This may not have been the strongest argument that MS could have put forth in its defense, but it's not something that should be dismissed outright.

This entire browser bundling issue resurfaced at the behest of Opera. Now, I'm an avid Opera user, and even paid for my copy for many years. However, over the past few years we've watched IE's market share drop, and we've seen other browsers like FireFox, Chrome, and Safari gaining. The only (European based) browser that hasn't gained any market share is Opera.

It makes you wonder.

Windows 7 can completely remove IE8 from the OS. This is a very concrete sign that IE has taken this whole browser bundling issue seriously. Now it just looks like sour grapes on Opera's part.


 1:58 am on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

it really seems like europe wants MS to send them a function free OS.

click start and what pops up? nothing you better find your own web browser / media player / e-mail client etc etc


 3:24 am on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The EU commission just wants the money. MS should send an EU version of Windows sans browsers, print drivers (I'm sure there's a printer or two that's not on the list), and net drivers for about 12 cents less than non-EU locations. Let the EU browser fanbois load whatever they like.

Not saying they should. Merely observing that we are entering into another cycle of protectionism and that, decade upon past decades, has never been a good thing for any of the players.


 4:35 am on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

EU is always just about the money


 6:05 am on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

EU is always just about the money

I get that feeling a lot when I see these enormous fines being levied on MS and now Intel [webmasterworld.com].

However, in all fairness, they do have their own set of laws and regulations that must be upheld.


 11:08 am on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The only protectionism here is by big business trying to stifle small business.

So far as I am aware, EU laws in this area are very similar to US laws, however US companies don't know who to bribe/lobby in the EU. Let's not forget that an order was issued a few years ago (by a US court) that Microsoft should be split into two (OS and software). Of course, Microsoft managed to wriggle out of that one.



 6:32 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)



 9:19 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The US has arrested UK businessmen involved in online gambling, attempted to go after British Aerospace (for bribing Saudi officials - despite the fact that US companies have done far worse) and has fined British Airways for price fixing (with Virgin which was given a free pass for whistle-blowing).

Intel and Microsoft have been fined for breaking the law. They were not fined for being American. Microsoft like people to believe their fine was due entirely to bundling things like browser and media software, however, the main issue for them was not providing adequate documentation on the API thereby stifling the efforts of other software companies.


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