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Microsoft offers choice of browsers in Windows 7 to satisfy EU

     
7:43 am on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft offers choice of browsers in Windows 7 to satisfy EU [computerworld.com]

Microsoft has offered to provide a choice of Web browsers with its upcoming Windows 7 operating system to ease concerns of competition regulators in the European Union, the EU's competition authority confirmed Friday.

Microsoft proposed including a "ballot screen" that would make it easy for Windows 7 users to install a competing Web browser, set it as the default and disable Internet Explorer (IE), the European Commission said in a statement. PC makers would also be able to install competing Web browsers and disable IE.

2:32 pm on July 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Looks like sanity is emerging at Microsoft.

Kaled.

3:24 pm on July 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A good example for computer manufacturers to learn from (on an OS basis)!
5:30 pm on July 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wondering if this setup allows you to manually install multiple browsers but choose which one is the default.

Language I'm seeing in various articles suggests that all but one browser is "disabled", which may just be sloppy reporting, or it may be an extra twist that's undesired by some.

9:03 am on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I find this irritating actually. Firstly its going to make it harder for the average user, who doesn't even know what a web browser is. Secondly, when are Apple doing the same for Safari, and will Google do the same for Google Chrome in Chrome OS?

When the antitrust started it was relevant because Apple, Google and Mozilla weren't doing any of the cool stuff they are today. Now it seems that it's just going to make life more complicated for the end user and actually put Microsoft at a disadvantage when its being attacked from all sides.

I don't touch IE with a bargepole - I'm a big Firefox fan. But I don't think my mother knows and cares what Firefox is, and even if she did wouldn't want it. She just wants to go online to check the BBC once a week, and that's it. IE works for that sort of user. The rest of us are able to install Firefox without help.

9:22 am on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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But I don't think my mother knows and cares what Firefox is

Yes, I think the only winners here are people like PC World when my mother takes her computer in because "it doesn't have the internet" and they charge her 40 to install IE or Firefox.

We aren't all knowlegable enough to carry around USB drives with installers or have multiple computers in our house. This whole thing, especially in the UK is going to be a nightmare...

9:40 am on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As long as the supplier is free to ship a PC with a Microsoft OS but with a browser other than IE then that should be all that should be necessary. Anything else is just confusing to the end user.
10:13 am on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As long as the supplier is free to ship a PC with a Microsoft OS but with a browser other than IE then that should be all that should be necessary.

In an ideal world, you would be right, however...

I don't believe Microsoft publishes a fixed price list for OEM suppliers, that means that each is free to negotiate, which means that most would voluntarily choose to supply Internet Explorer in the hope that this would be noticed by Microsoft.

This could be another area for anti-trust investigators to study, not just at Microsoft but across many companies and industries. Indeed, it cuts both ways - in the UK, the large supermarket chains are regularly investigated for the way they batter suppliers into submission (but I don't think any major fines have been levied yet).

Kaled.

10:20 am on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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which means that most would voluntarily choose to supply Internet Explorer

To be honest I imagine that most would supply IE just because its what the majority of their users are familiar with, and because it lets them point the finger elsewhere when things break.

1:18 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Do what you like. I am staying with Opera and Firefox for SEO and Web Work.
2:00 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Web Designers are also annoyed from IE and me too. Results are different in IE6, IE7 and IE8. While Firefox, Chrome and Safari have same.
2:15 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The EU will most likely view it all in the light of effect it has on how many users end up with a real choice. So any sneaky way used by Microsoft (like they did last time with the media player: offer it at the same price with and without the media player resulting in nobody buying the one without) will be met next time with even stricter regulators.

As far as Apple and Google's OS and all other OS offering not having he same requirements: they don't have a de-facto OS monopoly to abuse, and hence can do as they please.

1:52 am on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As far as Apple and Google's OS and all other OS offering not having he same requirements: they don't have a de-facto OS monopoly to abuse, and hence can do as they please.

Might not be the way to go... "Apple and Google and others (oh my!) don't offer you a choice, but (so says the sales pitch) Microsoft DOES!"

Which would you rather use, the OS that gives you a choice or the one that forces you to use their product only?

That knife cuts both ways. :)

7:30 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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a drop down menu to select one of:

IE 7
IE 6
IE 5
IE 4

:)

12:52 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to post in an older issue, but though this would be relevant to this discussion.

An online friend of mine in central Europe just purchased Windows 7 and it came with no browser of any kind. He said he was not able to get onto the web to download one. Using another computer on his network to download the browser of his choice was his only option.

This seems very strange that Microsoft would ship a product like this. Can someone confirm this fact that Windows 7 ships with no browser in Europe?

If this is the case, MS and Eu should be ashamed.

1:37 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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An online friend of mine in central Europe just purchased Windows 7

Your friend may not be clear about what he purchased. Windows 7 will not be available for purchase until October 22!

The Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 is available for free download still. That version does have a copy of Internet Explorer built-in.

2:24 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Desktop linux distributions have come with a whole party of browsers for years. Today it is rare to get a distribution without Firefox, Konqueror, Elinks, and Lynx at a minimum. If IE or Opera were to provide a compatible license (FOSS) then they would be included tomorrow.
6:13 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I had heard that Opera was complaining to the European Commission even after this step by Microsoft. They didn't want browser icons to be used on the menu (I guess the average consumer equates the IE blue "E" to the Internet.) And, they wanted this browser choice menu to be used on all versions of Windows. Not just those sold in the EU.

If that did become the reality then only Apple would be left with no browser choice in their OS? ;)

 

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