MS vs EU, MS forced to offer browser ballot

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Ahmed Alzayani, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Ahmed Alzayani

    Ahmed Alzayani New Member

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    One of the most amusing things during Windows 7 development was the Internet Explorer story, when MS offered Windows 7 with removable IE, i was very happy and i was thinking sure this will make EU happy as well.

    It turns out that the EU wanted much more, and even removing IE completely from Windows 7 EU version was not enough for them, they wanted to offer Windows 7 users with all browsers and let the user select!, something i never heard before in the business world (force a company to offer it's competitor products!)

    MS caved to EU and will offer a browser ballot not only to 7 users but also to XP and Vista users as well within the EU.

    MS will offer a web page with a browser ballot (www.browserballot.eu) that will allow users to select a browser out of 10 browsers.

    [​IMG]
    ( I wonder what will be the remaining 5 browsers ... Maxthon, Flock, Konqueror, K-Meleon and Avant Browser :D)

    The big question is
    : is this ballot will help the end user and give him more browsers freedom.... in my opinion ..... NO, will unless users are living in a cave, they are aware of other browsers, and can perfectly go download and install them. if not .... these are technology challenged users and this ballot will not help them at all since the users will simply use what they know best .... IE.
     
  2. textureDnB

    textureDnB New Member

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    I absolutely agree with the EU attempting to curtail some of MS market cornering intentional or not,but this is the least of those problems. Perhaps it's an attemp to start a move towards unraveling Windows Media Player, Media Center, and the myriad other encapsulated programs within every windows version. The question is at whaqt point does this detract from the end users experience? If every Windows component were removed for third party apps or MS ones you choose to install it could start to take two days just to get windows to the point it's at when the box is opened now.

    I personally think it would be way more effective ( i don't know about legal) to force third party vendors to provide driver support for alternative OS's or stop any alleged wrangling by microsoft to prevent that from happening.If some other OS's could just come a little closer to providing the type of hardware support that microsoft can offer it would go a long way toward curtailing the monopoly-like microsoft.
     
  3. carol_s

    carol_s New Member

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    I can imagine the EU rejecting this and asking MS to change the order of the browsers to alphabetical - as having IE as the first choice will not be fair to the other browsers (in which case Safari will probably change its name to 001 Safari ;)).

    What an absolute farce - and this is where all our tax money is going on stupid bureaucrats whose sole aim is to justify their jobs together with their huge salaries and expense accounts.
     
  4. stueycaster

    stueycaster Millennium Celebration Award Winner
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    It's about time M$ agreed to cooperate on this matter. It's not going to really hurt them. Most people will choose IE anyway because they don't know any better. The average computer user is afraid to try anything new because it might be hard to understand. I'm constantly being asked to help someone with their computers because they don't know much about them.

    I come into these forums and I am always reminded how much I still don't know about them. I'm amazed at the knowledge of some of the people in here. But when I deal with average users people call me a computer genius. I can't believe how little they know. This is the reason for all the viruses and botnets and such.

    People will choose Internet Explorer because it's what they know.
     
  5. textureDnB

    textureDnB New Member

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    Right on the head and that is the real benefit of this development.I have been working for several years at getting my parents and others off the IE bandwagon they all think it's better because it's native and that is the reason it's worse.IE is so wound through your system that it will always be a greater security risk than FF or Crome, hopefully this will at least be a step towards this end.

    I too am amazed at the level of knowledge on this board.Amongst most everyone i know i am the goto guy to solve their computer issues, so much that since my chosen profession has evaporated in this economic downturn i am re training for a new career in IT. I can tell you with no ambiguity that i have learned as much from you folks (quoted poster included) as i have from any of the certification prep classes i'm taking. Apreciate the hard work folks! You all know who you are.
     
  6. stueycaster

    stueycaster Millennium Celebration Award Winner
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    I appreciate that textureDnB. I really love these people who help all of us in these forums. Most of what I know I learned from them. I've almost never had an issue that I didn't find an answer for in a forum. They truly are the best people I know of.
     
  7. john3347

    john3347 Extraordinary Member
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    I have a plan



    In order to be fair to all, why don't they arrange the 10 candidates in a constantly revolving circle so no one of them is first, second, etc.? Also make them constantly change positions relative to each other so the same ones will not always be next to each other.

    I have a few more ridiculous ideas, too. Reckon I could qualify as a politician in my next life? :eek:
     
  8. Infi

    Infi Honorable Member

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    Personally, I think the EU should go take a long jump off a short cliff :) Just another bunch of bureaucratic idiots (IMHO).

    Microsoft made the Operating System. Microsoft *should* have every right to install whatever software they like on it. If Opera want their browser to be the default, make an OS and then they can do exactly what they like with it.

    I'm fed up of these pen pushers telling me what I *should* have. That's my choice, and they can stick it up their European backsides!

    If I was Microsoft, and feeling particularly vindictive (and my happy place was the real world ;)), I'd say 'Fine, here's the EU version of Windows 7, it contains absolutely sweet FA now so you can't moan. You want it, you f***ing install it yourself. No browser, no calculator, no wordpad/notepad, no support tools, no games, no anything. Oh, and WindowsUpdate won't work because it's based on IE, so no security updates either".

    Now I know that won't happen, Microsoft would lose a fortune in revenue. People might actually start using Linux :eek: (nothing wrong with Linux btw depending what you use your PC for). More likely they'd stay with XP/Vista until hell froze over or the EU decision makers got lined up at a firing squad and shot (I'd probably pay to see that ..... ok, maybe not :razz:).

    Personally, I like IE, I don't particularly like Firefox, and Opera ... you can keep.

    *steps down from soapbox*

    :)

    *and only 4 smilies allowed so the fifth got the can :p
     
  9. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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    Microsoft's 'Ballot Screen' May Not Close Antitrust Case

    Microsoft has changed its proposed browser "ballot screen" to wrap up a nine-month antitrust case in the European Union, but rivals remained noncommittal today about whether the modifications are enough.

    Three months ago, Microsoft told Brussels-based antitrust officials that it would give users a chance to download rivals' browsers with a "ballot screen," just one of the moves Microsoft has made since January in an effort to ward off fines or even more drastic measures by the European Commission.

    Today, the commission said Microsoft had altered some provisions of the ballot screen, and that it would take comments on those changes from consumers, software makers and computer manufacturers until Nov. 9. The comment period is required by EU law.

    "We agreed to make a significant number of changes to improve our proposals, and we believe that we've been able to do that," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief counsel, in a telephone press conference today.

    Opera Software and Google said they were studying the changes.

    "Opera Software supports the concept of a ballot screen to give users easy access to better browsers," said Hakon Wium Lie, Opera's chief technology officer in an e-mail today. "The important question is how this ballot screen is implemented. We are still studying the announcement ... and will have further comments at a later stage."

    Opera's December 2007 complaint sparked the antitrust action, which the EC filed last January, accusing Microsoft of illegally bundling Internet Explorer (IE) with Windows and therefore shielding it from real competition .

    "The proposal to increase consumer choice in browsers has just been made public and we, like many others, will be reviewing it with interest," a Google spokesman added from Brussels today. "The test will be whether people can easily choose the browser they want to use." Google's interest comes from its Chrome browser, one of the 12 that will be offered users.

    Opera, Google and Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, have been allowed to see the charges against Microsoft, study the July ballot screen proposal, and suggest changes. Mozilla criticized Microsoft's July idea, with top executives claiming that it favored IE and failed to install other browsers. Opera, meanwhile, called on Microsoft to offer the ballot screen to all customers, even though Microsoft is legally obligated to offer it only to EU Windows users.

    Microsoft's revised ballot screen proposal addresses several concerns of those rivals.

    According to the documentation ( download PDF ) released by the commission today, the "Install" link offered for the choices will not only download the selected browser -- which is what Microsoft had proposed before -- but will also install the application on the user's machine.

    "An 'install' link will connect to a vendor-managed distribution server, which, upon the user's confirmation, can directly download the installation package of the selected web browser for local execution & the resulting situation will therefore equal a scenario in which the user himself had downloaded and executed the installation package without being aided by the Ballot Screen," said Microsoft's new proposal.

    The ballot screen will also display the choices -- Apple's Safari, Chrome, IE, Firefox and Opera on the first screen, an additional seven on a second -- in alphabetical order by the name of the browser maker -- a change from before, when Microsoft had placed IE in the first spot on the far left based on its market share.

    Other changes include a new screen that will provide some basic information about browsers, and remind users that they should be connected to the Internet before they proceed.

    Microsoft also modified the timing of the ballot screen, which will be delivered to Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users via Windows Update. Previously, Microsoft said it would push the ballot screen to Windows 7 owners on Oct. 22, or within two weeks of approval of the deal, then follow that three to six months later for Windows XP and Vista users.

    Instead, Microsoft has agreed to start offering the ballot screen to all Windows users eight weeks after EU antitrust officials sign off on the proposal.
    Microsoft's 'Ballot Screen' May Not Close Antitrust Case - PC World

    For its part, the EU seems satisfied with the revised ballot screen. "We believe this is an answer," said commission chief Neelie Kroes in a press conference today in Brussels. She also indicated that it was likely the commission would accept Microsoft's ballot screen revisions. "At the end of the day that's what we are looking for," she added.

    Even so, Kroes acknowledged that the revamped proposal may not make everyone happy. "A number of people are never 100 percent satisfied," she said.

    Microsoft was "very pleased" with the EU's decision to move into the last month of the case, Smith said in his press conference. "We welcome the announcement by the European Commission to move forward with formal market testing of Microsoft's proposal relating to Web browser choice," he said.
     

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