New EU Complaint against Microsoft (IE this Time)

By | January 19, 2009 | 24 Comments

Remember the old days when EU filled complaint again Microsoft and it’s Windows Media Player being integrated to Windows? Well, they had to pay then $357 million fine, then $1.35 billion…

After Opera’s complain to the European Union back in the year 2007, looks like story continues.

As cNet says: European regulators notified Microsoft it believes the software giant is in violation of the region’s antitrust laws by bundling its Internet Explorer browser in Windows, the company said Friday.

Oh… Not again. If Microsoft removes Internet Explorer (which is free) from Windows at all, how will someone is going to download anything? For example: other web browser?

If they are going to offer “download browser during setup”, how will someone is going to do that without internet connection?

Including latest stable release would also not make a lot of sense, since by the time Windows is released, it’s going to be old and with tons of security vulnerabilities discovered.

And also, who would include competitor’s software in their own product?

Other operating systems like Apple and Linux include other web browsers by default as well.

Mozilla managed to grab more than 20% of the market share from IE in just a few years. I don’t see them complaining to EU about that.

Maybe it’s because Opera struggled to grab some of the market share for many years? I leave it for you to decide.

With the launch of Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8 (standards compatible), EU has no chance to win this case.

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About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Alex M

    I hate IE but doing something like that is crazy

    I dont want EU to tell me which browser should I use with my stupid computer. Good job Opera, you will steal billions of dollars from bill which he earned if EU wins this

  • michael

    “Opera Software did not sue Microsoft. Opera Software reported to the EC that Microsoft seemed to be breaking the law, and the EC agreed.

    Breaking the law has consequences whether you agree with the law or not. ”

    http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/2009/01/19/eu

  • Vernie

    Microsoft is a serial offender and the EU is right in punishing them for breaking the law.

    Remember, Micososoft was found guilty in US courts first. Then George W Bush came to power and no punishment was handed out. Campaign contributions probably had something to do with it.

    The case is likely to give users more browsers on windows, not fewer. For example, when you buy a new PC, Windows could ask you which browser you want to use among a set of standards-complient browsers.

  • K3M15A

    I need a damn browser built in so i can get on the web to download whatever other browser i want to damn well use.

    If I install a new operating system and i can’t get on the net asap then how the hell is this better for me?

    Here is how I see it:

    1) A built-in browser must be there. Microsoft makes IE, so IE it is. This gripe reminds me of when Microsoft included TCP/IP in windows, oh how the network vendors howled blue murder.

    2) Why should anyone be forced by politicians to make their products standards compliant/compatible? Let the market decide. Already 20% are using some other browser, and they seem to be loving it.

    (Personally I can’t stand firefox, never felt “right” to me. Opera all the way!)

    When I install a new OS, an internet browser and a media player better be included. i need the basics to get what i want done, done.

    Including an add-on CD or folder on the desktop with links to other competing software wouldn’t be bad, but would the other vendors include microsoft products as packaged with theirs?

    For instance a windows live toolbar for firefox?
    Or Microsoft’s xps viewer?

    I don’t think they would.
    I bet they don’t think they should.

  • Alex M

    Or Yahoo search in Google toolbar…

  • http://nocontinues.net Tiago Sá

    This is unfair for microsoft, sure, but it’s their own fault. If they hadn’t push it so far on 2001 they wouldn’t have regulators watching their every move. A built in download system for choosing which browser to use would be the obvious choice, but a dumbed down browser would be just as good. They pack WordPad with Windows and it serves its purpose and nobody uses it anyway. Maybe a dumbed down internet browser would be good, and maybe it would be ok if they presented their case the right way.

    In any way, it’s Microsoft’s own fault that this is happening to them, and the customer won’t be penalized for sure, so it’s all good.

  • slackosoft

    @Alex M

    “I dont want EU to tell me which browser should I use with my stupid computer. Good job Opera, you will steal billions of dollars from bill which he earned if EU wins this”

    1. The EU will not tell you which browser you should use. The EU is preventing Microsoft from telling you which browser you should use.

    2. Opera will not make a single dime from this (directly). It is not a lawsuit. It’s more like if you see someone committing a crime and choose to report it to the authorities. You may “gain” from it by not being a victim of this crime anymore, but the criminal won’t pay you directly.

  • slackosoft

    @K3M15A

    You don’t need a browser built in to download a browser. OEMs will preinstall a browser for you, which will cover most people.

    If you install Windows from scratch, your ISP has probably supplied you with a software CD, or you can just burn some browser on a DVD, use a USB stick, or whatever.

    Microsoft broke the law, and so they may not be able to bundle IE because they broke the law.

  • slackosoft

    @Tiago Sá

    There is nothing unfair about punishing a criminal for his crimes. Microsoft did the crime, now they must do the time.

    You don’t even need a built in download system since OEMs will preinstall browsers.

    Indeed, the customer will NOT be penalized. The customer WILL get a browser because of OEM preinstalls, and OEMs will no longer be forced to make that browser IE. More and better choices. Everyone will benefit from this, including Google and Mozilla. But not the convicted criminal, Microsoft.

    (Testing bold, is it working?)

  • slackosoft

    Bottom line:

    1. PCs will not come without browsers. OEMs or ISPs will pre-install a browser.

    2. Opera didnt’ sue anyone. Opera reported a crime.

    3. This is not unfair to Microsoft. Microsoft broke the law, and that has consequences.

    4. Companies like Microsoft and Google have sent antitrust complaints to EU and US authorities. Antitrust complaints are nothing new in the IT market, and Opera is fully correct in reporting crimes to the authorities.

    5. Opera is not going to make money directly by reporting Microsoft’s crimes. Opera, Mozilla, Google, OEMs and users will all benefit from this, not just Opera.

  • K3M15A

    @ Slackosoft

    Regardless of CDs an ISP provides or whatever an OEM wants to do, it really doesn’t take much effort to open IE type in “www.getfirefox.com” or “www.opera.com” or anyother site to download your browser of choice.

    I want my OS to come with a browser.

    OEM installations? HAH! all that junk they preinstall? they need to be shot!

  • slackosoft

    @K3M15A

    You are missing the point. Just because you can type in “www.opera.com” doesn’t mean that Microsoft didn’t break the law.

    Your OS WILL come with a browser OEMs will preinstall it. What does OEM junk have to do with anything? They are doing it today, so that is clearly not an arguments against having OEMs choose the browser..

  • K3M15A

    @slackosoft
    I would really love to see where I said that Microsoft wasn’t breaking the law.
    You seem stuck on that and no one here has said they weren’t breaking the law.

    Also many people love to build their systems and so wont get the OEM junk installed. so whatever OEMs do in this matter is irrelevant.

    The basic fact is that a browser must be in the system, whether they force Microsoft to include others in the OS setup is one thing, but if they can’t then leave IE in there.

  • hello

    @K3M15A:

    1: The browser will be in the system. OEMs will bundle a browser. The vast majority of Windows installations are OEM installs, so the vast majority WILL have a browser. You have yet to successfully refute this fact.

    2: People who build their own browser will easily be able to get a browser from multiple sources. ISPs often distribute browsers on CDs/DVDs, for example.

    3: If you do accept the fact that Microsoft has broken the law, are you arguing that they shouldn’t be punished?

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Vygantas Lipskas

    2: People who build their own browser will easily be able to get a browser from multiple sources. ISPs often distribute browsers on CDs/DVDs, for example.

    If that would be in CDs, then there would be old and security vulnerabilities unpatched versions.

  • hello

    @Vygantas Lipskas:

    “If that would be in CDs, then there would be old and security vulnerabilities unpatched versions.”

    Just like if you install Windows today. You will need to download tons of security updates because the Windows version on the installer medium is so out of date.

    Nothing what so ever prevents ISPs from offering up to date browsers on CD or DVD either.

    Please stop it. You are making a fool of yourself with all these excuses to get away from the fact that you didn’t consider OEM or ISP installations.

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Vygantas Lipskas

    In my country ISPs doesn’t provide any CDs or DVDs for like 3 years or even more.

    Technologies are quite advanced to work just by installing network drivers and plugging cable.

  • K3M15A

    Why can’t people challenge what I actually said and not what they ‘THINK’ I said?

    I have never said they ought not be punished.

    But let me ask you, how will they punish Microsoft?

    Will they ask that they make a version of the OS available without IE as they had them do with Windows Media Player?

    What are their options to make sure they get what they want other than requiring they sell a version without the offending software.

    Punish people who act criminally, sure, but what exactly does this punishment entail will it be a waste of time and effort like the wmp-less versions of windows?

    .. AND again with OEMs.

    What OEMs put on their systems is up to them, and irrelevant.
    Retail, boxed copies of the OS is what i am talking about.

    Just how are they going to punish Microsoft?

  • Michael Johnson

    I pretty much agree with slackosoft, so I’ll keep this brief.

    For those wo aren’t getting an OEM install, they will probably get an option during install along the lines of:

    Install Internet Explorer X.Y? (If you answer no, you will have to provide a web browser from separate media)

    I don’t know the law, but if it’s about bundling, my guess is this would likely meet any such requirements. And will probably make everyone happy. Right now there is no choice.

  • Michael Johnson

    Of course, you could say Apple does the same with OS X and Safari. You’d be right and they might have to change that.

    As far as Linux goes… when I install e.g. Debian I get to pick Gnome or KDE or XFCE, and each has a different *default* browser. It takes one trip to aptitude to add whatever other browsers I want (or a quick download of Opera… but that’s part of ‘you must supply one’).

  • hello

    @Vygantas Lipskas: Christ. If ISPs don’t provide DVDs, they will. And OEMs will preinstall anyway.

    @K3M15A: Hopefully the EU will punish Microsoft by forcing them to unbundle IE completely, and not allow them to sell Windows with IE included. I completely agree that a punishment that doesn’t work is useless. Retail copies of Windows are a tiny minority of Windows sales. Just about irrelevant. Most people who buy them will have an easy time getting a browser anyway.

    Failing that, IE could be added as a separate option on the Windows DVD. Not available during the installation of Windows, but it would need to be installed manually later or something.

  • mich

    How do you come to the conclusion that IE is free?
    If you buy a car and it includes tires are the tires free or part of the cost??

  • Maulkin

    For those seamlessly referring to the bundlin part of the complaint, please read what Haarvard has to say:

    http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/2009/01/19/eu

    I know the link has already been posted here, but no one seems to care.

  • http://microsoftbrowser/messager robert

    why does this kep going down it is now 36 day this has been off any time from 11: 00 am until 20:36 , this been any thing from 1hr and up to 8hrs 26mins they don’t enough relpy to any incident report sent in about.