Why are Microsoft Singled Out?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by nheather, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. nheather

    nheather
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    I see in the news that Microsoft have been fined by the EU for not offering alternative browsers.

    BBC News - Microsoft fined by European Commission over web browser

    Now I like MS Windows, but I'm not a fanboy and think they should be fined if they have done something wrong. But I also expect them to be treated fairly.

    Also nothing against Apple products so not intending this to be a MS v Apple fanboy fight.

    As long as I can remember MS never prevented you installing and running alternative browsers - I can recall running Netscape many years ago.

    I appreciate that when you installed Windows you used to get IE whether you liked it or not, because essentially Internet Explorer and File Explorer were the same thing.

    But even then you could install something else and MS allowed you to set a switch so that this something else became the default browser.

    MS did go through a period where it asked you whether you wanted to install an alternative and even provided a list of links. It seems that recently, they have 'forgotten' to include this - won't discuss whether it was intential or accidental - that's not the point.

    So how do Apple get away with it. You get Safari. You don't get a choice.

    On my iPad you can't even install alternatives properly. Yes you can install Chrome but

    - It is not really Chrome, but safari with a Chrome skin
    - Apple do not allow 3rd developers access to optimised routines, so their efforts can never be as fast as safari
    - Apple do not allow you to set the alternative as the default browser

    So how come MS get fined, but Apple get away with it?


    Once again, not meant to be an Apple v MS thing, just interested in the reasoning.


    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  2. Member 639844

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    I have to agree with you. Why do MS even need to offer other browsers, plenty of companies have their browsers offered out there, why would any company promote another companies products :confused:

    I also go the browser choice thing from them, so I really dont see why they should be fined for this one. I must confess to not reading the link though.
     
  3. imightbewrong

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    It doesn't make sense to me.
     
  4. Toasty

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    Its seems more like a retaliation to Microsoft reneging on a previous settlement agreement than the original case, which was raised in 2007 and a totally different OS landscape back.
     
  5. kav

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    I imagine it's about scale. MS Operating Systems shipped with >90% of all personal computer products for many years, almost a monopoly. As Apple's market share increases, I expect they should become subject to the same scrutiny, especially since they are far far worse than MS in their "my way or the highway" approach.

    What I want to know is, what happens to that £484 million...
     
  6. s73

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    I think this says more about Europe than its does about MS.
    My impression of the EU was always slightly rose tinted when I was younger but in the last 10 years the amount of nonsense that has come out in legislation has gone so far beyond a joke that it's becoming funny again.
    I'm guessing they are seeing MS as an easy target for cash already having had the ruling in their favour and no doubt the fine will somehow find its way into various politicians pockets.
    Just my cynical view...
     
  7. WeegyAVLover

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    I agree it is bang out of order MS getting fined in the first place.

    However the agreement was to provide "browser selection" until 2014 or face a fine. Either deliberately or as Microsoft claim, an accidental oversight, they have not done this. So the fine was imposed.

    So I think it is a severe penalty to have to pay but they broke the agreement with the competition committee.

    Like I said they the fact that this even came about is ridiculous and when you see how apple and android operate these days it is the norm.

    Its wrong they got fined in the first place but did not keep up their part of the agreement so the fine is alot but justified
     
  8. alpine101

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    I'm surprised that Google is not being attacked yet in the same way. Their 'googleapis.com' is a part of so many web sites under the covers, even sites like the UK Met Office won't work without contacting it to pull code down. Yet nothing is done, probably because at first sight, it looks benign.
     
  9. Member 639844

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    Why wouldnt MS now just file a complaint about Apple and Android though, they seem to tick all the boxes that would result in a fine as well.
     
  10. Lancia34

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    I think part of the reason Apple can do it is because it's their hardware so when you buy Apple you are buying the whole device and get what they want to give you.
    With Microsoft they are just providing the software OS to run on whatever hardware you want to run it on - I'm not a legal person but I believe it's something to do with that...ish ;) :confused:

    EDIT - and also ties in with Windows being on 90% of PCs...
     
  11. Member 639844

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    But surely forcing MS to promote 3rd party software in their own FOC isnt exactly right, is it their fault they sell the best?
     
  12. overkill

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    Thank God! A sensible response........

    Microsoft were fined initially because IE was 'built in' to Windows thus giving it an edge over all other browsers. MS were warned by the EU that this contravened the competition laws and gave MS plenty of time to put it right. They didn't, hoping to call the EU's bluff. Problem. The EU weren't bluffing.

    The new fine is because MS agreed to offer, from Vista onwards, alternatives to their browser, and to make sure that all browsers worked exactly the same way with Windows. With a Windows 7 update the browser option was 'accidentally' removed. It seems the EU believed that about as much as I do, hence they told MS where to get off.

    If people are going to come out with (the usual) ill informed crap about the EU, at least make sure it's fun crap..........

    A straight Banana anyone?
     
  13. overkill

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    They aren't, and they don't. They are merely obliged to offer alternatives, you, the user, decides.

    If you really think that slow, hole ridden, pile of junk, IE is the best browser, well...............
     
  14. oakie

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    Yet Microsofts virtual monopoly OS install on pre built pc / laptops goes unchallenged.
     
  15. overkill

    overkill
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    That's because that's up to the manufacturers. There's nothing illegal in choosing to use MS operating systems.

    Windows is the easiest to use, is well known, and in real terms changes very little over time, hence the likes of Dell for example aren't likely to offer anything else.

    Would you?
     
  16. Liquid101

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    That's not MS's fault, it's up to the manufacturer which OS they include.

    Re the Apple issue - with their desktop OS, there is no restriction about the browser you use. The mobile variant will always be more limited, purely because the hardware and interface has more limitations. However, this is largely irrelevant, because you're buying an Apple product, they can't really stop Apple putting their own software on their own hardware. It would be like forcing BMW to give you the choice of having Mercedes wheels when you buy it.
     
  17. pandemic

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    I guess MS are singled out due to the large market share they have. I have to say the current fine is rather unfair, considering it was most likely a build error for the service pack in question (and unfortunately no one tested for it). Not to mention these days people are aware of the browser choices available to them.

    Any ideas on how the money gained from this fine will be spent? i.e. does some of it go to rival browser developers.
     
  18. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
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    I don't think the hardware is relevant - I can't see MS would have got away with it if only they made the PCs too. I don't see how your car argument doesn't apply equally to MS - forcing them to include other companies' software with their own.
     
  19. Liquid101

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    I suppose.

    Maybe it does just come down to the scale of MS's market. In the same way that Lloyds has been forced to sell off part of its banking business, because they have too large a share in the market.
     
  20. Member 639844

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    COuld you please explain the difference between being force to promote alternatives, and offer alternative. The alternatives are offered everywhere already and MS do nothing to stop their use. I havnt used IE for years and years, I use chrome, and occasionally FF, always and and always will. This is why I dont see the issue. I didnt like IE, so I found the alternatives myself and used them without any issues, I decided.

    So no, I dont see the problem.

    oh and for good smarty pants measure, here's a load of dots .........................
     
  21. Digital Tench

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    Searching for the change default browser on my iPad, can anyone help?
     
  22. davepuma

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    I use a combo of Chrome, Firefox and Safari on my Mac and Chrome, Firefox and IE on PC. At work, we're more or less forced to use IE as some websites that we use just aren't designed to be used on anything else. If I haven't paid a penny for any of these browsers, in what way do MS have a monopoly? I can go and download alternative browsers for free or use IE so why fine MS? Have I missed something?
     
  23. nheather

    nheather
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    Doesn't exist.

    You can't really get other browser either.

    The ones on offer (such as chrome) are really safari backend with a different front end.

    Even then, if you select a link from an email for example, it will open safari.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  24. alphaomega16

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    This is from the article in the OP

    Microsoft Windows has Microsoft Internet Explorer.

    Whats wrong with that, you want different u go get it.

    What people should be ****** about is no default mail client with windows 7+
     
  25. blue max

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    Wasn't explorer effectively part of the OS. IE, you couldn't NOT install?

    At least with Apple, Safari is a self-contained application that could be deleted or even non installed at all.

    That was my understanding.
     
  26. Pugs1

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    Like somebody already mentioned, what happens to the 484 million? Crazy fine. I think google are far worse than MS and everything stinks in regards to their privacy and what about all the apps that are preinstalled on android devices, which you can't uninstall. Surely that's worse than having IE as the oem for windows.
     
  27. overkill

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    The problem, as explained, was that Microsoft was integrating IE into the OS. It could not be un-installed. Thus every other browser was at a disadvantage as the integrated browser ran more smoothly. This is what the browser developers and the EU objected to.

    Microsoft wasn't allowing a fair playing field, thus fell foul of the EU. Had they played ball and removed IE as part of the OS earlier they would not have had to; a) pay a fine b) offer alternatives. It's their own fault. As with any legal ruling, if you break it expect to face the consequences.

    Yes you can find alternatives and install them yourself, and good for you btw, but that wasn't the issue.

    Using dots is to show a statement has trailed off. It's commonly used in books, articles wherever you want to. Being a 'smarty pants' has nothing to do with it.

    Sorry if it offends you though I'm sure. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  28. overkill

    overkill
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    Error my backside. Something that big doesn't just happen due to an error. If it did, then MS would have fixed it ASAP to avoid falling foul of the original ruling. :cool:

    You do know MS tests the SP's with preferred clients before rolling then out? No-one notice then either? ;)
     
  29. Steven

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    Having a dominant market position or monopoly is not illegal

    What is illegal are (a) anti-competitive agreements and/or (b) abuse of a dominant market position

    The fact consumer brands are market leading is fine. So for example saying "look everyone is buying an Android handset" does not mean anything.

    For those who did not read the brief news article the story itself is not controversial. Microsoft admitted breaching a remedy that they had agreed to. They received a fine, far less than was technically within the remit of the Commission. But for the amount involved it would have escaped the attention of the popular press as with the thousands of daily legal reports.
     
  30. overkill

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    Thank you Steven. You summed it up nicely. :smashin:
     

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