E.U. Slaps Microsoft with $731 Million Fine Over Botched Browser Ballot

24

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

Laptop Adapters...

You always share us with the newest information about many electronic products. I really enjoy them. Thank you very much!!!

avatar

D00dlavy

Nanny states. I need the government to wipe my ass, tuck me into bed, save me from oversized soft drinks by banning them, take away my guns and give me a choice of browsers for my personal computer. And charge me for doing it.

avatar

btdog

As dumb as the remedy is, I believe this all started when Microsoft began bundling Internet Explorer with its Operating System. Other internet web browsers sued claiming it was a monopolistic practice that would hurt competition. MS (in a move I believe was even more stupid than the remedy) claimed there was NO WAY to remove IE from the OS - they were integrated applications - and the best they could do was remove the icon from the desktop. Well, that didn't sit well with the EU judicial system; MS lost and the browser ballot was born, along with a hefty fine for MS. In the US, similar suits were filed but the US courts ended up ruling in favor of MS.

Looking back, MS's real intent was a power grab into the internet market. I never bought for a second their flimsy response of "the best we can do is remove the icon."

Personally, I think the recent oversight was a legitimate 'oops.' Programmers, rushing to get SP out, either failed to properly test for EU requirements, or failed to run it up the legal channels for approval. Either way, it's their own fault for this predicament. This was the bed they made and now they have to lie in it.

avatar

Caboose

OH NOES! A company is bundling in software that they've developed in to an operating system that they've developed.

You know what, I think Ford should stop using Ford engines. They should offer you the ability to have a Toyota, Honda, or a Dodge developed engine. It's not fair that Ford offers only Ford developed engines!

Android should stop bundling in Gmail, Google Maps, Google Talk and other Google apps, and they should give you the ability to install other browsers and mail apps when you first turn it on. It's not fair! People don't know that other mail, browser and maps apps exist!

I don't like that I'm forced to use iTunes with an iPod or iPad. I want to use a different program. There are many better programs out there for managing your media. I want Apple to allow me to use my iDevice with something other than iTunes. It's not fair.

Apple needs to stop bundling in Safari with OSX. They need to give users an option of what browser to use... Wait... we can't do that to Apple, as they're the oppressed minority. Never mind. That wouldn't be fair at all.

It's not fair that each company bundles in software that they've developed in to products that they've developed. It's not fair. I want more options.

avatar

fonto

I'm not a big apologist of MS but this is idiotic that a company should be forced to offer another companies product on their own OS. Next we will hear that a choice of OSX and Linux will need to be offered when installing because judging by market share no one knows that the others even exist. If consumers were really looking for alternatives they would do just that LOOK. IMO if people aren't smart enough to know that you can find another browser in about 2 min on the internet they should just be left with the stock browser anyways.

avatar

vrmlbasic

At this rate, Microsoft might be better off just buying Europe outright.

avatar

Engelsstaub

EU must really think it's citizens to be stupid if it needs to force a company offering its product to offer its competitors products as well. "Nobody in the EU knows how to install another browser. This is some important shit right here!"

That should teach Microsoft. Why don't they just make them bundle all of their competitors browsers with their software too? I mean if people are too stupid to install them themselves...

avatar

jgottberg

I think that's a stickier issue in itself. If the EU mandates that users have to choose between just two browsers when logging in, who determines what the alternative browser to IE is? Why can't all alternate browsers be represented?

I think it's the dumbest thing anyways to regulate the browser industry. I'd think the EU would have much larger fish to fry.

avatar

lindethier

This right here ^.

avatar

satrain18

The EU is in debt. They need to keep their heads above water, even if that means extorting money from companies.

avatar

Sorian

Wow... This whole thing is a mess, If I don't want to use IE after installing a Win OS or after starting up a new computer, I just download it via IE for 1-2 minutes and be done with it. Did Microsoft somehow write code that didn't allow this kind of download or something in the EU version of their OS?

avatar

Baer

That is like making MacDonald's also serve Starbucks coffee. The social politics in Europe are astounding. They just need the money to keep their bankrupt economies going for a few more weeks.

avatar

nadako

does apple also have to fallow these strict rules as well?

avatar

MaximumMike

double post

avatar

crimson49er

Does the E.U. force Apple to provide the same functionality?

avatar

jgottberg

I wouldn't think so. As popular as Apple has become, it's still dwarfed by Microsoft and Windows. MS controls something like 80 percent of the market, if not higher over there. Apple only about 12 percent.

What the numbers show is that MS has a much larger platform to use to monopolise something (like browser preference) than Apple does. I know, it doesn't seem fair but in an odd kinda way, it makes sense.

All that being said, I think the fine is ridiculous.

avatar

Damnlogin

+1
Monopoly or not though; It's not like they block Google and Mozilla sites. The fine is absurdly ridiculous.

avatar

jgottberg

. ops, double post.

avatar

Caboose

Excellent question, and I think one that we've all been wondering since this whole thing started. I think we need to get an official response from the EU as to why only Microsoft is targeted and not Apple.

avatar

Scatter

Here's your reason why.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/google_chrome_loses_market_share_internet_explorer123

avatar

I Jedi

There better question to ask is now, "Does the E.U. force Apple to provide the same functionality?", but rather what government has the right to dictate how a company can implement its software, etc?

avatar

AETAaAS

I think Google got into trouble too because if you searched for Mail or things of the like, it would put its own services at the top of the list. Which I thought was fair game since you are going to Google's own site in the first place... Not sure what happened with that case.

avatar

NavarWynn

I don't think so (can't say for sure as I've never bought an apple while in the EU), but then you tend to make the guy who's already committed armed robbery jump through more hoops to buy a gun than somebody who's not.

avatar

MaximumMike

Good question.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.