EU fines Microsoft $733M for breaking browser pact

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Daveski17, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Union has fined Microsoft €561 million ($733 million) for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company's flagship Windows operating system. ~ Netscape

    The browser choice screen was a bloody stupid idea to begin with if you ask me.
     
  2. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    I can't help but chuckle seeing this article on a Netscape page :D Anyway, I agree that it was ridiculous to begin with. MS in no way shape or form prevented anyone from typing a search in Google/Bing and downloading another friggin browser. I also think the size of this fine is insane. Save fines like that for the inevitable next Google screwup or another major issue. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the EU has the sack to go after issues. But I think they should pick another fight and leave this one be.

    If people can't pick another browser by spending 5 minutes looking without Microsoft presenting them with a special screen, there's a far bigger problem we have to worry about.
     
  3. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Wasn't it Opera ASA whinging about IE being bundled with Windows that prompted the browser screen nonsense in the first place?

    I mean, everyone knows IE is specifically provided by Microsoft as a tool to download Firefox surely. ;)
     
  4. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I always was against this browser choice thing, but a pact is a pact and it was broken. They (Microsoft) have been warned before and they said they would fix it. But, oops I did it again...

    As an EU citizen I'm glad EU is showing Microsoft they can't break our laws if they want to have business here. I'm pretty sure this is simply a warning to other companies as well.

    Somebody has to serve as an example, and Microsoft played a stupid game in the wrong side. :D

    -edit-

    I also hope EU decided to put their efforts on other good fights as well.
     
  5. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I don't recall if it was because of Opera, but they sure were involved.
     
  6. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    Actually I do indeed believe it was Opera that started the ball rolling. What they didn't want to understand was that it wasn't MS that made Opera last place in the browser wars, it was Opera. Opera is still in last place years later..so who are they going to take to court next? Neither Opera nor Mozilla or anyone else involved was thinking of their users getting the shaft by MS, they were thinking of themselves.
     
  7. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I think that Opera ASA were the most vocal. I don't feel that much sympathy for Microshaft, they should have stuck to the deal they signed. But the browser choice screen was a bit pointless IMO.
     
  8. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Well, let's see if they are still bottom when they become a Chromium fork. I just think that the whole browser screen was pointless & potentially confusing for many.
     
  9. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    You're both right, a deal is a deal. But I think nearly a billion dollar fine is slightly on the nuts side. The cost will just get passed down to users like it does with every business that gets sued or spends money.
     
  10. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    The extremely early test runs with its mobile browser is getting good marks. But remember, they're going with the "Chrome version" of Webkit, which differs from other variations like Safari. So, if you find Chrome to be quirky at times or you simply don't like it, Opera may not be any better of an experience. All that of course is going by what I read across the net and may or may not be the case. I don't work for Opera so I make no guarantees what I'm saying is 100% accurate.
     
  11. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I wish someone would have told the EU that. Doh!
     
  12. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I really don't know what to expect. I'm hoping it will be very similar to what Opera is now but just with a different rendering engine. I fear it will be just a Chrome clone. In which case I may as well use Chrome.
     
  13. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    I don't at all believe Opera on the desktop will look like it did before the change. The mobile browser looks really nice from the few screenies that have been put out. I think we'll see the look of Chrome quite honestly, but I'm 99.99% sure that is where the similarities will end, especially with the security model. I think the best case scenario will be the configuration options of Opera with the speed of Chrome, but if I were to place bets I'd bet the massive configuring and tweaking will be over. I also don't expect for Flash to be built in nor do I expect it to have the fairly solid security of Chrome (that would take far more than an rendering engine change).
     
  14. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Yeah, I'm trying to be optimistic myself. Surely it will have sandboxed tabs though if it is based on Chromium (as opposed to just WebKit)? To be honest I always found Opera at least as fast as Chrome & Firefox. Speed won't be the issue for me. If the configuration options are much the same it might work well.
     
  15. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Microsoft Will Not Appeal $731M Fine Over Browser Antitrust Violations: ‘We Take Full Responsibility’
     
  16. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Some posts removed and stay on topic.
     
  17. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Sorry, I don't know how we got on to Opera, but there is a relevance I think. After all, Opera is a browser & Opera ASA's whinging about browser bundling started much of this I believe.

    If I remember K-Meleon was also one of the choices & the K-Meleon guys were really chuffed about being included as a choice. :D
     
  18. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Microsoft apologizes, gets slap on wrist, issues statement.
     
  19. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    I'm sure they were indeed :D Opera is slightly on topic as a company since they started the mess. I agree though that the new browser is best left for the other thread..wherever it is now, lol.

    @Siljaline: I'd hardly call near a billion a slap on the wrist, but hey :D
     
  20. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Honestly though, the whole thing is ridiculous, or so it seems, to me. I obviously can't mention politics or the European Union 'the party of the first part' as that would be political & no doubt edited, but I can't understand how the 'you know who' could have even persuaded Microsoft 'the party of the second part' to sign this agreement in the first place. I mean you buy an operating system: Windows a well known company's operating system originally founded in New Mexico & it has its own browser included with it. Who'd have expected that?

    I have a feeling that there is more here than meets the eye & this is more about previous transgressions by Microsoft the well known company's operating system originally founded in New Mexico than this present breaking of the 'browser pact' debacle.
     
  21. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    A nice touch, the Netscape link. :p
    Finally an end to this bad saga.

    And regarding the fine, there is nothing more here than meets the eye.
    In the EU there is simply more focus on 'due process' than on pre-court settlements. Therefore companies are much more outed publicly for breaking laws than in other countries.
    Only recently some CRT TV makers, including dutch Philips, were handed a $1.9bn fine. Russian Gazprom faces a possible $10bn case.
    Fines and public condemnation are par for the course.
    The 'browser choice' screen was an elegant way for Microsoft to dodge the heavy fine for breaking EU law, after years of litigation.
    Perhaps not necessarily elegant for users but surely for Microsoft.
    They simply screwed it up and knew beforehand what non-compliance would mean.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  22. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I thought so.

    On the other hand I could be wrong ... ;)
     
  23. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Opera was the initial instigator in the EU fine of MS when Browser choices were not offered.

    MS has more Lawyers, per-capita than any other multinational. One would wonder why this is ... :cautious:

     
  24. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    ROTFL ... yeah, I wonder why? ;)
     
  25. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    The thing is many people don't even really know that a browser is a discreet software, separate from the OS, and that there are others to choose from. Giving users the opportunity to choose and download one from a list is a teachable moment that makes people just a little bit more aware. In practice though people usually wind up with Chrome along with IE because Google shamelessly bundles it with everything (well, I don't know that they need to be ashamed :) ) If Firefox and Opera were similarly bundled everyone would have it on their system. That wouldn't solve the problem of some people not knowing what a browser actually is though.

    So yeah, it's a bigger problem but there's probably no point in worrying about any of it.:D

    On a more serious note with regard to the fine I believe it's about corporations being made to understand that they are subject to the rule of law - that's not trivial.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
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