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At what point is the EU's EC just milking a cash-cow ?

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  • User profile image
    elmer

    I see that the European Commission is lining up to fine MS another $Billion because they don't like the way the browser ballot works, and because MS still need to fix a bug in it.

    Meanwhile, IE browser share (all versions) is 55% (and falling) on desktops, and negligible on mobiles.

    Consumers seem perfectly well aware of the alternatives, and their options, regardless of the issues in the ballot system.

    One of the loudest whiners to the EC, Opera, has since abandoned their own rendering engine, because even after getting the EC to give them what they wanted, they still couldn't get anyone to use it - they've swapped to Webkit, because that's where the customers are going.

    Ok, no argument, MS should have fixed both issues by now, and whoever is managing this mess should get their butt kicked for placing MS at risk of these fines.

    But nevertheless, this just look too suspiciously like a grab for money to finance the EC's operations, rather than a desire to protect consumers.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    At what point? Since the outset. The EU fines have never been disbursed to the companies that allegedly were adversely affected by Microsoft's business practices.

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    Mozilla: "MILLIONS OF DOWNLOADS!!! EVERYONE LOVES FIREFOX!!!!"
    Google: "CHROME DOWNLOADS ARE SKYROCKETING!! CHROME IS KICKING THE * OUT OF ALL THE BROWSERS"

    One week later....

    Opera: Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh No one's using Opera, and it's Microsoft's fault.
    Google & Mozilla: YEAH!!! Because of IE being bundled NO ONE ON EARTH KNOWS ABOUT OTHER BROWSERS.

     

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    The whole EC case hinges on the idea that MS somehow prevented users from installing other browsers, or as the EC likes to put it, not giving users a "choice". However MS never prevented anyone from installing whatever they want. Ever.

    Instead the reality is that the EC confuses "choice" with "advertising a competitor's product". Advertising a competitor's product is up to each competitor, not MS.

    It really is a sad sad case. But hey, if you can extort billions out of a company based on a flawed argument, why not go for it...!!??

  • User profile image
    Bas

    As much as I disagree with the "need" or effectiveness of the browser ballot - or many of the EU's other actions in this area - in the first place, I have to agree with them that since Microsoft themselves agreed to the ballot, they should've kept their end of the agreement and they haven't, in full knowledge of the consequences.

    Secondly, when was it agreed that the fines would be "disbursed to the companies that allegedly were adversely affected by Microsoft's business practices"? I alway understood it as being a fine, pure and simple, to deter Microsoft from doing what they were doing, which as a result would alleviate the effects Microsoft's practices were allegedly having on competitors.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Who cares if you could only install IE in Windows? Microsoft's OS. They decide the rules.

    What they should be looking at is OEMs. Specifically the extreme difficulty in getting a machine without Windows makes the whole competition thing a problem in the first place.

    Force OEMs to sell their machines and Windows seperately. Give people the option of bundling Windows, sure, but leave it an option and not a requirement. Most people will continue to use Windows, but the people who don't want to use Windows will be happy too. And it will make it easier for competing businesses to productise OSes for PCs.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    , Bass wrote

    Who cares if you could only install IE in Windows? Microsoft's OS. They decide the rules.

    What they should be looking at is OEMs. Specifically the extreme difficulty in getting a machine without Windows makes the whole competition thing a problem in the first place.

    Force OEMs to sell their machines and Windows seperately. Give people the option of bundling Windows, sure, but leave it an option and not a requirement. Most people will continue to use Windows, but the people who don't want to use Windows will be happy too. And it will make it easier for competing businesses to productise OSes for PCs.

    Why? Acer has been boasting that it's been selling way more Chromebooks than Windows 8 PC's, so apparently that's not a problem anymore either.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    , Bas wrote

    *snip*

    Why? Acer has been boasting that it's been selling way more Chromebooks than Windows 8 PC's, so apparently that's not a problem anymore either.

    I worked as a reseller for many years, focusing on HP equipment. We could order HP desktops and notebooks with Free-DOS installed, for those who didn't want Windows.

    As I understand it, HP are now releasing both Chromebooks and Android tablets.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    Supply and demand. If there was actually demand for computers selling without Windows then there would also be supply. You can't force the market into some direction that suits your fantasy.

    Well, the EC is trying to make the browser market go into someone else's desired direction but so far they are not getting the results they were hoping for. The EC is making a lot money in the process, so I guess it's worth it.

    And if your business model doesn't give you the required money to do real marketing of your own product, then change your business model. Don't run crying to the EC to help make people notice you in some other way because you are incapable of doing it yourself.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    , Bas wrote

    *snip*

    Why? Acer has been boasting that it's been selling way more Chromebooks than Windows 8 PC's, so apparently that's not a problem anymore either.

    Somehow I doubt that is true, but that's sounds great.

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