EU sends Microsoft a complaint on including Internet Explorer with Windows

In yet another act of desperate stupidity, the EU has sent Microsoft a complaint that Microsoft should not have IE included in Windows, period. Here’s Microsoft’s statement on this:

“Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law. According to the Statement of Objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer. The Statement of Objections states that the remedies put in place by the U.S. courts in 2002 following antitrust proceedings in Washington, D.C. do not make the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows lawful under European Union law.

“We are committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law. We are studying the Statement of Objections now. Under European competition law procedure, Microsoft will be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing to this Statement of Objections within about two months. The company is also afforded an opportunity to request a hearing, which would take place after the submission of this response. Under EU procedure, the European Commission will not make a final determination until after it receives and assesses Microsoft’s response and conducts the hearing, should Microsoft request one.“

— Microsoft Corporation

If you ask me, it’s more like the European Union is bullying Microsoft, rather than Microsoft on consumers. In fact, the EU is hurting consumers too.

Even if you don’t like Internet Explorer (IE8 isn’t bad folks), how else would you expect to download another web browser without a web browser. Oh sure, you could always go to another computer (that might have IE) and download a browser onto a USB flash drive, to transport to the computer with no IE, but it’s a lot more work than it should have to be. Microsoft isn’t stopping you from choosing another web browser. It’s not like it’s limiting anyone from even knowing other browsers exist. Frequent Internet users most often use, and mention Firefox all the time. So it should be well known.

Someone pointed out that it might be based on Opera’s complaint to the EU. They want Microsoft to bundle other browsers and offer more and better support for open Web standards.

Would you like multiple browsers installed into your computer? And if you don’t like them, uninstall them one by one? I don’t think so.

Now open Web standards, I can definitely understand. Microsoft definitely should comply to open standards. However, IE8 has greatly improved in website rendering, and though it could still use more, it’s awesome the way it has improved.

So is this another attempt with the European Union trying to pull some more money out of Microsoft? Or is the EU right about this? Comment.

Personally, I’d think it be funny if Microsoft creates a special EU version of Windows (alongside the regular Windows of course) with no internet browser on it. Watch almost nobody buy it. They did this before by selling the N series without WMP.

Windows is Microsoft’s products, and there should be no reason they should have to comply, especially if there is choices.

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4 thoughts on “EU sends Microsoft a complaint on including Internet Explorer with Windows

  1. Well said Michael. The EU needs to back off on their rediculous positon! Microsoft HAS to ship its OS with a default browser and then of course we all have the CHOICE to either keep the excellent default or download and install any alternate like Firefox, Chrome, etc. I would love to hear the EU complaints if there was no browser and everyone had to go out, purchase and install a browser just to get on the Internet. How foolish. The EU needs to leave Microsoft alone.

  2. Indeed a very silly argument from the EU. I could agree however that it would have been nice if Windows users were made aware that there are alternatives out there. In my "browsing youth" I did not know anything anything other than IE existed for Windows based PCs. But then again.. it might have as little impact as the warning label on a pack of sigarets (smoking -> cancer -> kills you). Then also.. IE is not a sold item — why then judged by the competition board? (a dumb question I know..)PS: I do prefer Firefox.>>thanks for the chat<<

  3. I\’m back after the near-death experience of my laptop. I totally agree with your take on the EU\’s argument, but remain a bit wary of IE8. An earlier beta of it bit my XP rather badly. There\’s also a built-in battle between world wide standards and a corporation\’s mission to build as well integrated a system as they are able. Peace, Doc

  4. I agree, this is nothing more than an easy way to get some money, and just be a pain for a US company. They don\’t protect consumers one bit. This is a big power trip. I have lost total respect for Opera and won\’t use the browser any longer.

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