OP: Why Microsoft is Innocent with IE8

The never ending browser wars: Firefox is gaining, Chrome is here, Safari hits version 4, Internet Explorer should be canned. So many opinions, so many rulings.

Microsoft this week announced that it would not ship Internet Explorer in Windows 7 for the European market. No thanks to rulings and regulations by the European Union, Microsoft would face big fines if it decided to bundle IE with Windows 7. Still, Windows 7 shipping elsewhere will have IE--and thank goodness!

I understand the need for competition. But this bashing against Microsoft by the EU is becoming out of hand. Because of the nature of the operating system, it's a matter of convenience for the user to have a browser shipped along. Imagine installing Windows only to find out you can't even get online to grab a 3rd party browser.

To be frank, I like to use Firefox. After a Windows install however, the first thing I do is go and grab the latest drivers. How does the EU expect me to be able to do that without a browser installed? Does the EU expect me to use possibly old drivers from the CD that came with the motherboard, graphics card and whatever else I have? No thank you.

How can I even get Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, or whatever else I wanted without getting to each browser's respective website to begin with?

Here's the kicker though: almost all recent operating systems ship with browsers. Flavors of Linux, Mac OS X, etc., all ship with browsers already packaged. And why does the EU think people lack choice if Microsoft includes IE? I don't. I can still use whatever I wish. Microsoft never forbid me and doesn't forbid anyone from using a different browser.

Removing the browser from the operating system is a disservice to the customer, not a favor. Please EU, get your heads around this. If you're going to force Microsoft to remove something that is a matter of great convenience for me and everyone else, enforce this rule for all operating systems. Imagine getting your Mac home only to find that you can't do jack without Safari installed. Imagine building your custom rig, booting up, only to find that you can't grab the latest drivers because there's no browser.

Is that called choice?

Sorry EU, that's called moving backwards.

I am sure the EU recognizes this issue. So what's the cause then? Could it possibly that companies who develop other web browsers are crying over the fact that their release isn't as popular? Could they possibly be making the claim that they're not shipping enough because Microsoft has an unfair advantage?

Let us be reminded that a long time ago, IE was the arm-pit of browsers, and Netscape was king. What happened there? What occurred was that Microsoft came up with a better and more convenient solution for end users. Period.

Technology and advancements often will make certain business go out of business or become unpopular. But so what? If you can't adapt, you're going to be phased out. That's just the nature of, everything.

I want a browser in my operating system. If I want or need to, I will go grab something else. But don't force me to, EU.

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  • timbozero
    I have lived in the EU region my entire life (43 years) and have to admit that I would be a happier Windows user if the various incarnations of IE could have been completely uninstallable. That said , the EU has basically decided to single out Microsoft (because of other manufacturers of browsers bitching) and fine them for 'limiting' which browsers can be used with Windows. I have never found it hard to install another browser nor have I ever been able to completely remove IE. The EU has brought this upon themselves and Microsoft has responded in a somewhat 'childish' but understandable fashion.
    Had users got involved and stated what they actually wanted rather than let regulatory bodies run blind based on competitors whining , we would have Windows (a Microsoft product) shipping with IE (another Microsoft product) in a fashion that users could choose to either install and use it , install and replace and completely remove it or, never install it in the first place.
  • kirkncc1701
    this is oppression. Why should i have to buy an o/s with no browser? Stupid EU doesnt actually think about what the people need.

    would be funny if Microsoft did just not ship seven to the EU out of spite, then claim that apple isnt being fair on the browser market for shipping mac's with safari installed.
  • mi1ez
    I can see both sides of the issue here. I don't want to have to use a different PC to download firefox, however, I don't overly wnat IE on there. There's never going to be an ideal.

    Does this mean software like Valve's Steam will have to look around a number of locations for a browser, or user will have to specify during installation etc?