Feeds

Opera slams Microsoft's Windows 7 E move - again

Hokey-cokey IE8 option not good for rivals

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft is continuing to insist it has gone to great lengths in recent months to appease European antitrust watchdogs by saying it will “respect the user choice of the default browser” in Windows.

However, rival browser maker Opera, which brought the original complaint about Microsoft tying its browser to its operating system to the European Commission in 2007, continues to proclaim the software giant hasn’t gone far enough yet.

“Microsoft’s minor technical tweak will not restore browser competition on the desktop,” claimed Opera’s CTO Hakon Wium Lie in an email to ComputerWorld.

The minor tweak referred to is Redmond’s decision to simply allow users to circumnavigate Internet Explorer as their default browser by providing an on/off switch in the company’s list of OS components.

Indeed, the EC, which is the executive arm of the European Union, also struggled to raise anything other than a sceptical eyebrow, after Microsoft said it would release versions of Windows 7 without Internet Explorer in order to comply with Brussels’ competition law.

In June the Commission rejected Microsoft’s pre-emptive strike to give computer vendors the option to buy Windows without a browser as an inadequate and premature effort on Redmond’s part.

At the time the EC said it was still deciding whether Microsoft’s behaviour since 1996 had been anti-competitive, and if so what remedy would be required to improve consumer choice.

"If the Commission were to find that Microsoft had committed an abuse, the Commission has suggested that consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all," said the EC last month.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft spun out yet another corporate blog post yesterday in which it once again highlighted how hard it has been working to ensure that consumers, and not Microsoft, are crystal clear about browser choice within Windows.

“The goal of the IE setup experience is to put IE users in control of their settings and respect existing defaults,” wrote the IE team yesterday.

“IE will never install, or become the default browser without your explicit consent. However, we heard a lot of feedback from a lot of different people and groups and decided to make the user choice of the default browser even more explicit. This change is part of our ongoing commitment to user choice and control.”

As a result Microsoft has now tweaked the IE 8 first run process to prompt users, who are using a different browser, to tick a box confirming or declining a switch to IE 8 as the user’s default surfing tool.

All of which prompts us to ask the question: why didn't Microsoft have that option in place before now? ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.