IE icon too familiar for Microsoft EU settlement?
Natural bias in question
Updated Details could undermine Microsoft's proposal to let Windows users pick their browser, the company's effort to keep Internet Explorer on the right side of European Union regulatory law.
Speaking with TechFlash, Opera Software CTO Hakon Wium Lie has questioned the use of the famous IE icon in a ballot screen Microsoft said it's willing to include in Windows.
Meanwhile, Lie has told told Computerworld he would like to see Windows users worldwide given the ability to pick the browser they want.
The ballot screen - detailed as part of a settlement package Friday by Microsoft - would let users pick from a list of browsers when they install Windows. The screen would come with Windows 7 and could be downloaded via software update to Windows XP and Windows Vista. When a user clicks the browser they want, it would take them to the download site.
Spot IE: Microsoft's proposed Windows ballot screen for browsers
Lie has reportly said that the use of icons in the ballot screen could result in a natural bias towards IE. The sticking point could be that the IE logo has become synonymous with Windows.
"The blue 'e' has become so associated with the Internet in general, due to the bundling with Windows. We think using the blue 'e' might not be such a good idea," told TechFlash.
But Lie is apparently pleased with Microsoft's proposal. In the reading-between-the-lines world of EU-antitrust politics, that could be an early sign of settlement.
It was Opera that brought the original complaint against Microsoft to the EU, over integration of IE with Windows, and it has been outspoken on the latest version of IE and Windows: IE 8 and the up-coming Windows 7.
The EU, meanwhile, which in its preliminary findings found integration of IE and Windows broke anti-trust law earlier this year, said it "welcomed" Microsoft's proposal. ®
This article has been updated to include Lie's comments in Computerworld on the ability to pick browsers worldwide.
Please, think about what you are typing.
@DD1238 - If you had taken the time to read, assuming that your literacy level is high enough to comprehend the article, you'd understand that *Opera* had made the comment and the EC has basically ignored it. Also, Microsoft would not pull out of the European market. It is quite a bit larger than the US market and far more lucrative. Withdrawing would leave a gaping hole for Apple/Linux to get a serious foothold/market share, which would almost definitely bite Microsoft on the arse. You can say what you like about Microsoft, one thing is definitely true, they are astute in business. Alienating 250 million customers, possibly more with enterprise taken into account, would be financial and business suicide.
@vincent himpe - Quick economics lesson. There is no such thing as a 'pure monopoly', you mean a 'natural monopoly'. You are correct when you attest that Microsoft aren't a monopoly, and neither have they been 'convicted' of being a monopoly - they have been convicted of abuse of dominant position. They are without argument the 'Dominant Firm' in the OS market place (the terms are from the Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993 [http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/8/61/2376087.pdf] - not Wiki-shitting-pedia). The business in question must have more than 40% market share to be considered a dominant firm. As most of you Microsofties like to constantly point out, Microsoft have anywhere between 80% and 90% market domination, depending on which stats site you decide to believe. The following is from the OECD;
'A dominant firm is one which accounts for a significant share of a given market and has a significantly larger market share than its next largest rival. Dominant firms are typically considered to have market shares of 40 per cent or more.'
That description pretty much defines the position Microsoft find themselves in. The EC have found that Microsoft have been in abuse of dominant position. Again, from the OECD;
'The term abuse of dominant position refers to anticompetitive business practices in which a dominant firm may engage in order to maintain or increase its position in the market.'
Hence the action taken against Microsoft (the '...in order to maintain or increase its position in the market.' bit) and not the competitive fringes that are Apple/Linux/Sun. For the avoidance of doubt, from the same document;
'Anticompetitive practices refer to a wide range of business practices in which a firm or group of firms may engage in order to restrict inter-firm competition to maintain or increase their relative market position and profits without necessarily providing goods and services at a lower cost or of higher quality.'
The rest of your post falls into irrelevancy (citizenship as an example? Really?!) and poor spelling (easily resolved if you used a browser that had a spell-checker, Opera perhaps...). Just something to note. Dell sell consumer PC's pre-installed with Ubuntu and HP sell the same pre-installed with SUSE and Red Hat/Fedora, System 76 seem to be doing quite well out of Ubuntu-only solutions too. Yes, some is server iron, but with the exception of IBM who do not sell *any* desktop/notebook hardware, sell consumer PC pre-installed with Linux. Your point?
@DaveyBoy - Apple may be controlling when it comes to the App Store, but monopolist they ain't. Again, the Nokia/Microsoft chaps like to remind us that Apple don't have a particularly high market share (3% of the *smartphone* market globally?). So tell me, taking into account the above information about "Dominant Firms', why should the EC investigate Apple, other than to give poor 'ickle Microsoft a break?
The greatest trick the devil ever played....
...was convincing the world that he doesn't exist.
Microsoft can't be allowed to do whatever they want because they can't be trusted.
Regardless, Lie did NOT make any demands that Microsoft's logo be removed. He just noted that psychologically it has a lot of weight with users.
@ Tom 106 What, are you fucking 12? by the way google this: opera ms bork
@ DD1238 Best idea in this whole thread! Hmmm, I wonder how we could speed that up....
Blah blah blah...
Oh dear. Microsoft appear to have created a recognisable icon that helps people to identify their product quickly and easily, just like every other successful brand in the world has done.
We must sue them at once.