Well another day and another fine for the software giant. The EU once again felt it was necessary to slap a fine on Microsoft for anti-competitive behavior, this time to the tune of $1.3 billion. I fully understand the necessity of keeping up monitoring of Microsoft and the necessity to investigate any and all attempts the company might make to unfairly use it's position however this really is starting to get ridiculous. The inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows is not a major hindrance to the other browsers, what is a major hindrance is the lack of quality shown by these browsers and the lack of real variety. I have Firefox, Safari and IE installed and I really don't need or want a forth unless that browser can offer something drastically different from what's already on offer. The only browser showing that possibility is Flock. These browsers all compete in the same market and yet Opera can complain about unfair competition when Firefox, who is in the same position, is gaining ground on IE. But maybe I'm wrong. Lets take a quick look at Firefox and Safari. They are both bundled browsers. Firefox is bundled in Linux and Safari comes with OS X. Are we saying that we want all those browsers removed from the OS's? Of course not but we do want IE unbundled because it's in a monopoly position? Well I've seen brand new Windows laptops with Firefox bundled so I don't see that as an issue anymore.
As far as operability is concerned the decision should've been delayed until we were able to judge how successful the latest announcement on interoperability is.
To Microsoft I say this.....pull out of Europe! Not completely obviously but give the EU exactly what they want. Remove IE, Windows Media and all other additional software from XP now, after all it's only going to be supported for a few more months anyway. Then let the people who have just bought their shiny new OS try to use the damn thing without the bundled applications and ensure that the OEM's do not bundle software to make up for it. It's time to make the EU suffer. Microsoft must also make sure that every single complaint is forwarded to the EU commission and let them see just how much they are helping their citizens. On the plus side Vista sales should improve because XP will be worthless.
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