June 12, 2009
No IE? Europe Reacts
The European Union is none too happy with Microsoft's announcement to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 7. That's not what it wanted, they essentially said. No, no, (as best said in 27 languages), we want Microsoft to offer a range of competing browsers. Or, as quoted in the statement, "Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less." Ahem.
Microsoft's plan leaves it up to OEMs to put whatever browsers it wants on their computers. It happily provides copies of IE for that purpose. The move, by default, requires other browser suppliers to do the same. Opera is as miffed as can be about the development. This article in CNET says Opera wanted Microsoft to act like a browser common carrier. The problem is Microsoft is not a utility. Will Apple have to do the same? Will Linux or Unix? Microsoft's action makes the Commission look stupid, and will reflect on its inevitable decision in the case. Can it actually force Microsoft to supply competing browsers when it does not supply one itself? Windows will sell either way, with or without IE. Microsoft's move just makes it all the more inconvenient for its browser competitors in Europe. To quote Ricardo Montalbon (from Freakazoid), "Laugh with me."
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