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."
The Day Analog TV Went Dark
Finally, it's happened. Today is the day that televison stations nationwide are broadcasting in digital form, shutting down their analog transmitters forever. Instead of the old rabbit ears, consumers must get their broadcasts using a digital television with a digital receiver, or an analog TV with a converter box. Both, however, need digital rabbit ears or an outdoor antenna that does the same thing. Way back in the 60s there were photographs of cityscapes with hundreds of antennas littering the roofscapes. How ironic that we move forward to better broadcast television by going back to those days. Maybe not, though. Cable and DSL access negates the need, and antennas compete with satellite dishes for rooftop spaces in the enlighted age of television. Reports estimate that two million citizens will have problems with the transition. Out of a country of 300 million plus, that's not that bad.
The Washington Post has a special DTV transition page with more information than anyone will ever need about this.
June 11, 2009
WIndows 7 Will Not Have IE in European Editions
Microsoft has announced that it will ship European copies of Windows 7 without Internet Explorer. This is an attempt to calm down European regulators who are investigating the company for abusing the browser market with pre-installed copies of Explorer. Computer manufacturers are free to add IE back or install other browsers. Consumers not so lucky to have a browser installed on their machines will find the Internet a little hard to reach without some extra effort. They will have to get copies via CD, FTP, or from another source. I think here is still command line FTP in the Windows DOS emulator. I would imagine that the likelihood of a European-sold machine without some type of browser is small. Manufacturers know that the Internet is ubiquitous so they will likely install something for customers to get to the web on their machines.
June 10, 2009
French 3 Strikes Law Struck Down
June 8, 2009
Free Upgrades to Windows 7 if Purchased at the Right Time
Consumers who purchase computer with the Vista operating system can get an upgrade to Windows 7 if purchased between June 26th and October 22nd of this year. This comes from a leaked Best Buy memo giving the retailer's understanding of the Microsoft upgrade program. Yep, just like XP, and Vista after that. More in Information Week.