Microsoft IE & The European Union


catilley1092

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The only thing that I had to install after SP1 was IE9 RC. The reason that I waited, was because in the past (on XP), if you upgraded IE, then installed a SP, you had to rely on a backup made prior to that install in order to remove it, if you didn't want it.

And also, I had Office 10 to install, but that didn't take long.

Cat


Mod Note: This post started in a discussion of SP1 but resulted in a break-out discussion on the European Union. It is included here to start the new Thread but this post has been trimmed from the authors original. You may find the original unaltered post in THIS thread.
 
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Digerati

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catilley1092 said:
The only thing that I had to install after SP1 was IE9 RC. The reason that I waited, was because in the past (on XP), if you upgraded IE, then installed a SP, you had to rely on a backup made prior to that install in order to remove it, if you didn't want it.
When it comes to integrated applications in Windows, Windows 7 is a totally different beast than XP. Remember in Europe they sell a version of Windows 7 that offers a choice of browsers during install. Because of monopoly concerns, the EU insisted users had a choice. So my point is with Windows 7, it would not have mattered what order you installed SP1 and the RC. Installing the latest version of IE would be the same thing as installing a major update or change to a security suite, media player, email client, or Office.

The problem really is the risk involved when making "elective" updates to "pre-release" major applications. SP1 was the official final release of the patch. IE9 has not yet been officially released for normal consumer use. While RC is a pretty good indication it is ready for release, the reality is it is in final "testing" stages.

Since keeping our systems patched and updated is a major part of "practicing safe computing", updating the OS should just come first anyway.
 
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Mychael

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When it comes to integrated applications in Windows, Windows 7 is a totally different beast than XP. Remember in Europe they sell a version of Windows 7 that offers a choice of browsers during install. Because of monopoly concerns, the EU insisted users had a choice.
.
That's interesting, I was not aware of that but shows how if a Country or in this case the EU takes enough interest on it's citizens behalf then things can be done. I've heard the EU gets some criticism about things it does but that to me sounds very fair and reasonable.
I've always thought it's not right how one country is able to get more or less features in a software package and at varying prices, it seems to me it would be more fair and perhaps easier for (language notwithstanding) to have a standardized package for install with options during install and that the pricing should be solely controlled by the relative currency exchange rates.
 
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That's interesting, I was not aware of that but shows how if a Country or in this case the EU takes enough interest on it's citizens behalf then things can be done. I've heard the EU gets some criticism about things it does but that to me sounds very fair and reasonable.
I've always thought it's not right how one country is able to get more or less features in a software package and at varying prices, it seems to me it would be more fair and perhaps easier for (language notwithstanding) to have a standardized package for install with options during install and that the pricing should be solely controlled by the relative currency exchange rates.
Actually the EU was quite stupid in this, any one with a smallest amount of knowledge of MS Windows knows they can put any BROWSER of their choice on the OS and make it the default for their machine, in fact during installation most BROWSERS ask you whether you want this as your default Browser. One of the Top 10 things I did when I installed W7 was to install Fire Fox and make it my Default Browser, I did not need some Government entity to tell MS to give me a choice.
 
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davehc

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I don't entirely disagree, Super Sarge, but maybe no so stupid?
I think we nerds who spend our time on forums such as this, tend to get tunnel vision regarding the aptitude of computer users.
I would say, with cheap laptops available in supermarkets today, that the huge unwashed majority know very little regarding the intimate use of their computers, or the installation of software.
But, fwiw, I do feel that Microsoft have only paid lipservice to the EU law, which seems to have satisfied both sides. IE is not removed from the product, it is still totalæly installed, when the installation of the OS is completed, it is merely on "standby" waiting for the users input. If you, at that point, cancel the browser options screen, you will find IE still listed in the Start menu.
 

catilley1092

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That's interesting, I was not aware of that but shows how if a Country or in this case the EU takes enough interest on it's citizens behalf then things can be done. I've heard the EU gets some criticism about things it does but that to me sounds very fair and reasonable.
I've always thought it's not right how one country is able to get more or less features in a software package and at varying prices, it seems to me it would be more fair and perhaps easier for (language notwithstanding) to have a standardized package for install with options during install and that the pricing should be solely controlled by the relative currency exchange rates.
I do agree with you on this, you have a good point. Like in your area, the Windows Anytime Upgrade costs so much. Yet, I can make purchases (and I have) from Australian eBay stores for only a slight increase in cost (the exchange rate). Therefore, it should have cost you slightly less than it did for me (converted to US dollars).

But things doesn't play out that way, for whatever reason. I suppose that MS (and most any US corporation) charges what they wish for their services to various parts of the world, and not based on exchange rate alone. It doesn't seem right, but that's the way it works. I could understand a shipping fee for a hard copy, but a download is a download, and it costs no more to download to Australia than it does to any part of the US. In fact, the consumer pays for the used ISP bandwith, and for many services, that's in MS's 'fine print'.

Cat
 

Mychael

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Actually the EU was quite stupid in this, any one with a smallest amount of knowledge of MS Windows knows they can put any BROWSER of their choice on the OS and make it the default for their machine, in fact during installation most BROWSERS ask you whether you want this as your default Browser. One of the Top 10 things I did when I installed W7 was to install Fire Fox and make it my Default Browser, I did not need some Government entity to tell MS to give me a choice.
Perhaps but I never said it's hard to get alternative browsers but there's doing things one way 'cos you can and doing it 'cos it's the morally right thing to do. As Dave says later on a lot of users just accept what they are given and many, many companies not just M/S would keep consumers in the dark if they had their way. Fortunately the EU sees it differently.
 

davehc

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It is a lot more involved than a mere whitewash statement that MS should offer a choice of browsers. Someone in the EU govt obviously has the knife into MS.. It also involves, at this stage, the media player and centre. So far, other products such as "paint" have not been mentioned.
The same organisatiobn (I use the word loosely! ) has chosen not to attack Redhat (very much under the thumb of MS) or Debian. etc, although they only provide FF on installation.
 

Digerati

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davehc said:
But, fwiw, I do feel that Microsoft have only paid lipservice to the EU law, which seems to have satisfied both sides. IE is not removed from the product, it is still totalæly installed, when the installation of the OS is completed, it is merely on "standby" waiting for the users input. If you, at that point, cancel the browser options screen, you will find IE still listed in the Start menu.
Whoa! That is not a fair or just statement at all! Microsoft had every intention of distributing the "Windows 7 E", a browser-less version of Window 7, throughout Europe, but the European Commission had a cow and said,
consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all.
Microsoft is not the big bad monster of yesteryear that their marketing department had them be for so long.

Microsoft got slammed and bashed for XP being a sieve with security holes. But everybody, especially the IT media and MS bashing bloggers seem to forget MS was forced to weigh legacy (read: less or not secure) hardware and software support over security by big corporate clients tired of buying all new hardware every time a new Windows came out. The Internet was in its infancy with NOBODY expecting how prolific the Internet would be for badguys. Microsoft tried to add antivirus to Windows but Norton, McAfee, CA and the other AV makers cried and whined to Congress and the EU it was their job to rid the world of malware and that MS was trying to rule the world. They were but that was then, not now. Congress and EU believed them and threated to spit Microsoft up into tiny pieces.

But Norton, McAfee, ZoneAlarm, and the others blew smoke up their a$$ - malware and cybercrime got nothing but worse and MS got the blame, not the badguys. Since there is absolutely NO incentive for Norton or McAfee to rid the world of malware, it and badguys flourished.

But who got blamed for the security mess? MS, XP, Bill Gates, Microsoft. So Microsoft decided they can get blamed for many things, but not for the security mess we are in. It is badguys and bad elected leaders who don't fund enforcement of even the existing laws. :( Another discussion.

Starting with Vista (though the UAC was an overreaction - they adjusted with Win7) and when MS bought Giant Anti-Spyware and gave it away free as Windows Defender, Microsoft took Congress and the EU and security seriously, and put security first.

Windows Firewall is an excellent firewall, that is integrated into Windows and in Windows 7 is enabled by default. However, you can easily disable it and install a 3rd party FW, if you wish.

Paint, Calculator, Photo Viewer, media player are all applets that can be replaced with options of your choice. If the one included just happens to meet your needs, we can't hold Microsoft at fault for that. Nor can we assume that every Windows computer will have Internet access in order to get a calculator or image viewer.

IF Microsoft made a browser-less Windows, how would newbie users download a browser? So uses have a default browser. If they want another, or 3 or 4, they can have them.

but there's doing things one way 'cos you can and doing it 'cos it's the morally right thing to do
And then there's doing it because you were told to do it that way.

I think the EU got it right - this time. Users need a browser to get started. Microsoft just happens to have an excellent one in IE8, with IE9 looking even better just around the corner. But if someone prefers an alternative, just like the firewall, they can use the services and protection provided by Microsoft's offerings until they have their alternative applications ready.
 
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Hey Bill
Watch out the EU may be watching this board and it may force M$ to make the firewall and optional item like they did IE Browser. My point is the EU thinks that the Computer consumer does not know how to pick alternate browsers only the government knows what is good for the consumer.
 
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Digerati

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My point is the EU thinks that the Computer consumer does not know how to pick alternate browsers only the government knows what is good for the consumer.
The very fact the EU is demanding consumers have a choice is clear proof that is not true at all.
 

davehc

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"Whoa! That is not a fair or just statement at all! Microsoft had every intention of distributing the "Windows 7 E", a browser-less version of Window 7, "

Maybe a point of view?
I am a loyal supporter of most Microsoft products. My post was not meant to be biased towards either of the two parties concerned, merely fact. I totally agree with Microsoft's final evasive way of complying with the (dumb) law.
For interest, a couple of quotes at the time of the controversy.

“ To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer.

"Microsoft will offer IE8 separately and free of charge and will make it easy and convenient for PC manufacturers to preinstall IE 8 on Windows 7 machines in Europe if they so choose. PC manufacturers may choose to install an alternative browser instead of IE 8, and has always been the case, they may install multiple browsers if they wish.
Windows depends on browser components for several core services so, although IE can be uninstalled in Windows 7, it only affects the OS at a superficial level.

Press comment at the time of the legilation:

"Windows 7 E/N will provide IE in an ‘uninstalled’ state. What would you do following a clean installation of the OS? Hunt around for browser installers or quickly re-enable IE and download what you need"

I know my answer to that question!!
 
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Digerati

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I totally agree with Microsoft's final evasive way of complying wqith the (dumb) law.
I don't know but "evasive way" sound mischievious to me. And there was nothing mischievious, or evasive about.

Note they initially were going to make a version without IE, but that was before the Commission said otherwise. See Microsoft drops plan for Windows 7 without browser.
 

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I'm out of here now. We can go on quoting opposite views (which there were) forever!
I have broken one of my own rules, for which I have often critised others - totally drifted off thread. -lol.
 
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Digerati

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We can go on quoting opposite views
I only saw sources from one viewpoint quoted - the European Commission's and MS's intention to follow it. If anyone can show where the EU's intent is anything other than consumer choice, I will be happy to read it. But until then, anything else is just speculation, or inaccurate.
 

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Although I'm also a Mac user I'm out of touch with current Apple stuff. So I'm curious to know if the EU applies the same browser rule equally to Apple about their Safari browser or if Apple gets around it by selling their computer systems as a hardware/software package?? Anyone know??

As to security, I agree that third party anti-virus is necessary but
I don't think it's the ideal scenario ideally the O/S designers should be able to/willing to take on the load of making their systems as secure as possible but not by simple clampdown methods but by good customizable settings such as the better quality AV programs have. With initial fail safe install settings until a new user gets everything settled down and running properly. UAC tried to do it I think but (and I have mine as low as it goes) it seems to work purely on a yes or no approach.
 
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Digerati

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So I'm curious to know if the EU applies the same browser rule equally to Apple about their Safari browser or if Apple gets around it by selling their computer systems as a hardware/software package?? Anyone know??
The suite was against Microsoft so don't think applies to Apple. I think there are different issues with Apple - along the lines you mention. But forces are gathering on each side of those lines.
 

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