02.21.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft’s Ballot Screen is a Farce, Decoy

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Google, Microsoft at 9:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft uses its Web browser to promote its own Web services while pretending to offer Web browsers in addition to its own

THERE is a lot of coverage this week about the Web browsers ballot screen which Mozilla employees like Asa are covering in their blogs, whereas Microsoft employees are pushing as ‘news’ — making it their own biased ‘coverage’ — into R&D Magazine (there is a lot of Microsoft-written material there). This is yet another example of Microsoft’s control of the media (there are more examples coming later). As mentioned before, right after SJVN had brought this up, people are missing the more important news and instead covering irrelevant subjects [1, 2, 3]. IE8 is reducing choice even in the search bar. As a reader of ours explained it yesterday:

I’m sure you have covered this topic, but I haven’t read about it on Boycott Novell yet. I use Windows only rarely for 2 things: 1) as a VMWare ESX client, 2) if I need to experiment with Outlook. The administrator of the Windows instance which I use upgraded to Server 2008 R2, so I decided to give it a try. I can now share my experience with trying to make Google the default search engine on IE8. As previewed, Microsoft does indeed make it difficult to add or change the default search engine. It’s necessary to navigate a menu, go to a Web page on “microsoft.com” and click the right links there. The first time I tried it, I got a security pop-up which said that “download.microsoft.com” is not a “trusted” site. My change didn’t take effect. I tried again after adding “download.microsoft.com” as a “trusted” site and, while I didn’t see any more security popups, Bing remained as the default search engine. Finally, I went to Google manually, searched on “make Google default search engine IE8″ and saw a Google discussion group: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p… as the first result. The first suggestion I saw outlined the steps which I took but which didn’t work. I tried the second suggest, which was to go to a different page which purported to do the same thing, except for IE7. That worked for me the first time I tried it. All in all, this process is a very clumsy one which is far more difficult than it should be.

This is another example of Microsoft playing dirty. Will the European Commission pay attention to it? Almost nobody is discussing it.
_______
[1] Microsoft’s About To Lose More Web Browser Users

This is in compliance with a December European Commission antitrust agreement that stops it from pushing its own Internet Explorer exclusively, and is likely to mean a market-share hike for Google’s Chrome, Firefox and Opera, whose complaint to the EC kicked off its year-long competition inquiry.

[2] Microsoft Browser Poll could be heaven for hackers

Hackers find a way to get into every corner of the internet and Microsoft’s antitrust-busting ‘Browser Poll’, due to launch in Europe next week, could be no different.

[3] EU Browser Ballot: Which Would You Choose? — A Poll

After years of legal squabbling between Microsoft and the European Commission, Redmond will soon make it easier for Internet Explorer users in Europe to switch Web browsers. Starting next week, Microsoft will offer a “Web browser choice screen” to Windows users in Europe who have IE as their default browser.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

15 Comments

  1. your_friend said,

    February 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Browser choice is not a substitute for OEM OS choice and it is a shame that so much regulatory attention has been wasted on this way. Microsoft has a long history of breaking competitor’s software on Windows, so the “choice” is always false. Users who jump through all these hoops will have trouble later. Microsoft will also be make competing software more difficult to install later, using a “security” excuse and the user’s previous choice against them. Regulatory effort that leaves users trapped in Microsoft’s hostile playground is a waste of resources that should be concentrated enforcing existing laws that protect real market choice. There’s ample evidence of OEM anti-trust violations and criminal retail manipulation by Microsoft. These efforts continue to block technically superior free software on platforms people crave, and to greatly limit the kinds of hardware offered to the public [2]. “Browser choice” is a hollow fraud. People should demand free software instead.

    Robotron 2084 Reply:

    Just like the browser itself, few people are educated or interested enough to really know the differences between different operating systems. I have enough trouble trying to explain that Macs won’t run software made for Windows and vice versa. It’s not like VHS vs DVD. Most people just don’t see the differences in the format. They just see a computer, that’s it.

    People don’t need to demand free software. No one is actively keeping it from them. It’s free and they are welcome to use it if they choose. You don’t get to make that choice for them. It’s not your right and it’s not something people would accept. You need to accept that there will always be people that don’t want to follow your choices.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> few people are educated or interested enough to really know the differences between different operating systems. I have enough trouble trying to explain that Macs won’t run software made for Windows and vice versa.

    The different operating systems are like different language systems. If an application is written in French but requires English to run, then it won’t run.. and vice-versa. Some applications have translators/translations to allow them to run in different environments.

    This is not too far from the truth. Applications must follow the protocol established by the underlying support system (operating system) in order to leverage such support. Else it may not even run at all.

    The application can’t run by itself (like a business). It requires the help of lots of other components of society.. and it must speak the same language as its environment.

    Pick an explanation. Try them all.

    Then explain how, with Windows, Microsoft is judge, jury, and executioner. They make up all the rules, as they go, to maximize profits.

    Open source has open rules and procedures and anyone that doesn’t like it can clone that society and modify to suit (assuming they develop the skills or collaborate with enough others that do have the skills). For example, you can clone the society, then fire the judge you don’t like and hire another one that you think is more fair (or even more biased). Copy/paste and replace is allowed by the open licenses but not by Microsoft. Each person can control their own society (their own computer).

    So which society do you want to support?

    Internet Explorer only runs in Microsoft’s land. Firefox and others run in both lands. They speak both languages, but their future is clearly in open land, despite each having started off in Windows land.

    I think people care or will care at some point. Give them a custom livecd distro and show them how to modify it further. I think they will get the idea that free and open yields a better more efficient society (less exploitable by tyrants, for example).

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> People don’t need to demand free software.

    Free software, as is suggested by your first paragraph, is not being marketed well to most people.

    BTW, I am a part of “people”, and I absolutely do essentially demand free and open source software. Anything less is almost unacceptable to me in most cases. I don’t trust closed source software; thus, I avoid vendors and or services with whom I can’t interact while using Linux.

    >> No one is actively keeping it from them.

    Microsoft actively works to impede open source and other threats to their monopolies and revenue streams. They leverage their network of partners and other levers for this purpose. They are the dominant platform, and they create incompatibilities and make decisions that make it more difficult than necessary to run open source alternatives. They leverage their large market share to pressure partners. They also leverage a broken and almost surely illegal software patent system. In short, Microsoft is a crime machine working to protect their monopolies and revenue streams. Clearly at least they are actively working to keep Linux+FOSS from gaining traction.

    >> You don’t get to make that choice for them.

    In light of your prior inaccurate comment about no one actively working to keep FOSS away from people, I can’t understand this comment.

    Are you really saying that no one is working to keep FOSS from people BUT someone is working to keep Windows from people?

    Have you realized that open source software developers share the entire set of instructions and workings of the software they create while closed source vendors do the opposite: take serious steps to hide these details?

    Are you aware of how much more power a large multinational monopolist has than a few bloggers or what have you?

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “Microsoft has a long history of breaking competitor’s software on Windows…”
    Yes, but for browsers? Not that I know of.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Netscape, Firefox, Opera, everything. You seem not to have followed this closely. I can give you examples for each.

    your_friend Reply:

    Is there a practical difference? I’m old enough to remember them resetting “preferences” to push Netscape aside but I was unaware of their other activities until I read the emails for myself. No one should trust Windows for any kind of program performance because Microsoft has show they are willing to break competing software and then blame the competitor. This is a general principal that applies to all non free software and why the public must demand software freedom to have real choices. Free software does not have those kinds of malicious features.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> “Microsoft has a long history of breaking competitor’s software on Windows…”
    >> Yes, but for browsers? Not that I know of.

    That’s the problem with closed source. “You really don’t know nothing.”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft has had hidden and preferential APIs.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, the FSF has already said that it’s a lost opportunity.

    your_friend Reply:

    It is a surprise that Microsoft would rub their fraud in regulator’s faces so soon. What better way to demonstrate the malicious nature of non free software than a rigged ballot?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The French authorities were looking into it at one point, IIRC.

  2. NotZed said,

    February 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Gravatar

    How the regulator could let this pass as restitution is beyond me.

    As covered by lamlaw.com – Microsoft are STILL forcing EVERYONE who buys windows to buy a copy of IE.

    But the competing browsers have to give theirs away for free to be included in the ‘ballot’ screen (I presume? Or force users to pay separately).

    So MS still `wins’ even if nobody actually uses IE once given a choice. And because they retain control over the OS, they can still force snot like silverlight down your throat if they want, and hence still control your view of the internet.

    your_friend Reply:

    Microsoft wins if everyone who buys a computer is forced to pay for a copy of Windows regardless of what OS they end up running. This is the crime that regulators should end.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    OEMs fear retaliation. That’s what they would get it they offered choice. Extortion is a crime.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  2. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  3. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  4. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  6. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  8. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  10. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  11. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  12. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  14. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  15. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  16. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  17. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  19. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  21. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  22. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  23. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  24. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  25. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  26. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  28. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  29. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  30. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts