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Microsoft Shoves Internet Explorer 8 Down Users' Throats, But What About Choice?

Steve Ballmer loves Firefox



Summary: Microsoft assumes users will love the update, as long as it's from Microsoft

ACCORDING TO this report, "Microsoft [Is] Pushing Out IE8 Through Auto Update."

Microsoft has begun pushing out Internet Explorer 8, the latest version of its Web browser, to Windows users who are signed up for automatic software updates.


Can they also push Opera to users, preferably through auto-update? How about Mozilla Firefox? How does that promote competition or restore any? Europe's case against Microsoft is still on, but it's progressing far too slowly if Microsoft already force-feeds users so that they 'choose' its latest Web browser and get locked in even further.

Opera initiated the Commission's case when it first filed a complaint in late 2007. Since then it has become one of the case's "interested third parties" together with Google and Mozilla under the umbrella of Brussels-based ECIS, or the European Committee for Interoperable Systems.

But won't bundling a few more browsers like Opera into Windows be just as unfair to other browsers who aren't included? "That is of course a question that has to be addressed," said ECIS's legal counsel Thomas Vinje, who thinks between four and five other browsers should be packaged in. "The choice of who is included is an important one." Opera is not guaranteed a place, Vinje insists. The Commission would take advice on that from independent experts.


As recent background to this case, see this post. It would probably be unproductive to discuss this again. Microsoft does not tolerate choice; it loathes it.

"My children - in many dimensions they're as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I've got my kids brainwashed: You don't use Google, and you don't use an iPod."

--Steve Ballmer (on CNN)

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