Bonum Certa Men Certa

Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft

HÃ¥kon Wium Lie



Summary: Customers who buy new PCs choose Web browsers other than Internet Explorer, so a similar approach should be taken and applied to operating systems

Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) already has some problems in it [1, 2, 3, 4], not just the security problems which led to attacks against many businesses [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. IE 9 will exclude Windows XP and according to another report, Opera is seeing "85% more downloads in UK" now that customers who are forced to put up with Windows on a new PC are given some choice (however biased it is [1, 2, 3, 4]). Our reader Tim writes:



It's been reported that Opera has experienced a doubling of downloads since the Windows Ballot was introduced. I have argued that the ballot will make no difference to the average user who has never tried anything other than IE. I challenged at the time that the EU anti-trust case would have been better served looking at OEM rather than the browser issue which people seem to be able to make their own decisions about once they have done their own research.

[...]

[U]sers finally seeing Microsoft and its associated wares in their true light. With so many happy users enjoying alternate products on so many different platform, does Microsoft look cutting edge or does it look tired and old, struggling to keep up with better technologies and happy users of those products?


The FSF (Free Software Foundation) has recommended that the European Commission should unbundle PCs too, giving customers choice other than Windows (GNU/Linux would cost nothing to preinstall or put on the same image).

Is it not the next logical step? People would get an O/S ballot on any new PC. GNU/Linux distributions like Fedora are free (gratis). Dual-booting as standard is another option; it's not just about restoration of competition, it's about punishing Microsoft for crimes with which it got a monopoly on the desktop in the first place (fines are not suitable remedies as they do nothing to cure the problem or undo the crimes).

"We should whack them [Dell over GNU/Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value."

--Paul Flessner, Microsoft



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