Microsoft makes a daft decision, Gordon comes up with some more sensible alternatives.
Following this crazy Microsoft decision comments have already come in from both Firefox and the European Commission. I’ll update this page should the likes of Opera, Google and Apple chime in too.
The EC states: “In terms of potential remedies, if the Commission were to find that Microsoft had committed an abuse, the Commission has suggested that consumers should be offered a choice of browser not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all.”
Mozilla CEO John Lilly was equally logical saying “It’s impossible to evaluate what this means unless and until Microsoft describes, completely and with specificity, all the incentives and disincentives applicable to Windows OEMs. Without this it’s impossible to tell if Microsoft is giving something with one hand and taking it away with the other, and more to the point, it’s impossible to tell whether this does anything more than change the technical installation process of the OEMs and make life more difficult for people upgrading to Windows 7.”
Opera’s turn: “The current announcement is too little, too late. Such moves in 1997 may have been appropriate, but further action is needed to undue a decade of abuse. When user access to the next generation web and cloud computing is critical it is hard to see how this offer to deliver an operating system without direct Internet access moves in that direction. Microsoft must give users real choice, and this should include not just buyers of new computers, but also existing users… Buyers of new PCs should be provided with the preloaded ballot screen or an alternative browser other than IE as selected by the OEMs. For the installed base of IE users, Windows updates and IE updates should come preloaded with other browsers and a ballot screen. The ballot screen with a choice of at least five browsers should also be provided to customers who buy Windows through the retail channel to upgrade their PCs.”