Good. Times have changed, it's not the 1990s anymore. MS's practices back then were bad, no doubt; but the entire concept of "bundling a browser" is an anachronism in 2011. No one cares anymore. If you want Firefox, it takes all of 30 seconds to go and get it...that wasn't the case way back when, it actually was a competitive advantage to have the browser pre-installed.
Not to mention, I have never once understood what "competition" was being disadvantaged here. I still don't understand why anyone cares which browser has more market share. No one makes money off of a browser. So who gives a flying rat's patoot?
Originally Posted by nathris;15467084
This only seems to be an issue when Microsoft is involved. Can you remove the stock Android browser from most phones(without root)? Can you remove mobile safari from an iPhone or ipad? Can you remove safari from OSX?
This, yes. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Add PS3, Wii, and I'm sure any number of other devices to that list. Bundling a browser is standard practice across devices these days.
Originally Posted by hajile;15467106
The issue at stake with that is errors because all metro programs must use MS's proprietary renderer. This puts the world back in the old IE6 position where developers are forced to develop around the tons of standards that MS doesn't implement, doesn't implement correctly, or proprietary extension. This puts MS in the dangerous position to pressure standards committees to tweak standards to suit the de-facto MS standard or just pressures developers.
Don't mix concepts though. While it may be true that anything coded for Metro must conform to Windows 8's/IE's rendering conventions, that is NO DIFFERENT than requiring any Windows 7 or older software from conforming to the Windows APIs, or Mac software conforming to the OSX APIs, etc.
That has NO BEARING on whether HTML on a remote web page will render correctly in a standalone browser. If you run Firefox on Win8, you will be using Firefox's renderer for web pages and the IE renderer for OS stuff. What's the problem?
Originally Posted by nathris;15468455
So if I wanted to develop a new file manager for Windows I could complain to the government about how Microsoft's file manager is tightly integrated into the OS and get it removed from Windows?
Again, dead on. Even more relevant might be Windows Media Player, since there are plenty of alternatives that actually generate revenue for companies (via music/movie rentals and sales). There actually could be an anticompetitive bundling argument to be made there! (If iTunes and Amazon stores weren't more dominant than WMP, that is!) Same could be said of offering Windows Movie Maker for free when there are for-fee competition out there. (Maybe that's why WMM is a download now instead of a bundle like it used to be, now that I think about it...)
Originally Posted by hajile;15468818
Again, NO. The OS will use Microsoft's rendering DLLs, sure. But there is nothing stopping you from using your own browser of choice for your personal web interactions.
It sounds like you are arguing that all IE DLLs must be removable from a Windows PC for purely philosophical reasons...as if the very presence of those bits on the disk offends you. That is not a problem Microsoft needs to solve. Get over it or switch to another platform...vote with your dollars, right?
My answer to this would be that "that's the court's decision." If it were mine, things would be much, much different. That said, the court clearly ruled a few years ago that they believed very firmly that the line was drawn at the browser.
Can't argue with that fact. But to inject an opinion, the court (and the non-tech world) was woefully ignorant of these technology topics in the 1990s. I strongly disagreed with how they drew that line, despite strongly agreeing that MS was being anticompetitive. And I also believe that, if the case were reraised today, the case would end differently because a) people in general know more about this stuff now, and b) as Nathris, noted, bundling a browser is now commonplace. It cannot be anticompetitive if everyone is doing it
. I suspect Microsoft's lawyers (who are certainly far more knowledgable about this than all of us put together) believe something similar, and that is why they are proceeding the way they are.