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(Guardian)   Programming error with single line of code costs Microsoft $730 million. That's going to make for an interesting annual review   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 288
    More: Fail, browser, Windows, Internet Explorer  
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35059 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Mar 2013 at 12:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-06 11:14:12 AM
They always mess up some mundane detail.
 
2013-03-06 11:20:53 AM
Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.
 
2013-03-06 11:23:23 AM
Help me understand this:

Why have people been so butt-hurt over the fact that the default browser for Microsoft's OS's has been IE?  It is their OS...No one is:
1.  Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS, or even buy a PC for that matter
2.  You can always download another browser within 10 seconds of starting up the brand new PC

Please help me understand, because to me, from the outside, that is like suing Honda because they did not offer a Chevy and Ford transmission at time of purchase.
 
2013-03-06 11:26:23 AM
A source close to Microsoft explained: "It was a single line in the code that triggered the browser choice program. It had a list of versions of Windows to test against: if the version was found in that list, the program would run. They didn't include Service Pack 1, which is effectively a different version of Windows, in that list. And so the program didn't run."

GOSH
So this would not have been a problem if it didnt have a list to test against?
ALWAYS trigger the code to offer them the choice. TADA
WHY would you check against a list of windows versions at ALL ????
Inmates Running the Asylum.

The ONLY required decision is "did the user make a choice already or not?"
Store the results.
 
2013-03-06 11:27:50 AM

Endive Wombat: Why have people been so butt-hurt over the fact that the default browser for Microsoft's OS's has been IE?


It is a monopoly issue. The EU decided that MS was acting as a de facto monopoly and should be required to act differently.
 
2013-03-06 11:28:27 AM

UberDave: They always mess up some mundane detail.


Strangely enough, it is virtually impossible to not mess up a mundane detail. Too many of them.
 
2013-03-06 11:29:10 AM

serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.


Yeah, right. 

That's a face-saving excuse, and nothing more.

This was knowingly testing the system, to see what they could get away with. If you think this was anything other than a calculated risk and an intentional decision, you haven't been following the business practices of major US technology corporations of late.

In the US, they likely would have gotten away with this, or gotten at most a total slap on the wrist - say $100,000 or something. This is still a slap on the wrist for a company the size of MS - large enough they won't do it again, but small enough that they won't fight it in court - but it's definitely more significant than anything they would have gotten on this side of the pond.
 
2013-03-06 11:31:54 AM

Endive Wombat: Why have people been so butt-hurt


Well, the generally-argued reason is that a novice user is too stupid to go download another browser.  In their mind, then just go to "the Internet".  Somehow that is unfair to other providers of things Internet.
But yeah it's silly.  That idiot is just going to accept whatever the default is now (i don't know, is the default IE or does it have to rotate?) and complain about all these hard questions their new computer is asking.
 
2013-03-06 11:34:26 AM

whistleridge: serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.

Yeah, right. 

That's a face-saving excuse, and nothing more.

This was knowingly testing the system, to see what they could get away with. If you think this was anything other than a calculated risk and an intentional decision, you haven't been following the business practices of major US technology corporations of late.

In the US, they likely would have gotten away with this, or gotten at most a total slap on the wrist - say $100,000 or something. This is still a slap on the wrist for a company the size of MS - large enough they won't do it again, but small enough that they won't fight it in court - but it's definitely more significant than anything they would have gotten on this side of the pond.


A credible theory, but the company would get into a LOT more trouble if that was proven to be the case, right?  There would probably be an email chain between some of the parties I already mentioned, which could be used as evidence.  Not sure it would be worth that risk.
 
2013-03-06 11:42:18 AM

serial_crusher: whistleridge: serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.

Yeah, right. 

That's a face-saving excuse, and nothing more.

This was knowingly testing the system, to see what they could get away with. If you think this was anything other than a calculated risk and an intentional decision, you haven't been following the business practices of major US technology corporations of late.

In the US, they likely would have gotten away with this, or gotten at most a total slap on the wrist - say $100,000 or something. This is still a slap on the wrist for a company the size of MS - large enough they won't do it again, but small enough that they won't fight it in court - but it's definitely more significant than anything they would have gotten on this side of the pond.

A credible theory, but the company would get into a LOT more trouble if that was proven to be the case, right?  There would probably be an email chain between some of the parties I already mentioned, which could be used as evidence.  Not sure it would be worth that risk.


They have a number of Windows versions. I don't know how many exactly, but let's call it 10, for a nice round number.

9 of those 10 are fully compliant.

1 of those 10 isn't compliant. But it isn't the 'flagship' version (ie the one that will be 90%+ of the market share), and it's non-compliant in a way that provides plausible deniability.

If they get away with it, they stand to make many times more than the fine in question. If they get fined, they can easily explain it in such a way so as to keep the fine low.

European regulators are known to be skeptical. This fine is too much for the actual offense (ie if it were an actual error), but far smaller the max they could have levied. 

And of course there wouldn't be emails. This is a decision that would not have occurred in writing, and that would have been incredibly easy to implement verbally: 'let's leave the compliance out of one version, and see what happens'. End of story, no way to prove it happened.

Call me a cynic, but I think the evidence is clear.
 
2013-03-06 11:44:59 AM

Endive Wombat: Help me understand this:

Why have people been so butt-hurt over the fact that the default browser for Microsoft's OS's has been IE?  It is their OS...No one is:
1.  Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS, or even buy a PC for that matter
2.  You can always download another browser within 10 seconds of starting up the brand new PC

Please help me understand, because to me, from the outside, that is like suing Honda because they did not offer a Chevy and Ford transmission at time of purchase.


I've always had a computer and as far as everyone in the company is concerned I'm the computer expert, however really and truly I don't know shiat about computers. This was my first thought: "Who cares? The first thing I do when I get a computer is install FireFox". Second thought: "How can I get millions of dollars for not being smart enough to download a different browser?!"
 
2013-03-06 12:03:00 PM

namatad: UberDave: They always mess up some mundane detail.

Strangely enough, it is virtually impossible to not mess up a mundane detail. Too many of them.


Quote from Office Space.
 
2013-03-06 12:09:24 PM

serial_crusher: Endive Wombat: Why have people been so butt-hurt

Well, the generally-argued reason is that a novice user is too stupid to go download another browser.  In their mind, then just go to "the Internet".  Somehow that is unfair to other providers of things Internet.
But yeah it's silly.  That idiot is just going to accept whatever the default is now (i don't know, is the default IE or does it have to rotate?) and complain about all these hard questions their new computer is asking.


Gotcha.

But...That is still not a strong enough argument for me.  I mean...if someone/the average user is really "that stupid," wouldn't stand to reason that the internet is just the internet to them and that's that?

I guess my followup is this - If Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Opera are all free to the end user, what does it matter at that point?  None of the browsers have built in ads or any ability to generate any type of income as far as I can tell.  How can you argue monopoly if all the products are free from the get-go, and there is no revenue model?

So maybe it is more like suing McDonalds because they did not offer you Taco Bell and Burger King napkins as well???
 
2013-03-06 12:12:57 PM

Endive Wombat: I guess my followup is this - If Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Opera are all free to the end user, what does it matter at that point?  None of the browsers have built in ads or any ability to generate any type of income as far as I can tell.  How can you argue monopoly if all the products are free from the get-go, and there is no revenue model?


It may be a way to encourage web standards as well. Getting people off older versions of IE make web devs lives much easier, and having better competition usually makes MS work harder to make their own product better
 
2013-03-06 12:24:17 PM

the_sidewinder: Endive Wombat: I guess my followup is this - If Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Opera are all free to the end user, what does it matter at that point?  None of the browsers have built in ads or any ability to generate any type of income as far as I can tell.  How can you argue monopoly if all the products are free from the get-go, and there is no revenue model?

It may be a way to encourage web standards as well. Getting people off older versions of IE make web devs lives much easier, and having better competition usually makes MS work harder to make their own product better


I understand, I just think suing is a bullshiat/pussy way to do it.
 
2013-03-06 12:32:31 PM

Endive Wombat: serial_crusher: Endive Wombat: Why have people been so butt-hurt

Well, the generally-argued reason is that a novice user is too stupid to go download another browser.  In their mind, then just go to "the Internet".  Somehow that is unfair to other providers of things Internet.
But yeah it's silly.  That idiot is just going to accept whatever the default is now (i don't know, is the default IE or does it have to rotate?) and complain about all these hard questions their new computer is asking.

Gotcha.

But...That is still not a strong enough argument for me.  I mean...if someone/the average user is really "that stupid," wouldn't stand to reason that the internet is just the internet to them and that's that?

I guess my followup is this - If Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Opera are all free to the end user, what does it matter at that point?  None of the browsers have built in ads or any ability to generate any type of income as far as I can tell.  How can you argue monopoly if all the products are free from the get-go, and there is no revenue model?

So maybe it is more like suing McDonalds because they did not offer you Taco Bell and Burger King napkins as well???


This is my thinking as well.  I don't really see how Microsoft have to be singled out against all the other companies who offer only their products within their establishments.

The other thing that intrigues me is, who gets the fine?  If the argument is that Microsofts error hurt these poor people who were unable to figure out any other way of getting onto the nets without using IE, does the money go to help them.  Will they each be given a proportion of the fine for their inconvenience.  Or is it more likely that people who weren't even affected by this will line their pockets?
 
2013-03-06 12:36:41 PM

Endive Wombat: None of the browsers have built in ads or any ability to generate any type of income as far as I can tell


That used to be the case, but there's a few indirect revenue streams at work:
1) The search box.  In Firefox's case, Google pays them a small referral fee for every search you do there.  In Chrome and IE's case, the company uses that to drive users to their own search engine, which shows their ads.
2) The home page.  Firefox's home page is pretty minimal, just has a search box (see #1).  Microsoft sends you to bing.com (or msn.com if you're still using IE6...), which is loaded with ads.

I think it would be interesting if Microsoft sued Mozilla and Google and argued that they needed to provide a "select your default search provider" wizard at install time.  Really bundling a Google search box with Chrome is no different than bundling IE with Windows.

Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?
 
2013-03-06 12:41:06 PM

serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?


1.  Give it time for MSFT to sue
2.  MSFT is taking the high road and focusing on development of the new Microsoft Bob 2.0
 
2013-03-06 12:50:05 PM
Unit, system and regression testing works how?
 
2013-03-06 12:51:46 PM

serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?


Or OS X for that matter.
 
2013-03-06 12:51:49 PM

namatad: A source close to Microsoft explained: "It was a single line in the code that triggered the browser choice program. It had a list of versions of Windows to test against: if the version was found in that list, the program would run. They didn't include Service Pack 1, which is effectively a different version of Windows, in that list. And so the program didn't run."

GOSH
So this would not have been a problem if it didnt have a list to test against?
ALWAYS trigger the code to offer them the choice. TADA
WHY would you check against a list of windows versions at ALL ????
Inmates Running the Asylum.

The ONLY required decision is "did the user make a choice already or not?"
Store the results.


Even if you still wanted to only offer a choice on certain versions they should have tested against a list that would prevent the program from running. That way it would default to run rather than not run.
 
2013-03-06 12:53:08 PM

Endive Wombat: Help me understand this:

Why have people been so butt-hurt over the fact that the default browser for Microsoft's OS's has been IE?  It is their OS...No one is:
1.  Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS, or even buy a PC for that matter
2.  You can always download another browser within 10 seconds of starting up the brand new PC

Please help me understand, because to me, from the outside, that is like suing Honda because they did not offer a Chevy and Ford transmission at time of purchase.



I am so with you on this.  It would be one thing if Windows did not allow installation of various browsers; but your car analogy is perfect as far as I'm concerned.  World dogma has evolved into ignorantly punishing the succesful at the expense of educated common sense.
 
2013-03-06 12:53:29 PM
And that impeded other browsers... how?
 
2013-03-06 12:54:16 PM

Endive Wombat: It is their OS...No one is:
1. Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS,


They are sure as hell trying, though. Most recently with the "secure boot" requirements around Windows 8 compatible hardware, and in the past through licensing deals that ensured you were at least paying for a copy of Windows with every PC even if you didn't use it.
 
2013-03-06 12:54:20 PM

whistleridge: serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.

Yeah, right. 

That's a face-saving excuse, and nothing more.

This was knowingly testing the system, to see what they could get away with. If you think this was anything other than a calculated risk and an intentional decision, you haven't been following the business practices of major US technology corporations of late.

In the US, they likely would have gotten away with this, or gotten at most a total slap on the wrist - say $100,000 or something. This is still a slap on the wrist for a company the size of MS - large enough they won't do it again, but small enough that they won't fight it in court - but it's definitely more significant than anything they would have gotten on this side of the pond.


What was the harm to european citizens due to this error? None?
 
2013-03-06 12:54:28 PM

whistleridge: If they get away with it, they stand to make many times more than the fine in question. If they get fined, they can easily explain it in such a way so as to keep the fine low.


How, prey tell, does Microsoft stand to make money off people using an older version of IE, a free program with no advertising while using it?
 
2013-03-06 12:55:04 PM

Russ1642: Even if you still wanted to only offer a choice on certain versions they should have tested against a list that would prevent the program from running. That way it would default to run rather than not run.


I think the code is built into all versions of Windows, but it only runs on EU versions of Windows. Microsoft probably didn't want it running by default outside of the EU by accident.
 
2013-03-06 12:55:08 PM
Shouldn't we check this thing to make sure everything is in SPEC?
No.
Ok, that makes sense.
 
2013-03-06 12:55:15 PM

serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?


Also OS X, iOS and Android.  I always thought MS should have just offered a "MS Components Free" version of Windows to placate the EU.  No web browser, no media player, no WordPad, etc.  So you have to use the command line to download chrome.exe, wimap.exe, and notepad++.exe.  Have fun with that kids.

While I'm not a huge fan of any of MS's built-ins, I do like them since it means on any Windows machine I log into, I know the tools are there.
 
2013-03-06 12:55:18 PM

whistleridge: serial_crusher: whistleridge: serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.

Yeah, right. 

That's a face-saving excuse, and nothing more.

This was knowingly testing the system, to see what they could get away with. If you think this was anything other than a calculated risk and an intentional decision, you haven't been following the business practices of major US technology corporations of late.

In the US, they likely would have gotten away with this, or gotten at most a total slap on the wrist - say $100,000 or something. This is still a slap on the wrist for a company the size of MS - large enough they won't do it again, but small enough that they won't fight it in court - but it's definitely more significant than anything they would have gotten on this side of the pond.

A credible theory, but the company would get into a LOT more trouble if that was proven to be the case, right?  There would probably be an email chain between some of the parties I already mentioned, which could be used as evidence.  Not sure it would be worth that risk.

They have a number of Windows versions. I don't know how many exactly, but let's call it 10, for a nice round number.

9 of those 10 are fully compliant.

1 of those 10 isn't compliant. But it isn't the 'flagship' version (ie the one that will be 90%+ of the market share), and it's non-compliant in a way that provides plausible deniability.

If they get away with it, they stand to make many times more than the fine in ques ...


The only problem with all this, is that it was MSFT that reported it to the EU, not that the EU 'caught them' at it.
 
2013-03-06 12:55:35 PM

serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?


Because Google's Chrome OS isn't the dominant OS in a market and Google (afaik) has not been declared a monopoly that abused it's position?
 
2013-03-06 12:56:23 PM

Endive Wombat: Please help me understand,


Economics and the law. Learn it.
 
2013-03-06 12:56:38 PM
I don't understand why anyone needs a browser other than IE.
 
2013-03-06 12:56:54 PM

Ivo Shandor: Endive Wombat: It is their OS...No one is:
1. Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS,

They are sure as hell trying, though. Most recently with the "secure boot" requirements around Windows 8 compatible hardware, and in the past through licensing deals that ensured you were at least paying for a copy of Windows with every PC even if you didn't use it.


... and the secure boot keeps you from using a different OS... how?
 
2013-03-06 12:57:04 PM

Mad_Radhu: serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?

Or OS X for that matter.


Because this is an anti-monopoly action, Chrome OS and OS X do not have any where near the market share that Windows does.  Smaller players aren't bound by the same set of rules, in fact the rules are being enforced to let the smaller guy have a chance.
 
2013-03-06 12:57:46 PM

whistleridge: serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.

Yeah, right. 

That's a face-saving excuse, and nothing more.

This was knowingly testing the system, to see what they could get away with. If you think this was anything other than a calculated risk and an intentional decision, you haven't been following the business practices of major US technology corporations of late.

In the US, they likely would have gotten away with this, or gotten at most a total slap on the wrist - say $100,000 or something. This is still a slap on the wrist for a company the size of MS - large enough they won't do it again, but small enough that they won't fight it in court - but it's definitely more significant than anything they would have gotten on this side of the pond.


Man, I have just found someone to take trolling lessons from. Good shot, sir! Good shot!
 
2013-03-06 12:58:25 PM

serial_crusher: Endive Wombat: Why have people been so butt-hurt

Well, the generally-argued reason is that a novice user is too stupid to go download another browser.  In their mind, then just go to "the Internet".  Somehow that is unfair to other providers of things Internet.
But yeah it's silly.  That idiot is just going to accept whatever the default is now (i don't know, is the default IE or does it have to rotate?) and complain about all these hard questions their new computer is asking.


But here is the thing...MS agreed to give EU users a choice...and then failed to do so.  This is the reason for the fine.  MS was facing real anti-trust enforcement...not like the BS that the US government did and then basically gave them a slap on the wrist.  The EU did the same but instead of just letting MS get away with it they are making them pay for breaking their agreement.

Really no sympathy for MS when you see how they have used their monopoly...and yes they are a 2X convicted monopolist for the MS apologists.  CONVICTED....meaning there is not question as to did they abuse their monopoly....they did....  and thank goodness the EU isnt controlled solely by big business like the USA is.
 
2013-03-06 12:58:35 PM
Excel usually gets the blame for stuff like this.
 
2013-03-06 12:59:41 PM

serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?



The guy who decided that it would be a good idea to outsource key IP development to India?
 
2013-03-06 01:00:01 PM

gameshowhost: Endive Wombat: Please help me understand,

Economics and the law. Learn it.


Truly enlightening.
 
2013-03-06 01:00:21 PM

Famous Thamas: Mad_Radhu: serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?

Or OS X for that matter.

Because this is an anti-monopoly action, Chrome OS and OS X do not have any where near the market share that Windows does.  Smaller players aren't bound by the same set of rules, in fact the rules are being enforced to let the smaller guy have a chance.


IPad is by far the dominant tablet, no browser choice is included.

IPod was by far the dominant mp3 player, no choice for loading music other than iTunes with product.

Please explain.
 
2013-03-06 01:00:59 PM

Marine1: Ivo Shandor: Endive Wombat: It is their OS...No one is:
1. Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS,

They are sure as hell trying, though. Most recently with the "secure boot" requirements around Windows 8 compatible hardware, and in the past through licensing deals that ensured you were at least paying for a copy of Windows with every PC even if you didn't use it.

... and the secure boot keeps you from using a different OS... how?


Are you stupid....it means that without a signed cert from MS your computer will not boot another OS.  It really is a problem and you seem to not understand that with the Secure boot you cannot boot anything except that which MS issues a cert for.  And realize they are a convicted monopolist.....they have abused there position before and will again.

/and if you can understand why not being able to boot to any OS is a problem....then your a FARKING IDIOT!
 
2013-03-06 01:01:25 PM
A single line of code?
waronpants.net
 
2013-03-06 01:01:26 PM

Endive Wombat: Help me understand this:

Why have people been so butt-hurt over the fact that the default browser for Microsoft's OS's has been IE?  It is their OS...No one is:
1.  Forcing you to use Microsoft as your OS, or even buy a PC for that matter
2.  You can always download another browser within 10 seconds of starting up the brand new PC

Please help me understand, because to me, from the outside, that is like suing Honda because they did not offer a Chevy and Ford transmission at time of purchase.


Honestly, this order is a relic from the early days of the web, before downloading from a wide variety of high-quality freely-available browsers in a matter of minutes was a thing people were able to do.  At the time, MS was leveraging their OS monopoly to crush out all competition in the browser market, by including a browser that was not standards-compliant, and therefore forcing web developers to develop for MS's browser instead of the standards if they wanted to reach the majority of internet users.  And it worked; hence why IE6 was such a thing for such a long time.
 
2013-03-06 01:01:59 PM

Endive Wombat: None of the browsers have built in ads or any ability to generate any type of income as far as I can tell. How can you argue monopoly if all the products are free from the get-go, and there is no revenue model?


Browsers indirectly create income by funneling people to the default homepages and search engines. A high percentage of the people that just use the default browser also use the default home page. That's a big deal for Bing and for Google.

One of the primary ways of forming an illegal monopoly is to sell the product for less than its value (or to give it away), then when the competitors go out of business, jack the price up.
Just because these browsers are being given away doesn't mean it's sustainable.

Remember, too, we're talking about laws and rulings that were made when IE was much more dominant that it is now. For a while, everyone used IE except geeks. That has changed, thanks in part to the EU's anti-monopoly ruling (and because Macs had a resurgence and then Firefox and Chrome made better products than IE).
 
2013-03-06 01:02:29 PM

zippyZRX: serial_crusher: Endive Wombat: Why have people been so butt-hurt

Well, the generally-argued reason is that a novice user is too stupid to go download another browser.  In their mind, then just go to "the Internet".  Somehow that is unfair to other providers of things Internet.
But yeah it's silly.  That idiot is just going to accept whatever the default is now (i don't know, is the default IE or does it have to rotate?) and complain about all these hard questions their new computer is asking.

But here is the thing...MS agreed to give EU users a choice...and then failed to do so.  This is the reason for the fine.  MS was facing real anti-trust enforcement...not like the BS that the US government did and then basically gave them a slap on the wrist.  The EU did the same but instead of just letting MS get away with it they are making them pay for breaking their agreement.

Really no sympathy for MS when you see how they have used their monopoly...and yes they are a 2X convicted monopolist for the MS apologists.  CONVICTED....meaning there is not question as to did they abuse their monopoly....they did....  and thank goodness the EU isnt controlled solely by big business like the USA is.


You know, generally I'd agree with you, but this particular issue pretty much borders on pure pedantry.
 
2013-03-06 01:02:56 PM

Mad_Radhu: serial_crusher: Bonus: Why doesn't Google's Chrome OS have to provide a browser selector, the same way Windows does?

Or OS X for that matter.


You can set one's default browser from Safari's preferences to any one installed on the system and you can change this easily any time you want. It's simple, since it is the first option under general preferences. With IE and Chrome, you have the choice of making it the default browser, but that is it.
 
2013-03-06 01:03:39 PM

UberDave: They always mess up some mundane detail.


730 million dollars is not a mundane detail, Michael!
 
2013-03-06 01:03:48 PM
Since it sounds like an error of omission, it sounds like it will be hard to pin it on any one individual.
 
2013-03-06 01:04:25 PM

serial_crusher: Could be one or more of a handful of people who need a talking to.
1) The developer who messed up
2) The QA guy who missed that it was broken
3) The PM who wrote a shiatty enough spec that the dev and/or QA didn't know it
4) "release engineer" or whoever is in charge of configuring and packaging the different builds for different destination environments (usually different than the dev who wrote the app).
5) Lawyers who didn't properly relay legal requirements to PM

Who else am I missing?

/ But yeah, whoever done goofed is in trouble.


They will lay the blame on some minions. Hope they got a cool sweater.

rue-morgue.com
Dickbag? Tell me, do you just take random obscenities, and pair them up with equally random nouns? "Cock Lamp?" "Ass Taxi?" "shiat Rooster?" Is that the way it works?
 
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