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View Full Version : Opera boost from Windows choice screen



madnessjack
March 18th, 2010, 05:34 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8574883.stm

Seems the new browser selection screen offered by MS has gotten a fair few folks using Opera.

So does this confirm people are tech-savvy enough to make intelligent decisions when given the choice?

Looks like a good time for software diversity to me :)

blueturtl
March 18th, 2010, 05:57 PM
I agree that it is a good thing that more people move away from IE, but I feel the method is wrong. AFAIK Microsoft has been forced to include this selection screen by EU authorities.

AllRadioisDead
March 18th, 2010, 06:00 PM
I agree that it is a good thing that more people move away from IE, but I feel the method is wrong. AFAIK Microsoft has been forced to include this selection screen by EU authorities.
I agree.

Dragonbite
March 18th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Is it a screen that comes up during installation? I thought I read somewhere that Opera is fairly well used in Europe, where this choose-browser version of Windows is shipped/sold.

ctrlmd
March 18th, 2010, 06:56 PM
So does this confirm people are tech-savvy enough to make intelligent decisions when given the choice?

and whos force them to use ie before didn't they have the choice to install any browser before ?

Paqman
March 18th, 2010, 06:57 PM
So does this confirm people are tech-savvy enough to make intelligent decisions when given the choice?


Doubling Opera's downloads doesn't really add up to a lot of people. IMO you're not going to see a seismic shift in browser habits. The biggest winner from the browser choice screen will be IE8. At least it'll upgrade people from IE6.

rottentree
March 18th, 2010, 06:58 PM
I agree that it is a good thing that more people move away from IE, but I feel the method is wrong. AFAIK Microsoft has been forced to include this selection screen by EU authorities.

No the reason why they chose to give a chance to other browsers is to be fair to other companies who make browsers :roll:


It's no wonder Opera got a boost they have the best description:
powerful(!) easy-to-use(!) Opera Turbo technology(OMG!)

Firefox's desc is pretty ****(I think the only which might be worse is Chrome's):
Firefox is free(well this isn't very catchy when all the others are free :| )
security as top priority = boring unless you are telling it to a sys admin :D

Dragonbite
March 18th, 2010, 07:21 PM
No the reason why they chose to give a chance to other browsers is to be fair to other companies who make browsers :roll:


It's no wonder Opera got a boost they have the best description:
powerful(!) easy-to-use(!) Opera Turbo technology(OMG!)

Firefox's desc is pretty ****(I think the only which might be worse is Chrome's):
Firefox is free(well this isn't very catchy when all the others are free :| )
security as top priority = boring unless you are telling it to a sys admin :D

Do you have a screenshot of the choice menu?

rottentree
March 18th, 2010, 07:26 PM
Do you have a screenshot of the choice menu?

1st post
*click link*
;)

madnessjack
March 18th, 2010, 07:41 PM
and whos force them to use ie before didn't they have the choice to install any browser before ?

They didn't have the choice thrusted at them that's for sure. Many people are aware of other browsers, and there's always that thing with the big E for Internet.


It's no wonder Opera got a boost they have the best description:
powerful(!) easy-to-use(!) Opera Turbo technology(OMG!)

I've thought about this- people may recognise the Opera brand as it appears as the default browser on many phones (mine for example uses Opera mobile). If people can relate to the brand, they may feel good about choosing it.

whiskeylover
March 18th, 2010, 07:45 PM
EU can be anal like that.

oldsoundguy
March 18th, 2010, 07:47 PM
I have Opera on my PDA's. The IE that came with the OS was cripple ware/text only. Only Opera was available to be able to HTML. And that particular version of Opera was only available in a PAID form!

lykwydchykyn
March 18th, 2010, 07:48 PM
It'll be interesting to see what happens with browser stats in the coming months.

The article focused on Opera, but considering the name recognition factor I'm sure that Google logo will do Chrome no harm.

ctrlmd
March 18th, 2010, 07:58 PM
They didn't have the choice thrusted at them that's for sure. Many people are aware of other browsers, and there's always that thing with the big E for Internet.



I've thought about this- people may recognise the Opera brand as it appears as the default browser on many phones (mine for example uses Opera mobile). If people can relate to the brand, they may feel good about choosing it.
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera,flock, arora,konqueror, midori, chrome ?on your linux machine?
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera, chrome, safari? on your mac machine ?

it's feels not right to force the option.not provide the option.

Dragonbite
March 18th, 2010, 08:22 PM
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera,flock, arora,konqueror, midori, chrome ?on your linux machine?
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera, chrome, safari? on your mac machine ?

it's feels not right to force the option.not provide the option.

In that sense, yes Apple should be forced to make the options available too.

As for Linux, yeah I have a choice. Install Fedora or other distribution that is not a LiveCD and you can choose during installation.

Using Ubuntu LiveCD you're giving up that option, but using Ubuntu Alternative then you have a choice (as far as I know).

NCLI
March 18th, 2010, 09:47 PM
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera,flock, arora,konqueror, midori, chrome ?on your linux machine?
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera, chrome, safari? on your mac machine ?

it's feels not right to force the option.not provide the option.

You can simply click on "Continue using IE" and go on with your life. I can't see this as anything but a great example of why we need way more government intervention.

del_diablo
March 18th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera,flock, arora,konqueror, midori, chrome ?on your linux machine?
Did you have the choice to install firefox, opera, chrome, safari? on your mac machine ?

it's feels not right to force the option.not provide the option

PLEASE........... LEARN........... MARKED RULES!
I am amazed over why the US did not stomp MS when they started bundeling IE with Windows, the consequenses are enormus and we see them still today. *sigh*

whiskeylover
March 18th, 2010, 09:56 PM
PLEASE........... LEARN........... MARKED RULES!
I am amazed over why the US did not stomp MS when they started bundeling IE with Windows, the consequenses are enormus and we see them still today. *sigh*

I hope now the EU forces Apple to bundle multiple browsers along with Safari.

PhoenixMaster00
March 18th, 2010, 10:14 PM
I hope now the EU forces Apple to bundle multiple browsers along with Safari.

I thought the other main problem was that you couldnt get rid of internet explorer off a Windows OS easily.
Plus i dont think Apple has enough market share that it really matters.

Ubom
March 18th, 2010, 10:18 PM
http://www.browserchoice.eu/BrowserChoice/browserchoice_en.htm

It is just this page in a mini version of IE which loads up. Choosing any browser other than IE causes the IE button be removed from the task bar and removes short cuts on desktop I think.

Paqman
March 19th, 2010, 06:29 AM
Plus i dont think Apple has enough market share that it really matters.

Indeed. There's no monopoly, so no need for the regulators to intervene. The whole point of this intervention by the EC is to try and stop the parlous state of the OS market from hurting the web too badly.

themarker0
March 19th, 2010, 06:42 AM
To compare opera in the best way for webmasters, Opera is like VB 4. It has everything. Even things you will never use, or other programs. IE is like SMF. MyBB is like Firefox. Basics with everything added on. Phpbb is like ie6. Work through hoops to use it.

quinnten83
March 19th, 2010, 06:59 AM
I hope now the EU forces Apple to bundle multiple browsers along with Safari.

The EU forced MS to give a choice in browser after it was found guilty of unfair marketing practices towards other browsers and illegal bundling of their own browser with their operating system, http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/15&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
It's not like the EU did this because they didn't like Microsoft. Others complained, the EU evaluated and they agreed and imposed sanctions.
Actually they didn't even impose much, because MS first reaction was to threaten not to provide any browser with Windows in Europe, leaving it to the OEM manufacturer to provide one. But then I guess they remembered that Firefox was incredibly popular here in Europe and that their decision might affect the marketshare even more, so no they offer a choice, because at least then you can still see a blue E, and some people might click on that out of habit.
Also the EU was not that impressed with their threats.

phrostbyte
March 19th, 2010, 08:20 AM
They should do this internationally. :)

Dragonbite
March 19th, 2010, 02:07 PM
I am amazed over why the US did not stomp MS when they started bundeling IE with Windows, the consequenses are enormus and we see them still today. *sigh*


Plus i dont think Apple has enough market share that it really matters.


Indeed. There's no monopoly, so no need for the regulators to intervene.

So which is it? Should the US had stomped MS when they started bundling IE with Windows? It wasn't a monopoly at that point. It may have had more market share than Apple does today, but does that really matter?

Apple already shows it's monopolistic side with the iPhone/iPad&iTunes side, so who is to say they won't use that position to give Safari an unfair advantage the way Microsoft used it's desktop advantage to cripple competitor's (Netscape) and bundled IE?

blueturtl
March 19th, 2010, 03:29 PM
I used to be very sternly for government interaction, especially in the case of IE. However after becoming a fan of open source I realise the error of my old ways. Freedom doesn't belong to just us, it also belongs to Microsoft. Windows is a product of Microsoft and so they should have the authority in it's design!

Contrary to what many of us believe, Microsoft does not really have monopoly power. That kind of power can only be granted by the government. Majority market share does not equal a monopoly. As long as we have a choice not to buy Microsoft products, they do not hold a monopoly.

Some of you may wish to point out that buying a machine with Linux is next to practically impossible and that this proves Microsoft has a monopoly. To you I say, not so. For there are no restraints -- none whatsoever -- for anyone to start a business selling systems with Linux (or some other OS). It only takes one example to prove that I am right, but I will name two: ZaReason and Apple. Both are free to sell hardware without Microsoft's products and there is nothing Microsoft can do about that. In a monopoly you only really have one choice. I live in a country that loves monopolies, so I know the subtle difference between a business holding majority market share and a real monopoly.

I too used to believe Microsoft has or had influence over the majority of OEMs and that is the reason that they fail to provide reasonable alternatives in their selection. That is however an idealistic misconception (or so I have come to believe). To the OEMs, Microsoft provides a great product. One that requires us to continue purchasing new hardware to keep doing the same things we have always been doing. Selling systems with the same operating system and programs also provides safety for the OEMs. Nobody will be too different so nobody will really be that much worse than their competitor in the eyes of the consumer.

It's kind of like buying a car (I apologise for the worn out example) -- in the end it doesn't really matter who you buy it from. They are not that different. The soul of the computer is in the software it runs, but most consumers do not understand this. They will keep picking systems based on hardware features and the color of the laptop lid. Offering a system with different software is like trying to sell an all-electric vehicle at the moment. It's too different, too risky.

What pains me the most about these EU/US court cases is that by meddling with a free entity's product (it belongs to Microsoft, not us) - they are in fact giving Microsoft's dominance that final seal of approval. We recognise you as the only choice -- so in return for granting you your monopoly we wish to have a say in your product development. If we accept this, it means we are moving closer to actually granting Microsoft a real monopoly!

For a company that is facing a slow death from superior alternatives, being a real monopoly is a desirable position. It means they will not go away, so playing ball with the legislators is really in Microsoft's best interest right now.

Dragonbite
March 19th, 2010, 04:12 PM
There are millions of monopolies. The only gas station in hundreds or thousands of miles is basically a monopoly.

What makes a monopoly bad, is when they use their monopoly position to give unfair advantage to a product in a completely different market and actively sabotage the competition when dealing with completely different markets. Microsoft got labeled with the "actively sabotage" piece.

kaldor
March 19th, 2010, 04:34 PM
I think Apple should do the same, like others have said.

With Linux it isn't an issue. Usually Linux users are tech-savvy enough to know what they want.

But on Windows, most people use IE.

On OS X, most use Safari.

I don't have problems with Safari at *all*. I use it a lot actually, and I find it much better than Firefox on my Mac. At least Safari is partly open-source and standards compliant. It's very fast, very responsive, looks great, and is powered by WebKit. Great!

IE on the other hand.. I have many problems with that. Trident is a mess, and I hate that all the "alternative browsers" listed are mostly Trident/IE clones. That's gross. I think this list would make more sense:

-IE 8
-Firefox
-Google Chrome
-Opera
-Safari
-Flock
-Seamonkey Suite
-Arora (though it's a bit basic)

Having like 4 trident browsers sucks. I hope people start switching to a Gecko/WebKit browser because of this.

And also, for all of you thinking this is a bad thing... what's wrong with it? It forces people to make a choice that would benefit them. If you don't like it, just ignore it. It isn't life or death. It'll help Microsoft better IE too once people realize it is crap compared to the competition.

Edit:

I'd also like to add that I think Opera being closed-source is a good idea. Opera comes up with a load of good ideas, but keeps them closed. This causes other browsers to try to replicate them, but with their own unique twists. That's good. Opera Speed Dial vs Safari Top Sites, etc. The closed-source nature actually creates good competition.

whiskeylover
March 19th, 2010, 05:08 PM
Here is what Apple should be forced to do

Make it illegal for them to restrict what computers can run their Mac OS.
Make it illegal for them to cripple jailbroken iBlah.
Open up their appstore so anyone can add apps to it.

I know fanbois are going to be upset. But if you think about it, Apple's business practices are no better than MS's.

blueturtl
March 19th, 2010, 05:15 PM
And also, for all of you thinking this is a bad thing... what's wrong with it? It forces people to make a choice that would benefit them. If you don't like it, just ignore it. It isn't life or death. It'll help Microsoft better IE too once people realize it is crap compared to the competition.

It's the bit about forcing people.



Here is what Apple should be forced to do

Make it illegal for them to restrict what computers can run their Mac OS.
Make it illegal for them to cripple jailbroken iBlah.
Open up their appstore so anyone can add apps to it.

We don't need to force them to do anything -- let's just stop buying from them. They'll get the message.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 05:22 PM
What makes a monopoly bad, is when they use their monopoly position to give unfair advantage to a product in a completely different market and actively sabotage the competition when dealing with completely different markets. Microsoft got labeled with the "actively sabotage" piece.

I can tell you've studied economics. In short, monopolies are the ******* offspring of capitalism. No one should want them. But there are rare exceptions where they can't be helped from existing. And in those cases must be tightly regulated by government to prevent price-fixing.

1. Monopolies stifle competition (usually illegally) causing unnatural price inflation. Especially if the good that the monopoly is selling is inelastic (needed). Customers pay more & get less with a monopolies because there is no incentive for the company to lower prices since there's little if any other viable competition.

2. Monopolies can use their huge market share & to unnaturally influence other markets. This is what Microsoft was punished by the EU. The fact that Microsoft give away IE for free wasn't the problem. The problem was that they bundled it with Windows & customers couldn't get rid of it. Which leads to the next point...

3. Monopolies stifle innovation. Let's say for example that the U.S. government gave away new free Ford to everyone that buys a home. Ford would own a huge share of the market for no reason other than bundling. Even if the Ford was a vastly inferior product. Other car companies, even those with better products would not be able to compete effectively against such a stacked deck. And there's no incentive for Ford to improve their product or do much in the the way of R&D since they're almost guaranteed to make money.

blueturtl
March 19th, 2010, 05:46 PM
I can tell you've never studied economics. In short, monopolies are the ******* offspring of capitalism. No one should want them. But there are rare exceptions where they can't be helped from existing. And in those cases must be tightly regulated by government to prevent price-fixing.

Capitalism and free markets do not create monopolies. Socialism does. Socialist states believe in government control of certain aspects of consumer life and therefore instate monopolies to control those areas of the market. The only way to create a true monopoly is to outlaw business in the sector for other companies (effectively making the select company the only option) or taxing the money from the people hence meaning they'd be double-purchasing if they wanted to buy a similar product from a private business.


1. Monopolies stifle competition (usually illegally) causing unnatural price inflation. Especially if the good that the monopoly is selling is inelastic (needed). Customers pay more & get less with a monopolies because there is no incentive for the company to lower prices since there's no other competition.

All true.


2. Monopolies can use their huge market share & to unnaturally influence other markets. This is what Microsoft was punished by the EU. The fact that Microsoft give away IE for free wasn't the problem. The problem was that they bundled it with Windows & customers couldn't get rid of it. Which leads to the next point...

3. Monopolies stifle innovation. Let's say for example that the U.S. government gave away new free Ford to everyone that buys a home. Ford would own a huge share of the market for no reason other than bundling. Even if the Ford was a vastly inferior product. Other car companies, even those with better products would not be able to compete effectively against such a stacked deck. And there's no incentive for Ford to improve their product or do much in the the way of R&D since they're almost guaranteed to make money.

The bundling of IE with Windows did most probably lead to Netscape's demise. However Netscape returned from the grave to haunt Microsoft (by open sourcing the gecko rendering engine which gave birth to Firefox). Had Microsoft not pulled this stunt, we probably wouldn't have as nice a browser selection as we do today! Can't say this would have been bad for innovation. Not to mention today in Linux we see many file browsers integrating web browser functionality. Lost innovation?

On #3 you kind of acknowledge the fact government intervention is required to create a monopoly. "Free" Fords would not happen unless the government bought everyone one with tax payer money. Ford is free to give their cars away today but it will not necessarily drive other car companies out of business since people would still be free to choose if they wanted the free Ford or a better (but costly car).

It's very different if you know you are paying for the Ford with your tax money. Then you'd be inclined to have one just because you paid for it already.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 05:46 PM
Contrary to what many of us believe, Microsoft does not really have monopoly power. That kind of power can only be granted by the government. Majority market share does not equal a monopoly. As long as we have a choice not to buy Microsoft products, they do not hold a monopoly.

Per the definition of a monopoly (from Wikipedia), Microsoft's desktop OS qualifies as a monopoly:
"In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos / μονος (alone or single) + polein / πωλειν (to sell)) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.[1][clarification needed] Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.[2] The verb "monopolize" refers to the process by which a firm gains persistently greater market share than what is expected under perfect competition."





Some of you may wish to point out that buying a machine with Linux is next to practically impossible and that this proves Microsoft has a monopoly. To you I say, not so. For there are no restraints -- none whatsoever -- for anyone to start a business selling systems with Linux (or some other OS). It only takes one example to prove that I am right, but I will name two: ZaReason and Apple. Both are free to sell hardware without Microsoft's products and there is nothing Microsoft can do about that. In a monopoly you only really have one choice. I live in a country that loves monopolies, so I know the subtle difference between a business holding majority market share and a real monopoly.

You're thinking about things in absolutes. A monopoly does not mean that there are no other competitors in the market place. A monopoly means that competition can be unfairly stifled by 1 big company. You can't legally put Apple's OS on a PC. So MS's competitor in the PC OS space own roughly less than 2% of the market share. By any economic gauge that is a monopoly. Other products can not compete fairly.

Still MS didn't get punished for being a monopoly. They got punished for using their monopoly power to unnaturally influence another market (browser).

blueturtl
March 19th, 2010, 06:04 PM
Per the definition of a monopoly (from Wikipedia), Microsoft's desktop OS qualifies as a monopoly:
"In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos / μονος (alone or single) + polein / πωλειν (to sell)) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.[1][clarification needed] Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.[2] The verb "monopolize" refers to the process by which a firm gains persistently greater market share than what is expected under perfect competition."

Ok.. so I disagree with the definition of monopoly on Wikipedia. However even according to this definition Microsoft can't be considered an all-out monopoly. There are alternatives to Microsoft's offerings still today so Microsoft does not control the price of all software, just their own. This is different than saying for example someone has a monopoly on rice. We can buy operating systems and applications from other vendors and thus avoid Microsoft's unfair pricing.


A monopoly does not mean that there are no other competitors in the market place. A monopoly means that competition can be unfairly stifled by 1 big company.

How can Microsoft stifle Apple or ZaReason? Or if I start a computer shop to sell systems with Linux... what could they do about it?

I think a worse enemy for competitors is inertia and the lack of standardisation in the computer sector (and that Microsoft does have a hand in I say). However with or without them the computer world is moving slowly toward openness. They can slow it down, but they can't fight it off inevitably.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Capitalism and free markets do not create monopolies. Socialism does. Socialist states believe in government control of certain aspects of consumer life and therefore instate monopolies to control those areas of the market. The only way to create a true monopoly is to outlaw business in the sector for other companies (effectively making the select company the only option) or taxing the money from the people hence meaning they'd be double-purchasing if they wanted to buy a similar product from a private business.

When I said that monopolies are the **** offspring of capitalism, I meant to imply that they should be shunned by capitalist economies. Monopolies can exist in various economic models, including capitalism. America by all accounts is a capitalistic economy yet monopolies exist here (i.e, MS, Intel, AT&T at one point.) All are monopolies that exist/ed in capitalistic economies.




The bundling of IE with Windows did most probably lead to Netscape's demise. However Netscape returned from the grave to haunt Microsoft (by open sourcing the gecko rendering engine which gave birth to Firefox). Had Microsoft not pulled this stunt, we probably wouldn't have as nice a browser selection as we do today! Can't say this would have been bad for innovation. Not to mention today in Linux we see many file browsers integrating web browser functionality. Lost innovation?

Monopolies are not infallible. They can/do eventually fall. But the problem is that they exist in a imperfect market place. So they take much longer to fall. In a monopoly, you can have bad upper management or an inferior product or poor service & still lead the market. While other companies fold (as they should).

There's is no denying that IE has been an inferior product for the last decade. Still it has a lion share of the browser market. If Mozilla had an equally inferior product do you think they'd still be around today?



On #3 you kind of acknowledge the fact government intervention is required to create a monopoly. "Free" Fords would not happen unless the government bought everyone one with tax payer money. Ford is free to give their cars away today but it will not necessarily drive other car companies out of business since people would still be free to choose if they wanted the free Ford or a better (but costly car).

It's very different if you know you are paying for the Ford with your tax money. Then you'd be inclined to have one just because you paid for it already.

You are correct that monopolies can exist as a result government intervention. But it is not required. Imperfect competition in the market place can exist for a number of reasons not including government intervention.

madnessjack
March 19th, 2010, 06:16 PM
There's is no denying that IE has been an inferior product for the last decade. Still it has a lion share of the browser market. If Mozilla had an equally inferior product do you think they'd still be around today?

You're wrong. Do consumers look at IE and think- "wow, that's bad"? No. It's arguably the best looking browser in terms of fitting in with the Windows UI and it's not noticeably slower to a casual user.

If people cared about speed and simplicity then Google's marketing campaign would've caught them by now. Simply put- they don't.

Devs hate IE- NOT users.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 06:26 PM
Ok.. so I disagree with the definition of monopoly on Wikipedia. However even according to this definition Microsoft can't be considered an all-out monopoly. There are alternatives to Microsoft's offerings still today so Microsoft does not control the price of all software, just their own.

MS only controls the price of their own software because there are few if any other PC desktop OS software for sale. Linux is free. So is PCBSD. How can you price fix when other options don't have a price. But let's say that in theory there was another non-free option. How much do you think that company would have to price their product to compete with MS? I would imagine that the price would be very very low, even if it was a supremely superior product. Hence another problem with monopolies. Other companies can't compete FAIRLY.



This is different than saying for example someone has a monopoly on rice. We can buy operating systems and applications from other vendors and thus avoid Microsoft's unfair pricing.

How can Microsoft stifle Apple or ZaReason? Or if I start a computer shop to sell systems with Linux... what could they do about it?

Show me where you can BUY other PC desktop operating systems. Most other desktop OS' are free.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 06:38 PM
You're wrong. Do consumers look at IE and think- "wow, that's bad"? No. It's arguably the best looking browser in terms of fitting in with the Windows UI and it's not noticeably slower to a casual user.

If people cared about speed and simplicity then Google's marketing campaign would've caught them by now. Simply put- they don't.

Devs hate IE- NOT users.

And are devs not users also??

The only thing that differentiates a "Dev" from a "John/Jane Doe" user is that the "Dev" has more knowledge. Thus they know that there are other options. They are better suited to make informed decisions on what is best. Typically people who don't know that there are other options, make less informed decisions.

The OP's article shows proof of that. When John/Jane Doe is presented with options he/she can make a more informed decision. Hence Opera downloads has increased significantly. For free markets to work optimally, customers can't be dumb pipes. They must know about options. That way they can make a more informed decision.

whiskeylover
March 19th, 2010, 06:42 PM
And are devs not users also??

The only thing that differentiates a "Dev" from a "John/Jane Doe" user is that the "Dev" has more knowledge. Thus they know that there are other options. They are better suited to make informed decisions on what is best. Typically people who don't know that there are other options, make less informed decisions.

The OP's article shows proof of that. When John/Jane Doe is presented with options he/she can make a more informed decision. Hence Opera downloads has increased significantly. For free markets to work optimally, customers can't be dumb pipes. They must know about options. That way they can make a more informed decision.

Devs are a very very small subset of users. If 99% of the users like the look and feel of IE, then the devs better be prepared to code for IE.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 06:49 PM
Devs are a very very small subset of users. If 99% of the users like the look and feel of IE, then the devs better be prepared to code for IE.

I agree 100%. But what does that have to do with the discussion regarding monopolies vs free markets?

blueturtl
March 19th, 2010, 07:13 PM
When I said that monopolies are the **** offspring of capitalism, I meant to imply that they should be shunned by capitalist economies. Monopolies can exist in various economic models, including capitalism. America by all accounts is a capitalistic economy yet monopolies exist here (i.e, MS, Intel, AT&T at one point.) All are monopolies that exist/ed in capitalistic economies.




Monopolies are not infallible. They can/do eventually fall. But the problem is that they exist in a imperfect market place. So they take much longer to fall. In a monopoly, you can have bad upper management or an inferior product or poor service & still lead the market. While other companies fold (as they should).

There's is no denying that IE has been an inferior product for the last decade. Still it has a lion share of the browser market. If Mozilla had an equally inferior product do you think they'd still be around today?



You are correct that monopolies can exist as a result government intervention. But it is not required. Imperfect competition in the market place can exist for a number of reasons not including government intervention.

Ok, the first part I misunderstood.

Point(s) taken. You then have studied economics I venture? :)

I'm the last person to be arguing Microsoft's case. If anything I'd like to see them closed and divided up by the authorities like originally planned. I just don't believe in government intervention as much as I used to any more. Why make a special case for bad companies?

To stay even remotely on topic -- since this is about the web browser selection screen forced in to Windows -- what I could have lived with was an ad campaign for alternative browsers, free CDs handed out with said screen and browser installers. To allow for legislators to mandate how a software product should be made is dangerous because it can lead to abuse. Later on they will just be able to quote the case of Microsoft. If them, why not company x?

Can and should we force choice on people or encourage "right choices" in this way is what I guess it really boils down to on my part. As you said monopolies -- as far as Microsoft can be considered one -- can form without the government's meddling. A company can gain so much market share that it creates a self-fulfilling mechanism where people no longer seek choices. Then again if the products really are bad, people start to look for alternatives edit: and with a "free market monopoly" they will be there -- that's how I discovered Linux. It's safe to say those who aren't looking are happy.


MS only controls the price of their own software because there are few if any other PC desktop OS software for sale. Linux is free. So is PCBSD. How can you price fix when other options don't have a price. But let's say that in theory there was another non-free option. How much do you think that company would have to price their product to compete with MS? I would imagine that the price would be very very low, even if it was a supremely superior product. Hence another problem with monopolies. Other companies can't compete FAIRLY.

Because Toyotas are cheaper than Audis Audi can't compete fairly?


Show me where you can BUY other PC desktop operating systems. Most other desktop OS' are free.
Well I don't know of other operating systems being retailed (doesn't mean that they don't exist) but what I do know is that you can buy computer systems bundled with other operating systems from plenty of places.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 07:49 PM
To allow for legislators to mandate how a software product should be made is dangerous because it can lead to abuse. Later on they will just be able to quote the case of Microsoft. If them, why not company x?

Agreed. Power can corrupt. And the free market system has proven to be a creator of great wealth. However, historians, legislators, economists and even private enterprises have all agreed that there is a place for some government regulation & oversight in the free market economy. Especially absent any self-regulating mechanisms. In imperfect markets like monopolies, there are no self-regulating mechanisms.




Can and should we force choice on people or encourage "right choices" in this way is what I guess it really boils down to on my part. As you said monopolies -- as far as Microsoft can be considered one -- can form without the government's meddling. A company can gain so much market share that it creates a self-fulfilling mechanism where people no longer seek choices. Then again if the products really are bad, people start to look for alternatives -- that's how I discovered Linux. It's safe to say those who aren't looking are happy.

If society agrees that it's members must follow a set of agreed upon rules, then I don't think it's inappropriate for the that society to punish those who break those rules. It's called law & order. In the US, you must drive on the right side of the road. If you break that rule & get caught you will be punished. Same with economic law. It's illegal for private enterprises to abuse their monopoly power to influence other markets. That's why Apple can't be forced to do the same with Safari. Because they are not a monopoly. Apple doesn't have enough market share in the desktop OS market place to unfairly influence the marketplace. It's a subtle difference but an important one. Monopolies have a unusual/unnatural ability to disrupt the normal functions of a free market place & thus are more acutely monitored.

So you must ask yourself. Do you disagree with the actual rule of law or the punishment administered for breaking the law? It appears you disagree with the latter.

l-x-l
March 19th, 2010, 08:04 PM
So to bring it back full circle to the Opera browser. I see no problem with the browser ballot screen. I don't have an innate hatred for MS. But rather I have a dislike for economic abuses of power, just like Blueturtl & others dislike governmental abuses of power.

MS received a fair trial in a court of law in both the US & EU & they were found to have been a monopoly abusing it's market share to disrupt other markets. They broke the law. Period. And are getting punished as a result.

Regenweald
March 19th, 2010, 08:10 PM
The only thing that ballot says is that Opera's icon is big and bright red. Interest in it is human nature. That some of the downloaders will now be using arguably the best browser around is pure happenstance. Good for Opera, great for their new user base.

phrostbyte
March 19th, 2010, 08:50 PM
So to bring it back full circle to the Opera browser. I see no problem with the browser ballot screen. I don't have an innate hatred for MS. But rather I have a dislike for economic abuses of power, just like Blueturtl & others dislike governmental abuses of power.

MS received a fair trial in a court of law in both the US & EU & they were found to have been a monopoly abusing it's market share to disrupt other markets. They broke the law. Period. And are getting punished as a result.

I'd like to see an OS ballot screen at some point too. :)

mkendall
March 19th, 2010, 09:12 PM
Assuming the image in the link is the full width of the monitor, I think what really helps Opera is its option being positioned in the center of the screen. Definitely attracts the eye.

lykwydchykyn
March 19th, 2010, 09:21 PM
IE on the other hand.. I have many problems with that. Trident is a mess, and I hate that all the "alternative browsers" listed are mostly Trident/IE clones. That's gross. I think this list would make more sense:


Which ballot are you looking at? The one I saw listed:
- safari (webkit)
- IE (trident)
- Opera (Presto)
- Firefox (Gecko)
- Chrome (webkit)

lykwydchykyn
March 19th, 2010, 09:22 PM
Assuming the image in the link is the full width of the monitor, I think what really helps Opera is its option being positioned in the center of the screen. Definitely attracts the eye.

My understanding is that they are supposed to show up in random order.

blueturtl
March 19th, 2010, 09:30 PM
In the US, you must drive on the right side of the road. If you break that rule & get caught you will be punished. Same with economic law. It's illegal for private enterprises to abuse their monopoly power to influence other markets. That's why Apple can't be forced to do the same with Safari. Because they are not a monopoly. Apple doesn't have enough market share in the desktop OS market place to unfairly influence the marketplace. It's a subtle difference but an important one. Monopolies have a unusual/unnatural ability to disrupt the normal functions of a free market place & thus are more acutely monitored.

So you must ask yourself. Do you disagree with the actual rule of law or the punishment administered for breaking the law? It appears you disagree with the latter.

I most certainly agree with the principle of upholding the law and seeing those punished who break it. It's just that at some point I came to the realization that Microsoft's court case may have been wrongly decided. Since Microsoft is not a government backed monopoly, do they really have what you refer to as monopoly power? Like I stated earlier, their contracts with OEMs are voluntary. No OEM is required to deal with Microsoft. Therefore what pull Microsoft seems to have on the industry is caused by the industry itself. They (MS) are not irreplaceable as many of us Linux users know.

Microsoft has also tried to use it's so called powers to turn over Google without succeeding so far. Is Google somehow especially immune to a monopoly's influence?

I hope I'm not exhausting you with all this babble. I'm calling it a night after this post. Thanks for letting me reflect off your mind! :)

del_diablo
March 20th, 2010, 12:53 AM
So which is it? Should the US had stomped MS when they started bundling IE with Windows? It wasn't a monopoly at that point. It may have had more market share than Apple does today, but does that really matter?

What was MS markedshare in the desktop when Windows 98 got out? I got no idea :( From what I do hear they did have a markedshare over 50%, which is why they was able to blackmail and bundeling had an actual effect on the marked,


Apple already shows it's monopolistic side with the iPhone/iPad&iTunes side, so who is to say they won't use that position to give Safari an unfair advantage the way Microsoft used it's desktop advantage to cripple competitor's (Netscape) and bundled IE?

So what? What markedshare? The ye old cool musicplayer they had gained markedshare, its already been hit by courts of several countries for the too tight intigration with iTunes.
Now, if Apple ever gains enough markedshare to become a monopoly/dominant company in certain aspects they are to be regulated?


If them, why not company x?

Why are company x dangerous? Its that simple.
If company A sold milk and applejuice, and it got a quite nice bit of the milk marked(*cough*everystore*cough*), now if company A started bundeling milk with applejuice i think company B and C and D who also makes applejuice would be hurt. Why? Because people who have milk have no incentive to get applejuice since its included with the milk.
So company A starts the dark age of milk and applejuice. Any objections?


Like I stated earlier, their contracts with OEMs are voluntary. No OEM is required to deal with Microsoft.

Inbreeding and no real marked, that is why. The entire parade is beyond my ability to explain, sadly.