Over in Europe they seem to care a little more about encouraging competition than they do here in the states. Even though the courts have ruled Microsoft has an illegal monopoly, the justice department dropped all legal action against them shortly after G. W. Bush took office.
The EU on the other hand saw one of their cases through to the end. At issue in this article is Microsoft’s illegal bundling of Internet Explorer 8 with all versions of Windows. This is unfair not because they are giving something away for free, but because they not made it possible for OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) or computer owners to remove Internet Explorer. Plus other action designed to reduce or eliminate competitors. Like buying Netscape Navigator and then selling it to AOL on the condition that they never release a new version of it again and discontinue use and support of it after a period of time. Another trick they would do is to refuse to sell or sell at an inflated price Windows to OEM’s that installed a different browser before they sold it to a customer. Nice guys whuh?
A couple years ago the EU order Microsoft to (amongst other things they also haven’t complied with) to stop shipping Windows with IE included. Instead of doing it, they just paid millions upon millions in fines. Once the adoption of Vista slowed to the point where it looks like there won’t be a significant amount of sales, they complied, sort of.
Now Enter Windows 7, the next version of Windows. It is required legally to not have IE included it. Yet it does. Microsoft is now trying to say they are complying by having a check box buried deep in their control panel that lets you “Turn off”” the dreaded IE8 (which purposely displays web pages that are written specifically for IE8 improperly, and yes if you write it for IE8 it won’t work right in any other browser, most of the time). If you find this cleverly hidden check box (it will surely be moved and relabeled right before the official launch). You must re-boot the computer twice. After all that it still doesn’t remove IE! It’s still there, perhaps even running (that’s unknown at this point), just the .exe is gone.