Them tech giant monopolies

It would probably work better if those warning us of oli- and mon- opolies knew their stuff:

much as it examined and then banned Microsoft from bundling its Explorer search engine with its other software more than a decade ago.

Explorer was a search engine then, was it? Not a browser?

Inman even links to this:

European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser. The deal today between the software company and European Union regulators ends more than a decade of legal wrangling.

23 thoughts on “Them tech giant monopolies”

  1. Who’s still using Internet Exploder? Anyone??

    And the actual Microsoft search engine (Bing), still heavily ‘bundled’ with their other offerings, isn’t offering serious competition to Google.

    It’s almost as though all this government interference has little effect.

  2. Remember how Google used its mighty monopolistic powers to force a social media platform on us? How’d that turn out?

  3. The Meissen Bison

    Headline:

    Our health is all we have. But now Google wants it too

    2nd par:

    In the UK, public and private health spending already accounts for 10% of national income.

    So health is not all we have.

  4. The only thing I use Microsoft’s Browser (IE 11, Edge and whatnot) is to spin up the download page to Chrome previously and nowadays Brave.

    If this is meant to be some sort of monopoly it’s a pretty shit one.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    Ratings and sales of watches using Google’s software are relatively low, so what better than to access millions of Fitbit users and take out a competitor at the same time?

    That’s bollocks, Google didn’t “take out” a competitor ie buy it and shut it down, it bought a product and has started to monetise it.

    Fitbit was a bicycle industry, making money from the sales of the product (although its doubtful they made any money there) but with no long term revenue stream capable of supporting the company. There was a danger that they could end up going bust and leaving Fitbit users with a useless product.

    Since Google purchased it the product has become a bit more intrusive when opening the app, but it is becoming more stable.

    As for AI, health is one of those areas where AI can provide a real improvement and benefits. Searching through data looking at symptoms, drug usage, trials etc it will be far batter at discovering what works at the individual level than a NHS full of doctors, if given the data to work with. There are privacy concerns but the discussion needs to rise above big bad capitalists using data to make money to include the real benefits to people.

    And this is bollocks as well:

    Britain has a line of defence against this exploitation thanks to its public health system. But the NHS is going to increasingly rely on the tech giants for services, as it recently found after its failed experiment in developing a coronavirus test-and-trace app. This was ditched in June in favour of one provided by Apple and Google.

    They didn’t provide an app, they provided a toolkit and controlled access to parts of their OS and hardware whilst maintaining customer privacy so other could write their own apps.

    He complains about lack of privacy and then complains when they protect our privacy.

    But I suppose that’s all to be expected from a “Social Studies – Politics” graduate writing about tech in the Guardian.

  6. ‘European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser.’

    If they didn’t have Explorer, how do they get on-line to download a competing web browser and switch?

    Computer users ‘rely’ on explorer Explorer to search on-line for an alternative to switch to and downloading it. The alternative is somehow getting a copy of a browser on CD and installing it.

    It is as if those who interfere have never actually used a computer or seen one used.

  7. If they didn’t have Explorer, how do they get on-line to download a competing web browser and switch?

    wget?

  8. European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser.

    Huh?
    What’s stopping them changing if they want?
    *Spoiler alert* nothing */spoiler alert*

    If they are happy to keep using Internet Explorer, then why bother them?

    It’s not like IE locks the computer from installing another browser.
    And there are literally dozens to choose from and a quick search will provide a list of them and their benefits/cons.
    Couldn’t be that IE is sufficient for these people’s requirements could it?

    Another non-problem solved by our courageous politicians.
    Let us all take a moment to appreciate their heroism.

  9. @CD

    That was ten years back!

    When I bought a laptop shortly after, if I recall correctly what happened is during the setup process I got given a menu (like one where you pick the default language etc) where I could pick from several browsers including MS competitors.

  10. @Chris Miller

    Off-topic but in case you check the thread out… The reason the PHE stats show your MSOA having one week with three positive test results and then nothing else either side, if you check the fine print, is because any weeks with 0-2 cases are “suppressed” – presumably for privacy reasons.

  11. “Explorer” is stil built in to Windows.
    “Internet Explorer” is more optional now than it used to be, but it isn’t a search engine.

  12. Chris Miller,

    “Who’s still using Internet Exploder? Anyone??”

    Edge is actually really good. I don’t think it has many advantages over Chrome, so take your pick. Also, because Microsoft are using Chromium as they core, they’re now making improvements and these are then getting pulled into Chrome.

  13. BiND,

    “That’s bollocks, Google didn’t “take out” a competitor ie buy it and shut it down, it bought a product and has started to monetise it.”

    It’s a good takeover in my opinion. Fitbit make good hardware and have a well-established brand, which Google need, and Google can help with apps, data management, AI.

    “As for AI, health is one of those areas where AI can provide a real improvement and benefits. Searching through data looking at symptoms, drug usage, trials etc it will be far batter at discovering what works at the individual level than a NHS full of doctors, if given the data to work with. There are privacy concerns but the discussion needs to rise above big bad capitalists using data to make money to include the real benefits to people.”

    You anonymise the data. You keep the sex, randomly change the date of birth by a few weeks, remove. Keep the outer postcode (so you can get geographical analysis, but without working out from a row of houses).

  14. I always thought the browser wars back then could have been settled with a simple rationing system. For example, Brits would have to use Explorer, Germans would use Netscape, etc. Americans could use what they pleased just to annoy the Europeans. Then you’d have had enough people not using Explorer to satisfy the various European authorities. Of course, it could have had other consequences. Might lots of Germans move to England or vice versa so that they could become naturalized and able to use another browser, or would the marriageability of some young people go up based on their assigned browser, but that could be solved by saying your right to use a browser would be set based on country of birth. You might still have the problem of intermarriage and then using your spouse’s computer, but fingerprint logons could control that. Or, if you don’t want to allocate by country then alphabetically by last name, which would have to be last name at birth so as to minimize the risk of people marrying and changing their name just for browser access. As noted though, it all became moot when we mostly forgot about Explorer and Microsoft decided to stay more under the political radar.

  15. Remember how Google used its mighty monopolistic powers to force a social media platform on us? How’d that turn out?

    I’ll see if there’s anything on YouTube about it.

    Slightly more seriously, I wonder if the reason Google never pushed a Facebook alternative is they figured out a way to get all the data Facebook collects by the usual tracking and spying methods. Then it’s easier to let Zuck spend the money.

    Really disappointing the way the Internet and computing turned out. So much potential for freedom but, perhaps inevitably, taken over by cunts. That the cunts are fans of socialism and are capable of constructing joined up government should concern us all. But hey, free shit!

  16. TD,

    The irony of all that stuff about EU law was that by the time they got round to insisting on a “ballot box” when you installed Windows in 2009, the browser share of IE was at somewhere between 55-65% (depending on the metrics). The free market had already dealt with IE.

  17. Slightly more seriously, I wonder if the reason Google never pushed a Facebook alternative

    They did. It was called Google+. Quite a few of the Linux kernel hacker and other free software types used it. Occasionally 🙂

  18. @MBE

    Thanks, that’s very helpful. It means the data is a bit crap – our village has just 1 week with 3 Covid cases, but maybe every other week had 2. I guess a solitary case is pretty unlikely – more likely to hit a household than a single individual.

    I was reading that HK and Singapore show a map with every individual case marked down to the building where they reside – but since they mostly live in giant apartment blocks, I suppose that isn’t quite as intrusive as it appears.

  19. Proof again: The Guardian – Always Wrong

    banned Microsoft from bundling its Explorer search engine with its other software more than a decade ago

    1 Still bundled and hard coded into OS, but option to add another browser had to be offered

    2. Explorer is OS file manger, Internet Explorer is not the same

    3. IE is a Search engine? LMFAO

    imo USA should have split MS into an OS Co and a Software Co. There’s still too much Browser, Office etc hard coded into OS and secret ‘priority’ DLL/API calls

    @aaa
    Find and download wget how?

  20. 3. IE is a Search engine? LMFAO

    Yes. Quite. Although calling Bing a search engine would also be pretty inaccurate, unless you mean “Search and not find”.

    Biggest pile of bullshit around, but then again I switched to “Start Page” to get more anonymised Google searches without giving all my search information to Google. Also why I switched away from using Chrome to Brave.

  21. European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser.

    You know what gets me, even all these years later? You always had a chance to switch to a competing browser. MS never got in the way of that. In fact, it would have been easier to switch *then* than it is now – back then you could delete IE. Today you *have* to have Edge (or whatever the fuck they’re calling it today) and Cortana. You can’t remove them.

    Its like that idiot Grandmaster Jay demanding we give him Texas or – and I quote – ‘. . . don’t stop us when we exit this body here and go somewhere where they will give us our own land to build our own nation.’ Same shit – no one was ever stopping you whether that was changing your browser or leaving the county.

  22. @Agammamon
    Deleting IE was merely deleting some bits from desktop & start menu. It is hard coded into Windows

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