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Don’t touch my Windows! – PCforAll

The Norwegian lamp manufacturer Ballet is upset. The company has reported Monark to the European Commission because their bikes are sold with pre-installed red lights. “We submit this notification on behalf of all consumers who are tired of a monopolist making choices for them,” writes the company’s CEO Jon von Teigen.
Other lamp manufacturers such as Eldräven and Metallic wholeheartedly support the notification – and now the European Commission is threatening Monark with huge fines if they continue to sell bicycles with pre-installed lights.

No. That wasn’t quite true. The EU Commission has not planned any measures against Monark. They also accept that Arla pre-installs spoons in yogurt packages and that McDonalds co-packages hamburgers and toys.
What is true, however, is that the European Commission has taken the hard gloves against Microsoft. The file carriers down in Brussels are upset that Internet Explorer is pre-installed in Windows. Norwegian browser maker Opera has sued Microsoft for breaching EU competition rules – and they are eagerly cheered on by rivals Mozilla, which is behind Firefox, and Chrome maker Google.
The result is now that Microsoft removes Internet Explorer from Windows 7. If the computer manufacturer does not choose to install the program, we consumers have to do the work ourselves. The EU’s fight against the digital windmills has thus made it more complicated for us consumers. Nice work, Brussels!

It is good that the EU is taking care
that competition works. Fighting monopolists is incredibly important, and a giant company like Microsoft should always be under scrutiny. If Microsoft uses its strong position to hinder competitors, it must be vigorously fought.
But installing browsers other than Internet Explorer is actually not very difficult. I even think that the EU’s almost 70-year-old competition commissioner Neelie Kroes can manage to type in “www.opera.com” and click on a huge button that says Download.
I think the fact that approximately 30 percent of surfers have opted out of Internet Explorer and instead run competitors such as Firefox and Opera shows that the competition actually works quite well.

When I bought my first computer the MS-Dos operating system was on a floppy disk, and it really only managed to start the computer. Everything else required special software. In order to easily move files, many of us ran programs like Norton Commander.
The fact that both Windows and the competitor Mac OS have received more functions is basically a good thing, I think. As a consumer, I appreciate that the computer I buy is ready to run right from the start and contains the programs I need. Then, of course, it is up to me to choose if I want to use these tools or if I prefer a competitor.

I appreciate it in the same way that I, as a cyclist, think it’s quite nice not to have to go out and buy the bike light and the bell on my own.

In both cases, I think the EU bureaucrats should keep their paws

Martin Appel

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