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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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July 1, 2009 3:04 PM

Update: Microsoft pulls nauseating Internet Explorer ad

Posted by Sharon Chan

Update 1:52 p.m.: Microsoft has pulled its online ad for Internet Explorer 8, after complaints from viewers that it was too foul.

According to a statement from the company:

"We make a point of listening to our customers. We created the OMGIGP video as a tongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing feature of Internet Explorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told us they liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketing campaign. While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it."

One of the commenters below, quincompoix, has posted a link to the video elsewhere if you still want to see it.

Earlier: Microsoft continues to launch online videos to promote its Web browser Internet Explorer 8. The latest features actor Dean Cain again and vomit. There is a lot of projectile puke in this video, like Monty Python levels of regurgitation.

A wife gets online after her husband has used the computer, and is so horrified by what she sees, she repeatedly spits up on the floor. He slips, falls on the floor, and she continues to spit up on him. The tag line is O.M.G.I.G.P., as in "Oh my god, I'm gonna puke."

The ad promotes Internet Explorer's privacy browsing feature, which many have dubbed a porn mode. It allows the user to browse without leaving a trail in the browser.

To check out the earlier IE8 ads, click here.

Comments | Category: Advertising , Internet Explorer , Microsoft |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

June 12, 2009 10:01 AM

European Union says Microsoft needs to provide choice of browsers in Windows 7

Posted by Sharon Chan

To deal with European Union's antitrust concerns, Microsoft said Thursday it would ship Windows 7 in Europe without its Web browser Internet Explorer. Today, the European Union released a statement saying Microsoft is offering less choice, not more.

In its statement, the European Union said:

"... the Commission has suggested that consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all."

The comments are pointed at retail copies of Windows 7 that are sold separately from new PCs:

"As for retail sales, which amount to less than 5% of total sales, the Commission had suggested to Microsoft that consumers be provided with a choice of web browsers. Instead Microsoft has apparently decided to supply retail consumers with a version of Windows without a web browser at all. Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less."

The European Union appeared more positive about removing the browser from copies of Windows 7 that computer makers install on new PCs:

"As for sales to computer manufacturers, Microsoft's proposal may potentially be more positive. It is noted that computer manufacturers would appear to be able to choose to install Internet Explorer -- which Microsoft will supply free of charge -- another browser or multiple browsers."

Here is our story today on Microsoft's move to sell Windows 7 in Europe without the browser. The European Union is expected to rule on whether Microsoft's tying of Internet Explorer to Windows since 1996 is anticompetitive.

Comments | Category: Internet Explorer , Legal issues , Microsoft , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

June 11, 2009 2:29 PM

Microsoft launches Hulu-style Web ads for IE8 featuring Dean Cain

Posted by Sharon Chan

In the surreal, ominous style of Hulu, Microsoft has released two online ads to market its latest browser, Internet Explorer 8. Microsoft's ads feature actor Dean Cain, who played Superman on "Lois & Clark."

Microsoft will also make donations to food banks every time someone downloads the new browser. For each download at www.browserforthebetter.com, Microsoft says it will donate the equivalent of 8 meals to Feeding America, a national network of food banks, between now and Aug. 8.

Here the new browser ads, and for comparison's sake, the Hulu ad with Alec Baldwin.

F.O.M.S. ad (Fear of Missing Something):

S.H.Y.N.E.S.S. ad (Sharing Heavily Yet Not Enough Sharing Still):

Hulu ad:

Comments | Category: Advertising , Internet Explorer , Microsoft , Search , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

June 11, 2009 10:58 AM

Windows 7 will ship in Europe without Internet Explorer browser

Posted by Sharon Chan

Microsoft confirmed reports from CNET and Bloomberg today that the company will be shipping Windows 7 in Europe without the Internet Explorer browser in it.

CNET's report cites a memo that was sent to computer makers saying the changes were being made to comply with European Union law.

Earlier this year, the European Commission notified Microsoft that the inclusion of its browser in Windows since 1996 violated European competition law. Check out our earlier coverage here. Microsoft was due to present its defense June 3 to 5, but canceled because senior regulators would not be able to attend. Here is the story on that development.

Comments | Category: Internet Explorer , Microsoft , Windows , Windows 7 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 18, 2009 7:08 PM

With Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft turns up Web browser competition

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Two-and-a-half years after Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft's next entry in the increasingly competitive Web browser market, Internet Explorer 8, is ready to go. The final version of IE8 is due to be available at 9 a.m. Thursday here.

A new, modern browser couldn't come a moment sooner for Microsoft.

Internet Explorer's share of the Web browser market has steadily eroded from more than 90 percent in late 2004 to less than 70 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to data from Net Applications. In that time, Firefox has skyrocketed from about 4 percent to more than 21 percent of the market. Apple's Safari browser has also increased from less than 2 percent to more than 8 percent of the market.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer drew attention to the issue during his February strategic update with Wall Street analysts.

"[W]ith IE8 we are very focused in on a set of technology marketing programs, et cetera, to regain browser share," Ballmer said. "We think that browser share is important. Browsers are not commodity. Browsers are key features of operating systems, and we have a lot of work that we need to do in that dimension."

Microsoft has packed a lot of new features into IE8, some of which even have Firefox cheering.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Firefox , Internet Explorer , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 11, 2009 9:02 AM

Microsoft news roundup: Extension granted in EU case; Windows Mobile app store detailed; Man wants up to $1 million from airline that lost his Xbox 360

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The European Commission has given Microsoft another month to reply to the regulator's initial finding that the company violated European competition law. Specifically, the EC said the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 was in violation. The EC investigated after a complaint by rival Web browser maker Opera Software. The new deadline for Microsoft to respond to the EC's "Statement of Objections," issued in January, is April 21 after the EC granted its request for an extension, according to this Bloomberg report.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Games & entertainment , Internet Explorer , Legal issues , Mobile , News roundup |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 4, 2009 5:04 PM

IE8 can be shut off in Windows 7, possibly squashing latest antitrust complaint as EC dials back monitoring of 2004 decision

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

A couple of developments on the European regulatory front today. One new, one old.

In a development that could have an impact on the current European Commission antitrust action against Microsoft, a build of Windows 7 has a feature allowing users to "turn off" Internet Explorer 8. The blogger who spotted the capability gets right to the point: "I believe this fully squashes the case that the EU has against Microsoft?" The case in question responds to a complaint from browser-maker Opera, and since supported by Google and Firefox maker Mozilla. In January, the EC issued a "preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law."

Meanwhile, the EC, citing changes in Microsoft's behavior among other factors, no longer needs a full-time trustee to monitor the company's adherence to a 2004 decision finding that Microsoft had illegally withheld interoperability information and tied Windows Media Player to Windows. The EC announced today it would monitor the company's compliance through technical consultants on an ad hoc basis.

Comments | Category: Internet Explorer , Legal issues , Windows 7 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 25, 2009 10:50 AM

Microsoft news roundup: OEM exec says Windows 7 in September, October; Google wants to join EC antitrust proceedign against Microsoft; wrapping up TechFest

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

"According to current planning, it should be late September or early October." That's what Ray Chen, president of a Tapei OEM, Compal Electronics, told Bloomberg about when Microsoft may begin shipping Windows 7. That would put it ahead of Microsoft's officially stated schedule, which has the new OS due by January 2010. But it would match some observers' expectations that Microsoft will have Windows 7 available in time for the 2009 holiday season.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Google , Internet Explorer , Legal issues , Natural user interface , News roundup , Research , Search , Windows 7 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 26, 2009 12:01 PM

Microsoft announces release candidate of Internet Explorer 8

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

With competition in the Web browser market continuing to mount, Microsoft is responding with more frequent releases of Internet Explorer. The company announced the first release candidate -- a near-final version -- of Internet Explorer 8 is available today.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Internet Explorer |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 16, 2009 11:24 AM

European Commission, responding to Opera Software complaint, believes Microsoft violated competition law

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The European Commission notified Microsoft on Thursday of its "preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law." The notification came in a "Statement of Objections," which was not published by the EC. Microsoft itself announced the news because of its "disclosure requirements" in the U.S. The EC's antitrust investigation stems from a December 2007 complaint by Opera Software, maker of the Opera Web browser, which competes with Internet Explorer.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Internet Explorer , Legal issues , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 16, 2008 9:59 AM

Unpatched flaw in Internet Explorer prompts calls to change browsers until fix issued

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The BBC and others are reporting today on a security vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7 -- though earlier versions of the Microsoft Web browser also have the same flaw -- that has yet to be patched. Microsoft has been working on it since at least Wednesday, when it published a security bulletin explaining the flaw.

Update, 12:40 p.m.: Microsoft says it has a security update for this vulnerability. It will be released Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. via Automatic Updates and Microsoft Update. More after the jump.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Internet Explorer , Security & privacy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

September 2, 2008 2:19 PM

Browser back talk: IE8 and Chrome

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

With last week's release of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta 2, and today's Chrome browser from Google, the Web browser has been front and center in tech circles. Here's a collection of links and to help answer a few questions I've received from readers and to put the Google vs. Microsoft vs. Firefox vs. Safari browser rumble in context.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Chrome , Firefox , Google , Internet Explorer , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 27, 2008 12:00 PM

Microsoft releases beta 2 of IE8; more from Firefox maker Mozilla

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Read my story about Microsoft releasing a second test version of its next Web browser, Internet Explorer 8, here. Get it and try it yourself here.

For some added perspective, I talked with Mike Shaver, a founding member of Mozilla, maker of Firefox. He's currently interim vice president of engineering. Rather than gloating about the success of the browser and the 15-plus points of market share Firefox has taken from IE in the last four years, he was glad to see Microsoft speeding up improvements to its own browser:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Firefox , Internet Explorer , Security & privacy , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

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