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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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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, 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

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

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

October 13, 2008 9:04 AM

Microsoft releases Silverlight 2, says one in four 'has access' to plug-in

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

As expected, Microsoft announced the release of Silverlight 2, its platform for online media and rich Internet application development. It will be available for download here Tuesday morning. As part of the announcement this morning, Microsoft's Scott Guthrie said "one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed."

Continue reading this post ...

Comments | Category: Adobe , Digital media , Web browsers |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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