EC strikes again…fines Microsoft for lame browser ballot screen…Europeans, after all, cannot make up their own minds you know

Microsoft reached an agreement, several years ago, with EC to include a browser ballot in Windows. This browser ballot allowed Europeans to choose a default browser. In effect, this protectionist move (over the ill-fated Opera browser) hand held Europeans in selecting a browser because, you know, they couldn’t figure it out on their own.

Fast forward to 2011. Microsoft releases service pack 1 for Windows 7. Through some kind of mistake, the browser ballot is left out. A YEAR LATER, Microsoft informs the EC that of the mistake. It took the Commission from July of 2012 to NOW to decide to fine MS a cool $750 million dollars for the mistake. Never mind NO ONE NOTICED that for nearly a year, the ballot was missing.

Now, aside from the fact that the reasoning for the screen is long dead and stupid to begin with-I know my Euro friends are quite intelligent-the fact that no one noticed speaks volumes. This ruling is yet one more reason for the EU/EC/Ewhatever to slap an American company for doing well.

What would happen if the Us did the same? There would be an outcry from every EU member nation.  Yet, this move, designed to protect Opera, goes on without so much as a protest from anyone.It just makes me want to use IE even more and hope for Opera’s demise-which, fortunately,has been hastened by its adoption of Webkit, a decidedly inferior web rendering engine.

Now, I gotta run and do some surfing…avoiding any EC-sanctioned site or product, of course.

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