Talking tech since 2003

Today, I was thinking about the on-going Microsoft anti-trust issues in the European Union. The very same issues which led Microsoft to originally announce they would be selling a separate version of Windows 7 called Windows 7 E which would not have the Internet Explorer browser pre-installed (by default).  However, that plan has changed according to a recent Microsoft blog post.  It appears (as of now) Microsoft will be selling the exact version of Windows 7 in Europe now (the version that includes Internet Explorer).  Nonetheless, this whole situation got me thinking about Google’s recent news about creating their own operating system called Chrome OS and whether or not Google will be subject to the same scrutiny by the EU with regards to their OS.

We all know how web centric of a company Google is – everything they do is on the web or is heavily involved in the web. While there is not very much information currently on Chrome OS I think it is rather safe to assume that the Google Chrome browser will be a very intricate part of the operating system. After all, it is named after the browser. My main question here is the following: Will the EU go after Google if indeed they bundle the Chrome browser within the Chrome OS? It would seem to be a double standard against Microsoft if they didn’t.

I realize at this current time Microsoft is planning on continuing to bundle IE in Windows 7, but, assuming that changes and they are no longer allowed to – will Google face the same anti-trust allegations? I think it’s also important to consider how intertwined Google Chrome (the browser) will be in the Chrome OS. I mean, do you remember back in the days when you needed Internet Explorer to run Windows Updates? Yeah.

Granted the OS will be open source and freely modifiable (which may end up being their legal argument if it comes to this) I can guarantee the majority of end users who may end up using it will not be modifying it. As of right now though, this all remains to be seen. I know we all like to think of Google under their internal motto of “Do no evil”, but, let’s be frank here. They are a company whose objective is to make a profit – just like every other company out there (non-profit companies not included).

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