Well I feel sorry for those of you who say “What’s a browser?” or “What is internet explorer?” I suspect a huge number of people will be saying just that this week.
Microsoft have just implemented the patch to beat all patches. It’s job – to satisfy the EU Regulators that users of Windows have had a chance to select their web browser, albeit retrospectively, instead of being “forced” to use Internet Explorer, bundled with every version of Windows since the Ark. Microsoft have just been fined an extraordinary amount of money for this “violation of anti trust laws” whatever that entails. If I buy a Sainsburies pork pie I don’t expect to be warned at the checkout that I didn’t need to buy Sainsburies tomato sauce to go with it, so why on earth if I choose Microsoft Windows can I not be trusted to choose my own programs to go with it if I don’t like what they provide me with?
This whole farcical Windows Update, inflicted on Europe this week, means that everyone who has been happy with Internet Explorer to date will now see an anonymous warning screen next time they start their computer. It is titled “Information Regarding Web Browsers” and looks to all intents and purposes like one of those infuriating virus related popups for which I spend half of my professional life warning customers how dangerous it is to click on a link on an unexpected email or popup window.
So this week Internet Explorer will cease to be your web browser of choice until you select it again from a list of five.. no wait theres more hidden ones if you scroll along…. possible candidates. How bloody stupid can it get when someone who didn’t know they had a choice is now able to select a totally inappropriate tool for the job, some of which I have never even heard of. Even more ludicrous is the only option if you want to keep Internet Explorer is to press a button marked “Install” which doesn’t install anything luckily but simply tells you how to put things back how they were before.
Is the EU going to pick up the bill for all those who break their computer while trying to put this back to how it used to be? Don’t we have any rights to make our own minds up about this without being told we have to? This moment certainly has to go down in history as the first time Europe demanded a supplier deliberately broke their product leaving the consumer to piece it back together again. I expect the phone’s going to ring a few times before this one lies down.
But wait a minute ….. I bought an Apple Macbook Pro last month and it came with Safari browser. It must be faulty. I must call the European Parliament immediately……………….. My human rights are being violated. I wanted a red one too, like Dell do, but Macbook Pro only comes in aluminium…… aaarghhhhh.