Because MS will use the default nature of their browser on their 90% market share to push users to their web portal (bing)
IE does this already, and it doesn't seem to be doing much to eat away at Google's usage share. At any rate, why not complain that Firefox is pushing Google as the default search engine, maintaining Google's enormous usage share of search engine traffic? Google could use the competition, and nothing stops users from entering "google.com" in the browser, as I imagine the tech illiterate were doing all along.
Because the vast majority of users don't know there is a choice, they will effectively be rendered into using MS other service offerings artificially.
Um, no. This isn't 2001. IE usage share is dying, and fast. Everyone but the most tech illiterate at least knows about Firefox and Chrome, and more than likely knows someone who is using either browser, if they aren't themselves. All the while IE still came preinstalled with each copy of Windows, just as it had since 1996, and Windows usage share hasn't changed enough in the last decade to attribute this to more OS diversity. At this stage, you have people using IE either because they don't care what browser they use, actually prefer IE, or are forced to use IE because of corporate intranet or specific Web site issues. Only the last one concerns me, as it artificially forces a choice of Web browser.
This will make it artificially easier for MS to compete in areas outside of their core in spite of any quality failings of these other products. In short it allows MS to compete effectively even if their product offering is vastly inferior to the competition.
IE9 is actually a really good Web browser, far better than the previous IEs. I have no reason to believe that IE10 won't be equally as good. Microsoft's IE team actually seems to care now about making a decent Web browser, since they know that they can't just ignore IE anymore in the face of Firefox and Chrome competition, despite IE's continued status as the default Web browser (see above).
Thus MS can basically avoid any standardization, provide a crappy product and still drive their competition out of business, all without having to invest any significant capital in R&D. In short, in the end it is all the things that antitrust was designed to prevent because it is the consumers who ultimately get hosed.
Microsoft tried this, and it worked for a few years. Then Firefox came and crushed them. Now Chrome is crushing Firefox and IE. All the while regulatory bodies were nowhere to be seen. Microsoft's own incompetence did them in.
Also, in retrospect, IE was Microsoft's only real bundling success with Windows. Let's look at what else they've thrown in:
- Windows Media Player: had a good run, but it's lack of MP3 support for years made it lose out to Winamp, and later iTunes.
- Windows Messenger: AHAHAHAHAHA
- Outlook Express/Windows Mail: I don't have any real stats here, but from my observations most people with a real need for a mail client usually turn to the full version of Outlook first. Everyone else uses a webmail service of some sort. In any case this isn't even part of Windows anymore.
- Windows Movie Maker: Fair enough, this one did really well with amateur YouTubers. If anyone else used it, I haven't noticed. This one is also no longer included with Windows.
If this were 10 years ago, when IE ruled the land and locked everyone in with no hope of an end in sight, I would have agreed with you. But times have changed, and IE has been dethroned. Not even Microsoft's old tricks are going to get it back to 90+% usage share again.