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Mozilla joins in EU action against Microsoft

updated 01:10 pm EST, Mon February 9, 2009

Mozilla joins EU vs. MS

Mozilla is throwing its support behind a European Commission ruling on bundling Microsoft's Internet Explorer with Windows, according to the company's CEO. Microsoft received a Statement of Objection from the Commission last month, accusing it of violating European competition laws. The action was initially sparked by a complaint from Opera, which produces third-party web browsers. Mozilla itself develops the Firefox browser.

The head of Mozilla, Mitchell Baker, says she has "not the single smallest iota of doubt" that bundling Internet Explorer harms choice, competition and product evolution. Baker adds, however, that Mozilla is willing to propose a solution to Microsoft violations, a move which could benefit the company financially. The Commission confirms that Mozilla has joined the Microsoft case as an interested party, though it is not an official complainant.

It is rumored that the Commission may be interested in a "must carry" solution, which would force Microsoft to offer browsers like Firefox and Opera as an alternative. The company has meanwhile said it is taking its time in replying to the objection, for which it was given a two-month deadline.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    hmmm...

    Wonder if this is an issue for Safari and OS X? Obviously not on the surface, since OS X does not have anything resembling a monoply. Still this could be an interesting argument from a company like Opera or Mozilla.

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    Wow

    This could be interesting given mozilla's roots. Do any of the original Netscape people work for or do work for mozilla?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: hmmmm

    It technically is the exact same issue, but since Apple hasn't been found to have illegally used their monopoly power to stave off competition, they aren't likely to be pressed on the matter.

    Still, how hilarious would if MS tried to sell windows without any browser? I'm sure they'd still get slammed for trying to keep people from using competitors, since the user couldn't download them...

  1. rytc

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2001

    0

    Choice

    The argument here is that MS should bundle Windows with IE AND Firefox, Opera et al. The same could apply to Apple and I don't think Apple would really have a problem bundling Firefox with OS X. The situation is a little different however, as Safari isn't built into OS X to the extent that deleting it wrecks the OS, webkit is built in as an OS service but deleting Safari doesn't affect this or prevent the OS from functioning.

    I think the current situation on the iPhone is more similar to MS where Apple is preventing competitors from providing a browser, the ruling above could apply to the iPhone forcing them to make Opera mobile etc available for install through the app store.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: Choice

    The situation is a little different however, as Safari isn't built into OS X to the extent that deleting it wrecks the OS, webkit is built in as an OS service but deleting Safari doesn't affect this or prevent the OS from functioning.

    It isn't much different. IE is actually just a bunch of frameworks to handle display, along with a program that maps into it. Just like safari. You can 'delete' IE, but if you try to kill the underlying framework, all h*** breaks loose. Just like you can delete Safari, but deleting WebKit will kill everything.

    Windows uses their frameworks for Explorer, IE, Help, Windows Mail, and a bunch of other stuff. Apple, as we know, uses it in pretty much the same places. And on both platforms, other programs use the frameworks as well.

  1. mjtomlin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    The Safari Difference

    Apple used to bundle both IE and Netscape with their computers. It wasn't until Netscape died and Microsoft stopped developing IE for the Mac that Apple decided to bundle its own browser. There's also another difference, Apple's Safari is based off an open source project called WebKit, which is not controlled by Apple. If Opera or Mozilla wanted to add support into WebKit, they could. Also, they have the option of including portions of WebKit into their own projects for compatibility. On the other hand, IE is a completely proprietary engine and browser, controlled by Microsoft.

  1. Waldo Rivera

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2004

    0

    the problem i see is...

    that by bundling explorer microsoft has a guaranteed install base of gajillions which means that they can pretty much force web developers to code specifically for IE. this leaves the standards compliant browsers (read: everybody else) at a significant disadvantage. if sites don't behave properly on Firefox or Opera or Safari then people are going to stick with IE. which is laaaaaame. as far as i'm concerned, THAT is the abuse in play right now and THAT is why safari/webkit isn't the same type of target that IE is.

  1. jbwith84

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    -1

    Again?

    Didn't we already go down this road a few years ago? Don't they have anything better to do? With all that's going wrong in the world, is this the one thing that's really going to fix it all?

    I dislike Microsoft's software and business practices as much as any other Mac user, however, if you purchase Microsoft's software (or any other brand of software) expect the companies' software to be imbedded in itself. If you don't like it, but something else.

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