Mozilla joins action against Microsoft

By on February 10, 2009, 11:33 AM
The European Commission initiated new antitrust proceedings against Microsoft last month for bundling Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system, and now the open-source group behind Firefox has become involved as well. Specifically, Mozilla has been granted what's called "interested third party" status in the case, which allows it to submit arguments to the European regulator and access confidential case files.

Mozilla Foundation chairperson Mitchell Baker has stated her full support for the EU's conviction that Microsoft's tying of IE to Windows is harmful to the competition and says it will offer full cooperation. The case initially stemmed from a complaint filed by rival browser maker Opera and gives Microsoft two months to respond to the allegations which, if substantiated, could force Microsoft to change the way it distributes IE or even be required to include rival browsers with its operating system.

Interestingly enough, one of the key developers behind Firefox says he doesn't agree with the latter solution, and claims that their current market share (over 20% worldwide) is proof that Microsoft's tactics don't hurt competition or at least that rival browsers can overcome monopolies by proving to users that they are better.




User Comments: 15

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lncpapa said:
This is absolute garbage. I can't believe Mozilla would jump on this bandwagon. It's just frustrating beyond comprehension. If I built a car and put some nice self branded brakes in there Cobra wouldn't be taking action because I didn't put their brakes in there. I really don't understand why it's so offensive to people that they tied their own product into their other products. Makes perfect business sense to me. It's almost reason enough to stop using Firefox for me... if there were some other reasonably well function browser for linux.
complex said:
I agree, total nonsense. Just because IE is included, it doesn't mean people have to use it and clearly large numbers are not using it as IE market share is getting eaten into by most of the alternatives. I would argue that this type of behaviour from the EU actually causes harm to consumers as Microsoft will need to recoup the hundreds of millions they pay in fines. How do they do that? You go it... us, the paying customer.
maclaire said:
I have to say that my heart 'DOES NOT BLEED' for Microsoft. Microsoft has pretty much dominated and thinks they can carry out their business tactics as they do in the US. I will admit that Microsoft has contributed tremendously to the world of technology and they have earned that credit.
Darth Shiv said:
[b]Originally posted by lncpapa:[/b][quote]This is absolute garbage. I can't believe Mozilla would jump on this bandwagon. It's just frustrating beyond comprehension. If I built a car and put some nice self branded brakes in there Cobra wouldn't be taking action because I didn't put their brakes in there. I really don't understand why it's so offensive to people that they tied their own product into their other products. Makes perfect business sense to me. It's almost reason enough to stop using Firefox for me... if there were some other reasonably well function browser for linux.[/quote]Well I think you have a point there in that an operating system actually requires "brakes" - in this case a browser, otherwise you have a tough time of actually downloading an alternative!As ordinary as IE is, it is enough to get you on track to download an alternative.
nazartp said:
[b]Originally posted by Darth Shiv:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by lncpapa:[/b]Well I think you have a point there in that an operating system actually requires "brakes" - in this case a browser, otherwise you have a tough time of actually downloading an alternative!As ordinary as IE is, it is enough to get you on track to download an alternative.[/quote]That is pretty funny. I understand the original position taken by both the US and EU about bundling of the software. The Sherman/Clayton Acts in the US explicitly prohibits tie-in sales. Given that primary mode of software distribution in those years was a CD or a diskette it made sense to have IE as a separate add-on. Now, how are you supposed to: (a) activate your copy of Windows, (b) download the updates; (c) download the alternatives? Absolutely ridiculous! I would have some sympathy for the legislators if the browser and music players were not universally free. Remove IE by default and consumers would need to call to activate their copies and PAY for CD's with the browsers. All that is necessary is a copy of browser that you can uninstall from the system. And you already can do that! IE as well as media player are options when you install the system. What about Apple pushing a bunch of software with iTunes? What about the sites that only support IE natively? All this new case does is hurt the end customers.
tengeta said:
Its not Microsoft's fault someone sticks with IE when they start using their computer, the EXACT same way as it is with Apple and Safari.But simply because its Microsoft, its the other way around.
DarkCobra said:
Agreed. If you buy a particular vehicle you are going to get the specific make of radio (Delco, Bose, whatever) that this vehicle manufacturer selects for their vehicle. The same with the brand of tire they select (Goodyear, Toyo, whatever). If you don't like that brand of radio or tire you can upgrade it yourself with aftermarket parts of your choice or you can simply chose not to buy the vehicle. But you DON'T get to sue the vehicle manufacturer for NOT providing the radio and tire brand YOU wanted! Yeah I know IE is embedded into the OS and folks are upset over it. Get over it. Just like the car . . . the radio is embedded in the dash, either upgrade to the browser of choice or simply buy something other than MS.
treeski said:
I see nothing wrong with IE being included in Microsoft's OS, for many reasons already mentioned. I just disagree with how Microsoft forces users to, at least occasionally, use IE for updating purposes.
DarkCobra said:
Your point is indeed a valid one as there are times such as in updating MS where you are forced to still use IE in lieu of a third party browser. I think this is a carry-over from the early '90's. I recall quite well when there was a major war between MS, AOL, Netscape and they were all actually writing malicious code against each other! It was brutal and ever since, the remnants of those battles still linger up in Redmond, WA.So, MS has ever since wanted to make sure that updates to it's critical Gold Code were going to come through their OWN pipeline. Yeah, it's paranoia . . . LOL, but there was a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away when Netscape & AOL didn't play nice with MS in the sandbox . . . and visa versa! Personally, I don't mind using IE for the very limited purpose of updating the OS. Any other time . . . Firefox rules!
peas said:
If MS adhered to web standards instead of forcing proprietary garbage onto Windows users, this would be an entirely different conversation. They have caused a mess on the web trying to gain a short-term competitive edge, but for the most part have failed. Mozilla is proof. Problem with MS bundling IE is it continues to give them an artificial advantage. Moz has gained good traction but that could be quickly erased by MS interference
luvhuffer said:
Quote: "Your point is indeed a valid one as there are times such as in updating MS where you are forced to still use IE in lieu of a third party browser."I use the add-on "IE Tab" that allows me to switch to the IE engine. I do all my MS updates in a Firefox tab. I no longer have any reason to use IE.As for the EU action, they are a bunch of profit by tort ****** that use lawsuits to fund their little operation.
claritydoc said:
As much as I don't like Microsoft, I cant see why they are wrong to include IE with their OS, iMac does it with Safari!
alinux said:
I have to agree with you guys. This lawsuit is a ridiculous waste of time and money. Apple does the same with Safari and Linux comes with Konqueror and Firefox usually. Are they supposed to include a version of IE just to balance things up? So long as Microsoft don't stop other browsers being used, then this is a non-issue. What Microsoft really did as a criminal act was to hound Lindows out of existence, in effect, by its lawsuits against the Lindows name in one European country after the other. Where was the EU Comission then?
pmshah said:
[b]Originally posted by lncpapa:[/b][quote]This is absolute garbage. I can't believe Mozilla would jump on this bandwagon. It's just frustrating beyond comprehension. If I built a car and put some nice self branded brakes in there Cobra wouldn't be taking action because I didn't put their brakes in there. I really don't understand why it's so offensive to people that they tied their own product into their other products. Makes perfect business sense to me. It's almost reason enough to stop using Firefox for me... if there were some other reasonably well function browser for linux.[/quote]The kind of analogy you use makes me think your vitamin pills got mixed up with s****d pills.Brakes in a car are an essential part. You don't want a car that will not stop. Where as the original windows DID NOT contain any web browser and the world can well do without IE.
MichaelLS said:
HA, HA, HA! I love this thread.Okay - please try to understand this picture - one OS [ Windows ] is a head for tail design. IE is very much a functional part of the loop. Ripping it out is not an option. The flaw(s) is/are in the head for tail design. Break the loop and - blue screen. Fact!Now everybody else - [ OS as in, pick one, -inx ] choose a browser - it just works. Think of it this way - the Hub of the wheel is the OS - the Browser is just another spoke on the wheel - just another application / program.See the problem?Yes, WIndows can run another / 2nd browser - true.Now think of the real issue in this article - competitive domination in the market place. Who is fooling who here? What does the EU [ not ] understand here? Who is trying hard to leverage the market place here?Talk about Anti-Micro$oft. It could not get any worse.
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