Mozilla calls for 'open web' in EU Microsoft row
Defines good, bad, and ugly IE remedies
After days of unrest at Mozilla Towers, the Firefox firm has finally given its official word on Brussels’ preliminary findings against Microsoft for tying its Internet Explorer browser to Windows.
The open source outfit put up a mealymouthed statement on its official blog yesterday in which it said it wants the European Commission to impose a remedy that supports an “open and participatory web”.
But Mozilla doesn’t want to upset the applecart too much. “By the same token, we seek to avoid any remedy that causes unintended damage,” it burbled.
The not-for-profit organisation said that Mozilla has received “interested third party” status in the EC’s probe of Microsoft’s browser business practices.
This means Mozilla may confidentially view the European anti-trust watchdog’s Statement of Objections. Microsoft was handed the bad news last month and told it had eight weeks to issue a written response to the directorate general.
“We may participate in a hearing if the EC concurs. Mozilla’s role as an interested third party best enables us to contribute our knowledge of the browser industry to the EC,” said the browser maker.
The firm also picked up where its CEO Mitchell Baker unofficially-officially left off on what sort of remedy it would like to see.
"An effective remedy would be a watershed event; a poorly constructed remedy could cause unfortunate damage,” she said on her blog late last week.
Now, we have the official-official word on the matter: "A good remedy could be helpful - a bad remedy could create more damage."
So, it looks like the Mozilla CEO at least is on the same page as the firm's legal team on the matter.
Mozilla was forced to reveal its stance on the EC's investigation after one of its software wonks, Mike Connor reportedly hit out at Opera, which originally filed a complaint to the EC in 2007 about MS tying its browser to the Windows operating system.
"As with any dedicated and enthusiastic community, ours is one of diverse opinions," said Mozilla. "Our official stance: (1) we want to offer our knowledge to the EC as it considers its next steps; and (2) we intend to continue public discussions of this topic." ®
with respect to free
If IE was free, why is it restricted to people who own a Windows license - you can run IE in wine under linux, if you desire, but if you don't own a windows license then you may not. Same with many of the fonts that comes free with windows. (mind you it has been a while since I've read the conditions, as I never use IE any more, my bank works on liux with firefox :-)).
So a Vista Ultimate in Denmark costs 499 pounds, OEM version about 50 pounds.
IE is said to be free.
BUT you cannot make use of IE, unless you own a windows license.
Does that not suggest to you the fact that IE is not free, and a part of the price you paid for windows was in fact for IE.
This makes it unfair to Opera, as their price is visible, IE appears free.
Firefox, et al. are free developed from sponsors, and the community.
Silverlight annoys me, if Microsoft wanted it to be a cross platform standard, and it is giving the platform away for free, why does it not give out the source, so that the code base on Windows, and Linux could be the very same, thus ensuring that the versions are indeed both optimal ? Microsoft keeps boasting with their mixed source license scheme, and professed love for open source ? (similarly with .net, which a version was built for linux, called mono, and yet not the same code base)
In my opinion, it seems that the silverlight (and .net) exercise seems to be an Anti-anti-trust precaution, by having it implemented on linux as well, could possibly ward off a coming antitrust case from Adobe.
@wolf, who thinks it as simple as IE/Firefox/Opera being given away free. Luckily, the EU see the big picture.
1. Microsoft produce a non standards compliant browser.
2. As they are the biggest player in the market, a number of unenlightened web site developers write their code based on the percentage of users using IE. Of course, why wouldn't they it makes perfect business sense to go after the biggest market. However long term it's a huge mistake, as a monopoly is being reinforced. That's where goverments have to play a role in making sure companies in a monopoly position such as Microsoft, don't exploit that position by killing any competition before it has had the chance to blossom. Goverments level the playing field on behalf of the consumer by helping the smaller players by making sure the monopoly isn't restricting competition.
3. Monopolies are not good, because the monopoly player will almost always take advantage by overcharging because it can, because that's business. It overcharges for windows because if you want to access a non compliant web site based around anything MS then you have to buy windows because Microsoft don't produce IE for Linux. ie they use their free browser to increase market share of the Windows operating system.
4. The looser is the user, because Microsoft are restricting choice.
5. Some of the worse offenders when producing websites that they only test with IE are of course financial institutions, banks/credit card companies etc. I wonder why that is ?
EU - Keep up the good work.
Take the case of Silverlight. Microsoft produce something to compete with Adobe Flash. Microsoft appear to be doing the correct thing by working with opensource to produce an equivalent for Linux. ( Of course it doesn't work with ITV websites ) ( ITV is a UK TV station for our cousins across the pond )
Adobe do produce a cross platform version of flash, because they don't produce operating systems. They have no conflict of interests.
Microsoft do produce an operating system, so they have a conflict of interest in producing a version of silverlight for Linux. ( Moonlight ). They are doing there best to try to appease the EU by looking as if they are cross platform, but I don't trust them. The Linux version of Silverlight will never be as good as the windows version they will always be playing catchup, because it's not in Microsofts interests to have anything work properly with Linux or Apple. They want to keep people buying windows by tieing them in any which way.
A universal requirement
EU should land on a universal requirement for operating systems to ship with no pre-installed browser. This would apply to the Windows-IE world, and to the OSX-Safari world. (How many OSX versions have you seen, where you can actually uninstall safari).
In the second round, they should require the OS to be separated from the media handling, thus separating windows from mediaplayer, and OSX from iTunes/Quicktime.
In this race, OSX is actually worse than Windows.
The next big problem is that a lot of apps written for windows actually depend on the IE code in the os. One example, is the "steam" drm/gameshop system.