Mozilla to join EU suit against Microsoft

On Monday, European Union(EU) granted Mozilla, the right to join its antitrust case against Microsoft. Mozilla has been granted an interested third party status which allows it to submit arguments, to see the confidential statement of objections the EU sent to Microsoft last month, and to participate in a face-to-face hearing if Microsoft requests one.

Last month European Union said its preliminary view was that Microsoft had violated the European law by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, based on a complaint by Opera, the outcome of which may be EU forcing Microsoft to bundle Firefox and other browsers with Windows. Opera later suggested that one of the possible remedies to revive browser competition would be to ship an European edition of Windows operating system without a browser and users given a choice of browsers either during at the install or via Windows Update after the installation.

Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation Chairperson & CEO said in her blog on Friday that she supported the EU's preliminary view and is ready to participate in the European antitrust proceedings. She said that Firefox had been able to build significant market share despite the bundling of Internet Explorer and Windows.

"the damage Microsoft has done to competition, innovation and the pace of the Web development itself is both glaring and ongoing. There are separate questions of whether there is a good remedy, and what that remedy might be. Mozilla Firefox has made a crack in the Microsoft browser monopoly. But even so, hundreds of millions of people use old versions of IE, often without knowing what a browser is or that they have any choice in the quality of their experience. This makes it very difficult to bring innovation, choice or improved user experience to vast parts of the Internet. She concluded by offering the EU Mozilla's expertise as it considers what an effective remedy would entail"

In an interview with PC Pro, Firefox architect Mike Connor said that Mozilla is still considering its position in the light of the ruling, but that he wouldn't be in favour of Firefox being bundled with Windows. He also said Opera is asserting something that's provably false that bundling the browser leading to market share.

"Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face. As people become aware there's an alternative, you don't end up in that [monopoly] situation. You have to be perceptibly better [than Internet Explorer]"

Mike also added that he was "kind of worried" about Firefox achieving the monopolistic status of Internet Explorer.

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I think this debate needs to happen. It can't just be swept under the carpet any longer. My personal feelings are that bundling other web browsers or removing Internet Explorer from Windows altogether aren't idea solutions, and in that respect I don't pretend to offer a better one either. With that said though it's very difficult to argue that Microsoft don't have the superior distribution channel for their product. Some people seem to be forgetting that there are people who make their livings (read: putting food on the table) building other web browsers.

If all the EU, Opera and Mozilla wading in achieves is to spark a wider debate then great, because it needs to happen. Saying Microsoft should be able to do what they want (like pulling out of the EU), or that Apple should be subject to the same treatment or even that the EU are just doing this for money just isn't a reasonable answer any more.

Nobody forces you to use IE. Firefox has a pretty big Windows install base for an add-on browser you have to download. Apple is guilty of the exact same thing and worse. They bundle their browser with their OS, shove it with updates for their Windows software, and tie iPods, iTunes, their App and Music stores, and their OS all together. They should all be subject to the same treatment. Laws are not supposed to apply to one entity more than another.

ziadoz said,
Pardon me if I don't take your opinion too seriously, but your first reaction to this article was to "permanently remove Firefox".


No, my first reaction was to read the Mozilla blog article. My second was to post my intent here. My third action was to uninstall Firefox.

It's still over the top any way you look at it. Especially when you consider Mozilla are arguing *against* the very thing you seem to be angry at Opera and the EU for suggesting.

i hate the eu. first they wants us to convert to imperial units, then change pounds to euros. Now they even decide which software we should use. I say MS should stop selling products in the EU for a while, and see how they like that.

despite the complaints from developer community against Internet exploere non-standards compliance, MS is going on and on maintaing a few standard on their browser. It is clear that they want to create their own standard on the web. The recent release of IE8 rc1 just prove this truth.
If MS is nog supoorting web standard - this is just the begining. More will come to MS.

Personally I suggest that developer should make some tweak and make their webpage a little squirky in the IE and suggest user to download a standard compliant browser from the web.

I will from now on will show an statistics in my every webpage "how much your browser supports web standard"
and request them to " dont hurt the web"

tareqf1 said,
despite the complaints from developer community against Internet exploere non-standards compliance, MS is going on and on maintaing a few standard on their browser. It is clear that they want to create their own standard on the web. The recent release of IE8 rc1 just prove this truth.
If MS is nog supoorting web standard - this is just the begining. More will come to MS.

Personally I suggest that developer should make some tweak and make their webpage a little squirky in the IE and suggest user to download a standard compliant browser from the web.

I will from now on will show an statistics in my every webpage "how much your browser supports web standard"
and request them to " dont hurt the web"


Web standards are so retarded that they limit you to do a lot of things.

time to start coding my own browser... maybe add some adware to get some $$$ od it and sue as well...
wow...
$$$ of one browser X the sale number of windows = WHOAW!

ok... where's my copy of Visual Studio again? :D

...

ridiculous

edit: please note: this is meant metaphorically

IE is so full of security holes it isn't even funny. IE is like swiss cheese for security. I have been a dedicated user of Firefox for several years. My parents have used it for 2 years now and their computer remains spyware, malware, and virus free. They used IE on their previous computer and it was infected at least once per week where I had to clean it out. This went on for 10 weeks until the last cleanup finally took the OS down requiring a reinstall. My parents browsing habits didn't change. The software that they used did and for the better.

shinji257 said,
IE is so full of security holes it isn't even funny. IE is like swiss cheese for security. I have been a dedicated user of Firefox for several years. My parents have used it for 2 years now and their computer remains spyware, malware, and virus free. They used IE on their previous computer and it was infected at least once per week where I had to clean it out. This went on for 10 weeks until the last cleanup finally took the OS down requiring a reinstall. My parents browsing habits didn't change. The software that they used did and for the better.


So they don't have antivirus and antispyware installed? Firefox is garbage i can tell you that right away. Most of my programming time i spent tweaking code so stupid FF can display things correctly, not to mention memory leak that browser has. Those security problems IE has nothing to do with, there are gone with Vista + UAC. You will catch virus with Firefox as well trust me, it just seems your parents don't know how to install plugins in FF...that's the whole point there.

shinji257 said,
IE is so full of security holes it isn't even funny. IE is like swiss cheese for security. I have been a dedicated user of Firefox for several years. My parents have used it for 2 years now and their computer remains spyware, malware, and virus free. They used IE on their previous computer and it was infected at least once per week where I had to clean it out. This went on for 10 weeks until the last cleanup finally took the OS down requiring a reinstall. My parents browsing habits didn't change. The software that they used did and for the better.


Source?

What Microsoft should be doing is providing options during the install. A choice of browsers is ideal but of course then they have to support them. It will also be a support nightmare for other companies. Beyond that I think that it should be optional to install items like WMP, Windows Messenger, and Outlook Express/Windows Mail. Yes I do know that Windows 7 does not come with a mail client...

That's fine as long as the EU forces Apple to remove Safari, iTunes, and QuickTime from OSX. They hurt competing technologies too, including Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft's Office. In fact, they should be barred from distributing iLife with new Macs and let people choose what suite they want.

Do some research. No one forces anyone to use WMP, Messenger, Outlook, IE. Users always have a choice. If they are lacking the knowledge of what a browser is or how to try a different one they can blame themselves, not Microsoft.

1) Install Vista
2) Open IE
3) http://www.firefox.com
4) Download

I know that people are dumb, but, it's not that difficult.

Opera is simply hurt because they have a sub-par browser that no one wants to use.

Let's see more QQ, Opera.

So do you think notepad.exe and calc.exe are anti-competitive, simply because Grandma doesn't know(or care) about using an alternative?

I hope not.

I think Firefox's intentions are pretty clear. Firefox is saying that in the past, Internet Explorer's lack of standards and massive market share was responsible for hurting innovation and competition within the browser market. IE's great power came with great responsiblity, and that responsibility was grossly ignored by Microsoft.

However, times have changed. IE doesn't control the broswer market anymore, and Microsoft is trying to turn their massive flagship browser to be on course with web standards. Firefox understands that, and simply wants Microsoft to stay the course. Firefox does not want their browser forced down other users throats; they are clearly attacking Opera for using the EU to punish Microsoft for the mistakes and shortcomings of Opera themselves. Google's Chrome even surpassed Opera in market share, in a matter of months(and they are still in BETA). Is Opera going to have the EU sue google next?

Even if Opera does succeed in having the money-grubbing EU force Microsoft to include additional browsers at the point of installation. who is to say that Opera will be on that list? You'd be first to see Safari on that list, before Opera ever has a chance.

Can't blame them. They lost the unconditional support of their Sugar daddy Google. Chrome will eat into FF faster than IE. They also are equal opportunity in that they went after Apple calling them Malware when they started bundling Safari with iTunes on Windows.

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