The cloud storage company, Nextcloud, is leading a coalition against Microsoft in the European Union over what it claims to be anti-competitive behaviour. To back up its claims, it has assembled a coalition of organisations who would also benefit from the action including Tutanota, OnlyOffice, Free Software Foundation Europe, The Document Foundation, European Digital SME Alliance, and many, many more.
According to the coalition, Microsoft is more deeply integrating its 365 services into Windows, for example, OneDrive and Teams ship by default and pushes people to use them. The coalition believes that actions like this make it impossible for them and other smaller firms to compete so it wants the EU to do something about it. Over the years, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have grown their European market share to 66% while local providers declined from 26% to 16%.
The coalition has two demands for the EU, it wants Microsoft to be prevented from bundling, pre-installing, or pushing Microsoft services so others can compete on platforms like Windows and it wants more open standards so that users can seamlessly switch between software solutions rather than being forced to pick, for example, Microsoft Office.
To help its argument, the coalition commented on how the situation today is similar to the 1990s when Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer with Windows to compete against Netscape and also accused other tech firms, like Google and Amazon, of doing the same thing.
The European Union does come down quite hard on big tech from time to time, however, it’s unclear what will happen in this situation. If Microsoft, Google, and others were disallowed from bundling their software in their operating systems, that would be one of the biggest changes we’re ever likely to see.