MS competitors complain about EU decision

MS competitors criticize EU settlement

A number of software developers that make competitors to Microsoft's Internet Explorer have complained about the recent settlement with the EU that would allow Microsoft to give users the option to install another web browser. According to a Monday WSJ report (subscription required), the complaints came via a questionnaire EU officials sent out to Microsoft's competition, urging them for comment on the settlement idea.

The issue came up as Microsoft bundles its Internet Explorer browser with its Windows operating system, by far the dominating software used in PCs. In July, Microsoft agreed to give users a choice of competing browsers through a "ballot screen" in Windows.

A representative for the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, with Opera maker among its members, says the ballot is too troublesome for those who wish to change browsers. Doing so requires them to "confirm and answer threatening and confusing warnings and questions," says a lawyer representing the committee, adding that the Microsoft has found a way to make the ballot ineffective.

Mozilla, maker of the second popular Firefox browser, informed the EU that modifications and clarifications to the system are needed, but otherwise supports the ballot setup.

If and how the issues will be resolved remains to be seen, but Microsoft says it's receptive to the criticisms.

  1. Bobfozz 09/29, 05:45pm

    This whole thing is nuts.

    Apple doesn't include Firefox in its operating system instead plumping for its own Safari. But if I want to add Firefox, I can. And according to recent reports, they are co-existing. Mostly I use Safari... when I have a server or a website acting up, I switch to Firefox. I also have, for emergency, the lame IE 5 jsut in case.

    I can't believe that MS, who I can't stand, has to put up with this ballot initiative thing from a bunch of weenies in Europe. I strongly, very strongly, suspect these people who complain have never really run their own business but think they know how to tell others to. According to recent stats, not too many people use, know, or care about Opera. Shouldn't it die? Maybe Opera should also build their own operating system.

    Whatever happened to "marketplace dynamics?" This doesn't have to include monopolization, but these other browsers are the wet dream of their developers. Any of these doofuses are looking for the golden egg because they know how to write software... whoopee.

  1. Tim_s 09/29, 05:49pm

    I know I'm about to sound like an apologist for Microsoft, but when is Opera going to stop whining all the time? Seriously, I think Opera won't be satisfied until the EU makes Microsoft install the Opera browser as default.

  1. nat 09/29, 05:55pm

    what happened to it? that died with netscape. if ms had not included monopolization then this would not be an issue. what the h*** does safari and apple have to do with this?
    ms has a very very long history of monopolization.
    those eu 'weenies" are doing what those US bad boys didn't have the balls to do.

  1. JulesLt 09/30, 04:46am

    would you want OS X to do the same when you first ran it?

    And then prompt to ask which email client you wanted (well, most people use gmail/Yahoo anyway, and I find their lack of support for native client protocols annoying). And then ask whether you wanted to install alternatives to QuickTime, iTunes, Picassa over iPhoto, etc - at what point would it make OS installation a tedious business.

    I do understand the point of the original Netscape argument - MS overtly set out to kill Netscape's business, and furthermore attempted to break the web as an open standard (through extensions like ActiveX, and through poor implementation of agreed standards).

    Opera, on the other hand, need to ask why Firefox has succeeded, where they have failed.

  1. ViktorCode 09/30, 09:28am

    why Opera has failed as a browser. To treat their users as brain dead dummies easily confused by browser choice dialog where they won't find their favourite Opera-toy is an interesting choice in marketing strategy, but badly calculated.

  1. danviento 09/30, 09:43am

    If a person is scared when having to, "confirm and answer threatening and confusing warnings and questions," what business do they have using an internet browser to begin with?

    Seriously, what is there to worry about? If a person is going to use a third party browser, they more than likely know something about it already. I always though MS *should* have first dibbs on offering their browser as an option since they developed the OS it's running on. Ok, when I say developed, I don't mean from scratch. Duh. But it's still their product.

    Firefox does amazingly well against IE, and Safari is continually gaming steam. They don't need a lawsuit to stay viable, they continue on their own merits.

    It's at times like these that I pity MS and Intel as they fight the EU EC from sucking them dry just to sell in that market.

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