It seems that yet again Microsoft has been dragged into court over the bundling of IE with Windows. This time Mozilla (the makers of FireFox) get to chime in and be a Third Party consultant to the hearing committee.
With this new status Mozilla will be given access to confidential documentation and be able to voice objections in the EC's hearing over IE.
Now here is where it gets disturbing; Microsoft is in court for bundling IE, but I do not see Apple sitting next to them for Bundling Safari.
FireFox and Opera claim that by bundling IE Microsoft is attempting to kill competition and consumer choice. So how is Apple not guilty of this also? And given the fact that FireFox is the primary default browser for most Distros of Liux how are they not guilty of the same thing they accuse MS of? I also find a comment made by Mitchell Baker (From Mozilla) very funny. She states in her blog "I've been involved in building and shipping web browsers continuously since before Microsoft started developing IE," now correct me if I am wrong but Mitchell Baker did not get hired by Netscape until November 1994 (and then in the legal department covering IP Protection) MS began development on IE from Spyglass Mosaic in the summer (June - July) 1994. It seems like someone got their timelines wrong.
To me the problem seems to stem from companies wanting to beat down other companies, bad press, FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) are the methods I see being used more often than simply making a better product and letting people know about it in a positive way. I am not making any statements that one browser is better than the other, as in the end it really boils down to personal taste and need.
I hope that we will see this turn around in the future but with everyone pulling out the lawsuits lately I have my doubts.
Read more here at Mitchell Baker's Blog.
As it turns out, Microsoft hasn't succeeded in stamping out all competition. Firefox has made a crack in the Microsoft monopoly. And, given a choice, a significant part of the European Union citizens have opted to use Firefox. This does not mean Microsoft's activities haven't done significant damage, or aren't still benefiting Microsoft in ways that reduce competition, choice and innovation.
Equally important, the success of Mozilla and Firefox does not indicate a healthy marketplace for competitive products. Mozilla is a non-profit organization; a worldwide movement of people who strive to build the Internet we want to live in. I am convinced that we could not have been, and will not be, successful except as a public benefit organization living outside the commercial motivations. And I certainly hope that neither the EU nor any other government expects to maintain a healthy Internet ecosystem based on non-profits stepping in to correct market deficiencies.
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