Archive for February 10th, 2009

EC: Foray Into Remedies

February 10th, 2009

In my last post I listed a set of themes I’d like to address regarding the EC and Microsoft.  I expect to post in roughly the order listed.   But first I want to comment on the remedies issue briefly.

Most of the discussion of potential remedies focuses on either shipping Windows without a browser or on a “must-carry” requirement, which Microsoft described in its recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.   These may be the most obvious possible remedies, but they are not the only, or even necessarily the best possible remedies.

I think everyone agrees that a good remedy is difficult to craft.  There’s great disagreement over whether it is appropriate to try.  I’m going to describe in subsequent posts why I think it’s appropriate to offer Mozilla’s expertise to the EC rather than simply wait to see what happens.

It would also be good to have a wide-ranging discussion of possible remedies.  We’ll undoubtedly find that most possible remedies are flawed, some so deeply that they might be worse than doing nothing.  We may find some remedies that will improve the situation.  I’m inclined to think this is the case, although I too understand the complexity of the setting.   If that discussion hasn’t developed before I finish a couple of the posts I listed above, I’ll try to spark it with some suggestions.

EC and Microsoft: Discussion Themes

February 10th, 2009

The discussion about the EC and Microsoft has a number of themes. I see these themes reflected in the response to my post and in the discussion in general. Some have been raised by Mozilla contributors. I’m going to try to respond to these general themes, although not every comment specifically. I’m going to start by addressing the themes in separate messages; I think that will make the discussions easier.

The themes I see so far are:

  • Private responses, such as building Firefox, are the only appropriate response.
  • Microsoft should be able to do whatever it wants;  there’s no reason to treat Microsoft differently than anyone else.
  • Government should have no role in technology, and Mozilla should not spend time with the EC.
  • People can choose an alternative browser, so there’s no problem.
  • All the remedies I can think of all have some serious problem:  they are too late, they are backward-looking, or the don’t seem likely to  help the consumer.

There may be other themes that appear or that I’ve missed with this first pass. Or two may show up as part of the same message, I’m not sure yet since I haven’t written them. But these are the topics I know now that I want to address.

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