Archive for April 7th, 2009

EC Principle 5: Microsoft must educate people about other browsers

April 7th, 2009

One of the results of the Windows / IE integration is that millions of people believe that the “blue e” icon IS the Internet.  They are unaware of of Microsoft’s control over their online lives through this blue “e” or that they have additional choices.  This principle asserts that Microsoft should participate in correcting the misconception that it has created.  The monopoly of Windows and Microsoft in people’s computer experience means there is no other entity that can substitute for Microsoft here.

Mozilla has done an amazing job at educating some people about this.  We do this through community and word of mouth.  But Mozilla’s ability to reach some portion of people is not remotely the same as Microsoft’s ability to reach everyone.  Microsoft touches every single person who starts up a PC and touches those people, over and over and over again.

There are a number of ways in which this principle could be implemented.  Some could involve providing information about other browsers in Windows, which are included in principle 3.    There are certainly options beyond Windows, which is why I’ve made this a separate principle.

In the past the EC has levied fines against Microsoft.   A number of people have suggested that these fines could / should be used to educate people about their ability to have some control over their browser and resulting Internet experience.  I don’t know what kinds of structures EU law would impose on how this can be done.  So it’s possible this is something the regulatory structure doesn’t allow.

Back from silence

April 7th, 2009

I’ve been traveling and on vacation the last couple of weeks and so have been silent here. There are a couple more posts about the EC I want to turn to, interspersed with some other topics.

As to the EC, the potential principles I haven’t yet addressed are below. In addition, I want to address why I believe there are significant competitive issues even though Firefox is gaining marketshare.

  • Microsoft must educate people about other browsers (or fines levied against Microsoft should be used to support open source projects and education).
  • Microsoft tools for developing content must not produce IE specific or Windows-specific results.
  • IE must comply with web standards. (Opera has suggested that Microsoft must support web standards they have promised to support).

Skip past the sidebar