Principle 6: Microsoft tools for developing content must not produce IE specific or Windows-specific results.

April 8th, 2009

Over 90% of the personal computer operating systems in the world are Windows.  As a result, application developers often use Microsoft tools to help write programs that work with Windows, and with related technologies or products that are integrated or often used with Windows.  Microsoft has a history of using its tools to lock out other products. For example, Microsoft web development tools  have often resulted in code that only works with IE.  The application developers may or may not even be aware of this.  They use a convenient tool provided by the operating system vendor, and end up helping extend the operating system monopoly to other products.

Examples of  tools to which this principle would apply include Microsoft Expression Web and Microsoft Office Sharepoint.  One might also include Silverlight and related development tools, or tools that do things such as embed MS Office documents in web pages.

This principle asserts that Microsoft cannot cause web or application developers to create IE-specific content by default.

10 comments for “Principle 6: Microsoft tools for developing content must not produce IE specific or Windows-specific results.”

  1. 1

    me said on April 9th, 2009 at 3:21 am:

    Outlook Web Access 2007 anyone? The premium version is, of course, IE only. Not that it’s really premium, it does less than Web Access 2003, but the ‘basic’ version that other browsers get has even less features than the premium version.

  2. 2

    David Banes said on April 9th, 2009 at 4:38 am:

    Well said, it’s nice to see someone as influential as you making this statement.

  3. 3

    Pingback from I’ll keep publishing » Principle 6: Microsoft tools for developing content must not produce IE specific or Windows-specific results. | Mitchell’s Blog

    […] Principle 6: Microsoft tools for developing content must not produce IE specific or Windows-specific…. […]

  4. 4

    mitchell said on April 9th, 2009 at 7:37 am:

    Funtomas : i think microsoft already can’t control what the OEMs put on the machines — i think that was part of the previous lawsuit, the US Department of Justice lawsuit of the 1990s. That came out of Microsoft’s then-practice of threatening to destroy the OEM’s business if they shipped Netscape Navigator/ Communicator.

    me: thanks for the product name!

  5. 5

    Asa Dotzler said on April 9th, 2009 at 9:43 am:

    I think this is a critical principle. There are three big pieces involved in how Web content makes it to the consumer. The first is the development software used to create the content. The second is the server software used to host and distribute the content. The third is the client software (Web browser) that consumes the content and presents it to the user. Microsoft has built a full stack that covers creation to distribution to consumption and it’s very much self re-enforcing.

    The content development software that Microsoft produces should not favor its server or client software over that of competitors. I think that disrupting that self-reinforcing stack will go farther in promoting choice and innovation than pressure to adopt specific standards in the client and would have far less chance of unintended negative consequences.

    – A

  6. 6

    tsahi said on April 9th, 2009 at 2:42 pm:

    Are you sure about what you are saying? From my expirience, Visual Studio 2003/ASP.NET 1.1 did create degraded code for anything which isn’t IE (but that can be fixed trough web.config if the developer cared enough), but I know more recent versions of VS can generate standard XHTML. I admint I didn’t try it since I used the 2003 version.
    Silverlight has a plugin for Firefox, and in the few uses I’ve seen, I didn’t see a problem.

  7. 7

    Pingback from Mozilla Doesn’t Like the Way Windows 7 Boosts Internet Explorer | google android os blog

    […] to police Microsoft’s distribution practices with Windows and Internet Explorer. She has also written extensively on her blog about how deeply Microsoft’s practices steer users toward its own […]

  8. 8

    dar said on May 19th, 2009 at 7:46 pm:

    I am an older seniordeaf-Had Morzill Firefox for about 18 months, I do not care for Vista windows, IE8 was downloaded-thru yahoo,, but they changed my home page Firefox-Search
    Yahoo. I had Google seach.
    I finally tried to figured it out-No luck-so I know have iGoogle home page.
    Did not know how to get a home page for MozillaFirefox. I have alway had Microsoft. But a friend set me into What I am a few years ago.
    I wished I had someone to help me get it all cleaned out of Microsoft products. It is to confusing for me the keep making the switch-some searches I get a 404, or if I switch to IE then it come in.
    By chance if some one knows Asa Doztler-Please have him contact me thru my mail, a friend is searching some family history fromGermany. The gentlemen lives in Oregon.
    Thanks so much,

  9. 9

    aski-memnu said on June 2nd, 2009 at 4:33 am:

    Evt bencede Firefox haklı

  10. 10

    Pingback from Mozilla Links

    […] Microsoft development tools must not produce IE or Windows specific results. […]

Skip past the sidebar