Microsoft trying to set own antitrust remedy, says Opera CEO
IDG News Service - Microsoft's plan to strip out its Internet Explorer (IE) browser from Windows 7 in Europe, due for sale in the fall, is designed to force the European Commission's hand as it devises an antitrust remedy to restore fair competition in the browser market, said Jon von Tetzchner, the CEO of Norwegian browser maker Opera.
"Microsoft is trying to set the remedy itself by stripping out IE," he said in a phone interview Friday.
Opera complained to the Commission about the bundling of IE in Windows in 2007. The complaint sparked an antitrust probe that resulted in formal charges of monopoly abuse in January this year.
The Commission is now formulating a remedy that would include the creation of a ballot screen containing a selection of browsers for users to choose from when they install Windows on their new computers.
Von Tetzchner said such a remedy is just as important now as it was before Microsoft announced the plan to unbundle IE from the new version of the OS.
Microsoft, however, is trying to derail the process by offering a version of Windows without a browser, said Von Tetzchner. "They are trying to replicate the remedy in the media player case, which we all know didn't work."
"If Microsoft got its way there would be no ballot screen, just a version of Windows that has no browser at all -- just like the edition 'n' of Windows that resulted from the earlier European antitrust case," he said.
In that case in 2004, the Commission ruled that Microsoft had distorted competition in the market for media players by bundling its Windows Media Player into Windows. It ordered the software giant to sell a version of Windows that had the media player stripped out, as well as selling the fully bundled version of Windows.
The ruling didn't insist on a price differential between the two versions. Microsoft complied, launching Windows edition 'n' which, not surprisingly, bombed in the market.
The Commission doesn't want to make the same mistake this time, in its remedy for restoring competition in the browser market, and rival browser makers are insistent that there must be no repeat of the edition 'n' debacle.
"It's very important that there is an effective remedy for the browser market," Von Tetzchner said.
"Now that Microsoft has acknowledged it has been breaking the law by bundling IE into Windows, the Commission must push ahead with an effective remedy," he added.
A ruling by the Commission was expected late this year. Von Tetzchner said it may come sooner, following Microsoft's decision to strip out IE from Windows 7. "Their decision should make room for a faster conclusion," he said.
- Windows 7 pre-orders grab Amazon's top sales spots
- Analyst: $120 for Windows 7 'way too much'
- Preston Gralla: Don't believe the $120 Windows 7 pricetag
- Microsoft dumps Windows 7 upgrades for EU
- Microsoft's Windows 7-to-XP downgrade plan a 'real mess,' says analyst
- Windows 7 upgrade programs will start soon, vary by vendor
- Microsoft caves to EU antitrust pressure over IE
- Microsoft trying to set own antitrust remedy, says Opera CEO
- Speed Test: Windows 7 RC not much faster than Vista
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Path Selection Infographic
- Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic
- A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era
- From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs
- If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity... All Government IT White Papers
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- All Government IT Webcasts