Microsoft and the Antitrust Browser...A Decade in the Making

It seems just like yesterday that some government was telling Microsoft that the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows was unbecoming of an industry leader, because it screwed other web browsers out of market share.

The European Union has made a decision stating Microsoft cannot bundle Internet Explorer with Windows anymore, if they want to sell in any European countries.  This decision was the result of Opera Software ASA, the people behind the Opera browser.  The complaints are two-fold.

  1. Market share is nearly seized completely by IE because it comes preinstalled with Windows, which is the dominant operating system.
  2. Because the majority of browsers are IE, websites need to conform to IE’s html rendering which is “non-standard”.

I’d agree with the first statement, but I find it bogus.  Regardless of whether or not IE has dominant market share, you still need a browser.  How would you get your hands on the installation files for the new browser?  Certainly not by downloading it from the internet…  You can get the software from the store.  Not likely.  That just means one more piece of software to worry about.  You can have the browser company mail it to you.  Is Firefox a company?  Do they have offices?  Seriously?  WTF?  Oooh, or maybe Microsoft can have a basic version of a web browser, that all it does is go to one specific site.  The site then has a list of all available web browsers on the market, which you can then download.  I’m actually at a loss to say for once.

With regards to the second point, Internet Explorer certainly does not have a great track record for sticking to HTML standards.  But I have to say Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc, don’t conform either.  None of them conform to the HTML standards completely.  With that being said, Internet Explorer 8 is supposed to be ACID 2 compliant, meaning it is compliant at least as much as everyone else.  In other words, it shows the face:


I’m going to keep an eye out for news from the EU, because I suspect they will overturn the ruling in some way or another.  Some people say Internet Explorer is only to be used to download Firefox.  Now that it’s not there, how the hell do you plan on downloading Firefox, eh?