Trade group: Stripping IE from Windows harms ISVs

EC ruling risks balkanizing the Windows platform and weakening Microsoft's operating system, ACT says

The European Commission claims it is acting in the interests of consumers in pursuing an antitrust ruling against Microsoft for bundling its Internet Explorer into the Windows OS, but unbundling them would be a nightmare for independent software developers, said Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), on Monday.

Zuck was planning to make his argument in person next week at an antitrust hearing, but Microsoft cancelled the hearing because key European Commission officials involved in the case wouldn't be able to attend. The ACT is one of several trade groups that have been accepted as interested third parties in the European antitrust case against Microsoft

Microsoft initially asked for a hearing in order to challenge the Commission's formal charges made in January that it has abused the dominant position of Windows by bundling IE. The formal charges, known as a statement of objections, proposed a remedy that would replace IE with a choice of competing browsers.

Zuck argued that the remedy under consideration by Europe's top antitrust regulator could shift the burden of maintaining Windows as a software development platform from Microsoft to ISVs.

"Don't remove IE's code," Zuck said, adding: "I don't care whether the application is there or not but software developers need IE's code in order to do their work," he said.

"The Commission seems intent on ending the functionality of Windows. If it strips out IE what will it strip out next? Where will it stop?" he asked.

The Commission is considering forcing Microsoft to strip out all IE code and offer users a choice of browsers -- a so-called "must carry" remedy. This is the best way to ensure consumer choice in the browser market, in the Commission's view.

But Zuck warned: "If you are going to focus on end users, don't screw it up for ISVs." He spoke on behalf of 73 independent software vendors that signed the ACT's submission, formally submitted to the Commission Monday.

Besides the association, PIN-SME, another group claiming to represent the interest of small software vendors, joined the case last month on the side of the Commission. Likewise, Free Software Foundation Europe joined earlier this year.

Google, maker of the Chrome browser, and Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox browser, were also accepted as interested third parties. The Norwegian browser maker Opera sparked the whole case with a complaint about IE in 2007.

A final ruling in the case is expected this summer.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftInternet Explorereuropean commission

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Meller

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?