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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?