Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Internet Explorer: really part of the OS?

The EU is going after Microsoft for market abuse again. This time the EU are thinking about tackling interfaces to office and .Net (among other things) and also the bundling of Internet Explorer.

In response to the latter I have seen a couple of people write that, really, IE is part of the operating system and trying to remove it would be, to quote one person, a "calamity".

I suspect that this is largely a word game. Internet Explorer is whatever Microsoft say it is since "Internet Explorer" is just a brand name. Certainly there is a web browser in there somewhere which one may (currently forlornly) hope would render documents made up of W3C standard elements like HTML, CSS etc.. Lets call that web browser IEWB.

So while "Internet Explorer" (whatever that might be defined as today) may indeed be an inseparable part of Microsoft's operating systems, I see no sane reason why IEWB should be.

I do hope that the EU pick up on this bundling abuse and help Microsoft to take another step towards being a competitor in an open market place rather than the creator and sole custodian of a closed one.

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