10.17.09

Mozilla Unofficially Joins ECIS and Opera in Opposition to Microsoft’s Deal in Europe; Microsoft Poisoned Firefox

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 9:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…[C]ut off Netscape’s air supply.”

Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft (Now VMWare CEO)

Blue desktop

Summary: Apple-Mozilla power struggle has just returned as a Mozilla employee expresses disdain; Microsoft’s force-fed Firefox plug-in leaves the Web browser vulnerable

ECIS and Opera have both complained about the unreasonable interim deal [1, 2] which has upset those two for quite some time [1, 2]. Complaints from the public are on their way (as promised) and there is already a draft people are encouraged to participate in. It comes from Jukka Rannila of Finland

At the moment of sending the Opinion to the Commission there was still some time to the final deadline of opinions.

Readers are stron[g]ly recommended to send their comments before 7 November 2009.

In addition to the above — and contradicting what Sam Dean wrote about a week ago — Mozilla too is reportedly dissatisfied.

What browser do you use in Windows? Apparently if you live in Europe, the answer is a resounding Safari. That is right folks, in the great ballot poll, Firefox lost out to the lowly webkit-based Safari.

Apple must be so proud, their baby is still not a great browser, but is all the rage.

[...]

Problem is, when you put FireFox that far down on the list, it loses to Safari. Guess who is hating the EU tonight all of a sudden? Don’t expect this to stick.

Here is the original, which also states: “This is my personal opinion and doesn’t reflect Mozilla’s official position or any formal statement from Mozilla.” The Microsoft crowd would possibly incite for boycotts if Mozilla speaks out officially.

We previously showed that Apple is closer to Microsoft than most people realise and Mozilla complained about Apple's vision of a duopoly with Microsoft.

Mozilla has better reasons to be upset with Microsoft though. Our reader Will has shown us this report, which goes roughly two days back.

An add-on that Microsoft silently slipped into Mozilla’s Firefox last February leaves the browser open to attack, Microsoft’s security engineers acknowledged earlier this week.

“Clever,” argues Glyn Moody, “.NET flaw manages to compromise Firefox as well as IE.”

Will reminds us of the fact that Microsoft not only blocked Google but it also rejected its good plug-in that fixed Internet Explorer; adding insult to injury, Microsoft’s hypocrisy was seemingly infinite because Microsoft had pushed a .NET extension into Mozilla Firefox without users’ consent [1, 2]. Going back to what Microsoft did to Firefox and the impact, “It was addressed by a recent patch,” argues Will, “but still, considering Microsoft recently tried to FUD the Chrome Frame plugin in IE.”

Based on Will’s recollection, “they got a 10x performance boost out of IE by using the Frame engine instead of the IE one.”

“Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.”

Former Netscape Chairman James H. Clark

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7 Comments

  1. williami said,

    October 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Luckly, Firefox caught wind of this malpractice:

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=522777

    Only if someone gives me air tickets to Redmond to start a protest about this…

    finalzone Reply:

    I also saw that on Microsoft Windows XP on my laptop (primarly used for Flash edition requested by some clients) and desktop after I have installed NBA 2k10 (too bad it depends on .NET). It is not the first time Microsoft does that action because it had sabotage rival products before.

    It will hardly surprising other browser such as Chrome and Opera will encounter the same problem.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    And MS did ended up agreeing to block this plug-in as you can see in the bugzilla report.

    Jose_X Reply:

    It’s a losing battle trying to beat Microsoft on Windows.

    Microsoft can sabotage every single application they want and without saying anything.

    Guess what? Firefox will simply fail to work well on some popular website or something. And if/when someone finds something fishy (which is tough to do if the problem is instability or performance degradation), then Microsoft can just say it was a bug.

    It’s much easier for Microsoft to create bugs than it is for others to find them without having access to Microsoft’s source. And some bugs can be ingenious.

  2. Will said,

    October 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Here is an article talking about the Google Frame in IE performance:

    http://news.techworld.com/networking/3202572/internet-explorer-8-runs-ten-times-faster-with-google-chrome-plug-in/

    Turns out it was a 9.6x performance boost, to be precise, and the benchmark was the SunSpider JavaScript suite.

  3. Jose_X said,

    October 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Google is helping Internet Explorer out through that plugin. Microsoft is in such a good position because they get free quality help.

    However, Google is giving them such headaches that they’d shoot themselves in the foot by rejecting the plugin. As long as IE has a lot of market share, Google’s fortunes depend on people being able to use their services through IE. Microsoft can play the game of attrition (delay while hurting themselves as well) and then pick up Google’s pieces. Google is in a much more vulnerable position.

    Fortunately, Google is working on their FOSS OS. They probably want netbooks and such to be really successful since that is a bit of a blank slate where consumers have a different set of expectations and Windows can’t really run the big desktop apps well.

    Antitrust authorities should not allow Microsoft to leverage their OS monopoly, for example, when they used that monopoly to plant the Firefox “plugin”.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Mozilla didn’t have much luck with antitrust authorities in Europe.

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