We have all heard and read about the endless litigations that are going on between Microsoft and the European Union. This investigation was in fact, founded by a complaint filed by Opera in the European Union citing unfair practices with regard to the compulsory bundling of Internet Explorer in the Windows O/s’. Recently, Microsoft had a press release which stated that Windows 7 will give an option to its users to have Internet Explorer removed during the installation, something which Opera and other browsers have been looking forward to, for a long time now.
The reason for the European Union rapping Microsoft’s knuckles is to ensure fair competition in the browser market, and put an end to the antitrust enquiry. It is true that Microsoft bundling IE(Internet Explorer) with its Windows Operating systems gives it a large share of the browser market and thus not requiring much of marketing to be done, just because general users will use the browser coming out of the box and not install additional browsers or replace them. The winners in the wake of Microsoft’s decision will however, be the PC assemblers and sellers who can have deals with any browser company that they want so that they make brisk money.
This EU investigation had started in late 2007 and is expected to get over by this year end. But now that Microsoft has backed down, Opera is trying to get more out of it, by suggesting that Microsoft should be forced to have other browsers included in their Windows Operating systems as well, so that the users have a wide range of choices. This suggestion is something that other browsers like Mozilla and Google don’t share since they dont see the point in having a whole bundle of browsers which the users might never use in the first place. But the cliche here is that all other browsers other than the the party which started this investigation, Opera, have been successful in increasing their market share by a great deal. Opera has competitively been growing at an almost stagnant pace. Currently IE leads the pack with around 67 percent of the market share, with Firefox having around 20 percent and Opera with just less than a percent of browser market share. Microsoft will of course want to increase this, with the help of its new browser Internet Explorer 8 which will be included with the latest Windows 7 release. Opera on the other hand will have Opera 10 coming out in the meantime.