Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Jan 2009 11:56 UTC
Internet & Networking Earlier this month, news got out that the European Commission is charging Microsoft with unlawful competition regarding its bundling of the Internet Explorer web bowser with Windows. At the time, information was scarce, but thanks to Microsoft's quarterly filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission. we now have a little more insight into what the EU might force Microsoft to do.
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One can remove Konqueror from the current version of KDE (KDE 4.1.x) without any problems whatsoever.

Steps are as follows:
apt-get remove konqueror

You can also do this using Adept Add/Remove programs, or aptitude, or synaptic.

This removes just three packages from KDE, all of them are specific to Konqueror. Not even help browsing is affected.

To be fair, Konq is simply a wrapper for KHTML. Removing it doesn't remove KHTML from KDE, and KHTML is a kpart that is required by many applications beyond Konq.

I only bring this up because we've reached a point where html-processing is becoming a componet of the OS, it's that ubiquitous.

The problem we have is that everyone, whether MS, Apple, KDE, Gnome or whoever else, has their own html component that they depend on. Until the various html engines can agree to comply with a fixed set of standards, then it's not reasonable to expect platforms to test against every possible html engine.

Microsoft relies on IE as a component to the same extent that KDE relies on KHTML (ok, maybe quite a bit more). Trident is utilized for many other functions in Windows beyond web browsing. KDE by the same token now relies not only on KHTML, but Webkit as well. How would plasma fair if the Mozilla community insisted that KDE users have the option to substitute gecko as the web rendering engine instead of webkit?

Getting rid of Konq on KDE is similar to removing IE from Windows... it removes the web browsing component, but it retains the core technology.

I hate to be in the position to defend MS, but I think this situation is ridiculous. I wouldn't want the EU to dictate how KDE structures their platform architecture, so I can't morally support the same arbitrary decision being made against MS.

The only valid argument I've seen regarding MS and their "monopoly" position with regards to IE, is the fact that they have deliberately/inadvertently broken web standards to their favor. And I do think that is a serious issue, but I don't think this is the correct solution. Rather, the EU could instead insist that all EU websites and any similar web-based interaction be based upon existing web-standards, whether than conforming to Microsoft's version of the web. To a certain extent, they have facilitated the adoption of IE-standards by conforming to them, so it would send a powerful message to the EU community if IE suddenly broke when accessing gov't websites because it doesn't comply to established standards. I suspect that would go farther to addressing the core issue. Particularly if other governments followed.

I applaud the EU for standing up to Microsoft, but I can't help thinking that their sanctions accomplish very little to benefit consumers. Better that they use their weight to adopt and enforce open standards, and help shift the market to follow, rather than arbitrary punishment against MS. Governments should be enforcing openness by action, not by sanction.

Note, I'm not arguing with anything you pointed out, just "hijacking" your post to present a different perspective... ;)

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