Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Oct 2009 17:36 UTC
Internet & Networking After long negotiations and back and forths between the EU, Microsoft, and other browser makers, Microsoft's browser ballot proposal has been amended and offered up for debate yet again by the EU; this time around, it will actually be tested out by consumers. A number of changes have been made since the first proposal, so let's take a look.
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RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by google_ninja on Wed 7th Oct 2009 19:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

A punishment is a fine. This is an attempt to correct an unhealthy market through regulation.

Funny thing is, the browser market is incredibly healthy at the moment. There is a high amount of competition and innovation going on. This would make sense if the EU did it about 11 years ago, would be understandable if they did it 5 years ago. Now it is either sad or scary, depending on where you live.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by sbergman27 on Wed 7th Oct 2009 19:30 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Funny thing is, the browser market is incredibly healthy at the moment. There is a high amount of competition and innovation going on

People say this. And the current landscape *is* starting to become encouraging. But we are not out of the woods yet. And overconfidence is, perhaps, our greatest enemy now. IE is still strongly dominant and still holds a major unfair advantage over other browsers. There is still a very real barrier to entry. Other browsers have to be substantially better than current IE to maintain their market share. IE still gets it by default and then *loses* market share if, and only if, it is substantially inferior, and if and only if the user is savvy enough to recognize it and find something else.

We are *beginning* to see some real competition. True. But the only reason that anyone might mistake it for a healthy market is that we are so very used to so much worse.

I try not to be too alarmist. But I sincerely believe that it is appropriate to sound the alarm in this case.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by google_ninja on Wed 7th Oct 2009 22:13 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I completely disagree. IE is at 65% and dropping really fast. Depending on where you live, it may not even be the most used browser. Not only that, but studies are showing that IE is mostly used by people who have no control over the browser that they use (like people at work).

MS has not marketed their browser since IE4. Now they feel the need to. Firefox is breaking records for software downloads virtually every major revision. The major browsers are basically leapfrogging each other every revision when it comes to both features and performance. And solid new entries into the market are able to get a solid foothold in remarkably short periods of time (google chrome is 3% after a single year). Not only that, but the last time there was competition in this market, the competition was about proprietary features and lock-in, this time the competition is about implementation of open standards.

I would say the market is doing better now then it ever has before, and by a significant margin. We aren't just beginning to see competition, that was about 6 years ago. We have multiple very mature offerings by several major companies all engaged in innovation and competition. Those are the signs of a healthy market, and healthy markets function best when left the heck alone.

Reply Parent Score: 1