PR: FSFE welcomes greater user choice in browsers, warns that Free Software is excluded from interoperability

Matthias Kirschner mk at
Wed Dec 16 15:44:16 UTC 2009

We just published a PR [1] about: 

    FSFE welcomes greater user choice in browsers, warns that Free
    Software is excluded from interoperability

    Free Software Foundation Europe congratulates the European Commission on
    pushing Microsoft to give users greater choice between different
    browsers. "The selection screen will make users aware that they can make
    their own choices," says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President. "We are glad
    that FSFE has helped the Commission to put limits to Microsoft's desktop
    The Commission announced today that it has settled its antitrust case
    against Microsoft regarding web browsers. FSFE participated in the case
    as an interested third party. "Microsoft has abused its dominant market
    position to push out competitors by tying its own browser to the Windows
    operating system," says Gerloff. "The company's continued refusal to
    comply with Open Standards [2]
    also means that many websites today are designed to work only with
    Internet Explorer, leaving users of other browsers at a disadvantage."
    == Interoperability ==
    The European Commission is also investigating the way Microsoft prevents
    competitors from interfacing with many of its desktop productivity
    programs. Microsoft has offered a unilateral commitment. Yet these
    promises are useless for Free Software developers, since they exclude
    commercial use of Microsoft's interoperability information.
    Carlo Piana, FSFE's legal counsel, says: "The patent commitments are
    clearly insufficient, because they don't allow commercial exploitation.
    This keeps out competition from Free Software, which in many areas is
    the biggest competitor to Microsoft's programs. Instead, Microsoft will
    continue to threaten commercial Free Software developers and their
    customers with patent FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt)."
    FSFE's President Karsten Gerloff says: "We welcome the Commission's
    decision to keep the interoperability investigation open while it
    monitors whether Microsoft's promises help to promote competition. We
    are confident that the Commission will take action if the commitment
    doesn't improve things for Free Software." 

Distrubte it when you think it makes sense. On we wrote about
it on !fsfe, !gnu, and !fs. You can also vote for the news on fsdaily
[3]. And of course discuss it here :)

Best wishes,


German Coordinator, Fellowship Coordinator
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) []              (
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