[FSFE PR][EN] EC's browser case settlement with Microsoft

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Dec 16 16:07:39 CET 2009

= FSFE: EC's browser case settlement with Microsoft = 

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

[Permanent URL: http://fsfe.org/news/2009/news-20091216-01.en.html ]

16 December 2009, 16:10 CEST, Berlin, Germany

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[1] 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." 

  [1] http://fsfe.org/projects/os/def.en.html

== What is the European Interoperability Framework ==

  The EIF is a set of interoperability guidelines documents and
  initiatives conducted under the auspices of the IDABC (Interoperable
  Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations,
  Businesses and Citizens) Programme. The EIF supplements the various
  National Interoperability Frameworks in the pan-European dimension.

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy.  Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these
  issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving
  people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central
  issues of the FSFE.


== Contact ==

  Karsten Gerloff
  Free Software Foundation Europe
  e-mail: press at fsfeurope.org
  mobile: +49-176-96904298

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