It has been many years that we have all been reading about the various antitrust cases against Microsoft for one thing or another, basically because they have a greater market share than their competitors. While I agree competition is needed I do feel that Microsoft is simply a target that is too easy to hit.
The why, the how or the where it came from is the past in my view of what Microsoft is today. It has a greater market share than its rivals because it has a great marketing tool, easy to use software and is now the most familiar and more user friendly OS and system to use for the average computer user, and this includes Internet Explorer. While many will claim it is buggy, and has errors etc the fact is that if any other OS or browser had the market share that Microsoft has then you would be hearing they have just as many bugs etc.
Before you comment let me first say I don’t use IE except for testing, I use and have for quite a few years used Firefox. I also tried Google’s Chrome, and while it was all nice and shiny and seemed great to load it, in my own personal view, did not live up to my expectations and my familiarity with using Firefox with my commonly used extensions.
I use a Windows PC as my main work platform, actually all our PC’s run the various Windows versions from 98SE through to Vista Home Premium. Why do we use WIndows versus linux vs apple. Well without starting an OS debate and without starting a browser war the fact is that we are happy with how Windows works, we use windows applications as they install, integrate and work very well with the OS and, well, like I said we are familiar and comfortable with it.
The other night I was sitting with my kids and they were watching a DVD, WALL-E, and while sitting there I was thinking that while a cartoon the monopoly of BnL is kind of similar to many peoples/companies fear of Microsoft, in that I think there are too many that fear Microsoft will become the be all and end all of software. Could it do that, well yes it could, but with all these antitrust cases I guess the big companies like Google will try and stop that happening, not that I think it will happen anyway.
Also with Google now in the mix of the EU case, could Microsoft turn around and do something similar to Google and file an antitrust or monopoly type of case against Google as they are the primary and most used search engine and online email… just to mention a couple. I mean just the other day there was panic with Google mail being down.
My view on a lot of this is that if the other providers like Google, Mozilla and Opera want a greater market share then they need to ensure they have a better tool for others to use. While I think Firefox is a better browser the average person either does not know it exists or does not like how it works, it really is that simple. I have family that I have tried to convert to Firefox, note convert – you actually have to forcibly get them to use another browser, but in the end I gave up, why did they not swap over well they liked how IE worked, they liked how IE looked and they were comfortable and familiar with it.
Is it Microsoft’s fault that people do not use Firefox, Chrome or Opera, no of course it isn’t. I understand that Microsoft have their browser built into the Windows OS, which gives a perceived advantage but it IS their OS, it is their right to have their browser. I mean your not going to go into a BMW dealer and buy a BMW car and have a Honda interior are you – so really what is the difference. Ok so that is not quite the same but you get the idea.
I also realise Windows has the greater market share, so therefore so has IE, but I still come back to the fact that Mozilla, Opera, Google etc have themselves to blame for not having greater market share, they need to take responsibility for their own actions, get out to the greater market, develop a new OS based on Linux if they must, offer a true alternative to Windows, offer a true alternative to IE that every average person can use without having to get add-ons, without having to learn what a linux kernal is or similar. They need to be simple, easy and available.
Or maybe just sit down with Microsoft and say, hey guys would you mind including our browser in your Windows install and thus give the end user the choice of browser they want to use – not that they have to in my view but it may be as simple as that.
I’m sure this will spark much debate as it has over the years, which is great but keep it clean