The European Commission just fined Microsoft for an amount of some 613Mln US dollar (different news items seem to contradict each other on the amount, read about it here for example). That is a whole lot of money. But what interests me is how Microsoft will deal with this. Will they finally start opening up and not try to dominate the software market by forcing users to work with their applications (think Internet Explorer, Media player etc)? Or will they keep playing this game of bundling all kinds of software with their Windows system making it the default choice for many users.
I think if Microsoft would make the right decision and allowing competitors into their territory it will benefit everyone. The user will have more choice, the competitors get a chance to obtain market share, but Microsoft, in the end, will benefit because they will be forced to make better products.
Take a look at the Internet Browser market for example. I’m not trying to start another browser war here, but most people probably don’t even know they have a choice. For them the little blue e on the desktop is the Internet. There are of course different (and probably better) alternatives out there. Firefox for starters, but don’t forget Maxthon either. What most of these competitors share is the ability for the user to customise their browser and experience in any way they like. It allows for a much better internet experience and provides a platform where new innovative services can be build easily. Unfortunately, these competitors don’t do a very good job communicating these advantages yet. I happen to be a Firefox fan, but to be honest, it isn’t all that easy to find the customisations I like. There are too many out there already, and it takes me too much time to find the things I like best. And Mozilla seems to me an organization of incredible technological skills, but they still lack the customer focus needed to make Firefox an even greater success than it already is.
So guys, you just found out the price for freedom. Start communicating en get these IE users that are ignorant of the possibility of choice to try out the alternatives out there. An, while you are at it, let’s develop some customisations that will make all social networker adepts out there really wanna use your products! Haven’t you noticed yet, that the Internet browser is MY portal to the world!