European Antitrust KeystoneKops and IE
So, the news comes today that the European Antitrust cops are after Microsoft again for its alleged abuses in bundling internet explorer with its operating system. As you remember, back when everyone thought that the key to the web was owning the browser, this made the unthinking Euros very afraid. If microsoft owned the browser, it would own search, right?
Anyone seen search numbers lately?
Of course, these are the same morons who thought that bundling windows media player would give Microsoft the automatic win in music and video online.
Anyone seen who leads in online music and video?
In neither of the above cases is it Microsoft. Not even close.
So, althought the thing they were trying to prevent with their original case's goal (unbundling the browser and media player) hasn't happened, what's the browser landscape look like?
Take a look at that picture. Opera, which brought the original case, and got "me too!" from other browser providers, continues to suck. I mean, it's marketshare sucks. Maybe the browser sucks too. I've never tried it. Notice that IE and firefox continue to drop in share. Also notice that the biggest share gainer happens to be Google, which is pretty much the search monopolist.
Safari is trending up, and will probably be a lot higher if Apple keeps its tablet lock intact. Last I checked, Apple tablets came with browsers locked in as well as a single media player choice -- and they happen to have a lock on that market.
No surprise then, that the Euros have their eyes on the wrong market leaders and are ignoring a pretty clear near-monopoly. I'm not sure Google deserves an antitrust slapdown for its success, but it is pretty clear that Microsoft's alleged monopoly not only doesn't exist, but hasn't helped it capture the markets that the Euros feared would go its way.
But by all means, reexamine that dead issue, folks. Not like there are other economic problems in Europe to worry about.