Microsoft are still trying to break the Web.
Håkon Wium Lie -- Opera's CTO and a co-creator of CSS -- speaks for me when he lists five clear remedies the EU competition authorities can use to force Microsoft to better respect Web & browser standards in its forthcoming version of its Web browser, Internet Explorer 8 (beta upcoming).
- Support Acid2 and Acid3, by default;
- Support the underlying Acid specifications;
- Provide documentation;
- Drop mode switching;
- Commit to interoperability;
I would add that the EU should immediately force, once and for all, the unbundling of IE from Windows. Although a browser is the new programming platform; it is not a natural part of an operating system. Only sophistry can be used to pursue that point.
What also caught my attention in the article was howcome's subtle point that Microsoft's rigidity in not bowing to firestorms of customer & developer pressure to a) kill IE8's mode switching (a Microsoft excuse for non-compliance with Web programming standards); and b) continue selling Windows XP are prima facie evidence of monopoly.
In other words, if Microsoft had to compete, the company would have rapidly changed tack to eliminate mode switching and keep XP available on the market. They do what they want & don't have to compete, ergo they are a monopoly.
If it walks, talks, balks & stalks like a monopoly ...
In the US, having a monopoly is not the punishable offense but using it to accrue unjust profit is. Accordingly, website owners should be enabled to charge Microsoft for the extra Web programming time|expense it takes to make their sites work on IE as well as Firefox or Opera (for example).
Perhaps President, Barak Obama, with the help of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer and Congressman Larry Lessig, can help us up the pressure on the recalcitrant software abuser.