Microsoft’s ballot screen

Microsoft has changed its proposed browser “ballot screen” to wrap up a nine-month antitrust case in the European Union, but rivals remained non-committal today about whether the modifications are enough.

Three months ago, Microsoft told Brussels-based antitrust officials that it would give users a chance to download rivals’ browsers with a “ballot screen,” just one of the moves Microsoft has made since January in an effort to ward off fines or even more drastic measures by the European Commission.

More about Ballot Screen

The Ballot Screen will be populated with the 12 most widely-used web browsers that run on Windows based on usage share in the EEA as measured semi-annually by a source commonly agreed between Microsoft and the European Commission. In addition, if a browser’s usage share is among the top 12, but that browser is no longer actively offered by its vendor, that browser will not be included in the Ballot Screen. If any dispute arises as to the determination of the source, the Commission will provide Microsoft with the source to use.

The Ballot Screen will prominently display the final releases of the five web browsers with the highest usage share in the EEA (i.e. only these browsers will be immediately visible without requiring any user action under typical user settings). These five web browsers will be displayed in alphabetical order of the company names of their vendors. The remaining seven browsers will be displayed according to the same principle.

Browser usage share will be determined semi-annually by averaging monthly usage share data for the previous six months for which such data is available, with shares for different released versions of the same vendor’s browsers added together to determine a browser’s total usage share (e.g., Firefox 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, etc. all count towards the total share for “Mozilla Firefox”).

No more than one browser will be listed per vendor. Other than Internet Explorer, the Ballot Screen may not contain any web browser which is based on Internet Explorer’s rendering engine and the development or distribution of which is funded in whole or in substantial part by Microsoft.

Any web browser vendor selected will be invited to provide Microsoft with two URLs. One URL shall be an “information” URL that will link to a web page that provides relevant information only about such vendor’s browser, together with installation options. The other URL shall be an “install” URL that, at the vendor’s option, will either (a) link to a web page with instructions for installing its browser and a means to initiate a download of its browser, and no additional software, or (b) directly initiate a download of its browser, and no additional software. If any dispute arises as to the application of this paragraph which, despite best efforts, the parties to that dispute cannot resolve themselves within a reasonable period of time, Microsoft may submit the matter to the Commission for determination.

Microsoft gives the following Commitment (the “Commitment”) to address the competition concerns identified by the European Commission in Case No. COMP/C-3/39.530, which are based on the Commission’s interpretation of Article 82 EC and the judgment of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities of 17 September 2007 in Case T-201/04 Microsoft v Commission.

Some Thoughts on Firefox’s Fifth Birthday

Firefox’s fifth anniversary arrived. Looking at my SFX account, it is almost as old as the browser, but I started using this way of thinking much earlier, at the times of Mosaic and Netscape, but that’s another topic.

The presents are the most important thing in a birthday party. But if we are talking about Firefox’s birthday the most important topic would be the web-freedom. Most of the people I know use Firefox. I also know people, who have been using the browser before it was called that way, but so few of them understand the meaning of “open web”, which is really a pity.

It is true, that spirit, beer and cake are very important for a birthday, but it is even more important for this fifth anniversary that we could find many new people, understanding the open web and contributing to its development.

Who creates the Bulgarian web?

Years ago the answer to this question inevitably would have been “The web companies”; the companies, which first launched websites, made them popular and attracted many users; the ones, which developed the Bulgarian web through many new portals, services, discounts, advertisements, and so on and so forth.
If you ask them now – “Who makes the Bulgarian web?” they would answer “We do”; if we ask the people on the streets, they would probably answer the same: “They do”.
But that’s not true. You, creating and sharing content every day, commenting, writing, blogging, uploading pictures and video, publishing articles in Wikipedia and anywhere else, YOU create the Bulgarian web, not the companies, remember that!
Things are changing at a breakneck speed and while years ago the web companies created the web, now they are just a small part of the whole cloud of everyone, included in the task and taking part in it, willing or not.
The web-evolution started a long time ago and YOU are a part of it. YOU CREATE THE BULGARIAN WEB.

I believe that’s the spirit for a Firefox birthday party; it must clarify and teach, not just to gather people, who know what Firefox is to drink beer and talk loudly.

That’s why we launched a campaign to make this happen. From October 14th until November 9th the Mozilla Bulgaria Team will present about 6 lectures in different places around the country, telling of the open web, our freedom, the personal space of each of us and the way we can protect it in the Internet. We will be discussing open standards, explaining what Firefox is and why we should celebrate on November 9th not only an anniversary, but something bigger: the realized notion that web – this is you.

Mozilla Europe Blog

A Mozilla Camp 2009 story

A part from Patrick’s blog post about Mozilla Camp Europe is about me:) Thanks Patrick for organizing the advocacy track and for being so polite and friendly.

Here is the story:

Bogo Shopov kicked us off on Saturday in fine style. To learn more about Bogo and his adventures in freedom fighting, you can read his page, Who the f**k is Bogo -few “About” pages start so promisingly. Bogo kicked us off by explaining that his mother told him not to talk to strangers, and consequently we all had to introduce ourselves. And then…a pantomime, “The non-linear behaviour of a business mind”. For about 15 minutes, Bogo silently performed his working day. I think this was to make us consider decision making cycles in businesses. But it might have just been a laugh. Mission accomplished on both counts, and a wonderful and imaginative way to kick off the track.

Me@Mozcamp2009. Author: Patrick Finch

Author: Goran