A few days ago, Mozilla's Mitchell Baker announced that Mozilla supports the EU antitrust investigation of Microsoft which is based on a complaint from Opera. The reason why couldn't be clearer. …
I’ve been involved in building and shipping web browsers continuously since before Microsoft started developing IE, and the damage Microsoft has done to competition, innovation, and the pace of the web development itself is both glaring and ongoing. There are separate questions of whether there is a good remedy, and what that remedy might be. But questions regarding an appropriate remedy do not change the essential fact. Microsoft’s business practices have fundamentally diminished (in fact, came very close to eliminating) competition, choice and innovation in how people access the Internet.
While one can discuss how to solve this, there is no doubt that Microsoft has prevented competition, hampered innovation, and harmed the market.
Some have claimed that Firefox's growth shows that Microsoft did not break the law (or that it doesn't matter that they broke the law since they "clearly" aren't anymore), but Baker begs to differ:
Equally important, the success of Mozilla and Firefox does not indicate a healthy marketplace for competitive products. Mozilla is a non-profit organization; a worldwide movement of people who strive to build the Internet we want to live in. I am convinced that we could not have been, and will not be, successful except as a public benefit organization living outside the commercial motivations. And I certainly hope that neither the EU nor any other government expects to maintain a healthy Internet ecosystem based on non-profits stepping in to correct market deficiencies.
This is echoed by Mozilla's Asa Dotzler in a blog post:
When the only real competition comes from a not for profit open source organization that depends on volunteers for almost half of its work product and nearly all of its marketing and distribution, while more than half a dozen other "traditional" browser vendors with better than I.E. products have had near-zero success encroaching on Microsoft I.E.'s dominance, there's a demonstrable tilt to the playing field.
That tilt comes with the distribution channel – default status for the OS bundled Web browser.
In a followup post, Dotzler emphasizes this point:
That there's gobloads of money to be made and there are a dozen vendors or more trying to get a piece of that pie and they are all failing to take significant market share from Microsoft and Apple and while producing competitive and in many cases superior products, is a clear demonstration of a commercial market that's out of balance.
A single anomaly outside the "normal" market ecosystem does not change Microsoft's past and current actions. Those who have been reading my blog for a while will know that even today, Microsoft continues to undermine and ruin open standards.