Firefox exec: we don't want to be bundled with Windows

PC Pro exclusive: Mozilla man says he doesn't want Firefox pre-installed on Windows, even if the EU forces Microsoft to do so

Barry Collins
9 Feb 2009

Firefox architect Mike Connor says he doesn't want the browser bundled with Windows, whilst launching a scathing attack on rival Opera's tactics.

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Microsoft could be forced to bundle rival browsers with Windows, after the EU ruled the company had abused its monopoly by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. A charge brought before the watchdog by browser minnow Opera.

In an exclusive interview with PC Pro, Firefox architect Mike Connor said Mozilla is still considering its position in light of the ruling, but that he wouldn't be in favour of Firefox being bundled with Windows.

"My personal view is that it's not the right outcome," he said. "The choice [when installing Windows] would be weird. There's no good UI [user interface] for that."

Connor also attacked Opera's claims that bundling harms competition. "Opera's asserting something that's provably false," Connor said, referring to Firefox's ever improving market share, which now stands at just over 20% worldwide. "It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face," he said.

"As people become aware there's an alternative, you don't end up in that [monopoly] situation. You have to be perceptibly better [than Internet Explorer]," Connor added.

Probed on why Opera had failed to gain significant market share, while Firefox continues to grow, Connor said the browser was over-complicated. "The feedback I get is it's a little too heavy, it's a geeky browser," he said. "Opera's problem is that it works, but it doesn't stay out of the way. There's a little too much to distract you from the content."

Connor said Opera was definitely heading in the right direction, however. "I'm surprised it hasn't seen more success since it cleaned up [the interface] a bit," he added, before praising Opera's mobile browser software.

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