Adobe & Symantec Whine to EU’s Nellie Kroes

I’ve been watching the EU’s crusade against Microsoft over the last year and each new development makes me shake my head more. The news that Adobe and Symantec have officially whined to Nellie Kroes, the EU competition commissioner, has propelled the whole issue into some kind of bizzaro fantasy land.

The issue already had one arm in the straight-jacket when Nellie Kroes accused Microsoft of engaging in a smear campaign to cast her in a negative light. She was already doing that by herself as she displayed her tenuous grasp on the software industry and the actual concept of a free market. At one time the EU Competition Commission had a few valid points but as time has gone on the entire issue has turned into a pissing match with the EU not wanting to lose any political face by backing down.

The news of Adobe and Symantic lodging official concerns to the EU takes the cake though. Their big concern is that their business will be negatively impacted by Microsoft bundling their products and at one time I would have bought into that argument. Now that Firefox has been on the scene though they’ve shown that you can still gain significant market share even if you’re not a bundled product as long as you have a superior product, which Firefox vs. IE6 definitely is.

It must be a scary position for a company like Symantic to know that a large part of their business has been based on the weakness of another. What’s interesting is that they are accusing Microsoft of giving themselves an unfair advantage yet the Microsoft products don’t have access to anything Symantic doesn’t. It’s also interesting how many people I talk to that dislike Symantic’s security products. On top of all of this the consumers have been asking, either directly or indirectly, for much better security built into the OS and now that Microsoft has taken that seriously

What’s so ironic about Adobe’s issue is that PDF files are the Microsoft of formats, meaning 90% of portable documents are PDF-based. Adobe is really saying they are concerned that Microsoft might topple their hold on the market and bring fixed file formats into a competitive phase.

The bottom line is that what the companies are really complaining about is that now they really have to start competing based on the merits of their products.