Here we go again. The European Union (hello from Europe, everyone!) is once again complaining that Microsoft is abusing its market leadership position by continuing to put Internet Explorer into Windows.

I can halfway see the point, but I don't think they're right. The way I explained it to my mother, whoi thought Microsoft was just in trouble for being successful (and that can be how it looks, to the uninitiated) was that it's like a wallpaper manufacturer being really successful, capturing 90 per cent or more of the market and then insisting on putting wallpaper paste/glue in with every package. Yes, other glues would be available but in reality nobody would bother buying them.

This is the EU's take on Microsoft and Internet Explorer. The problem in my view is that the EU is still seeing computers as they were more than ten years ago. The clue to how they need to be seen now to make any sense at all is in the emergence of the Netbook. More than ever before, the Internet Browser is key to how a computer works. Arguably the new generation of computers are browsers with an operating system as an incidental detail.

This is what the EU hasn't quite understood, considering computers to be souped-up calculators or typewriters. My guess is that Microsoft's on increasingly safe ground this time around.

More on this story on the BBC's news site.

About the Author

Author, 'This Is Social Media' (Capstone Publishing 2009); freelance journalist in the UK for the Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Independent and others.