There is much rumor and speculation surrounding Microsoft's next operating system, dubbed Windows Vista. One big area of speculation is what kind of software might be bundled with the OS and rumor has it that Firefox will be part of the package this go around.
Microsoft is notorious for bundling software that helps keep the company on top of the technology food chain. Internet Explorer is a key example of this. For each Windows release, Internet Explorer tags along packaged and installed all ready to go with its homepage set as msn.com reminding you that Microsoft is indeed everywhere
. With Internet Explorer being such a large part of the bundled Microsoft advantage that comes with each Windows version, why would Gates seemingly shoot himself in the foot by throwing in rival Firefox? Well, money of course.
First off, remember that Microsoft has been in trouble before for it's OS monopoly practices. As such, bundling a rival browser will help fend off any notion of Microsoft using it's OS as a way of forcing products upon consumers. Not only will it help in the courtroom, it will help their image as well. It won't change the negative opinions of the masses overnight, but each small battle may just help Microsoft win the war on their PR.
Second, Firefox has had a campaign going with Google for awhile now that gives $1 for each referral to users that download and install their browser for the first time. Well, think about what happens when Microsoft installs the browser for new users for each Windows Vista purchased? That's quite a lot of dollars adding up to pad Microsoft's bank account. More importantly though, it will most likely spell disaster for Firefox as Mozilla won't be able to pay out that kind of cash.
So what happens when Vista is released? Microsoft improves image by bundling a competitor's software while helping convince the courts that they are moving towards a less monopolistic approach in their operating systems. As an added bonus they make some money off Firefox referrals while also more than likely putting their competitor out of business.
[tags]Windows Vista, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla[/tags]