US States slam Google, Firefox as no match for Microsoft

In a brief submitted to federal court, state antitrust regulators dismissed companies such as Google and Mozilla and technologies such as AJAX and software as a service as piddling players that pose no threat to Microsoft’s monopoly in the operating system and browser markets.

Ten states and the District of Columbia made the unusual claim to try to show that the operating system and browser spaces had changed much more slowly than expected in 2002, when state regulators and the Department of Justice brokered a deal with Microsoft in a long-running antitrust case against the company. The lack of change, they said, means that potential competitors need more time – and judicial protection – if they are to develop into real rivals to Microsoft.

“The relevant markets – those for Intel-compatible PC operating systems and web browsers – have not experienced the rapid development that the court had anticipated they might when it limited the initial term of the Final Judgments to five years,” the states argued in a 16 November filing to US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. “This is a ‘changed circumstance’ that has an important bearing on whether the Final Judgments have had sufficient time to achieve the pro-competitive benefits that the court expected they would – and that the public itself is entitled to receive.”

Led by California and New York, the states have asked Kollar-Kotelly to extend her monitoring of Microsoft’s business practices for another five years, until November 2012. In a series of legal filings since August, Microsoft and the DOJ have argued that an extension is unwarranted while the states have pressed for the longer oversight.

In their most recent brief, the states countered Microsoft’s contention that web-based companies – Google,, Yahoo, eBay and others – and new web-centric technologies constitute what Microsoft dubbed a “competitive alternative to Windows.”

Not even close, said the states. “While these companies’ products provide some functionality for users, they still depend upon a PC operating system and browser – the two spaces where Microsoft dominates – and thus they are not yet able to reduce the applications barrier to entry.”

A pair of experts that the states hired to write rebuttals to Microsoft’s position were even more damning. For all the talk about “OS agnostic” applications, Web. 2.0, Google’s dominance in search and Firefox’s inroads against Internet Explorer, the collective cannot compete with Microsoft where it counts, said Ronald Alepin and John Kwoka in separate reports filed along with the states’ brief.

“The ‘Internet Platform’ does not even exist, much less constitute for the foreseeable future a practical or viable alternative to the desktop platform,” said Alepin, a technical adviser at law firm Morrison & Foerster, and a frequent expert witness for parties facing Microsoft in court. “Firefox has yet to reach a level of penetration and use that Microsoft’s own internal measures indicate is necessary for survival and for the all-important ability to influence developer choices,” Alepin added later in his rebuttal. “With a market share of less than 20 per cent, Firefox does not have the influence to promote the adoption of alternatives to standards or extensions advanced by Microsoft.”

He even badmouthed Apple, which has been lauded for its hardware market share gains and the design of its operating systems, as too weak to capitalize on its successes, and ultimately no threat to Microsoft. “In spite of the advantages of arguably superior products and missteps by Microsoft, Apple has been unable to raise its share of the worldwide installed base of PCs, hovering near 3 per cent,” Alepin said.

Kwoka, a professor of economics at Northeastern University, was even blunter in his assessment of Microsoft’s rivals. “I analysed the economic evidence and concluded that there was no indication in the relevant market that these technologies have yet had a restorative effect on competition,” he stated flatly.

“Competition in the market for Intel-based PC operating systems has not been restored by the five-year term of the Final Judgement,” he concluded.

Under the temporary extension agreed to late last month, Kollar-Kotelly has until the end of January to decide whether to extend the settlement’s oversight terms.

Source: Computerworld (US online)

Common Mistakes in Web Designing

Here are some Mistakes which commonly take place when designing the web.

1. Font Size :CSS style sheets unfortunately give websites the power to disable a Web browser’s “change font size” button and specify a fixed font size. About 95% of the time, this fixed size is tiny, reducing readability significantly for most people over the age of 40.

2. Non-Standard Links :Not Changing the Color of Visited Links. A good grasp of past navigation helps you understand your current location, since it’s the culmination of your journey. Knowing your past and present locations in turn makes it easier to decide where to go next. Links are a key factor in this navigation process. Users can exclude links that proved fruitless in their earlier visits. Conversely, they might revisit links they found helpful in the past.

3. Bad Search :Everything else on this list is pretty easy to get right, but unfortunately fixing search requires considerable work and an investment in better software. It’s worth doing, though, because search is a fundamental component of the Web user experience and is getting more important every year.

4. No Contact Information :Even though phone numbers and email addresses are the most requested forms of contact info, having a physical mailing address on the site might be more important because it’s one of the key credibility markers. A company with no address is not one you want to give money to.

5 . Bad Content : Writing for the Web means making content

  • short,
  • scannable, and
  • to the point

Web content should also

  • answer users’ questions and
  • use common language rather than made-up terms

6. Form Issues : People complained about numerous form-related problems. The basic issue? Forms are used too often on the Web and tend to be too big, featuring too many unnecessary questions and options. In the long run, we need more of an applications metaphor for Internet interaction design. For now, users are confronted by numerous forms and we must make each encounter as smooth as possible.

These are some mistakes commonly occurs during web design & hence should be remove carefully.

Web Designing – An innovative way to represent your thinking

The Web designing can be best explained as “Theoretical layout of graphics, text, and images which will eventually be developed into a Web site.” It’s one thing to create a set of web pages, it’s another thing entirely to make a good looking, cohesive and well-designed set of web pages. Just as other media needs thoughtful consideration into layout, format, white-space balance, so too the web.

Here are the few tips which are very help-full to designing a good site.

Make sure your links work.
This will prevent disappointed readers. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to test the pages several times – from different domains if possible, at minimum from different machines. Then check the error logs on a regular basis to make sure others aren’t finding bad links on your pages that you missed.
Page content should be limited.
The axiom less is more holds particularly true for the web. The nature of browsing has allowed us to break information into suitably digestible pieces, with a quick link to the next piece in the flow. This also gives the reader a chance to change their mind before going on without the necessity of loading a very long document to decide. Exceptions to the rule exist – if the sole reason a document exists on the web is to have someone print it out, then the content being on a single page is quite handy. On the other hand if you’re just doing that so you don’t have to produce a real html version of the document you’re being lazy.
Consider white-space balance
As in art, balance between objects, between dark and light, is necessary. Look at the page from a moderate distance – do you mostly see dark or light? If the former, consider modifying the page to lighten it up. Information is easier to absorb if it doesn’t saturate the page.
Maintain stylistic coherence with graphics
This is just a common sense design approach – continuity of design elements. Carry it throughout your pages. Another way to say this is that buttons and icons should look like they were created by the same artist.
Avoid dead-end links
Give your readers a “way out” of your pages that is to your advantage. Don’t make them dependent on the back button to see more. Perhaps after reading one section of your information the next logical place to go would be to another section, and not necessarily back to the top. Give them a choice to take either path.
Place important information at or near the top of the page
It should be visible when the page first appears. If someone needs to scroll to see it they may miss it. This is particularly true with What’s New links and chronological listings – the latest information should be first.
Indicate size on large files that will be downloaded
This is a courtesy to modem users in particular!
Place links on the word that describes where the link goes – never on the word “here”
Need any more be said?
Avoid “generic web information”
Don’t waste your own space helping users get to NCSA or CERN – they came to your pages to read about you (exception – if you’re providing an web indexing service you will certainly include those types of links!)
Make titles very descriptive
Titles show up at the top of browsers, get saved on bookmark lists and hotlists – they need to say more than “stuff” for them to be a good reference back to your pages.

By integrating accessibility into your web design and development process you can efficiently create web sites and web applications that work effectively for more people in more situations.

for more details on Web design, be continue….

Source:The Elements of Style