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Mozilla urges action to unpick platform browser lock-ins

Tech Crunch: “As antitrust regulators around the world dial up scrutiny of platform power, Mozilla has published a piece of research digging into the at times subtle yet always insidious ways operating systems exert influence to keep consumers locked to using their own-brand browsers rather than seeking out and switching to independent options — while simultaneously warning that competition in the browser market is vital to ensure innovation and choice for consumers and, more broadly, protect the vitality of the open web against the commercial giants trying to wall it up…

The experience of mobile browsers as basic utilities and the perceived lack of differentiation among them mean that the browser that comes pre-installed on a device is at a huge advantage,” it writes in the report. “This benefits the operating system and not necessarily the consumers. Many people are hesitant to switch to a new browser because they quickly become accustomed to their pre-installed browser and do not have a strong incentive to seek out an alternative, or may be hindered from discovering one. This conditioning of consumer behavior over a long period of time means that moving away from a satisfactory pre-installed browser is an active choice that takes some amount of cognitive effort. If people are busy or if the process is too confusing, people put off making a change or decide not to make it all. For many people, it is easier to simply continue with the status quo or put off the decision for a later time.”

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