AA7295
Topic Author
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:51 pm

 
gkirk
Posts: 23347
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:57 pm

EU stuck up their own arse again.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
Asturias
Posts: 1953
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:32 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:08 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What are your thoughts?

Wow.. I'm very impressed. The whole US court system tried this back in the day, but failed. Microsoft got a slap on the wrist in the US.

Enter the EU. Enter hefty billion dollar fines and restrictions for Microsoft.

The EU is single-handedly doing what needed to be done to prevent further abuse of the monopoly-position Microsoft has held the last years. What is accepted by the EU serves as precedence elsewhere.

It's moments like this that prove that the EU isn't just a good idea, it is ingenious.

saludos

Asturias
Tonight we fly
 
a380us
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:55 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:28 pm

THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY!!
But how did there stock do fine today?
www.JandACosmetics.com
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:43 pm

I'm not that amused by the Microsoft witchunt.

I am satisfied with their products. From the purely consumer side, I haven't detected anything that would scream abuse of monopoly power thus far.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
mhodgson
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 8:47 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:49 pm

Seems an odd monopoly to have, when Linux and Apple are gaining popularity all the time!
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:07 am



Quoting A380US (Reply 3):
But how did there stock do fine today?

The expected decision might have been priced into the market already, or the analysts feel it won't affect them too badly.
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:47 am

Quoting A380US (Reply 3):
THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY!!
But how did there stock do fine today?

The fine (although quite hefty) could have been even heftier!

The European court gave the EU the right to fine Microsoft to the max amount of 1.5BN euro (2.3BN dollar) in their final verdict some time ago, so the markets already factored in a very serious penalty payment once the verdict was out: the EU has now ruled they will fine Microsoft 1.4BN euro, but it is interesting to note the EU reserves itself the right to fine again if Microsoft does not comply this time.

It wouldn't be the first time Mircrosoft's fine is increased later on because the company does not want to comply with the ruling: in fact, this fine is already the 3rd fine for Microsoft and comes on top of earlier fines of 777M euro (1.2BN dollar).

"Microsoft is the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 6):
The expected decision might have been priced into the market already, or the analysts feel it won't affect them too badly.

I think it is the first, because the EU is quite serious about this: if Microsoft doesn't give in this time, the next fine might be a multi-billion euro one!

I think Microsoft will have gotten the message by now: if the EU rules against you and fines you, you better comply with it, or your be fined to bankruptcy!

[Edited 2008-02-27 23:51:05]
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4305
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:14 am

Just to complement, a decision by the Commission of the EC can, of course, be brought before court. Therefore, expect some time until they really have to pay the sum.
 
Flighty
Posts: 7716
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:23 am

I think it would be really funny if MSFT announces price increases tomorrow for Euro customers.

"Great news! Europe will be paying $1.3 billion dollars per year in higher license fees for our products! Thank you for playing!"

That would be funny. But, the EU is doing the right thing. MSFT has played this in a cynical, insulting way. Europe is outside their political control. Good for the EU. MSFT has way too many companies (and governments) by the balls.
 
Maverick623
Posts: 4640
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:31 am



Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 4):
I'm not that amused by the Microsoft witchunt.

Agreed.

Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 4):
From the purely consumer side, I haven't detected anything that would scream abuse of monopoly power thus far.

I don't think anyone here can contradict that. Seeing as:

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 5):
Seems an odd monopoly to have, when Linux and Apple are gaining popularity all the time!

Apple is pwning (yes, pun intended!) MS right now in the digital music, laptop, video editing, and other departments. The only thing MS really has on them is the gaming market.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 7):
The European court gave the EU the right to fine Microsoft

...for competitive practices not within their jurisdiction. Total bullshit.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 7):
but it is interesting to note the EU reserves itself the right to fine again if Microsoft does not comply this time.

It's interesting to note that while the EU claims to be anti-monopoly, they are in effect monopolizing the market by fining companies out of business!

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 7):
I think Microsoft will have gotten the message by now: if the EU rules against you and fines you, you better comply with it, or your be fined to bankruptcy!

Fining a company for simply being "too large" is ridiculous.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:07 am



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):

...for competitive practices not within their jurisdiction. Total bullshit.

Pretty sure Microsoft's actions within the EU are entirely within their jurisdiction.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):

It's interesting to note that while the EU claims to be anti-monopoly, they are in effect monopolizing the market by fining companies out of business!

Uhm, your sentence doesn't make sense - the EU are fining MS because they did not adhere to an earlier ruling which required them to release certain specifications in order to encourage and enable competition with themselves. The EUs actions are actually aimed at increasing choice in the market.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):

Fining a company for simply being "too large" is ridiculous.

That is not what is happening here.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):

Apple is pwning (yes, pun intended!) MS right now in the digital music, laptop, video editing, and other departments.

And yet MS still doesn't have to compete with them on anywhere approaching an equal basis - MS can continue to maintain their market position through bundling and restricting practices rather than actually competing.
 
jush
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:10 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:11 am



Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 4):
I am satisfied with their products. From the purely consumer side, I haven't detected anything that would scream abuse of monopoly power thus far.

LOL? Dude, have you been on the moon lately? Almost everything and every program inside Windows screams monopoly...

Regds
jush
There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:13 am



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):
...for competitive practices not within their jurisdiction. Total bullshit.

By selling its products in Europe, Microsoft (or in fact any other company) recognizes the jurisdiction of the EU over the matter... Nobody forced Microsoft to sell its products in the EU, you know?

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):
It's interesting to note that while the EU claims to be anti-monopoly, they are in effect monopolizing the market by fining companies out of business.

Microsoft has been found guilty of hindering competitors to develop add-on software by making it extremely hard and very costly for them to get access to detailed information on how to make such software interact perfectly with the operating system of Microsoft. In other words: Microsoft is deliberately and repeatedly misusing its position as leading operating system provider to prevent software from competing firms to interact as good with the Microsoft operating system as its own software. By fining Microsoft for the 3rd time now, the EU hopes the leading software producer will finally open up its operating system to others too, so they can write equally good (and probably cheaper) add-on programs for it.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):
Fining a company for simply being "too large" is ridiculous.

Microsoft isn't fined for being to large, they are fined for playing dirty tricks in order to stay larger than they should only be if competitors would have received unhindered access to the market...
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:42 am

This is typical Anti-American European Bureaucrat BS. Go back and read the story, again.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/27/tech...htm?postversion=2008022706?cnn=yes

1. Microsoft lost in the EU courts in March 2004, and gets fined $613M US. They are ordered to share information with rivals within 120 days.
2. Microsoft appeals.
3. Microsoft looses the appeal in September 2007.
4. Microsoft shares the required information, making the (US) patent licenses available on 22 October 2007, well within the 120 day deadline.
5. EU now says MS charged "unreasonable prices" and delayed complying with the EU order for 3 years.


Duhhhhhh, Earth to Europe, MS was in a legal appeal, so all time lines and fones are stayed until the appeal is over..

Funny how the EU can get bent out of shape over MS, Apple, and Lenix, but totally ignors the Euro Bs they simply hand over to EADS/Airbus.
 
AA7295
Topic Author
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:45 am

Let's just hope the Justice Department fines a few EU company's 1.5 billion in retaliation. Tit for tat. It's fair.
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:45 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
Duhhhhhh, Earth to Europe, MS was in a legal appeal, so all time lines and fones are stayed until the appeal is over..


Not if you loose the appeal though... check the EU anti-competition rules before you comment please.

[Edited 2008-02-28 01:46:49]
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:52 am



Quoting Jush (Reply 12):
Dude, have you been on the moon lately? Almost everything and every program inside Windows screams monopoly...

Such as?

Windows Media Player is a fine program and I appreciate its functionality.

Windows Firewall is switched off as I already have Norton Internet Security.

Windows Defender is appreciated as I don't have to download a new spyware program.

Windows Internet Explorer is good and I prefer it over Firefox.

Microsoft has not imposed anything on me. Apart from maybe Microsoft-ing my childhood?
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:25 am



Quoting Slz396 (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
Duhhhhhh, Earth to Europe, MS was in a legal appeal, so all time lines and fones are stayed until the appeal is over..


Not if you loose the appeal though... check the EU anti-competition rules before you comment please.

So, in the EU, if you loose an appeal, the time line reverts back to the original time line? That's insane, no body, that appeals, and later looses the appeal (most times years later) a case will ever be able to meet the original fine time lines.

This smacks of punishing those who can appeal a judgement. So, are the EU Courts supporting these barbaric punitive actions?

I think I'll revert back to my original statement in this thread.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
This is typical Anti-American European Bureaucrat BS.

 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:45 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
So, in the EU, if you loose an appeal, the time line reverts back to the original time line?

Anybody could otherwise misuse the appeal procedures to delay the application of an unfavourable anti-competition ruling thus continuing to misuse his stronger position to harm competitors, with time definitely on his side.

By the time a final ruling is given, there might be no more competitors!
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:07 pm



Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 17):
Windows Defender is appreciated as I don't have to download a new spyware program.

That is *precisely* the point here - monopoly position allowing Microsoft to leverage other markets because of their domination of one (the OS).

The issue is not that these apps are available, its that these apps are by default in the OS which raises the competition barrier against third parties as they have to overcome the default response of 'oh well, why do I need another product?', locking themselves further into Microsoft solutions.

Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 17):
Windows Internet Explorer is good and I prefer it over Firefox.

Internet Explorer has set the entire web back by 5 years - because of their domination of the OS arena, once Netscape went under they stopped developing their browse. Yes, they *literally* disbanded the IE development team after IE 6 was released, and only kept a maintenance team running.

IE is not standards compliant, it actually misses huge portions of the specs (and the specs are there for a sodding reason). IE 7 is better, but far from standards complaint, and IE 8 is rumoured to be compliant with certain standards.

As an example, XHMTL is a well used html standard, but *every single page* written by *anyone* is not complaint with the standard - why? Because MS DID NOT MAKE IE 6 OR IE 7 COMPLIANT.

The XHTML standard says that a web server must supply the page with a content type of 'application/xhtml+xml', or to a lesser extent 'application/xml'.

However, IE does not recognise pages with those content types - it will simply display the XML tree for the page. The only way to get IE to display an XHTML page (IE has no problem rendering XHTML itself) is to use a content type of 'text/html' - which breaks the standard.

On the back end, Microsoft has routinely taken public protocols (SMB comes to mind, as does Kerberos) and subtly modified them so that third party implementations do not work - so you *have* to go with a Microsoft solution to get proper functionality.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
So, in the EU, if you loose an appeal, the time line reverts back to the original time line? That's insane, no body, that appeals, and later looses the appeal (most times years later) a case will ever be able to meet the original fine time lines.

Microsoft applied to an appeals court for a suspension of corrective measures while the appeals process was undertaken - in December 2004, the appeals court ruled against Microsoft, and said that the corrective measures were not suspended and Microsoft must adhere to the original order.

In April 2006, Microsoft appealed against this, and was again ruled against by yet another court who said that the corrective measures must be carried out as per the original order.

In July 2007, the EU commission found that MS had not complied and handed down additional fines.

There was a process, it was undertaken, and Microsoft was ruled against.

But I highly doubt that the facts will ever make an impression here, its quite frankly obvious that this is anti-Americanism at its best.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 9841
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:33 pm



Quoting Asturias (Reply 2):
The EU is single-handedly doing what needed to be done to prevent further abuse of the monopoly-position Microsoft has held the last years. What is accepted by the EU serves as precedence elsewhere.

What monopoly? Aren't you free to buy a Mac, install Unix, Linux, or dig up an old copy of OS/2? As far as browsers are concerned, there is Firefox, Opera, and a bunch of others all for free. What does the EU want - that Microsoft have to pay to sell its products instead of the customer?  Silly

Oh wait... that's what's happening.

Quoting Moo (Reply 11):
Uhm, your sentence doesn't make sense - the EU are fining MS because they did not adhere to an earlier ruling which required them to release certain specifications in order to encourage and enable competition with themselves.

They want Microsoft to release their code. I'm involved right now in a big legal argument over how our company can best protect our property - software that we've been working on very hard and has completely unique capabilities, so that a competitor can't simply copy or reverse engineer it. MS does the same.

Don't pretend this is not just a case of big American company has lots of money and the EU government resents it, and then steals it.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:40 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
They want Microsoft to release their code.

No, they don't - they want Microsoft to release usable and detailed specifications to their proprietary protocols and APIs, the court does *not* want source code *unless* there is no documentation in existence (for example, older protocols and APIs where documentation may either have been lost or just never existed).

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
Don't pretend this is not just a case of big American company has lots of money and the EU government resents it, and then steals it.

Don't pretend that the EU doesn't have other, better ways to do that if they so wished.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:43 pm

One problem is also that Microsoft has exclusive agreements with many computer manufacturers, that MS software comes already preinstalled on most computers. So most customers (except technologically interested ones) will just keep the existing Windows suite and will not bother with alternatives.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:54 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 23):
One problem is also that Microsoft has exclusive agreements with many computer manufacturers, that MS software comes already preinstalled on most computers.

Microsoft is no longer allowed to have abusive exclusivity contracts with OEMs.
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4305
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:26 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
Don't pretend this is not just a case of big American company has lots of money and the EU government resents it, and then steals it.

Yes, the evil Europeans doing everything to fight against the good Americans. Sorry, but this is just rediculous. Remember how many states in the US brought a law suit up against MS before?

Volkswagen had been fined a big million € fine from the Commission before because it did not adhere to the rules. So did quite a lot of other international companies.

Apart from that, the EC competition framework is not a banana republic lawtext, it is a framework which is easy to understand, transparent to use and respects modern standards.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:02 pm

So what would happen if MSFT just ceased selling and supporting all products in the EU? If they're going to be fined into Ch. 11, what's the difference? Would be fun to watch.  Smile
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:16 pm



Quoting Newark777 (Reply 26):
So what would happen if MSFT just ceased selling and supporting all products in the EU? If they're going to be fined into Ch. 11, what's the difference? Would be fun to watch

Quite probably, because it would be an obvious middle finger to the EU Commission, they would apply to the EU Courts for conditional annulment of Microsoft copyrights in the EU which would allow everyone to use MS products free of charge.
 
bagpiper
Posts: 1050
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:24 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:23 pm



Quoting Newark777 (Reply 26):
So what would happen if MSFT just ceased selling and supporting all products in the EU? If they're going to be fined into Ch. 11, what's the difference? Would be fun to watch.

Exactly what I'm thinking  Smile

What if the US fined some EU company - I'm sure the EU wouldn't be happy.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:24 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 27):
Quite probably, because it would be an obvious middle finger to the EU Commission, they would apply to the EU Courts for conditional annulment of Microsoft copyrights in the EU which would allow everyone to use MS products free of charge.

At least it's good to know the EU respects intellectual property rights.  Yeah sure
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:31 pm



Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 5):
Seems an odd monopoly to have, when Linux and Apple are gaining popularity all the time!

Especially when you consider that Apple has been able to use every dirty, anti-competitive trick in the book for the last decade without even warranting a second look from competition authorities.

Quoting Moo (Reply 11):
And yet MS still doesn't have to compete with them on anywhere approaching an equal basis - MS can continue to maintain their market position through bundling and restricting practices rather than actually competing.

All companies bundle, so if you're going that way then you should force Apple to have its OS run in any PC.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 15):
Let's just hope the Justice Department fines a few EU company's 1.5 billion in retaliation. Tit for tat. It's fair.

Even though I am in general pro-MSFT that is just ridiculous, trying to turn this into a political war, as if that was the case. Neelie Kroes has done a great job in the EC promoting consumer rights and has more often than not flown straight in the face of EU national governments trying to protect their national monopolies. Believe me, most European governments would like nothing better than to see her gone, since she doesn't follow the usual political guidelines they try to impose.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:32 pm



Quoting Newark777 (Reply 29):

At least it's good to know the EU respects intellectual property rights. Yeah sure

Yeah, because going to a court and asking to have them conditionally annulled certainly means they don't respect intellectual property rights.

Look, there would be two things involved in such a decision -

1. Any such action by MS would be a direct and deliberate 'fuck you' from MS to the EU as a direct result of recent EU actions. Courts don't like that sort of thing, wherever you are in the world.

2. Microsoft is in a monopoly position in the markets that would be affected, and that puts an entirely different slant on things. If they were not in a monopoly position, the court would probably not allow the annulment but as Microsoft products form almost the entire base for modern computing (desktop, server et al), a court would almost certainly allow the annulment as a withdrawl of said products would result in a basic inability for countries to function in an ongoing capacity.

The above would be true if the US decided to take action as well.

The rules change when you are in a monopoly position, regardless of what country you are in.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:34 pm



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):

All companies bundle, so if you're going that way then you should force Apple to have its OS run in any PC.

Not all companies bundle to the exclusion of competitors - thats what Microsoft did in the first part of this decade, and what prompted this antitrust action. Apple is not in a monopoly position, and the rules change when you are a monopoly.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:44 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 32):
Apple is not in a monopoly position, and the rules change when you are a monopoly.

Anti-trust laws are designed to, ultimately, protect the consumer. Bundling products, in the case of Apple, has the exact effect of harming consumers. So in essence the same laws should apply.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:45 pm



Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 28):
What if the US fined some EU company - I'm sure the EU wouldn't be happy.

The DOJ just slapped a very heavy fine on BA and you didn't see the EU complaining (in fact, I actually commend it for that).
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:50 pm



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 33):
Anti-trust laws are designed to, ultimately, protect the consumer. Bundling products, in the case of Apple, has the exact effect of harming consumers. So in essence the same laws should apply.

No, because Apples bundling has not yet been shown to be detrimental to the consumer - show that, and antitrust certainly would apply.

There is nothing wrong with bundling itself, only when you start including abusive practices as part of your bundling - Microsoft fell foul of this firstly with Internet Explorer, in that they firstly provided a free bundled web browser with their OS (leveraged a monopoly market in order to enter another market), and then again with Media Player (again, leveraging a monopoly market in order to enter another market).

Apples bundling does not fall foul of antitrust law because they do not hold a monopoly position in any market - although its becoming 'interesting' with regard to iPods, iTunes and media distribution, about which there are investigations currently undergoing in both the EU and the US.
 
bagpiper
Posts: 1050
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:24 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:14 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 35):

No, because Apples bundling has not yet been shown to be detrimental to the consumer - show that, and antitrust certainly would apply.

Well, I would love to use a Mac, yet only if I can build it myself, or buy it in some format that allows you to change the hardware inside. if you buy a Mac, you cannot change the hardware... that is detrimental...

Quoting Moo (Reply 35):
There is nothing wrong with bundling itself, only when you start including abusive practices as part of your bundling - Microsoft fell foul of this firstly with Internet Explorer, in that they firstly provided a free bundled web browser with their OS (leveraged a monopoly market in order to enter another market), and then again with Media Player (again, leveraging a monopoly market in order to enter another market).

Abusive, as in not being able to diagnose and repair the hardware inside yourself? They charge outrageous prices to fix a battery that you should be able to replace yourself...

How about Safari, their web browser? It is bundled... just like IE is. Yet, you can install FF or Opera instead...

Quoting Moo (Reply 35):
Apples bundling does not fall foul of antitrust law because they do not hold a monopoly position in any market - although its becoming 'interesting' with regard to iPods, iTunes and media distribution, about which there are investigations currently undergoing in both the EU and the US.

How do you define "monopoly"?

How do you expect OEMs to NOT include Windows on their systems, if they cannot include Mac OS, and Linux is still too hard to use for average consumers? Apple is hurting the consumer by not letting their software be used on other OEM systems.... extreme opposite of what Microsoft did, in some ways.




Oh right - sorry... thats Apple - they're perfect. Microsoft needs to go to hell, though, just because they're Microsoft. I'll try to remember such things in the future. Please excuse my slip of memory.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:19 pm

I would really like to see the EU try to throw out MSFT patents. Talk about shit hitting the fan.
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:30 pm



Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 36):

Well, I would love to use a Mac, yet only if I can build it myself, or buy it in some format that allows you to change the hardware inside. if you buy a Mac, you cannot change the hardware... that is detrimental...

No, it isn't - that remains within the right of a company to control their product.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 36):

Abusive, as in not being able to diagnose and repair the hardware inside yourself? They charge outrageous prices to fix a battery that you should be able to replace yourself...

I have never had a problem diagnosing a problem, and there are large amounts of the internals you can replace yourself. Also, Apple are not stopping a third party from setting up a repair center and you can buy replacement parts from Apple.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 36):
How about Safari, their web browser? It is bundled... just like IE is. Yet, you can install FF or Opera instead...

And yet again I point out that the rules change when you become an abusive monopoly - there is nothing wrong with bundling, its when that bundling becomes abusive that people take issue.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 36):

How do you define "monopoly"?

You really want me to give you the chapter and letter of both European Union and American law with regard to monopolies and antitrust definitions?

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 36):
How do you expect OEMs to NOT include Windows on their systems, if they cannot include Mac OS, and Linux is still too hard to use for average consumers? Apple is hurting the consumer by not letting their software be used on other OEM systems.... extreme opposite of what Microsoft did, in some ways.

The issue is not that OEMs include Windows on their systems, its the terms and restrictions Microsoft placed on them to do so - stuff like inability to place competing products on their OEM images, inability to sell a competing OS through either outright withdrawl of rights to distribute Microsoft Windows if they do distribute an alternative (Linux, OS2 or whatever), or terms in the contracts requiring OEMs to pay Microsoft a license fee for each and every computer shipped, regardless of whether or not it shipping with Windows installed or included in the box or not.

Microsoft faced the same charges in the US antitrust lawsuits of the late 1990s early 2000s.

Oh, and Intel are currently undergoing the same antitrust allegations for many of the same reasons above in the EU, South Korea, Japan and the US.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 36):

Oh right - sorry... thats Apple - they're perfect. Microsoft needs to go to hell, though, just because they're Microsoft

Apple are far from perfect, and Microsoft do infact produce some nice products - you obviously have never followed any of my 'discussions' with Klaus, and are obviously basing my entire viewpoint and opinion set on what I am saying in this discussion alone.

You are most wrong, my friend, if you believe that I think Apple to be perfect and Microsoft to be the devils spawn.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:31 pm



Quoting Newark777 (Reply 37):
I would really like to see the EU try to throw out MSFT patents. Talk about shit hitting the fan.

Software patents are by and large not recognised in EU courts.
 
bagpiper
Posts: 1050
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:24 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:41 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 38):
I have never had a problem diagnosing a problem, and there are large amounts of the internals you can replace yourself. Also, Apple are not stopping a third party from setting up a repair center and you can buy replacement parts from Apple.

With Dell, you are allowed to add more parts to your computer. Last time I checked (it is based on word of mouth from a Mac user, though), with a Mac, opening the case voided warranty and any grounds for support. Hardly beneficial and helping to provide options for support.

Quoting Moo (Reply 38):
And yet again I point out that the rules change when you become an abusive monopoly - there is nothing wrong with bundling, its when that bundling becomes abusive that people take issue.

HOW is Microsoft an "abusive monopoly"?? The reasons stated here were what we are arguing about right now.... now it seems you are saying there is more to it. MS includes just the same stuff that Apple does in their OS - media player excluded maybe. But web browser, computer management... etc.

MS does not have those "abusive" contracts with OEMs anymore... so that is out the window. They are a monopoly in terms of market share??

Quoting Moo (Reply 38):

Apple are far from perfect, and Microsoft do infact produce some nice products - you obviously have never followed any of my 'discussions' with Klaus, and are obviously basing my entire viewpoint and opinion set on what I am saying in this discussion alone.

Pardon me for failing to take personal notice to you on these forums.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:18 pm



Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 40):
With Dell, you are allowed to add more parts to your computer. Last time I checked (it is based on word of mouth from a Mac user, though), with a Mac, opening the case voided warranty and any grounds for support. Hardly beneficial and helping to provide options for support.

Totally and utterly wrong - you can certainly add, remove and change the internals of your Mac to your hearts content.

I type this on an iMac which has had its hard disk and memory upgraded, the CD drive changed to a DVD-RW and an Airport Express card added - Apple still accepted it in last year for a warranty replacement motherboard with no questions asked, no problems as a result.

With anything, if your modification causes a problem then you lose the warranty, but if your modification has nothing to do with the fault, you are fine.

Again, nothing wrong with going to a third party support engineer, Apple does sell parts to them at the same rates their resellers and stores get billed at.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 40):
HOW is Microsoft an "abusive monopoly"?? The reasons stated here were what we are arguing about right now.... now it seems you are saying there is more to it. MS includes just the same stuff that Apple does in their OS - media player excluded maybe. But web browser, computer management... etc.

You simply do not get it do you? Microsoft controls the markets through their monopoly, and as a result they control de facto standards.

Take their web browser for example - do you have any idea at all how hard it is to write web pages to the World Wide Web Consortium standards for HTML 4.0, 4.1, XHTML 1.0, XHTML: 1.1, XHTML 2, CSS 1 and 2, ECMAscript? Extremely fucking hard - Microsoft does not adhere to the standards in any of those areas, and they all happen to be the ones everyone must use.

Why is this a problem? Because it allows Microsoft to influence the market to the detriment of competition - their browsers (IE 5, IE 6 and IE 7) control over 85% of the browser market space, and because they do not adhere to standards, it means people cannot compete because they cannot write to the same rendering standards as Microsoft - they don't know exactly how IE will react as its rendering engine is not written to a published spec.

Can you see why that is bad?

Their Office document standards ensure that you have to have a Microsoft product in order to read a Word Document, an Excel Document et al - which means, guess what, that when Microsoft wish to force you to do an upgrade, they can. Release a version of Office that contains a new .doc or .xls standard, one which prior versions of Office cannot read and you force a whole load of people to upgrade. Competition cannot happen because the formats are secret and proprietary.

Can you see why that is bad?

Take their recent Office Open XML document standard, which is being pushed by Microsoft as an open standard which allows competition - its over 8000 pages long, and riddled with references such as (paraphrased, in english because the actual directive doesn't mean much to anyone other than a programmer) 'render this section as Word 2003 does', or 'format this text as Word 95 does' - but the required specification for those parts are not part of the OOXML standard.

How exactly is that an 'open standard which allows competition'? How are competitors supposed to implement their product correctly?

Their Media Player is Microsoft leveraging their OS monopoly to push a totally separate product in a totally separate market - what really does buying music have to do with an OS? Can competitors really compete when their main competitor instantly has their product across 99% of the market with no effort?

Can you see why that is bad?

In their server space, they took SMB, which is a published file sharing standard protocol from IBM in the 1980s, and implemented it so that Microsoft Windows machines could share files between each other. Except they did it in such a way that third party OSes could not connect to a Windows file share, or a Windows system could not connect to a third party file share - despite them all using the published SMB spec. Which had the effect of, guess what, raising the number of Windows Server products sold as a replacement to those third party systems (Novell et al). How is that not abusive and anti-competitive?

In 2000 they did it again - they took the Kerberos authentication protocol and subtly amended it so that any third party server (Linux, OSX, Novell Netware, UNIX) could not act as a domain controller - you had to have a Windows Server platform acting as domain controller so that your Windows clients could join the domain.

Both of the above stops competition. And these are only two of many many many different established standards that Microsoft have taken over the years and extended in such a way that existing products cannot work with Windows. You have to have a Microsoft product in order to talk to a Microsoft product.

Can you see why that is bad?

The basic point here, time and again, is that Microsoft deliberately make it hard for competitors to compete - in a market where one company controls 90% of the entire market, that is significant and that is the reason Microsoft are in trouble and Apple are not.

Apple are not monopolists, they do not have such control over the market that they can force competitors out of business or push their own products in such a way that its detrimental to competition on their own platform (apart from iTunes, iPod and the Media Store - that is being looked into on both sides of the Atlantic as we speak).

Also, there is nothing wrong with having a monopoly, the legal issues only begin when that monopoly ceases to be in the best interest of the consumer. In this case, MS are pushing shoddy second rate products in such a way that competition is discouraged or just plain not allowed.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 40):
MS does not have those "abusive" contracts with OEMs anymore... so that is out the window. They are a monopoly in terms of market share??

That the crux of it - the did when these antitrust cases started, and were dropped in the US as a result but not in the EU. However, the problem has simply moved on elsewhere - instead of punishing transgressors through their contracts, Microsoft withholds 'advertising support' money from OEMS that break their 'gentlemens agreements'.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 40):
Pardon me for failing to take personal notice to you on these forums.

Since the sarcasm really is not necessary, let me enlighten you to my current situation.

I use a Mac at home, I enjoy it. I would not, however, use a Mac in any business environment as it simply would not survive.

At work I manage a load of Linux and BSD machines, and I like them.

But my primary job currently, and has been for the past 12 months, is to upgrade the Microsoft Windows infrastructure. AD, Exchange, MSSQL Server et al.

And you know what? I'm enjoying it - I *like* AD, it is nice. I *like* Exchange, it does its job. I have no issues with Windows Server or XP, I use them gladly. I personally don't think theres a product on the market currently that could compete with MSSQL, not because of anything MS have done (rare I know) but because its a sodding good product for its price point (none of its competitors include products such as Integration Services, or Reporting Services, or Notification Services).

But we could not ever think about putting a Linux or OS X client into the above mix - because while Linux or OS X can talk both LDAP and Kerberos (and indeed NTLM for IWS), they do not talk *Microsofts* variant of them. You couldn't replace the AD controller with a lower cost Linux alternative, because it cannot supply Windows clients with the necessary Kerberos extensions to authenticate across the domain.

Microsofts extensions are simply not documented anywhere.

But that is what this EU ruling is all about - MS releasing documentation and specifications for those extensions so I *can* implement a Linux based AD controller if I so wanted, so I *can* add a Linux based SMB file share into a Distributed File System, if I so needed to. So I *can* support an entire Windows client desktop infrastructure without *having* to buy Windows Server and CALs.

The result of this documentation becoming available means I could potentially save, for example, £100,000 next time I upgrade the infrastructure.

Where did I get this figure from?

Windows Server 2003 R2 - £800 (we have about 20 in our infrastructure - £16,000)
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server - £4000 (two - £8,000)
Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise - £4000 (one - £4000)
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard CPU license £5500 (we have 5 - £27,500)
External IIS license £2500 (two - £5000)
Dynamics CRM Server £4500 (two - £9000)

Rough total for servers - £69,500

Now the interesting part - Client Access Licenses to talk to the above servers - around £40,000. CALs add no functionality, they are just a cost Microsoft eek out of you for each and every client using one of their servers. If I could use an alternative product that had the same functionality and the same integration I wouldn't be paying for each client to use a server, because competition would have destroyed that business model many moons ago.

Do you at all understand where I am coming from?
 
User avatar
yowza
Posts: 4281
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:33 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):

Funny how the EU can get bent out of shape over MS, Apple, and Lenix, but totally ignors the Euro Bs they simply hand over to EADS/Airbus.

WTF are you talking about? The action against MS was purely to benefit the consumer as well as competing firms such as Apple and makers of "Lenix"  Yeah sure . Apple is American as are most Linux firms. So why don't you try making a valid point...

Quoting Jush (Reply 12):

LOL? Dude, have you been on the moon lately? Almost everything and every program inside Windows screams monopoly...

Not really. If it's un-removable and woven into the OS itself that would be a different story.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 19):
Anybody could otherwise misuse the appeal procedures to delay the application of an unfavourable anti-competition ruling thus continuing to misuse his stronger position to harm competitors, with time definitely on his side.

This is commonplace in the US. Lobbyists!

YOWza
 
Blackprojects
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:22 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:12 pm

The EU fines Microsoft 1.3 Billion that should solve some of the EU Funding problems for a bit.  eyepopping   eyepopping   ghost 
 
PPVRA
Posts: 7878
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:48 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Bil

Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:12 pm

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 5):
Seems an odd monopoly to have, when Linux and Apple are gaining popularity all the time!



Quoting Asturias (Reply 2):
The EU is single-handedly doing what needed to be done to prevent further abuse of the monopoly-position Microsoft has held the last years.

What abuse? You don't have to buy MS products. No one has to. If you do, you voluntarily do so.

If they are doing something people aren't happy with, customers go elsewhere. There are substitute products out there and you can plainly see Apple and Linux growing in popularity.

[Edited 2008-02-28 14:14:58]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
AA7295
Topic Author
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:11 am



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 34):
The DOJ just slapped a very heavy fine on BA and you didn't see the EU complaining (in fact, I actually commend it for that).

How much did BA get fined? Nothing in the billions. It would be different if the EU fined like 50 million, but billions is rather extreme and that is the root to this trans-atlantic crossfire. Does anyone know the maximum amount the Justice Department has fined an EU company (since the establishment of the EU). Is it in the billions. Conversely, what is the maximum amount the EU has fined and EU company?

You people don't get it. As the EU gets larger, they will use their size as a leverage to get what they want from foreign companies.

Also, where will this 1.4 billion go to? Perhaps an EU software company to counter MSFT?

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
You simply do not get it do you? Microsoft controls the markets through their monopoly, and as a result they control de facto standards.



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 44):
What abuse? You don't have to buy MS products. No one has to. If you do, you voluntarily do so.

If they are doing something people aren't happy with, customers go elsewhere. There are substitute products out there and you can plainly see Apple and Linux growing in popularity.

Exactly. The problem is, the majority of PC users don't know that they are other programs (in most cases better programs) that is why they use the in-built Windows software. What I don't get is, that this programs can be uninstalled or disabled at your request, which therein lies the counter argument to the EU. Should a consumer choose a better product that is not designed by Microsoft, they can uninstall the MS product and install their own.

So what is the problem here?

Oh wait its just the EU punishing a successful US company. I've said it before. Tit for Tat, the Justice Department should start fining EU companies 1.4 billion dollars.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
Where did I get this figure from?

Windows Server 2003 R2 - £800 (we have about 20 in our infrastructure - £16,000)
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server - £4000 (two - £8,000)
Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise - £4000 (one - £4000)
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard CPU license £5500 (we have 5 - £27,500)
External IIS license £2500 (two - £5000)
Dynamics CRM Server £4500 (two - £9000)

Rough total for servers - £69,500

Did you ever think that is a benefit to have all Microsoft programs and server etc as they are DESIGNED to work together. If you had Linux this, Apple that and some MSFT they aren't designed to work together in harmony, where as the MSFT products are.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:42 am



Quoting AA7295 (Reply 45):
How much did BA get fined? Nothing in the billions. It

It was in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars, which for BA is arguably a higher percentage of their annual profits than this 1.3 billion fine for Microsoft.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 9841
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:05 am

Here is the irony:

Nobody is forced to use Microsoft. You don't like it, install another OS. It might not have as many programs available for it, but hey, you make your choice.

The EU Court, you can't get around. If you want to do business in a part of the world that might represent over half your profits, you are under their jurisdiction - and if you happened to be based in the EU, then you really don't have any choice in the matter.

But it is the EU court that accuses Microsoft of being an abusive monopoly. WTF???

 Confused  Confused  Confused  Confused  Confused
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
AM744
Posts: 1437
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 11:05 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:43 am



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 44):
What abuse? You don't have to buy MS products. No one has to. If you do, you voluntarily do so.

FALSE. Largely because of the restrictions brilliantly exposed by Moo, you HAVE to buy MS products in an enterprise environment, one way or another. There simply isn't option. Been down that road also and it isn't funny at all.
 
bagpiper
Posts: 1050
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:24 pm

RE: EU Fines Microsoft Again, This Time US$1.3 Billion

Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:24 am



Quoting Moo (Reply 41):

First off, it looks like we work in similar fields. While I am only 18, I do own a company that does web design, web applications (usually to Web 2.0 standards), and server management.

Yes, I am only 18, so I admit I know a lot less than you, and my experience in this area is 100% Unix/Linux and open source. I have not touched a Windows server or an Apple server. I have only been doing this stuff for 18 months, but I know more about it than some guys do after graduating with a CS degree from college. I only say that to give myself a little bit of leverage - not to brag.

While I know little about the whole thing, I am learning, and at least I've gotten off my ass and done something and learned stuff, compared to most kids my age.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
Take their web browser for example - do you have any idea at all how hard it is to write web pages to the World Wide Web Consortium standards for HTML 4.0, 4.1, XHTML 1.0, XHTML: 1.1, XHTML 2, CSS 1 and 2, ECMAscript? Extremely fucking hard - Microsoft does not adhere to the standards in any of those areas, and they all happen to be the ones everyone must use.

I can't tell you how many hacks I have used for IE5 and IE6 in CSS - and yes, that XHTML crap in IE& drives me up the wall. However, Safari and Opera, and to some extent FireFox, have issues, too (mostly in Web 2.0 type of stuff). Not saying IE is any good - but that the others have flaws, too. Please, don't misunderstand me - I'm not defending MS here.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
Why is this a problem? Because it allows Microsoft to influence the market to the detriment of competition - their browsers (IE 5, IE 6 and IE 7) control over 85% of the browser market space, and because they do not adhere to standards, it means people cannot compete because they cannot write to the same rendering standards as Microsoft - they don't know exactly how IE will react as its rendering engine is not written to a published spec.

One way to fix that is to start adding "this site is designed for Mozilla Firefox" type things. Obviously not on corporate websites, but on forum type web sites, such as A.net for example, that would be fine.

Is this grounds for the EU to fine MS? (not trying to simplify it - I know we have to add up ALL the issues)

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
Their Office document standards ensure that you have to have a Microsoft product in order to read a Word Document, an Excel Document et al - which means, guess what, that when Microsoft wish to force you to do an upgrade, they can. Release a version of Office that contains a new .doc or .xls standard, one which prior versions of Office cannot read and you force a whole load of people to upgrade. Competition cannot happen because the formats are secret and proprietary.

Here, Microsoft is really just trying to protect their company from open source software. This could be argued two ways:

1) Look at the save files from any two audio editing applications - they will be different, even though they are doing the same thing - editing audio. While that is more complex then printing words on a page, it is the same category

-OR-

2) The way you took it - MS needs to let others build off what they have done, and eventually put that part of the company out of business.

Both have their pros and cons - it could take a paper to discuss them all. Basically, here, MS is trying to protect their market share and their business. However, at some point, I think open source software is going to take the place of MS Office Suite. But does MS need to be fined in order to realize that?

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):

Their Media Player is Microsoft leveraging their OS monopoly to push a totally separate product in a totally separate market - what really does buying music have to do with an OS? Can competitors really compete when their main competitor instantly has their product across 99% of the market with no effort?

Windows Media Player is not about buying music. It is about playing the music files. Sure, they have a DRM technology they made and maintain, and most online music and video vendors use that format. But that is part of what a user-oriented operating system should have. You need to be able to pop in the Vista or XP DVD and install it, then start using it right away. Shouldn't have to go use a command line to download a .exe from a URL you memorized to get a web browser first. You shouldn't have to get a third party media player in order to play your CDs. You should be able to if you WANT to, which MS allows you to do so.

What I see here is the EU fining them for providing basic user experiences and functions one comes to expect these days in an OS.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
In their server space, they took SMB, which is a published file sharing standard protocol from IBM in the 1980s, and implemented it so that Microsoft Windows machines could share files between each other. Except they did it in such a way that third party OSes could not connect to a Windows file share, or a Windows system could not connect to a third party file share - despite them all using the published SMB spec. Which had the effect of, guess what, raising the number of Windows Server products sold as a replacement to those third party systems (Novell et al). How is that not abusive and anti-competitive?

As I said above, I have never touched a Windows server. However, I do know some things about them, and I can tell you personally how big of a pain it is to get a Linux PC and a Windows PC to communicate with each other. I did not know the history behind SMB - I did know IBM developed it, so I learned something new here.

That said, I've always maintained that if you run a Windows based server network, then keep it windows for goodness sake. Same thing goes with Unix.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
iTunes, iPod and the Media Store - that is being looked into on both sides of the Atlantic as we speak).

Good to hear that. To be able to only use iPods with iTunes seems... rude.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
That the crux of it - the did when these antitrust cases started, and were dropped in the US as a result but not in the EU.

From what I read, that was not the case. But then again, my sources were not 100% accurate, so I am willing to bet you are right and I am wrong in this case.

However, I do know that my friend who has an iMac was refused warranty service because he replaced some part inside - I'll have to double check to see what it was. It may have been a special part that cannot be replaced, or maybe he was told the wrong thing - I don't know.

Quoting Moo (Reply 41):
Windows Server 2003 R2 - £800 (we have about 20 in our infrastructure - £16,000)
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server - £4000 (two - £8,000)
Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise - £4000 (one - £4000)
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard CPU license £5500 (we have 5 - £27,500)
External IIS license £2500 (two - £5000)
Dynamics CRM Server £4500 (two - £9000)

Rough total for servers - £69,500

Now the interesting part - Client Access Licenses to talk to the above servers - around £40,000. CALs add no functionality, they are just a cost Microsoft eek out of you for each and every client using one of their servers. If I could use an alternative product that had the same functionality and the same integration I wouldn't be paying for each client to use a server, because competition would have destroyed that business model many moons ago.

I hope you have a good reason to use Microsoft products instead of Unix based servers? I've always thought that Microsoft products are over priced.... but then so are iMacs. I'd rather get an OEM copy of XP Pro and build a computer, or buy a Dell/HP.

Sorry about my previous reply - it was thrown together quickly as I had only a few minutes before a meeting (with a client for said company I started). I seem to get the idea that post really pissed you off - my apologies.

Hope you understand better what I mean now, when I say that the fine is a little outrageous.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bmacleod, Calder and 15 guests