Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Apr 2006 20:29 UTC
Legal Microsoft told a European Union court on Monday that regulators had completely misunderstood thriving competition in the software market in issuing a landmark antitrust ruling against the giant U.S. company. But an internal Microsoft memo presented by a coalition of critical companies suggested founder Bill Gates was told that a strategy used to crush the rival Netscape browser could also take down the leader in streaming media, RealNetworks' RealPlayer.
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sorry ?
by raver31 on Mon 24th Apr 2006 20:47 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft told a European Union court on Monday that regulators had completely misunderstood thriving competition

what arrogance of Microsoft to accuse the EU courts of failing to understand the EUs own competition laws,

But, shame on you, Microsoft for expecting to cloudy everything up by comparing Windows media player with iTunes and Flash.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: sorry ?
by nberardi on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:17 UTC in reply to "sorry ?"
RE[2]: sorry ?
by nberardi on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
nberardi Member since:
2005-07-10

I guess it is for the same reason that a rich Republican is a fat cat. And a rich Democrat is a public spirited philathopist.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: sorry ?
by cyclops on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Ahhh I'm sure you know the answer to this one.

Linux Distributions bundle many many media players in with the OS in fact the number of alternatives is actually frightening.

Linux Media Players are not built into the Operating system in a way that they can never be removed.

Linux Media Players do not lock you into one format, making it impossible for you to replace the player ever.

etc etc

Edited 2006-04-25 01:54

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: sorry ?
by hobgoblin on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:50 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

apple is getting into trouble with the french and other seperate members of the EU ;) (and some "half-members", dont ask me to explain)

in linux you can rip out mplayer and replace it with xine, or any other program. allso, you get 3-4 players in the same distro. basicly everyone if fairly represented.

hell, if people get the pay version they often contain third party software ready to install and use. i belive some versions of mandrake (now mandriva) shipped with realplayer for linux.

however, there is no way to simply hit uninstall on windows media player. alteast not unless you go digging inside the registry to unlock some hidden options.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: sorry ?
by dumbkiwi on Tue 25th Apr 2006 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
dumbkiwi Member since:
2006-01-02

Because Microsoft is a monopoly, and therefore cannot use that monopoly position to leverage itself into other markets. The situation here is that Microsoft is using its OS monopoly to leverage itself into the content delivery market.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: sorry ?
by Tyr. on Tue 25th Apr 2006 03:10 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Why is it that when Microsoft intigrates features it is crushing the little guy.

Because they do, maliciously and intentionally wether it's a small or a big guy, this has been proven by documentary evidence in a court of law. Oh, I forgot, all the courts that convicted MS (about 50 so far : http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=24621 ) are just picking on them, right ?

But when Linux or Mac intigrates features in to their OS and bundles software that it is looked at as compition at it's best.

Linux distros are bundling third party software, exactly what MS is preventing. Apple with Quicktime aren't even close to dominating the industry, otherwise they could expect the same treatment. It's worth noting that Quicktime can be licensed by third parties for inclusion in their software.
The issue isn't the inclusion per se, rather the inclusion with the intent (or even unintended side effect) of killing off competition in the sector - it simply does not apply to Apple or Linux.

Last time I checked Apple had media software that it was using to put strangle holds on the rest of the industry.

Noone is exempt, and noone is picking on "poor Microsoft". Apple is under scrutiny with their iTunes music store.
"France drafts copyright law to open up iTunes" ( http://news.ft.com/cms/s/95233eee-b83a-11da-bfc5-0000779e2340.html )

People complain about Job's "reality distortion field", but how MS keeps convincing people they're really a poor underdog being persecuted by others is beyond me.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: sorry ?
by ronaldst on Tue 25th Apr 2006 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@nberardi

Why is it that when Microsoft intigrates features it is crushing the little guy.

But when Linux or Mac intigrates features in to their OS and bundles software that it is looked at as compition at it's best.


All this is to satisfy people's emotional needs. This as nothing to do with market or the reality.

Other than a few contracts much like Nintendo had back in the old days. Microsoft is not guilty of anything else. This should have been a payable fine and that's it.

Europe's anti-trust against MS is just a circus show. It's only for entertainment only. At the cost of the euro tax payers of course. ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: sorry ?
by rcsteiner on Tue 25th Apr 2006 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE: sorry ?"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Why is it that when Microsoft intigrates features it is crushing the little guy.

Why do people insist on asking the same old tired questions year after year when the answers are published in a thousand places on the web and elsewhere for all to see?

This isn't rocket science. Really.

Reply Score: 2

Is this really surprising?
by archiesteel on Mon 24th Apr 2006 20:49 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Is there anyone (who's not a MS astroturfer) that still believes that MS can be trusted not to abuse its monopoly power? This is another striking example of why OS monopolies are bad and should be brought down.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Is this really surprising?
by RGCook on Tue 25th Apr 2006 02:25 UTC in reply to "Is this really surprising?"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

Whatever became of the idea espoused by some a while back that MS should be broken up into separate smaller companies? This might be a way to achieve a more level playing field between MS divisions as well as with 3rd parties.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: Is this really surprising?
by CVDpr on Tue 25th Apr 2006 18:02 UTC in reply to "Is this really surprising?"
they had to?
by JacobMunoz on Mon 24th Apr 2006 20:53 UTC
JacobMunoz
Member since:
2006-03-17

Microsoft's lawyers actually think that if a 3rd party product gets bundled with the OS, it's competition. Wow. Where were these lawyers when I got my traffic tickets?

Reply Score: 2

RE: they had to?
by raver31 on Mon 24th Apr 2006 21:00 UTC in reply to "they had to?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

It actually is competition to bundle competitors products with Windows, for branding reasons.
Microsoft want Windows everywhere, they want people to think Microsoft and Windows when they think of computers. They want people to think of Excel when they mean spreadsheets, Word when they want a wordprocessor, and Powerpoint when they actually mean presentation software.

The brand is sometimes far more important than the product, look at Coca-Cola V Pepsi wars.

Now, if Real was allowed to bundle their player in Windows, Microsoft would loose that part of the branding, you see ?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: they had to?
by Jamie on Mon 24th Apr 2006 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: they had to?"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

Now, if Real was allowed to bundle their player in Windows, Microsoft would loose that part of the branding, you see ?

Some of it might be to do with brand but I suspect most of it is about total domination and control and thats why MS has deliberately tried to destroy open standards like ODF, OpenGL, Kerberos et al.

The simple solution to preventing monopoly abuse is to punish them by banning sales of their products for a certain period (say 2 years) every time they transgress. This would force their customers to use alternate OSes as a result so the punishment would be a powerful deterrent.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: they had to?
by SneakyD on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: they had to?"
SneakyD Member since:
2006-01-17

[/i]The simple solution to preventing monopoly abuse is to punish them by banning sales of their products for a certain period (say 2 years) every time they transgress. This would force their customers to use alternate OSes as a result so the punishment would be a powerful deterrent.[/i]

The problem with this is, that companies would have to pay the cost of retraining staff to use an alt OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: they had to?
by SneakyD on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: they had to?"
SneakyD Member since:
2006-01-17

How about instead, let them continue to sell their product, but fine them the amount of all the profit for the period. Then use the money to fund worth while causes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: they had to?
by Celerate on Tue 25th Apr 2006 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: they had to?"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

That's practically the same thing as kicking them out for a few years. If Microsoft looses all the profits from sales then why would they continue selling there at their own expense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: they had to?
by aquila_deus on Tue 25th Apr 2006 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: they had to?"
aquila_deus Member since:
2005-10-02

The simple solution to preventing monopoly abuse is to punish them by banning sales of their products for a certain period (say 2 years) every time they transgress.

If you dont like it then dont buy it. It's the customers who caused their monopoly. If any conuntry wants to get rid of MS monopoly, it could let the government replace all windows over a few years or months, but instead they just made nearly-useless lawsuits, screaming on media, telling people how evil the monopoly is (and pretending that they're not one of MS's biggest customers).

That's how our governments work, bah.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: they had to?
by ValiSystem on Tue 25th Apr 2006 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: they had to?"
ValiSystem Member since:
2006-02-28

If you dont like it then dont buy it.

Actually, when you face a monopoly, you have no ... choice. How to buy something else ?

When you buy a car, your choice between brands will have a slight implication on your use, the car will do the job, and you paid for.

For software, choice has deep implication. Switching cannot be quick and easy. And that's the main reason why MS has 95% of the market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: they had to?
by aquila_deus on Tue 25th Apr 2006 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: they had to?"
aquila_deus Member since:
2005-10-02

Then how could those law-suit change this situation? After all other companies just have no market. It wouldn't be any better than promoting free OS in all government departments and schools. The fact is that our governments just choose to do what is easy and looks right, yet it has no effect actually.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: they had to?
by sedwards on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE: they had to?"
RE[3]: they had to?
by Tyr. on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: they had to?"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

I call bullshit. They bundled Hyperterminal by Hillgrave, IE with parts owned by Spyglass and copyright the Mosaic project. Not to mention command line tools ported from BSD.

Hyperterminal and command line tools are very low visibility programs, only used by (some) administrators. They do not impact brand.

IE; I guess you're talking version 2 there. By the time MS finally understood they missed something with this internet thing and really got to work (IE3 & IE4) it was pushed as an all-microsoft solution. That's the time they started the branding with "the big blue E" becoming synonymous with internet.

Reply Score: 3

MS is beating up RealNetworks
by ronaldst on Mon 24th Apr 2006 21:09 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

And people complain? O_o

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS is beating up RealNetworks
by Tyr. on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:03 UTC in reply to "MS is beating up RealNetworks"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

And people complain? O_o

Ok, so RealPlayer at one point was so full off adware it was practically unusable. But think about it this way : they couldn't get bundled with new pc's (because of MS), their direct competition (MS Media Player) was bundled and free - how were they supposed to make money ? Did they lose the market because their software was crap or did their software turn to crap because they had to scrounge an income somehow ?

Facts remain the streaming media market which was owned for a great part by Real in the early days is now dominated by MS with a niche left for Quicktime.

Reply Score: 4

RE: MS is beating up RealNetworks
by Ronald Vos on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:30 UTC in reply to "MS is beating up RealNetworks"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Well I can understand Microsoft saying they didn't want to see Realplayer succeed conquering the marketplace, because frankly, there's only two players worse than WMP and those are Realplayer and Apple Quicktime for Windows. It's funny those are the supposed victims.

Kinda like with Netscape, who had an inferior product depending on when you looked at them.

Reply Score: 2

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Netscape inferior to IE ? What planet are you on ?

Netscape was far better than IE, and it still is in its Firefox and Seamonkey clothes.

IE has always been the inferior product dumped on top of peoples desktops.

Reply Score: 2

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Didn't they have to throw out the Netscape source when they started Mozilla?

Reply Score: 1

rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Netscape inferior to IE ? What planet are you on ?

It seems you're the one that's out of touch with reality? Netscape Communicator 4.x is better than IE 4.x and 5.x? In what world? Communicator was slow, buggy, bulky and difficult to use. Instead of making a good product, Netscape gave up and decided on a 5-year rewrite of Netscape, which then became Mozilla - not a particularly bright idea when you're sinking.

AOL bought Netscape. Yet since Seamonkey and Firefox became stable, AOL have not pushed it to its general customers, instead continuing to use Internet Explorer in its main product. It makes further less sense when Microsoft stop including AOL advertising since Windows XP.

If you can't find it in your heart to blame Netscape for their own product failure, blame AOL Time Warner instead.

Reply Score: 0

Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

It seems you're the one that's out of touch with reality? Netscape Communicator 4.x is better than IE 4.x and 5.x? In what world? Communicator was slow, buggy, bulky and difficult to use. Instead of making a good product, Netscape gave up and decided on a 5-year rewrite of Netscape, which then became Mozilla - not a particularly bright idea when you're sinking.

NS4 stunk, but that isn't what sunk Netscape. Netscape was entrenched, it was THE default for a lot of companies and software, just like IE is now. But MS tightly integrated IE4 into the OS (in the sense that it popped up everywhere and often) while forbidding OEMs to bundle Netscape or even from providing a download link and the desktop.

Inferior products get used if they are what people are used to and they come with the system (case in point IE vs Firefox these days). More to the point OEM deals would have provided income which would have led to further development, instead Netscape bled to death, forced into giving away their product to even have a hope of competing.

Reply Score: 1

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

... because frankly, there's only two players worse than WMP and those are Realplayer and Apple Quicktime for Windows. It's funny those are the supposed victims.

And if you can't make any money because you can't sell your product what do you use to develop products? But somehow it's OK for MS to shut them out of the market because, because, because, it's OK for MS to shut them out of the market.

Loss of market share: No R&D money. No R&D money: Less progress in product improvement. Begging the question? Priceless!!!

Reply Score: 1

Ntohing to see here...move along
by BluenoseJake on Mon 24th Apr 2006 21:15 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

And this is news? Of course Bill said that, MS tends to do stuff like this, no surprise here

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I guess I should learn to spellcheck

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Actually, it is news, because it was revealed while MS is trying to tell the EU they don't understand their own laws, and that MS wasn't trying to abuse its monopoly status to crush competition.

Reply Score: 4

imperio
by 2501 on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:19 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

MS did the same thing to BeOS. Where are they now????
-2501

Reply Score: 0

Don't they now
by Sphinx on Mon 24th Apr 2006 23:58 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

I bet they understand a megalomaniac obsession of crushing the life out of anything that dares to compete at any cost just fine.

Reply Score: 1

Field Day...
by the__dude on Tue 25th Apr 2006 00:14 UTC
the__dude
Member since:
2006-02-27

All the anti MS zealots are gonna have a field day with this.

Just a word of the warning to those who might post something to back MS: Dont do it. People will mod you down and flame you like crazy even if you are 100% correct.

Seems to be a regular occurance around here now that I think about it...

Edited 2006-04-25 00:14

Reply Score: 2

RE: Field Day...
by nberardi on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:14 UTC in reply to "Field Day..."
nberardi Member since:
2005-07-10

Well I guess Slashdot had to get replaced with a more liberal website sometime. I just didn't think it would be so soon.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Field Day...
by raver31 on Tue 25th Apr 2006 07:06 UTC in reply to "Field Day..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

It happens both ways buddy. Linux zealots get modded down too.

Best way is to have an open mind about the news articles on here, and do not BLINDLY defend one side or the other.

Edit: Coffee spill on keyboard ;)

Edited 2006-04-25 07:12

Reply Score: 5

RE: Field Day...
by Celerate on Wed 26th Apr 2006 01:52 UTC in reply to "Field Day..."
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

With a comment like that still having a score of 3, I don't think you've got grounds to accuse the majority here of being against Windows. Like it or not there are people from practically every OS camp here, and they all have members who try to sway things their way. There is no "one victim" here, everyone has to put up with the same kind of aggravation.

Reply Score: 3

Capitalism
by Joe User on Tue 25th Apr 2006 00:34 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

These are the evils of capitalism: Kill the other to double annual revenue.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sorry ?
by MamiyaOtaru on Tue 25th Apr 2006 01:34 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

Why is it that when Microsoft intigrates features it is crushing the little guy.

This can't really be that hard to understand. Microsoft has ~95% of the desktop market. When they bundle something, the competition dies/is severely diminished.

MS bundling IE led to the marginalization of Netscape and the long time browser monoculture. KDE bundling Konqueror or Apple bundling Safari wouldn't have a similar effect due to their comparatively small shares.

The reason people object to MS bundling things is that they have a practical monopoly on the desktop OS market and can use that monopoly to push their way into/to the top of new markets.

That is of course leaving out all the arguments about how it is easy to remove Konqueror or Safari but for artificial reasons it has been impossible to remove IE. Another difference that must surely be obvious.

Reply Score: 4

You saw it coming....
by Hydraulix on Tue 25th Apr 2006 03:59 UTC
Hydraulix
Member since:
2006-02-17

I mean it's not hard...buffering.......................to beat something so...buffering........buffering....... poorly....buffering.........buffering........buffering...
.....buffering.... made. My sister could...buffering..... probably make a better....buffering......... media player than real........buffering......player.

Reply Score: 4

So basically
by th3rmite on Tue 25th Apr 2006 04:39 UTC
th3rmite
Member since:
2006-01-08

So basically if you are too successful you should be taken to court and have your life's work destroyed and taken away from you? Is that what software developers should strive for? Sounds kind of counter productive to me. Only if Microsoft was leveraging the GOVERNMENT to continue on it's monopoly should the government step in.

Reply Score: 0

RE: So basically
by jamesrdorn on Tue 25th Apr 2006 11:14 UTC in reply to "So basically"
jamesrdorn Member since:
2005-07-27

Maybe it's time for you to rent http://www.netflix.com/MovieDisplay?movieid=70036929&trkid=189530&s...

Edited 2006-04-25 11:15

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So basically
by Sphinx on Tue 25th Apr 2006 13:48 UTC in reply to "RE: So basically"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

An excellent point well made.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: sorry ?
by archiesteel on Tue 25th Apr 2006 04:45 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Also, Linux distros do not bundle Media Players (and other stuff) that belong to them. They bundle free software. To argue that this is the same as MS shoving IE and WMP down people's throat is either being naive or disingenuous.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So basically
by archiesteel on Tue 25th Apr 2006 04:51 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

So basically if you are too successful you should be taken to court and have your life's work destroyed and taken away from you?

Aren't you a little overdramatic? What if you get your life's work destroyed and taken from you by Microsoft's anti-competitive practices?

Despite your quaint notion that they somehow are the epitome of capitalism, monopolies actually weaken our economies. They stifle innovation and competition, drive prices up and basically create a large concentration of capital. In doing so, they also undermine the basic principles of a free market by destroying any pretense of a level playing field. Think about that for a while.

[Off-topic edit] Wow, 1,000 posts already? I really need to get a life!! :-D

Edited 2006-04-25 04:53

Reply Score: 5

So the real news...
by AdamR01 on Tue 25th Apr 2006 04:58 UTC
AdamR01
Member since:
2005-09-14

is that people actually use RealPlayer?

Reply Score: 0

RE: So the real news...
by raver31 on Tue 25th Apr 2006 07:11 UTC in reply to "So the real news..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, watching internet TV over realplayer is smoother with better audio/video quality than Media Player.
Try this;

http://www.wwitv.com

There is feeds from TV stations around the world. You will see Realplayer outperforms WMP.

BTW, use an up to date Realplayer, not one from years ago for a proper comparison.

Reply Score: 4

RE: So the real news...
by deathshadow on Tue 25th Apr 2006 13:37 UTC in reply to "So the real news..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>>is that people actually use RealPlayer?

Amazing that isn't it? The only sites that seem to use it are fetish porn (the type of stuff Eric Cartman's mom would be in), but there you go... It's Europe. but then I say the same thing about quicktime so...

You know, MS is a business, to thrive (truly thrive) you have to do a better job than your competitors... As much as people may not want to admit it, IE 5.5 WAS a better product than Netscape 4.x (much less the abortive 5.x/6.x disaster), and until the past two years (well, maybe 3) Mozilla was SO FAR behind IE in functionality and stability we wouldn't even be HAVING this conversation.

Meanwhile you have RealNetworks, who Microsoft could have crushed simply by HAVING a product... which they already did in the form of media player - it's a functionality expansion over the win 3.1 version - little more.

Can't compete by making a good product? Have the government do it for you!

As to the EU, why aren't half the linux distributors out there under prosecution for bundling totem or XMMS, or apple up before you for giving away the itunes software for free and bundling it up with their OS? Because they aren't the leading vendor?

If this was cops on the street we were talking about, it's called 'selective enforcement' - usually goes hand-in-hand with bribes and dirty cops.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So the real news...
by testadura on Tue 25th Apr 2006 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE: So the real news..."
testadura Member since:
2006-04-14

Which part of the word MONOPOLY don't (some of) you understand?

You keep saying that also linux distro makers and Apple should be prosecuted as well since they also bundle some applications with their OS.
They don't have a monopoly, thats why.

Why in god's name should you defend MS? If there was no such thing as the Mozilla foundation, we were all forced to use IE 6.0... Heck, I bet MS would bundle IE 6.0 with Vista. No competition, no innovation.
Imagine IE 6 being a final release ;)

Edited 2006-04-25 14:18

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So the real news...
by deathshadow on Tue 25th Apr 2006 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So the real news..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> Why in god's name should you defend MS?

Why in god's name would you want a world where laws do not apply equally? Means should you ever BECOME rich, you're open for prosecution... Dangerous, DANGEROUS talk here people. Does this mean that if Linux or apple gain dominant market share, you want to shoot them down too? When you prosecute someone for doing something everyone else is allowed to get away with - that's as much of a crime as letting an individual get away with it because they are rich, priviliged or 'know the right people'.

We're basically talking the same type of bull here spouted by feminazi's, 'equal rights' protestors, etc. They don't actually WANT equality, they want dominance.

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I also don't have the rabid hatred that makes people auto-vote down anyone who dares say 'wait a minute' and vote up anyone who attacks them, no matter how nonsensical the post.

"Laws must apply equally, or they mean nothing. Laws that unjustly favor one party or the other are exactly that; unjust." - John Adams.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So the real news...
by vitae on Tue 25th Apr 2006 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So the real news..."
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Except that there's a pattern here. Gates said to beat RealNetworks. Gates said they had to beat Netscape. Gates said..it goes on an on. If they should dominate every aspect of the software industry all leveraged by their monopoly, that will still be okay? When apps of all types come free with Windows and where no other software company can compete anymore, then drive up the price of Windows dramatically, there would still not be a problem? The idea is to keep it fair before that happens. Microsoft should have been broken in half, one company for the OS and one for software. That would have been better for the consumer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So the real news...
by archiesteel on Tue 25th Apr 2006 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So the real news..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Means should you ever BECOME rich, you're open for prosecution...

Not rich, but rather in a monopoly position, and even then only if you abuse that monopoly. Also, despite what you're trying to insinuate, it is not people who are targeted here, but a company. Companies aren't REAL persons, despite the historical abberation that has made them into moral persons.

In other words, your dramatic fearmongering is uncalled for. If MS broke the law, it must pay, simple as that - and yes, the law is different if you wield monopoly power.

Dangerous, DANGEROUS talk here people. Does this mean that if Linux or apple gain dominant market share, you want to shoot them down too?

Apple, possibly, but not Linux, because it's not a company...it doesn't belong to any company in particular and it's open, so no one can use it to gain undue market advantage.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So the real news...
by rcsteiner on Tue 25th Apr 2006 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So the real news..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Why in god's name would you want a world where laws do not apply equally?

But laws don't apply equally in *many* situations.

If you are a felon (that is, you've been convicted of a felony crime) in the US, there are certain rights that are taken away from you because of that conviction.

Companies can discriminate against you when hiring, for example, and you no longer have the same right to bear arms that your unconvicted neighbor might have.

The same thing exists for those who reach a certain legally recognized level of control in a given marketplace.

If the courts formally recognize you as having a monooly position, some of the rules change because of your dominant position, and a company which decides to act in violation of the laws anyway can find itself subject to all kinds of problems (as Microsoft is now finding).

Just ask Standard Oil or AT&T about it. :-)

Nice misapplication of a quote, by the way...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So the real news...
by deathshadow on Tue 25th Apr 2006 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So the real news..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> Nice misapplication of a quote, by the way...
No, it's a spot on application of the quote, since it's from when he commented on Hamiltons trying to prosecute the state of Massachusetts for having it's own state bank instead of using the newly formed central bank... When Virginia and Maryland also had their own state run banks.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: So the real news...
by archiesteel on Tue 25th Apr 2006 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So the real news..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I'll see your John Adams and raise you a Thomas Jefferson (emphasis mine):

"I will now tell you what I do not like. First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction of monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations."

--Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison, 1787

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So the real news...
by Amaranth on Tue 25th Apr 2006 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE: So the real news..."
Amaranth Member since:
2005-06-29

As to the EU, why aren't half the linux distributors out there under prosecution for bundling totem or XMMS, or apple up before you for giving away the itunes software for free and bundling it up with their OS? Because they aren't the leading vendor?

Apparently you don't know what "anti-trust" laws are. It's perfectly legal for Apple or $RANDOM_DISTRO to bundle anything and everything because they don't own the market. And, in the Linux case, they aren't even bundling their own player, they're choosing the best one from the community.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So the real news...
by glarepate on Tue 25th Apr 2006 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE: So the real news..."
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

... is that www.cbsnews.com is a fetish porn site in Europe????

The only sites that seem to use it are fetish porn (the type of stuff Eric Cartman's mom would be in), but there you go... It's Europe.

Thanks for offering your perspective on this. It's hysterical!!!

Reply Score: 1

Once and for all....
by capricorn_tm on Tue 25th Apr 2006 09:48 UTC
capricorn_tm
Member since:
2005-12-31

Okay, I did write on this issue the first time it went out and thought I was clear

(http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=6612&page=1)

Now I'm going to say it again. It does not matter what ANYONE on this planet bundles to his/her/its/whatever OS. UNLESS it is MICROSOFT, it is ALLRIGHT to do so!

Why?

Because NONE, mark my words, NONE on this planet has a dominant position that covers 90% of the computer used on earth like MICROSOFT does.

The law works like that, there is free concurrence, that until someone comes to an almost monopolistic position.
At that point the quasi monopolist is forced to adopt special downgrade to its politic so to re- equilibrate the market.

Why?

Because as Adam Smith, W. Pareto and all the economist that create modern economy demonstrated, a total Monopoly is one aberration of a free system and, howhever you may percieve it, it is NOT in favour of the consumer (that, at a final moment, will have to pay whatever price the monopolist chooses to ask, because there is no other option at all).

So, whoever here is getting in the conversation with arguments like " Hey! They are capitalist like the other let them do their work and don't interfere!" or " Linux has a mediaplayer too!" please step of the train.
Both the point are valid in a situation where there is REAL concurrence and it is NOT the case.

Microsoft has perverted the rules of the market and that in EUROPE is NOT acceptable.
If Microsoft wants to sell their products on OUR territory, they Goddamn well follow our laws as everyone here does.
Period.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: they had to?
by superstoned on Tue 25th Apr 2006 09:57 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

they will, to prevent loss of market share. i'd say let the profits go to OSS projects ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Capitalism
by superstoned on Tue 25th Apr 2006 10:03 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

point is, this capitalism could work for the community. you may 'kill' your competition, if you do it by being better. nothing wrong with that, as long as the market keeps open to a new competitor, better than you are, so he can kill you. and so on.

but a government has to carefully monitor the behaviour of big companies, as those (of course) tend to use their power to disrupt the market and use unfair advantages to kill of the competition.

if you don't stop them, prices go up, quality goes down, and we're all screwed. so the government (the EU council) must do their job. problem is, they don't. why? because MS has money, and uses that to influence the political environment to their advantage. this should be impossible, and illegal - both are unfortunately not the case now.

Reply Score: 4

But what is competition?
by rajan r on Tue 25th Apr 2006 13:58 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

If Microsoft cannot aspire to beat out completely what was once the dominant player in the field, how is that protecting competition?

But does bundling Windows Media Player in Windows gives it an insurmountable upperhand that Real Networks have no choice but to lose? Why is it in the same period Real have been losing market share, Apple have been gaining? Apple has a product customers want, for one reason or the other.

Real Networks on the other hand come out with a slew of products with little, if any, actual benefits for consumers, widely held as inferior with competing products. More than that, since WMP and Quicktime's assault on Real began to intensify, Real fails on marketing its product - from Realplayer to RealOne to Realplayer 10 again. It only confuses users.

And then consider the most major point of distribution for Real - it's website. Go over to http://www.real.com/ - can you immediately spot the link for the free version? Instead, '14-day free trial' for one of the many commercial versions of RealPlayer in the marke is more visible to new users. As if clicking on a small link in a light shade of grey isn't confirmation of your choice, Real insults you by pushing the Premium version.

Granted, now it is easier compared with back then when you have to pass through 3-4 pages before actually being allowed to download the free version. Why doesn't Apple and Microsoft do this? Largely because it isn't their bread and butter. Apple can afford to only advertise its paid version once prior to actual download in a way less annoying than Real while Microsoft can afford not to have a paid version.

In other words, Real is being pushed out because of its business model. It's called creative destruction and it's a good thing. Once upon a time, printer drivers was an add-on you bought, aren't you glad Microsoft, Apple, IBM and the likes made it free and a standard feature of operating systems? Having laws protecting a flawed business model or one that is outdated does not protect customers.

And while Real is making a big fuss about WMP, it serves to remember when WMP in its current form (WMP + DirectShow) was made part of Windows. It was in 1998, 8 years ago. It took a few short years to crush Netscape, yet the same strategy continues to fail in crushing Real completely. What gives? In fact, DirectShow, and its precedessor, ActiveMovie, have been part of Windows since 3.0 and was included to compete with Apple's Quicktime. Now imagine if Microsoft didn't support internet streaming when Apple did - it would be one of the many things Mac zealots would use against Windows.

So is bundling with a dominant product makes for an insurmountable competition barrier? Unfortunately no. In the United States, the courts ruled against Microsoft and have almost divided the company into two before reversing and settling for something that, at best, can be called 'minimal'. Yet, while Netscape sank like a brick, today Firefox is growing from strength to strength.

In fact, according to Onestat, Firefox now has a marketshare of 11.51% (14.07% and 16.98% respectively in the United States and Canada), incredible for a mostly community-driven piece of software that has significantly less marketing dollars than the once mighty Netscape. (Netscape itself now has a market share of 0.26%, lower than Opera).

Why is Firefox growing at a such a rate? Why people bother downloading a new browser when one comes 'free' with their installation of Windows? Firefox filled a market need. If Real could fill a market need, much like Apple with its iTunes/iPod package - Real wouldn't be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Bundling with Windows is only a slight advantage. Though MSN is the default homepage on the default browser on the most dominant operating system, Google still beats it by far, for another example. If bundling on Windows is the end of competition in itself, Microsoft's MSN division would not have anything against Windows Messenger.

Reply Score: 2

Linux
by Arakon on Tue 25th Apr 2006 14:15 UTC
Arakon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux has the most-anti competitive practice of all. It's free, and everyday its getting better. How is microsoft EVER going to compete with that once the momentum starts rolling? Honestly outside of the hardcore PC gamers, there is little advantage windows has over linux at the moment. The only way Microsoft will be able to survive is for it to make its products better than the FOSS community. If microsoft comes up with a feature that the community likes, they'll take it and implement it.

In short I see the days of MS being a monopoly as extremely numbered. Pretty much the same way the US remaining a super-power is. We're hemorhaging money to China because we cannot compete with their flood of man-power and products at a reasonable price. Linux is the same way. I think the market will soon be corrected on its own in the other direction. I don't believe even Microsoft has the power to stop that penduluum.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux
by gilboa on Wed 26th Apr 2006 12:52 UTC in reply to "Linux "
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Short answer.

Patents.
Microsoft is silently stockpiling stupid, well known patents *, in an attempt to create a doomsday weapon against the FOSS community.
Hopefully, the OIN (http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/) will stockpile enough stupid (and not so stupid) patents of its own, ensuring a MAD (mutual assured destruction) -like stand-off, keeping MS at bay.

Gilboa

* A couple of links:
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=18336
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/22/real_slams_ms_patent/
http://bink.nu/Article5614.bink
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/0,39020645,39210396,00.htm

Reply Score: 1

re: Sorry, ronaldst
by rtfa on Tue 25th Apr 2006 15:11 UTC
rtfa
Member since:
2006-02-27

"Microsoft is not guilty of anything else. This should have been a payable fine and that's it."

You are displaying complete ignorance of the situation so do not say anymore - the saying goes.. "Best to thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it"

Reply Score: 1

RE: re: Sorry, ronaldst
by ronaldst on Tue 25th Apr 2006 15:24 UTC in reply to "re: Sorry, ronaldst"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@rtfa

great emotional post. Two thumbs up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So the real news...
by m_abs on Tue 25th Apr 2006 18:46 UTC
m_abs
Member since:
2005-07-06

>> Meanwhile you have RealNetworks, who Microsoft
>> could have crushed simply by HAVING a product...
>> which they already did in the form of media player
>> - it's a functionality expansion over the win 3.1
>> version - little more.
You know MS didn't sell media-streaming back then, they were not pushing their own closed format.
That the old media player also was bundle does not excuse that WMP is, because it's not the same. If MS didn't sell their own media-streaming solutions or use their own closed format, there wouldn't be a problem.

And no not by simply having a product, by having a product that almost all PC users would have access to, because of MS' monopoly on the desktop.

I've had talks to the public service channel in my country about their use of WMV for streaming, their reason for choosing it were that everyone (acording to them) could watch WMV since support came with Windows. That's WMVs greatest sells points, "everyone" can use it. It may be nice for the ordinary user not having to worry about installing a player, but it harms competion and that's what EU is trying to stop.

I don't like real player eigher but that doesn't matter, that's not what this is about.

>> As to the EU, why aren't half the linux
>> distributors out there under prosecution for
>> bundling totem or XMMS, or apple up before you for
>> giving away the itunes software for free and
>> bundling it up with their OS? Because they aren't
>> the leading vendor?
As stated by many others, no linux-distrobution have a monopoly, which makes it hard for them to misuse it. Also no linux-distrobution is selling media-streaming using their own closed format that no other can use.
Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the desktop so they can't be prosected for misusing it. However if apple get/have a monopol or a near-monopol on the music-store market, they can be prosecuted if they misuse it.

And like it or not, monopolies that obuse their position (it is not illegal just to have a monopoly) harms the free market and therefor the company with it can be punished for misusing it.

>> If this was cops on the street we were talking
>> about, it's called 'selective enforcement' -
>> usually goes hand-in-hand with bribes and dirty cops.
I fail to see how. If another company uses it's monopoly to harm the competition including Microsoft, Microsoft can complain, just like everyone else, to EU about it and if true the other company will be punished, just like Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: So the real news...
by deathshadow on Tue 25th Apr 2006 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So the real news..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

> However if apple get/have a monopol or a near-monopol on the music-store market, they can be prosecuted if they misuse it.

and that's the part I don't get... how is MS misusing it? By producing a product that's more accessable and less of an annoyance? (mind you, WMP 9&10 are actually reaching quicktime level annoyance).

In streaming it really makes no sense, since all three 'major' players are available and work on all post '98 windows versions. If they were blocking access to the others, THEN it would be abuse... and I'd be right alongside everyone else shooting at them...

Is it Microsofts fault that the major two alternatives (quicktime and real) are invasive nagware that damn near hijacks any PC you install them on? There's a REASON the 'illegal' stripped down versions like RealAlternative and QuickTimeAlternative even exist - because people don't want to have to put up with the BULLSHIT from those two crappy players. If real and apple want to compete, they should make a product that can ACTUALLY COMPETE.

Oh wait, Apple already did, it's called iTunes and it's made great inroads... To the point it could very quickly rival WMP even on the PC without any legal aid. While Quicktime player (and the crappy corresponding browser plugins) needs to DIE.

Again, you want to compete, make a competative product - don't go crying to the government because of your own ineptitude.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So the real news...
by archiesteel on Tue 25th Apr 2006 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So the real news..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

and that's the part I don't get... how is MS misusing it?

By bundling it with their OS. Please pay attention.

Reply Score: 2

RE: re: Sorry, ronaldst
by rtfa on Tue 25th Apr 2006 19:06 UTC
rtfa
Member since:
2006-02-27

"All this is to satisfy people's emotional needs. This as nothing to do with market or the reality."
"Europe's anti-trust against MS is just a circus show. It's only for entertainment only." - these are your quotes not mine.

There was nothing emotional about my post. I just pointed out a fact and suggest some advice. There is nothing wrong about being ingnorant about a subject, it just means you need to do a lot more reading and a lot more comprehending.

Reply Score: 2

Stop drinking the Kool Aid
by Mikee99 on Sun 30th Apr 2006 15:40 UTC
Mikee99
Member since:
2006-04-30

I just don't get you anti-MS people.

You don't want a company to bundle software (bundle does NOT equal integrate. Integrating software is bad, look at IE). You basically want MS to castrate their product by giving you nothing w/ it, b/c according to you people, MS is OBLIGATED to help their competitors, despite the fact that MS customers WANT some of these features in an OS. Vista is a perfect example on how people want calendar apps, and better photo apps, yet, if they try to put those wanted apps in, they are illegally bundling them. Then, if those features are missing, you people are also the first to b*** about it.

Then, you talk about Linux. I love Linux, and I am a Linux user, and Linux is FILLED w/ bundled software. Frankly, I feel that there way are too many built-in applications. But, if Linux didnít come w/ those apps, then it would be annoying to have to download every app you want, and out-of-the-box, it would be unusable. Most people want usability out of a computer when they first turn it on, b/c frankly, most people out there donít care about computers, nor do they have the time and patience to deal w/ them.

Now, lets talk about RealPlayer. Perhaps if RealNetworks made a decent product, then people would actually use it. Frankly, I think Real is just lazy to blame themselves for lack of a customer base, so they attack someone who is successful. And back in the day, when Real was the big thing, the video quality was awful. I would search around for QuickTime versions of the video, and if I was unable to find it, I would give up. Iím GLAD Real is in the toilet.

There are PLENTY of alternative programs to MS software out there. The reason why some of these apps arenít doing so well, is b/c they are not marketed properly or at all. Letís talk about OpenOffice. OpenOffice is a fantastic application. However, most people donít know about it. Then, when you tell them itís free, they immediately forget about MS office, and start using OpenOffice. Why do they use it? B/c it is a good product. Why donít more people know about it? B/c itís not marketed properly. And, MS Office is NOT bundled w/ Windows. Yet, it holds market share. Marketing it the key to success. Look at the iPod. Frankly, I think there are WAY better MP3 players out there than the iPod, yet, the iPod has the highest market share. Why? MARKETING! Itís not MSís fault that some of these companies donít know how to market their software.

If you have any hate mail, please route it to /dev/null.

Edited 2006-04-30 15:43

Reply Score: 1