Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 7th May 2006 19:17 UTC
Legal Sometimes, the smallest of things can amaze me. I'm a sucker for details, which probably lies at the base of my slightly obsessive-compulsive traits of keeping things organized, tidy, aligned, and neat. It's great to see some companies are suckers for details too. Unless the details just become too insignificant. Note: Sunday Eve Column. Short, this week, though.
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It's about the playing field.
by twenex on Sun 7th May 2006 19:50 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

Doesn't a football victory made by playing better than the competing team feel a lot better than winning by getting a false penalty?

I don't know many teams who "win" by forcing the Football Association to prevent the other team from playing.

I'm sure Newcastle United would LOVE to be able to do that to Man U and Liverpool, though.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't know many teams who "win" by forcing the Football Association to prevent the other team from playing

I didn't know Microsoft was literally killing competing developers, stopping them from playing.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Of course they are. Only rarely has Microsoft's domination of a new market been about a superior product, and without a market, companies die.

Reply Score: 5

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@twenex

Of course they are. Only rarely has Microsoft's domination of a new market been about a superior product, and without a market, companies die.

Microsoft got the market because they didn't have any competition. All the other competitions either weren't interested in making low-cost products (Apple) in reach of everyone's wallet size, simply gave up because they had no idea what they were doing (IBM) or had zero marketing (CBM).

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Those examples are true; however, there are other examples (such as BeOS, Linux) which haven't been able to get a foot in the door because of Microsoft's strategies. Anyone who installs those alternative OSes has to go looking, and deal with problems not of their own making (such as hardware that's incompatible because the company will not release information on its specs).

Reply Score: 2

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Microsoft got the market because they didn't have any competition.

Microsoft got the DOS market because IBM was blocked from competing directly due to anti-trust action, and there weren't enough serious competitors around at that stage to stop Gates and Co. from buying an existing solution and then reselling it to IBM.

In other words, you're largely correct for MS-DOS. :-)

Most of the other market gains they have made over the years, however, have been at least tainted by illegal activities, and some of them (the web browser market, for example) would not be dominated by Microsoft at all were it not for the fact that they completely control the distribution channel (it comes bundled with the OS on each new PC to the exclusion of all other browsers).

It's hard to compete when one player is allowed to play outside the rules.

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I didn't know Microsoft was literally killing competing developers, stopping them from playing.

If this is true, Thom, then either:

(1) You're playing devil's advocate here, taking up an amazingly ignorant position in order to stir up emotions and generate a more heated discussion, or

(2) You haven't been paying much attention to the software market over the past 15 years.

If the real answer is #2, then I expected a lot better from you, and quite frankly I'm extremely disappointed.

Microsoft has killed literally dozens of competitors -- if not the companies directly, they killed the products that those companies were trying to market.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think you understand the word "literally".

Reply Score: 1

I don't agree
by Benjamin_Lebsanft on Sun 7th May 2006 20:04 UTC
Benjamin_Lebsanft
Member since:
2005-10-11

Normal users don't install another browser so MS forces their monopoly on them. Why do you think IE is still the dominant browser? Because it is better? Of course not.

And the thing about XP N being sold at the same price as normal XP doesn't make it attractive to anyone. MS tactic as well, because who wants to get less for the same price?

Reply Score: 5

RE: I don't agree
by jonsmirl on Sun 7th May 2006 20:38 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Normal users don't install another browser so MS forces their monopoly on them. Why do you think IE is still the dominant browser? Because it is better? Of course not.

Microsoft's illegal bundling tactics work to make sure that it is the only company that can ship a browser that people pay for. You pay for IE because Microsoft raises the prices of Windows each generation. Vista is going up $20-60 at the OEM level. Part of this is paying for IE whether MS acknowledges it or not. It is also paying for Media Player.

This playing field is not level. You just bought a browser and media player when you received your PC with OEM Windows. If you are going to switch you have to lose this implied purchase as well as pay for the competitor.

Now let's look at this if the field was reversed. Instead assume that Mozilla is bundled and they get $3 from every PC shipped. That works out to about $1B/year in revenue. Now Microsoft is forced to sell IE for say $10/copy. How many people are going to send $10 to Microsoft for a copy of IE? Microsoft and Mozilla both have approximately equal development costs. Mozilla can even spend $500M a year in advertising and still be in great shape.

You (Microsoft) can make this game even more unfair. Mozilla changes the rules and charges $10 for every PC that ships but they rebate $7 to you for 'marketing' money. If you chose to ship IE you lose that $7. But you still have to ship Mozilla (it's bundled to the Windows monopoly). So as an OEM your cost just went up $7 for choosing to ship IE and you haven't even paid anything yet for the IE license.

These tactics are illegal and Microsoft has been found guilty of using them. The problem is that the guilty conviction carried no penalties (how much did it cost them in campaign contributions to get the judge changed?). So Microsoft keeps right on doing business in their illegal ways.

Microsoft's behavior caused the free software movement to happen. It is the only possible solution for competing with them. Ultimately free software will destroy the ability for anyone to charge for software. In the end game this will kill Microsoft, but it will also kill all of the other software companies too.

Welcome to a world of support and software services (things like Google and MySpace).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I don't agree
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Historically, the price of Windows has not gone up.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: I don't agree
by jonsmirl on Sun 7th May 2006 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't agree"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

OEM it is going up, and it is going up a lot more with Vista. Windows has moved from $15 in Win3.1 days to $30 now and it will go to $60 with Vista. The retail price on a box of Windows in the store is meaningless, less than 0.1% of Windows is bought at retail. Another way to measure is the fact that Microsoft OEM revenues have been going up 15% a year.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I don't agree
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't agree"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you ever heard of inflation?

If they weer charing $15 for Win 3.1 and $30 now, that's offset easily by the differences in costs (e.g. employees wages that have gone up).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I don't agree
by jonsmirl on Sun 7th May 2006 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't agree"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

And just exactly what do Microsoft's production costs have to do with with the CPI? Top of the line PC's cost $10,000 in 1990. With inflation they should cost $25,000 now, right? They cost $1,000 instead. The CPI (inflation measure) is an average of many inflation rates some positive and some negative.

Microsoft's production costs as a percentage of revenue have been dramatically falling over the last 25 years. None of those cost reductions have been passed onto the consumer. In a normal competitive industry (like the PC industry) all of these cost reductions would have been passed on.

In a competitive industry profit margins naturally fall over time. Microsoft's profit margins have been rising with time. Their OEM margins are over 90%. In a normal industry a competitor would say I can live with 70% margins and enter the industry. But in this case they can't.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: I don't agree
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't agree"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

1. Do you have anything to backup the production costs thing?
2. You are forgetting initial costs and R&D.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I don't agree
by jonsmirl on Sun 7th May 2006 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I don't agree"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

R&D cost is a round off error in a company that earns $15 billion a year. Long ago when I was working there was a point where they had six developers assigned to DOS and it was bringing in $120M in revenue.

Go read about the anti-trust case. Look for economic theories on network effects, switching costs, and vendor lock-in. How Microsoft makes it money is well known, there have been several books written on it.

The key to making Microsoft work is the strangle hold on the tier one PC OEMs. Nothing else matters and Microsoft will do everthing possible legal or illegal to maintain that control. By controlling these OEMs Microsoft sets their own prices prevents anyone else from getting OS revenue on PCs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't agree
by dylansmrjones on Tue 9th May 2006 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't agree"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

30$ *LOL* .. try with 300$. At least that's the price in DK. And the price is going up, more than the inflation (which is btw. much lower in DK than in the Euro-countries).

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: I don't agree
by sappyvcv on Tue 9th May 2006 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't agree"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

We were talking about OEM. Please try to following along.

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: I don't agree
by dylansmrjones on Wed 10th May 2006 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I don't agree"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Doesn't change the price, really. In the beginning you could get XP for 150$ as OEM, but not anymore.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't agree
by Marcellus on Mon 8th May 2006 06:16 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

And the thing about XP N being sold at the same price as normal XP doesn't make it attractive to anyone. MS tactic as well, because who wants to get less for the same price?

Since WMP can be downloaded and installed for free on XP N, it makes perfect sense to have the same price as normal XP.
If MicroSoft charged for WMP for XP N it would make sense to lower the price for XP N.

Reply Score: 1

v Data provided by Holwerda Anal - list
by Moulinneuf on Sun 7th May 2006 20:22 UTC
Sigh, this is getting boring
by ralph on Sun 7th May 2006 20:22 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

Thom, really, reading you constant bickering about anyone who dares to complain about MS' bussiness practices is really getting boring.

But what's really annoying is that you do everything to avoid addressing the issues, though they have been explained to you on this very website again and again and again and again and again.

First, let's get the basics streigt: Using a monopoly in one area to gain market share or dominance in an other area is illegal, no matter how much you try to ignore this.

Now to get to the issue at hand. That users are able to change the default search provider is pretty irrelevant here. The issue is that MS will be the default search for the millions of people who will use Vista, which will come preinstalled on about any computer people buy.

Now do you seriously want to argue that this does not give a at least questionable advantage to MS over Google?
Do you seriously want to tell us that it is unreasonable for a company like Google to be concerned about this issue?

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, really, reading you constant bickering about anyone who dares to complain about MS' bussiness practices is really getting boring.

Then don't read it. "Constant"?

Using a monopoly in one area to gain market share or dominance in an other area is illegal, no matter how much you try to ignore this.

So, basically, MS should not provide Explorer.exe, as that is illegal competition to Talisman; neither can MS provide the blue Internet Explorer icon as that is illegal competition to icon artists.

You see, where do you draw the line? What falls under the illegal bundling tag and what doesn't?

That users are able to change the default search provider is pretty irrelevant here. The issue is that MS will be the default search for the millions of people who will use Vista, which will come preinstalled on about any computer people buy.

So should MS provide a dialog for each setting while installing Vista?

Do you seriously want to tell us that it is unreasonable for a company like Google to be concerned about this issue?

Yes. And pointless.

Reply Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

"Then don't read it."
Rest assured, I don't most of the times. However, I find it a rather childish reaction for an editor writing an opinion piece to tell those who disagree with him not to read his opinion piece.

"So, basically, MS should not provide Explorer.exe, as that is illegal competition to Talisman; neither can MS provide the blue Internet Explorer icon as that is illegal competition to icon artists."
Thom, pulling out wrong and stupid analogies out of somewhere is just a very bad excuse for having a real argument. And again, abusing a monopoly is against the law, whether you like it or not.

"So should MS provide a dialog for each setting while installing Vista?"
No.

"Yes. And pointless."
Aha. The only problem is that you still have not provided one argument why this should be the case and instead have again tried to avoid addressing the issue at hand. Pathetic.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, pulling out wrong and stupid analogies out of somewhere is just a very bad excuse for having a real argument. And again, abusing a monopoly is against the law, whether you like it or not.

No, this is not a wrong analogy. How does the Firefox Vs. IE issue differ from the Explorer.exe Vs. Talisman.exe issue other than that Firefox happens to be popular?

The question you refuse to answer, Ralph, is where do you draw the line?

"So should MS provide a dialog for each setting while installing Vista?"
No.


Then what?

Reply Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

"The question you refuse to answer, Ralph, is where do you draw the line?"

No, I don't refuse to answer. I think it's pretty obvious that it gets problematic where the economic impact is considerable.
However, that's neither for me nor for you to decide, but for those whose job it is to enforce anti-trust laws and ultimately for the courts.

"Then what?"
I think you can find the answer yourself, if you consider that having one config dialog for one option does not equal having for each setting while installing Vista".

Reply Score: 4

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

Ralph, I'm sorry, but Thom is right.

How do you measure "considerable"? And if talisman is not "considerable", isn't it because of bundling of explorer.exe? If Windows XP shipped like Linux (that is, technically, a bare kernel or at least as a set of modular distributions), wouldn't there a plethora of XP graphic shells?

If you want to build a serious argument, you should define it much more logically.

I am a Linux geek and I really hate true MS monopolistic practices (like extending and corrupting HTML, or closing down Office formats), but the "bundling" argument always looked hollow to me too.

Moreover, courts aren't the Holy Sources Of Truth, I think.

Reply Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

"How do you measure "considerable"?"
As I already stated, I don't.

"I am a Linux geek and I really hate true MS monopolistic practices (like extending and corrupting HTML, or closing down Office formats), but the "bundling" argument always looked hollow to me too."
While you entitled to your opinion, it's still obvious that a monopolist using its monopoly in one area to gain market share in an other is problematic, to put it mildly. However flawed you might find my logic, this basic problem that neither you, nor Thom addressed yet will not go away.

"Moreover, courts aren't the Holy Sources Of Truth, I think."
Oh, they certainly aren't and I never claimed they were. But they are the ones deciding what the anti-trust laws mean in practice and when a company has been abusing its monopoly.

Reply Score: 2

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

There is one problem here.

The courts have not ruled that Microsoft used it's "Windows Monopoly" to gain a monopoly in the browser market. I have linked to sources to back this up time and time again, but most people don't care about truth, just seeing Microsoft taken down, no matter the method, even if by FUD. Cause two wrongs make a right I guess.

Reply Score: 1

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

As I already stated, I don't.

So your arguments are hollow, because you want us to believe to some kind of "common sense" that is in fact impossible to define clearly.
Either define your terms, or admit they have no sense at all.

The only way to solve the thing is making Windows modular like Linux -that is: oblige Microsoft to sell Windows individual components (at the level of single files) at a reasonable fraction of the complete Windows XP price (in theory, X% of code = X% of price). This way people (and OEMs) could build individual Windows distributions, with the mix and match of components you want. I would really love such a world; if you would love it too, we basically agree.

it's still obvious that a monopolist using its monopoly in one area to gain market share in an other is problematic

Sure. But the problem is that doing it by bundling a browser is a perfectly legit way (IMHO, not in-courts-HO,maybe) to do it. They add capabilities to a product. A bare Windows wouldn't be different from a Photoshop stripped down to opening, closing and saving files and having everything else implemented by third-party plugins.

In fact what I don't understand completely is why Microsoft is not bundling some free (OSS or not) software with its OS to make it much more useful and appetible from the start. Apple somehow does it, for example.

Reply Score: 1

chiwaw Member since:
2006-02-05

"However, I find it a rather childish reaction for an editor writing an opinion piece to tell those who disagree with him not to read his opinion piece. "

This is simple freedom of speech. Everybody's free to speak his mind, and everyone else is free to listen or not. What is childish is your reaction to an editorial. Please get a life.

"Thom, pulling out wrong and stupid analogies out of somewhere is just a very bad excuse for having a real argument."

Thom's analogies are perfectly valid. They only show how stupid and nonsense your argumentation is.

"The only problem is that you still have not provided one argument why this should be the case and instead have again tried to avoid addressing the issue at hand. Pathetic."

You're talking about yourself, right? Religious moron.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sigh, this is getting boring
by Get a Life on Sun 7th May 2006 21:04 UTC in reply to "Sigh, this is getting boring"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

It does matter what the default for IE is to Microsoft and Google, because there are people that don't know or care at all about who provides a search engine. They want cookie recipes or naked pictures of $FAMOUSPERSON. They won't change the setting, even though they can. Google realizes this, and well they think that traffic belongs to them by default, because they're Goooooogle. People google things, they don't msn them! Google needs every last impression it can get or investors are going to dump their stock. Microsoft thinks the traffic belongs to them, because they're Microsoft and everything belongs to Microsoft. And they're totally going to kill Google!!!RAWR!!! In this case, Microsoft actually develops Internet Explorer, and actually permits users to select an alternative, and there are even other browsers people can use even if they didn't. So they think they have a much stronger case for that ignorance and apathy crowd that won't change the default. I'm inclined to say, it doesn't matter who gets it in any meaningful sense because the consumer being argued over itself doesn't care, and neither party has some divine right to anyone's search traffic.

Google is on a limp-leg arguing over who gets the traffic of the indifferent. They should worry more about dealing with click fraud. That makes everyone's products more expensive by creating artificial advertising expenses that get passed onto the consumer. If Microsoft's selection of its own search engine for an IE default actually matters so extraordinarily much, that's a good sign that Microsoft should be broken up and this discussion is moot.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sigh, this is getting boring
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 21:17 UTC in reply to "Sigh, this is getting boring"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Except IE does not have a monopoly.

Yawn.

Reply Score: 2

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Except IE does not have a monopoly."

Its the only browser that come included with every copy of default Microsoft windows.

Feel free to show the other browser that come with the default and on the windows cd ?

Reply Score: 2

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm going by the courts, sorry.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"I'm going by the courts, sorry."

No , your not , your pointing some parts of the rulings and not complete case and not the complete picture.

Reply Score: 1

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> "Except IE does not have a monopoly."

> Feel free to show the other browser that come with the
> default and on the windows cd ?

There is none. Feel free to point out how this is connected to MS being a monopoly or not.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Feel free to point out how this is connected to MS being a monopoly or not."

I already did , now the real problem is you think those are open to debate and that some thing are not as clear cut or not definitve ( monopoly status of Microsoft for example ). There are rules for everyone , Microsoft broke them and got convicted , now they are under convicted people rule and convicted monopoly rule , wich they dont follow and are trying to be considered like evryone else and doing a older move that they where convicted for and/or settled out of courts in order to drop the charges and impending penalty ( wich would have been 100X time higher if found guilty wich was the logical outcome , because of there prior monopoly and other convictions ).

Microsoft as usual is playing stupid instead of taking the lead , they could openly offer Google to put them as default if Google paid them 1 billion or made a counter offer ( offer of less money ) , or open the default space to the highest open bid. Because they dont whant the court to start discussing the subject because last I looked there where a lot of more search engine then there where browser , they need to be only convicted on one for all the other to receive paiement or have to settle with them. I know you dont get it , and disagree because you believe lies , but thats ok.

Reply Score: 1

seguso
Member since:
2005-06-29

Let's say there is a car race. Suppose that the first one (say Ferrari) that gains an advantage of 100 meters starts throwing nails back on the road, so the other ones cannot regain the distance. As soon as some other car gets close, Ferrari throws nails and the car must stop again. In such a race, who loses is the public, who is not amused by a fake competition.

Now it seems to me there is a perfect analogy with Microsoft: Microsoft exploits its current advantage to prevent competitors to regain positions and really challenge its dominant position. And who loses from all this is the customer ( = the public), who gets higher prices and less innovation.

"Free market" does not mean removing any limitation to what actors can do; it means enforcing competition. Sometimes limitations are the only way to enforce competition.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Now it seems to me there is a perfect analogy with Microsoft: Microsoft exploits its current advantage to prevent competitors to regain positions and really challenge its dominant position. And who loses from all this is the customer ( = the public), who gets higher prices and less innovation.

So basically, you are admitting there is little to no innovation in the Linux or Apple worlds? What is stopping from people from buying a Mac?

"Free market" does not mean removing any limitation to what actors can do; it means enforcing competition. Sometimes limitations are the only way to enforce competition.

I agree, but to what extent should this enforcing go? Should it go as far as Microsoft being forced into putting Firefox and RealPlayer on Windows install disks? If so, what about Opera and VLC? Should they be included too? And if so, what about Lynx and Xine? Or should Microsoft just provide you with the NT kernel and let you build up the install by providing options for each section of the OS? Or, should they also ask you if you want to use the Linux kernel instead of NT?

Again, where do you draw the line?

Reply Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

"So basically, you are admitting there is little to no innovation in the Linux or Apple worlds?"

My last comment, I promise, but Thom, is this really the level of discussions you want to see on your site? Someone pointing out that lack of competition leads to less innovation surely could have been answered without trolling, couldn't it?

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

My last comment, I promise, but Thom, is this really the level of discussions you want to see on your site? Someone pointing out that lack of competition leads to less innovation surely could have been answered without trolling, couldn't it?

No, that is not trolling Ralph. He says the current situation stiffles innovation-- and yes, less choice indeed should lead to less innovation.

However, I see more than enough innovation in the Apple and Linux worlds. How does that rhyme with the assessment of the current situation the parent poster sketched? Might it just be that this monopoly is far less strangling than many people seem to (or want to) admit? That it is... A perceived monopoly?

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

However, I see more than enough innovation in the Apple and Linux worlds. How does that rhyme with the assessment of the current situation the parent poster sketched? Might it just be that this monopoly is far less strangling than many people seem to (or want to) admit? That it is... A perceived monopoly?

You may have a point there, but the fact is that the dismantling of Microsoft's monopoly has only been going on since around about the time IBM put its weight behind Linux. And only now are we starting to see the effects. Before then, however, many, many companies and products were killed in Microsoft's blitzkrieg on the competition.

As I've said before on this forum, lack of innovation has never been a problem for people going up against Microsoft. The two problems have been (a) lack of marketing skill (which can be blamed on the rivals themselves) and (b) Microsoft's monopolistic practices (for which only Microsoft is to blame). If you could turn back time 20 years and prevent both Microsoft's practices from start to finish, and marketing failures by competitors, then UNIX proper (plus a lot of other hardware and software products) would still be around. However, if you could only prevent Microsoft's practices, then UNIX and OS/2 would probably be dead, but other products might well not be (e.g. Linux might have as much as 40-60 of the desktop market).

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If you could turn back time 20 years and prevent both Microsoft's practices from start to finish

Would the world today be different if instead of Windows, os/2 won the 'war'? Would IBM acted any differently than Microsoft has done? Was the computer world destined to go the route of a single vendor? Instead of seeing software as a product, should we see software as a standard? Is Windows simply the USB among operating systems? Did Windows simply make computing easier altogether? Like USB made connecting various peripherals easier and cheaper?

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Would the world today be different if instead of Windows, os/2 won the 'war'?

Probably not in any material way. It probably wouldn't have stopped Saddam Hussein, for example. However, this is OSNews, Thom, not RegimeNews, and OSes is (sic) what we discuss here.

Would IBM acted any differently than Microsoft has done?

No, in fact Microsoft are singing from the same songbook that IBM picked up when they forced Amdahl out of the market; however, that does not mean that either acted correctly.

Was the computer world destined to go the route of a single vendor?

The free market alternative, of course, would have been for the OS world to go the route of multiple vendors, but done the Linux way, not the UNIX way - just as happened in the hardware world.

Instead of seeing software as a product, should we see software as a standard?

It's both. A VHS video recorder is a product; VHS is a standard.

Is Windows simply the USB among operating systems? Did Windows simply make computing easier altogether? Like USB made connecting various peripherals easier and cheaper?

No, as I imply above, Linux is the USB of OSes. Windows only copied what Mac had done, which in turn copied what Xerox had done. USB made it possible for multiple vendors to create compatible peripherals. To continue the analogy, Microsoft is the MicroChannel Adaptor of OSes.

Reply Score: 2

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Would the world today be different if instead of Windows, os/2 won the 'war'?

I think so. We would have had a stable mainstream OS for home users ten years earlier. :-)

Would IBM acted any differently than Microsoft has done?

Yes, I think IBM would have acted differently.

The fact that MS even got the DOS contract initially proves that IBM has changed at least somewhat from the Big Bad Blue giant it was in the mainframe days.

In the old days, IBM would have provided its own OS on its own hardware -- given their experience with operating systems design, a simple thing like DOS would have been a trivial undertaking.

Here's another example: IBM initially bundled its own web browser (IBM WebExplorer) with OS/2 Warp 3, but later on with OS/2 Warp 4 it bundled a third-party browser (Netscape) instead of simply forcing its own tech on OS/2 users.

IBM was certainly have been tempted to act as Microsoft has done, but its experience with the feds also hurt it terribly and caused (forced?) a lot of changes.

Was the computer world destined to go the route of a single vendor?

The desktop computing world has largely gone with a single desktop API, yes, but the networking API has developed quite differently (and it become been largely platform-independent over the years).

It's my opinion that the desktop API might have developed that way as well has certain things played out differently in the market.

Instead of seeing software as a product, should we see software as a standard?

I think a common desktop API or ABI would be better for almost everyone, yes.

Is Windows simply the USB among operating systems?

No. Windows is simply one API among many, and I don't see it as being anywhere near as advantageous to users as USB is.

The main thing Windows brings to the table is ubiquity, not utility, and that could be just as easily obtained by using a common API or ABI. More easily obtained, actually.

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Ironic, isn't it, that both Linux and Apple are located at least somewhat outside of the mainstream x86 commercial software development sphere...?

(Linux development is largely noncommercial, while Apple was completely outside of the x86 world until recently and still protects itself via vendor-specific hardware).

Doesn't that reinforce the fact that a problem exists *inside* the mainstream x86 space?

Reply Score: 1

seguso Member since:
2005-06-29

>What is stopping people from buying a Mac?

I'd say inertia and compatibility issues with existing data which are in proprietary format.

> Where do you draw the line?

I believe the line should be drawn so as to maximize innovation and minimize prices. I believe all we need to achieve that purpose is: first, make closed formats illegal for a product which has a market share higher than X% (where X is decided empirically).
Second, in google's case, prevent defaults, i.e. ensure that the user chooses explicitely which search engine to use, or what antivirus to use, or what firewall to use, or what filemanager to use, and so on. Forcing the customer to choose explicitely is IMHO a reasonable solution to enforce competition and make sure that the best one wins.

I believe such laws would lower prices and speed up innovation, and the only reason why this laws are not made is that Microsoft as a lobby is very powerful. The pressure of lobbies on the parlament is the greatest problem of modern democracies.

Reply Score: 5

Varg Vikernes Member since:
2005-07-06

>What is stopping people from buying a Mac?

I'd say inertia and compatibility issues with existing data which are in proprietary format.


There's Office for Mac, as well as Messenger, IE, WMP,...
Not to mention Virtual PC.


You'll have to find a better excuse. Here's a hint: 'price'.

Reply Score: 3

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

IE for Mac is a bad example given that it's no longer being developed, and is obviously inferior to the Windows version.

Price difference with PCs isn't as bad as it used to be, when we're talking about comparable hardware from name-brand manufacturers. Of course there are cheaper options on the PC side. I lean towards shop-built systems or DIY.

Reply Score: 2

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Again, where do you draw the line?

The 'marketing' rebates to the OEMs are across the line. If Dell tries to ship Linux on the desktop MS cuts off millions of dollars of 'rebates' to Dell.

At one point Toshiba (I think it was Toshiba) owned a Linux distribution and Microsoft manipulated their rebates so that they couldn't even put their own software onto their own PCs and make it dual boot.

Build all OEM PCs bare and provide a line item to choose your OS or none at all. To stop manipulations allow the OS to be bought without buying a PC. That way if Dell does something cute like making Windows cost $0.01 IBM can buy 10M copies and stop paying royalties to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 4

I'm of the rare opinion
by Get a Life on Sun 7th May 2006 20:37 UTC
Get a Life
Member since:
2006-01-01

That Microsoft should bundle things that make using Windows less wasteful for the 90+% of desktop users that have to suffer through it due to Microsoft's historical business practices, regardless of whether it stampedes over ISVs with or without any "dumping" criticisms. To some extent these ISVs wish to benefit from the existence of the Microsoft stranglehold, without having to suffer from the Microsoft stranglehold. Between default configurations, ignorance of users, and the inconveniences imposed upon them by lazy ISVs that still develop software as if it's being used in Windows 95, Windows users literally are inundated with shoddy experiences, that with a wave of a wand Microsoft is uniquely capable of rectifying without eternal fees to third parties. That is if they could simply focus on doing things well. And if this bundling crushes businesses that only exist because of Microsoft's own failings in the first and that really wish to be propped up eternally because of Microsoft's market domination, then tough cookies. If that really bothers the public at large, then the government needs to break Microsoft up already and get it over with.

Otherwise in 20 years we'll still have Microsoft with a 90+% desktop marketshare and ISVs getting fat off its failings threatening to unleash the government on Microsoft, as a means of securing profit from the torment of users.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I'm of the rare opinion
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 7th May 2006 20:41 UTC in reply to "I'm of the rare opinion"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Otherwise in 20 years we'll still have Microsoft with a 90+% desktop marketshare and ISVs getting fat off its failings threatening to unleash the government on Microsoft, as a means of securing profit from the torment of users.

You, my friend, get it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I'm of the rare opinion
by twenex on Sun 7th May 2006 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm of the rare opinion"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

You may both "get" that argument (I certainly hope Thom, as its author, does), but neither of you seem to get "it", unless you are arguing (as you seem to be) that:

1. Microsoft has in the past been incompetent.

2. Companies that seek to make money from Microsoft's incompetence should be allowed to do so, unless of course....

3. By bundling software itself, Microsoft can patch over its past incompetence, and in doing so, is perfectly within its rights to act illegally; and both (a) other companies who seek to make money by making up for Windows' shortcomings; and (b) those who wish to make money by offering alternative products to Microsoft's should just shut up.

That, my friends, is bunk.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I'm of the rare opinion
by Get a Life on Sun 7th May 2006 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm of the rare opinion"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

I don't give two flying golf balls about Microsoft or its competitors. If a company profits off of Microsoft's ineptitude at the expense of the people stuck using Windows, I don't care if Microsoft corrects its own defects and in the process destroys the ISVs profiting from it. These companies do not wish to see Microsoft improve its product nor do they wish to see Microsoft's stranglehold on the market toppled. In either case they cannot profit off of the torment of Windows users. They wish for Microsoft to provide them with an unnecessary level of service to perform, stuck between its own ineptitude and threats of anti-trust litigation.

They can be ruined by Microsoft fixing its own mistakes, or Microsoft can be broken up so that it is no longer one organization constrained by threats of anti-trust litigation into providing unnecessary levels of service for ISVs. I don't care which, personally, though for once in my life I'd like to be able to read a pseudo-technology news site without having to read about Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I'm of the rare opinion
by twenex on Sun 7th May 2006 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm of the rare opinion"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

If you don't care about this, then you probably don't care about anyone acting legally. Is this supposed to be a point in your favour?

They wish for Microsoft to provide them with an unnecessary level of service to perform, stuck between its own ineptitude and threats of anti-trust litigation.

No, they want Microsoft's illegally-gained monopoly to end. The special pleading you imply has in fact always been asked for in court by Microsoft['s backside].

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I'm of the rare opinion
by Get a Life on Sun 7th May 2006 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I'm of the rare opinion"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

That's an intellectually bankrupt response if I've ever seen one. No, I don't put your beliefs regarding anti-trust legislation above the actual welfare of the people that use Microsoft's products. That of course means that I don't care about anyone acting legally at all, which is certainly a point in my favor.

No, they want Microsoft's illegally-gained monopoly to end.

No, you want Microsoft's monopoly to end. They want to continue developing software for a single platform that corrects defects in Microsoft's concept of quality control.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: I'm of the rare opinion
by twenex on Sun 7th May 2006 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I'm of the rare opinion"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

No, I don't put your beliefs regarding anti-trust legislation above the actual welfare of the people that use Microsoft's products.

My "beliefs regarding anti-trust legislation" also happen to be shared by the US and EU courts. I'd say they hold more weight than my opinions, or yours, unless you're a US/EU judge.

above the actual welfare of the people that use Microsoft's products

It is NOT in the general public's welfare for people to monopolize power, unless you believe that because you happen to be a Communist.

That of course means that I don't care about anyone acting legally at all, which is certainly a point in my favor.

(On the off-chance that that isn't satire). Then you won't object when I steal your plasma TV. Thanks a bunch!

That's an intellectually bankrupt response if I've ever seen one

Try rereading your own.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I'm of the rare opinion
by Get a Life on Sun 7th May 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I'm of the rare opinion"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

My "beliefs regarding anti-trust legislation" also happen to be shared by the US and EU courts.

It's difficult to determine if your beliefs regarding anti-trust legislation align with the interpretation of such laws (which aren't identical between the U.S. and EU anyway so I'm inclined to think you a bit full of hot air, actually) in the first place. I'm sure that the expert opinion that you've come up with by not being a legal scholar is quite fascinating, but whatever it is is unimportant to me.

I'd say they hold more weight than my opinions, or yours, unless you're a US/EU judge.

No one's opinion holds more weight than my opinions on what is morally justified. What interpretation of law I have if any is unimportant.

It is NOT in the general public's welfare for people to monopolize power, unless you believe that because you happen to be a Communist.

It is in the general public's welfare to not be subject to being charged to remedy Microsoft's shortcomings, simply because Microsoft holds market dominance. If you cannot read my comments and see anything other than the imaginary ramblings that bounce around inside of your h ead, then please spare mine your seemingly-incoherent responses. The ISVs that profit off of selling remedies to Microsoft's stupid engineering decisions have absolutely no interest in a diversified computing environment, and rely on the threat of such litigation solely to secure further the opportunity to sell a product that by all rights would be less necessary than it is, exceptfor Microsoft's market dominance and ineptitude. You in fact are promoting the continued domination of Microsoft and the piss-poor quality of its products at the expense of the public, who must turn to third parties to be able to receive e-mail or browse the web without having their personal information stolen and used to buy a car by cheerleading for companies that have absolutely no intention of diversifying the computing market by jumping up and down and screaming THAT'S AGAIN TEH LAW MICROSOFT CAN'T FIX THAT. As if taking measures to make Windows everywhere less infested with spyware or viruses is the equivalent to Microsoft pushing Wolfram or Apple out of business. Having actually worked for a number of years at an ISV that developed for Microsoft's desktop platform as well as for game consoles, I can tell you first-hand that even those without a profit-incentive for Microsoft to leave its platform a sewer for its users are indifferent to desktop platform diversification because it simply means increased development cost. If you honestly believe that businesses that become fat off of Microsoft's dominion and ineptitude (rather than just its dominion) desire for the Empire to fall then you're deluded. Notice that their threats will never materialize as actual litigation that promotes the dismantling of the Microsoft's domination.

Then you won't object when I steal your plasma TV.

I don't have or want a plasma television, but just in case you're incapable of detecting sarcasm, feel free to steal my plasma television.


Try rereading your own.

Try rereading mine yourself. And next time don't bother implying that thinking not all laws are correct or correctly interpreted implies that someone believes that no laws are correct. I'd harmor slaves. I don't think people should be jailed for doing drugs (despite not doing any myself). I don't think prostitutes should be jailed. I could give you a long list of laws that I disagree with, which apparently implies that you can steal my plasma TV. Well have at it, sport.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: I'm of the rare opinion
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I'm of the rare opinion"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

See my above post. If the courts ruled otherwise, then your post might be relevant.

Reply Score: 1

Thom, I agree with you
by kamil_chatrnuch on Sun 7th May 2006 20:54 UTC
kamil_chatrnuch
Member since:
2005-07-07

and if I'm buying a retail os, I EXPECT it to have a media player, an internet browser, etc.. whatever I will use it or not - is another topic.

also now that ms became a "monopoly" on the pc os market: they don't have the right to bundle stuff with the operating system? I for one EXPECT them to do that. bundle as much as possible.

as for the search box in IE. it's their product. if only from the PR perspective - it would be insanely stupid to default to google.

if google.com will one day [hypothetically] become a monopoly in the search market: will they have to include a yahoo, msn search box on their page? no. for the same reason, I don't see why IE should default to an other companies search engine.

Edited 2006-05-07 20:57

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thom, I agree with you
by growchie on Sun 7th May 2006 21:24 UTC in reply to "Thom, I agree with you"
growchie Member since:
2005-07-07

Let see what happened recently.
Microsoft won the desktop battle, ok. Then they used windows to win the browser war. Now they use IE the same way they used windows against netscape in their battle against google. And remember ordinary users dont bother to change settings and use defaults.

Lets imagine for a while what could MS do if they get let say 70% of the search market. Would they be tempted to boost the ratings of IIS/WinServer sites? Could they use a search monopoly to "promote" their server products? I'll leave these questions open.

Just as a side note about windows media player. Have you noticed a sharp decline of the number of sites streaming in RealMedia format and switching to WMV? And if yes could you answer it to yourself why?

I am not saying if this is right or wrong. It's up to you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thom, I agree with you
by Varg Vikernes on Mon 8th May 2006 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom, I agree with you"
Varg Vikernes Member since:
2005-07-06

And remember ordinary users dont bother to change settings and use defaults.

That would explain why MSN is the most popular search engine.

Just as a side note about windows media player. Have you noticed a sharp decline of the number of sites streaming in RealMedia format and switching to WMV? And if yes could you answer it to yourself why?

Could it be that Real Player sucked balls? Come on. Real Player was/is one of the worst media players available. Real died because they sucked and stuffed their player with ads and spyware. Not to mention WMV is light years ahead of RM in terms of compression/quality.

I feel sorry for those two that modded you up.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Thom, I agree with you
by growchie on Mon 8th May 2006 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thom, I agree with you"
growchie Member since:
2005-07-07

Of course real player is horrible. I donít use it and I don't want to see it on my desktop. but perhaps real player are willing to provide wmplayer plugin which installs nicely and automatically in the player and for some reason they could not do it. (this is my speculation about the complaints about the multimedia api)
Donít get me wrong I am just observing. As for the defaults ask yourself why switch search engines if the one defaulted to you gives you what you want - some kind of results. From my experience ordinary users donít ďuse firefox or search googleĒ they just browse with what it is thrown at them (either IE or Opera or something else) and search with the first thing they get.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Thom, I agree with you
by essdeekay on Mon 8th May 2006 11:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom, I agree with you"
essdeekay Member since:
2006-01-31

"Lets imagine for a while what could MS do if they get let say 70% of the search market. Would they be tempted to boost the ratings of IIS/WinServer sites? Could they use a search monopoly to "promote" their server products? I'll leave these questions open."

Google could as easily be tempted to boost ratings of sites which do *not* run IIS if they so choose. They could use a search monopoly to promote their own products - but they do that without having a monopoly anyway. It's easy enough to conjure up hypothetical situations, and despite MS's history, your points were very much hypothetical - they could be applied to anyone.

Assuming most versions of IE7 will be ones that have included in Vista as part of an OEM sale from the likes of Dell, HP etc, then Google's point is moot. The major computer manufacturers will sell the default search option to the highest bidder - which puts MSN, Google, Yahoo etc on more of an equal footing.

It's definitely not completely equal as MS has more marketing dollars than Google which in turn has more marketing dollars than Yahoo. So if MS chose to, they could easily buy their way into being the default search for every new Dell computer for example. MS however has a lot of shareholders who are already annoyed about their spending habits when trying to corner non-key markets (such as video game consoles). Search as a service is more key to Google though, so they'd probably be prepared to outbid MS or Yahoo for the main contracts.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Thom, I agree with you
by seguso on Sun 7th May 2006 21:34 UTC in reply to "Thom, I agree with you"
seguso Member since:
2005-06-29

> and if I'm buying a retail os, I EXPECT it to have a
> media player, an internet browser, etc.

With all due respect, I think what you believe is good for you is actually harmful While a software bundle makes you spare a few minutes to install applications, you are paying much more than you would if bundles were illegal, and for a worse product. It is a big problem you don't realize that.

If there were true competition, and it were illegal for Microsoft to expolit its OS to push other products by bundling them together, then prices would be lower and innovation would be quicker. The reason why the government does not promote informative campaings to make you realize that is that Microsoft's lobby is very powerful, and it prevents the government from informing the citizen of what would actually be best for him.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thom, I agree with you
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 7th May 2006 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom, I agree with you"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If there were true competition, and it were illegal for Microsoft to expolit its OS to push other products by bundling them together, then prices would be lower and innovation would be quicker.

The problem with your argument, which I stated in a previous post as well, is this: right now, innovation in the computing world is NOT slow. See Linux and OSX. Enough innovation in there. And in case you forgot: the NT kernel in itself is one big innovation as well.

Let me quote my previous post:

"He says the current situation stiffles innovation-- and yes, less choice indeed should lead to less innovation.

However, I see more than enough innovation in the Apple and Linux worlds. How does that rhyme with the assessment of the current situation the parent poster [you, Seguso] sketched? Might it just be that this monopoly is far less strangling than many people seem to (or want to) admit? That it is... A perceived monopoly?"


Edited 2006-05-07 21:40

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Thom, I agree with you
by seguso on Sun 7th May 2006 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thom, I agree with you"
seguso Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, first of all you are ignoring the "lower price" argument, which by itself makes a sufficient reason for enforcing competition (i.e. for preventing bundles, defaults and closed formats).

As for innovation, excuse me but you cannot say it's quick as it could be. You can't know what it'd be like if the companies were really competing for features. Would we have vocal input? Would we have intelligent parsing of natural language? Who knows. We can only believe what's has been proven in other context, i.e. that competition increases the pace of innovation. One has to believe what is more likely given the informations we've got.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Thom, I agree with you
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Thom, I agree with you"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

No, we would not have those things. Those are not just limited by software progression, but by hardware as well. And in fact, Microsoft has helped to bring hardware prices DOWN and they have advanced at a very fast pace.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Thom, I agree with you
by Johann Chua on Mon 8th May 2006 08:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Thom, I agree with you"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

If hardware didn't become so cheap and fast to run MS software, Linux wouldn't have been practical.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Thom, I agree with you
by rcsteiner on Tue 9th May 2006 18:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Thom, I agree with you"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Linux would be practical regardless of the cost of new hardware because older hardware is always inexpensive, and Linux tends to run very well on older hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Thom, I agree with you
by rcsteiner on Tue 9th May 2006 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Thom, I agree with you"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

How, exactly, has Microsoft helped to bring hardware prices down?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Thom, I agree with you
by sappyvcv on Tue 9th May 2006 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Thom, I agree with you"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Higher hardware requirements each major version of windows. It's pretty simple.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Thom, I agree with you
by Shane on Mon 8th May 2006 04:22 UTC in reply to "Thom, I agree with you"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

"if google.com will one day [hypothetically] become a monopoly in the search market: will they have to include a yahoo, msn search box on their page? no. for the same reason, I don't see why IE should default to an other companies search engine."

No, you got it wrong here. The equivalent to your example would be Microsoft having to include Linux in their Windows install disks.

Google would be breaking the law if they used their (hypothetical) monopoly in search to push *another* product/service of theirs. Keyword being *another*.

Reply Score: 2

v Get a Life Thom
by anand78 on Sun 7th May 2006 20:57 UTC
v Here it is again
by anand78 on Sun 7th May 2006 21:20 UTC
v So Pathetic
by anand78 on Sun 7th May 2006 21:21 UTC
Thom,
by Snifflez on Sun 7th May 2006 21:22 UTC
Snifflez
Member since:
2005-11-15

you are arguing on the side of a convicted monopolist. Since there really isn't a pretty way of putting it, such behaviour is f--king stupid.

"Then don't read it."

And the above is you being f--king childish. Every time your opponents happen to have far better arguments, you flip out like a ninja and start behaving like a 5-yerar-old with bad manners who's in need of some serious spanking.

I normally like your Sunday Eve Columns, but this time your arguments are so weak, they need an ambulance and a month of intensive care.

Reply Score: 1

insinuation
by maxmg on Sun 7th May 2006 21:33 UTC
maxmg
Member since:
2006-02-26

Instead of asserting that Neelie Kroes (whom I know not one thing about) has a 'shady past', surely it would have at least been reasonable to state what this was if it has a direct bearing on how we should view her actions, or to have left it out entirely if it is of no bearing, rather than use sly innuendo.

Reply Score: 1

Windows lacks lots of features
by Jody on Sun 7th May 2006 21:33 UTC
Jody
Member since:
2005-06-30

When you install a Linux distro you get all kinds of stuff free with it.

When you install OSX you get lots of free stuff with it.

With Windows you get IE, WMP, Calculator, and Notepad.

Becasue they have a large percentage of market share it is against the law for them to include much more.

By the time their market share is low enough that they can again bundle free products with the OS, how far behind will they be? Their hands are tied, even with their abysmal security track record they barely squeeked by some of their recent security products.

Should people then cry monopoly when Google adds a new feature since they are dominating their market? I can't type a ticker symbol without getting google finance, or a city name without Google maps being my first result.

With media player I can install an alternitave, but with Google search everytime I type an address Google maps is my first result.

Maybe when Google hits 90% market share someone needs to tie their hands behind their back too.

As for the IE7 thing MSN may be the default search, but MSN has a small market share in comparison to Google, which is the default search for nearly every other alternitave browser out there.

When I install a Linux distro and search in the default browser, guess where I am sent? Here is a tip, it isn't MSN.

Edited 2006-05-07 21:35

Reply Score: 3

RE: Windows lacks lots of features
by twenex on Sun 7th May 2006 21:55 UTC in reply to "Windows lacks lots of features"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Linux doesn't include software, all of which comes from Torvalds, OY of Finland. It doesn't even include all GNU software, or only software provided by GNU.

Reply Score: 1

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

www.kernel.org doesn't include anything but the kernel, of course. But Linux distributions do, actually.
Would you be pleased to see Ubuntu or SuSE in a court because they're playing unfair for competition by bundling free mplayer or k3b instead of RealPlayer and NeroLinux?

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I'm not playing wordgames here. A Linux distribution (which some refer to as a GNU/Linux distribution, to which some people object on such-and-such a ground...) is not a collection of software, all of which comes from one company.

On the contrary: quite often, Linux distributions include 3 or 4 or 5 different programs, from different companies/organizations, doing more or less the same thing (which leads to another set of complaints, but anyway)... Some distros include a default set of software, some provide almost nothing by default. Nevertheless, there is still a CHOICE between them - more of a choice than that provided by XP or XPN at the same price. And as I understand it, the inclusion or otherwise of RealPlayer and a version of Nero for Linux has more to do with their parent companies wanting to restrict the use of such programs, or with a lack of will or resources to port them.

I know of no Linux distro which even takes steps to *prevent* you installing any software, including that which they say they cannot bundle because to do so would be *illegal*.

Edited 2006-05-07 22:13

Reply Score: 2

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

there is still a CHOICE between them - more of a choice than that provided by XP or XPN at the same price.

Right. So the problem is not bundling. The problem is that Windows is not modular. If Microsoft sells the individual components of Windows separately at a reasonable price (ideally X% code = X% price), allowing people to create Windows distributions with a mix of MS and 3rd-party components, there would be no problem. Am I right?

I know of no Linux distro which even takes steps to *prevent* you installing any software, including that which they say they cannot bundle because to do so would be *illegal*.

It's years I don't use Windows regularly (I'm a Linux geek) so please excuse me for my naivete, but: does Windows prevent you to install some software, now? (TCPA aside).

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

They are kinda moving towards this with Vista.

But to force them to do it right now legally would hurt Windows tremendously. It would hurt integration, increase bugs, support costs, and probably confuse consumers.

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

My point was actually that if RealPlayer or this or that or the other is not included in Linux distributions, it's only due to decisions they've taken either to restrict users rights (for example not to allow Linux users to view movie DVD's), or to avoid the Linux platform. The testing branch of the Debian Linux distribution now includes SEVENTEEN CD-ROM's-worth of software. There's gotta be competition between packages in all of that.

Reply Score: 1

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

But it's the only sensible thing to do if you don't want bundling.

I don't think it would hurt MS so much. MS could still continue to sell 100%-all-in-one-Vista. But if I want to pay for just the NT kernel and build my very one Windows distribution on my PC (maybe with OSS components ;) ) I would be able to do it.

Reply Score: 1

seguso Member since:
2005-06-29

open source software cannot play unfair for competition, so there would be no need to bring Suse in court even if it had the same market share as microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Actually, Microsoft could bundled a lot more software with Windows if that software was written by third parties instead of itself.

The whole problem is that Microsoft isn't interested in bundling software like Mozilla, RealPLayer, and other tools like most other OS companies have done in the past.

No, they want to have their OS pie with its 80% profit margins and everything else as well.

That's a big difference.

(Edited to correct a speling misteak)

Edited 2006-05-09 17:33

Reply Score: 1

Stupid arguement
by youknowmewell on Sun 7th May 2006 22:16 UTC
youknowmewell
Member since:
2005-07-08

Why defend a multi-billion dollar company against the big bad government and users?

Someone argued that MS should be allowed to bundle lots of software with their OS. They should also be allowed to use their OS as a portal to many other services and products like search engines (to generate revenue with ads) and virus-detection software. The arguement is that MS is in a unique position to crush all products that only live because they are filling a vacuum left by MS. Their products are bad, and MS has the chance to destroy the weaklings that sell poor products by bundling quality software with their OS.

That completely ignores the power of MS to bundle poor or mediocre software that can just as easily crush the competition. MS doesn't need to supply quality software to maintain a strangle-hold on a market, it just needs to supply software that is 'good enough'. That's what a monopoly does, it gives 'good enough' software to users, not quality software.

I think others also forgot that MS wasn't ordered to sell a WMP-less OS, they were ordered to supply other competing media-players along with WMP and specifically were told to NOT remove WMP from the OS. An order they flatly ignored.

What's funny is the clash between Free Software ideals and Proprietary Software ideals. The arguements against MS's monopoly apply only because the OS is closed and encourages a monoculture. If MS always played nice and ALWAYS had to compete on the merits of their technology than they couldn't have a monopoly.

This is why CHOICE is so important to Free Software. Choice breeds a diverse environment of software and spurs competition. Choice hates a monopoly, and loves good software.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Stupid arguement
by Marcellus on Mon 8th May 2006 06:38 UTC in reply to "Stupid arguement"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

I think others also forgot that MS wasn't ordered to sell a WMP-less OS, they were ordered to supply other competing media-players along with WMP and specifically were told to NOT remove WMP from the OS. An order they flatly ignored.

I suggest that you provide proof of your statement.
Various sources (including wikipedia, which you may or may not see as trustworthy source) have it as MS was ordered to provide a version of Windows without WMP.

Or are you perhaps saying that what MS writes at
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/legal/eudecision/faq.asp
is a bunch of lies?

Reply Score: 2

Of course there should be bundling!
by mrvw0169 on Sun 7th May 2006 22:27 UTC
mrvw0169
Member since:
2006-05-07

This discussion is forgetting to focus on the "typical" end user. Unfortunately, most people who buy computers aren't as technically skilled as others who read OSNews. Give anyone a new computer, be it Linux, Mac, or Windows based without a web browser or a media player and people will think they got shafted. The thing is, people EXPECT certain software to be bundled. Just try installing Windows and NOT touch IE and try to install Firefox from a computer n00b's POV, or for that matter any other software like VLC.

Already, MS does not include DVD playing capabilities by default in Windows XP and many people have grief over this (unless, of course it was bundled with the system by HP, Dell, etc). In the Linux world, for example, we have Ubuntu that does not include support for even the ubiquitous MP3 format. That is just baffling for new users to Linux. Now they have to go through extra hoops to support "RestrictedFormats"? Why doesn't it just work?

Of course MS is using its advantage of being on the majority of desktop PCs. As it is, MS is bundling very few applications (just take a look at the other desktop-oriented Linux distros, i.e. Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu). Of course, it is using its advantage to enter new industries. That's what companies do to stay alive and competitive. It's also what customers expect to have when purchasing an operating system now (I bet the guys in the EU wouldn't even touch XP N). And what's wrong with adding more applications to make the default Windows more secure for most of the people using it?

But this MSN default search engine simply makes sense for MS. Why does Google have so many services that are interconnected to each other (GTalk, GMail, C2) and not to competing services like Yahoo! maps? Why does Yahoo! makes no mention of Google Finance and use their own services? It's because they own them. As others have said, would it make sense at all (image wise for MS) to have IE have the default search engine to be a competitor's, Google? For users, it's good that a search bar even exists as that makes things easier on them. Why isn't Microsoft, or anyone else for that matter, crying out loud that Google is the default for Opera? for Firefox? for Konqueror? for Epiphany? etc. Of course no one's going to change the default. But most people have never changed the default for any of the other browsers either (Firefox) and who's getting the clicks there?

Typical users expect a full suite of software when buying an OS. People who need an OS for desktop purposes would NOT even consider buying a Mac OS computer without software (the iLife suite and co.) or Linux with nothing but a command line, but even then, that is supplemented by the myriad of GNU tools. If Google came out with their own browser, it sure as hell wouldn't have MSN search as its default search engine.

Oh crap! Sorry for the long post.

Reply Score: 2

morglum666 Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't have any comment on the rest of your post, but you may want to realize that :

'Already, MS does not include DVD playing capabilities by default in Windows XP and many people have grief over this (unless, of course it was bundled with the system by HP, Dell, etc).'

DVD is a licensed($$$) codec. They didn't license it in windows because they didn't want to pass the cost down to the consumer. They know and understand that the resellers will always bundle dvd software with the dvd player.

Outside of your post and regarding several of the others, any task that is trivial to perform to get the ability to play files (IE) Media players, MP3, video players can't really be considered to cause the average user to look negatively at the OS. If I can install VLC or winamp in less than a minute, I'm not worried about it.

Cheers

Morglum

Reply Score: 1

mrvw0169 Member since:
2006-05-07

Trivial to perform. My father wanted to watch a DVD on his computer and couldn't figure out how. He looked at Windows negatively. I did too because right in the Windows XP installation, it touts that we can enjoy multimedia capabilities INCLUDING watching DVDs. Like I said, most people don't know that in order to play things, they need to install (for example) VLC.

And the only reason it is trivial is because we have IE bundled with XP so that we can goto www.videolan.org to download the latest VLC. Imagine how trivial it would be to install VLC (or even Firefox) if MS didn't bundle IE. Resellers also don't always bundle DVD software with their DVD player.

Reply Score: 1

negativity
Member since:
2006-02-23

Because it's too difficult to regulate them and keep the market healthy.

Imagine 5 'softies instead of A softie and you will get the picture.

Reply Score: 1

The Line
by Seth Quarrier on Sun 7th May 2006 23:14 UTC
Seth Quarrier
Member since:
2005-11-13

I think that the line that has to be drawn depends on if there is already a preexisting market for the product. For instance there was already a Windows browser market when Microsoft bundled IE, as there already was a streaming media market before WMP was bundled. There, however, was not a preexisting Windows shell market before Explorer.exe was introduced. Likewise there is already an existing search market which Microsoft is trying to use its MONOPOLY in the browser market to impact. This would not be an issue if IE did not have a monopoly but as it does, it cannot be used to impact another market sphere. If a product exists outside of a monopoly then the monopoly can not be used to capture that market.

Seth

Reply Score: 3

RE: The Line
by sappyvcv on Sun 7th May 2006 23:21 UTC in reply to "The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

NO IT DOES NOT

Please, do research. The courts have ruled otherwise. This is FACT.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The Line
by rcsteiner on Tue 9th May 2006 17:11 UTC in reply to "The Line"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

There, however, was not a preexisting Windows shell market before Explorer.exe was introduced.

Actually, there was. I used a third-party Windows shell called Aporia v1.4 back in the Windows/286 2.1 days, and a number of companies (Norton, Central Point, and the nice folks who wrote WinTools) create third-party shells for Windows 3.0 and 3.1 which replaced both File Manager and Program Manager.

Reply Score: 1

Agree 100%
by RGCook on Sun 7th May 2006 23:15 UTC
RGCook
Member since:
2005-07-12

I agree with Thom's point. While the bundling of software could be perceived as anti-competitive since MS has the Window's advantage in place, it can also be seen as a marketing tool for 3rd parties to market their wares. MS's built-in tools are generally never as robust or feature-rich as the 3rd party applications, and I feel that this drives the market.

Great article Thom.

Bob

Reply Score: 3

RE: Agree 100%
by rcsteiner on Tue 9th May 2006 18:54 UTC in reply to "Agree 100%"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

So you're saying that MSIE is actually helping to open the browser market to competing browsers, Windows Media Player is helping to open the media player market to third parties, etc.?

Is Microsoft's security tool helping to open up the security software market to others as well?

Doesn't that seem a bit silly to you?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Agree 100%
by RGCook on Wed 10th May 2006 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Agree 100%"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

I believe that there was a day when IE6 was a great browser. That day was long ago and since then, we have witnessed several superior 3rd party offerings market their wares based on IE6's many weaknesses and failure to keep up with state-of-the-art features users have come to expect. So the answer to your question in this case is Yes.

Windows Media Player? Come on man, you must be joking. Just about anything is superior to that kludge. Please don't make me list the reasons why!

Microsoft's security tool? Now I know you are messing with me. Is that like their backup tool, only better?

Sorry, I am only kidding with you, but I have to reverse the questions and ask, "Are you serious as well?"

Reply Score: 1

The EU is not wasting money on Microsoft
by moleskine on Sun 7th May 2006 23:20 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Except for emergencies, such as a famine, money spent on fighting poverty is often money wasted. It does nothing to address the structures that help to maintain the poverty, such as the West's outrageous agricultural subsidies, policies over loans and arms sales, the spider's web of NGOs and the UN, and the propensity of many ruling elites in the developing world to send aid received for their country directly to a personal Swiss bank account.

I'm only pointing this out because one of the article's central planks is that money spent on litigating Microsoft is money wasted. I don't think it is. The IT industry is so skewed by Microsoft's monopoly that the only hope of change and innovation is by ensuring that the industry's structure remains open to competition and new developments.

This involves strict policing of Microsoft's monopoly and commercial practices to stop them cementing themselves into the brickwork. This is exactly what the EU is doing, imho, and since Microsoft fight all attempts to constrain them, yes it costs a lot of money. But it is still the right thing to do.

Reply Score: 2

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Anti-trust litigation that results in penalties that actually alter the consumer landscape for the greater good, rather than just result in cash infusions for a handful of competitors are certainly not a waste of money. If in the end the tax payer simply foots the bill for Microsoft to maintain its stranglehold and all that happens is that Microsoft bribes some politicians, Microsoft pays a few companies reparations that almost immediately evaporate due to debts incurred trying to compete with Microsoft, and Microsoft produces versions of its software that no one actually uses then it's basically money down the hole. The U.S. DoJ's results were less than useful for creating any sort of platform diversity; perhaps the EU will be able to accomplish something.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The Line
by Seth Quarrier on Sun 7th May 2006 23:45 UTC
Seth Quarrier
Member since:
2005-11-13

You very well may be right, I don't pretend to be an expert on the matter. I was merely reacting to Thom insinuating that there is no difference between this and bundling explorer.exe, which seem very different to me. By the way how do you believe the line is drawn in terms of what it is proper for a monopoly to bundle and what is not?

Seth

Reply Score: 1

I thought you were smarter...
by ma_d on Mon 8th May 2006 01:45 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

The casualties of fighting Microsoft on merits of quality are a graveyard we call pc history.

To think one can win that way alone...

Reply Score: 2

Boeing was a good example
by Cloudy on Mon 8th May 2006 02:10 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

Thom,

If you're really interested in detail, you might want to investigate how Microsoft has used bundling in the past to give its applications competitive advantage in the marketplace. Also, while you're at it, look into the history of Boeing.

When the US government made its case in US court that Microsoft was in significant violation of US anti-trust law, it should have followed the precedent it set in the Boeing anti-trust case, lo those many years ago, and divided Microsoft into pieces, roughly along the lines of "minimal OS", "Office", "Games", "everything else".

That would have been healthy for the industry.

Probably not too late.

Reply Score: 2

The perverse effects of monopolies
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 02:43 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

I highly suggest these companies try to beat Microsoft and its products by relying on their own merits,

Well, that's the crux of the problem, isn't it? The argument is that having a monopoly gives you unfair advantages over others, and therefore they can't compete on merits alone.

It's not enough to have a good product if the monopoly has a headstart.

Now, Thom, you have asked where to draw the line, and that is a good question. But, no matter how difficult that may be, the line does have to be drawn somewhere. What constitutes the OS, and what doesn't? As an editor of OSNews, perhaps you'd be able to enlighten us on this matter...

Reply Score: 2

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I suspect most CompSci purists would define an OS to be the following:

* a kernel which provides basic process and memory management services

* one or more CLI and/or GUI shells which provide a user interface to the kernel, allowing for the running of programs and the basic manipulation of files

* some sort of device driver layer to handle internal and external peripheral devices

* a set of basic utilities (text editor, filesystem tools, configuration tools, etc.) which assist the end user in maintaining the system

Other stuff can be included, certainly, and often is, but I would argue that the other stuff which might be included is typically only present for convenience and/or marketing reasons. It isn't a necessity.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 02:54 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Please don't shout, it doesn't add any weight to your argument.

Microsoft's market share is so large that it can benefit from a monopolistic position. The fact that the DOJ lost interest in prosecuting Microsoft once Bush came into power doesn't change this fact.

For all practical purposes, MS enjoys a monopoly in Desktop OSes and Office Suites. That this doesn't fit the dictionary definition is irrelevant. From a real world perspective, there's little difference between a quasi-monopoly and a complete one.

BeOS is a perfect example of Microsoft's monopolistic muscle. Perhaps you'll try to argue that it wasn't good enough to beat Windows in the marketplace...I guess we'll never know, since MS basically blackmailed those OEMs who wanted to offer BeOS on their PCs.

The same thing would have happened to Linux if it had been proprietary and belonged to a company. Meanwhile, the only reason Mac OS was immune was that it was sold by Apple, a hardware company (and MS saw this as a different market for Office and IE rather than as competition).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 03:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe I wouldn't have to bold my text if people finally started to understand the facts.

Yes, the fact is, the court ruled Microsoft did not extend their "desktop monopoly" into the browser market.

In fact, I suggest you read that very ruling, it is a very insightful read from a very smart judge.

Reply Score: 3

archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Is Windows simply the USB among operating systems?

I'm sorry Thom, but this comparison is invalid. Windows is a product, while USB is a standard. You can't possibly compare the two.

If, despite the fact that you're an editor, you feel the need to get down in the fray and argue with your readers (which to me has always seemed to lack decorum), then at least come up with valid arguments.

If Windows was indeed to be considered a "standard", then it would have to be taken away from Microsoft and open-sourced. You can't expect a private company to own such a key standard for something as important as computing. That would be catastrophic.

Reply Score: 5

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> If Windows was indeed to be considered a "standard",
> then it would have to be taken away from Microsoft and
> open-sourced.

PCI is a standard too. You cannot get the specification freely, let alone blueprints for an implementation.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 03:17 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Maybe I wouldn't have to bold my text if people finally started to understand the facts.

Your interpretation of the facts, you mean.

Yes, the fact is, the court ruled Microsoft did not extend their "desktop monopoly" into the browser market.

The second judge did. Not the first one. I think the first one was right on the money, while the second one ruled in Microsoft's favor because the DOJ had basically dropped the case by that point.

Of course, you'll agree with the second judge because his ruling supports your own bias, and disagree with the first for the opposite reason.

However, MS has been fined by the EU for monopolistic practices, and the case of BeOS is crystal clear. MS has used its OS monopoly to gain unfair advantage over competitors before.

In fact, I suggest you read that very ruling,

I have. I suggest your read the first ruling as well. And since MS doesn't look like it's going to give up on its anti-competitive habits, I'm sure we'll get more rulings on this as well.

I agree with Cloudy, it would have been better if MS had been split into a OS company + an app company. That's the only good thing to do with monopolies, anyway.

I blame George W. Bush (who doesn't, now, anyway? :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Your interpretation of the facts, you mean.

No, the facts, as you basically admitted.

The second judge did. Not the first one. I think the first one was right on the money, while the second one ruled in Microsoft's favor because the DOJ had basically dropped the case by that point.

Of course, you'll agree with the second judge because his ruling supports your own bias, and disagree with the first for the opposite reason.


I agree with the second judge, yes. I read the ruling and found it was very fair.

I suggest your read the first ruling as well.

It's irrelevant since it was voided.

Again, I was replying to the guy that said IE is a monopoly, when by ruling of the COURT and by the DICTIONARY it is not.

Reply Score: 2

antivirus
by djohnston on Mon 8th May 2006 03:23 UTC
djohnston
Member since:
2006-04-11

"When they announced they were going to include antivirus/spyware/malware applications in Windows Vista, many (including major antivirus companies) were quick to play the illegal bundling card. However, how surreal is it that Microsoft cannot improve their product and make their users safer by including these applications?"

How "surreal" would it be if Microsoft improved the OPERAZTING SYSTEM so that it didn't NEED antivirus software?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 03:44 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

No, the facts, as you basically admitted.

No, your interpretation of the facts, the facts that lead to two judgements. You choose to only consider the second, while in my view the second is erroneous (though it has force of law).

It's irrelevant since it was voided.

That's not true. Parts of it were revised, but that's a far cry from saying that it was voided.

But at least you admit that you haven't read the first judgement.

Again, I was replying to the guy that said IE is a monopoly, when by ruling of the COURT and by the DICTIONARY it is not.

A company doesn't need to have a complete (i.e. 100%) monopoly in order for its anti-competitive actions to be covered by the Sherman anti-trust act.

I would agree that the IE thing is a bit irrelevant now, with Firefox gaining market share. To me, it was alwas the wrong case to fight anyway - the true Microsoft monopoly that needs to be broken is the office file format monopoly. Hopefully with ODF gaining ground this will finally happen...

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 04:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

1. The second ruling VOIDED the first one, thus being the ONLY RELEVANT ONE.
2. So because the second one is not what you like, you decide it's erroneous, how convenient.
3. It is true. The originally ruling was null and voided. The second ruling repeated some of what the first said, and then disagree with the rest. But the first ruling was voided either way.

Anyway, I'm just trying to understand where anyone can argue that IE is a monopoly. Let's look at how it can be considered monopoly.

1. Dictionary definition - Nope
2. Law - Debatable, but this is ruled slightly in favor of "no" because of court rulings.
3. Court ruling - Nope

So all that is left is opinion. Okay, someone can think it's a monopoly in the face of contrary evidence, but they should preface their opinion very clearly so it doesn't look like they're trying to state facts. "Facts" that other people WILL believe.

And I highly disagree that Office's file format is a "monopoly", but let's not get into that debate here, shall we?

Reply Score: 1

RE[8]: The Line
by rcsteiner on Tue 9th May 2006 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: The Line"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

The DOJ's Findings of Fact document still stands, and may still be used as the legal basis for further action.

The second ruling is NOT the only relevant material to be obtained from the case.

Reply Score: 1

Enough already
by BigJimSlade on Mon 8th May 2006 05:11 UTC
BigJimSlade
Member since:
2006-01-19

Nothing like a good old Microsoft Monopoly discussion to start off a thread of almost 100 replies.

I felt the article was simply a rant from a biased view, pro Microsoft. You may not agree, but that's what I got from it.

MS has to watch itself. They are under more scrutiny than other companies because they ARE a monopoly. Courts have stated as such. Linux / Apple / Google, etc AREN'T. That's the problem. They will always have it tougher because of this - they did it to themselves.

Google should be upset, but what do they really expect MS to do here? They've got competing products. Will MS have to change it - YEP, but in about 5 years time... when it finally makes it trough court.

That's OK though, the way MS is doing business lately they're really only hurting themself. They had better figure out a business model outside of Windows/Office/XBOX or the world is going to pass them by.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Enough already
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 12:17 UTC in reply to "Enough already"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Well the argument was for Microsoft, so yeah, it's pro-Microsoft. Biased? I'm not sure I agree with that. Thom is a mac and linux user.

Reply Score: 1

RE[8]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 05:33 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Since you claim that the facts are on your side, let's consider a few of them:

First of all, the reason Judge Jackson's decision got overturned by the appeals court has nothing to do with the actual content of his ruling, but rather because he gave off-the-record interviews to the media during the case.

The appelate court ruled that this was improper. They also partly affirmed Jackson's ruling on monopolization. That means, in other words that they found merit in the theory that Microsoft used its monopoly powers to win the browser war.

You make it sound as if Microsoft had won its case, but in reality it did not. Another fact which you willfully ignore is that the company was still found guilty. However, the DOJ (under the newly-elected Bush administration) did decide to seek a lesser antitrust penalty. Eventually, most states settled with Microsoft

3. It is true. The originally ruling was null and voided. The second ruling repeated some of what the first said, and then disagree with the rest. But the first ruling was voided either way.

You're arguing semantics here. The fact is that the parts the second ruling agreed with the first include those that related to the monopoly question.

1. Dictionary definition - Nope

We've agreed that this is irrelevant. Why do you keep bringing it up? According to the dictionary, MS would be a "quasi-monopoly", however from a legal point of view that is irrelevant.

2. Law - Debatable, but this is ruled slightly in favor of "no" because of court rulings.
3. Court ruling - Nope


"Law" and "Court ruling" are both the same thing, don't try to present them as separate arguments.

As I've argued above, the second ruling affirmed most of Judge Jackson's monopoly arguments, so then it comes down to:

a) Dictionary: no
b) Court ruling: yes, to a degree

Since a) is irrelevant, it comes down to b). Microsoft did abuse its OS monopoly to give unfair advantage to IE.

Okay, someone can think it's a monopoly in the face of contrary evidence, but they should preface their opinion very clearly so it doesn't look like they're trying to state facts. "Facts" that other people WILL believe.

Or what some people will twist around in order to support their position.

The facts are that Microsoft was still found guilty, even though it received only a slap on the wrist as punishment because of a change of guard at the DOJ.

And I highly disagree that Office's file format is a "monopoly",

Of course you wouldn't. That would actually mean taking a critical stance towards Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE[9]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

First of all, the reason Judge Jackson's decision got overturned by the appeals court has nothing to do with the actual content of his ruling, but rather because he gave off-the-record interviews to the media during the case.

It doesn't matter why. His ruling was voided/nulled/overturned. That's all that matters in the court system.

The appelate court ruled that this was improper. They also partly affirmed Jackson's ruling on monopolization. That means, in other words that they found merit in the theory that Microsoft used its monopoly powers to win the browser war.

You got the first part right, and I even stated that myself already. They partly affirmed SOMEONE of his ruling on monopolization. As far as extending their monopoly into the browser market, they did NOT agree. I can back this up with cold hard FACTS.

You make it sound as if Microsoft had won its case, but in reality it did not. Another fact which you willfully ignore is that the company was still found guilty. However, the DOJ (under the newly-elected Bush administration) did decide to seek a lesser antitrust penalty. Eventually, most states settled with Microsoft

Maybe if you actually paid attention, you'd see that I stated that the last court ruling partly agreed with Judge Jacksons' rulings. Please don't make me have to repeat myself.

We've agreed that this is irrelevant. Why do you keep bringing it up? According to the dictionary, MS would be a "quasi-monopoly", however from a legal point of view that is irrelevant.

I'm just trying to cover all avenues for the argument that it is a monopoly. The definition is irrelevant next to law, yes.

"Law" and "Court ruling" are both the same thing, don't try to present them as separate arguments.

Not neccesarily. What I meant by law, was any wording in the US code that could be used to back up the argument. The current US code is too vague and doesn't apply well to this case. It's out-dated and needs to be updated.

The latter judge ruled that there was NO precedence he could base his ruling off of for the Microsoft case, as it was so unique. Hence, court is somewhat different from "Law" (US Code) in this case. Though precedence is more court than law.

As I've argued above, the second ruling affirmed most of Judge Jackson's monopoly arguments, so then it comes down to:

a) Dictionary: no
b) Court ruling: yes, to a degree

Since a) is irrelevant, it comes down to b). Microsoft did abuse its OS monopoly to give unfair advantage to IE.


No, as I've already stated many times before (and provided links, ask dylansmrjones), it was ruled Microsoft did not illegally extend their monopoly into the browser market.

Or what some people will twist around in order to support their position.

Or someone (you) will spit out lies (that the court ruling IE is a monopoly) despite having claimed to read the ruling.

Of course you wouldn't. That would actually mean taking a critical stance towards Microsoft.

Yeah, like I'd ever do that. Nice ignorance.

The facts are that Microsoft was still found guilty, even though it received only a slap on the wrist as punishment because of a change of guard at the DOJ.

There wasn't just one blanket ruling you know. There was multiple parts to it, which you seem to be willing to ignore.

Reply Score: 0

Point-by-point
by Jarsto on Mon 8th May 2006 06:57 UTC
Jarsto
Member since:
2005-10-06

This week, search giant Google made a lot of fuss about Internet Explorer 7's search field. You see, that search field defaulted to Microsoft's search engine, and not to Google's. Oh yes, that's really something to dust off your pitchforks for and go angry mobbing. If that isn't, what is? The fact that clicking a little arrow next to the search field gives you a drop-down menu where you can select different search engines apparently slipped Google's watchful eye.

No, they complained about the fact that it defaults to MSN. And, if I'm not mistaken, returns to the default when the browser is restarted unless settings are explicitly changed (I haven't checked this myself, but seem to remember reading it). Unlike Firefox, for example, where once the engine has been changed the new one is the default until its changed again.

Now, this is only a minor incident, part of a much bigger problem Microsoft has to overcome: because of Windows' 90-95% market share, anything Microsoft does will be seen as anti-competitive behaviour. Microsoft can't include program Xyz without Program Xyz Inc. going mental, squealing illegal bundling and what not.

This is to some extend true and something I struggle with in my opinion of microsoft. I find myself in danger of simultaneously blaming them for doing nothing about spyware, and for being anti-competitive when they do try to include anti-spyware in their system. This however doesn't change Xyz Inc.'s problem. Because of Microsoft's market share a lot of Microsoft behaviour is, de facto, anti-competitive. Whether this is intentional or not, once Microsoft decides to include Xyz, Xyz Inc. knows it almost certainly has to either find a new product, or go out of business. If you can't blame Microsoft for trying to make a better operating system you can hardly blame Xyz Inc. for trying to stay in business.

From my tone, you probably already figured my position on this: exactly, I find this pointless and overdone bickering over nothing. I am of the opinion that as long as a certain piece of software can be removed from Windows, and thus replaced, Microsoft can include it. And even if it cannot be removed from the system (i.e. Internet Explorer), I have this big "so what" feeling. It's not like you cannot easily install another browser and not use Internet Explorer anymore (I do agree MS needs to open up Windows Update to other browsers).

You are of course free to think so, but Microsoft doesn't. The evidence is pretty clear that they bundled IE because it would make the track for any other browser (Netscape) an uphill struggle. The same with the media player, internal Microsoft documents recently in the news show this was bundled in the hopes of killing off the Realplayer. If Microsoft assumes this will kill competition, why shouldn't the competition act as though it will?
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6064441.html

Microsoft is in a really difficult position-- a position they may have maneuvered into because of their own actions-- but a difficult position nonetheless. When they announced they were going to include antivirus/spyware/malware applications in Windows Vista, many (including major antivirus companies) were quick to play the illegal bundling card. However, how surreal is it that Microsoft cannot improve their product and make their users safer by including these applications?

Like I said above I can feel the dilemma here. On the other hand it's not very much like your main point, Google and the search window. Defaulting to MSN is not about making the OS safer or even significantly improving the browser. Defaulting to MSN is about trying to boost MSN's search engine and its foolish to pretend otherwise. SImilarly the media player, though arguably about making a better complete package for the user, wasn't directly security related or an improvement to the core OS. The line is thinner here though, I'm prepared to admit I'd think a modern OS incomplete if it shipped without a web-browser and some media functionality is similarly becoming a standard.

It is also wise to think twice about the intentions of companies such as Google and McAfee. Do they really care about choice? Do they play the illegal bundling card because they care about your ability to choose? Of course not. They care about themselves, and themselves alone. There is nothing at all noble about their actions.

Likewise it's good to think twice (or more) about Microsoft's intentions. There is nothing noble about Microsoft's actions either. They didn't choose MSN on its merits for the user, they chose is because it makes money for Microsoft. And whether or not Google's motivation is noble, the result of their actions is that they are defending the right to choose. Their motivation, though relevant in an ethical debate about their behaviour, hardly enters into the most desirable result for the user.

But it's not only companies that are playing this game. Even governments, in the form of the European Union, want to join this card game. After much litigation, they forced Microsoft to sell a version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player, in order to create a level playing field for competitors such as Real. Did it work? Of course not. The new WMP-less version of Windows XP sold like a Playboy without nude pictures. Meanwhile, Neelie Kroes had spent a lot of tax money I supply her with on pointless litigation-- money that was much better spent on fighting poverty or hunger or whatever.

Now we're really getting on a slippery slope. I agree that Windows XP N was a failure. It was however only part of the EU's sanctions, some hefty fines were also included (which made the EU more money than was probably spent on fighting Microsoft, and more than either of us is likely to contribute in taxes to the EU during our lives). More to the point if we accept this argument no-one should be doing anything about anti-competitive practices. If no-one were doing anything about this chances are we'd all be paying several times what we are now for electricity because all the major suppliers, who own the actual cables, would make a deal to make more profit. If you want to live in that world go ahead, I'd prefer to stay in this one thank you very much.

I highly suggest these companies try to beat Microsoft and its products by relying on their own merits, instead of relying on a Dutch woman with a shady past. Doesn't a football victory made by playing better than the competing team feel a lot better than winning by getting a false penalty?

While these companies should absolutely compete on merits that isn't really the problem. They are afraid that merits are being snowed under by Microsoft's practices. After all no-one is suggesting Microsoft be prohibited from offering a media player at all, or from making it possible to use MSN as the search engine for the search field. Microsoft is therefor free to compete on merit along with the others. They just want a level playing field to play on. Or to stick more closely to your football metaphor they're asking the referee to make sure the goals either side of the pitch are the same size, rather than having Microsoft board up large parts of the goal it's defending.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Point-by-point
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 12:27 UTC in reply to "Point-by-point"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

No, they complained about the fact that it defaults to MSN. And, if I'm not mistaken, returns to the default when the browser is restarted unless settings are explicitly changed (I haven't checked this myself, but seem to remember reading it). Unlike Firefox, for example, where once the engine has been changed the new one is the default until its changed again.

No. Whatever you set it to use in the search field, it stays as.

Reply Score: 1

I remember
by BrickCaster on Mon 8th May 2006 07:33 UTC
BrickCaster
Member since:
2006-03-20

The time when i had to pay a shareware mouse accelerator. It's the client interest that what is taken for granted is actually integrated for free.

Think about it: a mouse accelerator is not a part of the Operating System, are you ready to pay for it?

Reply Score: 1

Google's lost revenue
by Stock on Mon 8th May 2006 10:38 UTC
Stock
Member since:
2005-08-31

Why do so many of these articles miss the point. The problem with Microsoft's actions is not the bundling of software. The only people who complain and "bicker" about that don't understand the issues properly. Having a monopoly is not illegal and I would argue it's not even unethical.
What is at fault here is Microsoft's use (abuse) of that monopoly to enter a new market and force out competition.
Now here is where the arguments all fall down at the moment: Microsoft is not using MSN search as the default so as to retain market share in the browser wars. They are using that default setting to force millions of users to search through MSN search. No boys and girls what do you think the marketing and advertising implications of that is? Do you think that a sudden and dramatic swing from one search engine to another might have an effect on the money they are paid to place adverts alongside searches? I do! And that is where the problem lies.
Microsoft will force their way into the online advertising sector and squeeze anyone else out. Any company wishing to sell online will need to send Microsoft yet more money to reach their customers and Google will be relegated to the back bench with the likes of AltaVista and Lycos.
So please let's stop trying to make this about browser wars or about OSS or even about choice and treat it as it really is; an illegal move to capture market share through abuse of a monopolistic position.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Google's lost revenue
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 12:31 UTC in reply to "Google's lost revenue"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

But they've already been in that market for a while, so it's *not* a new market ;)

And as stated many times, IE does not have a monopoly, so Google has nothing to stand on legally.

Reply Score: 1

its politics
by lemon on Mon 8th May 2006 12:48 UTC
lemon
Member since:
2006-05-08

plain and simple.

x gets something. y complains.

y trys to change it. x counters.

x and y go to court.

an outcome happens.

simple politics. with bigger words, more in the balance, and end users affected.

----------

first off: companies exist to make profits.

microsoft is going about its internally defined way of making profits, just as google is too. not to mention the other companies.

thats where the fsf gets in the way. they disrupt the accepted way of doing software. so of course they are going to complain about anti-trust laws being violated by microsoft. just because microsoft has the majority of market share. simple politics, thats all folks.

ps: i dont have anything against the fsf. they are changing the industry. change is always good in the end, but not necessarily in the beginning of the change. but it always works out in the end.

Reply Score: 1

RE[10]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 13:30 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

It doesn't matter why. His ruling was voided/nulled/overturned.

But, as I've already said, the findings on abuse of monopoly were maintained - it was the remedy (i.e. the order to break up Microsoft) that was overturned.

You got the first part right, and I even stated that myself already. They partly affirmed SOMEONE of his ruling on monopolization.

Yes, that someone was judge Penfield Jackson. I'm not sure why you shouted "someone" here, but I've already told you you shouldn't shout, it just makes you sound hysterical. You want to put emphasis? Fine, use italics...

As far as extending their monopoly into the browser market, they did NOT agree. I can back this up with cold hard FACTS.

As I've indicated before, facts can be interpreted in many ways. Here, for example, you're playing on words. The ruling was that Microsoft did in fact illegally use its monopoly status to give itself unfair advantage in the browser market. Those are the facts, and the reason why Microsoft was still found guilty after the Appeals court ruling (something which you try to minimize every chance you get).

Did IE itself represent a monopoly? That's completely irrelevant. The facts that interest us is if Microsoft abused its OS monopoly illegally, which they did.

Or someone (you) will spit out lies (that the court ruling IE is a monopoly) despite having claimed to read the ruling.

I did not claim that the court ruled that IE was a monopoly. I claimed that the court recognized that Microsoft used its OS monopoly to give unfair advantage to IE. Since IE ended up with 95% of the market at some point, I think it's pretty clear to everyone that they succeeded.

Meanwhile, you make it sound as if MS had actually won their case, despite having allegedly read the ruling yourself. Well, they didn't. They lost. Let me repeat it once more, just to make sure you understood it correctly: MS lost their case and was found guilty with regards to anti-trust laws. And who gets found guilty under anti-trust laws, if not monopolies?

Yeah, like I'd ever do that. Nice ignorance.

Sure, I've seen you take a mildly critical stance towards MS. Once, and that was in order to prove to someone that you could do it. And when I say "mildly critical," I'm not joking. If I remembered correctly, you said that you liked Firefox better than IE. Wow.

Reply Score: 1

RE[11]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 17:35 UTC in reply to "RE[10]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

But, as I've already said, the findings on abuse of monopoly were maintained - it was the remedy (i.e. the order to break up Microsoft) that was overturned.

But it was also overturned that Microsoft illegally extended their "desktop monopoly" into the browser market. Don't you get this?

Yes, that someone was judge Penfield Jackson. I'm not sure why you shouted "someone" here, but I've already told you you shouldn't shout, it just makes you sound hysterical. You want to put emphasis? Fine, use italics...

Yes, I meant some. Sorry about the capitalization, it's just from habit on IRC, where there is no italics (bold doesnt always seem appropriate). Not sure why I use italics sometimes and sometimes not. But I'm not sure why this is a big deal...

As I've indicated before, facts can be interpreted in many ways. Here, for example, you're playing on words. The ruling was that Microsoft did in fact illegally use its monopoly status to give itself unfair advantage in the browser market.

No. Again, the ruling was that they did not in fact illegal use their monopoly status to give itself unfair advantage in the browser market. Do I really have to post proof for this yet again (probably like 5 times so far on this site alone)?

Meanwhile, you make it sound as if MS had actually won their case, despite having allegedly read the ruling yourself. Well, they didn't. They lost. Let me repeat it once more, just to make sure you understood it correctly: MS lost their case and was found guilty with regards to anti-trust laws. And who gets found guilty under anti-trust laws, if not monopolies?

And again, there were multiple parts to the ruling.

Sure, I've seen you take a mildly critical stance towards MS. Once, and that was in order to prove to someone that you could do it. And when I say "mildly critical," I'm not joking. If I remembered correctly, you said that you liked Firefox better than IE. Wow.

Actually I've stated many times that IE is complete trash. IE7 is even worse. I also have stated I *hate* MSN messenger. I've stated that they are a ruthless business.

I'm sorry that I don't keep up a certain quota that *you see* to make you happy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Google's lost revenue
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 13:34 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

First, IE can't "have a monopoly", it's not a company. How can anyone take you seriously on legal matters when you repeatedly make this mistake?

Next, that is irrelevant. The question is not whether MS is abusing its browser monopoly, it's whether it's abusing its OS monopoly to unfairly promote its search engine - IE being part of the OS, as Microsoft has often claimed in the past.

If IE is part of the OS, and MS has an OS monopoly, then IE is therefore part of Microsoft's monopoly.

Hey, look at that, I made an entire point without SHOUTING!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Google's lost revenue
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google's lost revenue"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Nope, you actually did just "shout".

And actually, yes, IE can have a monopoly on the browser market.

But I should be making myself more clear. That, *again*, the ruling stated MS did *not* extend their illegal extend their monopoly into the browser market.

I guess it's my fault for trusting that you knew this, seeing as you claimed to have read the ruling.

Edited 2006-05-08 17:39

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Google's lost revenue
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google's lost revenue"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

OSnews db went down again, couldn't edit.

Make that...

"That, *again*, the ruling stated MS did *not* illegally extend their monopoly into the browser market."

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Google's lost revenue
by cr8dle2grave on Mon 8th May 2006 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google's lost revenue"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Sorry buddy, but you've got it quite wrong on this issue.

The court's ruling basically accepted MS argument with regards to the browser bundling issue. Namely, that the browser market could not be sufficiently well distinguished from the OS market such that the Sherman Act could be applied. Thus, as you say, MS could not have illegally leveraged their OS monopoly to gain an unfair advantage in the browser market, for the reason that the court ruled that a browser can legitimately be considered a part of the entire OS. The court's decision, which I personally believe to have been the correct one, was essentially an acknowledgement that it would be an inappropriate use of the Sherman Antitrust Act to force a fundamentally arbitrary distinction between an OS and the programs which run under it.

That said, MS was indeed ruled to have a monopoly in the desktop OS market, which, by the way, is a "finding of fact" and therefore cannot even be reviewed, much less overturned, by an appelate court. As archiesteel stated above, since IE is a part of the Windows OS it is therefore part and parcel of MS's desktop OS monopoly and should be subject to the same scrutiny given every other part of the Windows OS.

As regards Google, the claim is that MS is now using it's desktop OS monopoly to gain an unfair advantage in the unrelated market of internet search. Attacking MS for bundling applications with it's OS is always going to be difficult, as there really is no standard definition for which functions are appropriately considered part of the OS. On the other hand, internet search is quite obviously an entirely separate and wholly unrelated market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Google's lost revenue
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Google's lost revenue"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

http://news.com.com/Appeals+court+Dont+break+up+Microsoft/2100-1001...

"Issue: Microsoft attempted to extend that monopoly into the browser market.
Ruling: The court disagreed, reversing the previous ruling on attempted monopolization.
"

Have a nice day.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Google's lost revenue
by cr8dle2grave on Mon 8th May 2006 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Google's lost revenue"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Nothing in the above article contradicts my summation of MS antitrust ruling. In fact, if you look closely it mentions that the substantive issue (whether or not tying IE to Win95 and 98 represented anticompetitive behavior) was remanded back to the trial court. The appelate court did not rule that the tying was in fact legal, but returned the issue to the trial court to decide, which they eventually did by accepting MS argument that IE was a legitimate part of the OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Google's lost revenue
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Google's lost revenue"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

One has to wonder where the court's thoughts would lie about Windows now that OSX is an Intel-based operating system.

Edited 2006-05-08 22:06

Reply Score: 1

RE[8]: Google's lost revenue
by cr8dle2grave on Mon 8th May 2006 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Google's lost revenue"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

I don't think it would really change anything since OS X is still tied exclusively to Apple hardware. In other words, there is no independent market for OS X apart from Apple hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[9]: Google's lost revenue
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: Google's lost revenue"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

So they'd have a monopoly on intel-based-non-mac operating systems?

That seems like a stretch to me, and an awfully peculiar market.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

That's irrelevant. The standard itself is free, but the copyrighted documentation is not (actually, you don't pay for the actual doc, you pay for postage and handling, for which they charge over 1500$...)

"The PCI Specification is an open standard, available to anyone."

http://www.pcisig.com/specifications/ordering_information

Thanks for trying, though.

Reply Score: 1

obsessive-compulsive
by hashnet on Mon 8th May 2006 14:25 UTC
hashnet
Member since:
2005-11-15

Totally off-topic (save that Thom brought this on the table), but there seems to be an epidemic of "obsessive-compulsive" behavior lately.
Just when the number of people claiming to have Asperger's was diminishing.
One is left to wonder which mental disorder will be in vogue next.

Reply Score: 2

RE[12]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 20:16 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

No. Again, the ruling was that they did not in fact illegal use their monopoly status to give itself unfair advantage in the browser market. Do I really have to post proof for this yet again (probably like 5 times so far on this site alone)?

Please do, with the quote that lets you draw this conclusion. You may have posted a link 5 times, but since you seem to have a biased way of interpreting those facts I'm curious to see what part of the judgement makes you believe that Microsoft was not guitly of abusing its monopoly.

If it didn't improperly use its monopoly then what was it found guilty of? Clippy?

Note that "abusing monopoly to give unfair advantage to IE" is not the same as "extending its monopoly into the browser market", despite what you seem to believe. Only the second implies that IE became a monopoly - the first doesn't, and this is what I've been saying.

So, in fact, you can have MS abuse its monopoly status to give unfair advantage to IE without IE becoming a monopoly in itself. That's still illegal.

Criticism of IE and MSN Messenger are not criticism of MS. I actually don't mind IE and Messenger, nor do I mind Windows. But MS definitively needs to be reigned in.

Now, as far as you considering MS to be a ruthless business, what do you propose that should be done in order to curb them?

Reply Score: 1

RE[13]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Mon 8th May 2006 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE[12]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

http://news.com.com/Appeals+court+Dont+break+up+Microsoft/2100-1001...

"Issue: Microsoft attempted to extend that monopoly into the browser market.
Ruling: The court disagreed, reversing the previous ruling on attempted monopolization.
"

Also, I have repeatedly stated that Microsoft has royally f--ked up Vista. Get off my back, just once, over this. It's getting repetitive and stupid.

Have a nice day.

Edited 2006-05-08 21:16

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Google's lost revenue
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 20:17 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

OSnews db went down again, couldn't edit.

Tell me about it. What's up with that, anyway? Are they changing hardware or something?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Google's lost revenue
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 20:45 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Thank you for this clear, sensible response.

I still think the DOJ missed the boat by focusing on the browser. They really should have gove after the "rebates" given to OEMs that were used (and maybe still used) to coerce the latter into only offering Windows. If there ever was an abuse of monopoly, that was the most obvious one (in my opinion, of course).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Google's lost revenue
by cr8dle2grave on Mon 8th May 2006 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Google's lost revenue"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

I assume this is a response to my comment?

I agree. The browser issue was always pretty shaky in my view. I don't like many of MS's business practices, but MS is the lesser evil if the only alternative is a government enforced arbitrary distinction beween OS functionality and application functionality. Although, the DOJ's case against MS included much more than just the browser bundling. In fact, most of the substantive remedies concerned altering the terms of MS's relationship with its OEMs.

Actually, I think the EU is finally doing the correct thing. Forcing MS to sell a version of Windows without WMP was silly for the exact same reasons that going after MS for bundling IE was. But forcing MS to fully document its CIFS protocol will actually create more of a level playing field and limit MS's ability to leverage their desktop monopoly to gain an advantage in the server market. Were it up to me, I'd force MS to 1) fully document every last one of the over the wire protocols as well as every one of their file formats, 2) provide said documentation under the public domain with absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on use and implementation, 3) provide a blanket patent grant for any MS IP which may be necessary to implement said protocols and file formats, and 4) require that MS demonstrate its own product's compliance with the published specifications.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Google's lost revenue
by twenex on Mon 8th May 2006 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Google's lost revenue"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

You might want to add, "fully publishes its APIs" to that list, if Novell's suit had any substance.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Google's lost revenue
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 23:12 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

I was expecting the relevant quote from the actual ruling, not the analysis of News.com. Journalists are notorious for not getting facts rights.

However, if one looks just above what you quote, one sees this:

Issue: Microsoft used illegal and anti-competitive means to maintain its monopoly in Intel-based operating systems.
Ruling: The court largely ruled in favor of the government, agreeing that Microsoft indeed maintained a monopoly in this area.


So MS has a monopoly in Operating Systems and clearly abused it in some way, in order to get punished under the Sherman act. That's according to the judgement you agree with, therefore I suppose you agree with this conclusion as well.

Now, the appeals court decided that they could not say if a browser was a separate market or not, and therefore overturned that part of Jackson's decision. That's all fine and dandy, but that doesn't support your view.

If the browser is part of the OS, then MS' OS monopoly automatically extends to what browser is used by default (not on which is actually used, mind you).

If the browser is not part of the OS (something which the court refused to determine), then one could argue that MS' OS monopoly would in fact have helped IE gain its own near-monopoly.

In any case, nowhere does it say that MS did not have a monopoly on browsers, simply that the court didn't want to recognize the browser as a separate market.

Reply Score: 1

RE[14]: The Line
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 23:13 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Also, I have repeatedly stated that Microsoft has royally f--ked up Vista. Get off my back, just once, over this. It's getting repetitive and stupid.

Just ignore me then.

As for Vista, I'll wait until it actually comes out to pass judgement. Right now it looks bad for MS, but I've learned to be wary of them, especially when they're down...

Reply Score: 1

RE[15]: The Line
by sappyvcv on Tue 9th May 2006 03:40 UTC in reply to "RE[14]: The Line"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't mean Vista is going to be bad.

I mean they f--ked up managing Vista. They f--ked up on promises, release dates, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Google's lost revenue
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 23:15 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

I assume this is a response to my comment?

Yes, for some reason when I use the "Reply" link it doesn't link back to the original post, even though it automatically updates the subject line. It seems there's something wrong with that script when using my version of Konqueror...

That said, I completely agree with your other points.

Reply Score: 1

RE[10]: Google's lost revenue
by archiesteel on Mon 8th May 2006 23:18 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

As I've said before, you don't need 100% of the market to be a monopoly. Apple's 2-3% market share isn't threatening MS' monopoly much more than Linux is (yet...)

Reply Score: 1

RE[16]: The Line
by archiesteel on Tue 9th May 2006 05:06 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

I mean they f--ked up managing Vista. They f--ked up on promises, release dates, etc.

Yes, I understood what you meant, however if the end Vista comes out to be a stellar OS, way above the competition, then it won't matter if it was a rocky road to get there. People will quickly forget.

If, however, the OS is less than stellar, then there might be some degree of backlash.

I'm still hoping it's going to be all right, since I'll probably end up having to use it.

Reply Score: 1