Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:17 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Legal Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat on Monday when a European Union court backed a European Commission ruling that the US software giant illegally abused its market power to crush competitors. The European Union's second-highest court dismissed the company's appeal on all substantive points of the 2004 antitrustruling. The court said Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumer choice. The verdict, which may be appealed only on points of law and not of fact, could force Microsoft to change its business practices.
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RE
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:30 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Reminds me of a funny quote:
"Microsoft is not a software company, it is an abuse company, which uses software to deliver abuse." ;)

They are not going to change their ways, end of. People should be used to the idea, and be thinking about alternatives, one way or another.

Edited 2007-09-17 15:30

Reply Score: 17

RE
by kaiwai on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

This reminds me of the whole OJ Simpson trial; it seems that given the current situation he is in, Karma has come back to bite him on the behind.

Its interesting how the universe happens to balance things out; Farwell spews vile hatred against gays and he dies of pneumonia.

They are not going to change their ways, end of. People should be used to the idea, and be thinking about alternatives, one way or another.


The unfortunate thing is, vendors like Adobe, Quicken, and MYOB lock the customers into Windows by their refusal to either port or even work with wine to get their application working with *NIX in a stable manner.

I can assure you, if every software company said tomorrow they're going to create a *NIX version of their application, there would be a mass exodus from Windows - that is the only thing holding people to Windows, application availability. Its the only thing Windows actually has going for it; it certainly doesn't have any advantage in any other areas.

What I would have loved to see with this ruling was FORCING Microsoft to GIVE AWAY their technology specifications free of charge - no royalties, no NDA's, everything disclosed and out in the open. When it is changed in Windows, the specification is updated within 24 hours of the change within Windows.

Its unfortunate that regulators don't get it. If you want Microsoft to do something, you need to explicitly state EVERYTHING you want them to do; you can't make assumptions that they'll do something - if you do, they'll try to weasel out of it. You need to explicitly state what they must do to comply. If that means a 10,000 page book, then so be it.

Reply Score: 11

RE
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Whilst Application support isn't perfect on all alternatives, it is still adequate for the largest portion of users, including power users like myself.

If there's one universal rule of life, it's that no matter what problem you have, as soon as you discuss it, somebody else has had a lot worse. The same can be said of switching platforms:

When coming up with reasons to not leave Windows, people should bear in mind:
* There are many people that have switched who used to use precisely the same application set as you - you are not the only person who uses those applications, remember.

* There are alternatives and entirely different paths you can take for tasks that tie you to Windows. I gave up on VB6 and ASP, and learnt PHP. There is always someone else out there who has tried harder than you to switch and done it successfully. Excuses are one thing, reasons are another.

* I did it. It's not impossible. You just have to wake up and smell the coffee, and start taking baby steps away from Microsoft. If you're using a pirate copy of Office, get Open Office, or any alternative. If you use Windows only technologies, use your spare time to start learning cross-platform technologies so that you can one day shift OSes without affecting your work.

In this day and age "Application X isn't available on Platform Y" isn't a reason anymore. You can virtualise Windows on any other platform, and then learn new alternatives entirely - and the last, most important part:

* You will be better off.

Reply Score: 13

RE
by vimh on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE"
vimh Member since:
2006-02-04

I like all your points but the last. That one is a bit subjective.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Are you speaking from being on another platform? If you're on an alternative, and you don't think you're better off, then please do tell us about it.

But to be blunt, I don't think it's subjective at all until you're off of Windows and have experience to talk about. Cries of Windows being great are songs to the choir in a walled garden to me. There is no way that I could say that Tennis is better than Badminton until I've played both thoroughly. And people who think they are better off on Windows, yet have only ever used Windows, don't have a clue to be honest.

Reply Score: 9

RE
by BrandonTurner on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE"
BrandonTurner Member since:
2006-01-27

"You need to explicitly state what they must do to comply. If that means a 10,000 page book, then so be it."

I swear that one time MS made a 6,000 page book explaining it specifications and people just complained it was too long...

Reply Score: 6

RE
by kaiwai on Tue 18th Sep 2007 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I swear that one time MS made a 6,000 page book explaining it specifications and people just complained it was too long...


Who said anything about specifications? I said that ALL the demands that are made of Microsoft need to be placed explicitly down on paper. I don't know *WHERE* you got the idea that i was referring to specifications.

Reply Score: 2

v RE
by -pekr- on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE"
RE
by looncraz on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

This is action against ILLEGAL monopolistic behavior, resulting in the destruction of multiple businesses and the loss of many jobs, while denying the consumer their RIGHT to a free market, which provides choice and competition.

The EU is acting on law, not on blind anti-Microsoft delusions. And in that respect, GO EU GO!!

--The loon

Reply Score: 4

RE
by dsmogor on Tue 18th Sep 2007 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I cannot agree here. Ms still goes to great lenghts to secure Windows as dependable and consistent platform for commercial, closed source software. No other platform have achieved such combination of wideness and stability of api/abi over the years. The only legitimate serious desktop competitor-linux is a showcase of failure in this area.

Still I agree that MS business model is mostly based on extorting their market power than delivering innovation (which they try from time to time but with meager results). Hopefully the law based appeal wont take ages and sw devs around the world will see some fruits of this in this decade, besides EC draining money from MS.

Edited 2007-09-18 08:18

Reply Score: 0

RE ADobe locks users into Windows
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Sep 2007 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

At least Adobe also publishes osX versions of there software. It would be nice if they also offered ports to other Unix like OS being how easy it is to simply recompile the osX/BSD source.

Of course, no one expects Adobe to give Photoshop away for free but your quite right, it'd be nice if they opened themselves up to the rest of the market not just Win32/64 and osX.

Reply Score: 0

RE
by vimh on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:14 UTC in reply to "RE"
vimh Member since:
2006-02-04

I like that quote. But as for alternatives I don't know. It's not so much vender lock in that I'm concerned with but rather but rather freedom to move within the scope of my chosen playground. To be perfectly honest, I feel more restricted with some MS alternatives than I do with MS themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I welcome elaboration on the aspect. I suspect there are many users here who want insight on specific restrictions you feel from MS alternatives.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Restrictions
by gustl on Wed 19th Sep 2007 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

In a free software world the only limitation is your knowledge.

Of course, if you think that a GNU/Linux distribution is oh so hard to learn, because your friend XYZ tried and failed, then you might feel unfree, but that is only a very subjective and limited unfreeness.

Think about it: No more worries about copying applications illegaly, no more shelling out good money and finding out, that the application did not deliver what you assumed it would. Just download, and try it out, if it suits you, use it at your home, job and give it to your friends. Or make some money supporting an application, or give some money by buying support from someone.

Reply Score: 2

Yes!
by jboss1995 on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:36 UTC
jboss1995
Member since:
2007-05-02

Yes!

Reply Score: 1

What does this mean for MS?
by Jondice on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:38 UTC
Jondice
Member since:
2006-09-20

What are the effeects of this ruling? If it is anything like the antitrust fines here in the US, they will happily pay them and just keep going.

Reply Score: 3

Governments
by samad on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:39 UTC
samad
Member since:
2006-03-31

This is solid proof the US is far more draconian with treatment of consumers in favor of companies. In the EU, it's at least understood there exists a more humane social contract. This premise barely exists in the US.

Reply Score: 20

v RE: Governments
by Snapper on Mon 17th Sep 2007 19:47 UTC in reply to "Governments"
RE[2]: Governments
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Governments"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

60 years are a very long time.
In the meantime we have proven what we can do. How about uniting 27 countries all out of their free will?

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Governments
by Barnabyh on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Governments"
Barnabyh Member since:
2006-02-06

What's this got to do with software? Or do you just not have any other arguments?
Pretty much like the Americans that were pouring good french wine out on the streets 'cos France did not oblige helping them to invade Iraq.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat
by gonzo on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:39 UTC
gonzo
Member since:
2005-11-10

Stunning defeat? Like we all didn't know the outcome already.. Seriously.

1. "WMP should not be part of Windows" is just lame. I want Windows Media Player to be part of Windows. I don't want Windows to become "do-it-yourself-every-little-thing-and-then-some-Linux-like".

2.Server protocols are another thing and EU should force MS to open then for minimal fee, if any.

Reply Score: 6

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You misunderstand the meaning of "should not be a part of".

It means that WMP should not be a required dependency in Windows, but be optional. It should be completely removable. The same goes for IE.

It doesn't mean that Microsoft cannot deliver a media player, they just cannot make it a hardwired dependency.

Reply Score: 17

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

You misunderstand the meaning of "should not be a part of".

It means that WMP should not be a required dependency in Windows, but be optional. It should be completely removable. The same goes for IE.

It doesn't mean that Microsoft cannot deliver a media player, they just cannot make it a hardwired dependency.


Why not? I do not have problems with that and I am a customer.

If you take a closer look, EU did not force Microsoft to make those changes you talk about. They told them to make another Windows (XP N, Vista N) but the "full" version is still there. And nobody wants it - doesn't that tell you something?

The thing is, Microsoft will do that on their own - for security reasons, they already are doing it (Core server, etc).

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yes, it tells me that no resellers are advertising the N-version. It is completely impossible to find anyone selling it.

Those interested in the N-version has already bought a version of Windows and are not interested in buying a new license. Some of them are using nLite to create a customized version of Windows.

I don't mind Microsoft bundling whatever they want as long as I can remove it. And I'm a customer too (though using Win2K3 Server instead of XP or Vista - though I have licenses for this and that).

Reply Score: 3

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

Yes, it tells me that no resellers are advertising the N-version. It is completely impossible to find anyone selling it.

And how is that Microsoft's fault? Because resellers don't want to sell it? Maybe it's because they have no reason (read: $$$) to support 2 different versions when, most likely, first thing Joe Sixpack will ask is: "How do I play my audio and video files? What da hell is this?"

Maybe EU should now compensate Microsoft for expenses thay had to produce extra version (Windows N), version that nobody wants. Not even resellers, as you said.

Hey, why don't you start business selling it and see how well it goes? You seem to think that there is much demand for it.

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

And how is that Microsoft's fault?


Have I said it was the fault of Microsoft? No, I haven't. Fault doesn't matter here. What matters is whether or not Microsoft gives users the choice they have the right to.

It didn't sell because they didn't want to sell it. Why bother, since it is power users who care about the option? Power users already have a third party solution (nLite, vLite etc.).

The answer to Joe Sixpack is. Use a Media Player. There is MPC, VLC and a gazillion others. But the market was already taken by applications like nLite.

version that nobody wants

That's not true. Many people wants a version of Windows without Wi [/q]MP. They use nLite or tools like it to create custom install-CD's.

You forget that the customers who are interested in Windows N already have a version of Windows. Why buy 2 Windows licenses when you use a third party tool to do what Microsoft claims you cannot do?

Hey, why don't you start business selling it and see how well it goes? You seem to think that there is much demand for it.


Why don't you just behave like a grown-up adult instead of acting like a script-kiddie? Take a look at forums and at third party tools and you'll see how much people want to control their own systems.

WHY should we pau 800$ AGAIN!! to Microsoft just to get something we have been entitled to, the WHOLE time.

Why should Microsoft get away with violating the Human Rights Convention?

Reply Score: 4

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

Have I said it was the fault of Microsoft? No, I haven't. Fault doesn't matter here. What matters is whether or not Microsoft gives users the choice they have the right to.

Microsoft IS offering Windows N versions. EU has made it do so. Stop blaming Microsoft if none of the resellers doesn't want to resell it. Had Microsoft failed to provide Windows XP N or Vista N, EU would have reacted already.

EU has ordered Microsoft to provide Windows N. And MS did it. There is your Windows without WMP. It is there already.

For example, everyone with MSDN has access to it. I can download XP N right now. Right now. One click away. Do you want me to send you freaking screenshot?

So don't freaking tell me customers do not have access. (and please do not tell me resellers have no access. They do, but it is not upon MS or EU to force them to sell it if they don't want to.)

Why should Microsoft get away with violating the Human Rights Convention?

..and global warming too ;)

P.S.
Don't forget to mod me down ;-)

Edited 2007-09-17 19:44

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Just to take a quick one: Microsoft violates Article 10 in the European Human Rights Convention.

Reply Score: 4

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

nLite usage is illegal afaik.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Not in Denmark.

Reply Score: 2

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> It means that WMP should not be a required dependency in Windows,
> but be optional. It should be completely removable. The same goes for
> IE.
>
> It doesn't mean that Microsoft cannot deliver a media player, they just
> cannot make it a hardwired dependency.

Unfortunately, the distinction is not that clear from a technical point of view. I'll take IE as a better example than WMP. If you remove IE, then of course everything that depends on it will break. Depending on the amount of breakage, this may already be regarded as "IE cannot be removed", and will therefore force a technically nonsensical decision upon MS (namely to make other components independent of IE, thus forking the IE code instead of keeping IE a re-usable system component).

The usual counter-argument is that IE should be removable and replaceable by a sufficiently similar component (e.g. a replacement that was written by a competitor) such that users can choose the better implementation. The necessary move by MS would be to release the complete interface specification. This is not going to work in practice, as the oft-argued clean separatoin of interface and implementation does not exist in most real software. This is much less a trick to crush competitors, than poor engineering happening when software is developed - although it comes quite handy as an argument for MS not to release a specification.

I am all for tackling a problem at its root. In this case the tight integration of system components, and the inability to remove and replace a component, is not the root of the prolem. MS's monopoly is. There are plenty of examples where similar practices have not lead to antitrust rulings nor to an uproar among the consumers simply because the offending company did not have a monopoly, and the consumer had to choice to move to another vendor in case the situtation escalated.

Therefore, the natural and IMO correct solution to the whole problem is to crush MS's monopoly. There are plenty of ways to move that way, none of which is currently pursued by the governments in general (although there are some exceptions). It seems to me as if we rather rest assured that we can hit MS with the big "antitrust" hammer whenever it freaks out, denying the fact that MS has a position of power which we are too scared or to whiny to attack.

Reply Score: 6

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I thing MS has already been pushed to behave more well by this "hammer". Otherwise redhat would be now drowning in the swapm of MS inspired patent ligitations.

Reply Score: 1

Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

1. "WMP should not be part of Windows" is just lame. I want Windows Media Player to be part of Windows. I don't want Windows to become "do-it-yourself-every-little-thing-and-then-some-Linux-like"

MS is using its monopoly position to push "Windows Media" on consumers. They purposely link their media product (their DRM technology) to their established monopoly and exclude all other platforms.
From the Flip4Mac (bought by MS) faq page :

"Can third parties build Windows Media DRM capable clients for the Mac?
Microsoft makes Windows Media DRM technology available for Windows operating systems and many device platforms. At this time, Microsoft has no plans to offer Windows Media DRM support on the Macintosh."

This kind of tying together of products to gain an advantage in a new market is illegal in the EU. This is why WMP, or more correctly the technology behind it, should be unlinked and be interchangeable with technology from other vendors (eg. quicktime or real media, both multiplatform.) Then resellers can bundle the non-ms technology if they so wish.

Reply Score: 7

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

Then resellers can bundle the non-ms technology if they so wish.

And since when they can't? Are you serious?

Look at any preconfigured installation from Dell, HP, etc. Those come with tons of preinstalled (non-MS) software.

Reply Score: 2

Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Then resellers can bundle the non-ms technology if they so wish.

And since when they can't? Are you serious?


They couldn't in the past. MS claimed this would interfere with the "Windows experience". Vendors weren't even allowed to install software or place icons on the desktop.

This culminated in court cases, like the Beos case, where MS forbade the vendor (with threat of financial sanctions) to offer a bootmanager by default or to put a desktop icon in windows to reboot into Beos. They had to put a seperate bootfloppy in the box or a paper explaining how to enable dual boot.

They were convicted for this. Learn your history before criticising.
Also do you really think even now MS would allow vendors to take out Windows media (they claim it's impossible) and deliver Windows with Quicktime codecs instead ?

Reply Score: 5

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Well. I don't. Especially I wouldn't like to have to pay for ms codecs and spread them just too have a runtime for my win32 apps.
Now I don't have much choice (as windows N isn't any cheaper).

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Would it be so "do it all yourself" hard to open your browser, go to Windows Update and download Media Player as an available add-on instead of having it prebundled? That's all they really have to do on the WMP thing and everyone suddenly gets the choice to use it or not. (repository managed OS really are that easy)

Server products should end at the network card. MS does all they can to impose the server os down the network medium to the client? If my server is running Windows, why should it care that my workstation runs something else. If industry standards are used or MS protocols properly documented and not changed to force an ongoing game of catchup then what's the problem?

In the DOS days, I could dial a BBs by modem and connection without this sort of BS. Your BBs runs on a Mac, a *nix or a Windows box; don't care.. your BBs and my workstation both end at the modem leaving the transmission medium neutral. I use Terminate for dialing but you use Wildcat BBs; don't care, they both talk to each other just fine. So why should it be any different now with Windows if you use Exchange Server and I don't use Outlook?

Keeping the MS secret sauce protocols hidden and changing them purely to keep competition a step behind does not benefit the customers. It's just another dirty trick to keep from having to address the quality of there products in an actually competitive market.

Reply Score: 3

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

Would it be so "do it all yourself" hard to open your browser, go to Windows Update and download Media Player as an available add-on instead of having it prebundled?

Browser? What browser? Browser should not be there either.

And then you can say the same for, let's see.. Notepad, TrueType Fonts, DirectX, icons, NTFS --- well, everything.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Yet with other alternatives, I can uninstall the equivalents of notepad, fonts, directX, icons.

NTFS is a partition file format so that's really outside the scope of "bundled applications" since it is an essencial part of the NT OS unlike notepad, IE and WMP which are user space programs not truly essential to booting the NT kernel and reading a drive.

But there again, I can choose from over 30 different partition file formats including fat16, fat32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, RieserFS. Still, with winNT, I can use fat32 or NTFS partitions but in reality the functions provided by NTFS are still essential to a properly functioning and secure winNT. I include this last bit as more of a comparison demonstrating the limitation of Windows and flexability of it's alternatives.

Reply Score: 1

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

NTFS is a partition file format so that's really outside the scope of "bundled applications" since it is an essencial part of the NT OS unlike notepad, IE and WMP which are user space programs not truly essential to booting the NT kernel and reading a drive.

Why is NTFS essential part of the NT OS when Windows can work using FAT, etc?

How about TTF fonts? Look, you and I can't sell our font collections that well cause Windows has TTF fonts already. Etc, etc. MS should be punished?

Who gets to say what's in scope and what's not? The truth is in the eye of the beholder, you know.

Should MS be punished because Vista has speech recognition? There are also third-party applications for that (DragonSpeak, for example) so, surely they suffer from Vista's new capabilities???

Etc, etc.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think one can reasonably draw a line between what is integrated and abusing monopoly power to kill competition and what is integrated without causing unfair advantage over the competition.

If FAT supported partition level security then there may be an argument against NTFS but it doesn't while NTFS does. If you build a winNT on fat32, you don't get to make real use of those read/write/create file attributes which negates the entire basis of NT security. That makes NTFS an integral part of winNT.

Font retailers and distributors are not being monopolied out of the market. I've a friend who owns a printshop and Mircrosoft's fonts must be less than 10% of his available type faces. Pointing at fonts, notepad and other minimal applications which are not truly pushing other competitors out of the market is *really* stretching it.

Who desides though? I'd say reasonable and rational people with the technical unbias knowledge to evaluate the indavidual components and overall integrated product. WMP, the Browser.. those are major applications that obviously create an unfair advantage over competition through there integration. Can we uninstall DirectX or install DirectX on other platforms to see all those spiffy websites that prefer IE standards over industry standards?

The problem is really not that these integrated applications are part of the default installation or even available as options. The issue is still that they cannot be removed without voiding your warrenty and EULA.

I use firefox and Media Monkey for my browsing and media file management; can I uninstall WMP and IE or do I need to leave the bloated media player and browser security risk on my machine?

If I have a employee who's job does not include any need of an internet browser where a network connection is needed; can I uninstall the browser from that workstation or will I be seeing website browsing in the network monitor? Granted, this one is a management issue but in reality a network use policy does very little and would be unnecissary if the browser was integrated. (IE being originally to kill competition for internet access when MS went 180 on there "that internet fad will blow over" possition)

Going overboard and trying to make an argument out of the partition type or light apps like notepad is really reaching for a basis of argument; even if your just playing devil's advicate. There is a rational distinction between the major components being discussed and the lesser applications. Anyone who tried to take MS to court over notepad would have a case even OJ's lawyer couldn't spin into a win. At that point, the argument is just irrational and over the top.

Reply Score: 1

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Your argument is completely beside the point.

Microsoft had a monopoly in the home operating system market. In the EU (as well as in the USA), a monopoly company is not allowed to use it's monopoly in one market (here: operating system) to gain a monopoly in an other market (here: media player market).

And that was exactly what Microsoft did.

I do not know, why the EU did not order MS to completely remove WMP from Windows.
Then Microsoft would have had to compete with the other media player companies on a fair basis - offering a download, placing the stuff on the shelf, whatever.

The EU commission was much too mild with their actions and requirements.

Reply Score: 2

v As you might expect
by Almafeta on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:40 UTC
RE: As you might expect
by Vanders on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:43 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Go on then, astonish us all with your firm grasp of the legal issues involved.

Reply Score: 8

RE: As you might expect
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:50 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Dear Almafeta.

Microsoft is harming consumer choice by making its products irremovable (e.g. they cannot be uninstalled). Red Hat ships a distribution with many applications, but they can ALL be removed, and modified and whatever the user may want. Even legally. Microsoft does not allow that.

Novell, Canonical, IBM and several other companies do the same. They are tying applications but not in a way that harms consumer choice (e.g. they are not limiting the amount of choices for Users).

Reply Score: 12

v RE[2]: As you might expect
by Almafeta on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE: As you might expect"
RE[3]: As you might expect
by Vanders on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Try again. With your in-depth legal knowledge of the case I'm sure you're aware of the specific complaints and why your solution does not address them?

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: As you might expect
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I cannot uninstall WMP or IE.

I can hide them to some extent and have other applications as default applications, but I cannot get rid of them.

EDIT: Corrected IE7 to IE. It _is_ possible to rollback IE7 to IE6 in pre-Vista Windows.

Edited 2007-09-17 15:59 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: As you might expect
by risbac on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
risbac Member since:
2007-03-29

And how to remove Internet Explorer using those tools? Is it really possible? I don't think so, that's the point here.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: As you might expect
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You cannot deinstall any of the apps in Vista. You cannot remove IE, you cannot remove Windows Gallery, Calendar, DVD Maker and so on. That's gigs of disk space you cannot easily claim back.

Don't want Safari on your Mac? Drag it to the bin, done. It won't rear its ugly head again every time you click a link in MSN and so on. It's gone - finito.

Reply Score: 6

v RE[4]: As you might expect
by google_ninja on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: As you might expect"
RE[5]: As you might expect
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: As you might expect"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Right, because reburning your install DVD, re-installing everything in an unsupported way is way preferable to just putting an app in the bin. I'll bear that in mind when I go insane enough to consider switching to Vista.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: As you might expect
by google_ninja on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: As you might expect"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I didn't say that, I was pointing out that it was possible.

WHY a few additional megs is such a big deal is something I don't really understand. But it is possible.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: As you might expect
by Havin_it on Mon 17th Sep 2007 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: As you might expect"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Yes, I can assure you, there are still a few of us out there who need to think about rationing of our disk space. No matter how much you have, it's never a bottomless resource. Space for data is one thing, but space for applications you won't use is quite another.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[5]: As you might expect
by Almafeta on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: As you might expect"
RE[6]: As you might expect
by google_ninja on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: As you might expect"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Kroc says you cannot remove alot of bundled apps. That link brings you to a page which allows you to remove the bundled apps you supposedly cannot remove.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: As you might expect
by Havin_it on Mon 17th Sep 2007 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: As you might expect"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Use of vlite or nlite is prohibited by the relevant EULAs so no, within the scope of this discussion, you can't.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: As you might expect
by jayson.knight on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: As you might expect"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"You cannot remove IE,...Don't want Safari on your Mac? Drag it to the bin, done."

That isn't a fair comparison; a better one would be WebKit -> IE as they are both the underlying frameworks powering their respective browsers. To my knowledge, you cannot uninstall WebKit from OSX without having side effects similar to what they would be on Windows if you ripped out all of the core IE dll's.

"That's gigs of disk space you cannot easily claim back. "

Also, all the apps you listed are maybe a couple hundred MB in size. Try again.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: As you might expect
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Sep 2007 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Let me know how uninstalling IE from your winXP or Vista computer goes. I'd really love to read the simple steps through the control panel that let you do that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: As you might expect
by diegocg on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE: As you might expect"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

No....this is mostly about Microsoft NOT publishing some propietary protocols. It's funny that Microsoft tries to look like they're standard-friendly with OOXMNL, but in reality they are not.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: As you might expect
by TaterSalad on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: As you might expect"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

I disagree with you completely. While you may not be able to remove certain products you can choose not to use them. I'm not sure why you would want to remove them anyway. It's true you can remove products from Red Hat but it isn't easy and uninstalls other applications along with it. I've had functional linux boxes become unfunctional due to removing one application that decided it wanted to remove a slew of other ones as well.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: As you might expect
by alexandru_lz on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

While you may not be able to remove certain products you can choose not to use them.

Freedom of choice is not only about what you can choose not to use, but also about what you can choose to use and about what you can do with your computer and what you cannot. I don't know about how US market works, but in the EU there are some rules that can be essentially dumbed down to three problems:

1. The operating system I use is not Microsoft's problem. Obviously, this doesn't mean that they have to port their products to every available system -- that would be dumb -- but they have to release the specs, in order to allow interoperability. See the WMP DRM problem above.

2. (based on 1.) The operating system my friends, colleagues and collaborators use is not Microsoft's problem. If I want to use some operating system that is not Microsoft's, it's obviously unfair to ask them to port their products to whatever crazy tool I use. But again, they have to release the specs to their protocols and formats, so that compatible solutions can be developed and nobody gets locked.

3. The products I choose to have on my computer are not Microsoft's problem. If I want to remove an application from my computer, no software company (and that includes Microsoft) has the right to prevent me from doing so. I paid for the computer AND the applications -- what I do with it is my problem. On a marginal note, imagine what a mess it would be if Google, for instance, suddenly had the idea to "improve" your experience by bundling every little piece of useless software they have ever written with one of their flagship products, not allowing you to uninstall them afterwards.

Obviously, it's perfectly fair to bundle applications that are absolutely vital to a system's functionality and make them uninstallable. The only reason why you can basically uninstall anything on Linux is that you get a choice even for those (although, quite frankly, I fail to see what's difficult in removing a package (apt-get remove <package>? yum remove <package>) -- and how you managed to get the boxes not to function, unless you'd removed the kernel or important system library and rebooted the computer without installing a replacement). However, I do somehow fail to see what is so important about WMP (and not just WMP, but this is just an example) and how it's vital to the operating system.

These rules aren't here to mess with everyone's business practices -- they are here because the EU economic system depends very heavily on competition, and also because, being given its nature, collaboration in the EU depends very heavily on interoperability.

I'm not willing to deny that there are a couple of vendors that fully deserve to get the same kind of treatment -- see the case of Apple (who should, if not will, get some bashing with they don't unlock the iPhone).


Edit: the comparison between IE and Safari is perfectly justified.

Microsoft applications do use IE's rendering engine (Trident? I'm not sure, really), just like many other OS X applications use Safari's rendering engine.

Safari is really like a "frontend", it's just an application that uses WebKit for web browsing (only one of the reasons why someone would use a component that renders HTML code). The same, frankly, goes -- or should go, by any sane design practice, for IE. I don't know how it works, but bundling the entire application should not be necessary, only the rendering engine would be enough. Again, this is strictly from my point of view -- something I would do as a developer. Tying a back-end to an application, so that removing just one application would cause all others to fail is just dumb, it defeats the entire purpose of having a back-end. But hey, I guess this is what happens when developers get orders from marketing.

[By rendering engine, I am referring to the entire back-end actually, but I'm too lazy to change it or to find the correct word]

Edited 2007-09-17 18:37

Reply Score: 6

RE: As you might expect
by ichi on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:53 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

"So when will the injunctions against Canonical, Novell, Red Hat, etc., be coming?"

When they fall in the actual relevant part of that sentence:

"The court said Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumer choice".

Reply Score: 5

RE: As you might expect
by LB06 on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:05 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
LB06 Member since:
2005-07-06

The most important issue is not mentioned in the article: it's not really a problem that Microsoft bundles software; everyone does that. Even the fact that something cannot be removed does not have to be a problem, persé. The big problem with Microsoft is that it is abusing its monopoly on the desktop to gain monopoly in other area's such as the world of media players and servers, for example.

Here's the press release: http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp07/aff/cp070063en.pdf

Edited 2007-09-17 16:13

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: As you might expect
by anda_skoa on Mon 17th Sep 2007 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE: As you might expect"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

The big problem with Microsoft is that it is abusing its monopoly on the desktop to gain monopoly in other area's such as the world of media players and servers, for example.


Exactly!

And as expected, the spinmeisters neatly ignore the real problem but instead focus on the bundling detail.

This results in less informed people to see just the arguments about media players and browser instead of learning about the issues that for example media server technology providers have run into because not being treated equally by the default media player.

I wish that instead of requesting a separate player-less bundle such rulings would request having competing client side technology equally bundled, i.e. all currently available codec being equally pre-installed or equally available through automatic download.

Reply Score: 7

RE: As you might expect
by SReilly on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:10 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

That pretty much describes these trials.

You are so far off the mark with that one, it's not even funny. When both the US and the EU find a company to be abusing it's market position and actively harming consumer choice than I, and anybody with an ounce of sense, am going to believe them. To do otherwise is to stick your head in the sand or stick your fingers in your ears while loudly shouting out 'I can't hear you!'.

So when will the injunctions against Canonical, Novell, Red Hat, etc., be coming?

When they start tying applications into they're offering without the ability to uninstall those applications. That's when.

Reply Score: 5

RE: As you might expect
by Jokel on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:15 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

You ask "So when will the injunctions against Canonical, Novell, Red Hat, etc., be coming?"

My answer is... As soon as they also own 95% of the market and can dictate only Linux will be sold on new computers!

Edited 2007-09-17 16:24

Reply Score: 5

RE: As you might expect
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:58 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So when will the injunctions against Canonical, Novell, Red Hat, etc., be coming?


Well, I don't think it will be long before the EU will take on Apple's iPod/iTunes monopoly practices. In addition, if Apple does not provide its own methods of unlocking the iPhone in many countries in Europe where they must do so according to the law (The Netherlands, for instance), the EU will surely talk about that one too.

Edited 2007-09-17 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: As you might expect
by mcduck on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:12 UTC in reply to "As you might expect"
mcduck Member since:
2005-11-23

self-edited, off topic.

Edited 2007-09-17 18:18

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: As you might expect
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: As you might expect"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

While i strongly disagree with this poster, why the heck is he voted down to -5?


Please don't complain about moderation in the comments' section. They invented email for this stuff.

Reply Score: 1

Silly Argument
by powderblue on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:43 UTC
powderblue
Member since:
2007-07-22

I'm no Microsoft fan but I think this whole argument is silly. Microsoft should be able to bundle whatever apps they want with their operating system. What they shouldn't be able to do is make it so their apps can't be uninstalled or other apps set as the default app for a task. I don't really see where they are differentiating in the ruling between the two. It's like they are just saying Microsoft shouldn't be able to bundle any apps at all. Apple does it and Linux distros do it so what is the problem. What Microsft should be heard accountable for is not providing a way to uninstall their apps that you don't want. I still think to this day that their is no way to uninstall Windows Movie Maker at least in XP.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Silly Argument
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:52 UTC in reply to "Silly Argument"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

What they shouldn't be able to do is make it so their apps can't be uninstalled


That's the whole point. Microsoft is free to bundle any application they want to. But not in a way that harms consumer choice. Or put differently. EU says Microsoft MUST make the extra applications uninstallable.

If MS won't do that, MS cannot bundle applications.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Silly Argument
by Boldie on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:19 UTC in reply to "Silly Argument"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

This is NOT just about bundling Windows Mediaplayer, it is about interoperability as well!

"The refusal to supply the interoperability information.
First, the Court confirms that the necessary degree of interoperability required by the Commission is well founded and that there is no inconsistency between that degree of interoperability and the remedy imposed by the Commission.
The Court then observes that the Commission defined interoperability information as a detailed technical description of certain rules of interconnection and interaction that can be used within Windows work group networks to deliver work group services. The Court notes that the Commission emphasised that Microsoft’s abusive refusal to supply concerned only the specifications of certain protocols and not the source code and that it was not its intention to order Microsoft to disclose its source code to its competitors."


link to verdict:
http://www.curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp07/aff/cp070063en....

Reply Score: 3

RE: Silly Argument
by dsmogor on Tue 18th Sep 2007 09:00 UTC in reply to "Silly Argument"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

It's the bundling that's the major problem and has done most damage to the bundling.
By having shortcircuit access to customers on internet MS media technologies practically ousted competitors from the market. The most devastation happens in the media delivery industry when royalties payed for codecs became another MS tax. Thinking they are not eventually pushed to you as a customer is simply naive.
Bundling WNP (5,6 years ago, now it's much too late for reversing the damage), blocked a possibility for establishing healthy competitive market for online media. The likely result of that competition would be establishment of cheap, unencumbered and good enough media technology (Hell, now we have completely free codecs) that would be platform agnostic.
The only solution now seems to be slapping MS hard enough to make them think twice before trying this trick again with some other technology.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Silly Argument - the differences
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Sep 2007 13:32 UTC in reply to "Silly Argument"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Windows bundles non-essencial software in such a way that it can't be uninstalled if the customer chooses to use something else or does not need that function. WMP does not uninstall, nore does IE. They bank on the fact that average users are going to see it and think; "psh, I got a browser, what do I need another for?"

Linux and other repository based OS include a selection of apps for the same function and in most cases outside of liveCDs only sudjest an option while including most other competitors to a specific application.

osX is part of a hardware/software combination so it's really more of an embedded OS rather than the final product. Apple also does not have an over-reaching sway on the average computer users. If they ever grew to be a monopoly power and (here's the key) abused that monopoly power then they would be comparable.

In the case of IE specifically forced Netscape to release it's sorce under the Mozilla project to keep Microsoft from taking over the Internet. Just think, with 90% of the market and IE bundled into Windows95, MS would simply have had to wait a year or two then start into there age old trick of extending protocols to lock out any other browser and before the common folk know it.. we're all connecting through or ISP to the MS-Internet 1.5. You think Exchange Server protocols are a pain, consider the what-if of MS-TCP/IP.

Reply Score: 2

Cue the Apologists ...
by PLan on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:43 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

The BBC comments section was full of Microsoft apologists, which I found surprising. I sort of expected the USian anti-EU bigots, but was unprepared for how many UK citizens seemed to be whinging about the ruling (though I kind of suspect that many of them don't know much about Microsoft, the case, or IT in general).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cue the Apologists ...
by Spellcheck on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:49 UTC in reply to "Cue the Apologists ..."
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

If they were doing it for political purposes, they were British anti-EU "bigots" if anything (hey! maybe they have the right to express their opinion or even be sovereign). But maybe it's just a tiring and pointless decision.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cue the Apologists ...
by raver31 on Tue 18th Sep 2007 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Cue the Apologists ..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

No, it is simply the "bebo generation" making themselves heard.

These peoples first computer was XP and they think Windows IS the computer.

I do not blame them, they know no better. Instead of arguing with them, we should show them alternatives.

I don't mean sending them links, but by actively going out, sitting them down and showing them the pluses and minuses of the alternatives out there.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Cue the Apologists ...
by Spellcheck on Tue 18th Sep 2007 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cue the Apologists ..."
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

"bebo"?

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Cue the Apologists ...
by raver31 on Tue 18th Sep 2007 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cue the Apologists ..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

emmm, yeah

http://bebo.com/

social networking

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Cue the Apologists ...
by Spellcheck on Fri 21st Sep 2007 04:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cue the Apologists ..."
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

0? Thank you sir, may I have another?

Reply Score: 1

the beginning of the end
by SReilly on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:58 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

...for MS's virtual monopoly has been in the pipe lines for a long time coming. Ever since the US anti-trust ruling, more and more countries are starting to question they're dependence on one software company for most of they're desktop software needs.

I'm glad the EU has been able to uphold it's findings in court and sue MS for obvious dirty business practices, but the hard part starts now. To get MS to start playing fair, it's not enough to give them a slap on the wrist, you need to force them to do it, i.e. force them to open up they're specifications and protocols.

We don't need Windows without media player, that's just stupid. What we need is free and open documentation on all they're proprietary protocols, and we need MS to include out of the box support for open file standards, like OGG and ODF.

What the EU should have done, in this case at least, was put some serious thought into how MS is holding on to it's virtual monopoly and force them to comply with mesures that undermine those unfair advantages. Getting MS to release a version of Windows without Mediaplayer helps no one.

Reply Score: 3

RE: the beginning of the end
by google_ninja on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:51 UTC in reply to "the beginning of the end"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

The whole point of this thing is that by bundling an app with an OS that virtually everyone uses, you pretty much kill the market for that app.

IMHO, this is retarded reasoning, and keeps OS publishers from adding value to their products. If ubuntu was used by 90%+ of the world, would firefox have to go? If apple ever hit those numbers, would iLife have to go? IMHO, force ms to change their installers for upcoming operating systems to allow more customization, and the problem is solved.

We don't need Windows without media player, that's just stupid. What we need is free and open documentation on all they're proprietary protocols


Agreed, but this is a seperate issue from what was being discussed in this ruling.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: the beginning of the end
by SReilly on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE: the beginning of the end"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Agreed, but this is a seperate issue from what was being discussed in this ruling.

Actually, it isn't
From the article -

More importantly, it endorsed Commission sanctions against Microsoft's tying together of software and refusal to give rival makers of office servers information to enable their products to work smoothly with Windows, used by 95 percent of computers.

The problem of interoperability has been stated as one of the main anticompetitive levers MS use to limit customer choice.

The EU is well aware of MS's unwillingness to allow competitors an even playing field but instead of ordering MS to release they're specs for free, which would allow anybody to write replacement systems, they order MS to choose competitors they want to work with.

The only thing the EU has done is to allow MS to pick and choose who gets to join the party. Considering MS's past behavior, I don't think they should be allowed to make that choice. It just opens the door to more favourism and anti competitive behavior.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: the beginning of the end
by archiesteel on Tue 18th Sep 2007 00:29 UTC in reply to "RE: the beginning of the end"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

If ubuntu was used by 90%+ of the world, would firefox have to go?


Does Firefox belong to Ubuntu? No. Think about that for a little while and you'll see why your analogy *completely* misses the mark.

Bundling isn't an issue in Linux distributions, because the company doing the bundling doesn't own all the bundled software, and therefore can't get an unfair advantage to push its own technology on its customers.

You may think it's a trivial thing, but legally it makes all the difference in the world.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: the beginning of the end
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Sep 2007 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: the beginning of the end"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"If ubuntu was used by 90%+ of the world, would firefox have to go?"

Nope, firefox would not have to go because Ubuntu would still allow it to be uninstalled and still offer almost all competing browser products through it's repositories.

Imagine Windows Update including nearly all win32/64 software including direct competitors through easy downloads. Connect to Windows Update, look under the optional category and there you find IE, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, konqurer, linx, lynx. If that where the case, Windows and Ubuntu as monopoly products could be compared.

Also, if Ubuntu only offered one browser, one office suite, one email client and so one; the consumers would simply move to a different Linux or BSD based OS without any real hardship or loss of personal data files.

Reply Score: 3

Win32 alternatives?
by WyldStylist on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:59 UTC
WyldStylist
Member since:
2006-12-30

There are no Non microsoft NT alternative operating systems OS2 isnt , NT Linux isnt NT , , Reactos isnt complete. So we have no NT Alternatives we only have Other Os'es.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Win32 alternatives?
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:05 UTC in reply to "Win32 alternatives?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

So? Whether NT based, UNIX based or written in QBASIC, software should be able to interoperate through open standards. Microsoft are purposefully preventing others from talking with Windows servers.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Win32 alternatives?
by knightrider on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Win32 alternatives?"
knightrider Member since:
2006-12-11

Software should be cross platform....This is why Free Pascal (in collaboration with Lazarus) is being touted as a better alternative to some modern programming languages. Easier porting between OSes.

http://www.freepascal.org/

http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Win32 alternatives?
by WyldStylist on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Win32 alternatives?"
WyldStylist Member since:
2006-12-30

yeah but only with Vista which btw happends to be the worse product for people who want functionality instead of dystopian features.

Reply Score: 1

APIs
by Myrd on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:04 UTC
Myrd
Member since:
2006-01-05

So... what about programs that play Video through video APIs, or programs that display HTML through html APIs?

If these components can be uninstalled, then those apps need to add extra code to check if this stuff is available, and tell users to re-install it if not - which would be annoying for both developers and users.

Oh? You say they should leave the functionality there, in DLLs and such, and just uninstall the actual apps? But then you're just uninstalling a tiny shell around the big component... It doesn't really do anything except save a tiny amount of space on your drive...

However, the OS should be configurable to set different applications as the defaults for different actions, such as watching movies or browsing. And all protocols should be documented...

Reply Score: 4

RE: APIs
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:12 UTC in reply to "APIs"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually such HTML-components can easily be replaced by compatible alternatives.

The IE ActiveX Control ought to be removable because there is an alternative with quite some compatibility (Mozilla ActiveX Control).

Rather than relying on a specific HTML-component, the OS ought to have a framework for HTML-components. Think translators or plug-ins. Applications could then use the HTML-widget without having to worry about the actual rendering engine behind the widget, due to the plug-in / translator structure.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: APIs
by MollyC on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: APIs"
RE[3]: APIs
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: APIs"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

*sigh*

You are not a developer, right?

Your post is so filled with selfcontradicting statements I hardly know where to begin.

But let me take one thing right now: In order for components to be interchangeable they MUST NECESSARILY expose the SAME API! Therefore it will pose NO problem for developers. Interchangeable components require a FIXED API in order to work. This fixed API means that the developers don't have to care about the components in use of the End User's machine. It'll work anyway because the API is identical. Especially with a plug-in structure.

EDIT: Windows supports interchangeable file systems btw.

Edited 2007-09-17 20:33 UTC

Reply Score: 6

v RE[4]: APIs
by Almafeta on Mon 17th Sep 2007 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: APIs"
RE[4]: APIs
by MollyC on Mon 17th Sep 2007 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: APIs"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I was a developer, but have (blissfully) retired.

You missed my point.

You concentrated on my talk of developers being unable to target a fixed API with your proposed "ALL API MUST BE INTERCHANGABLE" scheme, but missed my real point (for which I blame myself for conflating multiple points). But first I'll deal with what I meant regarding devs not being able to target a fixed API. It seems to me that a natural consequence of your scheme that all API functions be replaceable is that the user/OEM has the ability to rip out components without replacing them with anything. Meaning, that the developer cannot count on all functions that his program needs being present on a given system.

The other problem is that the user/OEM can replace API with clone-api dlls that work for crap, and the user won't know to whom to turn for support, since he has no idea who made the api modules on his system.

Other issues arise, as to the granularity of API replacement. Lets say I, as a 3rd party developer, want to provide a replacement for four OLE functions, but leave the rest in place. Can I? Or do I have to replace every single OLE function? This is your scheme, so you must have thought of these things.

Another issue arises regarding the use of internal API that dlls use to talk with each other. Maybe the dll that handles HWND talks to the dll that handles HDC through an internal, private API. Are you saying that all internal functions must be made public now? Because imagine that a third party dev wrote a replacement for the HWND dll but not the HDC dll. In order for his HWND dll to work, it would have to talk with the MS HDC dll as did the MS HWND dll. Would that not mean that the private functions that MS HWND DLL and HDC DLL use to talk with each other must become public (and replaceable) public API now? Does not your scheme, in effect, require tha all private functions be public API?

These are among the issues that arise when government starts mandating software design.

I also have to wonder, as a practical matter, why a user would even want to replace, say ole32.dll, with a third-party clone? What in the hell does that buy the user? Hell, what does it even buy the developer of that clone dll? Provide advertising possibilities? If the user launches an app that makes an OLE call, and ole32.dll has been replaced by Acme_OLE.dll, then ads popup all over the place advertising Acme Software Co? (Sun already does that today on Windows, where the first time that you encounter a Java page during a web-surfing session (in IE or FF), the JVM is loaded, during which Sun throws up a message balloon in the system tray, "You're now using Java! Click here (a link to sun's web site) for more info!". That is irritating enough already without introducing the possibility of similar behavior occuring with each and every call to an OS API function that has been replaced by a 3rd party equivalent.)


But let's put that aside. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that all functions, both internal and public, are replaceable and that all available replacements work exactly the same. This lets me get to my real, underlying point:

Do you support, philosophically, the notion that OSes must allow all of their API to be replaceable? Do you support the notion that big government should force OSes to allow the entire virtual memory manager or pieces of it to be replaced? How about the graphics system? The task scheduler? Etc, etc?

I want to see you guys take your argument to its logical conclusion, and openly advocate that OSes must allow each and every one of their functions to be replaced by a third party equivalent, as a matter of OS philosophy and/or as a matter of law. Do you support this or do you not?

Edited 2007-09-17 21:44

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: APIs
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: APIs"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Damn a long post ;)

It's well over midnight here in Denmark, so am I excused if I answer it later, like in 12 hours?

You do raise some valid points, but there is some nonsense as well. I'll try and go soft on you ;)

Anyway, sleep tight whenever it's time for that in your timezone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: APIs
by stestagg on Tue 18th Sep 2007 09:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: APIs"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Yes, it's called Linux

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: APIs
by alexandru_lz on Mon 17th Sep 2007 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: APIs"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

The Windows N issue, as I see it, is not Microsoft's fault, but it's also irrelevant.

To start with a purely personal point of view, EU's decision was plainly stupid in this case. The issue goes beyond MS integrating a media player in their operating system. This itself would be enough of a reason for me not to consider Windows N if I was selling computers. It's just something to patch up the things on paper -- technically and practically, it's useless.

Windows N was obviously designed only so that Microsoft abode EU rules, and frankly, I can't blame them. Nobody should blame the resellers either -- it's freedom of choice after all: everyone is free to resell whatever they want.

But frankly, I wouldn't buy it either. Since it's priced the same as a regular Windows XP license, there are just two cases:

a) I already own Windows -- and it's much cheaper to buy nLite or whatever other tool that strips Windows.

b) I am purchasing a new computer and I don't have Windows -- but since nobody except Dell is offering it (actually, I don't think Dell is offering it now, but it did at one point), it's still cheaper to get nLite.

And frankly, I can understand the OEM packagers issues. Windows N only addressed the issue of WMP, not the entire interoperability issue, and has exactly the same price. In this context, if I were selling computers, I wouldn't even bother to purchase Windows N OEM licenses (or whatever the procedure is for this).

Besides being a minor difference, Windows N didn't even get a huge amount of publicity. If you'd ask your regular computer buyer, I can bet he didn't even know what Windows XP Edition N is. And frankly, for an OS that is just as lousy as the other edition, only lacking an even lousier media player, the effort is just not worth it.

There's just no reason for an OEM to go through the hassle of stocking it. There's no EU ruling on that, they already have perfectly working contracts for distributing the regular edition of Windows XP -- why go through this hassle? Yes, I realize this defeats the purpose of Windows N -- but let's be frank and admit it, it's not Microsoft's problem here. They did their part of the contract.

The rest of this post is off-topic, feel free to ignore.

I agree. In fact, I think we should go back to the days where all OSes had interchangable memory managers available from both 1st and 3rd parties, interchangable task schedulers available from both 1st and 3rd parties, interchangable file systems from 1st and 3rd parties, etc (I guess Linux does do the 3rd of these). [etc., I'm not quoting the whole post but I'm also answering to the rest of it]

Just as dylansmrjones pointed out, this entirely depends on Microsoft releasing the specs. In order to provide an API interchangeability, all APIs must expose exactly the same set of functions, with only the back-end principles being different. Obviously, since everyone who knows Microsoft's solution to various aspects of its OS (memory manager, but not only -- also GDI, DirectX etc.) is under NDA -- if there is anyone who knows each of these aspects -- it's impossible to develop a replacement for these which would still provide 100% compatibility.

Also -- as pointed out by dylansmrjones -- Windows XP does support some of these features, including, but not limited to interchangeable filesystems.

What you are asking for -- although probably every EU lawyer's dream -- is... well, not technically impossible, just kind of useless.

The issue is not allowing someone to remove or replace various parts of the system's API. The EU, the users and everyone else is (are? screw you, English language!) in no position to dictate a developer how to structure their system's back end. If Microsoft or (Linus Torvalds) wants Windows (or Linux, or BSD, or whatever other operating system) to have one scheduler, end of story, it's their own problem and they can do it whatever way they want. They can make it sing and dance, as long as it doesn't impact interoperability and as long as it doesn't prevent some other technology to work for a non-technical reason.

Freedom of choice is good to encourage, but I hardly think it is useful when taken to such extremes. Something along the lines of kernel modules is simply enough outside an OS research laboratory.

Furthermore, there is another problem with your idea of an OS that shouldn't provide any API at all, but only an API component manager. If we don't take the operating system concept past the bootloader -- fine, but after that we inevitably end up having at least one API -- the one which the system uses for its most basic tools.

Oh, it sounds cool in principle, allow users and developers to use whatever they want -- but we have already done that with X11 and look where it's taken us. There are at least five major X11 UI toolkits (Qt, GTK, wxWindows, Motif, Athena Widgets, and we're not even mentioning XForms, FLTK, Interviews, Tk and everything else), and, ignoring the fact that every Unix desktop ends up looking like a parrot unless you spend some time with theming, there is the problem of memory consumption when loading all these libraries, copy-paste not working between some of them, drag'n'drop not working or working erratically, button positions getting reversed and so on -- just because of the policy but no mechanism principle.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: APIs
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Sep 2007 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: APIs"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Just as dylansmrjones pointed out, this entirely depends on Microsoft releasing the specs. In order to provide an API interchangeability, all APIs must expose exactly the same set of functions, with only the back-end principles being different.


There is no requirement to reveal a Windows API. What is required is:
(1) a version of Windows without WMP (trivial), and
(2) Specifications for Windows networking protocol.

Specifications for the protocol should be in a formal specification language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specification_language

Specifications are for the protocol, not for any API. The intent is to be able to implement an interoperable protocol on platfroms other than Windows, thankyou, and not to replace any bit of the Windows API.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: APIs
by stestagg on Tue 18th Sep 2007 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: APIs"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Well, that's pretty much th case already for Linux, so thanks. Ok, the scheduler debate recently has highlighted some resistance to pluggable schedulers, but there are known ways to replace, and bundle for sale, a different scheduler. The GUI layer (HWND API??) can be replaced, albeit not so easily, but GTK/Gnome can be compiled for DirectFB instead of X, just by specifying a simple ./configure switch. As for filesystems, take your pick. I think they've even got Linux booting from NTFS nowadays, so even MS get a piece of the action. There's plenty of choice of window manager. It seems that Linux wins on consumer choice every time.

But all that is meaningless, It's not about 'big governments' conspiriting to topple this great example of good American capitalism, it's about making sure that people have choice, and if MS have manoeuvred themselved into a position where they are stifling free maket and consumer choice, even accidentally, then this must be rectified.

Remember, America isn't really the land of the free (in its strictest sense), there are laws to prevent certain behaviours, you aren't allowed to go out and shoot random people in the street, because it's accepted that freedom must be protected by law. The same is true of a free-market.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: APIs
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: APIs"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

It's fine that Linux allows interchangeable API for everything (seems it would drastically increase the size of the testing matrix for developers, but whatever). But do you say that government should mandate that all OSes behave like that?

As for your "It seems that Linux wins on consumer choice every time" statement, I think it's understood that consumers generally don't want choice, not on "complex" issues; they don't want to have to make a bunch of choices like "what file system should I use", "what memory manager should I use", etc.


"But all that is meaningless, It's not about 'big governments' conspiriting to topple this great example of good American capitalism, it's about making sure that people have choice, and if MS have manoeuvred themselved into a position where they are stifling free maket and consumer choice, even accidentally, then this must be rectified."

See http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18627&comment_id=272220 and learn that the EC commissioner disagrees with you. His goal isn't to provide more choice, it's to bring about a particular marketshare for a particular company, and until that happens, he will punish that particular company. In a scenario where everyone is able to compete equally (which is an impossibility; companies will always have advantages over others), but the vast majority chose Microsoft for whatever reason, the EC guy would consider that to be a failure on his part or to be abuse by Microsoft (almost by definition), and would enact further policies to bring about the marketshare that "we would like to see". In fact, the way he talks, if the EC mandated that 50% of consumers chose something besides Microsoft, then he would consider that a "good", even though that "good" came about by limiting choice rather than expanding it. Read carefully what he says in the link I provide above; it's truly scary stuff if you care about capatalism at all.

Edited 2007-09-18 10:05

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: APIs
by stestagg on Tue 18th Sep 2007 10:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: APIs"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

You're right, I was misusing terms.

By consumer choice, I was probably meaning market competition. You can't have an open, competing market with a >90% monopoly, especially when the >90% shareholder is acting anticompetitively. So my main closing argumen still stands, it's not about picking on Microsoft, but about opening up the marketplace.

We have a situation in the UK where a telecoms provider has a monopoly over broadband provision in a particular county because it uses non-standard cabling, and anti-competitive practices to maintain a stranglehold over the local market. Customers in that area pay over double the average prices, and god only knows what kind of service they get. No one saying that this company shouldn't be investigated by OFCOM.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: APIs
by SReilly on Tue 18th Sep 2007 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: APIs"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I don't know if it's on purpose or not but it seems to me that you are taking what one EU anti trust commissioner says, quoting it out of context, putting your own spin on it and equating that with the rest of the EU. You also seem to be ignoring how MS attained 95% market share in the first place.

This case is not about 'Big Government' versus capitalism, it's about punishing a known abuser of illegally obtained market muscle, something that has everything to do with consumer choice.

I have several developer friends that develop for Windows exclusively and even they agree that, due to MS's illegal use of it's near monopoly position, the IT industry has lost ten years of innovation. Ten years! If that's not worth a slap down then I don't know what is.

I would be more inclined to agree with your analysis of the situation if this where an isolated ruling, but it really isn't. MS bought they're way out of having to deal with major concessions in the US, remember? To defend a company that is this guilty, for no reason but that you seem to like them, is completely absurd.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: APIs
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: APIs"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I have several developer friends that develop for Windows exclusively and even they agree that, due to MS's illegal use of it's near monopoly position, the IT industry has lost ten years of innovation. Ten years! If that's not worth a slap down then I don't know what is."

I recall differently.
I recall that the Unix wars are what stagnated the IT industry, during which Microsoft came from behind and passed Unix by while Unix vendors were fighting among themselves. I also recall that when Unix vendors were pricing their C-compilers at $1000 (I specifically remember Sun's compiler from back in the day.) Just a compiler, not an IDE. The Unix guys were fighting with each other and milking their customers at high prices, not innovating or advancing the IT industry at all until they realized that they had to compete with Microsoft (by then, Microsoft had passed them by). Apple, of course, was content to sell high-margin computers to their selective clientelle, so they weren't doing much to force the Unix guys to innovate either.

I recall in the late 80s, talking with a Sun employee that mocked my Mac, calling it a toy and whatnot. He was concerned with fighting with other Unixes and big iron mainframes and crushing what was left of the Lisp machine market, and assumed that Unix workstations would rule the roost simply "because". But ten years later, the Unix workstation market was largely where it was when I was talking with that Sun employee 10 years before; they had faster CPUs and bigger harddrives, but that's about it. The big difference between the late 80's and late 90's was that Microsoft came from behind, began to outcompete the Unixes on their own turf, and only then, did the Unixes get off their rear and start trying to move forward. At that point, Linux began destroying the Unixes, not through innovation, but throug "free", and that was all she wrote.

Blaming Microsoft for stagnating the industry is absurd when you consider what its competitors were doing in the 80's and 90's.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: APIs
by SReilly on Tue 18th Sep 2007 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: APIs"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Blaming Microsoft for stagnating the industry is absurd when you consider what its competitors were doing in the 80's and 90's.

Sure, the big Unix vendors where shooting themselves in the foot, I'm not going to argue against that point.

Does it make MS's actions right? No, it doesn't.

So, yet again, you are avoiding the point.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: APIs
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: APIs"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I don't know if it's on purpose or not but it seems to me that you are taking what one EU anti trust commissioner says, quoting it out of context, putting your own spin on it and equating that with the rest of the EU. You also seem to be ignoring how MS attained 95% market share in the first place.

-------------------------------------------------

(Microsoft attaned 95% share in desktop OSes because Apple didn't compete in the OEM OS space, preferring to charge relatively high prices for Macs, and Unix vendors charged thousands of dollars for their OS and dev toos, and they didn't work on low-end machines. I'm not sure what you think was nefarious about that.)

Having said that, I'll continue. ;)

SReilly, I'm not misinterpreting anything (intentionally or otherwise) at all. Maybe I was too glib.

Here's what I see is going on.
The EC guy wants to bring about what he considers to be a level playing field for competition. He explicitly states that he measures whether the competition playing field is level by measuring marketshare. His theory is one of two things (or both):
1.) If there is a dominant player, then it means that the playing field is not level.
2.) The surest way to bring about a level playing field is to ensure that there's no dominant player.

Do you agree with me so far?

Therefore, in order to bring about a level playing field, he will employ methods designed, not to directly level the playing field, but to bring about a particular marketshare, i.e. one where there is no dominant player, and therefore achieve a level playing field as a result. Do you agree with me on that?

And this is what I have a big problem with. I don't think that a company having a dominant marketshare is evidence in itself that there's not a level playing field. Maybe that company is just better at satisfying the customers. Nor do I think that a company's having a dominant marketshare is evidence enough that either the company should be punished; or that the company shouldn't be punished, per se, but that market requires more government manipulation to bring said marketshare down.

In short, I think that the goal should be to bring about a playing field where all compete, rather than that there no dominant players.

I think this is a difference between European and American mindsets (you're European, I think). While both Europe and the US have used government regulation of business for social good (anti-discrimination laws, anti-polution laws, child-labor regulations, etc), Europe has had a much greater history of using government to manipulate the market itself (Eastern Europe's history with communism, and Western Europe's history with socialism to a much larger degree than in the US). Given that history, Europe more readily accepts the idea of government dictating what goes on in a market.

I've read that US antitrust laws are about helping the consumer while EU antitrust laws are about helping the competition. There is a subtle difference here. US antitrust law is based on the theory that a competitive market leads to higher quality and/or lower prices, which helps the consumer. But once remedies are in place to level the playing field, it's up to the competitors to make use of that level playing field, and if they can't, too bad. European antitrust law is based on the theory that healthy competition is a good in and of itself, and government's role is to help competitors, regardless of whether such intervention helps the consumers (e.g the government-mandated XP-N that consumers simply don't want and never called for), or even to the (unintended) detriment of consumers (e.g. if EU banned XP altogether and only allowed XP-N to be sold in Europe, it would be to the detriment of consumers (due to the inconvenience for them) for the purpose of helping competing OSes (that would be able to trumpet the fact that they ship with a media player but Windows doesn't) or helping competing media players (regardless of the fact that Microsoft and Real have already settled their differences, which were at that heart of the WMP case)).

Another difference between the European mindset and the American one, is that I read at arstechnica, that there's an EU law that says that if a company achieves greater than 40% of a market, then it must start helping its competitors (through bundling, advertising, etc). Such a notion is laughable in the US.

Both EU and US law are about a vibrant market, but the priorities and the way they go about achieving it are different.

Edited 2007-09-18 18:19

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: APIs
by SReilly on Tue 18th Sep 2007 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: APIs"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

The EC guy wants to bring about what he considers to be a level playing field for competition. He explicitly states that he measures whether the competition playing field is level by measuring marketshare. His theory is one of two things (or both):
1.) If there is a dominant player, then it means that the playing field is not level.
2.) The surest way to bring about a level playing field is to ensure that there's no dominant player.

First of all, it a she, not a he. ;-p

Secondly, if you actually read everything that Ms. Kroes has been saying about this case from the beginning, you will understand that the context is all wrong.

Ms, Kroes does not want to beat MS down because they have 95% market share, she wants to remove that market share because it was obtained via illegal means. If you read up on your governments own economic history, you will find many parallels that obviously have nothing to do with either European or US views on socialism.

Sure, MS took alot away from greedy Unix providers (although there where many DOS publishers at the time) but once MS got a foot hold with Windows, anybody else was specifically disallowed to compete. (By the way, MS ripped off CP/M for DOS, originally developed in the eastern European block during Communism ;-p)

Just take BeOS as an example. OEMs where specifically told to not provide duel boot systems, with both Windows and BeOS installed, or they would lose out on partnership re bait deals. Next, lets look at personal Bill Gates emails leaked on the internet speaking of him wanting to obfuscated the ACPI specifications so that Linux could not use them.

Are you are trying to some how tell me, against all evidence, that MS is not in anyway guilty of abusing they're market position? Certainly not by avoiding the point and definitely not by arguing about something that the US has allot more of then you seem to know about,i.e. socialism. Just check out all the US trade unions that are currently lobbying you government.

Reply Score: 3

RE: APIs
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:14 UTC in reply to "APIs"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Whether kHTML in Konqeror, WebKit in Safari, or Trident in IE, the HTML rendering engine is part of the OS. You are right that the browser is just a shell around this, and that is the same of almost all 1st party platform browsers.

However, Microsoft doesn't get rid of the shell at all when you try remove IE. If you click the mail button in MSN, it _always_ brings up IE, regardless of which is your default browser. There is no option to change this behaviour. You are stuck with this retarded behaviour.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: APIs
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE: APIs"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually, Konqueror is an optional part of KDE, just like Epiphany is optional in Gnome.

I'm a Gnome User and I don't have Epiphany (or Evolution for that matter) installed. I do have Konqueror installed though (and therefore also KDE since KDE is a dependency for Konqueror).

You can have KDE without KHTML and you can have Gnome without Gecko/GTKHtml but you cannot have Windows without Trident/IE.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: APIs
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:39 UTC in reply to "RE: APIs"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

There's a really obvious reason for this: the interaction with other browsers has not been subjected to testing. They probably don't want to allow other browsers to be launched from Messenger because they haven't tested the interactions and are afraid of a bug similar to that Firefox url validation thing that came up last year (IE and firefox do the validation in different places, making Firefox vulnerable when IE was not).

Reply Score: 2

Bundled Apps Uninstallation
by powderblue on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:27 UTC
powderblue
Member since:
2007-07-22

So if this is about Microsoft not making it possible to uninstall apps in Windows as some of you say then why doesn't the silly EU just come out and say that instead of beating around the bush and making people think that they're saying Microsoft can't bundle any apps at all. It would clear up a lot of confusion. If that is the case then I agree that Microsoft should be punished and forced to change it practices.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bundled Apps Uninstallation
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "Bundled Apps Uninstallation"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

EU is saying that. That's why Microsoft is allowed to distribute a version of Windows with WMP.

Because Microsoft also ships a version with WMP disabled (I don't think it's actually removed as such - just made inaccessible, AFAIK).

Reply Score: 3

dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06

They did remove WMP. The EU wanted all middleware removed (codecs, directshow) and gave a list of files that were not allowed in XP-N. Yes, Microsoft has claimed it was impossible, but it turned out to be easy for them.

Edited 2007-09-17 16:46

Reply Score: 2

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Does XP-N really lack the DirectShow api?


Why would it lack any API?

Come on, I have read plenty of your postings and you do understand the differences between API and the API's implementation, especially when the API's functionality is basically plugin based.

Not shipping certain implementations does not imply not shipping the respective API. Microsoft's developers are not stupid.

Reply Score: 4

Too little, too late
by DevL on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:29 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

As if Microsoft wil lever open up its formats and protocols. And the fine, that's pocket change given that Microsoft have been dragging this issue through the courts for years and years while maintaining its monopoly.

An AT&T-style breakup had been the way to go. A Windows company, an Office company, and a systems (Xbox et al) company.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Too little, too late
by DrillSgt on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:09 UTC in reply to "Too little, too late"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"An AT&T-style breakup had been the way to go. A Windows company, an Office company, and a systems (Xbox et al) company."

Well, we see how the AT&T breakup helped. All they did was re-purchase all the separate companies, and the ones that came up as competition. They still have the monopoly stranglehold, and they even keep extending it out. Do you not think MS would have done the same thing by now?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too little, too late
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Too little, too late"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Not to mention the real loss in the AT&T tragedy: Bell Labs. What used to be the premier corporate research group in the world, which gave us such inventions as the transistor and the C compiler, is now reduced to patent-trolling with the MP3 patents.

Most of you folks do not pay much attention to the work done by MSR, and it is still a young organization, but they have done work which fundamentally enhances computer science (from natural language processing to abstract mathematics). This would be lost if Microsoft were to be split.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too little, too late
by Spellcheck on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:58 UTC in reply to "Too little, too late"
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

That is not an AT&T-style breakup. Stop getting your bad analogies from the pitiful reporting at the WSJ.

AT&T was turned into geographical monopolies, more like TV cable companies, because of the fixed costs of the lines. Also remember the complaints in the 19th century of the railroad: people didn't understand the trouble of accounting for their high fixed costs, so they regulated it to death ("railroaded"). As a result, when it was partly nationalized during WWI, the government found out that they were nearly brankrupt as a result of that regulation (relating mostly to prices and expansion).

There are economic similarities in software (and pharma) companies' high fixed-wrt-sales R&D costs and low variable-wrt-sales replication costs. And that is still a hard circumstance to properly account for. However, their accounting situation is not at issue with this so-called regulation at all.

Reply Score: 1

farce
by J.R. on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:51 UTC
J.R.
Member since:
2007-07-25

Although I am sure Microsoft have tried to lock in users, I personally would prefer to get an OS with a media player installed. However, whats worrying me the most is the fact that the ruling is made by the same people that were leading the case against Microsoft...and both parties gets paid by EU who happens to get like 500 million dollars as a result... Although I don't trust Microsoft, I don't trust EU either.

Reply Score: 2

RE: farce
by jwwf on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:06 UTC in reply to "farce"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Although I am sure Microsoft have tried to lock in users, I personally would prefer to get an OS with a media player installed. However, whats worrying me the most is the fact that the ruling is made by the same people that were leading the case against Microsoft...and both parties gets paid by EU who happens to get like 500 million dollars as a result... Although I don't trust Microsoft, I don't trust EU either.

It makes sense to relate product pricing in various countries to the cost of doing business in those countries. I wonder how long it will take MS to pass this cost down to EU buyers? (directly or indirectly--even if directly passing it on is not allowed, there are lots of ways to raise overall costs)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: farce
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE: farce"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Considering the prices of Vista customers are already paying for it.

Reply Score: 6

RE: farce
by Jokel on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:11 UTC in reply to "farce"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

You say: "Although I don't trust Microsoft, I don't trust EU either."

I think I trust the EU more than I do trust Microsoft, thank you!

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: farce
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: farce"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think I trust the EU more than I do trust Microsoft, thank you!


A big company, or politicians (European ones, at that!). Speaking of between a rock and a hard place.

Edited 2007-09-17 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: farce
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: farce"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Amen, Reverend.

Not just European politicians. It is European politicians in Bruxelles.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: farce
by SReilly on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: farce"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Nothing wrong with European politicians in Brussels, as ling as they stay there. It's wen they come to Luxembourg that I'm more worried about. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Heres hoping
by Bit_Rapist on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:09 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

I just hope that when the dust settles they are forced to deliver an OS that has components which can easily be removed.

I'm fine with MS releasing their own software with Windows, heck I think that bundled applications give the product more value for the consumer.

However I feel that the consumer should be able to easily remove the programs and use alternatives.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Heres hoping
by MollyC on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:30 UTC in reply to "Heres hoping"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I'm fine with MS releasing their own software with Windows, heck I think that bundled applications give the product more value for the consumer.

However I feel that the consumer should be able to easily remove the programs and use alternatives."


-------------

I don't know about Vista, but XP already has the "Program Access and Defaults" control panel, that provides a central place where the user can choose the default media player, web browser, email client, IM client, and JVM. And besides merely altering the default programs for these areas, the same control panel can even be used to block all access to Microsoft's own offerings in these areas. And OEMs can ship there systems using whatever default programs they want to use. (OEMs can't remove undrlying DLLs, nor does this control panel allow such an action, since those DLLs provide part of the Windows API. )

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Heres hoping
by Almafeta on Mon 17th Sep 2007 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Heres hoping"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

I don't know about Vista, but XP already has the "Program Access and Defaults" control panel, that provides a central place where the user can choose the default media player, web browser, email client, IM client, and JVM.


Vista uses 'Default Programs,' in the base of the Start Menu.

A bit too prominent of a place I think, considering how often you might use it (once or twice a year at most, only when some piece of malware or poorly-defined software changes your default applications without your consent, although Vista should prevent this with UAC), but it's quite obviously there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Heres hoping
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 06:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Heres hoping"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I don't know about Vista, but XP already has the "Program Access and Defaults" control panel, that provides a central place where the user can choose the default media player, web browser, email client, IM client, and JVM. And besides merely altering the default programs for these areas, the same control panel can even be used to block all access to Microsoft's own offerings in these areas. And OEMs can ship there systems using whatever default programs they want to use. (OEMs can't remove undrlying DLLs, nor does this control panel allow such an action, since those DLLs provide part of the Windows API. )"

----------------------

I see the kiddies are out in force modding down anything they don't like again. LOL Can someone tell me just ONE legit reason that the above was modded down? And no, that it goes against the "I Hate Microsoft" groupthink is NOT a legit reason. Same thing goes for my other posts in this thread that were modded down. Either counter what you disagree with or keep your mouth shut. But don't mod down for no legit reason.

IMO, the mod-abuse around here has skyrocketed since the moderation changes took effect, with inane one-line comments getting modded up to 20+, and other legit posts getting modded down to 0 and below. I think OSNews should consider getting rid of moderation altogether if it's going to be abused so much. Just my 2 cents.

On second thought, just leave it as is.

Edited 2007-09-18 06:32

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Heres hoping
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Sep 2007 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heres hoping"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

LOL Can someone tell me just ONE legit reason that the above was modded down?


I can't speak to the "modding down" comment, because I agree with you. Modding down an opposing opinion is just silly, IMO.

OEMs can't remove undrlying DLLs, nor does this control panel allow such an action, since those DLLs provide part of the Windows API.


I can however offer a comment to this observation. There is no reason why the dlls in question should be irremovable, other than the fact that Microsoft made it so, to tie IE and WMP functionality to the core of the OS.

Microsoft already got into trouble for this bundling before, in the US anti-trust case. Just because MS did a deal with US administration to escape punishment for it does not mean that the illegal bundling was made legal.

Reply Score: 2

link to verdict
by Boldie on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:13 UTC
Boldie
Member since:
2007-03-26
RE: farce
by phoudoin on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:41 UTC
phoudoin
Member since:
2006-06-09

parties gets paid by EU who happens to get like 500 million dollars as a result...


Yeah, like the EU will have crashed tomorrow without those $500,000,000.
:-)

EU market, as any other one, has rules. One is you should not attempt to lock your customers using forced sales. Both Windows Network closed-protocol and closed-DRM Media Player are clearly breaking this rule.

Play by the rules or back off our market.

PS: Apple's iMusic Store/iPod coupled product may have the same issue soon, indeed. As had Sony previously...

Edited 2007-09-17 17:41

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: farce
by Spellcheck on Tue 18th Sep 2007 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE: farce"
Misguided EU direction
by ssa2204 on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:47 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

What I find strange is that a media player has been provided with Windows since 3.1, and the "Media Player Classic" that is popular, and the many clones are themselves cloned off of the version that came out with 95. It is not as if companies like Real did not know this. Real did not fail because of bundles software, they failed by putting out an inferior product that contained too much spyware and adware, the fact you had to register. Many people naive to have used their real address soon found themselves SPAMed to hell shortly after. So it is very hard to muster any sympathy and agree that bundling Media player in the OS.

As far as server protocals, it is not unheard of that a company like say Novell or Sun might strike inter operable deals...in fact they have. What was at issue was the EU wanted Microsoft to open up something for free that is not asked of other businesses. If they required cooperation based upon a realistic fee, then this would be understandable. Unfortunately because this is Microsoft at the center, chances are nobody is going to truly consider what is being asked of them. I put it this way, if this was Sun Microsystems (to which I own considerable amount of stock in) I would absolutely be against Sun doing the same thing. Take Microsoft out of the equation and it becomes a different argument all together.

In the end, the EU wanted to go after MS for it's monopoly and just chose the wrong arguments.

Reply Score: 1

Goodbye capitalism
by ihponsn on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:33 UTC
ihponsn
Member since:
2007-09-17

and thanks for all the fish.

Reply Score: 0

v LEAVE MICROSOFT ALONE!
by ido50 on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:52 UTC
This is insane
by Nex6 on Mon 17th Sep 2007 19:58 UTC
Nex6
Member since:
2005-07-06

sure, sometimes I think MS. deserves every bash they get. and I am also sure they do things to keep there existing custamers. there in bissiness, and bissiness's do that.

these off handed idiotic ruling do nothing, and just show how really retarded these judges are. why cant MS have media players and broswers? and why cant you intergate them into the OS? isn't that part of good engineering? eg; reuse of code and objects?

why not just force some specs releases and add a wizard to windows startup opon first start, offereing to install, disable, relinkto the different 3rd party apps. and give the *users* the choice when they start the OS for the first time? how hard is that?


sheesh....


-Nex6

Edited 2007-09-17 19:58

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is insane
by Spellcheck on Tue 18th Sep 2007 00:02 UTC in reply to "This is insane"
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

These are politicians (not even a pretend-you-can-be-objective judges). You were expecting sense, maybe?

Reply Score: 0

N
by steampoweredlawn on Mon 17th Sep 2007 19:59 UTC
steampoweredlawn
Member since:
2006-09-27

I could be wrong, but it seems to me the point of the XP and Vista "N" versions wasn't primarily to be sold, but more to force MS to untangle WMP (and eventually possibly IE) from Windows. I think the logic behind the "N" editions is such that MS would likely design the "N" edition first, and then add the other components as separate, removable applications.

It sounds good in theory, but then again so does communism.

EDIT - grammar

Edited 2007-09-17 20:00

Reply Score: 1

umm
by Mellin on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:58 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft Windows XP Professional N can't be found in a pc store at all and the same will happen to Windows Vista ... version N

Reply Score: 1

PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

What we will likely see is this: Microsoft licenses its server protocols at a small royalty fee ($1 per copy or something like that). There is no likely way that the EU can force them to release this information at no cost at all, so they'll do this. This fee will be enough to make it unimplementable in Linux (certainly not as GPL code, because it would be licensed to specific companies and not to the community as a whole). Do you think that SAMBA will be able to survive this treatment?

Frankly, I think this interoperability shenanigan is all a farce. No one besides the linux people actually wishes to develop server-side software that is interoperable with Windows. It is hard and financially unrewarding (IBM and now Sun can just as easily sell Windows and make the same profit). Linux is the only real threat to Microsoft here, and it won't get the benefits of this ruling because there will still be a patent license, and it won't be royalty-free.

All the EU is doing is pushing Microsoft into a defensive corner which will make everyone worse off. Before the DoJ case, Microsoft had no full-time lobbyists. Afterwards they hired 5 in DC. Before the first few patent lawsuits, Microsoft had very few patents. Now they file them at a rate exceeded only by IBM. Before the EU rulings, Microsoft did not have a history of making competition complaints against other companies. Now we might see more filings like the one against the Google-DoubleClick buyout. Giving the Courts a role in the increasingly rancorous politics of the software industry will only lead to more pain.
One of the few of Milton Freidman's statements I agree with:
"You will rue the day when you called in the government. From now on the computer industry, which has been very fortunate in that it has been relatively free of government intrusion, will experience a continuous increase in government regulation."

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Linux is the only real threat to Microsoft here, and it won't get the benefits of this ruling because there will still be a patent license, and it won't be royalty-free.


Making this assumption about a patent license is, I think, where the Windows cheerleaders get it wrong.

Here is the fact: Windows networking does not have patent protection.

How do I know?

The underlying protocol is an IBM invention, not Microsoft's:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Message_Block#History

What happened was that originally, Windows networking was a minor player, competing against Netware. Microsoft got everybody to interoperate, even going so far as to share specifications with the early Samba project. Then, after some time Netware began to fail, and Windows networking became dominant, suddenly Microsoft stopped the co-operation and deliberately obscured the protocol.

Microsoft did not invent SMB, they just obscured it.

Microsoft have no patents here. You need to reveal how an invention of yours works in order to get a patent. Windows networking is neither revealed, nor is it an invention of Microsoft's.

The interesting question is if you can charge a royalty for something which another company invented, and you just obscured, and for which you hold no patents.

I don't believe you can charge a royalty for that ... especially if you are a monopoly.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Here is the fact: Windows networking does not have patent protection.

How do I know?

The underlying protocol is an IBM invention, not Microsoft's:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Message_Block#History
"""

Where it confirms that MS has added much to the original protocol. A couple of examples from your linked Wikipedia article:

"but the most common version is modified heavily by Microsoft."

"Microsoft has added several extensions to its own SMB implementation."


Plenty of room for new patents there, I should say.

I've lost count of how many times you have repeated this falsehood about the current Microsoft SMB protocol being owned by IBM. Please stop. The current form of the protocol suite just isn't. No matter how much you would like us to think so.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"but the most common version is modified heavily by Microsoft."

"Microsoft has added several extensions to its own SMB implementation."


Plenty of room for new patents there, I should say.

I've lost count of how many times you have repeated this falsehood about the current Microsoft SMB protocol being owned by IBM. Please stop. The current form of the protocol suite just isn't. No matter how much you would like us to think so.


"Heavily modified by" does not mean "invented by", nor does it mean "patented".

In this case, "heavily modified by" actually only means "obscured by". How do I know? Because the Samba team has largely reverse-engineered the obfuscation.

In order to have a patent, you must describe how an invention works on the patent application, and the invention must be new and innovative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent
"A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention."


Since Microsoft "secretly obscured" IBM's SMB protocol to derive recent variations of Windows networking, then clearly neither of those conditions for a patent apply to Microsoft's obscuring modifications.

Firstly, they are clearly not innovative because SMB itself is IBM's invention, and because Windows networking itself is merely a latecomer to PC networking trying to usurp Novell's Netware (which it succeeded in doing).

Secondly, they are not disclosed on any patent application, because they are secret obscurations. Indeed, the whole outcome of this process in the EU was to get Microsoft to disclose the obscurations.

So, no matter how much you would like us to think otherwise, Microsoft can have no valid patent on its networking technology, and hence royalties cannot apply.

Oh, BTW, Microsoft already claimed "innovation" about their netwroking. The EU had experts look at it, and the outcome was that it is not innovative at all. Merely obscured.

Edited 2007-09-18 05:26

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
In this case, "heavily modified by" actually only means "obscured by". How do I know? Because the Samba team has largely reverse-engineered the obfuscation.
"""

Senseless drivel. I believe that the Samba Team objects to the term "reverse engineering" when applied to their work. But a patented method that is reverse engineered by a third party is still a patented idea. You can't get around it.

I'm in a position to observe a couple of "patents pending" going through the process right now. And let me tell you, lemur2, you have a charmingly naive view of what it takes to obtain a patent.

Hint: The USPTO does not have a tenth of the credence in Wikipedia that you do. And neither does the patent attorney I've sat in on meetings with. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Senseless drivel. I believe that the Samba Team objects to the term "reverse engineering" when applied to their work. But a patented method that is reverse engineered by a third party is still a patented idea. You can't get around it.

I'm in a position to observe a couple of "patents pending" going through the process right now. And let me tell you, lemur2, you have a charmingly naive view of what it takes to obtain a patent.

Hint: The USPTO does not have a tenth of the credence in Wikipedia that you do. And neither does the patent attorney I've sat in on meetings with. ;-)


The case in the EU looked at this very question. Microsoft even got to nominate the expert that looked at it.

The conclusion? "There is no innovation here". Literally.

USPTO notwithstanding. Lawyers do not understand tech.

The killer point in all this? Microsoft did not argue patents at any time in the EU case. Even during the appeal. There are no patent numbers on the table.

Ergo, no royalties apply.

Edited 2007-09-18 05:39

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
The killer point in all this? Microsoft did not argue patents at any time in the EU case. Even during the appeal. There are no patent numbers on the table.
"""

Patents are not trademarks. You don't lose them when you fail to defend them. When the time is right, one can take them out, dust them off, and file suit against anyone violating them. (Hey, Samba!)

All this pretending that we are innocent... after years and years of actively ignoring the whole patent issue... is not doing us any good. You are advocating that we keep the blinders on... rather than dealing with the issue.

Edited 2007-09-18 05:55

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Patents are not trademarks. You don't lose them when you fail to defend them. When the time is right, one can take them out, dust them off, and file suit against anyone violating them. (Hey, Samba!)

All this pretending that we are innocent... after years and years of actively ignoring the whole patent issue... is not doing us any good. You are advocating that we keep the blinders on... rather than dealing with the issue.


Now it is my turn to say "Senseless drivel".

Microsoft had a huge daily fine imposed by the EU for anti-trust behaviour. Microsoft claimed "innovation" as a defense. The EU effectively said "OK, protecting your innovation would be a defense, so show us the innovation". Microsoft could not do it. Their own nominated expert said "there is no innovation here".

Tabling a valid patent at any point would have saved the whole show, once Microsoft had the EU agree that protecting innovation was a valid defense. Microsoft failed to table any patents.

Too late now. Sorry. Clearly, no patents apply.

If Microsoft were to attempt to bring out a vaguely related patent at this stage, estoppel would apply.

Clearly Samba does not violate any valid patent.

Software patents only apply in the US in any event. Microsoft cannot charge a worldwide royalty, even if (despite all the contra-indications) a valid patent were eventually found to apply.

Finally, given that Novell's Netware is the progenitor for virtually all PC lan networking methods & concepts, I would imagine that applicable patents are far more likely to be found here:
http://www.patent-commons.org/

... than any that the latecomer Microsoft may hold.

Edited 2007-09-18 06:12

Reply Score: 4

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

SMB(2) is not the only protocol we're talking about here. All that covers is file and printer sharing (I'm not really clear on if it even does authentication and NETLOGIN). There are a lot of server-server protocols necessary for proper replication of information on a domain. And it gets even more complicated when you consider replication across domains in an Active Directory. There are literally near 50 sub-protocols involved in this.

It's not really clear to me why Microsoft needs to release this and why you'd want to use many of these protocols except with multiple Windows servers. It makes sense to force the release of the server-client protocols so that you could use Linux servers to serve Windows clients and vice-versa. The EC also wanted server-server protocols though. In my opinon, these are a fundamental feature of the server system as a whole and that there should be no requirement on licensing these out for free (it's not particularly monopolistic to make multiple copies of your server work well together and perform useful connected roles).

Here's a patent on this sort of server-server communication that would be of particular relevance to someone trying to interoperate with Windows Server (password synchronization): http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d...

Reply Score: 3

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

This fee will be enough to make it unimplementable in Linux (certainly not as GPL code, because it would be licensed to specific companies and not to the community as a whole)


This is an interesting issue.

I am not sure this can actually happen, because the reuqest is to make the specifications available under reasonable terms and both the comission as well as the court have specifically acknowledged that GPL based projects like Samba are the main competitors.

So my interpretation is that while the price for specification papers might not be small and not include permission to re-distribute them, it is unlikely that the terms will include any portions which would make it impossible to use them in GPL software, since this would not be reasonable.

However, based on Microsoft's continuing unwillingness to comply, they will likely try such a route to further delay the actual date of compliance.

Reply Score: 2

EC calls for govt manipulation of the market
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 08:58 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/174096756/m/2910...

"A jubilant EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the ruling should lead to a "significant drop" in Microsoft's 95 percent market share.

"It's clearly a major defeat for Microsoft. There is no doubt it will spur the Commission on to regulate Microsoft much more significantly," said UK competition lawyer Chris Bright.

It also gives Kroes a green light to pursue other antitrust cases and complaints involving Intel, Qualcomm and Rambus, and to issue draft antitrust guidelines that were put on ice pending the ruling.

Kroes at the news conference:
"The court has confirmed that Microsoft can no longer prevent the market from functioning properly and consumers are entitled to benefit from choice and more innovative products."

Asked how the Commission would assess progress in the Microsoft case, Kroes said: "A market level of much less than 95 percent would be a way of measuring success ... You can't draw a line and say exactly 50 (percent) is correct, but a significant drop in market share is what we would like to see."


----------------------------------

In other words, the goal isn't a fair marketplace, but the goal is to effect a particular marketshare thru government manipulation of the market. It's called "Government picking winners and losers", and is not about fair marketplace, but the exact opposite.

And, by this moron's "reasoning", as long as Microsoft has more than 50% marketshare (or thereabouts), then that in itself is evidence that Microsoft is guilty of something and must be punished. They can only be free from punishment if the EU achieves its goal of slashing Microsoft's marketshare.

The goal should NOT be about slashing Microsoft's marketshare or trying to bring about particular marketshare of particular companies. The goal should be to establish a fair marketplace where everyone can compete, and if someone happens to dominate, so be it. That the EC can't see that shows that they don't have the first clue how a market should work.

This is that kind of stuff you guys are advocating? Government manipulating the market in order to dictate marketshare? And if they don't see the marketshare "that they would like to see" then that is reason enough to do more manipulation?

Know this: Once government forces are unleashed, they don't stop with a particular target. Eventually the WILL target you too.

Edited 2007-09-18 09:07

Reply Score: 2

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

The goal should be to establish a fair marketplace where everyone can compete, and if someone happens to dominate, so be it.


This is the goal and you do actually understand that even while trying to make it look like you don't.

As a side effect of more competition on a fair marketplace, the marketshare of competitors will be spread more even, which basically implys that those with big marketshare right now will have their's decrease.

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

That the EC can't see that shows that they don't have the first clue how a market should work.

Common MollyC, you expect me, and anybody else for that matter, to take your word over that of a union, based on economical principals, that has existed for the past 60 years? Pull the other one, why don't you? It's got bells on it. ;-p

As for the rest of your post, I wont repeat what I have already posted* but I will say that misinterpreting what is being said and done does not lend itself well to proper argument and/or discors.

*http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?272242

Reply Score: 4

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Kroes at the news conference:
"The court has confirmed that Microsoft can no longer prevent the market from functioning properly and consumers are entitled to benefit from choice and more innovative products."

What MollyC says:
In other words, the goal isn't a fair marketplace, but the goal is to effect a particular marketshare thru government manipulation of the market.

Can't you read Molly ?

Reply Score: 4

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Can't you read Molly ?"

Can you? By that I mean *really* read, including "reading between the lines". That means being able to infer what is not explicitly stated. It's fundamental to reading comprehension skills.

BTW, I note that you quoted only the first sentence of my excerpt and didn't bother with the part I had bolded. Maybe because that part hits too close to home as to what is going on here.

Reply Score: 2

may have been discussed,,,,
by hollovoid on Tue 18th Sep 2007 13:58 UTC
hollovoid
Member since:
2005-09-21

But can anybody honestly say they had a huge issue with IE and Media player being part of windows before the antitrust trials began? I just think its interesting, that with a search on the internet archive its almost as if the issue didnt exist before. then everybody chimed in like they just learned how to talk.

Nearly ever application/os ever made includes a feature or program for which an alternative exists. Microsoft is by no means an angel, and has bullied its way into exorbitant profits, but level the playing field, make ALL companies work on interoperability, make ALL companies give options for every single "feature" they want to include, otherwise this case just looks like the witchhunt that never ends.

This should never have been alowed to drag on as long as it has, the costs have been astronomical, and in the end, this will not hurt microsoft as much as people think it will. The court systems are to blame for thier use of power at this point, they are legally impotent and have let microsoft prove this time and time again. I used to see them as villians of the software world, but can you blame them for exploiting the US and EU's lack of resolve? ANY board of directors would make the same decision if they wanted to keep thier job.

Reply Score: 1

MS should split themselves up
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 18:28 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Regarding this particular case (I talk of the server protocol issue, since the WMP issue is a total joke, particularly since MS and Real settled their differences already), I think it's clear that this is about MS server competitors wanting to be able to mimic ActiveDirectory, without having to pay to license the ActiveDirectory tech. As such, it means that Microsoft spent millions in R&D to create ActiveDirectory, and big government wants to force Microsoft to give that tech away for free, at the point of a gun. (I hate to sound like a right-wing nut, but what they say is true, that when it comes down to it, all government law is ultimately enforced by force of arms.)

According to statements made by the EC commissioner, the goal is to bring down Microsoft's server marketshare (he talks of a bringing down their 95% share to ~50%, but Microsoft doesn't have 95% share in servers, so he doesn't even know what his own case is about, but whatever.) He has stated that he will keep punishing Microsoft and/or manipulating the market until he brings down MS's share.

Rather than continue to deal with the EU's laws, which are at odds with the US laws, eere I running Microsoft, I'd split the company into two companies: Microsoft and MS-Europe. The existing shareholders get shares in both companies, of course. To start with, MS-Europe gets all the IP that Microsoft has, and they sell the same products. But they begin to hire their own employees, eventually Microsoft and MS-Europe have completely different staffs, supporting the same product line. Then, Microsoft simply withdraws from the EU market, leaving that market to the new MS-Euro company.

Reply Score: 1

RE: MS should split themselves up
by ssa2204 on Tue 18th Sep 2007 19:16 UTC in reply to "MS should split themselves up"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Sorry, but on the principle of operating a business I think this method is wholly inappropriate and unnecessary. Personally I do not see where it is in the interest of either EU or US law to force a company to license out or open up technologies at a non-negotiated price. If Sun or Novell wants to mimic Active Directory, then it is up to them to clearly approach Microsoft and pay for it. Better still, why not come up with a competing form of technology that rivals Active Directory and bring that to the market...kind of the way things are suppose to work.

If these companies decide that they do not wish to invest in either developing their own, or licensing then it is their responsibility all together whether they gain or lose market share.

But forcing a company to do something that is against all sane business practices does not help the EU market. What it does signal is that the EU is just not a good place to invest in. Now is that good for the consumer? Frankly one needs to question whether the EU is looking more at protectionist practices here to harm a US company as they have done way too many times in the past 10 years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: MS should split themselves up
by porcel on Wed 19th Sep 2007 03:08 UTC in reply to "MS should split themselves up"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

You, MollyC, are so full of shit.

Active Directory represents years of R&D. I will agree with that statement. What you don't clarify is that the R&D was done by people like MIT that designed and wrote kerberos, which Active Directory "nicely" extended so that Microsoft's AD would be slightly incompatible with every other kerberos implementation out there.

And nobody is asking Microsoft to give anything away. Cut the bullshit. 12 of the highest sitting judges in the EU are after reviewing the law and thousands of pages of evidence asking Microsoft to stop abusing its monopoly position.

The remedy they have recommended is that Microsoft document its protocols so that using a Microsoft server does not mean that you have to be forced to use Microsoft clients and viceversa.

If Microsoft's software stands on its merits, they will be able to compete regardless. NFS is well documented as is ssh as are many other protocols and people pick among the implementations those that suit them better.

That is how things are supposed to work. You may wish your favorite corporation to be above the law, but it simply isn't. Want to know why?

Because unregulated markets are black markets where consumers have no rights and no certainty of any outcome. The only ones to benefit in such markets are thieves and scammers.

That's why every part of the market, from the stock exchange to accounting rules are under regulation from, get this, the big bad government.

It's nauseating to keep reading the same rehearsed propaganda that simply fails to stand to any serious scrutiny.

Edited 2007-09-19 03:10

Reply Score: 2

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

And you sir are sadly ignorant to what is being asked of a business. Try to be a little more educated and professional about this. Instead you allow blinders of bias towards a business you do not like get in the way of seeing the bigger picture. Quite simply this is not the responsibility of the EU to force Microsoft to open up these technologies. If a company such as IBM, Sun, or Novell wishes to use them, then it is THEIR responsibility to negotiate with Microsoft.

What this ends up being in appearance is more an issue of EU protectionism in action against a US corporation. On the basis of good business practice, I would NOT condone the reversal if the DOJ wanted to require any European company to do the same.

Let me put it in the most simplistic way, if you were CEO of Microsoft and you did what the EU wanted, then you would NOT be CEO for long...

Reply Score: 0