Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Dec 2007 18:31 UTC, submitted by abdavidson
Legal "Opera Software filed a complaint with the European Commission yesterday which is aimed at giving consumers a genuine choice of Web browsers. The complaint describes how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards. Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer."
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RE[2]: Morons
by zztaz on Fri 14th Dec 2007 05:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Morons"
zztaz
Member since:
2006-09-16

One aspect that gets lost in these discussions is that in large part you and I are not Microsoft's customers. Dell and HP are. In the US trial, HP showed that Microsoft used their market power to prevent HP from making changes to the desktop that reduced HP's support costs.

The situation has improved lately, but in past, IE was responsible for considerable support costs from poor security. End users may have paid most of the cost of Microsoft's decisions, but surely OEMs felt some of it in increased phone support and other measures. I can't prove it, but I think that a reasonable case may be made that OEMs could have saved money by replacing IE.

Average users don't need to figure out how to install Opera, OEMs do, and can. Average users do tend stay with what they were given, which could have been Opera if Microsoft hadn't flexed its market power.

Personally, I think that Microsoft's efforts to use their market power on the desktop as a lever to gain control over the Internet has failed. The same may be true about their bundling codecs in an attempt to control multimedia distribution and peripherals. But they have succeeded in using control over the desktop to extend their monopoly into the server market. AD, Exchange, and the general lack of documented protocols are clearly aimed at suppressing competition for servers supporting Windows desktops.

It's OK to hold an earned monopoly. The problem is using that monopoly to extend the monopoly into other markets. It's too late for unbundling the browser to matter. Splitting Microsoft up would work, and be better for the stockholders in the long run. Separate Office from Windows, or desktops from servers, and the incentive for real competition increases. Microsoft can compete, Microsoft should compete, but too many managers and executives inside Microsoft can't resist the temptation to use sheer size to avoid competing.

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