Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Jan 2009 11:56 UTC
Internet & Networking Earlier this month, news got out that the European Commission is charging Microsoft with unlawful competition regarding its bundling of the Internet Explorer web bowser with Windows. At the time, information was scarce, but thanks to Microsoft's quarterly filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission. we now have a little more insight into what the EU might force Microsoft to do.
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garyedwards
Member since:
2009-01-16

made by Chairman Bill to previous generations of developers and software vendors he sought to entice to the Windows platform. Hence the "WiNE solution".

This proposal recognized that end users purchasing Microsoft bound applications, and then building around these bound applications important business systems and processes, were as injured by Microsoft's monopolist abuses as developers and competing vendors. Trapped by their legacy investments in Microsoft bound digital systems, any punishment of the Redmond behemoth would inflict an even more serious cost on innocent end users. The only way to effect a solution that restores market competition without also punishing users with a costly and disruptive rip and replace or stagnate decision, would be to have Microsoft pay the cost of transitioning vested applications and systems to an alternative platform.

Like the Open Web, the largely open source Linux-GNU platform falls into that unique category of being (for all practical purposes) "owned by none but useful to all". So, using onerous monetary fines to force Microsoft's assistance in porting the entire Windows API to WiNE, one application at a time, seemed a reasonable way to restore open market competition to our digital future. Many thought of the WiNE approach as a Microsoft funded project for fully documenting the Windows and MSOffice productivity environment API's. Something Chairman Bill long ago promised, but never delivered. The fabled level playing field that sucked an entire generation of developers into the Windows hole.

We now know that one time financial penalties go nowhere. These penalties are written off as a cost of doing the very profitable monopolists business. This is especially problematic today since it increasingly looks like Microsoft has figured out how to game the "open standards" system. We needed a lasting solution designed to meet the current state of vested applications and business systems, and the WiNE proposal looked to be a good place to start. Sadly, Microsoft prevailed then and now they threaten to break a precious public treasure, the Open Web. Sure, the consumer Web will likely go Open Web, with Google dominating consumer clouds. But unless the EU can figure out how to crack into Microsoft dominance of desktop business systems, and insist on full featured Open Web enhancements and transitions, the business Web is likely to be owned and dominated for years to come by Microsoft.

Hope this helps,
~ge~

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