Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Jun 2006 21:15 UTC, submitted by brewin
Legal The European Commission is ready to impose a fine of 2m Euros ($2.5m; 1.4m) a day on Microsoft. The Commission is expected to rule that Microsoft has failed to fully implement its 2004 antitrust decision. Under the ruling, Microsoft had to supply rivals with information about its Windows operating system.
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RE: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by GreatBunzinni on Wed 28th Jun 2006 00:07 UTC in reply to "Hmmm... can you say bully?"
Member since:

"bully"? Are you nuts? We are talking about a company which hides and refuses to release the information about how the underlying system works. This is the company which uses that information to tie it's own products so deep into the system that not only it's virtually impossible to remove them or turn them off but also hinders the usage of competing products. To make matters worse, this is the company which mocks the European Commission's ruling and blatantly refuses to release what the company was ordered to.

This all makes it too obvious that the European Commission's actions are not bullying but clearly a demand to level up the playing field for every competing company in the world, where the US is included.

Moreover, it is stupid to claim that the European Commission wants Microsoft to leave the EU market. First of all, if that was indeed their objective then instead of fining the company, they could simply order them to leave the EU market. That's what you claim that it's what they want. To make matters worse, why would the European Commission want to force out the established, undisputed and obviously unparalleled supplier of the entire foundation that virtually all of the world's businesses rely on? Let's not even state that it would be impossible to do so. Why would the European Commition want to get rid of a range of products which don't have a viable alternative and are the basis for their entire business infra-structure?

Reply Parent Score: 4

tomcat Member since:

Whether or not MS has released the information necessary for rivals to build compatible software is a highly subjective question -- and the thing that bothers me is that the EU is the sole arbiter of whether MS has met that standard. Has the EU set up a standard that's impossible for MS to meet? I don't know. Nobody really knows except the EU. I have to wonder whether the EU would be as hardcore if MS were a European company rather than an American company. It's just a question of fairness. MS should definitely pay for violating the law; however, the EU shouldn't pile-on, either. Just my 2 cents.

Reply Parent Score: -1

ma_d Member since:

Has the EU set up a standard that's impossible for MS to meet? I don't know. Nobody really knows except the EU.
Cop out. If you have the same competency in this matter you have the same knowledge the EU does as they publish this stuff for us all to see. It's not like the EU knows something they're hiding.
If you want to know if they're asking for the impossible, read what they're asking: Documentation for protocols.

Microsoft has responded with things like source code: Something any programmer can tell you is not a good source of information if you want to finish it in a timely manner and not be accused of copyright infringement when you're rewriting it.

It is a subjective question though, because for an uber-genius with lots of time on his hands the binaries are enough documentation.

Reply Parent Score: 2

r_a_trip Member since:

This is not piling on. It is about time the USA stops hiding behind the excuse *that everybody hates America*. The EU is just enforcing European laws, like every other sovereign entity.

Microsoft is well known for polluting protocols created by others and pushing these hybrid monstrosities aggressively out into the market. MS doesn't compete on merrit, they kill competition by several tactics (bundling, Embrace/Extend/Extinguish, preloading) which give MS products the leg up against competing products.

The EU warned MS that these practises wouldn't be tolerated in the European market. They made it very clear that MS should comply with the ruling or be fined an X amount per day of non-compliance. MS stays in non-compliance and now we should feel sorry for poor old MS, because they are an American company that is being piled on by Europe? MS should play by the rules of the markets they operate in.

Just because MS is the biggest supplier of Operating Systems and Office software for average users doesn't mean they can ignore laws without consequences.

Reply Parent Score: 5

quartz Member since:

EU is not the judge of the compliance process. They hired a third-party, well-know computer scientist to evaluate the documentation MS turned out.

Reply Parent Score: 2