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

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 in reply to "Silly Argument"
dylansmrjones Member since:

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 Parent Score: 7

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

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:

Reply Parent Score: 3

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

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 Parent Score: 2

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

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 Parent Score: 2