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: 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 Parent Score: 12

v RE[2]: As you might expect
by Almafeta on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:55 in reply to "RE: As you might expect"
RE[3]: As you might expect
by Vanders on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:57 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 Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: As you might expect
by dylansmrjones on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:58 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: As you might expect
by risbac on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:59 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: As you might expect
by Kroc on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:10 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 Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: As you might expect
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Sep 2007 13:35 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: As you might expect
by diegocg on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:40 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 Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: As you might expect
by TaterSalad on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:15 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 Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: As you might expect
by alexandru_lz on Mon 17th Sep 2007 18:29 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 Parent Score: 6