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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the beginning of the end
by SReilly on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:58 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

...for MS's virtual monopoly has been in the pipe lines for a long time coming. Ever since the US anti-trust ruling, more and more countries are starting to question they're dependence on one software company for most of they're desktop software needs.

I'm glad the EU has been able to uphold it's findings in court and sue MS for obvious dirty business practices, but the hard part starts now. To get MS to start playing fair, it's not enough to give them a slap on the wrist, you need to force them to do it, i.e. force them to open up they're specifications and protocols.

We don't need Windows without media player, that's just stupid. What we need is free and open documentation on all they're proprietary protocols, and we need MS to include out of the box support for open file standards, like OGG and ODF.

What the EU should have done, in this case at least, was put some serious thought into how MS is holding on to it's virtual monopoly and force them to comply with mesures that undermine those unfair advantages. Getting MS to release a version of Windows without Mediaplayer helps no one.

Reply Score: 3

RE: the beginning of the end
by google_ninja on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:51 in reply to "the beginning of the end"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

The whole point of this thing is that by bundling an app with an OS that virtually everyone uses, you pretty much kill the market for that app.

IMHO, this is retarded reasoning, and keeps OS publishers from adding value to their products. If ubuntu was used by 90%+ of the world, would firefox have to go? If apple ever hit those numbers, would iLife have to go? IMHO, force ms to change their installers for upcoming operating systems to allow more customization, and the problem is solved.

We don't need Windows without media player, that's just stupid. What we need is free and open documentation on all they're proprietary protocols


Agreed, but this is a seperate issue from what was being discussed in this ruling.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: the beginning of the end
by SReilly on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:33 in reply to "RE: the beginning of the end"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Agreed, but this is a seperate issue from what was being discussed in this ruling.

Actually, it isn't
From the article -

More importantly, it endorsed Commission sanctions against Microsoft's tying together of software and refusal to give rival makers of office servers information to enable their products to work smoothly with Windows, used by 95 percent of computers.

The problem of interoperability has been stated as one of the main anticompetitive levers MS use to limit customer choice.

The EU is well aware of MS's unwillingness to allow competitors an even playing field but instead of ordering MS to release they're specs for free, which would allow anybody to write replacement systems, they order MS to choose competitors they want to work with.

The only thing the EU has done is to allow MS to pick and choose who gets to join the party. Considering MS's past behavior, I don't think they should be allowed to make that choice. It just opens the door to more favourism and anti competitive behavior.

Reply Parent Score: 4

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

If ubuntu was used by 90%+ of the world, would firefox have to go?


Does Firefox belong to Ubuntu? No. Think about that for a little while and you'll see why your analogy *completely* misses the mark.

Bundling isn't an issue in Linux distributions, because the company doing the bundling doesn't own all the bundled software, and therefore can't get an unfair advantage to push its own technology on its customers.

You may think it's a trivial thing, but legally it makes all the difference in the world.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: the beginning of the end
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Sep 2007 14:01 in reply to "RE: the beginning of the end"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"If ubuntu was used by 90%+ of the world, would firefox have to go?"

Nope, firefox would not have to go because Ubuntu would still allow it to be uninstalled and still offer almost all competing browser products through it's repositories.

Imagine Windows Update including nearly all win32/64 software including direct competitors through easy downloads. Connect to Windows Update, look under the optional category and there you find IE, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, konqurer, linx, lynx. If that where the case, Windows and Ubuntu as monopoly products could be compared.

Also, if Ubuntu only offered one browser, one office suite, one email client and so one; the consumers would simply move to a different Linux or BSD based OS without any real hardship or loss of personal data files.

Reply Parent Score: 3