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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Yet with other alternatives, I can uninstall the equivalents of notepad, fonts, directX, icons.

NTFS is a partition file format so that's really outside the scope of "bundled applications" since it is an essencial part of the NT OS unlike notepad, IE and WMP which are user space programs not truly essential to booting the NT kernel and reading a drive.

But there again, I can choose from over 30 different partition file formats including fat16, fat32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, RieserFS. Still, with winNT, I can use fat32 or NTFS partitions but in reality the functions provided by NTFS are still essential to a properly functioning and secure winNT. I include this last bit as more of a comparison demonstrating the limitation of Windows and flexability of it's alternatives.

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gonzo Member since:

NTFS is a partition file format so that's really outside the scope of "bundled applications" since it is an essencial part of the NT OS unlike notepad, IE and WMP which are user space programs not truly essential to booting the NT kernel and reading a drive.

Why is NTFS essential part of the NT OS when Windows can work using FAT, etc?

How about TTF fonts? Look, you and I can't sell our font collections that well cause Windows has TTF fonts already. Etc, etc. MS should be punished?

Who gets to say what's in scope and what's not? The truth is in the eye of the beholder, you know.

Should MS be punished because Vista has speech recognition? There are also third-party applications for that (DragonSpeak, for example) so, surely they suffer from Vista's new capabilities???

Etc, etc.

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jabbotts Member since:

I think one can reasonably draw a line between what is integrated and abusing monopoly power to kill competition and what is integrated without causing unfair advantage over the competition.

If FAT supported partition level security then there may be an argument against NTFS but it doesn't while NTFS does. If you build a winNT on fat32, you don't get to make real use of those read/write/create file attributes which negates the entire basis of NT security. That makes NTFS an integral part of winNT.

Font retailers and distributors are not being monopolied out of the market. I've a friend who owns a printshop and Mircrosoft's fonts must be less than 10% of his available type faces. Pointing at fonts, notepad and other minimal applications which are not truly pushing other competitors out of the market is *really* stretching it.

Who desides though? I'd say reasonable and rational people with the technical unbias knowledge to evaluate the indavidual components and overall integrated product. WMP, the Browser.. those are major applications that obviously create an unfair advantage over competition through there integration. Can we uninstall DirectX or install DirectX on other platforms to see all those spiffy websites that prefer IE standards over industry standards?

The problem is really not that these integrated applications are part of the default installation or even available as options. The issue is still that they cannot be removed without voiding your warrenty and EULA.

I use firefox and Media Monkey for my browsing and media file management; can I uninstall WMP and IE or do I need to leave the bloated media player and browser security risk on my machine?

If I have a employee who's job does not include any need of an internet browser where a network connection is needed; can I uninstall the browser from that workstation or will I be seeing website browsing in the network monitor? Granted, this one is a management issue but in reality a network use policy does very little and would be unnecissary if the browser was integrated. (IE being originally to kill competition for internet access when MS went 180 on there "that internet fad will blow over" possition)

Going overboard and trying to make an argument out of the partition type or light apps like notepad is really reaching for a basis of argument; even if your just playing devil's advicate. There is a rational distinction between the major components being discussed and the lesser applications. Anyone who tried to take MS to court over notepad would have a case even OJ's lawyer couldn't spin into a win. At that point, the argument is just irrational and over the top.

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