Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Dec 2007 18:31 UTC, submitted by abdavidson
Legal "Opera Software filed a complaint with the European Commission yesterday which is aimed at giving consumers a genuine choice of Web browsers. The complaint describes how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards. Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer."
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RE[2]: Morons
by zztaz on Fri 14th Dec 2007 05:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Morons"
zztaz
Member since:
2006-09-16

One aspect that gets lost in these discussions is that in large part you and I are not Microsoft's customers. Dell and HP are. In the US trial, HP showed that Microsoft used their market power to prevent HP from making changes to the desktop that reduced HP's support costs.

The situation has improved lately, but in past, IE was responsible for considerable support costs from poor security. End users may have paid most of the cost of Microsoft's decisions, but surely OEMs felt some of it in increased phone support and other measures. I can't prove it, but I think that a reasonable case may be made that OEMs could have saved money by replacing IE.

Average users don't need to figure out how to install Opera, OEMs do, and can. Average users do tend stay with what they were given, which could have been Opera if Microsoft hadn't flexed its market power.

Personally, I think that Microsoft's efforts to use their market power on the desktop as a lever to gain control over the Internet has failed. The same may be true about their bundling codecs in an attempt to control multimedia distribution and peripherals. But they have succeeded in using control over the desktop to extend their monopoly into the server market. AD, Exchange, and the general lack of documented protocols are clearly aimed at suppressing competition for servers supporting Windows desktops.

It's OK to hold an earned monopoly. The problem is using that monopoly to extend the monopoly into other markets. It's too late for unbundling the browser to matter. Splitting Microsoft up would work, and be better for the stockholders in the long run. Separate Office from Windows, or desktops from servers, and the incentive for real competition increases. Microsoft can compete, Microsoft should compete, but too many managers and executives inside Microsoft can't resist the temptation to use sheer size to avoid competing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Morons
by google_ninja on Fri 14th Dec 2007 18:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Morons"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

One aspect that gets lost in these discussions is that in large part you and I are not Microsoft's customers. Dell and HP are. In the US trial, HP showed that Microsoft used their market power to prevent HP from making changes to the desktop that reduced HP's support costs.


I agree 100%. MS should be nailed to the wall for the way they use OEM volume licensing deals to pressure OEMs. I wasn't really talking about that though, and neither is Opera. I'm not saying that MS is a good and honest company, I am saying they are still getting alot of flack from people who know very little, but talk alot, in areas that we have seen dramatic improvement in.

The situation has improved lately, but in past, IE was responsible for considerable support costs from poor security. End users may have paid most of the cost of Microsoft's decisions, but surely OEMs felt some of it in increased phone support and other measures. I can't prove it, but I think that a reasonable case may be made that OEMs could have saved money by replacing IE.


I agree again. IE6 was a joke when it came to security, which is why the priorities in IE7 went

1 - Security
2 - Fix common rendering bugs
3 - Support things like CSS better

They talked about that on their blog, and how far they are along with each item. IMHO security is good now with IE, especially with UAC. It is actually a pain to use it for things like intranet webapps, because if you don't have the settings jacked, it complains alot. With UAC, the IE specifically is sandboxed, and alot more restricted with what it can and cant do then other apps. As for IE bugs, they fixed a good dozen or so of the worst bugs that plagued us web devs. IMHO they could have done more, but if I remember right, the transition from IE5->IE6 actually introduced more, so I'm not complaining. When it comes to CSS, there is still alot of work to be done. Like with the rendering, a step forward is a hell of alot better then a step back, but there are a few tags (like min-width) that NEED to be supported because of how incredibly useful they are in css based layout schemes.

Apparently with IE8 we are getting a new engine, and they have spent alot of time finding out what frustrates developers, and triaging these issues. Like I said in my original post, they are not where they need to be, but they are making measurable moves in the right direction.

Average users don't need to figure out how to install Opera, OEMs do, and can. Average users do tend stay with what they were given, which could have been Opera if Microsoft hadn't flexed its market power.


Demanding OEMs not be restricted in what they choose to bundle with the OS is more then reasonable. Demanding that Opera be bundled with the OS is a totally different issue.

Personally, I think that Microsoft's efforts to use their market power on the desktop as a lever to gain control over the Internet has failed. The same may be true about their bundling codecs in an attempt to control multimedia distribution and peripherals. But they have succeeded in using control over the desktop to extend their monopoly into the server market. AD, Exchange, and the general lack of documented protocols are clearly aimed at suppressing competition for servers supporting Windows desktops.


That is actually why MS hates Google so much. MS has always been about platform controls, and google managed to dominate web services in the matter of a few years, which is something microsoft has wanted before web services even existed. You can see that with stuff like Silverlight, MS is not only helping Miguel and company to implement a GPL clone, but they are paying for the proprietary licenses it will take to do it properly.

What I don't understand is why they don't do the same thing with .net. As an ASP.net developer, I can say that the platform is an absolute joy to work with. Due to its nature, it would blow alternatives like java out of the water if it were cross platform. Not only that, but MS wouldn't even have to support it, because Novell would be more then happy to provide mono. All it would take is a re-licensing of a few things (like the class libraries) to let mono use it, and a patent grant of the things that could come up as issues in the future. Imagine if all it took were a few lines to port any windows application to linux and OSX. MS would also be in control of the platforms direction, which is what they seem to always want to do, whatever the cost.

It's OK to hold an earned monopoly. The problem is using that monopoly to extend the monopoly into other markets. It's too late for unbundling the browser to matter. Splitting Microsoft up would work, and be better for the stockholders in the long run. Separate Office from Windows, or desktops from servers, and the incentive for real competition increases. Microsoft can compete, Microsoft should compete, but too many managers and executives inside Microsoft can't resist the temptation to use sheer size to avoid competing.


I agree here too. Splitting up the microsoft BUs would be good for everyone. The problem is that the US government really dropped the ball, they were talking about this way back during the initial DoJ stuff, but it never happened.

Thanks for the intelligent post. I enjoy talking about this sort of thing, but it rarely happens on this site.

Reply Parent Score: 1