Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th May 2012 18:06 UTC
Windows Both Mozilla and Google have expressed concern over Windows 8. Microsoft's next big operating system release restricts access to certain APIs and technologies browsers need - only making them available to Internet Explorer. Looking at the facts, it would seem Mozilla and Google have a solid case - coincidentally, the responses on the web are proof of the slippery slope we're on regarding ownership over our own machines.
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RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by MollyC on Fri 11th May 2012 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

In the MS/DOJ case, the plaintiffs and the judge explicitly declared the market in question to be "desktop operating systems on X86 processors". They did that because Microsoft was going to argue that the existence of the Mac showed that Windows was not a monopoly operating system (indeed, that was one of the reasons that Microsoft bailed out Apple in the first place; keep Apple alive so that MS wouldn't have a monopoly). But the DOJ cleverly/cynically narrowed the market to cover only "x86" processors, which ruled out Macs since Macs ran on PPC processors at the time.

So, Windows has only been ruled to have a monopoly on X86. Period. Windows has no monopoly on ARM.

Ironocally, a few years later, Apple switched Macs from PPC to x86, which if had been the case earlier, there would've been no ruling that "WIndows has monopoly status for desktop OSes on x86 processors". If there would've been a monopoly rulling at all, it would've been something like: "Windows enjoys a monopoly status in the market of Windows operating systems." or, "Windows enjoys monopoly status in the market of Windows-compatible operating systems." Which would've been a sounder ruling than the "x86 processors" ruling, IMO.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by shmerl
by cyrilleberger on Fri 11th May 2012 06:28 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shmerl"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

In the MS/DOJ case, the plaintiffs and the judge explicitly declared the market in question to be "desktop operating systems on X86 processors".


Since you need a ruling in only one market to open the API everywhere, and the EU has stricter rules on competition and interoperability, nowadays, competitors are usually bringing their case to the European Commission. The only problem is that it takes a long time to get to a ruling, at least two years. By that time, Microsoft could have re-established IE as the only web browser, they would have to pay an hefty fine, but they probably consider it is worth it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by shmerl
by MollyC on Sat 12th May 2012 07:18 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shmerl"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I don't think anyone could argue that WinRT is a "monopoly" operating system. It can't run any of the x86 Win32 apps in existence, so the idea that it is a monopoly OS just because x86 Windows was deemed as such is absurd. How can it be a monopoly OS when it can't run any of the apps currently in existence?

Since it can't run any Windows x86 apps, then it is a different OS than Windows x86. Period.

Now, let's look at the Mozilla/Google complaint. They complain that they can't make a competitive browser in WinRT - mainly because of the inability to make a good JIT compiler without access to certain Win32 api, apis that MS has alowed WinRT IE to access. OK, it seems unfair advantage for IE, but ... and here's the big but ... WinRT tablets have zero marketshare in mobile devices right now, and have no monopolistic power in that market. If someone wants to run Firefox or Chrome on a mobile/tablet device, there is nothing preventing that person from buying an Android tablet rather than a WinRT tablet. That' just like the current situation, where iPads don't allow Firefox or Chrome, so if one wants to run either of those browsers on a tablet, that person is free to get an Android tablet rather than an iPad.

WinRT tablets aren't a monopoly device such that folks would be overwhelminly compelled to get a WinRT tablet over an Android tablet. Who knows, maybe the inability to run Firefox/Chrome will result in a marketing disadvantage for WinRT tablets relative to Android tablets. Let the market decide. There's no reaosn to scream about monopolies for an OS that hasn't been released, and has zero marketshare, and will likely never be in a monopoly position in its market (and as I said, its market is not Windows x86 devices, since it can't run any Windows x86 apps.)

Oh, I have to chuckle at Mozilla complaining that MS is violating its DOJ settlement, when that settlement expired last year. That settlement is no longer in effect.

Reply Parent Score: 1