Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Jul 2012 21:12 UTC
Windows The moment Microsoft announced it would lock other browsers out of being installed on Windows RT, we all knew regulatory bodies the world over were wringing their hands. Today, this has been confirmed: in the wake of an investigation into Microsoft not complying with the existing antitrust rulings regarding browser choice, the EU has also announced it's investigating Windows 8 x86 and Windows 8 RT (ARM).
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RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by tomcat on Thu 19th Jul 2012 01:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

WindowsRT is like iOS in that:
WindowsRT apps can only come from the MS app store (exceptions made for people that develop their own apps.) And WindowsRT cannot be purchased by consumers. WindowsRT is only available as part of "integrated" hardware/software devices that are made for sale.


I think it has less to do with the "integrated" nature of the product than it does with monopoly power. The antitrust case in the early 2000s was specifically about x86-class computers. Microsoft doesn't have monopoly power in the ARM-based OS market. Technically speaking, nobody does, since the market is so broad and encompasses a wide swathe of mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc). My guess is that the EU is primarily interested in the x86 market, but is casting a wary eye at the ARM market to understand the competitive dynamics; either way, the EU really can't do much about ARM, given Microsoft's lack of monopoly power. Microsoft can pretty much do anything it wants there.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by pgeorgi on Thu 19th Jul 2012 08:01 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Antitrust matters aren't about killing monopolies in existing categories, it's about making sure those monopolies aren't used to extend it into new markets.

What Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 is text book antitrust behaviour: They use their x86 monopoly to push Metro, to reap the rewards (mindshare, applications) on ARM devices and in the mobile space.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[5]: Comment by Drumhellar
by tomcat on Thu 19th Jul 2012 20:15 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Antitrust matters aren't about killing monopolies in existing categories, it's about making sure those monopolies aren't used to extend it into new markets.


You're erecting a strawman. Nothing I said contradicts that point.

What Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 is text book antitrust behaviour: They use their x86 monopoly to push Metro, to reap the rewards (mindshare, applications) on ARM devices and in the mobile space.


Bullshit. Having x86 monopoly power doesn't give Microsoft any leverage to extend its dominance into the ARM market. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Microsoft can't strong-arm OEMs to tie x86 and ARM together. It can't force consumers to buy ARM machines. It's an entirely separate market and category. Go back and read the market definition for the antitrust trial. It's specifically for "x86-based operating systems". Not ARM operating systems. Furthermore, apps written for x86 won't run natively on ARM. The apps need to be ported/recompiled for ARM.

I'm sure that you'll come back with some nebulous statement about how the common Metro interface, itself, somehow magically transforms into market power on ARM. But that's complete bullshit. The interface gives Microsoft no more power than, say, Google's standardization on the Java runtime on Android gives it power over the ARM market.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by zima on Wed 25th Jul 2012 23:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The antitrust case in the early 2000s was specifically about x86-class computers. [...] My guess is that the EU is primarily interested in the x86 market, but is casting a wary eye at the ARM market to understand the competitive dynamics; either way, the EU really can't do much about ARM, given Microsoft's lack of monopoly power. Microsoft can pretty much do anything it wants there.

This might come as a shock to you, but the EU is not US ...and in the EU cases against MS, it wasn't really, as in the US, explicitly about ~Intel machines.

OTOH, the EU cases (and rulings, and big fines) were about so broad things as access to protocols, specifications to be used by 3rd party software vendors. The issue with browsers would probably fit those.

Reply Parent Score: 2