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]: How to restore competition
by kaiwai on Sat 21st Jul 2012 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How to restore competition"
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What is fascinating to me about your quote is how when it comes to the smart phone market, it's Microsoft that can't seem to be get any market share. Does anyone seriously believe that Microsoft doesn't have the same depth and breadth of hardware and software support that the Android ecosystem has? Seriously? Doesn't Microsoft at least have more depth and breadth of hardware support that Apple's iphone?

What an interesting quote given you ignored what I was replying to - lets quote it and put in bold so your brain can process it more clearly:

MS has a monopoly in laptop/desktop operating systems due to their undue leverage over OEMs. They've used this leverage to threaten OEMs that don't support Windows 100% (for example, by levying the "MS Tax" on every computer sold rather than every Windows copy sold, by threatening to cut off suppliers that don't follow MS's dictates, etc).

The reply was in regards to Windows on the the desktop/laptop (their traditional markets) and why an alternative hasn't emerged.

I think what Microsoft's terrible performance in the smart phone market in spite of being a gigantic software company does is to validate 2 statements:

1) (Almost) Nobody wants to do business with Microsoft in the phone market, both maker and consumer. A good question is to ask why this is so.

2) If it wasn't for their anti-competitive Microsoft tax on every CPU shipped by hardware OEMs, discounts to OEMs who didn't install other OSes, and ensuring during the 90's that no OEM bootloader was pre-installed for other OSes, Microsoft wouldn't have gotten their PC monopoly.

I'm satisfied by their own performance in the phone market that the only way they could have succeeded was by their at least unsavory business practices. This whole thing with UEFI for Arm based tablets is just their 90's strategy of excluding other operating systems forcibly rehashed again.

Or it could be simpler than that - Microsoft has a disjointed stop-and-start history when it comes to phones and tablets. For hardware companies the margins are razor thin at the best of times so I hardly blame any of them from being sceptical when it comes to ideas coming out of a company that has a reputation for not always sticking with something for the long term. Then there is the issue regarding the incredibly limited range of hardware that Windows Phone 7 supported with vendors asking why even spend money on designing devices that are going to be stuck with 4 year old components and unable to compete with Android and iPhone especially when it comes to the consumer market with games growing in popularity.

Regarding your point 2) regarding the discount given to those who went exclusive, how is that any different to any other organisation that is on the market? I know right now there are large food processing companies who pay supermarkets for prominent positions on the shelf (eye level is buy level as the old saying goes). I remember in Australia there were surf shops who were paid a bonus if the kept a competitor out of their retail store and exclusively stocked their particular brand - again, it is hardly an unheard of practice. When it comes to what Microsoft did - nothing stopped the OEM from absorbing the higher cost at the time because I know white box vendors at least where I was offered dual boot configurations etc. but the differences is they gave you the non-supercheap OEM copy since the small whitebox vendors couldn't apply for the discount since it was only for the big players.

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