Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Dec 2013 13:40 UTC

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is considering making Windows RT and Windows Phone free for OEMs, to combat Android.

We understand that any decision to axe the license fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT would be backed by a push for revenue from Microsoft’s apps and services. Microsoft has been experimenting with ads in Windows 8 apps, and any associated revenue from those apps and the company’s built-in Bing search results would help offset the lack of license fees. Microsoft would also push consumers to subscribe to services like SkyDrive, Office, and Skype for additional revenue.

So, let me get this straight. In April this year, a Microsoft-sponsored antitrust complaint about Android had this to say:

Google's predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google's dominant mobile platform.

And we have the whole Scroogled campaign (I felt dirty just for visiting that site).

And now they're considering doing the exact same things they claim Google is doing unfairly? Does this company have any internal consistency whatsoever?

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RE[2]: Is this a seminal moment?
by Alfman on Wed 11th Dec 2013 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Is this a seminal moment?"
Member since:


"Point is this is the first time that Microsoft needs to adjust. Monopoly gone, business model and strategy needs to change."

I think most of their power came from exploiting their monopoly, they could just control defacto standards by exercising power as a monopoly to neuter the market viability of competitors. That is until antitrust started to be more seriously enforced against microsoft to end their old practices. MS still retains a great deal of power but now that it's a different game they seem to be lacking a competitive strategy in new markets. I think the reason Balmer failed is because he was too used to taking success for granted.

Reply Parent Score: 3

cdude Member since:

Anti-trust didn't had any larger impacts. Microsoft monopoly on the desktop is still present as of today. It is that customers move away from desktop to smart-devices and there, in this new market, Microsoft plays no role. Microsoft is caught on desktop like the desktop is caught by Microsoft. And while we moved, past since its done and now only accelerating, from the desktop-era to the smart-era we moved away from the Microsoft monopoly.

Its even more worse, for Microsoft, since not only is there monopoly gone but they failed, past and decided, to gain anything in that new era. From monopoly to irrelevancy with a ~3% market share rounding error.

Writing Microsoft off goes to far. They may do better in future then they did in past to gain some more percent market share. But gaining back monopoly is, as of today, impossible. What is Microsoft and its products worth without that monopoly? Did we got the answer with WP, RT and Surface already? Is it that bad?

Edited 2013-12-12 15:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:


"Anti-trust didn't had any larger impacts. Microsoft monopoly on the desktop is still present as of today. It is that customers move away from desktop to smart-devices and there, in this new market, Microsoft plays no role."

I won't deny that the regulators often do too little and much too late to help the victims that brought about the antitrust suits in the US and EU. However it's still had impact. Now that MS knows they cannot fly under the radar, the mere risk of antitrust action is helpful in preventing more abuse. When I think of antitrust benefits, I factor this in too, though I realize that some may not.

It's difficult to factually know what would happen in the absence of antitrust regulation; that's inherently speculative. However as an example, without risk of antitrust action, MS might have proceeded to force manufacturers to lock down secure boot code on x86 desktops exclusively to MS operating systems - just like they did with ARM devices, which would have devastated alt-os on x86 in the long term.

"Writing Microsoft off goes to far..."

I don't really write them off, however I think they were assuming that they could command a lead like on the desktop just because they were microsoft. I still give them a far better chance at success than than a typical startup would because they have such large accounts to bankroll their operations. Never the less, it's terribly inefficient to spend all this money and not have a good strategy. From your previous posts I think you and I are in agreement here.

Reply Parent Score: 5