Home > Microsoft > Windows XP variant is embedded in EU probe Windows XP variant is embedded in EU probe Eugenia Loli 2004-03-20 Microsoft 20 Comments Microsoft software designed for, of all things, cash registers and slot machines played a persuasive role in the European Union’s landmark antitrust case labeling it an abusive monopolist. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 20 Comments 2004-03-20 7:59 pm It’s proven. The EC really doesn’t understand technology, or at least Windows. Windows XP Embedded gives OEMs a platform where they can add and remove Windows components they need and don’t need for a *specific* use. Try installing Photoshop on a cash register using Windows XP Embedded. The chances of you managing to install it is slim to none. 2004-03-20 9:51 pm quote from cnet: “To remove Windows Media Player, you would actually have to rip out the underlying code. And if you do that, you hobble the system completely,” said Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes. I am not an expert of MSWindows technology but… Why would anyone actually have to rip out the underlying code. Doesn’t the frontend that we know as the WMP interface actually tap into a backend. This backend that includes interface to DirectSound, etc does not have to be removed. A third party like Real, or the guy creating Media Player Classic, or whoever should be allowed to create a front-end for this backend. If this is not possible Microsoft clearly built Windows Media Player to blockout the competition. Is there or is there not an audio subsystem that third parties can tap into? I don’t use WMP I only sometimes use their codecs, so why should have the whole player installed. If iTunes is removed will that disable any third party from being able to use the OS to provide audio playback capabilities. Again either MS is lying or they delibrately architected WMP in such a way to stop competition, thus they are being an abusive monopoly. They could have done things differently. I don’t if the argument could be made any clearer than that. I recently bought XP version 2002 (the one with SP1 slipstreamed), on a second CD they include an update to WMP8 (the new WMP9), and movie maker2. You see these programs did not need to be upgrades, but instead they could have been a choice, where I chose to install them in the OS in the first place. Microsoft after a fresh install could have had links on the desktop to these programs so they could be installed. These links could have asked for this CD to be inserted. There are a couple of ways MS could have handled all of this, but no, they are the supreme power and we must have all their applications, even though some of us just want the OS, and the choice of apps installed. The argument is clear, and Rajan R you may be correct the EC may not understand technology, but MS are the ones that abused their monopoly by producing their technology in such a way to make it impossible to remove stuff like WMP. What about the Real demo, To demonstrate that removing Windows Media Player will not affect the PC’s multimedia features, Real played a ColdPlay CD and a trailer from “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” on the PC through RealPlayer. “We believe this demonstrates clearly it is technically feasible to separate Windows Media Player from Windows and have a stable operating system. And, Microsoft has done a substantial amount of work to enable that,” said Dave Stewart, deputy general counsel for RealNetworks. What did Real do that made this possible, or was there demonstration one that does not tap into MS codecs, because Real always needs the app to be installed, eg iTunes, quicktime combination. Anyway MS has to do something about it. I can see MS see including these programs is all about the out of box experience. But I don’t want what they offer, just the ease of the OS is all I want. 2004-03-20 9:52 pm 😀 2004-03-20 10:18 pm so their argument is that, much like internet exploder, windows media player is built into the core of their OS. now lets say i’m running a web server, application server, database server, or some other headless workhorse. why would i want media playing and web browsing capabilities built into my server? this is doing a couple things: adding complexity, creating code bloat, probably loading libraries, and opening potential security holes. all for things that i will never use on that system. if i were choosing an operating system to run mission critical services, that list would be my first reason to not choose windows (and there’s more reasons). but i might want to listen to some toons in the server room one day… maybe i’ll rethink that…. 2004-03-20 11:09 pm There are only 3 major media (video/audio) players (WMP, Real, Quicktime) and they all suck shit. Out of those three, WMP is probably the best one anyway. What would really be cool is if you could just get all the codecs that these players support, and play them in Media Player Classic, which is lik 10x better than any of the ‘big 3’ from a usability standpoint. Personally, I wish they could/would get MS to ship Windows without Internet Exploiter – now THAT would be a step up 2004-03-21 12:04 am i dont think that being able to make a small os is the problem or real making a frontend for wmp backend. the movie player dosent bring the money. the money comes from those who hawto licens the codec to make films and pay the fee for the streaming server. and if im going to pay to put some streaming media on my webpage would i chose to use the best codec or would i use a codec that evryone allredy has? 2004-03-21 12:13 am Rajan R> Try installing Photoshop on a cash register using Windows XP Embedded. The chances of you managing to install it is slim to none. On the other hand, it would never accept fake money. ;-P 2004-03-21 12:19 am “and if im going to pay to put some streaming media on my webpage would i chose to use the best codec or would i use a codec that evryone allredy has?” In this case it’s the same thing. 2004-03-21 1:19 am “and if im going to pay to put some streaming media on my webpage would i chose to use the best codec or would i use a codec that evryone allredy has?” Most streaming media is played within the browser therefore the actual application WMP8/9 is not fully launched. This functionality I hope can remain but the full on WMP/music jukebox is not required I already use winamp for my music, and if apple ever gets around to opening its music store in Australia I may have a use for iTunes. I liked iTunes but without being able to access there store I had very little use for it since using Winamp5 in classic mode only use less than 3% CPU on my slow k6-2 450Mhz. 2004-03-21 1:52 am Microsoft is on trial in Minnesota regarding overcharging for Windows and the Word and Excel programs. Because of the leaked Halloween X memo, and the subsequent revelation that Microsoft was instrumental in finding funding for SCO, something I simply couldn’t believe until BayStar admitted it […] Read on at http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040320130555648 When is the Burst.com vs. Microsoft trial? 2004-03-21 2:18 am @Darius Personally, I wish they could/would get MS to ship Windows without Internet Exploiter – now THAT would be a step up I just think that most people expect it to come with windows, and it’s not like you can buy a browser for retail. And if you’re a windows user wanting to download firefox, you gotta have a browser in the first place. @John Blink In a way, you can uninstall, actually remove access to wmp and ie and use your own apps without ever seeing ie and wmp. This was added in xp sp1 and w2k sp3 as required by the DoJ, and it’s also on the start menu itself so you see it every time you click start. Though it doesn’t remove the files, they do act as if they don’t exist. It’s only 2-10mb so its no big deal. I’m guessing you didn’t know this since you have an old laptop with 98se or me? 2004-03-21 4:06 am “And if you’re a windows user wanting to download firefox, you gotta have a browser in the first place.” I’m afraid you’ll have to rephrase that statement. Firefox FTP link, Windows version, official 0.8 version on official FTP ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/0.8/Firefox… “and it’s not like you can buy a browser for retail.” Oh, that’s possible. http://store.mozsource.com http://www.opera.com/buy I don’t know about every ISP, but here ISP’s used to ship a CD after the user signed up for an account. It’s not like we’re living in a static environment where this is mission impossible, is it? “In a way, you can uninstall, actually remove access to wmp and ie and use your own apps without ever seeing ie and wmp.” If MSIE is removed, MSIE is still started with the Windows OS, isn’t it? As for your comment that it “is required to view HTML” elsewhere. Last time i checked other browsers i know, including Lynx Opera Netscape Mozilla, are perfect able to allow the user to view HTML files based on the latest HTML 4.x standards. 2004-03-21 10:13 am Why would anyone actually have to rip out the underlying code. Because EC require them to. Doesn’t the frontend that we know as the WMP interface actually tap into a backend. Yes, but much of the backend (especially NetShow) came from Windows Media Player and the EC wants that out. A third party like Real, or the guy creating Media Player Classic, or whoever should be allowed to create a front-end for this backend. You see, NetShow tilts in favour of WMP. For example, it supports WMV/WMA instead of *.RM (no suprise there, considering how Real protects their crown jewels). The thing is that there is media players that in some way or another provide a front end to these APIs from WMP (i.e. Kazaa uses them for their Theater mode). With this, people have far less reason to license Real for their software – why pay when you can get it for free? I don’t use WMP I only sometimes use their codecs, so why should have the whole player installed. If you don’t want WMP, DOJ has a present for you. Go to Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs> Set Program Access and Defaults. You never have to see WMP again. What did Real do that made this possible, or was there demonstration one that does not tap into MS codecs, because Real always needs the app to be installed, eg iTunes, quicktime combination. Furthermore, what Real did not do is run third-party applications (like Premier, Kazaa, etc.) that *require* certain WMP APIs. 2004-03-21 10:29 am janeiro: now lets say i’m running a web server[…] Now let’s wonder why you are considering retail consumer Windows. dpi: I’m afraid you’ll have to rephrase that statement. Firefox FTP link, Windows version, official 0.8 version on official FTP Considering that it was IE that gave Windows Explorer FTP capabilities, wouldn’t the removal of IE make that a wee bit too hard? Now, considering a IE-less Windows can access FTP servers out of the box – the big question is how on earth is the average Joe going to find the FTP server in question? dpi: Oh, that’s possible. http://store.mozsource.com 2004-03-21 10:43 am Rajan R, what RealMedia has demonstrated is that Microsoft can create a version of Windows XP which is more modular than the one currently sold. So MS willingly deciding not to integrate WMP into Windows XP in a modular way is a sign of monopolistic behaviour. And this behaviour must be punished, according to Mr. Mario Monti and the other 15 members of the Competition Commission. Any other technical or economical consideration doesn’t matter at all. 2004-03-21 10:47 am It can be argued that Directshow is part of the OS. In fact Directshow is a part of DirectX, no longer a part of WMP. Both WMP and the codecs can be safely removed though without any serious consequences other than putting M$ in the same league as their competitors (download codecs and player yourself). 2004-03-21 1:30 pm “Considering that it was IE that gave Windows Explorer FTP capabilities, wouldn’t the removal of IE make that a wee bit too hard? Now, considering a IE-less Windows can access FTP servers out of the box – the big question is how on earth is the average Joe going to find the FTP server in question?” Juh, that’s a better statement. It is something which hasn’t been solved yet. Although i gave an option for ISP’s to solve this. “Wondering if you can waltz in and out of CompUSA with a retail box of Mozilla.” I don’t know what CompUSA is but it isn’t like the world is static and stores can’t accomplish this, is it? “You really don’t understand Windows don’t you? Ever wondered what’s “Internet Explorer 4.0 or above” on the requirements on a lot of software is for? Paid advertising?” (Like i explained 2 times already, in correct English you phrase a sentence like this in the following way: You don’t […], do you?) That sentence has lost its’ meaning on the internet because it has been made falsely numerous times (with support from Microsoft. You know very well what i mean here). Microsoft can change this bevahiour. They just have to change their source. The argument that “it isn’t possible because it is tightly integrated in the OS” which i saw again in this article is a flawed one because Microsoft doesn’t actually proof their statement with references to the code. Till they do, i don’t believe them. And when they’re succesfully sued they can perfectly spend a few bucks to fix this. Until this is proven, i don’t buy it. More importantly, it is Microsoft who has a problem here, it is up to Micrososft to solve these problems according to the court ruling and regarding WMP. Don’t wanna? Tough. Adapt or die. 2004-03-21 7:42 pm Stripping out certain parts of Windows is great news if it actually can come to reality. WMP+IE are the two mentioned, but I come to think of MSN Messenger which is also no need to have around. I think a brilliant solution would be for MS to sell a stripped down Windows version (for a little less money?) and then offer extra CDs like “Mediapack” which would include WMP or for instance, Webpack (MSN+IE?) just like the office products work today. Surely most would buy them, but at least this gives the option for other companies to offer something similar like for Opera to offer their add-on package. This way we would have a lot healthier market and Windows will stay in dominance for quite some time before any x86 option comes around 2004-03-22 12:21 am Great point! Exactly what i meant with the dynamic market for such about the CD selling of Mozilla, Opera. MS is Free to join in that CD selling, and others are Free to change their market behaviour (since such is dynamic). It would be stupid when the competitors would leave this change aside, but that’s not the point: the point is that it becomes possible to compete on this layer, without an advatage for one or another. 2004-03-22 12:42 am Offtopic: site criticism. If you don’t want reactions to jokes on this site, why don’t you also mod down the joke itself, too? And just make it another rule in your T.O.U.: No jokes allowed. That will save time for both of us. PS: Just FYI, in my dictionary, not using jokes makes a person (or a site) _less_ serious, not more. YMMV.