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M$ gets another slap on the wrist...gets fined by EU.

While this is a little more that a drop in the is still not a whole lot in the scheme of things for M$.  Microsoft has been on the wrong end of a couple things now...HD and the EU.  I still see them rolling on down the road, I don't see anyone changing their current dominance.



"Talk is cheap," Kroes said. "Flouting the rules is expensive."

Microsoft's actions have stifled innovation and affected millions of people around the world, Kroes said. She called the record 899 million euro fine "a reasonable response to a series of quite unreasonable actions."

"We could have gone as high as 1.5 billion euros ($2.23 billion)," she said. "The maximum amount is higher than what we did at the end of the day."

Microsoft fought hard against a March 2004 decision that led to a 497 million euro ($613 million) fine and an order that the software maker share interoperability information with rivals within 120 days. The company lost its appeal in that case in September.

Microsoft was fined $357 million in July 2006 for failing to obey that order.

The EU alleged that Microsoft withheld crucial interoperability information for desktop PC software — where it is the world's leading supplier — in an effort squeeze into a new market and damage rivals.

The company delayed compliance for three years, the EU said, only making changes in October to the patent licenses for companies that need data to create software that works with Microsoft.

"It is easier to be cruel than wise. The road to wisdom is long and difficult... so most people just turn out to be assholes" Feng (Christopher Walken)


  • Keebs1984Keebs1984 Member Posts: 1,356

    If only the U.S. government had as big a spine as the EU. Seriously does nobody else find it distrubing that the next biggest OS competitor is a proprietary software designed for use only with Mac computers built by Apple?

    Eternally mine,


    The MMO gaming blog I write for.

  • baffbaff Member Posts: 9,457

    The U.S. government takes a %of Microsofts profits.


    And no, I don't think I care that MS has no serious rivals, in fact I think it is to my own and world as a whole's advantage.

    A unified code. A common language, like the whole world speaking English as a first language.


    Some things need a worldwide uniform standard. It is key to the interoperability of parts. Just as IBM made the unified standard for PC design, MS does it for the OS.

    I don't want another competitor here.


    Where I do want, and benefit from, competition fro MS is in the peripheral programs, not the OS. I want another provider of web browsers, a Firefox, to keep IE innovating itself. A BSP player to push Media player develoment to it's limits.

    The danger is when MS incorporates a firewall or anti-virus into it's system, that all the other firewall and anti-virus providers instantly go out of business; as MS provides theirs as part of Windows and no one needs two.  At this point, with a market monopoly, MS no longer has any need to put any effort into it's anti-virus and Firewall tech and the end user see's a slowdown in tech improvements.


    The same is of course true of monopolising the OS market. The improvements made are few and far between without any serious competition spurring the development on.

    Fortunately, I don't need a new and improved OS. It is just about the least important software to me. I'm happy with my current one and I get a far bigger benefit from being able to use any and all softwares from around the world on it without compatability issues than I honestly believe I would get from having Direct X 11, or Media Player 10 by now.  

    In fact I get a far bigger benefit from having a compatable OS than I think I would from DX10 or Media Player 9. So I haven't upgraded to Vista either.

    I don't want OS's to improve. I don't want a choice of other Os's. I want them to stay the same for as long as possible. 

  • lomillerlomiller Member Posts: 1,810
    Monopolies are not illegal on their own, in fact copyright and patents are a form government created monopoly but are essential for some types of products to even exist.  


    There are some caveats to keep in mind. Free market and monopolies are mutually contradictory.  Any time a monopoly exists you no longer have a free market and free market and benefits will not happen unless the monopoly is forced to play within a set of rules not normally needed in a true free market.  


    Second, you can’t allow one monopoly to be used as leverage for advantage in some related market.  This is the vertical monopoly that caused so many problems in the 19’th century.  (Railroads controlled access to material, so if they decided to sell a competing product they simply refused to handle your freight.  Your company went under and they sold their inferior competing product for 3X the price.)


    To some extent Microsoft is guilty of both. Windows 95 cost $30 - $70, Vista can run nearly $300 for the full version, and most business are forced to buy it twice.  If you are buying a PC for a large business you are forced to buy one with Windows already installed.  To install your own business specific image so everyone is running the same version with the same apps you need to buy a second license through a select of enterprise agreement.  You cannot legally re-image a Windows machine otherwise.


    At least part of that price increase is due to Microsoft bundling products like a web browser into Windows.  They develop the web browser, include it with the OS and raise the price. This means you are forced to pay MS for a web browser even if you would prefer not to use it.  Furthermore, the MS web browser includes MS propitiatory, non-WC3 compliant extensions, so if web developers want to guarantee it works properly they need to develop non-standard HTML that only works on MS web browsers, making it impossible for a competing product to even exist. 


    The next step after that would be to change the web browser so it only works properly with a MS web server.  Now they can sell the OS, web browser and web server for whatever they want and you have to pay if you want to brows or conduct business on the internet.  
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