EU Decides against M$

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by ThomasJefferson, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

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    #1
    The European Commission has reached a preliminary decision that Microsoft broke European competition law and abused its dominant position in the personal computer market. People close to the case said Brussels' competition department had concluded the software company should be fined after a three and a half year investigation, a sign that the chances of settling the case are rapidly running out.
    According to formal Commission charges in August, Microsoft's alleged policy of "tying" Media Player with the rest of Windows "sends signals which deter innovation in any technologies which Microsoft could conceivably take interest in and tie with Windows in the future."
    Microsoft's rivals say that it is technically feasible to strip Media Player out of Windows. However, some of the "solutions" proposed by the Commission such as an obligation to carry rival programs are legally novel.

    http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentS...&c=StoryFT&cid=1073281318271&p=1012571727088#
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #2
    You see, I find this complete nonsence. So they bundle Media Player with Windows, IMO they have evry right to, it is their OS. If you don't like it, don't use it, get another program, Real (LAMO!), VLC, WinAmp, iTunes (;)) etc. It's not hard.
     
  3. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #3
    The problem is not that Microsoft bundles their own software, but that they make it more difficult than what the computer illiterate person can do to use different software. Due to the fact that most computer users fit squarely into this group means that other software companies aren't going to even try and compete with Microsoft when it uses it's OS leverage to promote it's own products.

    Apple doesn't have this problem, because in general Mac users tend to know more about computers (hey, they bought a Mac right? :D) and so if they don't want to use Apple's software, it is easier for them to use other products.
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #4
    No, they don't. You go to download.com, get your player of choice, install it (dbl click the installer, click next a couple times), and (with most) it will associate itself with the file formats it can play. It's childs play, it really is.
     
  5. srobert macrumors 68020

    srobert

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    #5
    Yeah... but it's almost impossible to remove some microsoft apps from windows. Try removing all traces of explorer from your windows system.

    Strange, they're suing the guy and knighting him in the same year ^_^
     
  6. iGav macrumors G3

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    #6
    No, this is the European Commission and they're a Euro nightmare... :rolleyes:
     
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #7
    Explorer.exe is the Windows shell, of course you can't remove it :rolleyes:
     
  8. srobert macrumors 68020

    srobert

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    #8
    Dang! I've been eye-rolled. :D

    I meant Internet Explorer, the browser. Guess I should have been more precise... and if both are the same thing... it's an even worst problem.
     
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #9
    Ah, ok, gotcha. Well, they are not the same thing, but I think the Windows shell (explorer.exe) does use the IE engine (iexplore.exe) for many things, that is why you cannot remove it, and that is why Netscape weren't to pleased when Microsoft origionally went in this direction.
    However, you still don't have to use it. I don't. I am 100% Firebird on my PC, it is the default browser (again, not something that is hard to set, when you run Firebird it asks if you want to make it the default).
     
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #10
    Apple doesn't have this problem because its market share is 5%.

    But didn't MS do more than just bundle? Like make it more difficult to use competing programs, by having it default to WMP, even when it was not selected?
     
  11. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #11
    That's not really the point. Microsoft usually makes software that is good enough for people in general not to complain. So people don't see the need to change. Most people don't even know it is possible to change.

    The problem here is that Microsoft is in a private monopoly situation. There still is no serious competition in the desktop OS market. Microsoft is therefore able to remove any rival from a segment of the software market just by bundling a software product that fills the users needs for this segment.

    If Microsoft is allowed to use this trick for any software that seems to be able to bring in some extra $$$ indirectly (pay-per-view, online-music, advertisement), then it will be easy for them to further entrench their monopoly situation.

    When there is no real competition in a software segment, no-one cares about improving the products. This is the real problem.

    For Apple this is no problem, not because Mac-users know more about computers, but because OS-X's market share is just 2-15%, depending on how you do the math.
     
  12. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #12
    -All

    These mentions of why Apple hasn't been prosecuted due to Market Share while interesting, isn't the point.

    The point is that there is a big difference between 'Bundling' and 'Tying'. And the EU's case is based on the 'Tying' aspect.

    Bundling is what Apple does. The included software with their OS. Safari, iCal, Mail, iLife, etc are examples. But none of these are critical to the operation of the OS. You could remove every trace of these items and your machine will still work, ergo, permissible.

    Tying is what IExplore is. It's been baked into the base operation of the computer. And the EU can see that MS is attempting the same with MediaPlayer, and they are smart enough to get ahead of the game. Luckily for them, with the IExplore evidence, there is legal precedent here. Which, of course, past behavior dictating potential future action is weighed very heavily in the courts.

    As for how Market Share plays into this, it affects the urgency and scope of effects of the prosecution of the case, but not the legal basis at all.
     
  13. MacRumorSkeptic macrumors regular

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    #13
    For Gods sake people, let the FREE MARKET decide! When consumer dissatisfaction is at an all time low, (which is going to happen) people will leave MS in droves.

    Apple has Quicktime built into the OS, does that mean that if down the line Apple becomes the defacto standard in computing that they shouldn't be allowed to include it as the default media player?
     
  14. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

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    #14
    I would agree with you except that MS has a monopoly. They can, and have removed competition (they make themseleves competitiors to thier own developers BTW) by simply including any software that copies the functionality well enough, why would your average customer download a 30+ MB netscape installer, or an 18MB QT installer etc.

    The difference also is that if apple ever tried something like that, the developers can always move to windows and make money...what are you going to tell corel to do when MS includes a 'painter' program with windows, or Macromedia when MS includes thier own version of "flash player" with longhorn? Move thier products to only Mac? Linux? Why don't they just tell them to jump off a bridge...
     
  15. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

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    #15
    This is not a free market.

    The example doesn't apply because apple has 5% MS has 95%, thats why quicktime was brought out on windows along with the mac version.
    Yes.
     
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #16
    Sure it does. Governments in essentially free-market countries are still "allowed" and even supposed to regulate the market to prevent situations of private monopoly.
     
  17. cubist macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Call up Dell and ask them what OSs you can choose on a computer from them. Then call HP, Gateway, anybody. Look through their catalogs and see what OSs are offered - or if machines are offered without an OS. Then tell us how free the market is.

    Yes, this will change, but not until late this year or early next year, and only because the manufacturers will have to respond to corporate demand.
     
  18. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I just polled ALL of the Wintel users and hardly any of them knew what the download.com site was nor where to find it.
     
  19. MacRumorSkeptic macrumors regular

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    #19
    For crying out loud! MICROSOFT IS NOT A MONOPOLY!!! Last I checked they have competition from Apple and Linux. A monopoly is when there is only 1 seller. Consumers still have a CHOICE!
     
  20. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #20
    Go shout somewhere else. If > 90% marketshare isn't a monopoly then goats lay eggs (or however that saying goes in English).
     
  21. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #21
    It was just an example [​IMG]. they didn't know where to find download.com????? Hmmm...maybe at http://www.download.com [​IMG], honestly, making you, or whoever you asked seem plain thick does not win an argument :rolleyes:.
     
  22. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #22
    Absolutly agree. Its not M$ fault if people are to stupid to get another music player or browser or whatsoever. And I guess for the stupid guys its not a bad thing, that everything is coming with the OS and pre-installed.
     
  23. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #23
    -MacRumorSkeptic

    Despite your impassioned statement, and interesting definition of what a monopoly is, Microsoft was convicted in United States Federal Court under Civil Action No. 98-1232 (TPJ) and Civil Action No. 98-1233 (TPJ)

    They are a Monopolist.
     
  24. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #24
    It’s an unknown expression to me, but it translates well and describes graphically the impossibility of not understanding the monopoly character of Microsoft.

    MacRumorSkeptic, perhaps you should read the legal judgment (U.S. vs. Microsoft) in which Microsoft is explicitly named as a monopoly. It is a free download as a pdf file from the Washington Post

    and done without shouting.
     
  25. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #25
    Wha?

    The Queen of England and head of the Commonwealth is suing Micro$oft?

    First I heard.
     

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