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Russia Launches Anti-trust Probe of Microsoft

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the from-russia-with-love dept.

The Courts 221

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Russia's state anti-monopoly service said on Thursday it had launched a probe of Microsoft over cutbacks in supplies of its Windows XP operating system in Russia. The agency said it thought Microsoft had violated antimonopoly legislation by cutting delivery of Windows XP operating system to Russia both separately and pre-installed on personal computers, as well as in its pricing policy on the product. It said it would consider the case on July 24, 2009."

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Russia launches... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211447)

When I read the first two words I nearly had a heart attack, since the other launches lately have been NK testing missiles.

Re:Russia launches... (3, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211661)

When I read TFA I nearly had a heart attack, as NYCL posted something which has nothing to do with the media industry!

Re:Russia launches... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212601)

NYCL posted something which has nothing to do with the media

Huh? Microsoft products are delivered via media just as much as Sony's (for example) are. Even if you were using "media" as a weird synonym for "entertainment" (or "culture") it would seem to be as much applicable to Microsoft as to the companies NYCL usually takes an interest in. In fact even if you meant to say "music industry", Microsoft would be more than tangentially involved.

Re:Russia launches... (0, Offtopic)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211925)

Is it sad that you expected to hear about the potential outbreak of WW3 on /. of all things?

Re:Russia launches... (0, Offtopic)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212429)

It's not like Russia isn't the country with highest number of non-military launches in history. Heck, they had even exclusively resupplied the ISS when Shuttles were grounded...

In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211455)

In Soviet Russia, Microsoft probes YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211691)

Yeah, fuck you too Mr abusive moderator. This should have been a +5, and you know it.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211891)

If you're going to troll moron mods then do it right:

Fuck thumb-suckers, sycophants, religious dumbfucks, middle managers, salesman, marketing, C-level officers, Larry Wall (see religious dumbfucks), sterile humor, homosexuals, niggers (wait, that's pointless as there are no niggers on the internet), the 3 cumdumpsters on Slashdot ("Tee-hee I always get +5 because I have a vagina tee-hee"), so-called Slashdot "editors", breeders and their crotch-fruit, people who listen to electronic music, and Microsoft parrots.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1, Redundant)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212119)

... I'm too late. I had hope after seeing the first post was about launches. Alas. In soviet russia, anonymous coward posts YOU first.

I thought... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211457)

... in Russia, Microsoft would launch the probe! /Slashdot has been lying to me....

...Profit! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211469)

After so many other countries are getting on the whole anti-monopoly bandwagon, why should Russia be left out of the money?

Waiting for bribes (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211693)

If you're referring to EU fines...they are absolutely insignificant pocket change for EU budget; they wouldn't even make a difference to most of its individual memberstates.

In this case the amount of money would be similarly insignificant when it comes to contribution to Russian budget. OTOH...there are certianly few individuals who could forget the whole deal for some favours. That's how things work in post-soviet countries.

In anycase, the claims are bogus, almost everybody runs pirated software in Russia.

Re:Waiting for bribes (2, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211851)

"In any case, the claims are bogus, almost everybody on Earth runs pirated software."

Fixed that for you ;-)

Re:Waiting for bribes (1)

InMSWeAntitrust (994158) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211947)

[A]lmost everybody runs pirated software in Russia.

[citation needed]

Re:Waiting for bribes (0, Troll)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212039)

You are right, also, EU fines are not originated by some EU entity, or by EU itself, as it is perceived. Local EU firms ring the bell at EU antitrust commission and want some other firm contested, mostly some big US corporation like Microsoft. Behind every EU antitrust fine is some local firm and their law team.

Re:Waiting for bribes (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212305)

Hey, with vast majority of EU fines being levied on European companies, can you really blame them for thinking that ALL companies operating in EU, not only local ones, should follow rules?

Did you know? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211475)

The Russian state anti-monopoly service is itself a monopoly.

And you cant bring the Parker Brothers game into Russia for fear it might contact the anti-monopoly service, creating a huge explosion.

Re:Did you know? (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211835)

Microsoft and its standards shysters were quite succesful with Open XML and prevented the National Operating System of Russia. Now the next opportunity to cash in for Russian officials.

Re:Did you know? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212541)

no, not a huge explosion. just self annihilation.

That's Pretty Funny... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211477)

One of the major pirating nations "concerned" about possible Microsoft antitrust violations...just keep stealing it, Ivan...

How do you say "chutzpah" in Russian?

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (4, Informative)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211559)

Well, Chutzpah is a word derived from hebrew [wikipedia.org] . The best english equivalent is "audacity", and it comes out as this [rustran.com] . You can translate it here [imtranslator.net] and hear what it sounds like.

(Too bad Slashdot will inevitably mess up any attempt at a foreign language. The word comes out like this: "ÑмÐÐоÑÑÑOE")

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211613)

The word comes out like this: "ÑмÐÐоÑÑÑOE"

It translates it to Swedish?

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211653)

(Too bad Slashdot will inevitably mess up any attempt at a foreign language. The word comes out like this: "ÑмÐÐоÑÑÑOE")

Based on the timescale of the CSS conversion, we should be looking forward to UTF8 support before 2020. Hopefully, the classic (AKA "working") comments system will be restored as default by then also.

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211963)

What problems are people having with the Comments Beta system? I'm running Firefox 3, NoScript + AdBlock (which slashdot.org and fsdn.com whitelisted) and I find it quite nice to have dynamically expanding messages and responses. Is this a problem on some browsers or configurations?

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212161)

It's pretty poor as soon as you try anything mobile.

When it was classic comments, I could view them however I wanted. Now, I get about 12 comments per story, a further 20 abbreviated (WTF?).

I emailed and got a nice response from Taco himself, along the lines of 'it's on the to-do pile, we're aware of it'. Circa 18 months ago. I think the new comments system is cool, just not for displaying comments. And definately not for mobile class devices.

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (0, Redundant)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211955)

The word comes out like this: "ÑмÐÐоÑÑÑOE"

you could at least clean it up: (3/16) Ñ^4 Ð^4 O E

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (4, Informative)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212521)

Yiddish, actually.

A better equvialent is "nervy gall".

Chutzpah is when you murder your parents, and then throw yourself on the mercy of the court because you're an orphan.

Re:That's Pretty Funny... (0, Offtopic)

Zashi (992673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211595)

It's spelled the same way. You just have to reverse/transpose a few consonants.

What about Gazprom? (4, Funny)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211483)

Talk about Goliath versus Goliath. The successful monopolist versus... the slightly less successful monopolist who can rewrite its own legal system. Time to invest in popcorn.

Re:What about Gazprom? (2, Interesting)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211659)

It's worse, Gazprom is state controlled and so Russia actually encourages its monopoly by helping to extort foreign companys.

I can understand the thinking though, the relevant analogy would be if there was a car company with 90% monopoly with the other 10% not being compatible with the petrol. The car company brings out a new more expensive model while refusing to sell the old model and stopping manufacture of old parts. Nobody has a choice since the other cars won't run on their fuel and so the company can keep forcing upgrades.

Re:What about Gazprom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212323)

Isn't that BadAnalogyGuy [slashdot.org] 's job?

Re:What about Gazprom? (0)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212489)

I think GM, Chrysler, and Ford should be sued by these same people for colluding to discontinue 1960s-era muscle cars. This has driven the price of such units up significantly due to continuing demand and stopped production.

Re:What about Gazprom? (0, Troll)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212315)

After the EU fine, all other countries can smell a new revenue stream.

In soviet russia... (1, Funny)

worip (1463581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211503)

we probe you!

Just plain stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211505)

From TFA: ""Analysis of the market for various operating systems shows that the transfer to the new Windows Vista operating system is occurring while demand for the previous operating system, Windows XP, continues," the service said."

Well isn't that special. So Company X is under obligation to indefinitely support product Y as long as there is demand for it? I think not.

Re:Just plain stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211699)

Support : no
Allow to be available : I would say yes.

IMO, when they stop selling it, it should be open season on it.

Re:Just plain stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212153)

What, to pirate it? Yeah, because there's not enough botnets out there. Tech's advancing. You can't expect people to continue to code 32 bit applications because there's people who can't bear to let go of their fucking precious OS, can you?

Anti-monopoly? (4, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211519)

While Microsoft obviously engages in a lot of monopolistic practices and I strongly dislike them for this, Russia's reasoning seems rather flawed.

While yes, it sucks that Windows XP is being EOLed for a lot of people because Vista is worse than XP for many users (IMO anyone with less RAM than the 32-bit addressing limit because if there's anything modern that sucks more than Vista, it's 64-bit XP), products getting EOLed is a fact of life. I can't see any reason why EOLing a product would be monopolistic.

Hell, if anything, it would be just the opposite - EOLing a popular product in favor of a less popular product is going to drive people towards the competition.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (-1, Redundant)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211669)

In Soviet Russia, You monopolize Microsoft.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (5, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211681)

because you can only afford to EOL a still very popular product when you are near-monopolistic enough to be able to force people to buy the more expensive alternative.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211683)

Because the market is asking for XP but MS is in a monopoly position and they can ignore the market request. Your statement of driving people towards the competition is only valid in a competitive market. The OS market is not competitive. In reality, Linux offerings are the only true competitor since hardware and licensing limits prevent someone from buying OSX and installing it on their computer and that makes up what? 1-2%?

If the market were competitive, MS would be forced (by market forces) to keep selling XP over Vista, or see an exodus of customers. That is not possible here, because there is a monopoly actor.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (2, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212037)

Not necessarily. If they keep selling XP, they have to keep supporting XP. If they had to do that the same for any other OS favored by a substantial number of people, they'd have 90+% of the company on support. Which would mean less new features in the new OSes, and less reason to upgrade, leaving MS with a trail of incrementally upgraded OSes, all of them needing support, and people rarely buying any of them.

By not supporting every OS since DOS 1.0, MS had the resources to make Windows 7 attractive to some customers, despite the cost of an upgrade. Arguing that monopoly practices are to blame is a joke; there are other OSes, and it is MS's choice to risk driving people to them by EOL-ing XP.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212321)

the argument that Microsoft is not a monopoly is moot. they are a monopoly, here in the US, in Europe and in Russia.

the question is whether they are using their monopoly position to harm a country's citizens. in this case, it's fairly clear that they are.

Vista's only competition in the market is XP (Windows NT, ME, 98, 95, etc are no longer competitive). Many users see XP as a better choice. So the only way that Vista can beat XP is if it takes a fall.

That is, the consumers want XP. Microsoft thinks it will make more money if those consumers buy Vista. So Microsoft kills XP, knowing that its users will eventually knuckle under and buy an inferior product.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212477)

No one is suggesting that every niche OS, or old OS be supported. What IS being suggested is that a business that is refusing to sell a software package that is the single most wanted package is clearly abusing a monopoly. Pointing to DOS 1.0 is at best a strawman argument.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212617)

actually, not selling the product and not selling support on the product are two very different things. They could keep selling the product, but with a notice that the product is no longer supported by live customer service. Patch / update development (if any) could be limited to what gets developed for existing, paid service contracts, which don't have to be renewed.

Granted, they aren't forcing upgrades (since people can keep XP if they want it), they're just ending sale of an older product. If this somehow forced people to upgrade, the case would be a slam dunk. As it is, seems like a tough sell.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212215)

If they don't offer what the market wants then they'll see fewer sales. Either more people pirate XP or people stop buying completely new PCs and just upgrade their old ones one piece at a time.

It's not like they are going to brick all current computers running XP forcing people to upgrade to Vista. Sure it may be a dick move by MS, but I don't see it as being anti-competative. A company should be able to set it's own market mix.

I would have thought most people on /. would actually welcome this news. MS could annoy more of its' customer base and send them looking for alternatives. Either piracy or a switch to Mac or Linix is less money to MS.

Re:Anti-monopoly? (5, Informative)

tetromino (807969) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211719)

Because Russia's Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has broad powers that go far beyond regulating monopolies. For example, FAS are also responsible for regulating advertisements, foreign investments, government purchases, etc.

IMHO, the Service's name is a bit of a misnomer; it should have been called something like the "Federal Economic Regulatory Service".

Re:Anti-monopoly? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211797)

Because Russia's Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has broad powers that go far beyond regulating monopolies. For example, FAS are also responsible for regulating advertisements, foreign investments, government purchases, etc.

IMHO, the Service's name is a bit of a misnomer; it should have been called something like the "Federal Economic Regulatory Service".

I was thinking a more accurate name would be more along the lines of "Committee for State Security".

Re:Anti-monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212267)

I think Federal Economic Control and Economic Service is more appropriate.

In Other News (0, Troll)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211525)

In other news, Russia announced that it was running out of money and would commence looking for new ways to generate funds.

Re:In Other News (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212229)

Well they'd have to find better ways because any money they'd get from Microsoft would be a negligible drop in the bucket.

Re:In Other News (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212411)

Ok, I confess my joke wasn't the best joke evar but, really, it was just a joke...

The tables have turned (0, Redundant)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211527)

How ironic. In the US, Microsoft probes YOU!!!! I know, I know... -1 Redundant.

What? (1)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211535)

I don't know how to take this news....it looks to me like Russia is saying that it only uses Microsoft products, so they're taking legal action to get more...

Obligatory... (0, Redundant)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211543)

In Soviet Microsoft, Russia investigates you!

/ducks...

This actually sounds reasonable. (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211565)

I always thought bundling useful tools with an operating system(i.e. IE) was a poor example of leveraging a monopoly to corner a market. However, discontinuing support for old products to FORCE new ones on customers, that is leveraging a monopoly in an anti-competitive manner. This is a much more reasonable case to take against Microsoft's more shady practices.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (4, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211665)

XP is a 9 year old OS. Even auto makers are only required to support the parts for their cars for 7 years. At what point isn't it an anti-trust violation to want to get rid of an aging product? 15 years? 30?

There isn't a single Linux vendor that supports a 9 year old version of Linux without paid support, and Apple certainly doesn't support 9 year old versions of MacOS either.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211789)

I don't see anyone wanting to require Microsoft to keep supporting it (They're going to support it with security updates until 2014 anyways). I see people wanting Microsoft to be required to keep selling it.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (2, Insightful)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211983)

I see that myself and I don't get why. People liked VHS videos but I don't see people and countries sueing Sony or other makers of them to keep them going when there is newer products out there. All I see these lawsuits and probes are just ways to find something to get money off a huge company and make them look good to some person that doesn't get what it takes to move business along. All companies out there will cut off a product at some point and move on.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212165)

I actually wouldn't be surprised if you could still find blank VHS tapes in Walmarts and other stores. (Wikipedia is my buddy [wikipedia.org] )

Still, the VHS format died because Sony et. al. made a legitimate case that DVD was a better format. People went out and bought DVD players and rented DVD movies and found that, you know what, it was a better experience over all.

That has not happened with Vista.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212249)

Around here its impossible to find a blank VHS. My whole point is all of this will not matter to Microsoft they will just move on. I am one that has Vista I do hate it thats why I have moved onto the Win7 RC much better of a product then Vista. XP 64 seemed like an after thought and doesn't run well for me. Guess we will see where Russia takes all of this in then end.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (2, Insightful)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211893)

When you buy a product today it should be supported 7yrs onwards

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211919)

Auto makers are required to support their cars for 7 years after the last new one is sold, not from the date of introduction.

XP was available until 2008 (if I remember correctly), which would mean that if it was a car, it would have to be supported until 2015.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (5, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211935)

1. software is very different from car parts. a better metaphor would be Coke and New Coke [wikipedia.org] .

XP may be a 9 year old OS, but to many people it's a better OS than Vista. Vista is New Coke. The Coca-Cola company tried to insist on selling New Coke exclusively, but they alienated their existing customers. They went back to the original formula because New Coke was driving away customers to Pepsi and other competitors.

If Coke was the only kind of soda, then we'd all be drinking New Coke today. Regardless of whether it was wanted by customers.

That's what Microsoft did with Vista. Except there's no "Pepsi" competitor to force them to market their more desirable product.

To answer your question, Microsoft can "get rid" of their aging product when they produce a new product that people want more than XP.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211943)

When there's a viable alternative that people actually want, apparently, according to Russia. The article also only mentions selling (and supplying) XP, not supporting it.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212225)

Yes, because after they've been forced to keep selling it, THEN people will cry out for more support. Do you honestly expect it to stop there? "Hey, we made them keep selling it, even though they didn't want to. We have new users with no idea what to do, so why not make them support those new users?"

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212013)

According to your analogy, if Ford didn't change the design of the Mustang for 10 years, but continued to sell them for those ten years, then after 3 years they could stop selling parts?
So, even though XP was first released 9 years ago, it was still their flagship OS until November 2006. I lean toward thinking that this action by the Russian government is unreasonable, but your analogy does not work.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (3, Insightful)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212129)

Even auto makers are only required to support the parts for their cars for 7 years.

If more than 60% of people had the same 9 year old model, they'd have to. Even if they didn't, somebody else would because it would be profitable to sell parts. When it comes to Windows, only Microsoft has the source code and can supply fixes, so it makes sense to force them to support their product, because lots of people are still using it and nobody else can do it.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212263)

I traded my 1989 Chevy in 2006. I had no problem hetting parts or service for it until the day I traded it. Try getting patches for Windows 98!

You can get support for a 9 year old version of Linux if you pay for it, but you can't get support for a 9 year old MS OS even if you pay for it.

Bad analogy (4, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212421)

XP is a 9 year old OS. Even auto makers are only required to support the parts for their cars for 7 years

In the US and Europe, automobiles are heavily regulated to meet certain standards, and software is not. If a 9 year old car is many times safer, more reliable, more fuel efficient, much better looking, and more easily fixed than the 2 year old car coming from the factory now, and the new car is just a total dog, and if community outrage was so high that people would only want to buy the old car, and this was the only auto maker available to buy cars from then damn straight the community would be in the moral right to demand that company continue to support the old car model until the choice of a car that was as good or better came along.

Microsoft is a convicted monopolist both in the US and Europe. If there was more competition, and Vista was a dog, people could turn to another company for better service. But they can't. They turn back to Microsoft and demand XP. They are, allegedly, trying to control the supply channel by strangling supplies of XP and hoping this will force demand to Vista, which will make Vista look better as sales go up. They have an image problem with Vista and they are using their monopoly power to try to fix it. If this was a competitive market and Linus and Mac OS had 33% each, We could just switch to one of them and Microsoft would have to compete.

Once you are a monopoly, 99% of the business book is thrown out the window. Everything comes down to, "when you take an action as a monopolistic company, are you abusing your market dominance and reducing choice for the consumer?" A car maker to tried to do this without monopolistic power would shoot themselves in the foot for cancelling a profitable product line just because they want to sell more of another. The American automakers did just this, by trying to sell more trucks and SUVs when the future trend was towards smaller fuel efficient cars. Now GM and Chrysler are on life support, and Hyundai is making out like a bandit. Competition would have done that to Microsoft to, but there is none, so they have to follow different rules. If they don't follow those rules, any and all governments need to slap their greedy hands.

Re:This actually sounds reasonable. (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212149)

I always thought bundling useful tools with an operating system(i.e. IE) was a poor example of leveraging a monopoly to corner a market.

However, discontinuing support for old products to FORCE new ones on customers, that is leveraging a monopoly in an anti-competitive manner. This is a much more reasonable case to take against Microsoft's more shady practices.

Anti-competitive means that it hurts the competition. How will discontinuing sales of XP hurt the competition?

gimmie back my gramophone! (4, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211587)

So in Russia it's illegal for a company to sell a 10 year old product, even though that product will be 2 versions old this year? If we could make legal demands to sell retired products I'd still be eating Ninja Turtle cereal [flickr.com] today.

Re:gimmie back my gramophone! (1)

forsey (1136633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212055)

The difference is demand and a monopoly. There is still a massive demand for XP, but Microsoft ignoring that fact. In a normal case if a company stopped selling a popular product because they wanted to sell a new version the consumer would have to the choice to rebel and go to a different company. That would motivate the company to keep selling the old product. Because MS has a monopoly, (effective) there now no competitive motivation for them to keep selling it, so they won't. In your example "Ninja Turtle cereal" doesn't have near the demand that XP does, nor did it enjoy monopoly status. You can never forget that the rules change when it comes to monopolies.

Re:gimmie back my gramophone! (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212319)

Except it's not really their fault that there's no other OS. Because there ARE other OSs. If people are that dead-set against Vista AND Win 7, they should just abandon MS all together. Move to a *nix system. If a company wants to stop selling a popular product, it's their business. Literally. Either people will move to the new product, or if there's legitimately no option (even though there is, in this case), then in this case, they can keep using the old one. After all, isn't there technically a limit on the number of copies of an OS that can be sold, which is roughly the number of computers "in the wild." Most computers recently bought will have the ability to upgrade to work well enough for most purposes for ages to come, so they don't need a new OS anyways. Their current copy is fine. Gamers might be SOL, but they should be upgrading to Vista/Win7 anyways for the new DX versions. The market can still correct. It's not as if people's copies are going to evaporate, requiring a new one. The sale of new computers will just take a hit, is all.

Re:gimmie back my gramophone! (4, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212083)

two versions old? that's a metric? Vista's lifespan was what, a year and a half?

XP is a good enough operating system. In my (admittedly limited) understanding, demand for XP is actually quite a bit higher than for Vista. (Though this seems to be borne out by things like people paying $100 more for a Vista license so they can downgrade to XP.)

Replacing a very popular product with a much less popular product is corporate suicide (imagine if Toyota discontinued the Corolla line and replaced it with a Hummer line -- Honda would be very pleased). The only way a company could get away with this is if they are in a monopoly position. And it's reasonable to consider that an abuse of that monopoly power to do so.

After all, Microsoft's monopoly does not give them the right to foist garbage upon their users year after year.

My office has XP machines, I know they work with all my software and I the people here are comfortable with that OS. If "Windows 7" (like Vista) doesn't offer sufficient enhancements over XP, why should I be forced to purchase an inferior (for me) product in order to get a new computer?

You commie! (2, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212143)

So in Russia it's illegal for a company to sell a 10 year old product, even though that product will be 2 versions old this year? If we could make legal demands to sell retired products I'd still be eating Ninja Turtle cereal [flickr.com] today.

What, Fruity pebbles isn't good enough for you? What are you, a communist?

Re:gimmie back my gramophone! (4, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212183)

Nobody relied on solely Ninja Turtle cereal to obtain their living. One could argue that XP is a vital component for a lot of businesses and that by artificially restricting it as MS is doing, you are forcing them to incur an unnecessary cost. This is essentially saying that MS is a utility service and their actions are analogous to the phone company forcing all land line users to purchase new land lines just because they are old (and not necessarily in need of replacement). I don't necessarily view this as correct, but MS doesn't have too much sympathy from me because they're ditching an OS that people want to buy and somewhat arbitrarily forcing people to buy a new one that isn't as fast.

they just need to search locally (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211655)

took me all of 10 seconds to find 'allofxpsp3.com'

(starting download now)

Re:they just need to search locally (2, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211817)

Please enjoy all the virus, spy-ware, add-ware, Trojans, and key-loggers included at no extra cost.

Thanks Europe (2, Interesting)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211791)

It appears that the European efforts have triggered a new trend whereby EVERY country a multinational corporation operates in that isn't its native country can start engaging in the MoneyGrab(tm) technique. I mean why let all those euros or rubles leave the country? Why not have companies come in, sell products, and then since you can't tax the hell out of them due to the WTO and the ensuing trade wars, instead just trump up some charges over being too succcessful and "tax" them that way.

Can someone explain to me why this isn't a WTO issue and why these kinds of taxes... I mean fines aren't regulated under the trade agreements?

And don't tell me how they're just trying to stop the evil monopolies. I'm fine with them fining the shit out of Microsoft for bad behavior as long as they're willing to donate 100% of the proceeds to charity. It's not about the behavior, it's about the money.

Re:Thanks Europe (5, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212023)

Because antitrust is about enforcement of competition rules as to create a free competitive market. WTO is concerned about barriers to free trade and the promotion of better competition. They basically have he same objective in trade.

It is false that Microsoft is taxed or that money was a motivation for these policies. At least on the EU side the large fines occured because Microsoft refused to comply with the moderate sanctions and played stupid. It was the first company ever which did not comply with a ruling.

And don't forget that the US let them off the hook, just because Bush was reelected.

In fact competition authorities don't get money or staff for the imposition of fines but rather strong lobbying and a lot of work. They would prefer to arrest offenders but criminal sanctions are not at their disposal. Deterrent fines is all they can issue and the way Microsoft communicates demonstrates that they do not show any respect.

Re:Thanks Europe (1)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212167)

Can someone explain to me why this isn't a WTO issue and why these kinds of taxes...

Quite simple, really. The WTO collects royalties on the use of MoneyGrab(tm).

Re:Thanks Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212199)

If you don't like the game, you are free to leave.

NYCL? (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211807)

We didn't know you had interests other than fighting the RIAA?

Re:NYCL? (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212469)

We didn't know you had interests other than fighting the RIAA?

Well as you know my professional life is largely about fighting for the good guys, against the bad guys. This story comes as a welcome relief from my normal activities.

Microsoft v. Russia?

This is rich.

Re:NYCL? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212509)

We're corrupting him! The poor fellow...

How about Ford model T ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28211867)

They should investigate Ford Motor Company for failure to deliver model T on demand from customers.

Re:How about Ford model T ? (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212327)

WTF? That car's older than my dad, and he's in his seventies. And guess what? You can STILL get parts for one! Try getting any parts for Windows 98, that's not even 10 years old. I have older t-shirst than that.

Now please put the chair down, Steve.

Russia is cracking down on piracy, Linux spreads. (5, Interesting)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211933)

My mom works at one of the research institutes in Akademgorodok, a major research center near Novosibirsk, she along with hundreds of others have been running pirated windows/office/photoshop/matlab for as long as I can remember. This time it seems the government is serious about the crackdown on illegal software. Each lab director got a direct order to either provide every scientist with lisenses for every piece of software or install linux. Well. they all have been running Ubuntu since yesterday. So far so good.

Re:Russia is cracking down on piracy, Linux spread (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212209)

your mom

Re:Russia is cracking down on piracy, Linux spread (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212363)

Exactly! Why are so many people bitching about "oooo, there's no alternatives! We need XP still!" If people don't wanna spend to upgrade, move to the FOSS side. It's not hard, people!

No rule of law in Russia (3, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28211971)

If I were MSFT, I'd be worried about the weak rule of law in Russia. It is highly likely that there is pre-determined outcome in the mind of the Russian officials running this case and any 'investigation' will be a show trial leading to that pre-determined outcome.

I have visited Russia many times. Might makes right. It is a system that breathes on graft and corruption.

Re:No rule of law in Russia (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212093)

I have visited Russia many times. Might makes right. It is a system that breathes on graft and corruption.

And just how is this unlike how MS operates on a day-to-day basis?

If you're going to slam the Russians for playing the same game MS does then you need to be just as critical of MS and its policies.

There are six legitimate copies of Windows XP (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212031)

in the entire Russian Federation. They are owned by six Microsoft consultants currently traveling in Russia.

Riiight... (1, Flamebait)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212047)

Apparently in Russia, people have a right to an operating system, but no rights to life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.

anonymous coward (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212069)

whats this about again?

http://earn-it-now.net

Russian SOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212079)

In keeping with the Russion government's SOP, Bill Gates will be arrested and Microsoft will become the Russian state's property.

SOFA KING WE TODDED (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28212207)

So let me understand, a country in which digital piracy is as common as oxygen and in fact, underpins its economy now chooses to pursue legal action against its primary victim, microsoft.

now thats soviet style justice

the name may have changed buts its still the good ole ussr!

p.s. thank you eurotards for your encouragement of this idiocy of which you are the epitome of with your nationalized this or that, talk about monopoly you dipshits

Microsoft vs. Russia (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212371)

This is just too beautiful.

gainway microsoft (0, Flamebait)

observer7 (753034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28212481)

here comes linux comrades
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