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Microsoft Ready To Address EU Antitrust Concerns

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the twisting-their-arm dept.

EU 176

An anonymous reader sends this quote from a Reuters report: "Software giant Microsoft is ready to introduce measures that would address the European Union's antitrust concerns about users' ability to chose between different browsers, European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Saturday. EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether Microsoft blocks computer makers from installing rival web browsers on its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, following complaints from several companies. Almunia is in charge of antitrust enforcement at the European Commission. 'In my personal talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances that they will comply immediately regardless of the conclusion of the anti trust probe,' Almunia said at an economic conference in northern Italy, adding that he considered the matter a 'very, very serious issue.'"

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176 comments

Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277679)

that I'll get first post!!

Re:Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277769)

Maybe.

But Microsoft software is a cancer that attaches itself in an format lockin sense to everything it touches. The way Microsoft formats are written, if you use any Microsoft software, you have to make the rest of your software Microsoft products as well.

When will they address their format lockin, and stop holding our data hostage?

Re:Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278675)

Poor old Ballmer can't catch a break.

Even in his own Slashdot topic, he gets modded flamebait.

"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source," Ballmer explained"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is_a_cancer/ [theregister.co.uk]

For the record (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277819)

I'm a huge Steve Ballmer fan. I really love the direction he's taking the company. He's taking bold risks and exploring new avenues to give stockholders the returns they deserve. His work with partners - notably HP, Dell, Sony and Nokia are laudable: he's convinced them to operate on negative margins to Microsoft's benefit, even though their stocks are plumbing decadal lows on the stock market even on the eve of a new Windows launch. The man seems to have magical powers to lure others to their doom. You gotta give him that.

I hear he's now heard about this whole "mobile" thing, and is working his legendary genius to start to study whether or not it's important. Once he figures this out we might have some innovation in mobile from Microsoft. In the meantime we'll just have to muddle along with what we can get from second tier innovators like Apple and Google.

Re:For the record (5, Informative)

Anonymous Cowardus (2720909) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277973)

I'm a huge Steve Ballmer fan. I really love the direction he's taking the company. He's taking bold risks and exploring new avenues to give stockholders the returns they deserve. His work with partners - notably HP, Dell, Sony and Nokia are laudable: he's convinced them to operate on negative margins to Microsoft's benefit, even though their stocks are plumbing decadal lows on the stock market even on the eve of a new Windows launch. The man seems to have magical powers to lure others to their doom. You gotta give him that.

He is taking bold risks because he has to. Microsoft missed the mobile boat years ago and they're now trying to catch up by cannibalizing Nokia's last hope for survival.

He has no magical powers, on the contrary. Last time I checked, he was in urgent need of a few Anger Management classes.

Re:For the record (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278027)

Nokia's destiny is to be a filing cabinet full of patent licenses in Bellevue, Wa managed by 6 paralegals and one part-time lawyer. This fate is sealed. The full cabinet to the left is marked "Sendo" and the empty cabinet to the right is marked "Adobe".

And the sign on the door... (2)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278425)

Nokia's destiny is to be a filing cabinet full of patent licenses in Bellevue, Wa managed by 6 paralegals and one part-time lawyer. This fate is sealed. The full cabinet to the left is marked "Sendo" and the empty cabinet to the right is marked "Adobe".

And the sign on the door says, "Beware of Leopard".

:-P

Ballmer, Vogon High Commander in exile? Quick, someone get him to recite poetry!

Re:And the sign on the door... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278939)

Ballmer, Vogon High Commander in exile? Quick, someone get him to recite poetry!

How did you think he gets other companies to bend in his way?

Re:For the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279509)

Your sarcasm sensor needs recalibrating.

Re:For the record (1)

ZosX (517789) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278299)

That made my day really. Maybe he needs to throw some more chairs.

Developers! developers! developers!

Re:For the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278693)

That made my day really. Maybe he needs to throw some more chairs.

Developers! developers! developers!

or vagina.

Re:Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277917)

Ballmer is a cunt. MS is cunt. MS users are cunts. Don't be a cunt. Don't use MS. Ignant fucking MScunt.

Re:Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278181)

Close Internet Explorer and go outside for a change, please.

Where da bitches at? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277689)

yo where can I find me some fine ass bitches around here?

Re:Where da bitches at? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277693)

m.pornhub.com

POWER TITS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277691)

Stick you dong in a hedgehog and get quills in your dickhead!

It's so serious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277721)

That it's double very serious.

Dumbest case ever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277723)

EU is broke. They need some money, so I'm sure they'll levy some fines, over a useless case that is purely companies whining because they suck. Oh, never mind, browsers are free. EU is full of girly men.

Re:Dumbest case ever (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277737)

EU is broke.

Apparently not:
"Almunia said he was in favor of extending a temporary authorization for state aid for stricken Franco-Berlgian bank Dexia beyond a September30. deadline."

Seems to be enough to keep stuffing their banks full of money...

Re:Dumbest case ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277955)

The ability to print money is not related to the ability to repay debts.

Re:Dumbest case ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278007)

If the debts are denominated in the money you have the ability to print, then you do (technically) have the ability to repay them. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the debtors will have been repayed in a meaningful way.

Chrome on Windows 8 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277741)

This dull reply written in Chrome on activated Windows 8 Enterprise. Chrome metro is full featured and superior in functionality to IE10 metro.

Re:Chrome on Windows 8 (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278249)

Now try doing that on Windows RT (the ARM version).

Re:Chrome on Windows 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278813)

Now try doing that on Windows RT (the ARM version).

Or on iPad, which completely dominates the tablet market Windows RT is for. Anyone who thinks RT deserves more antitrust attention for this than Apple must have already concluded that Microsoft will completely outcompete iPad and Android tablets and take over the tablet market.

As Microsoft on RT, Apple do not allow third party rendering and javascript engines on iOS. Both claim it is for security, performance and battery life on a tablet. Some Apple people are now going to point out there are alternative browsers in the app store, including one called Chrome. They are all, including Chrome, just reskinned versions of Safari, with the drawback that they only get to use the older and slower javascript engine built into iOS, not the faster JIT version (Nitro) Safari now has. With the exception of Opera Mini, which is a remote terminal offloading much of the rendering and processing to remote Opera servers (why Opera Mini is allowed on iOS but Opera Mobile banned). And all of this they can do on RT as well.

It's a trap (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277803)

He ALWAYS says that, during the last anti-trust case, they lost, they where required to offer a choice. Microsoft would endlessly make some token change, then do a press release saying basically "EU has defeated us totally, we've capitulated, oh how unfair it all is", then a week later they'd quietly release details of the change they'd made and it was nothing, and didn't address the core point.

They did this 4 or 5 times, each time doing a press release saying they'd totally capitulated, then release the change later only to find they hadn't done anything, then lobby US Senators and Congressmen to twist the law in their favor against with jingoism.

It's a game he plays.

Re:It's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277853)

were. Idiot.

Re:It's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278133)

are. Idiot.

Re:It's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278381)

will be. Idiot.

ballot DVD (2, Interesting)

sandoval88419 (765880) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278353)

I agree with you, MS have always played the same game, they get a slap on the hand, they promise, then they do nothing.

Result today : we can't uninstall IE, selecting another search engine is painful, and we are obliged to buy Windows with every new machine.

As long as MS have their deal with manufacturers to enforce a pre-installed windows nothing will change : Tied sale and MS tax. Which should be punished because MS are not a HW manufacturer.

Either they do their HW and offer a pre-installed windows, either they sell SW by their own means at no-loss price.

I think what'd be fair would be a ballot DVD :
1- the user buys a brand new machine,
2- boots the machine with the ballot DVD
3- picks up Linux
4- ????
5- profit ! :-)

The 'remedy' does nothing (1, Insightful)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278511)

The so-called remedy, the 'Browser Ballot', does absolutely nothing about the original problem. The original complaint is that M$ is abusing its monopoly and bundling MSIE [opera.com] . So the 'Browser Ballot' even when it works does absolutely nothing about the presence of MSIE. Essentially it gives the users a choice of MSIE + another browser, but MSIE there like it or not and no choice. The press has completely dropped this issue. No surprise since so many are beholden to M$ in some way or another.

Think About This (4, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277823)

Apple's iOS blocks people from changing default browser off Safari, But MS gets sued and Fined for Even Including IE? How da hell does that work?

Re:Think About This (0)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277851)

Even in OS X apple includes Safari in it as default? I know a few ppl will try to use market share agreement but that is not the point if MS can get sued for just including their browser Apple should be sued as well for including safari.

Re:Think About This (5, Informative)

asa (33102) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277927)

I know a few ppl will try to use market share agreement

This has little to do with market share now. Microsoft consented to a legally binding agreement with the European Commission. You might not approve of that agreement, but Microsoft and their division of anti-trust lawyers did agree to it. Now it would seem that Microsoft is in violation of that legally binding agreement and the EC is rightly talking with Microsoft about that.

Should companies be able to sign legally binding deals with governments and then simply ignore them?

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278335)

The commission is investigating whether Microsoft is in violation of the agreement. It's premature to say that they are in violation (maybe they are, maybe they aren't).

Re:Think About This (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41279687)

Should companies be able to sign legally binding deals with governments and then simply ignore them?

No, but maybe governments should be able to react to changes in the market more quickly or stop the meddling.

The EU agreement came way too late to make any difference in the browser market, but it is now in effect aiding an even worse monopolist than Microsoft, namely Apple.

Re:Think About This (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278655)

If your memory is faulty, the problem wasn't that MS included IE for free with Windows. The problem was they strong-armed OEMs into not installing or using Netscape. Like hinting that their OEM prices would rise if they installed Netscape. As far as I know you can uninstall Safari though some of the libraries Safari uses are core OS X libraries and should not be removed. MS tied IE so deep into Windows that it could not be removed and can only be hidden. That's the difference.

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277881)

Apple is nowhere near a 90% market cap. They might be evil, but there are no grounds for antitrust charges.

Re:Think About This (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277953)

Don't matter. Apple needs killed. Stupit apple cunt. fuck it dead like steve jobs head. hit it with bat til the blood runs out. just like foreign people need baseball bat in ass. USA #1, everything else is dumb cunt. Someday you see, bad peeple get assraped and go to hell for more assrape. They think apple is good but it just the guy with the horns putting lube in the rectum for easy fuck.

So, in conclusion, apple eula say you get assrape with baseball bat. You already clicked, you get aids.

Re:Think About This (2)

asa (33102) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277915)

It's really quite simple, actually.

You may not agree with the deal that Microsoft made with the EU, but Microsoft and their anti-trust lawyers did agree to it and it is legally binding.

Any questions?

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278083)

Just one. Is a deal made with a gun to your head still legally binding?

Re:Think About This (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278095)

Just one. Is a deal made with a gun to your head still legally binding?

If the one holding the gun is the government, then yes.

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278281)

Do you understand how corporations come to exist? You do realize that they come into existence by registration with the government? They have legal responsibilities to the state. Taking a corporation to court is no more holding a gun to the corporation's head than any other defendant being accused by a prosecutor, on legally gathered and legally demonstrated evidence, of specific violations of statute, law, or contract.

I think that if you actually spent some time considering the issue that you'd have a different view. You're obviously intelligent enough to have the kind of luxury lifestyle that makes hanging out on slashdot a reasonable use of your time. So, take a minute and think critically about this. Then ask yourself this simple question, "is a deal made with a gun to your head still legally binding?"

Harsh punishments! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278525)

I didn't know that in EU the legal punishment for violating antitrust law is execution of the CEO and the board of directors! That seems a bit harsh but...

What? The punishment isn't execution? Then the gun-to-your-head doesn't really hold true, does it?

Ok, what's the punishment then? The legal entity, which doesn't have any natural rights but was instead completely created by the governments, gets sanctions?

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278997)

Just one. Is a deal made with a gun to your head still legally binding?

Ah, the psychopath defense. "They were threatening me with not being able to do whatever the hell I want, that's like a gun to my head, why should I listen?"
I wonder if there's a psych ward for whole corporations.

Re:Think About This (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277967)

Apple *makes* their stuff.

Microsoft is telling a third party what the third party can put on the machines they sell running windows.

Think about the subtle difference.

Re:Think About This (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278365)

Um look at how much crap companies like dell, hp, etc have loaded on to the machine? not like they don't have a say in the matter/

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279347)

When it came to making another browser default, no OEM's didn't have a say if they wanted to get favourable prices for Windows.

Re:Think About This (1, Flamebait)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278267)

Mo No Po Ly. Look it up.

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278417)

You're saying it's ok to promote a monopoly just so long as your aren't already a monopoly, only a super giant company close to being a monopoly with massive market share. That can't be a good idea.

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278519)

Mo No Po Ly means one supplier. Linux, BSD, etc exist. Hence no Mo No Po Ly.

What laws should have regulated was Ma Rk Et Do Mi Na Nc E. But they explicitly don't. They don't even define it, because in the US they were originally written to crush the trade union movement.

Tin foil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278765)

Monopoly doesn't mean only one supplier. You saying "it means one supplier" is like saying holography is handwriting. If you look at the translation of holography, it DOES mean "hand writing". However, if you were to go around correcting all the dictionaries to this definition, you'd be locked up as a nutcase.

Monopoly power is what is regulated and having a monopoly doesn't mean only one supplier. You might as well get used to it, your nutcase definition is irrelevant because you're a barking mad nutter.

Re:Think About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279515)

Legal definitions of terms are not always equal to dictionary definitions.

Re:Think About This (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278447)

It is kinda funny that some preemptive tries to block the "market share" argument while that is THE point and they do know it. It is a 'discussion' tactic that I have last seen 20 years ago when I was in preschool ! "I know there is a strong argument out their, but because I really really like to win the argument, you are not allow to use that argument. Lalalala. Fingers in the ears*

Microsoft market share is about 90% on the desktop, Apple's market share is no way near those percentages. When you speak about those percentages some actions have a market disruptive effect, which I think everyone with half a brain cell have does have that insight. BTW the same happens with European companies where they abuse their powers or possibilities to disrupt the markets even with fines higher then what Microsoft needed to pay.

But something tells me that you are aware of the difference, but this is the typical anti Apple kneejerk which gets modded up fast here on slashdot even to the point that it is pure irony that you get modded +5 'insightful'. Only on slashdot... .

Re:Think About This (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278671)

Apple's iOS blocks people from changing default browser off Safari, But MS gets sued and Fined for Even Including IE? How da hell does that work?

When Apple is a monopoly, they may have to be more careful. It may seem like they are everywhere, but they do not control more than 1/2 of any market (about 33% on smartphones, around 8% on desktops)

Plus they don't block anyone from installing another competing browser, which I thought this complaint is about.

Re:Think About This (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278753)

But iOS doesn't have a 90% marketshare. And also, many legislators have a hard time understanding that smartphones are actually computers with an OS and software...

Re:Think About This (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278775)

Apple's iOS blocks people from changing default browser off Safari, But MS gets sued

Every fucking time this issue is mentioned someone says this. And every fucking time the answer is still "By the legal definition, Microsoft is a monopoly; Apple isn't".

Apple has a few percent of the PC market. And virtually everyone else who sells PCs bundles Microsoft Windows. MS prevents other software makers from getting a foothold into selling to OEMs by anti-competitive actions like this.

Yeah, right! (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277829)

"In my personal talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances that they will comply immediately regardless of the conclusion of the anti trust probe," Almunia said at an economic conference in northern Italy, adding that he considered the matter a "very, very serious issue."

Isn't this the same company that somehow "accidentally" dropped the browser selection process for european installations of Windows 7 SP1?

Re:Yeah, right! (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278001)

Yup, that is what the talks are all about. MS is in danger of being fined for some multipes of the Greek national debt for that.

Re:Yeah, right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279683)

You're not hearing the message:

"In my personal talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances that they will comply immediately regardless of the conclusion of the anti trust probe," Almunia said at an economic conference in northern Italy, adding that he considered the matter a "very, very serious issue."

Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277843)

Hopefully the EU addresses secure boot on ARM. Locking out all other OSs besides windows on ARM devices is abusing Microsoft's x86 monopoly to attempt to create an ARM monopoly.

Re:Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (4, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#41277921)

I wish they could add secure boot to the list that requires a mechanism to disable, such as locked bootloaders. This could be done similar to how the Nexus did the fastboot oem unlock, or similar to the mechanism of entering the IMEI, clicking yes to a series of dire warnings, and then getting a code to type in to unlock the bootloader permanently.

Maybe it is pie in the sky, but it would be nice to have the ability to truly use a device one purchased as their own.

Re:Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277999)

Mod parent UP

Theres no good reason for ARM to be crippled in not being able to disable Secure Boot while x86 can.
Not one.

Re:Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (3, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278367)

So wouldn't the ipad be effected under this since apple does the same thing on their ARM device?

Re:Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278963)

So wouldn't the ipad be effected

No, because Apple doesn't have an effective monopoly of tablet PCs.

Re:Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279079)

Neither does Microsoft.

Re:Dear EU regulator: Secure Boot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278543)

How does it abuse the x86 monopoly, given that Windows on ARM doesn't run any existing x86 apps?

Forget IE: Secure Boot far more important (1)

GeneralSunTzu (1163223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41279021)

Please mod up parent , even if AC.
Secure Boot should be monitored by the Commission competition investigators, and not just on ARMs, but on any CPU.
It is far more nefarious and dangerous than crappy little IE, where M$ has always had an unbelievable cheek: they claimed that the browser was an integral part of the operating system... (Sure, and I have my trackpad magicglued to my right hand, so I can only accept work which requires trackpad usage or else I can only eat lasagne for trackpads...).
Agenda for the Commission's DG COMPET on SecureBoot:
1. act now to discourage SecureBoot via all available international fora, given that your investigation procedures are far too slow;
2. make it clear that SecureBoot will NOT have any impact on malware/security, only on M$ role in HW control;
3. tell your legal counsels, also not particularly known for their astounding speed, to prepare an advance legal advice on the breach of the competition rules which is bound to the current specs of SecureBoot;
4. start tackling Apple for IOS and iTunes: under cover of security they are just playing exactly as M$ [not for nothing the French competition authorities investigated iTunes].

No, they really shouldn't (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year and a half ago | (#41279671)

You are buying a windows tablet why should they be made to let you put Android or whatever on it?

Apple are not made to allow Android, neither are Nintendo with their consoles. Sony will probably never include other operating systems on their games consoles again (and they will be used as a prime example for generations to come about the minimal benefits and massive risks of opening up a closed platform).

Does the EU do anything else than US bashing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277873)

Does the EU have any other purpose than harassing US companies? This is 10+ year old news. Might it be better off for them to actually go after illegal activity by domestic interests rather than just blind anti-US kangaroo courts?

I'm guessing continuing to call a US company on the carpet repeatedly in hopes they cave like Lance Armstrong is far better press than actually cleaning their own house.

Re:Does the EU do anything else than US bashing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277951)

The EU's case was based heavily on the US DOJ's conviction of Microsoft under US Sherman Anti-trust laws. USA! USA! USA!

(It seems like you're either confused or willfully ignorant. This information is not hard to find. It's archived all around the Web and easily searchable. It doesn't take more than about 20 minutes to learn the basics of the several key Microsoft vs various governments cases which created this situation. Is 20 minutes simply too much investment before making an uninformed slashdot comment?)

Re:Does the EU do anything else than US bashing? (4, Insightful)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278695)

Does the EU have any other purpose than harassing US companies? This is 10+ year old news.

Microsoft has a legally binding contract with the EU.
It seems like Microsoft broke that contract.
The EU investigates.
Where exactly is the harassment?

On a side note: The EU also investigates European companies in the same way if they break anti-trust laws. One example: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8140024.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Does the EU do anything else than US bashing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279147)

most anti-trust cases in europe are against domestic companies, because they're in position to abuse it, duh. and in most cases it's about fleecing european governments.

Re:Does the EU do anything else than US bashing? (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year and a half ago | (#41279235)

Does the EU have any other purpose than harassing US companies?

Microsoft failed to do what they agreed to do to resolve the last case. I suppose in your world if someone is convicted of a crime, and they escape from prison, they should be let go because they've already been through a court once?

Also, just because *you* are ignorant as to what else the EU does, doesn't mean they don't also pursue other companies.

They think we are all mentally challenged (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277977)

Seriously, only having IE on Windows after it's installed is fine, you do need a browser to begin with in order to download another browser. The EU's Antitrust bullcrap that forced Microsoft to even make a different version of their OS which included the other browsers in it is ridiculous and is basically to say that everyone in the European nations are mentally challenged people who can't find another browser and install it themselves to save their lives.
Why isn't Apple getting hit with that, for only providing Safari with their OS uh?

Do Not Trust Ballmer or Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41277997)

12 years ago Microsoft and Bill Gates had enough cash to buy contracts for the death of all the EU antitrust regulators and the Officials of the EU.

Today it is different; less money.

So, do not trust Ballmer or Microsoft as they are not trustable even this day.

Double standards (3, Interesting)

Taantric (2587965) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278003)

I can't understand the disconnect between the treatment of Microsoft for this and how Apple gets away with it's 'walled garden'. Could someone please explain why legally one is OK while the other is not.

Re:Double standards (-1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278057)

I can't understand the disconnect between the treatment of Microsoft for this and how Apple gets away with it's 'walled garden'. Could someone please explain why legally one is OK while the other is not.

...one is a monopoly the other is not, Its that simple.

Re:Double standards (1, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278085)

Market share.

In a perfect free market environment (a lot of almost equal choices), no seller would be able to control the market and thus could do whatever they want, the result would just be felt by them (set prices too high - everyone buys from the competitor).

However, the market for desktop OSs is not really "free". Windows dominate it with a huge market share. As such, whatever Microsoft does will affect not just them. Even if Microsoft does a lot of people do not like, Windows will still hold the dominating position - remember when people were using Vista even tough it sucked, just because there were no drivers for their PC for XP? As such, Microsoft can be considered to be having a monopoly and the ability to abuse it. For example - what if Microsoft made Windows no longer work with, say, Dell computers (not some "natural" incompatibility like 64bit vs 32bit, but "if (PC_mfg == "Dell") Crash();")? Dell would suffer a lot, it may even go out of business. What if Microsoft did that in response to Dell selling some computer with Linux installed by default and told Dell to stop selling PCs with Linux or Windows will not longer work on all Dell's PCs? This is called "abusing your position" and there are laws against it.

On the other hand, a small guy can do whatever he wants, because he does not have the power to influence the market such a degree (what if Linux stopped working on all Dell PCs? Nothing much would happen to the bottom line of Dell, and "Stop selling PCs with Windows or Linux won't work on any of your PCs" threat would not result in Dell complying with it).

Re:Double standards (1, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278263)

Given that browser restrictions only apply to Win8 running on ARM, we're not talking about desktop OSes here, but rather tablets and such. Where there's no established monopoly as yet (but of all companies, Apple would be closest to having it, rather than MS).

Re:Double standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278313)

The restrictions Microsoft agreed to with the EC are not applicable only to "desktop OSes" as you suggest. The agreement covers volume PC OSes. So, until Microsoft demonstrates that personal computers running Windows and Office are not PCs, they are in violation of specific legal commitments.

Further, your invocation of monopoly is not relevant. Microsoft made an agreement with the EC. They are either in violation of the agreement or they are not. There's no debate here, even from Microsoft, that they do have a legal commitment to the EC.

Re:Double standards (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278517)

I was not talking about this particular agreement, but rather the general sentiment expressed in the post to which I replied. That post was also the one to invoke claims of monopoly as a rationale.

Re:Double standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278685)

How people still not know this?

Microsoft was convicted for ABUSING their monopoly and BREAKING THE LAW by forcing competitors out of the market by using illegal methods, not by competing.

That's why.

Re:Double standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41279139)

As noted in other comments, Microsoft has an agreement with the EU, while Apple does not.

You can avoid MS, but not the AntiTrust tyrants (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278041)

You can buy a computer without Windows installed (or any other software above BIOS). You can get a refund for MS software. You can pirate it and, unless you do it on an epic scale, your chances of getting away with it are >99.9%. If you do choose to run MS software, you can tweak, hack, hook, and patch the hell out of it, making it run any possible way. Every bit of Microsoft software has been analyzed and disassembled by thousands of people all over the world. And Microsoft has most certainly never initiated aggression against anyone for running Linux, Solaris, Haiku OS, or whatever else! Windows is not as free as *BSD and not as flexible as Gentoo, but it has merits that millions of people find desirable. Live and let live.

With the AntiTrust tyrants on the other hand... You can't buy anything or do anything without the government's Iron Fist up your wazoo. You can't uninstall a government - governments have spread themselves by force over every square inch of Earth. If enough people begin seasteading [wikipedia.org] or spacesteading to avoid the government, the Iron Fist will likely try to reach them there as well. You cannot tweak or influence the government in any way - it may take massively popular opinions into consideration, for its own benefit, but the gov doesn't give a rat's arse about your own individual preferences. You can't disassemble the government, or analyze it in a VM - it has far-reaching influence over what you are allowed to know. Some people may find present-day governments ideal, and they certainly have the right to it based on their individual consent, but others are forced into it against their will.

So anyone who sides with the government against Microsoft is an enabler of tyranny and a major league asshole!

(Signed: AlexLibman's sockpuppet.)

put them in the app store (with no fees and no met (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278139)

put them in the app store (with no fees aka 100% free to be in there and no forced metro)

Re:put them in the app store (with no fees and no (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278563)

And they'd perform like they were running on a Pentium I. The App Store rules forbid any application that compiles it's own executable code at runtime, as a security precaution. For most applications that wouldn't matter - it's a rather esoteric ability, used rarely. But for browsers it is essential for running JIT compilation of scripts. Without the JIT compilation, web-apps would be painfully slow to use. IE gets to use the technology, but MS is denying the same ability to any others browsers running on WinRT, or using the app store on Windows 8 x86.

Ballot Screens. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278411)

Hey! Linux and BSD are Free Operating Systems. If MS is using their dominant OEM installations to leverage IE, then they're doing the same for their OS... So, why not have a ballot when you turn an the PC for the first time that allows you to install a different OS?

I'll even go one further, why not have MS show a ballot screen that allows you to choose MS Office (trial) or the full versions of Open Office or Libre Office. Instead of PBRUSH.EXE Microsoft should be giving us a ballot box for Gimp, Inkscape, and Photoshop (w/ payment, of course).

Hey, I know, maybe we can create a repository for all the different software there is and LET THE FUCKING CUSTOMER CHOOSE? Ah, that would be insane! Why, customers couldn't possibly choose what OS they want installed on their systems -- They barely know how to use the damn devices in the first place. I know! Why doesn't someone just take advantage of this fact and leverage it to limit the available software and take a cut of all proceeds via pre-insatalled OS and "App Store" -- OOH! We could even prevent the user booting other OSs in the name of security! You know! Because if something can write to the boot sector, they'd never think of writing to ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE to infect the system. Why, it'll be the MOST SECURE VERSION of Windows ever released!

::sigh:: If only MS were smart enough to do so.

Re:Ballot Screens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278461)

I'm glad you took the time to answer your own questions. Not only are most users utterly incompetent, they also don't care.

Sorry, everyone who wants to make the effort to go open source can and does. The average person has absolutely no interest in Libre Office on BSD if MS Office on Windows comes pre-installed for a negligible fee. They don't want to learn something new, they don't want to learn why they should, and they sure as hell don't want to have to make an informed choice about what ecosystem they support.

You're reading Slashdot, welcome to the 1%. The rest of the universe is happy pushing their button and seeing a familiar splash screen day in and day out.

Re:Ballot Screens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278771)

This is partly a matter of information and "getting the word out" so to speak. The more and more people hear that there is a Free choice the better. For the most part though, yes, the fact that there are alternatives is being drowned out in 'keep up with the Tech-Johnsons'-style journalism coverage of 'oooh S-H-I-N-Y'.

In this case, its well worth the 1% to keep educating wherever possible through whatever (hopefully Free Culture) means there may be. For one, encouraging people to care about human rights by clicking the 'help censored users connect to the Internet' button in the Tor Browser Bundle is such a possible awareness-raising activity and I would heartily recommend you tell everyone you know to do so.

Will Microsoft actually solve the problem? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278583)

From what I can tell (based on what Mozilla and others have said), the root issue is basically that apps written for Metro dont get access to the Windows APIs they need and that developers on ARM get access to even less.

Will Microsoft actually FIX the problem and allow Metro (and ARM) apps to access the APIs necessary to do JIT compilation of Javascript, spawn plugins in separate processes and the other things a modern web browser (like Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer) needs to do?
Or will they claim that doing so would open up the Windows Store to "undesirable" applications (malware etc)?

Microsoft can do whatever, you don't have tobuy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278621)

There's no such thing as a monopoly, people just have to unite together and not buy their crap. Microsoft should be allowed to allow only certain software to be installed on their OS, after all, Apple does this and people don't seem to be upset by it. Plus originally microsoft didn't ban any third party software, it was all there in the open. By this logic of ignorance, why are we allowed to use the front-end of the OS? Let's just get the kernel because the rest of the OS violates our rights to customize it as we please. There's no such thing as an operating system besides Windows, it's windows and only windows. Linux and OSX are just legendary, they don't really exist and neither do the dozens of other operating systems. I could be an even bigger douche but lord Europa deserves it.

So how come many many companies were done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41278783)

So how come many many companies were done for a nonexistent thing like monopoly?

Oh, you mean YOU "think" that there is no such thing.

I bet you think that there's no such thing as a 3D holograph, since holograph means "hand writing", right?

You're a twat. Shut the fuck up and let grown ups speak.

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