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Rivals Upset At Windows XP Features

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the get-the-milk-for-free dept.

Microsoft 495

Beowu1f writes: "Found an AP story on yahoo with a few snippet comments from the Iowa Attorney General, AOL, RealNetworks, Norton and a law professor. The article is relatively plain, talking about how rivals are getting pissed at the snowballing of features into XP, .NET and Hailstorm, saying it's the same as what MS did with IE, etc. etc." The article quotes David Farber, too. I don't mind that most Linux distros come with CD-burning software, IRC clients, a great paint program, etc. -- but then, they're independently written and optional.

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I enjoyed the quote (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#227318)

from the Real Networks guy about WMP not being "the best". Ugh. What the hell would anyone from Real know about the best?

Re:zip file support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#227319)

At work we had a licence crackdown, which meant bye-bye WinZip, hello PowerArchiver.

It's a great program -- 98% UI identical to WinZip, plus more options (view archives in explorer-like trees), more archive-type compatibility, and all around better. And FREE.

Besides, WinZip has been raking in dough for a simple repackage of the MIT info-zip library. The product has been stagnent for years.

Re:zip file support (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#227323)

..and I still wonder why people keep using WinZip when there's PowerArchiver [powerarchiver.com] to be downloaded for free. One of the few compression programs for Win32 that supports bzip2.

mIRC is "nice", but compared to BitchX it's really annoying and lacking in functionality. blahblahblah.

--- posting anonymously to preserve the rain-forest.

"XP" (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#227324)

Tilt your head 90 degrees counter-clockwise for the Eric Cartman effect.

But is it really more for your money? (1)

Cardinal (311) | more than 13 years ago | (#227327)

On average, the price of each new version of Windows or Office doubles. So really, how much more is the consumer actually getting?

Rivals? (2)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#227331)

Don't worry, you'll hear from the consumers soon enough.

I've got a copy of Windows XP Beta 2 from my University, and it annoys me greatly that I can't disable MSN Messenger.

I don't use it, I don't have an account, I don't want it. And yet, it runs on startup. Even if I try to get rid of it. And now msconfig does too, for no apparent reason.

It's bothersome, not helpful. The last thing I need is more crap automatically running whenever I login. Crap I don't use. Crap I don't want. Microsoft.

Good thing I never boot into Windows XP. :)
---
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu] .

It's happening again. (1)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 13 years ago | (#227355)

Internet Explorer wasn't nearly as good as Netscape Communicator, at least not until version 3 or so. But Microsoft made sure that every copy of Windows came with IE, and that every copy of Windows did NOT come with Netscape. For the vast unwashed majority of Windows users, IE was good enough; they could live with the bugs, it was easier than figuring out how to download and install Netscape.

The same thing is going to happen with MSN, and with any other software Microsoft doesn't feel like having any competition with. Put it on the Windows desktop on every brand-new PC, imply that it's tightly integrated with Windows, make the customer have to jump through hoops to find/download/install the competition, and voila! No more competition.

As long as Windows is available from only one source (Microsoft), and as long as that source has other products it wants to push, you're going to continue to see those products tied to Windows.

Re:This is so stupid (4)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 13 years ago | (#227357)

The difference is:

(1) Imagine that a single company made 96% of all the cars on the road.

(2) Imagine that company wanted to own the car stereo market, so they dumped loads of money into R&D and came up with a car stereo which was as good as all the aftermarket ones.

They advertise that they are putting this super car stereo in all their cars for free. This kills the third-party car stereo market. But there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, so the cost is made up for increasing the price of parts for these cars.

If Microsoft shipped a simple, bare-bones, no-bells-and-whistles web browser with their operating system, and then marketed a super-gee-whiz version of their web browser separately, I wouldn't complain. After all, this is what they do with MS Write / MS Word!

Why isn't Microsoft bundling all the functionality of Microsoft Word into every copy of Windows?

How about better quality first? (1)

cirby (2599) | more than 13 years ago | (#227360)

If Microsoft spent as much time and money in making a better product instead of adding half-assed "features" to their existing operating systems, nobody would complain. Instead, we get version after version of insecure, buggy Windows, with even more buggy applications slapped on top.

Whee.

Re:This is so stupid (2)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 13 years ago | (#227367)

Actually you CAN get cars without the stereo and they WILL deduct it's value if you really wanted. (My ex did this) You're then free to put in whatever you want and use the money you saved towards a better product. Go ahead and go to a car dealer and try it! They may give you some BS for a while, but if you persist you can. (DISLAIMER: Some dealers are easier to deal with others)

What WindowsXP is doing is charging for all theses things without the option to NOT buy them. Meaning that to upgrade there are additional costs on top of the cost of Windows. (Notice the difference between the the Car example and the Windows example!? HINT: In the car example you CAN get money back for your stereo. In the Windows example, you CAN'T!)

What this means is users are MUCH less likely to upgrade to third party products because they were already forced to pay for a simular product. There will always be the exceptions of the really hardcore users who WILL take that hit and upgrade some of their components anyways.

It's not that difficult to see.

OK ... bash away! :)

Re:in all honesty (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#227368)

But WalMart/Eckerds/Walgreens don't have monopolies, not in the least.

What they do have is economy of scale. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, and just because you can't compete with them doesn't make them EvileNasty.

There's nothing stopping you from teaming up with all the convience stores in your area, and sharing the bulk orders. You're not in competition with each other: you serve completely different customer bases. So work together as a loose coalition, so that you all can compete against your real competition.

No one guaranteed your father a successful business. If he can't make it work in the face of competition -- even when that competition is a superstore with efficiency levels that'd give your dad wet dreams -- then it's fair and just that his business ceases to be.

Speaking of efficiency levels, your dad's business wastes at least 30% of its costs on inefficiency, rework, mistakes and such. Reducing those costs will pay back to the bottom line something on the order of 100% better than increasing sales. If he really wants to compete, he can: and he can do it by focusing on cutting senseless overhead costs.

That's how WalMart has done it, by the way. They typically don't keep warehouses of inventory: they keep it all on semi-trailers, en route to just-in-time restocking. They use sophisticated computer tracking and modeling. They make manufacturers responsible for maintaining inventory levels. They are, in a word, wickedly efficient.



--

Re:Lies, Damned Lies, and Microsoft PR (1)

mtnbkr (8981) | more than 13 years ago | (#227372)

Is your 1980s vintage auto still under warranty? Should you be able to return it for a full refund since it's no longer supported and there are new cars that perform the same function? What's the difference then? Chris

Three words for AOL/TW (1)

dido (9125) | more than 13 years ago | (#227373)

Pot...Kettle...Black.

Car Stereo bundling (5)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 13 years ago | (#227390)

There has actually been numerous lawsuits and fed investigations of the car stereo situation. So far, Detroit has gotten away with what they've been doing (for example, the oval-shaped stereo in Tauruses), but don't oversimplify the situation.
--

Re:Ok, so here's a solution (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#227393)

No... being part of the OS means that people somehow paid for them... If they started releasing all their "add-in's" as free downloads, that'd probably be much more easy to prove as being predatory pricing...

But it's tough... Apply rules like that, because it could actually endanger all free downloads. Given their size and dominance, they're likely to get yelled at whichever course they follow, so why not just go down the route that at least guarentees their software gets installed...

Re:I hear this a lot... (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#227394)

That may be the most cogent argument on this topic I've read - good job! Microsoft has sole control of the OS APIs.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Lies, Damned Lies, and Microsoft PR (1)

RedGuard (16401) | more than 13 years ago | (#227413)

A latter version of Window has more features than
an earlier one? OMG, no wonder 'M$' are so evil.
Damm them to hell.

Microsoft bundling != Redhat bundling (2)

geophile (16995) | more than 13 years ago | (#227418)

To address all the postings pointing out that Linux distros also do bundling: The difference you're overlooking is that Microsoft is a monopoly, and they are using their monopoly in one market to harm competitors in another. That is illegal.

Microsoft's counter-argument is that they are just enhancing the OS (i.e. they aren't going into another market).

Good chance for Linux (2)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 13 years ago | (#227421)

You see, all these 3rd party programs need an operating system to run on. However if the dependency is on Microsoft which is telling the 3rd party software vendors to "screw off" where do you think that they will go? One possibility is Apple, and even Linux. Most of these people will be in the same boat as the base source inbetween MacOSX and Linux would be portable (GUI enhancements probably wouldn't).

Real, AOL, etc. go invest in Mandrake and RedHat and bundle end user OS'es. Linux is great for us geeks, but we need to evolve it to the user who doesn't want to know everything as well.

Re:I hear this a lot... (2)

ywwg (20925) | more than 13 years ago | (#227424)

remember that redhat did not write all of those little programs, they simply include them. Imagine if windows came with Eudora, and mozilla, an aol client, whatever cd burning software people use... and it was all optional. See the difference?

Re:This is a slap in the face to the government (1)

Genius (22194) | more than 13 years ago | (#227426)

Don't complain about the Sys Reqs for XP. Just check out OS X, which most poeple here support as the "great project", combining Mach and Closed source. Guess what: that requires 128MB Ram too! And it doesn't include even close to as many features as XP does.

So what's this bitching all about?

Re:Rivals? (2)

Genius (22194) | more than 13 years ago | (#227427)

Man oh man, I love the "Expert user testimony."

If you can't remove bloody MSN IM, it's cuz you haven't even tried to look at the options!!!

In there, you'll find a little check box that says something like "Stat with Windows" or something. KILL IT. And MSN IM won't start again. Now, maybe this is just too hard compared to editing some text file somewhere, but I think it's pretty intuitive.

Re:This is so stupid (5)

gregbaker (22648) | more than 13 years ago | (#227429)

They advertise that they are putting this super car stereo in all their cars for free.
...and if you take the car to a mechanic with another manufacturer's radio in it, the mechanic tells you the problem is with the radio. And, the manufacturer occasionally changes the size of the radio mount, so competitor's radios no longer fit.

Greg

Re:This is so stupid (1)

mchappee (22897) | more than 13 years ago | (#227430)

> Somehow, getting more for your money is bad for the consumer.

That's an ignorant argument to make. You're putting Ma and Pa's interests before those of an industry's. Think about it:

Shell decides to start selling gas for .30 per gallon. Great! Consumers love it, Ma and Pa love it, everyone's happy except for Shell's competition. They have to lower their prices to .30 per gallon in order to sell ANY gas at all. Now everyone knows that Shell is bleeding money because of this practice, but nobody cares because gas is so cheap. Soon, however, when the petro companies that don't have the cash to weather the storm are wiped out, Shell is going to raise the price of gas to $5.00 per gallon to make up it's losses. It's the oldest trick in the book. The company with the most reserves can engage in corporate attrition, knowing that their money will hold out longer than everyone elses. In then end, you will be sorry.

Now that Microsoft owns the browser market, how much longer until IE stops connection to anything but IIS?

Matthew

For those w/o broadband... (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 13 years ago | (#227435)

Offer them on a CD for the price of shipping & handling. They've been doing that with IE for years.

zip file support (1)

badmonkey (29600) | more than 13 years ago | (#227437)

I bet Winzip will be none too pleased with the added XP support for zip file browsing and file extraction.

Re:XP.. (1)

collar (34531) | more than 13 years ago | (#227451)

120 XP for killing a field mouse? that's pretty tough for a field mouse, was it wearing +4 armour with +50% magic resistance or something?

Blah Blah Blah (2)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 13 years ago | (#227452)

What is wrong with Microsoft attempting to compete on the desktop they created?

NOTHING.

That is the nature of competition. These aftermarket software companies - like Netscape, Real, AOL, etc - are just that. Aftermarket. If MS incorporates programs into their OS - so freaking what? It's their OS - and their desktop. The aftermarket has just changed. Now, browsers are all free, or IM clients, or audio applications - there's an aftermarket for a different product.

It's that simple.

Now, if these companies want to survive, they need to work on making their products compatible with a cross-OS open standard so anyone can use their programs.

It boils down to the fact that if these companies want their software to survive, they've got to uncouple it from Windows dependencies, because MS can and should expand into those areas.

That's competition, my friends.
HI Mom!

Re:Not like Linux? (1)

evilquaker (35963) | more than 13 years ago | (#227457)

If I choose not to use that software, then it might as well not be there

Except that -- as others have mentioned -- you can't turn some of it (MSN Messenger) off, so they're using memory, etc. and opening possible security holes (*cough* IE *cough*).

Everyone knows the apps that will come with Windows XPwill be no better than the ones available now from MS. Everyone will just go and load mIRC instead of using Comic Chat.

No, they won't. The "average" computer user will use whatever comes pre-installed on the computer, if it's good enough. Just like with evolution, a program doesn't have to be the best to survive, it just has to be good enough...

How many people still use OE for newsreading? A lot... and the primary reason is that it's already installed, and it's good enough. Downloading and installing Agent (or whatever) is simply too much effort. (Not to mention you'll have to do it all again when Windows guts itself in six months...).

This is why people complain about MS having unfair advantage in the marketplace... MS doesn't have to compete on quality or price. If they write a new app and incorporate it into the OS, it's going to take over, regardless of how it compares to the competition.

Re:This is so stupid (2)

evilquaker (35963) | more than 13 years ago | (#227461)

Why isn't Microsoft bundling all the functionality of Microsoft Word into every copy of Windows?

Obviously their customers don't want it, and it wouldn't add value for them...

Re:zip file support (3)

YoungHack (36385) | more than 13 years ago | (#227474)

If you were thinking about piriting WinZip, I might suggest rather that you look into PowerArchiver. Very nice. Free (beer).

www.powerarchiver.com

Re:Good chance for Linux (1)

tomita (36970) | more than 13 years ago | (#227477)

Just want to mention again that RealPlayer is already available, as standalone app and plugin, for linux x86, linux ppc, linux alpha, linux sparc, solaris/sparc, aix 4.3, aix 4.2, hp-ux 11, irix 6.5, irix 6.3, and sco unixware. Download your copy at

http://scopes.real.com/real/player/unix/unix.html? src=rpbform [real.com]

they just dont get it..... (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 13 years ago | (#227478)

micro$oft doesnt care about the desktop -- they want to own the computer industry. thats one reason back in the 80s they wrote not only large chunks of the ROMs (pick up any old machine and you can boot into ROM BASIC -- see the copyrights) they also wrote business software (multiplan) to comptere against visicalc/1-2-3 as well as buying up QDOS (the OS). after all these years very few people actually get it -- micro$oft wants to own the industry and it always has. it ensures that they get a continous revenue stream from every single electronic device ever sold.

NO. Here is the solution. (1)

Skynet (37427) | more than 13 years ago | (#227479)

Here is the solution. How about Microsoft provides it's competitors with the hooks and documentation they need to do the same integration Microsoft does?

Re:I hear this a lot... (2)

Skynet (37427) | more than 13 years ago | (#227480)

I hear that a lot. It's okay when Linux does it, but not when Microsoft does it. KDE integrates its browser into the file manager, but that's okay. Microsoft does it, and they become the root of all evil. As for the independently written aspect, with the exception of IE, most of Microsoft's bundles (media player, MSN messenger) aren't integrated and non-removable. They're just as "optional" as your Linux components, except installed by default. I guess what I'm asking is this: If it's okay for Linux to do it, stop bitching at Microsoft because they do it.

You can't compare the two. Microsoft is a closed system. They don't provide you the "hooks" you need for full integration. This provides them with a competitive advantage in ALL software written for their operating system that no company that produces Windows applications can hope to match. The only reason Microsoft DOESN'T integrate EVERYTHING is because they know it's unethical and that they'll get slapped in the buttocks for it.

On the Linux side, the code is all open. If there are no hooks for deeper integration, you can take the code and do whatever you want with it as long as you release your code as well. If KDE wants to integrate its browser with its file manager, fine! I can see the code, I know how it works, I can replicate it with my own file manager if I want.

That's the difference and thats why it's Ok for Linux to do it.

Stop Whining (2)

jameswu1 (39703) | more than 13 years ago | (#227481)

For an ordinary consumer, a CD-burning software bundled with the OS *is* convenience, as they might not feel confident installing CD Creator themselves. The fact that everything is built in will let these people take advantage of some of the previously unknown features in their computer, while more advanced users are always free to install whatever they want in their computers.

~James

Re:Microsoft 'Detractors' or competitors (3)

aufait (45237) | more than 13 years ago | (#227489)

Netscape whined about Microsoft pushing them out of the browser business by giving away free software.

No, they complained , among other things, that MS tied it to the OS and refused to allow OEMs to add Netscape to the desktop. Not only did MS ensure that every new purchaser of Windows had a copy of IE, they also guarenteed that the purchaser would not have a copy of Netscape no matter what inticements Netscape offered the OEMs.

But that is exactly the way the Netscape pushed Spyglass out of the same market.

I agree that Netscape was trying to do the same thing MS was: use their domination of the browser market as leverage to gain greater market share in the server market.

However, Netscape was on an equal footing with Spyglass in that they could only offer inducements to OEMs and ISPs to distribute their browser, trial programs, etc. MS had one advantage none of the other sellers of browsers had: the OS. The could (and did) use their control of the desktop to make sure every user had a copy of their software which could not be deleted and that none of their competitor's browsers would show up on the desktop "out of the box".

Re:This is so stupid (1)

jhittner (66567) | more than 13 years ago | (#227503)

However, the issue in this case is that Microsoft made it very difficult if not impossible to remove that car stereo and implement a different brand stereo
Have you tried the beta of XP? Does it self destruct if you try to install a third party cd-burning app?

Re:zip file support -- Stuff-it (1)

Knobby (71829) | more than 13 years ago | (#227507)

Uhm.. You can already smack the compress attribute for any folder and navigate that compressed archive seemlessly, in NT 4.0 and newer.

As for browsing zipped archives, Aladdin's stuff-it deluxe has been doing this on the Mac for years, and it's far more seemless than WinZip's implementation.

How hard will it be to disable MS bundle software? (2)

Maul (83993) | more than 13 years ago | (#227521)

My biggest concern is not that the software comes with the OS, it is that it might become impossible to uninstall like IE is now.

If I decide I want to use AOL's messenger, is the MSN messenger going to pop up annoying messages that I should use that?

Microsoft is FORCING their software on you. I have the sinking feeling that you're going to have to use Windows XP the way THEY want you to use it, rather than the way YOU want to use it.

Re:I hear this a lot... (2)

blogan (84463) | more than 13 years ago | (#227522)


Let's see...a Linux distro can come with KDE, Gnome, Afterstep and a few other WM. Maybe 3 FTP programs, a few different IRC programs....

Re:This is so stupid (2)

Noer (85363) | more than 13 years ago | (#227525)

Getting more for your money can be bad for the consumer, if it isn't *really* more for your money.

If you get, for free, a really mediocre set of tools that are "just good enough" that people generally stick with them as opposed to installing 3rd party tools (even if those 3rd party tools are free), then the quality of the whole system goes down. Look, if Microsoft didn't have such a near monopoly on bundled e-mail apps, there wouldn't be such a unified target for virus authors.

Re:Not at all... (1)

gss (86275) | more than 13 years ago | (#227530)

if that's what you want stick with Linux

Not at all... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#227532)

As long as I can get the source and modify it however I want to.

There's more to this story (3)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 13 years ago | (#227534)

[Here's my submission of the story that got rejected for some reason]

Ah, Spring! It brings birds, neighbors mowing their laws, and the newly-awaken actions from everyone's favorite monopoly!

That's right, Microsoft's at it again. This time, it's Windows XP, and Microsoft's idea to bundle tons of new stuff into it. The associated press reports [nwsource.com] that Microsoft is bundling plenty of stuff to keep the Department of Justice busy: MSN Instant Messenger now loads automatically every time you boot Windows XP. A firewall and DVD player are included as well. Of course the firewall will work as advertised, and will never work only to block messages to rivals' network connections while leaving Microsoft open to send anything they want back to Microsoft's servers. Microsoft has never done that, and it's horrible of you to think they would! Look, that issue with the greeting card company [nytimes.com] in 1999 was just a misunderstanding, not policy.

Microsoft is just trying to give the consumers what they want. As a Microsoft spokes person said, "If people don't find those features compelling enough to upgrade they can keep whatever the heck they want. They're not forced to upgrade."

Funny they should say that.

Microsoft's new upgrade policy basically says that if large companies to upgrade to Windows XP and Office XP by October 2001, they won't be eligible for upgrade pricing after that. ZD Net reports [zdnet.com] that Microsoft is raising fees from anywhere from 33 to 107%. Guernsey Research analyst Chris LeToq summarized these actions saying that Microsoft is forcing an upgrade.

Clearly Microsoft is no longer concerned about any actions from the DOJ. Lest we forget, according to an article from the Mercury Center in 1999 (sorry, no URL available), they hedged their bets by buying off the presidential candidates early ($18k for John McCain, and they helped finance Bush's gubernatorial inauguration). According to the New York Times, Microsoft hired Ralph Reed, one of Bush's top consultants, to help them during the DOJ trial.


None (2)

Temporal (96070) | more than 13 years ago | (#227539)

Everyone knows that you don't get XP for boss fights [fuzzyfur.net] !

------

Re:This is so stupid (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#227542)

(2) Imagine that company wanted to own the car stereo market, so they dumped loads of money into R&D and came up with a car stereo which was as good as all the aftermarket ones.

They advertise that they are putting this super car stereo in all their cars for free
So what you are saying is that I would get a stereo that just as good, if not better then anything else made, and I would get it for free? Hmmm..... This is a tough one....
I'm not standing up for MS, I'm just sayignt that the example is flawed.
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\=\=\

Re:This is so stupid (5)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 13 years ago | (#227546)

Guess what? Many cars come "bundled" with car stereos. You can't get the car for less money if you don't want the stereo. Guess what else? That stereo was probably built by the car manufacturer under a different name.

Actually, a lot of those stereos are built by the big-name brands - Sony, Blaupunkt etc - and then rebadged by the car manufacturer. That's why the manufacturers don't complain: they're the ones benefitting!

Deal with it. Getting more applications for your money instead of less is a good thing.

Yeah. Just like getting long-distance service bundled with your local phone service was a really good thing, and we all love getting Windows bundled with our PCs - oh. Wait. We don't. That's why it's illegal...

The whole point of the anti-trust legislation is that when you have a monopoly in one market (local phone service, OS sales) you aren't allowed to use that monopoly to boost market share in another market (long distance, applications) - that's illegal abuse of monopoly power, which is what AT&T were cut up for, and what MS will hopefully be cut up for...

So where the hell does it stop? (5)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#227558)

Ok, lets take a look at Windows. People don't want HTML rendering engines and stuff built in. Fine, so you take out high-level network stuff. What about low-level? Remember the days of Trumpet Winsock, and how you needed third party software to even get onto the Internet? Ok, so we take that out, because it's unfair bundling. What about device drivers? Remember the old days in DOS when you'd install a game, and you'd pick your soundcard and video card from a list? Gravis Ultrasound Max, Sound Blaster Pro or compatible, ATI, S3, Trident, all that? What about windowing environments? In the PC world, they started out as third party addons for DOS; Desqview and the like. So out they go. What about memory management? Quarterdeck got pretty pissed when EMM386 got bundled in with DOS. Hell, what about filesystems? Do you honestly think Sun's incapable of making a filesystem worth having? Of course not. But Veritas would get pretty pissed. Operating systems are including more and more stuff as time goes on, and I, for one, think it's a good thing. I like the fact that I don't have to tweak TSRs and IRQs in Windows the way I had to in DOS. I like the idea of buying a network card and having it work with the OS, and not needing to get a third party TCP/IP stack. I like the idea of software being able to say 'Requires DirectX 7' and that being the end of it.

Re:Embrace and Extend...... Again..... (2)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 13 years ago | (#227571)

Damn it! When will Micro$oft stop it?!

Probably never.

This is a case of companies that are more to be pitied than censured: Real, AOL, and Norton fighting MS. All firms involved are tied to the closed-source, proprietary formats, customer tie-in model of doing business. Who really cares what the outcome of this is? I will either get Microsoft streaming media or Real streaming media... whats the difference?

Real's CEO (Rob Glaser) is an ex-Microsoft VP. His business behavior is classic Microsoft (proprietary formats, octopus-like software that grabs various parts of your PC, spyware reporting to RealNetworks' servers, lawsuits galore.)

AOL is running the closed network, constantly breaking interoperability of Chat, etc.

Norton is marginalized, and basically was making a living off Microsoft's bugs (e.g. disk recovery software.) Eventually, MS manages to produce a somewhat stable product: game over.

While I'm not a big Microsoft fan, I don't see this battle affecting me: I only use Windows for games. It will affect my mom, but only to the extent that the out-of-box OS she uses will have a few more features. My dad (68 years old,) will probably switch to Linux soon, because he needs more automatic task scheduling and customization than Windows gives him.

Rationalization (2)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 13 years ago | (#227573)

So it's ok to provide the consumer with the applications he needs as long as they are collected from multiple authors? Why is a motley collection of applications better than those produced by one source?

Unfortunately, the real issue is the fact that the additions aren't usually optional. Windows may be good for the novice consumer, but it tends to be nothing but bloat for those who know what they want. Couple the rigidity of the platform with the rent/lease model that seems to be looming ever closer, and it seems to me that you have a very developer-hostile platform.

If only BeOS were to catch on more. I still wonder what the computing world would be like if Be had accepted Apple's proposal.

I hear this a lot... (2)

Bodero (136806) | more than 13 years ago | (#227579)

I don't mind that most Linux distros come with CD-burning software, IRC clients, a great paint program, etc. -- but then, they're independently written and optional.

I hear that a lot. It's okay when Linux does it, but not when Microsoft does it. KDE integrates its browser into the file manager, but that's okay. Microsoft does it, and they become the root of all evil. As for the independently written aspect, with the exception of IE, most of Microsoft's bundles (media player, MSN messenger) aren't integrated and non-removable. They're just as "optional" as your Linux components, except installed by default.

I guess what I'm asking is this: If it's okay for Linux to do it, stop bitching at Microsoft because they do it.

Re:zip file support (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 13 years ago | (#227580)

you're too late, it's already in Windows Millenium...

Re:This is so stupid (1)

tcc (140386) | more than 13 years ago | (#227582)

Well if the toold are mediocre, they shouldn't be worry about their sales no? if people need "better tools" they'll go buy it, period. This is a market, microsoft is a buisness.

Ok, so here's a solution (4)

kfg (145172) | more than 13 years ago | (#227592)

MS stops bundling all these apps with the operating system and instead makes them available as free downloads.

Is anyone here in favor of banning freely downloadable software?

KFG

Re:Stop Whining (2)

zorba1 (149815) | more than 13 years ago | (#227596)

...a CD-burning software bundled with the OS *is* convenience, as they might not feel confident installing CD Creator themselves.

It may be a time-saver for the more technical at heart, too. I spent many an hour once trying to get Win2K, ASPI, WMP, and a couple of burner/ripper apps to all work on one box. Given the OS-installed burner software option (assuming reliability), I would have probably gone with it instead of trying my own installs.

Competition and prices (2)

ajna (151852) | more than 13 years ago | (#227599)

from the article:

``At first blush it looks like ease and convenience and simplicity for the user, but in the long run it sets off alarm systems of stifling competition and higher prices,'' said Gene Kimmelman of the Consumers Union.

I don't follow the reasoning behind this. If Microsoft's products are functional, don't cause the user hassles, and don't prevent other competitors' products from being installed (and I don't see any allegations of that in this article; interestingly enough, last week there was a whine in the BBC about how AOL's software disabled competitors'), how is competition stifled? Rather, isn't this the measure of healthy competition? Forcing Microsoft to tie its shoelaces together, or hobbling it in some other way, won't help the marketplace. If anything, it will hurt competition, as Real's (as in RealPlayer) data points, er, customers, will be that much easier to come by, regardless of the quality of Real's software.

Somehow, this seems reminiscent of Atlas Shrugged.

Re:Why should there be any limit? (2)

General_Corto (152906) | more than 13 years ago | (#227600)

I have three products for you:
  • stealing code: SQL Server (code from IBM and Oracle);
  • disabling competitor's functionality: DR-DOS (now owned, I believe, by Caldera);
  • the like: Stacker from Stac Electronics (remember them?)
Those examples don't even scratch the surface of Microsoft's misdeeds in the corporate arena. And it's all in the name of 'increasing consumer value.'

Lies, Damned Lies, and Microsoft PR (5)

General_Corto (152906) | more than 13 years ago | (#227601)

"If people don't find those features compelling enough to upgrade," Cullinan said, "they can keep whatever the heck they want. They're not forced to upgrade."
That's all very nice to say, but Microsoft won't let you 'keep whatever the heck you want' and support it (and your decision); they'll eventually force you into purchasing the new OS, because it has features the other's don't.

Personally, I think the next MS case should be over the fact that they no longer support versions of their software; if it could be legally proven that one version of windows (let's say Win95) performed the same tasks as another version (i.e. WinME), but was no longer supported by the company, then they should have to purchase those licenses back (imho). Now *that* would make them suffer.

Re:This is so stupid (1)

hyoo (155460) | more than 13 years ago | (#227605)

I agree

The aftermarket products are often superior to the factory installed one. That is why that market thrives. In the Microsoft case, the competition is at best equal in quality to the 'factory installed' one.

There is a reason why MS is where they are now. The whole monopoly issue has a little to do with it, but you got to admit there hasn't been many products that are clearly superior to the MS equivalents. Stop bitching and get your open source punks to write something better.

Re:Ok, so here's a solution (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 13 years ago | (#227606)

If the software was separate and freely downloadable, that's perfectly fine. If it was included on a "bonus" CD I'd be questioning it a little, but I think I'd be ok with it.

Why? Because then you can decide if you want the extra software or not. Forcing this stuff upon people by including it by default with the O/S (and I'm sure making it a horrible PITA to remove) means non-computer wizards don't get a choice. No choice == monopoly.

Give people a choice of whether they want to download the MS stuff or the competition's stuff and then there's no problem. I don't care about the price. A lot of the competition offers some or all of their products for free (RealNetworks, and Netscape, for example).

Re:Microsoft Needs "Features" to Sell Software (1)

chipuni (156625) | more than 13 years ago | (#227608)

Believe it or not Microsoft has got to actually SELL copies of Windows XP.

True enough, in its fashion. But the end consumer isn't who Microsoft is really selling to. Microsoft is selling to computer manufacturers.

Few people who had Windows 95 installed on their machines would upgrade the software on their machines. In the same way, I expect that few people with either Windows 95 or 98 on their machines will upgrade to Windows XP.

This is a slap in the face to the government (2)

proxima (165692) | more than 13 years ago | (#227612)

I understand that the U.S. vs. Microsoft case is still far from over, but Microsoft seems to be very arrogant here.

The recent rulings (in the past year) have been very much against Microsoft - and it would appear that Microsoft is in desperate need for a successful appeal. One of the main points of this case was that Windows was unfairly bundling IE with Windows - but now they've added a media player, cd burner, and instant messenger. No wonder XP requires a minimum of 128 MB of RAM.

Microsoft isn't looking to appease the government and survive - they're arrogantly pursuing their desire to dominate every major software type - OS, office package, media player, cd burner, browser, mail, and messenging - by far the most common applications used today. I can't imagine how these moves will help Microsoft in their court case.

Also, if XP is like the installations of 2000 I've done, it won't give you any options as to what components can and can not be installed (but hey, maybe I did something wrong). I also wonder of OEMs could choose to remove these packages from their computers before selling them.

Re:This is so stupid (3)

piecewise (169377) | more than 13 years ago | (#227615)

Good point. However, the issue in this case is that Microsoft made it very difficult if not impossible to remove that car stereo and implement a different brand stereo.

If Ford, for example, made it impossible to remove the stereos from the car, you would agree that aftermarket stereo manufacturers would in fact not survive.

There's nothing wrong with features. We must look at the definition of 'illegal monopoly.' I would say that when Microsoft "bundles" items and then makes it that difficult to change them or even install an additional copy of a similar program, you've got problems.

I am supposing, however, that with the Republican administration, none of this matters too much. Or is that a misconception? I don't Bush would ever split up MS, but then again it's not just Bush doing the splitting.

This is so stupid (5)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#227620)

Somehow, getting more for your money is bad for the consumer.

Guess what? Many cars come "bundled" with car stereos. You can't get the car for less money if you don't want the stereo. Guess what else? That stereo was probably built by the car manufacturer under a different name.

Yet, somehow aftermarket car stereo manufacturers manage to survive. I don't here them whining about "monopolistic" policies of the car manufacturers, even that clearly costs them huge amounts of market.

Deal with it. Getting more applications for your money instead of less is a good thing.


--

Waste of time (2)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#227629)

order that Microsoft be split into two companies

Does anyone else think that Jackson should have uped the spinouts to be like 4-6 companies? I would like to see:

Server OS

Server Apps

Client OS

Client Apps

At least, but probably also:

Games

XBox && Hardware

You cannot expect M$ to give up there collusion and 'first son' attituted if you dont really split them up. You want innovation - see what happens if the Office Applications market was re-born...

Jackson didnt go half way to a real solution.

Not like Linux? (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#227630)

Your complaint with MS then is that the apps that come with it are not independently written and not optional?

If I choose not to use that software, then it might as well not be there, and most of those are optional when you choose whether or not to load them in Windows Update. This argument is tripe.

Everyone knows the apps that will come with Windows XPwill be no better than the ones available now from MS. Everyone will just go and load mIRC instead of using Comic Chat. And so on. People will seek out the better apps from the companies that are innovating. If everyone pulls a Netscrape "let's sit on our laurels and let the freeware stuff even pass us in features" then of course they're not going to be bought to replace the disfuntional versions that comes with Windows XP. I have faith that the industry will further shake itself out, hopefully without the government holding their hands.

My beef with Linux is that the packages that come with the distros can only use their package installers to load them. No one has gotten together to make a common installer across distros. I refuse to even use them and prefer to get the source and make it myself, as 99% of the time it's a quick and painless build, and I have the confidence that I'm using the source that's been reviewed, and not something with a possible backdoor.

Re:Not like Linux? (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#227631)

If I choose not to use that software, then it might as well not be there
Except that -- as others have mentioned -- you can't turn some of it (MSN Messenger) off, so they're using memory, etc. and opening possible security holes (*cough* IE *cough*).

Bull. I loaded MSN Messenger on my system, didn't want it, and took it out of the registry Run item so it no longer loads. The average user won't do this, but then the average user isn't using gobs of memory, and if they have it, they're not using it. I don't want it, so I don't use it and I actively seek out the thing that will be better. Others do ,too.

Everyone knows the apps that will come with Windows XPwill be no better than the ones available now from MS. Everyone will just go and load mIRC instead of using Comic Chat.
No, they won't. The "average" computer user will use whatever comes pre-installed on the computer, if it's good enough. Just like with evolution, a program doesn't have to be the best to survive, it just has to be good enough... How many people still use OE for newsreading? A lot... and the primary reason is that it's already installed, and it's good enough. Downloading and installing Agent (or whatever) is simply too much effort. (Not to mention you'll have to do it all again when Windows guts itself in six months...). This is why people complain about MS having unfair advantage in the marketplace... MS doesn't have to compete on quality or price. If they write a new app and incorporate it into the OS, it's going to take over, regardless of how it compares to the competition.

So you're the only guy who knows about Downloads.com and Winfiles.com and all those others? I know plenty of people who download something because a friend told them it was better and they used that instead of the stock stuff. These are people who I honestly don't trust to run a file manager. Sounds like it's a problem for you, though. If Microsoft came out with a virus checker, do you think Norton and McAfee would lose sales? The Microsoft products would be polka dotted crap. MS includes a defrag program with Windows, but people seek out DiskKeeper because the MS product doesn't go far enough, and this is their own file system!

Besides, are you afraid that Microsoft might actually put out a product that is superior to others? I won't step 10 feet near Netscrape.

oh crap, not again (3)

Segfault 11 (201269) | more than 13 years ago | (#227647)

IE's success has little to do with the bundling. It's just that it had parity with Netscape at the 3.0 version, and 4.0 (three years ago) completely blew Netscape out of the water. The same will be applicable for all of these other programs.

The people at Real should look at their own product before they go claiming that Windows Media Player is "not the best product". WMP7 is starting to cross the line, but it's still far far removed from the crapware that is RealPlayer or QuickTime. I'd use Winamp, but it doesn't play videos.

I don't care much for MSN Messenger, but it has been my IM for a while, so I may as well use that.

I'm not going to use the Windows DVD player -- I went through all of that before. A regular player that I can run on my larger TV with a remote control is much nicer.

As far as firewalls go... well, it's a security product written by Microsoft. It might be good for warding off tigers and polar bears.

simple solution.... (1)

krypteia (204182) | more than 13 years ago | (#227649)

...i aint gonna buy this crap. xp is a rip off, less than 2 years after win 2k and they try and pawn of this garbage??? just dont purchase it, and if your a sys admin. do your best to keep your employer from purchasing it too. Be a real friend and keep your friends, family and neighbors from buying this crap too. M$ needs to learn a lesson, i hope this is the distro that will teach them it. cheers

Re:Microsoft 'Detractors' or competitors (1)

rabidcow (209019) | more than 13 years ago | (#227651)

Before IE, Netscape was free for students and employees of non-profit organizations, not for business use, not for general home use. (except for a short trial period)

Then IE came out, free for everyone. In fact, just to make things easier for the poor consumer, free and preinstalled.

Wal-Mart vs. Dept. of Justice? (1)

Beowu1f (209753) | more than 13 years ago | (#227653)

I don't see Microsoft's business practice as something wrong, at the basic level (I'm just talking about bundling IE, media players, whatever) with the OS. I'm not getting into the actual business practices of Microsoft here, either. But this is common, as far as I can tell...Wal-Mart opens a store in a relatively rural area, and can put small local stores out of business in a year: clothing stores, hardware stores, grocery stores now, with some Wal-Marts...because they offer so many cheap but sufficient services.

You can walk into your local grocery store and get a cup of coffee while you shop, but it's nasty coffee at their little counter. Or some mediocre meat in the deli-section, yada yada. But if you want good coffee, or some prime cuts of meat, you go to a coffee shop or a butcher. The coffee shop/butcher offer a better product because they specialize in it, like Norton focuses on security and control of your OS. I'll be damned if I'll rely on the built-in firewall of Windows XP...Linux is the butcher for OSes right now, or Macs I guess, but for most of us, it's Linux, but like the premium cut of meat, Linux comes at a cost in the form of a severe learning curve. Geeks are content to spend three days getting a computer working properly and just playing around, but someone who wants to type a paper and check their e-mail will have no patience for this kind of work to use their computer. This is, in my opinion, the biggest drawback to linux right now (but it's getting better all the time, with easier installations, more intuitive interfaces, etc.)

Granted, Wal-Mart doesn't hold a 90% market share, and as is mentioned elsewhere, MS does not make it easy to remove these programs and features. I updated messenger on accident in windows update, and I had to go through three times and remove the registry entries that start messenger.

I dunno...I've never seen MS as the evil others have, but their getting pretty rediculous...getting time to go to linux exclusively for me.

Re:I hear this a lot... (2)

Beowu1f (209753) | more than 13 years ago | (#227654)

According to that article, MSN messenger will now be installed and started whenever XP is started. Who knows if MS will remove tools like the system configuration utility or regedit to prevent us from unloading the program...

Huh? (1)

dj28 (212815) | more than 13 years ago | (#227658)

AOL is making the claim that this is just like what happened with netscape and IE. The software that will be bundled with XP is _not_ embeded into the kernel like IE was. And the other companies have no room to complain becuase MS isn't making it impossible for people to install their software on windows XP.

Re:Microsoft Needs "Features" to Sell Software (1)

dj28 (212815) | more than 13 years ago | (#227659)

Um, Linux has to come bundled with software too. Would you like to run a plain kernel? I would think not. The OS itsself does nothing. It's the software that does the work.

good faith (1)

rampant_gerbil (221545) | more than 13 years ago | (#227668)

It is interesting that adding "value" in the form of a plethora of features and bundled programs has become a "disincentive" or "problem" for software vendors like Microsoft. It seems to me that this activity becomes problematic when the extra components are not included in "good faith"--i.e., out of a genuine desire to make a better product, rather than to undercut the competition or advance some other goal.

Think of it this way: legislators here in Minnesota have attached an amendment to an appropriations bill introducing a waiting period for abortions. The appropriations bill has to do with funding medical care for the elderly, among other things. Whatever you think about the abortion issue, attaching unrelated amendments to bills in the hopes of advancing unrelated goals feels somewhat underhanded. The legislators are not acting in good faith.

This is the problem I see Microsoft's actions: they are using their ability to bundle software to advance goals unrelated to the functionality of the main product they are selling.

in all honesty (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#227672)

even though we're against microsoft and all, that's part of making money: adding new features.

Also since we're a (nearly) pure capitalist country, the object of companies is strictly to make money. Legally, Microsoft is doing nothing wrong. Morally, yes, but when do companies have to act morally?

My dad is going through similar things with his business. He owns a little convenience store, and because we can't buy in bulk, distributors are refusing to sell to us. We end up having to buy our Coke, Pepsi, (and other sodas), milk, and a lot of other items from Wal-Mart, Eckerds, and Walgreens. How can we compete with them if we're -buying- from them? The result: we're nearly bankrupt, and there's nothing we can do about it: Capitalism is good until there's a big company which has a monopoly, which is almost always bound to happen.

Re:zip file support (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#227673)

right, and i wonder how many people actually -pay- for Winzip? Winzip, along with mIrc, is by far one of the most pirated pieces of software.

I'm sure you all know what mIrc is, the defacto standard for IRC clients; there's milliopns of people using the program, yet there's only a few hundred that have actually registered it. Hmmm?

Re:Democrats (1)

bdlinux13 (232862) | more than 13 years ago | (#227676)

Heck, with democrats, none of us would even have to work.

XP.. (5)

OblongPlatypus (233746) | more than 13 years ago | (#227677)

I just killed a field mouse for 120 XP, how much do I get if I kill this Windows thing?

Embrace and Extend...... Again..... (1)

scottishprog (235404) | more than 13 years ago | (#227680)

Damn it! When will Micro$oft stop it?!

Re:Ok, so here's a solution (2)

spoocr (237489) | more than 13 years ago | (#227685)

Well, remember that not everyone has broadband. Those without it could spend a LOT of time getting the features they want.

If you don't like what Microsoft is doing, it's not like there aren't alternatives.

-- Chris

Re:Ok, so here's a solution (5)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 13 years ago | (#227694)

As long as Microsoft can demonstrate that the unbundled apps are funded independently of the operating system, I have no objection.

I have no objection to buying a $50 OS, and then adding freely downloadable apps funded by, for example, sales of streaming software, advertising, etc. But I do have an objection to buying a $200 OS and having to pay for the development of those apps, and not having the choice of being able to choose a competitors' alternative.

The key is the word bundling. In this case, things are being added to the operating system that have nothing to do with the operating system, and people are being forced to buy them if they buy the OS, regardless of whether they want them or not.
--

Y'know... this -could- be a good thing... (1)

samrolken (246301) | more than 13 years ago | (#227700)

maybe { Iowa Attorney General, AOL, RealNetworks, Norton and a law professor. }, and everyone else MS is dissing will have to find a new platform to develop under. If all these gather togeather in support of linux, they will be guaranteeing themselves a platform that no one can take away from them.

A bit unfair... (1)

samrolken (246301) | more than 13 years ago | (#227701)

not to mention that the article mentions:

For the first time, MSN Messenger installs and loads automatically every time XP is run.

If it weren't for MS's corner on the OS market, MSN wouldn't have any more of a chance of catching on than some dinky chat program I were to write...

When I talk to non-nerd people and they tell me they have a hotmail account, msn service, or msn messenger service, I ask them why they use that. Their common reply: "That's what popped up when I first got my computer"... now, we all know that MSN isn't the best messenger, and hotmail isn't the best freemail service.

THIS SUCKS!

It isn't that bad afterall (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 13 years ago | (#227706)

Microsoft is taking efforts in forcing software vendors to reconsider their investment on other platforms, say Linux and OSX.

Microsoft is suffered from serious shortsightness, in my opinion.

Why should there be any limit? (1)

Rungler (256436) | more than 13 years ago | (#227708)

Why should there be any limit on software included in the OS? As long as MS is not blatantly stealing code, disabling competitor's functionality or the like, then why restrict them? Honestly, I don't like MS much either, but let's not hold them to unfairly high standards.

Re:Why should there be any limit? (1)

Rungler (256436) | more than 13 years ago | (#227709)

(1) SQL Server isn't included.
(2) The other two don't matter anymore.

Something VERY distrubing (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#227713)

As some of you might recall, the UTITA, (or however that is spelled), with the remote backdoors to shut down a programs, are qutie the controversy. Now, with WindowsXP, we're seeing this with MS' feature of letting people go on each other's computer's with the troubleshoot feature, which allows one to access another's computer and troubleshoot it. Firstly, this is quite decivious on MS' part, because: 1. They now will know when someone is online
2. They can shut down any XP system remotely with that backdoor
3. Hacker exploits
Second: The MS messenger service. It already loads up when I open ME, but to install and run it every time, its a pain in the ass. I don't use it, I'm sure most Slashdotters don't either.
MS wants to integrate everything into their system, which, had them taken to court a few years ago over IE. What the hell is wrong with our state governments now? This smacks of monopoly, (as if we didn't know MS was a Monopoly already).
Just reading these articles makes Linux look better and better!

Microsoft 'Detractors' or competitors (4)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 13 years ago | (#227714)

I get more than a little fed up when Microsofts competitors complain about competition and using tactics they use themselves.

Netscape whined about Microsoft pushing them out of the browser business by giving away free software. But that is exactly the way the Netscape pushed Spyglass out of the same market. Netscape claimed to be charging for the browser but gave away as many copies as they could to seed the market.

Complaints about dotnet and hailstorm have to be considered in the same light. Sun made an attempt to gain a stranglehold over the development of computing languages. Java is the only 'standard' I know of where one manufacturer has a veto over the languages development.

All in all it reminds me of the Republicans complaints about Clinton's bribe taking while all the time taking even bigger bribes themselves from the tobacco lobby, etc. etc. etc etc.

Could the opposition look more petty? (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 13 years ago | (#227720)

I don't think so. No sane person can be convinced that getting more for the same price is bad.

As long as they dont include Nautilus we'll all be fine.

Re:Microsoft Needs "Features" to Sell Software (3)

agallagh42 (301559) | more than 13 years ago | (#227722)

"I don't know of any businesses that have rolled out Windows XP"

No kidding? Isn't it surprising that no businesses have rolled out a product that's not scheduled to release until 5 months from now?

"nor do I know of any that have done a serious desktop rollout of Windows 2000, for that matter"

So what am I doing working on a project to roll out Win2K to over 30,000 users? Many other companies are doing the same thing. They're mostly all still in the planning stages though, since it's a very big job to convert your whole infrastructure.

Don't get me wrong, I think Microsoft are pure evil too. However, there's no reason to resort to misinformation.

Re:Microsoft Needs "Features" to Sell Software (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 13 years ago | (#227772)

Much to my sorrow we're planning a corporate rollout of Windows 2000 next year. Hopefully this is going to be a very, very painful experience. I hope the TCO is going to explode right into their agonized faces :-)

Re:zip file support (1)

Garinwirth (325774) | more than 13 years ago | (#227773)

I don't think "pirated" is the right word, considering both of those can be freely downloaded.

Re:zip file support (1)

aechols (443299) | more than 13 years ago | (#227789)

what about when you get a keygen or patch to get rid of those nasty `please register me so i can feed the kids' messages?

Re:Why should there be any limit? (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#227791)

SQL Server - it was licensed from Sybase.
The other two were settled in court just like stealing and unfair competition usually is.
What this has to do with XP ?

Why is anyone suprised? (1)

adam613 (449819) | more than 13 years ago | (#227794)

No big suprises here. Bundling MSN Messenger is an attack on AOL Instant Messenger, no question. I would stay with AIM just because that's where the people I chat with are. It will be interesting to see if M$ can really chip away at the user base of AOL, which (along with ICQ) pretty much has a monopoly on chat programs. If AIM continues to work under XP, I would continue to use it. If MSN Messenger causes AIM to fail, that's anticompetitive. What worries me much more is the part about having somoene troubleshoot your computer over the internet. If they can get the kind of access to your data over the internet, who knows what they're going to do with it? I've gotten used to the fact that anyone can find out anything they want about me, but I'm still uncomfortable with letting people do it easily. Does anyone know if there are any laws in place that could interfere with software like this? Overall, it will be interesting to see how well XP actually runs. My computer came with WinME, which was awful. I upgraded to Win2k because my computer was crashing 3 times/day, and now I haven't rebooted since April 17. If XP can maintain this stability and include the power of Win2k in an OS that has decent multimedia features and doesn't break my old software, I might take a look. But my goal is still to be able to afford a box that can run OSX :) "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero..."

New slogan (1)

pagsz (450343) | more than 13 years ago | (#227801)

Microsoft XP ... What crappy software are you stuck with today?

By the way ... the little icon comparing Microsoft to the Borg is a bit much. The borg never force you to pay license fees to get stuck with thier garbage.

Microsoft Needs "Features" to Sell Software (5)

reposter (450888) | more than 13 years ago | (#227807)

Believe it or not Microsoft has got to actually SELL copies of Windows XP. If Windows XP is chuck full of stupid "features" that are actually disincentives to the upgrade then people will stick with what they have. This is nearly as dangerous for Microsoft as if the user had switched to Linux. Remember, Microsoft's biggest competitor isn't Corel, or Oracle, or IBM, or even the amorphous "Linux," Micrsoft's biggest competitor is previous versions of their own software.

Even worse issues like games and compatibility with work also make it more likely that people will stick with what they have. I don't know of any businesses that have rolled out Windows XP (nor do I know of any that have done a serious desktop rollout of Windows 2000, for that matter). They should be making their operating system as attractive to buyers as they possibly can. Instead they are lining up an initiative to treat their customers as copyright breaking thieves. Things like WMA and the new copy protection scheme aren't likely to entire current Windows users to this new OS.

Meanwhile Linux will continue to grow. naysayers have been predicting its imminent demise since it's first arrival on the scene, and they have always been spectacularly wrong. The reason for this is simple, Linux is too darned useful. It's price tag is a siren song for hackers and entrepreneurs everywhere, and the cost of maintaining the infrastructure that keeps Linux alive is negligible. Microsoft can't bankrupt Linux, it can't buy Linux, and it can't intimidate enough Linuxers to make a difference.

This doesn't make Linux better than Windows. I personally don't think that Linux is ready for the desktop, for example. But it does guarantee that Linux will keep growing, and that it will continue to become a more viable alternative every day. If Microsoft continues to misuse their customers they will someday find that most of them are jumping ship.

Is n't Microsoft free to add improve her own OS ? (1)

nkef (451524) | more than 13 years ago | (#227810)

Like the stupid case with IE somenone complains about new features in Windows XP . Microsoft is free to add new features to XP , if that is not correct then we have to admit that Windows is the standart OS and another organization must also control Windows realeses . Microsoft keeps compatibility with applications from 1981 because users and companies ask it . No unix runs the applications developed 20 years ago . (linux 2.4 runs applications that came out for kernel before 1 ??).
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