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Competitors Complain To EC That Free Android Is a 'Trojan Horse'

timothy posted about a year ago | from the takes-exactly-one-to-know-exactly-one dept.

EU 315

First time accepted submitter DW100 writes "Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle have taken it upon themselves to moan to the European Commission about Google's Android dominance, which they say is an underhand bid to control the entire mobile market. The firms are part of the FairSearch group, which has just filed a complaint that Google is using Android as a 'Trojan Horse' to take control of the mobile market and all the related advertising revenue. Microsoft would of course know all about this, being at the end of several similar anti-competitive complaints in the past."

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315 comments

ZERO FUCKS... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400321)

...zero fucks were given

News Flash! (5, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year ago | (#43400327)

Company makes billions of dollars; wants more. Competitors not happy.

Now on to how Justin Bieber's pet monkey was confiscated at an airport...

Re:News Flash! (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#43400405)

Company makes billions of dollars; wants more. Competitors not happy.

Translation: "They're doing what we would do, but they're a lot better at it than we are."

You never know how the EC will react, tho.

Re:News Flash! (2)

clemdoc (624639) | about a year ago | (#43400451)

Worst thing that could happen is probably some kind of 'Do you want to install Bing or Google as default earch thingie" search-engine choice, like Microsoft had to provide for IE / FF / Opera etc. and I doubt it'll go even that far.

Re:News Flash! (4, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43400717)

As a device manufacturer, if you want to use Google Play on your device, you have to use other Google services as well.
If you want to use Android without Google services, you can. But you won't get to use Play either.
Google isn't using Android as a crutch, it's using Play.

Re:News Flash! (2)

Barryke (772876) | about a year ago | (#43401023)

We all realize, but i'll say it now, Gmail is a crutch as well. Its just so excelent!

Me for example, i ca not use an email service without (labels AND conversation folding AND webinterface AND app).
It is the reason i can't really see a workable scenario to switch to Windows Phone 8..

Re:News Flash! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400725)

They could make Google refund users the money they paid for Android.

Re:News Flash! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43401171)

I like this idea, provided that the extortion fees the users ended up paying to MS are what is refunded.

Re:News Flash! (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year ago | (#43400487)

Yeah, but their complaint is pretty retarded.

It'd be like Pepsi complaining that Coke were trying to use a Trojan Horse to dominate the market, if Coke gave away free drinks, and also made the recipe freely available.

Sure it might give them market share, but given the 'free recipe' bit... kinda hard to dominate the market and keep others from using it to do the same thing.

Re:News Flash! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400613)

I don't think it's retarded at all. I remain convinced that Samsung (underhandedly) encrypted my previously unlocked boot loader so it could install Google Video and other Garden Apps (that I never wanted). I actually hope this goes somewhere because "never buying Samsung again" isn't changing much and "they" know it. Bastards.

Re:News Flash! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400797)

I remain convinced that Samsung (underhandedly) encrypted my previously unlocked boot loader

Well yes.

But that's because you're a conspiracy theorist nutjob. Not because of any external reality.

Re:News Flash! (4, Informative)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43400753)

The complaint isn't retarded even if it is a bit of a strawman.

Google ist THE search engine and THE advertising agency and THE data harvester(shared with Facebook which is easily avoidable) on the internet.
If you combine this with being THE supplier fro mobile computing then you get a stiuation where even better competitors would not be able to compete.

The European Model(excluding that detached insular bit in the most polluted part of the North Sea which insists on confusing everybody including themselves) is having private enterprise with regulation to ensure fair competition. So this is quite up their alley. Rightfully so. Google is becoming a bit terrifying.

This is thugs complaining of unhelpfully having their nose broken for them which might seem silly at first but they do have a point.

Re:News Flash! (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#43401041)

I don't see it stopping Amazon from offering their own services independently of Google.

Re:News Flash! (2)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43401157)

I don't see it stopping Amazon from offering their own services independently of Google.

Again: the complaint is that Google uses their market power on Android to get their users onto their services. And that they are a very powerful entity on both.
Amazon doesn't use it's market share of Kindle Fire to lure you into their shop. The opposite is quite true.

This isn't a complaint that Android is too big and that they can't compete with it. That'd be laughed right out of Strassbourg back into the clown car it departed from.

Re:News Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401143)

Exept that MS could just make their OS freely available....

Re:News Flash! (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#43401385)

Biebs had his monkey impounded? :(

That's make for a more interesting discussion than the axis of evil complaining about Google.

what is stopping them from doing the same thing? (4, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | about a year ago | (#43400347)

If you don't like it, release your own free operating system where you package your search engine it.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400415)

If you don't like it, release your own free operating system where you package your search engine it.

Google is packaging its entire search engine on Android?! No wonder my Samsung Galaxy Nexus only has a battery life of 10 hours!

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (5, Informative)

mrquagmire (2326560) | about a year ago | (#43400455)

Whoa, slow down there. Nobody wants competition here. They want to manipulate the government into giving them an advantage through preferential legislation. You know, capitalism.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43400543)

They want the government to give them an advantage by beating up an efficient competitor, same as happened with all anti-trust cases starting with Standard Oil, and moving on to Alcoa Aluminium and everything in between.

You know, central planning.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (4, Insightful)

lord_mike (567148) | about a year ago | (#43400659)

Monopolies are inherently ineffecient by their nature. There is no incentive to be innovative or productive in a monopoly situation. Standard Oil should be grateful that the government won its case. The sum of the broken up parts became greater than the original company and still thrives today. US Steel won their antitrust case, and their bloated, inefficient monopoly caused them to sink under their own weight. IBM, AT&T, and now Microsoft have all suffered the inefficiencies of being a monopoly. The first two managed to adapt. We'll see if Microsoft can, too.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401055)

> There is no incentive to be innovative or productive in a monopoly situation.

The mere potential for competition keeps firms competitive. If you dominate the market at $50 a widget and everyone else would require $60 a widget to make a profit, guess what price you would set, somewhere south of $60. It's not as if you can become number one and then sit on your ass forever. You have to keep others from catching up or entering the race.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401179)

In your example there is no innovation. The innovation would come in where someone else designs a system where they could make the widget and sell it for $40 while making a profit, where the monopolist is still making and selling it for $50.. or someone else figures out how to make it better for the same price making the monopolist's product obsolete.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43401271)

The innovation would come in where someone else designs a system where they could make the widget and sell it for $40 while making a profit, where the monopolist is still making and selling it for $50

At which point the monopolist hauls out some government-granted monopoly, such as an obscure patent or the right not to have a device's bootloader's lockout circumvented.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43400695)

What you described is not capitalism, it is a variation on fascism. It is one variant of the economic system that you end up with when you ask the government to regulate ever more aspects of the economy in order to protect people from their own bad decisions. All of the variants look pretty much the same, the only question is whether the people who benefit are people who accumulated wealth before you started down that path and use it to acquire political power as this process goes forward or whether the people who benefit are people who accumulated political power before you started down that path and use it to acquire wealth as this process goes forward. Of course what often happens is some combination of the two. The one thing that never happens as the government regulates ever greater parts of the economy is that the common person benefits.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400771)

Whoosh. I think his point is that using government force to prevent free markets, and then calling it "capitalism" is one of today's most egregious examples of newspeak.

(I realize this is a EU story, yadda yadda...) Today isn't the first time you're hearing about Republicans, is it? Did you know that a Republican ran for president of the USA, just last year? And that he got over 5% of the vote? That's how well entrenched this newspeak is.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400971)

using government force to prevent free markets, and then calling it "capitalism" is one of today's most egregious examples of newspeak.

Thank God for the Democratic Party. They don't do that kind of thing.

NOT capitalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400747)

Capitalism requires the absence of government interference in the market, not the presence of it.

Did you honestly not know this, or were you trying to spread misinformation?

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (2)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about a year ago | (#43400855)

We all fall short of our I guess. From a collective down to the individual, the ideal doesn't exist. The only metric worth considering might be to what degree you're being victimized by whatever ideology is popular at the time (government, economic, or otherwise).

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400999)

Hey, look, it is a socialist piece of shit! If you hate capitalism so much, why don't you just work for free? Oh, wait, I forgot you are only against OTHER people making money.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43401069)

Al Gore wanted to deregulate the telecoms industry back in the day but when he went to congress he said: “The response was ‘hell no: If we deregulate these guys, how will we raise money from them?’”

You missed it (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43400653)

If you don't like it, release your own free operating system where you package your search engine it.

They could release their own devices using Android. Or they could get handset manufacturers to use their search and advertising services. I don't want this to happen, but they really are just whining about nothing.

Re:You missed it (1)

Invisible Snake (681761) | about a year ago | (#43400709)

To me it sounds a bit like what happened to Netscape, using one advantage to get another one. The browser wars I do not think the being free is the problem, it is more what Google does with Android to give the other parts of their company a boost.

Whining that they otherwise lack the Market (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43401323)

I don't want this to happen, but they really are just whining about nothing.

As I understand the article, they're whining about the combination of these facts: First, unlike Amazon and SlideME, Google has chosen not to make its store available to the public as an Android package. Second, Google has somehow convinced too many Android application publishers to make their applications exclusive to its store.

Re:what is stopping them from doing the same thing (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43401163)

The main difference is that they won't be doing it in plain view as Android is pretty much open source (would be trojan if anyone can see the code?), they would have the code hidden and with licenses that forbids you to know what they really do (the perfect environment to plant an entire army of trojan horses).

I have never trusted google anyway (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400349)

I dont appreciate their data retention policies... its kinda creepy how they try and stick their products everywhere to maximise the data they collect

its a privacy nightmare

F**k First Post (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400357)

F**k Microsoft Orcle and Nokia

Re:F**k First Post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400493)

F**k Microsoft Orcle and Nokia

Ummmm.... No thanks.

Re:F**k First Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400535)

F**k Microsoft Orcle and Nokia

Ummmm.... No thanks.

Really? Not even with, say, a jagged, rusty dildo?

Re:F**k First Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400603)

Whoa! Slow down there cowboy...

Re:F**k First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401201)

Not with someone else's stolen jagged rusty dildo... Doing so would require entirely too much close proximity for anyone's liking...

Re:F**k First Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400605)

There aren't enough antibiotics in the world to treat the diseases these STD ridden companies are carrying after decades of fucking their customers over and screwing government agencies to get what they want, mainly to fuck over more customers.

Re:F**k First Post (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43401061)

You've got that backwards. It's them trying to do you.

True, MS did almost the same with IE. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400387)

But, they did already own the platform so they didn't do it to generate new revenue but to try to keep what they already had (total dominance of the PC market).

Re:True, MS did almost the same with IE. (1)

dc29A (636871) | about a year ago | (#43400541)

But, they did already own the platform so they didn't do it to generate new revenue but to try to keep what they already had (total dominance of the PC market).

There is a 'slight' difference. Nothing stops anyone from getting Android and building their own devices with it and not include any of Google's apps (Just look at custom ROMs). They could you know, build their own App Store and Search Engine with blackjack and hookers if they wanted and then sell those devices running Android without Google being able to do anything about it.

Re:True, MS did almost the same with IE. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43401241)

Exactly. They could even do as Amazon did and customize the interface so it doesn't look like a normal Android device. But it's easier to just complain that Google is somehow locking them out of the market (by producing a much better OS ----- whisper this last part and hope people don't hear you).

Linux legacy. (4, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#43400391)

Interesting. What Linux couldn't accomplish on the desktop, it's accomplishing everywhere else.

Re:Linux legacy. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400469)

Not Linux really, but Google. Amazing what you can do with just a few billion dollars! ;-)
Only reason they used Linux was that it was free and they had no interest of making money from software. If they wrote software to make money Android would be based on something else (BSD? anyone?). I shudder to think of what would happen if they (companies) realize how little conventional advertising is really worth in sales.

Re:Linux legacy. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43401057)

desktops connect to linux and bsd servers for the internet. battle over

Phones: More than communication (3, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43400401)

They are advertising conduits. Which advertising conduit do you want to purchase? This one has extra advertising!

Thank goodness for large corporations. Who else could properly define the purpose of a telephone?

Re:Phones: More than communication (4, Funny)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year ago | (#43400425)

I am going to take a wild guess:

The user?

Make that Microsoft, Microsoft and Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400409)

Ballmer butthurtedly throws some chairs.

So, 'free' is bad? (5, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43400413)

From the article: The FairSearch complaint boils down to Google using Android as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to sign up advertising partners, monopolise the mobile market and control user data by letting mobile hardware manufacturers use its operating system free of charge.

The group is concerned that as the online advertising market shifts increasingly to mobile platforms with the rise in smartphones and tablets, Google is giving itself an unfair head start.

“Google achieved its dominance in the smartphone operating system market by giving Android to device-makers for ‘free’. But in reality, Android phone makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phone,” the group argued.

“This disadvantages other providers, and puts Google’s Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today. Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform.”

So, this is 'wrong' because Google doesn't charge for their OS? Man, MS is getting blatantly desperate sounding. Make an OS that people will want to use, then you might even get them to buy it!

Re:So, 'Open Source' is bad? (3, Insightful)

BlindMaster (2262842) | about a year ago | (#43400545)

I thought it is more than free, isn't it Open Source?
If I don't like the default application packages, can't I make source code changes to it? I thought Careers or phone makers added their own. My Samsung has their own applications as well.

Re:So, 'Open Source' is bad? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401145)

Good luck making source code changes to Google's Android.

It ain't open if it ain't open.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400579)

So, this is 'wrong' because Google doesn't charge for their OS? Man, MS is getting blatantly desperate sounding.

No Google doesn't charge vendors for Android but Microsoft does via patent racketeering. We don't know which patents, probably FAT32 short filenames and the like. Perhaps the EU can investigate that!

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400805)

It is still contended whether MS really charges anything for Android. Pretty much all vendors who have signed up, are the old WinMo manufacturers and have at the same time signed up for the new WinPhone OS. I really doubt that MS gets any extra money for the Android: all vendors complained that WinPhone is expensive instead. IMO MS has simply used the trick to boost their stock price.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400595)

At the dawn of the Browser Wars, didn't Slashdot get all uppity when Microsoft bundled its browser for free?

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43400881)

Yes, but it was closed source.

we wouldn't of liked it, but we woulda been a whole lot less uppity if we could port to linux and still browse the web.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43401211)

The difference is that there was no way to get Windows without IE. In fact, Microsoft also worked to make sure that IE was not only included, but the default browser on all Windows PCs sold. (Effectively all PCs sold since this was before Apple's resurgence and before the rise of tablets/smartphones.) Getting Windows with Netscape Navigator as the default browser was next-to-impossible and getting it with NN instead of IE was completely impossible.

Android, on the other hand, doesn't require that you bundle Google's apps. You can make an Android device and include only the apps you decide to include. (Exhibit A: The Kindle Fire.) So Microsoft could, theoretically, release a MS-customized Android smartphone or tablet that links to a Microsoft Android App Store without any ad money going to Google. In fact, by doing so, they'd instantly tap into and profit from the Android application ecosystem. All without giving tons of money to Google.

All Microsoft is really complaining about is that Google's Android is too popular and their own offerings aren't good enough to compete.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (5, Insightful)

lord_mike (567148) | about a year ago | (#43400609)

Then how does Amazon get away with Android without all the Google stuff on their Kindle Fire?

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43400621)

Not saying anything about the merits of the complaint, but the argument is that Google is giving away an OS in order to gain share of the smart phone market. Google doesn't make its revenue directly through from OS sales, instead it relies on advertising revenue which it unfairly gains by providing an OS for free that gives Google preferred status in searches and ad revenue. Microsoft knows this because they have used similar methods in the past.

I'm indifferent since a similar complaint was used against Microsoft's giving away IE for free in order to use the legal system to gain market share. Live by the courts - die by the courts.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400671)

phone makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services

Are Windows Phone manufacturers allowed to replace the default web browser, messaging, mail, calendar, SkyDrive, media player, etc. or are they also "forced" to pre-load an entire suite of Microsoft services? Are iPhone and iPad resellers allowed to replace the default bundled apps?

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (-1, Flamebait)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43400843)

Try using a run-of-the-mill Android thing without first signing up with Google. It's not that pretty. It's the first thing you see when you turn on your nice new shiny toy and by jove, sign up you will.

Now I'm pretty sure iThings greet you similarly wot with this iTunes thing, but iTunes is not the behemoth that Google is.
And that's what this is about.

It is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Which doesn't change the colour of the kettle.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43401279)

"Try using a run-of-the-mill Android thing without first signing up with Google. It's not that pretty. It's the first thing you see when you turn on your nice new shiny toy and by jove, sign up you will."

I guess you've never used a Kindle fire then.

The only Android phones where what you describe happens are phones where the manufacturer has paid up for integration with Google's services.

This doesn't mean an Android manufacturer has to integrate with Google's services however, Android works just as well without it, you just don't get Google's apps.

It's no secret that Google's apps need an account, but you don't have to use Google's apps.

"Now I'm pretty sure iThings greet you similarly wot with this iTunes thing, but iTunes is not the behemoth that Google is.
And that's what this is about."

With an iPhone/iPad you HAVE to register it with Apple, it's not optional as it is with Android. If you think Apple/iTunes aren't as big as Google you must've been living under a rock for what, 8 years? iTunes has had a near monopoly on digital music for quite some time.

iTunes sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401361)

Now I'm pretty sure iThings greet you similarly wot with this iTunes thing, but iTunes is not the behemoth that Google is.

Seriously? Tell that to my 8 year old daughter who couldn't even power up her shiny new iTouch without first connecting it to iTunes. You can't even so much as look at the icons without iTunes.

I didn't need to connect my Nexux 7 to google until I wanted to use the play store and there was plenty I could do with it before deciding.

Apple does OK [Re:So, 'free' is bad?] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400849)

The complainant's argument seems to ring hollow. There's just as many iOS units sold as there are Android units sold. It would seem that it's not so much a matter of the OS being free (Apple's isn't; they don't even share theirs), but rather a matter of the product being compelling to a significant portion of the market. If Android were licensed at $25 / phone the way Windows Phone is, I suspect that it would still sell equally as well (it would mostly affect margins on the phones). Bundling apps with the platform a problem? Really? MS doesn't plan to bundle apps, and consumer's want to buy phones with no pre-installed apps, right?

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401019)

When Microsoft gives away IE for free in order to gain market share it is bad therefore when Google gives away a complete OS for free to gain advertising market share it is bad too. QED

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43401257)

"distribution of Android at below-cost"

What, exactly, is the cost of Android, per installation? As has been pointed out, it's an open source operating system. Much of the work on the OS was done before Google took over. They altered the Linux kernel, added some stuff, borrowed other stuff, and packaged it up, and gave it away. What's the cost? Has it cost Google as much as ten cents per phone to have their OS installed on phones? Maybe fifty cents? I really don't know, but I'll bet it can't be as high as ten dollars per phone.

Re:So, 'free' is bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401263)

But in reality, Android phone makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phone,â the group argued.

Isn't this what Microsoft was accused of with regard to Internet Explorer, and what they were just fined $700+ million for?

Terrifying, truly. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43400429)

Google's nefarious release of Android-related material under the 'Google Public License'(which allows you to use the code; but requires that all web activity be logged and sent to Google) was truly a masterstroke for market dominance.

Oh, wait, you mean that Android is a mixture of Apache and GPL components, and Google has had somewhat indifferent luck with preventing other vendors(Amazon, Samsung, etc.) from quite successfully using it for their own purposes while cutting them out of the picture entirely? Oh, um, never mind then...

Holy Inaccurate Summary, Batman! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400443)

Wow, could that summary be more biased and incorrect? The complaint isn't that Android is an underhanded bid to control the entire mobile market. The complaint is that Android is abusing their (potentially) monopoly position to unfairly position their other products in dominant positions, hindering competition. You know, things like positioning Google Docs in a preferred position on the home screen thereby harming competition with Microsoft Office (as an example).

This is EXACTLY the behaviour that got Microsoft into trouble when they used their dominant market position to push IE on users and hurt competition from other browsers. This is EXACTLY the sort of behaviour that most on Slashdot feel Microsoft was in the wrong for. But, I'm sure most on Slashdot are now going to claim Microsoft is getting their just desserts and its now ok because Google is doing it to them rather than being rightly offended at the actions, regardless of who does it and to whom it is done.

Re:Holy Inaccurate Summary, Batman! (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400491)

There's Microsoft Office for Android now?

Re:Holy Inaccurate Summary, Batman! (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43400645)

There's Microsoft Office for Android now?

Not yet, there is "Kingsoft Office", which keeps improving with each new update.

Give it away for free to break the competition. (4, Insightful)

blarkon (1712194) | about a year ago | (#43400461)

Google is really good at coming into markets and offering a free product and in doing that sort of stymieing the development of alternatives. We can see it with what happened with the introduction of Google Reader - the introduction of a good enough free reader from Google functionally nuked the development of alternatives. I imagine that if Microsoft had started giving away its operating systems for free back in the 90's (and finagling things so that they made their money further up the stack) there would have been less interest in Linux. When any of the world's big companies give away something for nothing, it's worth having a closer look at what the catch is.

Re:Give it away for free to break the competition. (5, Interesting)

lord_mike (567148) | about a year ago | (#43400599)

Microsoft did practically give away their OS for free. Major PC vendors got to install it on their products for only a few dollars per copy--a low enough cost that there was no advantage looking for other competitors to get a better deal.

Re:Give it away for free to break the competition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400745)

We can see it with what happened with the introduction of Google Reader - the introduction of a good enough free reader from Google functionally nuked the development of alternatives.

Care to elaborate? I've been using tt-rss for ages, seems there were alternatives.

Re:Give it away for free to break the competition. (3, Interesting)

knarf (34928) | about a year ago | (#43401115)

If Microsoft had given away Windows for free, and included the source, and put it all under a license which made it possible to create your own derivative without being beholden to Microsoft in any way... the most likely outcome would have been the replacement of wine [winehq.org] and a possible 'Windows shell' on top of X11 or even an alternative graphics environment based on GDI. I don't think those who chose Linux - or any other unix - would deem the Windows kernel to be a suitable replacement. I know I would not have felt this, nor do I still.

I don't think other vendors would have complained like Microsoft and its gang are complaining now. Complaining about Google giving away Android is a bit like complaining about Sinterklaas [wikipedia.org] or Santa Claus [wikipedia.org] or jultomten [wikipedia.org] giving presents to children by claiming this to be a nefarious scheme for the little brats to start believing in gods or the supernatural. Yes, there will be people who make this claim. No, they are generally not taken seriously.

2013. THIS is the year (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400473)

...of Windows in the mobile market

MS, MS and the company that lost control of Java (3, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year ago | (#43400483)

Are complaining they can't get revenue from it.

Another day at the EC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400517)

I seem to remember Google making similar complaints against Microsoft. Since it's Microsoft's turn I guess it's Tuesday.

Re:Another day at the EC. (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43401245)

Not only that, it's Patch Tuesday!

Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle = Funny (5, Insightful)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43400527)

I think that Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle are going in the stand-up comedy business. Because this complaint is certainly the funniest one I've seen.

Open Source is more popular commercially than they are. Gee, who would have thought of that!

For years, I've always advocated that Microsoft should release DOS and then Windows for free at the very least for non-business use. If you need support, buy it from Microsoft.

They've been scoffing at open source for years and now, it's proven to work and its working on devices such as phones and tablets which are consumed even more than PCs, which is why they are sorely pissed and scared.

Eventually all of this means that tablets, phones and new generations of portable laptops/netbooks will have the powers of PCs and more and won't be running on Windows or any other proprietary platforms.

But that's called competition, and well, the thing is, while Google may be the leaders of Android, as we can plainly see, Android is free and customized by all as they see fit, so, it's not an actually anti-competitive at all.

Good Luck to Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle, for they will need it! :)

Re:Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle = Funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401347)

Yeah, all they need to do is release Microid and Oracroid, the code is all there for them to use.

wrong+wrong=right? (1)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year ago | (#43400575)

Microsoft would of course know all about this, being at the end of several similar anti-competitive complaints in the past."

That does not mean that Google should get off the hook, IIRC Microsoft got some heavy fines and so should Google if they are being Anti-Competitive.

...so it's not actually corruption! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43400591)

Strip the meme overlays: Powerful using armed men to hamper competition. In the end, competition is hampered and cash flows into the hands of the armed men.

Europe, with a multimillenia history of kickbacks, continues feigning it is using the power correctly because of "the vote".

Re:...so it's not actually corruption! (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43400977)

I'm not sure what your point is or if you actually have one.

Europe likes a free market and has it by regulation to ensure fair competition. So if something is too big and too dominant then it will be cut down a notch...after a couple of years entangled in red tape.

Also keep in mind the complaint has been filed. It's not yet even been sat on and at this moment has less official statements issued by The Powers That Be then the demand for a Death Star.


The European Comission is not really voted into power.

must've been a slow week for the lawyers (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about a year ago | (#43400601)

And apparently their mobile divisions all have a blind spot on the upper right hand side that prevents them from seeing the "fork me on github" buttons. ... but then they would have to admit that Linux was a better choice than their own

Nokia should make an Android phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400611)

Nokia should fork Android, remove the Google part, make an Android phone. If you want to market Bing services with it do that, Amazon did it, China did it, lots of smaller players did it, why not Nokia?

Instead of wallowing around in failure why not turn this around into a success? There's no shame in making a sucky decision (WP7) is you learn from your mistakes.

Also Google's part of Android isn't free, handset makers pay for it, the free part doesn't include the Google pack, it just happens that most handset makers (minus the Amazon,... Chinese etc. pay for that bundle).

I think also Archos (the French company) make a media player without the Google part. I mean whining failure aside, they could get their act together, they just need to dump loser 'M'.

Sounds Familiar (1)

organgtool (966989) | about a year ago | (#43400637)

Microsoft should know all about this since they did the same thing when they packaged IE with Windows. The EC ruled that Microsoft had to provide the user with an option to use a different browser when the user first logs in to the OS. However, Microsoft was a convicted monopolist in the OS market which was the basis for that decision. So is Microsoft trying to claim that Google has a monopoly on the mobile OS market? That would be a hard sell since there's still iOS, BB10, and Windows Phone. It sounds more like they're just sore about having one of the smallest market shares in the mobile space after dominating the desktop for so long.

Re:Sounds Familiar (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#43400825)

The reason for people picking Android is because they can get the apps they like for it without too much fuzz and if they can't they can just make it themselves or hire someone to do it.

Android is a bit like MS-Dos was in the beginning - everyone had it, no big mess around to get something running on it. Of course - the downside is the risk for malware, which appears to be one of the problems Android is seeing these days.

But the reason why the other companies complains is that their business model isn't as attractive and therefore they try to gain an edge in court instead.

Re:Sounds Familiar (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43401017)

It's about being dominant in multiple fields. Not only in the mobile OS field.

MS got into trouble because their market share on the desktop was high AND IE was the dominant browser. Same player, dominance in multiple fields. Yeah, MS has a point.

May $deity have mercy on our incorporeal bits.

The one thing all three have in common (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year ago | (#43400701)

I've noticed a common thread in the triumvirate of Nokia, Orrible, and Microsoft: none of them has released a smartphone worth a damn since Android came out (Orrible has never released a viable smartphone at all, which is quite stupid given that they could have a nice vertically integrated phone with almost no investment that they're not already making). I guess we have the answer to "why are they doing this?"

multiboot phones (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#43400757)

lets hope that the EU decide that users ought to be able to install which ever operating system they want on a phone.

if microsoft can make a good phone OS then i am sure plenty of people will want to install it on their nexus 4. likewise i would not mind lumia running tizen, qtmoko or android. everybody wins when you remove lock-in from a market (and by everyone i mean consumers and companies that make good products).

When are we getting Android for Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400889)

I wonder if Google would put a real version of Android for Desktop if they could maybe crush Mircosoft in the Desktop too.WOuld be interresting to have 1 OS for all devices inclunding PC if it was possicle to do. ANd I dont mean a wathered down version of the OS.

Why did you leave out the rest of them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43400953)

TripAdvisor, Kayak, HotWire, Expedia, SideStep, Level.com, Foundem, ShopCity.com, Twenga, MarketPlace.com, Travel Tech Association, Buscape company, TheFind, and Allegro are all apart of FairSearch.org.

Why doesn't the summary or the story mention them? It is obvious that it doesn't fit V3's, DW100's, or timothy's agenda. Slashdot needs to get rid of these pathetic biased editors.

you've got to be fucking kidding me (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43401053)

Yeah, because Apple is exactly the opposite.

pot kettle black (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#43401091)

Bill: "They don't even charge for this.. this ANDROID.. They give it away! For Free! You know, to get a foothold in the market so nobody will ever switch away from it. This is just... strongarming"

Nokia: "Besides, they have this great OS but really, really crappy hardware. It's not even a 16MP camera!! It's an abomination I tell you. Remember the N800? Now there was ...."

Larry: "What's needed is some legislation to regulate licensing on the Android OS. What I propose is we charge by number of cpu core the OS is running on.. No, wait... Make that priced per megahertz of cpu core... yeah... and.. then divide that by 3.124 * the number of cores...uh...per year...per person.... multiplied by bandwidth used.. an..."

The best defense ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year ago | (#43401235)

... may derive from the popular hew and cry about Android being "fragmented". Of course, this might open the door for Microsoft to plead, in the future, that their offerings are schizophrenic.

Reverse of the Windows+MSIE combo (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43401337)

Windows was the thing people had to have, the non-free monopoly-like thing (I was never fully comfortable calling them a monopoly, but the courts disagreed, so whatever). And they gave away an application, MSIE, hoping people would use it to establish new legacies that required it, so they wouldn't be able to switch to standard browsers and MSIE's underlying OS would continue to be required.

The situation here is inverted. Android is the thing nobody really cares about; people they can take it or leave it, or even fork it and compete with Google if they want. But the applications, primarily Google Maps but also (this makes very little sense to me) Youtube and Google Play (seriously, at least we're going to admit these are relatively minor factors, I hope) are the proprietary stuff that Google is taking a hard line on. Google's applications correspond to Microsoft's 1990s OS, and Google's OS corresponds Microsoft's 1990s application.

The big difference, of course, is that nobody, I mean nobody has Google Maps as a dependency. You can throw every single bit of Android and every single Google application away, and not miss it very much, or at least not to the same degree that people suffered 20 years ago, where Windows APIs were required by a majority of "pop" software so lots of people had something they couldn't use without it. I'm not saying they're bad; most people (me included) think Google Maps is very nice. I'm just saying anyone who has the back-end data can fairly easily [*handwave*] build a map application, and if someone else does that, it's easy for users to switch.

Ask any Android user if they're "locked in" to Android. Most of them will laugh. Maybe there really is some particular app which only has an Android version available, which they depend on every day and can't lose and is creating a network effect. I don't know. But I bet it's not a Google application.

Google has lots of neat things for users, but not one single damn thing that a user needs, either directly or indirectly.

BTW, I actually bought an Android 4 tablet which didn't come with the Google applications. It was no problem at all. So people who say an Android box needs this stuff, are totally full of shit. They're not merely wrong; they're liars. This is a non-story.

Actually, my favorite part of TFA was the first sentence:

A diverse group of companies including Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle..

Looks like the usual suspects and mostly-nonproductive entities, hardly a "diverse group."

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