Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

EU's Mind 'made up' on Microsoft

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the they-aren't-the-only-ones dept.

Microsoft 801

Alain Williams writes "The BBC reports that Microsoft could soon be facing multi-billion euro fines and other sanctions for breaking European competition law. The European Commission has finished drafting its decision in the case it brought against the software giant." Let's just hope that the EU can fine them cash and not accept Microsoft coupons like the US does. Clearly the best solution to an operating system monopoly is to give free copies of windows to school and eliminate the competition as early in the education process as possible.

cancel ×

801 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

in fact, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099134)

Mr. Ballmer was just down at my sons' preschool dropping off copies of something called Microsoft Bob...

Re:in fact, (5, Funny)

Scoria (264473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099173)

Meanwhile, Sir William was polishing his diamond swords. They will be distributed among his army of 10,000 lawyers, for nobody shall be permitted to defeat the knight of computer software.

Re:in fact, (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099331)

"'Tis but a scratch. I've had worse. Running away, eh? Come back you yellow bastard! I'll bite your legs off!"

Well, I can dream, can't I?

KFG

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099143)

fp (:

Windows Open Source? (1)

FePe (720693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099145)

"It is also probable that the company will be forced to reveal more information to its competitors about how its operating system interacts with others and with software applications."
Could this be the start of an open source Windows version?

Re:Windows Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099171)

open source windows? They must have used SCO code! ;)

Re:Windows Open Source? (1)

killergreen (686694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099174)

doubt it, but do we _really_ want the "Blue Screen Of Death" to be open source?

Re:Windows Open Source? (1)

FePe (720693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099213)

We could make a function that is invoked when the Blue Screen Of Death is shown. Instead of a blue screen, it would display the Linux penguin, restart the computer, and install Linux...

Re:Windows Open Source? (5, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099283)

"Could this be the start of an open source Windows version?"

Probably not. I think that the best we can hope for is MS being required to publish the file (e.g.: Word or Access) formats and make them available, at little or no cost, for interoperability.

Let's hope for Media Player removal (4, Interesting)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099150)

I hope the EU goes through with the proposal to force MS to unbundle Media Player. It will be so great to watch them squirm if this happens: there's no technical reason why not (XP Embedded) and it will force their hand over the bundling of IE (again). A large fine will barely dent their $50b cash reserves :-/

Re:Let's hope for Media Player removal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099260)

It doesn't matter wether or not media player or ie are bundled or not. It has been my experience that the only reason people use these things is because they don't know any better. Absolutely everybody I have shown Firebird has switched. Some even thank me, almost as if I saved their lives. A single ad campaign for Mozilla Firebird will destroy Internet Explorer. People just have to be told it exists. Same for winamp 5. If you show people that it can do more than media player ever could they'll switch because it is better. I really hope that mplayer for windows actually works soon though. That will be the best.

Re:Let's hope for Media Player removal (1)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099274)

A fine of a few billion might :-)
Why can't we have define fines as a proportion of the defendant's wealth or income or something, so that they hurt everybody just as much regardless of how rich they are?

Re:Let's hope for Media Player removal (5, Informative)

doctormetal (62102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099320)

Why can't we have define fines as a proportion of the defendant's wealth or income or something, so that they hurt everybody just as much regardless of how rich they are?

The EU can fine for an amount of 10% of the earnings within eu countries. Nintendo was once fined $600M for uncompetitive behaviour. How much do you think they can fine microsoft?

Re:Let's hope for Media Player removal (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099362)

> The EU can fine for an amount of 10% of the earnings within eu countries.
> Nintendo was once fined $600M for uncompetitive behaviour. How much do you think
> they can fine microsoft?

10% of the earnings.

Re:Let's hope for Media Player removal (2, Insightful)

FlyGirl (11285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099340)

Oh, then you always end up with endless arguments about what constitutes a person or company's "net worth." Just coming to a decision that out would be another legalistic nightmare about as bad as the trial itself.

With "simple" individuals it might be easy (speeding ticket is 10% of your AGI on you last 1040 form) but with companies and/or people who do lotsa tricks with assets and income, it would be a nightmare to settle on.

That said, I agree that, as a concept, fines are ridiculously unfair -- a $75 fine for running a red light hurts a college student a LOT more than it would a corporate CEO who has $2M in stock options per year.

Re:Let's hope for Media Player removal (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099294)

That should be left to OEMs to decide whats packaged in the platform in my view. Just as redhat decides what it ships and debian decides what it ships etc.

Also fix the ADVANCED install so we can modify EVERYTHING during the install, they removed all the custom install shit from the UI on 2003 server: God knows why because 2000 had it ok.

As for IE its embedded in the File explorer, sure it can be disabled but its just COM Components that are used. Other apps DEPEND on these COM components for example Yahoo Messenger etc.

They could remove IE but retain the functionality in file explorer and the COM Components remain. Were stuck with them by usage on other apps.

Whoops. (3, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099152)

The EU has some real teeth when it comes to noncompetitive practices. The maximum is something like 10% of annual earnings (could be profit). Ouch.

Simon

i'm a little confused (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099219)

can someone explain how exactly the EU can fine microsoft, or for that matter any company not based in one of their member countries?

Re:i'm a little confused (2, Insightful)

Starborn (699467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099238)

Simple, microsoft pays the fine or doesn't trade in the EU anymore.

Re:i'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099273)

They don't need to stop Microsoft from trading, they can simply confiscate the money from European Microsoft assets (bank accounts and stuff).

Re:i'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099390)

> Simple, microsoft pays the fine or doesn't
> trade in the EU anymore

Great, I opt for the latter. ;-)

Re:i'm a little confused (4, Informative)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099244)

So long as a company does business in the European Union, they can fine them. It doesn't matter where your headquarters are based. Microsoft could ignore the ruling, but they would have to stop doing business in the EU altogether.

Re:i'm a little confused (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099246)

Microsoft are of course free to stop selling software in the EU instead ...

Re:i'm a little confused (0)

Chep (25806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099297)

Yeah, right.

EU can fine Microsoft because of local offices (4, Insightful)

Jan-Pascal (21029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099250)

Microsoft is a legal entity in many EU countries. They have a large presence in Ireland (research & production) and local sales & translation offices almost everywhere.

Re:EU can fine Microsoft because of local offices (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099316)

Ireland is theyre OTG operations support, localization and external customer support.

MS Coupons (1)

jamesshuang (598784) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099153)

It's not just the government- take a look at Mike Rowe: given an xbox, and decided to drop his case...

Re:MS Coupons (0, Funny)

Polkyb (732262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099372)

cool... A free Xbox for everyone in Europe

Knight'd! (4, Insightful)

i_am_syco (694486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099156)

England wants to knight him. Europe wants to hate him. Strange.

Re:Knight'd! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099242)

Last time i checked, UK(and England) was a part of Europe.

Re:Knight'd! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099285)

Don't tell the Daily Mail.

Re:Knight'd! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099257)

Slight correction: The current British Government wants to Knight him. This same 'honour' is offered to anyone with a load of money and a tentative connection to British business...unless they're Arabs whose sons are shagging the Princess of Wales.

Britain is constantly at odds with the rest of Europe (remember the War on Iraq last year and Britain's rejection of the Euro currency?), so there's nothing too stange about Blair brown-nosing Gates while the EU slams Microsoft.

Re:Knight'd! (1)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099296)

hopefully the two entities will soon be unrelated.

Re:Knight'd! (1)

Starborn (699467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099312)

I bloody well hope not.

Re:Knight'd! (0)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099339)

Traitor.

Re:Knight'd! (1)

Starborn (699467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099355)

Oh? And why would I be a traitor for not wanting to cripple UK business? As much as some people don't like it, we do need the EU.

Re:Knight'd! (1)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099378)

whats the point in being english if you don't rule yourselves? england (ok, UK) continues to outperform europe in just about every field measureable, EU is a joke.

Re:Knight'd! (0, Flamebait)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099358)

if you're european, i can understand you wanting england, if you're english, i have no idea why you'd want europe.

Re:Knight'd! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099338)

The UK is this close to gettting its arse kicked out of the EU. Theyre only there because of the money they contribute otherwise they would be kicked out on theyre ear along time ago.

THe UK should be told to toe the line or get the fuck out. The UK (and I was born there but left as the UK is now an uber shithole of fatcats and fuckwits in government) is the arsehats of the EU. A laughing stock.

Re:Knight'd! (0)

49152 (690909) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099368)

>England wants to knight him. Europe wants to hate him. Strange.

Not at all, I think it sums up the current situation in Europe quite well. :-)

Re:Knight'd! (1, Funny)

David McBride (183571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099383)

Bait.

Switch.

And what if your school won't try Linux? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099161)

I've tried to convince them of the stability and efficiency of Linux, and told them that Microsoft is going to lock them in soon, but they refuse to listen.

Re:And what if your school won't try Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099208)

Get a grown up to ask.

Linux in the schools (1)

tuxette (731067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099245)

You should contact the people behind other Linux in the schools projects and ask them for advice. You can for example write to someone in the Norwegian School Linux [skolelinux.no] via "kontakt" or click "linker" and find a link to another project and make the contacts there.

Re:And what if your school won't try Linux? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099386)

By the way, they are considering my other recommendation of Windows 2000 over XP (most of their PCs are P3-866s with 128MB RAM). It's not that they don't listen to me at all, it's that they don't understand Linux, and would rather run Windows.

Shall I use the Wine angle?

blair'll be back (-1, Offtopic)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099164)

... right after airplanes flown by terrorists crash into (say) the parilment building. Then no terrorists will claim responsibility, but all them towlheads will have a good laugh as Microsoft get's the Benny Hill punishments...

Re: blair'll be back (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099201)


> have a good laugh as Microsoft get's the Benny Hill punishments...

Have them chased around by a bevy of babes in lingerie? No wonder so many people want to have a monopoly!

multi-billion... (0, Flamebait)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099170)

With an 80% gross margin [yahoo.com] , I guess it won't hurt them that much... Especially with Bush's obvious support, EU will have to be somehow less severe (maybe indulgent).

Re:multi-billion... (1)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099271)

Yes. If the fine is in the multi-billions of dollars, the Europeans can no doubt count on the US getting back at them somehow. Just look at the case of steel tarriffs. Bush seems much more apt to start trade wars than his predecessor.

Re:multi-billion... (0)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099325)

Well, would Bush really start such a "war" months before next poll ?

and yet... (4, Insightful)

samjam (256347) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099172)

I want audio and video software as part of my OS, nicely bundled and integrated.

I don't want to a half-baked OS that requires a lot more decisions to get a useful modern OS.

Maybe with MS have been "forcing suppliers to include its own media software", but have MS been preventing suppliers from also supplying other media software? The BBC article does not make clear.

It will be nice though if MS do "reveal more information to its competitors about how its operating system interacts with others and with software applications"

Re:and yet... (1)

fronti (678492) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099226)

but why a media player has to be integrated in an OS (operating system) this is IMHO an application. and bundeling applications with the os is not an good idea for me. so the user won't look around to other software. like the inetrnet explorer. since this application is bundeled with the most using OS, only a few pp look around and get moziall or opera a try..

Re:and yet... (1, Interesting)

AndrewHowe (60826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099353)

But who says Microsoft are just selling an operating system? They are selling the whole thing, applications and all. What is wrong with that? Why can't they sell what they like?
If other people want to sell alternative applications, then they need to make them better, or cheaper, or both. No-one is guaranteed that their business strategy will work.
If users don't look around for other software, then the producers of that other software are doing a bad marketing job.
Why should Microsoft advertise for their competitors?
Do you think that if I buy a car, it should come with no seats? That I should be forced to buy my own seats from elsewhere?

Re:and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099367)

Thats up to the OEM bundlers.

Re:and yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099373)

i would rather have the option to install wmp and ie, would make it so much simpler when installing

Note to Pentagon: (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099175)


Activate "Operation European Freedom" immediately.

you mean free copies of Linux, right? (-1, Offtopic)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099182)

nt

Re:you mean free copies of Linux, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099259)

I think, dear breech, that little nugget you're speaking of might be sarcasm.

MS DRM The Most Free (I know, I was shocked too) (4, Insightful)

Effugas (2378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099189)

No other DRM system actually lets you choose your player. iTunes only talks to iPod, at least w/o burning and re-ripping. You want to talk product tying -- MS doesn't even sell an MP3 player, let alone force you to use theirs.

But heh. Don't listen to me. I'm just a hardcore Linux user w/ a half terabyte RAID-5 FreeBSD box with fond memories of his old Apple IIgs days.

Not to mention I think this round of DRM won't end up any differently than it did for DAT/Minidisc/Dataplay -- eventual marginalization vs. products that actually want to work.

Yours Truly,

Dan Kaminsky
DoxPara Research
http://www.doxpara.com

Re:MS DRM The Most Free (I know, I was shocked too (3, Interesting)

alyandon (163926) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099303)

That's because essentially all Windows players that support DRM utilize the MS supplied directshow API (and whatever codecs) to decode the content.

It's not too dissimilar to how applications that embed IE are using mshtml.dll. iexplore.exe (and explorer.exe) itself is nothing more than a thin wrapper application that loads mshtml.dll.

Re:MS DRM The Most Free (I know, I was shocked too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099343)

iTunes isn't a DRM system. It's an application. AAC is a DRM system and it is open.

The speed of evolution (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099409)

No other DRM system actually lets you choose your player. iTunes only talks to iPod, at least w/o burning and re-ripping. You want to talk product tying -- MS doesn't even sell an MP3 player, let alone force you to use theirs.

That is because MP3 players are still somewhat innovative, and Microsoft "innovates" at the speed of evolution. In fact, instead of making their own, they'll probably just buy out some company that makes them. They obviously can't buy the iPod, and haven't found a suitable one to purchase and call their own.

And making them pay fines will...? (3, Interesting)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099195)

...do what exactly? With US 52.8 billion dollars in the bank, even they take half that, they still have 26+ billion dollars. With profit margins of 25%, and revenue of 32 billion a quarter, those would have to be some hefty cash fines to even make the smallest dent in how MS does business.

Not to mention that Bill Gates could sell some of his stock if he wanted to, and put that money back in the company.

Re:And making them pay fines will...? (1)

Phekko (619272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099370)

Not to mention that Bill Gates could sell some of his stock if he wanted to, and put that money back in the company.

How fast do you think Microsoft's stock price would go down, were Bill to send bigger amounts of his?

Re:And making them pay fines will...? (4, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099376)

Well fines aren't supposed to put a company out of business... If MS has to give up a few billion dollars in cash, you can bet they'll change their ways...

At the very least it will make the stockholders take notice and perhaps even dump if MS doesn't change their ways under a significant penalty.

c'mon! (1)

neko9 (743554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099197)

yeah! c'mon europe! we can do it!

The EU plays favorites too. (-1, Troll)

SonCorn (301537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099207)

The funny thing is that if Microsoft was a company based in the EU they would be getting government money and protection from the EU and its member states. A shining example of this is Airbus who clearly benefits from government subsidies, etc.

I am all for this because I think Microsoft abuses their position of power, but lets face it; if MS was based in the EU it would be up to the US government to sanction them. What would happen then? The EU would cry foul and say we don't have the power to do that!

This is just a ploy by the EU to try and influence global commerce beyond their reach. They want to matter.

Re:The EU plays favorites too. (5, Informative)

stewart.hector (87816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099253)

Rubbish.

The EU isn't afraid of fining European Companies. You just have to look in to Car manufacturers, i.e., BMW, Volkwagan etc.

Plenty of these firms have been fined *heavily* for anti competitive practices and price fixing.

If MS was a European Company, it wouldn't be let off the hook, as it would be seen to be crushing other EU software companies as well...

Re:The EU plays favorites too. (1)

gnalre (323830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099371)

Boeing also receives government subsidies. Its just called Defense spending

Re:The EU plays favorites too. (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099379)

"A shining example of this is Airbus who clearly benefits from government subsidies, etc."

EU may be corrupt and protectionistic, but more so than the US? You'll have to convince me. Lockheed and Boing aren't very nice companies either, by the way.

Re:The EU plays favorites too. (1)

EinarH (583836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099384)

blockquote>A shining example of this is Airbus who clearly benefits from government subsidies, etc. As opposed to Boeing? Yeah they have never recived a dime in subsidies. Never.

There is no such thing as a ploy or conspiracy in this case. And it's definitely within their reach.

Re:The EU plays favorites too. (3, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099393)

The funny thing is that if Microsoft was a company based in the EU they would be getting government money and protection from the EU

What is funny is that EVERY TIME an article about EU/MS pops up, someone says this. They then tend to get modded to +5 insightful whereupon the following thread turns into a US vs EU flamefest. And speaking of which:

A shining example of this is Airbus who clearly benefits from government subsidies, etc.


Agh, and you just had to bring up the Airbus/Boeing conflict too? This ought to be a subset of Godwin's law.

For the record, I think both Airbus and Boeing use government subsidies to prevent fair competition, and it sucks. However, in the EU/MS case, could it not be possible that somewhere in the EU beaurocracy there are some people who are actually trying to do the right thing?

"half-baked" (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099209)

A half-baked OS designed by baked designers for consumers in all degrees of...(Crap. Here's where, had my mind worked, I would have inserted another word continuing the pun. Feel free to do so if you can.)

Re:"half-baked" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099402)

consumption.

Dammit, Europe... Don't make me smack you! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099211)

I mean, I love you baby, but you just keep fucking up. Don't make me hit you again. If you'll just make an OS that is easier, more accepted, and more compatible with the tools we've been using for years, then I'll *use* it, baby. But if you're just gonna keep crying about monopolies and sneaking money out of my wallet while I'm sleeping, then you're gonna get the damned belt again.

Got me?

EURO vs USD (5, Interesting)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099220)

With the Euro on the rise [yahoo.com] compared to USD, its going to eat a little more of that 50Billion USD pile that M$ is sitting on. Ouch.

Media Players? (4, Insightful)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099235)

. . .and may demand that it stops forcing suppliers to include its own media software at the expense of competitors such as Real Networks and Apple.

I'm not a great fan of Media Player, though it does it's job pretty well, but doesn't the modern definition of a desktop OS contain a media player?

From what I can tell, the options Microsoft will have would be to either have no media player whatsoever, or a vast myraid of them. I would be willing to guess that MS will take the former option, with a recomended update through Windows update being Media Player.

So, by removing some functionality of the OS, how will this help consumers in general? Indeed will they be more likely to use another media player simply because there isn't one currently available, or will they simply get the recommended one from Microsoft?

Re:Media Players? (0, Flamebait)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099265)

By al means include a media player. Just don't force us to install it and (maybe?) don't allow them to force their own propietary codecs into the market by exploiting the Windows monopoly. Not that they would ever do a thing like this, of course.

Re:Media Players? (2, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099281)

Even after having used the new tool and told Windows I don't EVER want to see Windows Media Player again it STILL pops up from time to time, and grabs file associations.

That kind of integration is unwanted, I have other mediaplayers. That's also the kind of behaviour that SHOULD be punished, as the EU seems to be interested in doing.

Re:Media Players? (2, Insightful)

djeaux (620938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099385)

I'm not a great fan of Media Player, though it does it's job pretty well, but doesn't the modern definition of a desktop OS contain a media player?

I don't think the definition of a desktop OPERATING SYSTEM includes applications. Sure, applications are usually bundled with OS distributions -- Windows is no more guilty of doing this than any number of Linux distros -- but the end user ought to have the ability to install or not install those bundled apps. And bundled apps ought to be well-behaved, allowing the user to uninstall them easily & without major negative consequences.

GREAT! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099237)

Yes, it would be just great if the pc manufacturers preloaded RealONE onto my pc instead. Oh dream of dreams, joy of joys.

make them develop for linux! (1, Troll)

Debian Troll's Best (678194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099258)

I have a loose consultative association with prosecutors trying the antitrust case in France. He feels it's a fairly straightforward case in legal terms, but the real challenge is the remedy phase. I have been persuading him to shoot for a remedy that forces Microsoft to port all of their major products to Linux so that they may easily be installed by a commericial vrsion of apt-get or similar packaging tool. Trusted apt-get has been in development for some time and is the obvious choice for deploying Microsoft products whilst still providing the security and necessary commerical restrictions that Microsoft requires for all of their products.

Expect to hear about Microsoft and this apt-get remedy shortly. Watch this space.

Re:make them develop for linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099377)

pfft dream on lefty. Even if the judge was on acid and ruled in your favour Microsoft could just say screw you Europe and pull out. MS would never be allowed to go that far because Europe needs MS more than MS needs Europe.

I just don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099261)

See this is what i don't get. Even besides accepting "coupons" from MS. Why the hell does the government (and I mean any government) even use thier software if they know the company uses unfair and ILLEGAL buisness practices.
What if it's found out that a company was supplying weapons to drug lords in South america. And lets say that this company sells CPUs and has 4 other maret rivals. Also this company has contracts with the US government to supply CPUs to the military, even though said cpus are kinda low grade. If the US government found out about it's illegal activity, I'd hope they'd switch to one of it's competitors, besides just get the company fined and what not for it's activity.

Ok I'm starting to make no sence, I need coffee.

You know what I would like to see... (-1, Troll)

nberardi (199555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099268)

You know what I would like to see ... is that Microsoft just pull all copies out of all of Europe and then let Europe experience the horror of trying to use Linux. Sure Linux is good for us nerds, but lets see how much of an uprise there is when the internet market in Europe takes a dive because the mom and pop shops can no longer use the ineternet to place orders and mom and dad can no longer buy their goods off line because they can't figure out how to launch the internet browser.

You guys all have Microsoft to thanks for the advancement of the internet on the masses and if you think anything else you are crazy and blind. The internet would still be something that is used in the back of corporations down in the basement if it wasn't for Microsoft giving everybody a PC that they could easily use.

Re:You know what I would like to see... (1)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099318)

one word: piracy. ms loses.

Re:You know what I would like to see... (1)

hyphz (179185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099401)

Junk.

The only reason why there aren't other friendly operating systems is that the presence of Microsoft in the market means that attempting to produce one is economic suicide. That's also not because the MS one is the best, it's because MS got there first and scored the network effect.

Most obvious counterexample: they could use BeOS. It's nice and user friendly, very fast, and has web browser support enough to do ordering. Sure, the web browser's a bit elderly, but I kinda think that Euro sites would update rather quick if this happened, don't you?

vanilla OS, no thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099275)

I want my OS to come with a browser just like I want it to come with a media player. I hope M$ fight it and win!

Media software is neither here nor there (5, Insightful)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099277)

Apart from Apple, AOL/Nullsoft and Real Networks, who cares about Media Player being bundled, except that it's a pile of overblown crap?

Microsoft has done much worse things like preventing the sale of naked PCs (do that, and your OEM licence discounts miraculously shrink), embracing and extending everything from Java to HTML and, of course, spreading FUD left right and centre about anything that might threaten Bill's plans for world domination. These are the issues the EU should be focusing on, not whether they bundle a Windows app that plays MP3s.

Oh yeah, and Bill gives loads of money to charity, but there are more tax-efficient ways of giving to charity than overpaying for mediocre software.

Oh god the irony (5, Funny)

Starborn (699467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099288)

Gates is getting a knighthood for contributions to international business while at the same time the EU (therefore by extension the UK) is fining microsoft for anti-competitive practices. Don't you just love irony?

I don't get it (2, Interesting)

rasafras (637995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099300)

Clearly the best solution to an operating system monopoly is to give free copies of windows to school and eliminate the competition as early in the education process as possible.

They're giving it away for free. Free is good, right? Or all of the sudden when it's Microsoft, free is bribery, isn't it?
This does mean that the school is urged to use Windows, because it would not be polite to not use it. For a school, however, Windows does come with many benefits, primarily ease-of-use. It is a much easier operating system to learn, for sure. I can't imagine middle schoolers using linux.... faaar too stupid.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

infestedsenses (699259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099404)

They're giving it away for free. Free is good, right? Or all of the sudden when it's Microsoft, free is bribery, isn't it?

Free as in free beer, yeah.

Giving away free copies of Windows barely harms Microsoft. It actually helps them stabilize their monopoly even more, especially when you're going for schools. "Hook 'em while they're young."

I'd say sue them for their Machiavellian violation of competition laws and put that money into good causes. Best investment (imho) would be to invest it (or a large part of it) in open source software (including awareness campaigns). That's the only way you're really going to break this monoply.

Better Late Than Never??? (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099327)

As an EU residing, mostly Linux & reluctant Windows user, I'm not sure that I see much in this story...

I can fully appreciate that Microsoft's general monopolistic attitude needs to be curtailed, no doubting that.

I can also see that had the US/EU laws against monopolistic practices been brought down five or six years ago, then IE might not have been the dominant browser and we might now be accessing web sites that are far less browser dependant.

I can appreciate that restricting the bundling of WMP with Windows might mean that Microsoft's DRM methods will not be dominant technology in the whole rights management argument.

But, to me, DRM is *STILL* a technology that restricts my rights to do what I like with music and media that I legitimately own and whether Microsoft's or A. N. Other's DRM technology is used is neither here nor there. Surely it's DRM that is at the centre of this argument, not WMP?

Where an application forces changes in an open standard (like HTML), then there is a good case to limit the impact of that application but there are enough multimedia formats that I can download or buy any number of non-Microsoft media players to play what I like on whatever OS I like without resorting to WMP.

And although I might not like the impact DRM has or will have with Open Source software, I'll simply take the stance of not buying DRM'ed hardware & media that curtails my rights as a user.

Am I missing something here?

money, why not APIs? (4, Insightful)

treat (84622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099337)

Why do none of the remedys require microsoft to release all APIs? This would solve the problems, would not destroy their business but would reduce their ability to harm consumers more than any other action.

All Good, but European Bureaucracy.... (2, Insightful)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099352)

.. will ensure many years before it comes to court, by when either MS will be gone.. or they will have encompassed everything....

Decisions, decisions, decisions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099381)

Which one do we (and should we) hate more, Microsoft or the european union?

Whatever they decide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099382)

Microsoft won't pay in blood.

It seems to me that if the EU finds the balls to criticise Microsoft, the US Government will put _heavy_ pressure on them to forget to punish.

Either way the EU is unlikely to produce a tough verdict that will withstand an appeal.

Liberal english interventionalist I may be, but even I can see that the only way MS will ever really be beaten is in the marketplace.

And this money from the fine will go where? (0, Flamebait)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099392)

I'm sure that the EU will distribute these funds to the poor windows users who were so abused, right?

Or will it just sit in an EU bank account to help pay for trips, cars, etc. for the EU ranking members?

Can we say "cash grab"?

Yet more government stupidity (0, Insightful)

pcx (72024) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099403)

McDonalds has a competative advantage over its rivals, so lets force McDonalds to offer whoppers to its customers. CocaCola has a competative advantage over its rivals so lets force it to attach a bottle of pepsi to its bottles of coke. General Motors shouldn't be allowed to install dvd players in the backs of minivans because that would infringe on Toyota -- your kids should be whining "are we there yet" instead of watchign nemo and allowing you to drive in relative peace.

MS has competition from apple and from linux and from unix the fact that people choose microsoft over these alternatives shouldn't in any way hamper MS's ability to expand the services in their product.

If you think this is about MS being evil, you're dead wrong. This is about MS having a 10 billion dollar liquid slush fund and governments wanting their piece of that pie.

REVENGE (0, Flamebait)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099406)

The UK has always been a relatively marginal member of the EU, what with all of their constant whining about NATIONAL SOVEREIGNITY. Now giving Bill the BIG DUB kind of miffed them. So they got pissed. They said to themselves, how can I express my anger without going back to THE BOMB. Cause now they are friends and lovers and they quarrel instead of really fight. But they are too inhibited to even have a COLD WAR among themselves so they have a LUKEWARM war and so they says to themselves, looky here, if Queenie E wants to call Billy G a big K daddy, then we will say BUGGAR OFF YE OLDE ENGLIGH FLIBBERTIGIBBETS! And so they are going to fine Microsoft instead of overtly expressing their repressed rage and jealousy that those damned lucky English royals can still confer such an obviously silly but oooooh-I-want-one-tooooooo-oooh-come-on-Queen-I-am -worthy-tooooo-pleeassse-oh-I-am-not-going-to-lowe r-myself-to-actually-ask-damn-damn-dammit-grommit kind of HONOR.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?