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A Look at Microsoft's Regulatory Problems

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the looking-in-from-the-outside dept.

Microsoft 302

jrexilius writes: "The Economist has a great article on the state of the EUs anti-trust case against microsoft, background, and future troubles with google. One interesting comment was 'Microsoft is preparing to use its dominance in web-browser and operating-system software to promote itself in yet another separate market--search engines this time'."

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Fishy company (4, Interesting)

krray (605395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145496)

Microsoft's contracts with PC-makers required them to pay it for a copy of Windows for each PC sold, even for PCs that were sold with other operating systems, or with no operating system at all.

This is exactly what REALLY ticked me off with them (in the IT adm position no less). I put up with their marginal quality on the desktop up until this point. Sure, part of me still wished I had gone OS/2 there as well, but I digress. I certainly still remember buying PC's that I had to pay the Windows tax on ... even though they still run Linux to this day (except one actually which is one of the Netware servers).



Microsoft may some day conclude that the costs of constant regulatory battles--legal costs, fines, bad publicity, and bad relationships with governments--exceed the benefits of its Windows monopoly.

One can only hope. In the mean time it's still Linux in the data-centers and my basement for that matter. OS.X on my desktop, thank you very much. And yes, they talk NFS and not SMB with each other as well. It's faster... You know what I've learned at the offices that have agreed to run Linux and/or Mac's? Within one year it's obviously cheaper and faster than before. Almost ironical after reading all the Microsoft funded ROI type studies showing the exact oppisite. I thought something smelled fishy.

Re:Fishy company (5, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145539)

required them to pay it for a copy of Windows for each PC sold, even for PCs that were sold with other operating systems

Which, of course, is an exaggeration. Any such requirements come from the deal your shop has signed with Microsoft. If the contract stipulates that in order to get OEM discounts you must sell MS Windows with every piece of complete hardware you sell, that's a perfectly reasonable clause.

Re:Fishy company (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145617)

You may feel that such a contract stipulation is perfectly reasonable -- and no, it was not an exaggeration. It was a statement of fact in the article. I make it a statement of fact based on my personal experience.

The ONLY reason that any such contract was agreed to and signed was for one reason only at such a time: at least 50% or more (likely 80% at that time) of people walking in the door knew no better than Windows 95 (which was GARBAGE and refused to be distributed on our networks). I don't blame Jeff (my local OEM dude) for such a decision. I would do the same thing so I can sell to the most people available. Good business, no?

Except I still want my money back Microsoft.
I don't forget or forgive easily. The garbage STILL coming out and selling from Redmond is amazing (read: XP).

CLASSIC example why Microsoft got spanked by the DOJ in the States -- my OEM did NOT want to sign such a contract and comply, but was cornered into doing so. ANYBODY walking in the door on the border of OS/2 pretty much all of a sudden had no choice anywhere they went. The choice was made for them by big business [Microsoft].

Obviously you simply just do not "get it" and am willing to bet that you're sitting there on a Windows box and not Linux or OS X. Pussy.

Re:Fishy company (1, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145691)

It was a statement of fact in the article.

Uh, no. It was an exaggeration in the article.

my OEM did NOT want to sign such a contract and comply, but was cornered into doing so.

No, your OEM did not want to sign the contract but good business sense made him do it. It was not someone from Microsoft holding gun to his head or eastern-european thugs (if you'll excuse the stereotype) threatening to break his bones if he didn't comply.

Complaining about how OEMs are forced to sell Windows is just like complaining about how you're forced to hike your prices when the memory prices worldwide go up. It's the market, stupid.

Obviously you simply just do not "get it" and am willing to bet that you're sitting there on a Windows box and not Linux or OS X. Pussy.

Hehe... I "got it" already in the early 1990s. I just grew out of the OSS bigot phase in the mid 1990s.

Right now I run Linux on my file server and Windows XP for all-things-desktop side by side. I hope you'll get over it too soon and see that Windows is a perfectly good desktop OS.

Re:Fishy company (2, Insightful)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145953)

ah whatever.

if you are an oem, small or large, prepared to buck the establishment?

then be prepared to die.

if you don't play ball, you're not playing at all.

Microsoft still controlls the playing field.

Competition is great for all of us...till somebody finally really wins.

with 40billion in general liquidity, 40billion estimated worth of the founder, and 40billion estimated worth of the next several officers combined(after the founder)...I think we know who has won.

and it's not the public...hell it's not even the stockholders.

Re:Fishy company (4, Insightful)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145645)

It might be a reasonable clause in the case of a competitive market where OEMs can pick any OS-vendor and strike a deal with them, but in the current world it doesn't work that way. If you sell PC-hardware, then you have to provide Windows. If you don't strike this deal, you go belly up. That's the nature of Microsofts monopoly, and that's why such deals should be illegal.

Re:Troll (0, Troll)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145684)

You must be some sort of lawyer. Perfectly reasonable???? its like saying "after all, Musillini made the trains run on time."

Re:Mussilini made the trains run on time (1)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145708)

Damn! Slahsodt should have an automatic spellcheck! Fat finger syndrome lives.

Re:Troll (2)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145712)

No, not a lawyer just a humble physicist who's sick of intellectual dishonesty in the article.

What's your point? Are you proposing that Microsoft should be subject to another set of rules than the other companies?

PS. It's "Mussolini".

Re:Troll (3, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145748)

Are you proposing that Microsoft should be subject to another set of rules than the other companies?

That rather is the point of anti-trust law.

Re:Troll (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145768)

Everyone's free to make a complaint against Microsoft.

Re:Troll (2, Funny)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145794)

Everyone has.

Re:Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145767)

A company, with that marketshare, WILL be subject to other standards than other companies.

Nothing wrong in that.

If Microsoft would stop abusing its position, they would avoid this kind of regulation.

Governments will need to protect other businesses from Microsofts abuse.

And Microsoft do abuse their market position

Re:Fishy company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145795)


Pro-SPEWS? Welcome to my foe-list.

That's an interesting sig.. On one hand you seem to deplore SPEWS, ostensibly for the wide net which they cast; yet you're quick to make someone a foe for being pro-SPEWS.

Re:Fishy company (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145842)

On one hand you seem to deplore SPEWS, ostensibly for the wide net which they cast; yet you're quick to make someone a foe for being pro-SPEWS.

Excellent. You're the first one to get the subtext (or at least to say it aloud).

Re:Fishy company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145935)

Um, whats spews?

Re:Fishy company (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145739)

I thought something smelled fishy.

Tell your mom to douche.

Re:Fishy company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145778)

She tried but the douche kept hitting him in the back of the head.

This is not a first post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145501)

'cause i rtfa... stupid me.

Guns (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145810)

It fucking sucks that I can't go out on a range and practise shooting at targets.

"No person unassociated with military or law enforcement is to be granted a permission to carry firearms ammunition on his person..."

Dominance (1)

OffTheLip (636691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145502)

If by dominance you mean they have captured the market spewing unwanted popups and spam, well duh!

GOD Bless America (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145509)

God Bless America

God Bless America , with the worst crime levels in the first world
God Bless America , where "democracy" means a rich, white male as Presiden t
God Bless America , the biggest consumer of the world's natural resources
God Bless America , where "freedom of speech" means race-hate groups like KKK
God Bless America , and its massive and ever-growing poverty gap
God Bless America , with the highest obesity levels in the developed world
God Bless America , all its appalling "sitcoms" with no grasp of irony
God Bless America , because corporations should be allowed to run amok
God Bless America , wasting billions to attack foreign countries

God Bless America , and thank God I don't have to live there.

Re:GOD Bless America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145572)

God Bless America , where "democracy" means a rich, white male as President

As a white male myself, that's exactly what I want. I don't give a crap if it's fair or not.

God Bless America , all its appalling "sitcoms" with no grasp of irony

Doesn't the mere existence of those sitcoms prove our "grasp of irony"?

God Bless America , wasting billions to attack foreign countries

It's not wasted. It's an investment.

Re:GOD Bless America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145710)

It's not wasted. It's an investment.

It's not an "investment", it's "empire".

Re:GOD Bless America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145741)

So what? Didn't England profit from it's empire?

Re:GOD Bless America (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145760)

So what? Didn't England profit from it's empire?

It's a matter of principle, assface. Speaking of, go fetch your mother again, I desire to have my cock sucked again. Oh, and this time, if I feel teeth again, I'm punching all her teeth out with my brass knuckles. Then I'm raping your geek slashbot ass, fucking imperialist.

Re:GOD Bless America (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145798)

Since I am the imperialist, as you pointed out, it's much more likely that your mother will come to my country one day to give the master race some cheap blowjobs, actually.

Low-brow idiot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145602)

Don't you realize that these anti-American posts make you look just as stupid as the jerks across the Atlantic who insist on talking about freedom fries?

God I'm so sick of you turds.

-Your fellow euro-citizen

Re:Low-brow idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145857)

From which fine European country are you, if I may ask?

Re:Low-brow idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145865)

Sweden, from the fine city of Goteborg. So?

Re:Low-brow idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145908)

Nice. But that's exactly what I expected.

You up there just don't have the same kind of relationship we (French/Germans) have with the Americunts. We just NEED to vent now and then. I'm fully aware of the fact that it will make me look like an idiot to people with brains, but if just one the those without gets pissed off, my mission was successful. :-)

Search engines are a "low cost" change (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145529)

For users, changing operating systems, and even browsers, can be quite painful. In the case of an OS, old apps might nor work, and you might have to learn a new interface, and there may even be a cost of purchasing the OS. For browsers, it's hard to become aware of alternatives (for regular folk) and a download (on dialup) may take a while. For search engines, though, it's simply a matter of loading a new page, and maybe changing a setting somewhere. Not to mention the fact that even common folk know about Google, and it's become a part of the language. MS can't just "win" the search engine war by pointing users there by default.

Re:Search engines are a "low cost" change (4, Insightful)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145736)

MS can't just "win" the search engine war by pointing users there by default.

To quote the article now:
[Google] accounts for 35% of search-engine visits--compared with 28% for Yahoo!, 16% for AOL and 15% for Microsoft's MSN

Do you really think that 31% of the population feels that Microsoft and AOL searches are better than google?

No. Users do not know better. They just click, and click, and click -- until they find their answer. You and I and most of slashdot knows that google would probably give you the answer quicker and better. 31% of the people out there just blindly search with whatever the easiest search option is...

Now Word and other Microsoft programs send information to various web sites to get translations, directions, and other additional information.

MS and AOL may not be able to win by pointing users to their products; however, they can drain enough money from the rest of the field to drive some better products into the poor house.

Davak

Re:Search engines are a "low cost" change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145924)

Internet Explorer defaults to www.msn.com, in which has a search engine. Yes I'm sure some just use MSN. However, a lot of people probably use Google and Yahoo because people go around and tell people hey Google/Yahoo are better than the rest of them, and Google is a well know site and well know for searching, people don't really reconginze MSN for searching. AOL users, well hey if they're using AOL they are probably not very literate on the subject of Internet. That 63% of users that use Google/Yahoo are most-likely Windows users, who use IE that orignially defaults to MSN.com, and yet you don't seem them using MSN.

Re:Search engines are a "low cost" change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145971)

I have to say that I prefer booble to either google or yahoo.

Google is done for anyway (1, Troll)

ZuperDee (161571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145531)

I consider Google to be a has-been at this point. Let's face it: 1) it no longer has the usefulness it once did, due to all the spam in it. 2) Google has so far failed to do anything constructive about it. 3) Google's new technologies just aren't that good anymore. Look at Froogle--I have yet to see it perform as well as things like PriceWatch. 4) Google is losing business left and right--most prominent example: Yahoo is now planning to dump Google. 5) Although many (including myself) have applauded Google in the past for sticking to its core competency of searching, it also means they have failed to take advantage of the synergies possible in a full-blown portal, like Yahoo.

I think it is high time Google either get its act together quick, or be finished off by someone who wants to do better, like Microsoft, or Alltheweb.

I agree, good Sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145562)

Google's results nowadays almost remind me of using Webcrawler back in 97. No thanks. Here's to the next search engine king (whomever it turns out to be).

Yes, your trollness. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145604)

Here we have a troll replying to himself.

Re:Yes, your trollness. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145662)

FUCK YOU ASSHOLE ! ! !

Re:Yes, your trollness. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145774)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA ASSHOLE FUCKS YOU!

Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Disagree (4, Insightful)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145614)

I still find google incredibly useful. It turns up things no other search engine does for me. An they should not try to copy Yahoo. If I want yahoo, I will go to yahoo. Each engine has its strengths. The trick is to be distinct so that users know which engine turns up the best results for different types of searches.

Odd (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145829)

Everytime I do a search, I find what I am looking for almost allways on the first page. I would say that it is still tops.

As to taking advantage of other tech., that remains to be seen. Google took several years to get their top billing. I am going to guess that it will take a while before they catch on (or MS kills them).

Why all the Micorsoft hate? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145534)

I've tried Linux and it's great for a user created OS. However it still has long way to go before it's ready for prime time in the desktop area.

I choose to use XP, because it suits my needs. Don't look down upon me or insult me because my choice isn't the same as yours.

Re:Why all the Micorsoft hate? (1, Funny)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145548)

We won't look down on you. We just feel sorry for you.

I don't hate you... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145643)

But it's like this:

You know your box is "sick/ill", it spreads virii!

I can see the "infected" pass by in my serverlogs(they don't hurt me, I got a good imune system).

lets take this a little further:
Note:some maybe pesonally insulted by this analogie!

If I had AIDS and I would go fucking around without a condom, what would you think of me?

Thats about how I think of people who know their box is "sick/ill" and still use it for their everyday tasks.

needless to say this applies to most people cause most people know M$ spreads virii.

( I do not mind if you use it off line, but whenever you connect make sure you are protected, virii create a lot of useless traffic, on top of that everybody needs to update their virii progs, which results in even more traffic.
guess who makes money out of all this!?!)

Re:I don't hate you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145723)

For virii, he means viruses...
Already discussed.

Re:I don't hate you... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145738)

Windows is just as capable as linux when it comes to avoiding viruses... you can either disconnect it from the internet or install linux, either of which will secure windows...

but seriously i keep my machine clean and i download alot of stuff, just gotta know who you are DLing from and practice good computing(NOT RELY ON A VIRUS SCANNER) all a virus scanner does is makes you think you are safe... i actually don't have one installed ( i use the symantec web based scan periodically to make sure i'm not infected) and i don't use either IE or Outlook(express), as those are two of the biggest ways for viruses to infect windows

Re:Why all the Micorsoft hate? (5, Interesting)

errxn (108621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145791)

Parent has a point. While there are things I both like and dislike about Microsoft, I do get kinda sick and tired of seeing a story get posted on /. every time Bill Gates picks his nose in public, or something equally inane.

Yes, we're all aware of Microsoft's business practices. Yes, we're all aware of the faults in their OS code. No, I don't want to hear about it every FREAKIN' five minutes. Also, if there is such interest in Microsoft, why don't we ever hear about the good things that they do (save your "because they don't do any good things" replies)?

Take ASP.NET, for example. I've worked with JSP/Servlets, PHP, and "old-school" ASP, and nothing is better or easier to work with than ASP.NET, IMHO. Before you bad-mouth it, why don't you actually try using it? Plus, if it sucked as bad as some people on this site claim, why would Ximian, et. al. be working so hard on Mono [go-mono.org] ?

All I'm saying is that there should be credit where credit is due, and that it would be nice if every nitpick associated with Microsoft didn't rate a new topic on /.

I know, wishful thinking.

Re:Why all the Micorsoft hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145866)

The fact that it only runs on IIS makes ASP.NET a lock-in technology and therefore, BAD. Also, I'm about twice as productive using PHP/perl then I am on C# and ASP.NET. Things that are trival in the former are sometimes much more difficult in the latter.

Re:Why all the Micorsoft hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145893)

Because Ximian are techno-savvy and yet econo-ignorant?

Go Google Go (4, Insightful)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145540)

Microsoft may have software on the majority of computers sold... but my god, we all use google.

In the land of pirating with ease... the man who holds the data, not the software, will win.

Bill isn't dumb... and realizes this; thus, the push into the search engine world.

One more reason that I really like google.

Davak

Re:Go Google Go (2, Interesting)

ZuperDee (161571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145552)

Don't be so sure about Google--people also once said the same things you are saying about Netscape.

Re:Go Google Go (4, Insightful)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145573)

And AltaVista, WordPerfect, Macs, and typewriters. Just because everyone is using Google now doesn't mean we all will 10, 5 or even 2 years from now.

Re:Go Google Go (5, Insightful)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145664)

I disagree...

Google has the data.

Netscape had a physical piece of software.

Google has one (the?) largest collection of web data indexed. One way they use and abuse this is the way they can give such targetted ads on web sites.

Their little text-based ads rock the socks off other ads... Is it because people just are drawn to the little google boxes full of text? No... it's because the ads so closely related to what's on the page.

Data is going to rule. Even microsoft realizes that google has beaten them to the punch.

Could google screw up (like netscape)? Sure! Right now however... they are sitting pretty.

Davak

Re:Go Google Go (1)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145789)

"Netscape had a physical piece of software."

Isn't that an oxymoron?

How to Be an American (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145541)

HOWTO: Be an American
Version 1.0 / M

America, eh folks? It's a pretty screwed up place. Unfortunately, but not indefinitely, the USA's weapons of mass destruction make it the most powerful country in the world (militarily). As a result, it helps to be aware of American society and fit into it, and our quick 8-step guide should have you on the path to burger-munching enlightenment.

1 - Buy yourself a gun
To become a fully-fledged Yank, you'll need to get a weapon. Americans think that having more killing machines magically makes their country safer, and it helps them to walk around saying "I'll put a cap in your ass". Even though the concept of "no guns = no gun-related crimes" is alien to the average Yank, it'll give you a false sense of security in this country with the highest crime rates in the developed world.

2 - Put on at least 25 stone
Skinny? Medium? Chubby? That won't cut it in the good ol' US of A. Because America has the highest obesty levels on the planet, you'll need to get those rolls of flab built up. Eating 18 waffles with Maple syrup for breakfast (and visiting Burger King five times in a day) is all natural when much of the world is suffering massive poverty. Get fat and fit in.

3 - Learn the lingo
We've talked about issues affecting society, but on a personal level you'll need more knowledge (or ignorance as it may be) to fit in. First, forget proper English. Confuse "your" with "you're". Say "must of" instead of "must have". Whenever anything interesting occurs, say "shucks" repeatedly. Instead of clever spontaneity or witty insults, call people "asswipes". It's funny!

4 - Throw away all maps, history books etc.
To really feel a part of American society, you must lose all knowledge of the world. Forget where Poland is. Scrap your knowledge of the lengthy Chinese history. Make cretinous remarks like "India? Is that in Africa?". Because ALL that matters is America, and it doesn't matter how pathetic you look to educated people the world over.

5 - Become totally irrational and nonsensical
Spout on about the Constitution, and then make drastic changes to it. Talk about "freedom of speech" and watch TV programmes about the Ku Klux Klan. Rant on about market freedom, and sit back as companies run riot and destroy the economy with their anti-competitive practices. Essentially, act idiotic at all times.

6 - Sue everyone you ever meet
The USA doesn't produce many decent quality products, so the society is crumbling into a litigation-happy joke. With so many jobs going overseas to talented workers, your only option left is to start legal proceedings. About anything. Someone step on your toe? Get some hotshot downtown lawyer to sue their ass!

7 - Get a "shrink"
Americans have a hard time dealing with their own problems in a mature manner, and prefer to spend hundreds of dollars sitting in front of someone and whinging. However trivial your problems may be, blast them out like a baby!

8 - Watch abysmal TV
Forget educational programmes and incisive documentaries. Your ideal night in is with your gun, six cheeseburgers and a Friends box set. Watch as some over-paid talentless "actor" enters the scene, and whoop and scream hysterically as he delivers some ridiculously poor wisecrack.

So there you have it! Those 8 steps should have you killing innocent people, piling on pounds and acting like a moron in no time. America awaits you, brave hero! Just get out before it collapses in disarray.

END

Re:How to Be an American (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145726)

To become a fully-fledged Yank, you'll need to get a weapon. Americans think that having more killing machines magically makes their country safer, and it helps them to walk around saying "I'll put a cap in your ass". Even though the concept of "no guns = no gun-related crimes" is alien to the average Yank, it'll give you a false sense of security in this country with the highest crime rates in the developed world.

As an anti-American troll myself, may I suggest that you remove this point or at least change it? It makes no sense to point out that many Americans own guns. It will only make them feel proud, strong or some other shit you can't understand as a civilized European. If you have to include the gun thing, do it in such a way that it makes clear that someone who owns a gun is probably too much of a wuss and too fat to defend himself with his bare hands. State that martial arts are much cooler than guns and you'll actually get to use them if someone pisses you off in school.

You also should include some ridiculous claim about sex. For example, say that according to statistics, every second American watches gay hairy midget porn on a regular basis. It may be bullshit, but if you do it right, they'll get angry because they think the world doesn't respect them. The patriots over there perceive themselves as some kind of religious, clean Aryan blonde superhero save-the-world type of person, you know.

Re:How to Be an American (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145757)

Unfortunately, but not indefinitely, the USA's weapons of mass destruction make it the most powerful country in the world (militarily).

Oh, and DEFINITELY remove that point. It serves no purpose in your troll at all. Most patriots will have their hands on their cocks and masturbate furiously by the time they finish reading that sentence. They won't even read the rest of your insightful article.

Re:How to Be an American (1)

jeremytribby (697189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145995)

Biting in 3...2...1... You're quite the troll. (Or should I say your?) I don't think you would have any problem at all fitting into American society. This whole comment satisfies itself (particularly, number 5.) This comment is quite nonsensical and irrational; not all Americans are ignorant of geography, spelling, the world, the evils of our brand of democracy. I'm also sure that not all europeans are as quick to classify _all_ of America into a subcatagory as you are.

Dominance eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145542)

If you mean Microsoft is dominant because it makes quality products and capitalizes on it...then i'd have to say you are right.

Re:Dominance eh? (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145823)

Yeah, that Internet Explorer is a real quality product...

Dumb arses (0)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145543)

Once again Microsoft fails to realize having an OS and a web browser does not mean you have a great search engine.

Re:Dumb arses (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145850)

Actually, MS is spending billions to build a better search engine. and, based on their past, I would not count them out.

Personally, If I were google, I would try integrating into Apache, Mac, and Linux ASAP. That would force MS to deal with those environments as well.

Re:Dumb arses (0)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145904)

I would count them out. Goolge has been doing it longer and certainly has better people that understand all the various search techniques.

Though you do have an interesting point about integrating google into GPL/open source more throughly. OTOH I'm not sure it would force Microsoft to deal with it as intended. They would more likely cut their arm off inspite of a finger.

In some ways, Bill Gates is poor. (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145559)


As far as I know, Microsoft has only made money in areas where the company has a temporary monopoly, or where being aggressive temporarily makes a profit.

Microsoft has a history of bad management, especially in thinking that the company can be aggressive toward customers, without paying any penalty.

If someone had a monopoly on water, he would make so much money that he would make Bill Gates look poor in just a few days. To unskilled observers, temporary monopolies make those associated with them look like skilled businesspeople.

When you are a billionaire, what is your biggest need? Is is to make more money? No, your biggest need is for connectedness with other people. By his aggressive behavior, Bill Gates has enforced disconnectedness, and he is in that sense a poor man.

Re:In some ways, Bill Gates is poor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145618)

you forgot to add...

'...I'm just jealous'

Re:In some ways, Bill Gates is poor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145632)

Wow... Great insight. I appreciate your view point. How true.

Re:In some ways, Bill Gates is poor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145650)

troll face.

If by poor... (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145688)

If by poor you mean sleeping with billions and billions of dollars, why yes, yes he is....but seriously, you made a good point there..

Re:In some ways, Bill Gates is poor. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145777)

Hey, money may not buy you love, but it can sure get you a bunch of sexy broads... I'm sure Bill Gates can afford to buy exactly as much connectedness as he desires. Heck, I'd even hang out with him, as long as he's buying the drinks!

The most important bits (5, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145571)

... are that

1) MS might be forced to either bundle competitors (Go Ogg!) or disable Windows media (which the commission don't seem to fancy)

2) The commissioners claim to have learnt from the mistakes of other regulators when dealing with MS, and have pre-emptively included a number of 'you can't do it *this* way' examples in their recommendations :-))

Simon

Well, really (0, Interesting)

andih8u (639841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145580)

Microsoft isn't a monopoly, per say, they're just really successful. If Microsoft were truly a monopoly you would only be running your Microsoft applications on your Microsoft operating system that was running on your Microsoft hardware. Back when Ma Bell existed, you couldn't even buy your own phone, you had to lease it from the phone company...now that's a monopoly. Microsoft may be market dominant, but they're not the only choice out there. You can always put linux, os2, beos, or whatever else on your pc. You can run 3rd party applications on your windows operating system. Plus, no one's forcing you to use it.

Re:Well, really (5, Insightful)

iamsure (66666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145651)


Microsoft isn't a monopoly, per say, they're just really successful.


You are confused about what they have a monopoly IN. Multiple courts ruled that they were in fact a monopoly. You seem to be under the false impression it is for being a PC monopoly - far from it.

They have become a defacto OS monopoly - while there are other choices, they leverage their market share to ensure you can't, shouldn't, or won't want to use a competitors product.

Good companies encourage you to choose their product OVER the competitors, monopolies discourage competitors products through control, price gouging, and more.

Re:Well, really (5, Interesting)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145687)

Microsoft isn't a monopoly, per say, they're just really successful.

Tell it to the judge, bub! Seriously, they may not meet ONE OF THE dictionary definitions of "monopoly", but they most definitely meet the LEGAL definition, which is what's important here.

And furthermore (and this is a point that proponents of both sides often seem to miss), there is nothing wrong with having a monopoly! What's illegal and wrong is abusing your monopoly position. Both Intel and Cisco have been found in court to have a monopoly in their respective markets. But both have been cleared of any charges of wrongdoing (rightfully so IMO).

Re:Well, really (1)

MisanthropicProggram (597526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145744)

Exactly! And, I would like to add that MS had been effectively lowering the price of a Windows machine. Ok, before I get flaimed, let me say this - over the years MS has been adding features to the OS that you (the consumer)had to buy seperately (compression, image viewing, browsers, etc...). They haven't raised their price. It's still about what they charged for a basic OS in '95.
You say: "Well, they crushed the independent software vendors!"
Some were crushed (ex. Netscape), others sold out and now are very wealthy. For us, the consumer, (those of us who have to pay with our hard earned dollars) we are getting more value for our money.

And... for those of you who think that MS is the ONLY company who does such things, I ask you to try to get a cola flavored soda in your supper market.

YOU FAIL IT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145853)

I ask you to try to get a cola flavored soda in your super market.

What's your point? I can get any of the major brands, or the generic store brand cola.

You don't see the Coca Cola Company telling your supermarket that if they carry any other brands the price they pay for Coke will go up, do you?

talk about missing the point! (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145892)

Boy, my post went right over your head, didn't it?

MS hasn't been lowering the price of anything! Prices of computer hardware and software were steadily falling long before MS got into the market, and continued to fall afterwards. MS has lowered their prices and improved their products more slowly than almost anyone else! If you think you're better off than you would have been in a competitive market, I'm sorry for you!

Re:Well, really (2, Insightful)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145702)

If you are not putting together your own box (which I don't see many do in the case of laptops), whatever operating system you're installing on your pc, you have already paid for Windows. I think Ma Bell would also have been perfectly happy for you to use any telco, as long as you would pay Ma what was due to her regardless.

Re:Well, really (3, Interesting)

PishiGorbeh (737623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145725)

I AGREE 100% There are places in this world that do not have international copy right laws.. Places that Linux and Windows XP sit on the same shelf in a software store and cost the same damn price.. Know what... No one touches the linux stuff. I don't know exactly why but seems to me it a clear example of consumer choice. After all, the cost is the same and the availabilty is the same. Windows is easier to use than linux, at least for the average user. BTW.. this place is right here in Tehran.. 4000 toman ($5 USD) for Windows XP and 4000 toman for RH Linux 9 at any software store in the city.. and there are many.

Re:Well, really (4, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145819)

The Electric Company isn't a monopoly, per say, they're just really successful. If the Electric Company were truly a monopoly you would only be running your car, boat, and homes with energy from the Electric Company powering hardware supplied by the Electric Company. The Electric Company may be market dominant, but they're not the only choice out there. You can always install gasoline, diesel, propane or natural gas fired generators, solar panels, windmills, or whatever else to generate your electricity. You can even use electric power to power hardware not supplied by the Electric Company. Plus, no one's forcing you to use electricity!

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and acts like a duck, then it's a duck. If it's able to exert monopolistic control of a market or markets, then it's a monopoly.

Moderators in crack. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145833)

The parent post is not interesting.

It is completely misinformed.

It has been legally established that MS, for all intents and purposes is a monopoly.

Anything else about this matter is uninformed babbling that deserves only to be rebuked as soon as such nonsense is repeated (yet once again).

Winning Battles? (3, Insightful)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145605)

I don't know about everyone, but I'm not a Microsoft Hater, but I'm not a lover of them either. I don't think they 'won' the battle with the US courts, I think they bought the president. Pretty lame anti-trust slap on the wrist only after Bush comes into office. Prior to that it was looking like they were going to break into bitty pieces.

Just my viewpoint.

Slashdot Retribution (1)

Scoria (264473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145647)

I'm not a Microsoft Hater

If you're extremely fortunate, you'll get the GNU/chair. ;-)

Re:Winning Battles? (3, Interesting)

shystershep (643874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145822)

I don't think they 'won' the battle with the US courts, I think they bought the president.

I can't think of much nice to say about Bush, but the Appeal's Court reversal of the break up of Microsoft was handed down in June 2001, only 6 months after Bush took office. Considering that the decision was made by appointed judges -- none of whom (AFAIK, but I'm almost positive) were appointed by Bush -- and not by the federal prosecutors or any other arm of the executive branch, I'd say that it's highly unlikely that the change of president had anything to do with this.

IMHO, politicians are corrupt (or not) regardless of ideologoy/party affiliation, but I have a slightly higher opinion of our appointed-for-life judges who don't have to answer to any special interests once they're on the bench. I don't agree with the decision to overrule the break-up of Microsoft, but I don't believe that it had anything to do with politics or bribery (insulation from the policital process does not guarantee competency, after all).

How Microsoft Will Attack Google (4, Insightful)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145621)

Google has more data that Microsoft. Google is a better search engine than MSN. I don't think that anybody disagrees with this. However...

The next step, inevitably, will be to integrate such search functions into Windows, on the grounds that it constitutes a core technology that should be part of the operating system. In his keynote speech at last November's Comdex show in Las Vegas, Mr Gates demonstrated a prototype technology called "Stuff I've Seen" which does just that. It allows computer users to search for context-specific words in e-mails and in recently visited web pages, as well as in documents on their computers.


Microsoft has it's reaches into the majority of homes and businesses in the world. As broadband always-on internet becomes more popular, more and more services will really be clicks to other sites.

Here I describe one of the ways that microsoft uses this in the new version of Word as a translation machine. [tech-recipes.com] The information goes out onto the internet and word brings you back the information pretty seemlessly.

This is where Microsoft knows how to crush their enemies. By using easy clicks with integration, they can direct people to Microsoft search, translation, music, or whatever.

As the article states, before long your searches and data will be references my Windows software in multiple ways. Windows doesn't just want the web integrated into your system... they want their web integrated into your system.

Davak

Re:How Microsoft Will Attack Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145679)

The word you were looking for is "seamlessly".

Re:How Microsoft Will Attack Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145907)

MSN doesn't have its own search engine right now. What you see on MSN is merely a meta-engine powered by second-rate search engines like hotbot etc.

They are, however, developing their own search technology. V1 will probably be nothing to write home about, but V2 or V3 will kick Google in the crotch real hard, not only in terms of userbase penetration, but in terms of features and accuracy as well. They have virtually unlimited resources, and some of the brightest minds there in Redmond. They've also spent a decade and a fortune on natural language processing research. Finally, they simply know better where the money is - they're the biggest online advertiser on the planet right now.

In other words, if I were investor, I'd hold off buying Google stock when they IPO.

Personally, if it were up to me I'd just: (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145627)

drop all this reason and argument and just say:

"You're doing too good and that's damaging the economy." ... split and generally encourage the smaller players

Search Engines, Portals, Etc. (4, Interesting)

Some Clown (586320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145636)

In the last few years there has been a lot of hype, at least with business folks, that Web sites like Yahoo, Google, MSN, Netscape would become big "Portals." on the Internet, driving all others into obscurity. It sounds like Microsoft to a certain extent may still believe this. You control the results of the search, you are in a position to profit from it. To quote the certain to come business advice:

(1) Leverage monopoly to get into search engine business
(2) ??
(3) Profit!

What I've seen in practice however, is quite different. It seems as if the new users tend to get sucked into the "portal" concept when they sign up with Earthlink, MSN, etc. But as they become more Internet savvy, they migrate and spend less and less time on those sites. It's like a giant ponzi scheme... once they run out of new people to sign up, they're done.

I guess with the speed of the tech cycle right now, If Microsoft profits off of something like this for even a couple of years, then it's worth it (well, duh... Hmmm... case of the painfully obvious this morning.) Bottom line though, I think at this point Microsoft is still coming in well above negatives like costs to litigate, negative regulatory environments, bad feelings, slashdot insults, etc. Microsoft is a business, bottom line, as soon as it gets more expensive to work this way... they'll change strategies. As long as this is working, which it obviously is, they'll stick with it even if God himself came down and said stop.

Always the same post - why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145884)

You keep posting your 3-point
bullet list each day. Why?
It's not like it's very interesting.

And your posts are way too long.
No 'content'. And stop blaspheming.

Whatever... (0, Flamebait)

apoplectic (711437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145649)

'Microsoft is preparing to use its dominance in web-browser and operating-system software to promote itself in yet another separate market--search engines this time.'

If Microsoft were to begin selling bubble gum, the "interesting" quote would be: 'Microsoft is preparing to use its dominance in web-browser and operating-system software to promote itself in yet another separate market--bubble gum this time.' Whatever.

Calling the orginial quote "interesting" is a somewhat of an overstatement.

Microsoft not thinking long term... (3, Interesting)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145669)

As soon as Linux is ready for the desktop, Microsoft is going to hell. Nobody is going to want to pay for software let alone software which is strictly limited in variety. If Microsoft was smart, they would stop trying to suck every penny out of every company, and start producing software which doesnt limit a users choice. And with DRM in Longhorn, there is going to be even more incentive to migrate to Linux.

Nothing Really Changes (2, Insightful)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145703)

But it does confirm that Microsoft is exploiting its desktop dominance in workgroup server software; and that, by "tying" WMP to Windows, it has overtaken its chief rival in the media-player market, RealNetworks.

_Of course_ Microsoft will continue to use their position in the desktop world to compete against their competitors. They always have, and they always will. The fact ist the legal system moves at a much slower pace than technology. It's a simple formula:

1) Use monopoly to compete against competitors now.
2) Drag out law suits for as long as possible
3) Make token settlement like coupons which continue to expand Windows penetration
4) Profit & repeat.

Splitting up Microsoft (4, Insightful)

LippyTheLip (582561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145770)

I found the following quotation in the article particularly enlightening:

Microsoft has come to a critical juncture. It can choose to continue its war of attrition with regulators, constantly testing the legal limits and, when it crosses them, treating the consequences as the cost of doing business. Or the company could throw off its monopoly mindset and decide to compete, like most other firms are forced to do, solely on the merits of its products.


If history is any guide, it is not difficult to predict which of these two paths Microsoft will take. On the other hand, there are a few examples of companies that have begun as monopolies and actually ended up increasing the value of the company faster after being forced to give up their monopoly position. For example, after the breakup of AT&T in 1982, the companies formed as a result have grown much more quikly. According to this article at Businessweek

The breakup created an array of choices that consumers still find confusing. But it's widely agreed that it lowered long-distance prices and stimulated innovation. The companies created out of the Bell System, including those since swallowed up, are worth about $810 billion today, vs. $59 billion before the breakup. That 1,300% gain compares to a market-cap rise of just 140% for IBM over the same period.
So... Microsoft splitting itself up would be good not only for consumers and competitors, but perhaps also for its stockholders.

Re:Splitting up Microsoft (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145870)

I've always wondered... what exactally would it I've always wondered, split itself up into what exactally? an office and an OS busines?

There is little if any future for either, the future is probably in their other 5 or 6 business units, many of which are currently unprofitable.

If you split it up, are you not in effect just closing the company down? While that might be in the interests of this community, I'm not sure it does a good thing for the current customer base, the employees or the shareholders?

wow! the first line should have read... (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145937)

I've always wondered, what exactally would you split Microsoft up into? Or something like that.

Cool Search Engines (5, Informative)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145788)

There are a lot of unknown quality search engines out there. One of the tricks with search engines is knowing which was is going to turn up the best results in a particular search. In addition to google, I highly recommend www.alltheweb.com, and dogpile.com.

But one that I have really come to like is vivisimo.com, check it out, and after performing a search ecspecially take a look at the "preview" feature

Re:Cool Search Engines (1)

contrasutra (640313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145949)

I wouldn't use alltheweb.com. Although they look and feel like google, their cache's are very out of date.

Very often, you will be searching 4 week old caches. Thats not good if you want to find something even somewhat recent.

Im assuming they have this problem because they simply dont have as many computers as google to crawl around.

Thats why I like google. Within 3 days, something will show up on google.

Nevermore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8145887)

On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before. Then the bird said, 'Batman touched my junk liberally'

Again? (3, Interesting)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8145899)

I am not going to debate the truth of this article.
However we hear the same thing over and over.
So I cannot begin to hold MS completely blameless.
What I cannot understand is at this point, with their huge advantage just in cash reserves, why they cannot just do the work and make the best products.
The potential they have to really do something awesome when put in contrast to their actual tactics it's just sad.
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