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EU Releases Microsoft Antitrust Report

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the would-have-been-dead-a-long-time-ago dept.

Microsoft 612

Hassman writes "Ever wondered the reasoning behind the EU fining Microsoft and ordering them to sell a Media Player free version of Windows? Well now you can stop wondering. If you aren't up for the full read (it is 302 pages), check out the Reuters summary. Want more? Check out a quote from the summary: 'There is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system [as in not Windows],' he [a MS exec] wrote Gates. 'It is this switching cost that has given customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy version at times...' Mmm...sexy indeed." Reader BrerBear writes "News.com is reporting that the European Union has released its report on Microsoft's conduct, to which Microsoft has pre-emptively responded. Inside are more classic examples of what one should never write in an internal memo: 'In short, without this exclusive franchise called the Windows API, we would have been dead a long time ago,' from Microsoft Sr. VP Bob Muglia."

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Common Sense ... (4, Interesting)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948866)

For those who won't RTF 7 page MS response, here's my "flaimbait" quote from Microsoft's response.

All other contemporary operating systems, such as Apple's OS X, similarly tout their integrated media capabilities. The Decision expressly rejects (Para. 822) the principle that tying analysis for finished products should focus not on whether there exists a separate demand for a component but on whether there is any demand for the finished product with that component missing. For example, the fact that there is a market for shoelaces does not mean there is a market for shoes that have their laces missing. Common sense dictates that it would be misguided for regulators to require shoes to be sold in such a manner, even if this would create greater opportunities for companies that sell shoelaces. 1 The Decision goes on to dismiss the fact that all other operating systems also come with media playback software, ostensibly because some (but not all) of these finished products incorporate media players developed by other suppliers. (Para. 822.)

Go ahead, mod me down for common sense ...

Re:Common Sense ... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948952)

mod you down for convieniently forgetting that MS is a monopoly, more like.

Re:Common Sense ... (5, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948969)

Ok, so you read the microsoft response but did you fail to read the actual reuters summary? The commision found that barrier-to-entry for the operating system market were so high because people don't want to have to change to an incompatible product, and that this places *special* obligations on microsoft an a monopolist in such a market.

A better analogy would be that there was a dominant shoe maker that refused to make the shoelace holes in a way that would allow other shoelace makers to create a product that worked with their shoes.

But yes, nice "flaimbait" quote.

Re:Common Sense ... (4, Insightful)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949011)

I followed the whole damn rediculous case. Get them on their licencing practices, not on this baseless Media Player argument

A better analogy would be that there was a dominant shoe maker that refused to make the shoelace holes in a way that would allow other shoelace makers to create a product that worked with their shoes.

Good point. I forgot that Quick Time won't run on windows. I also forgot that when the Real Player programmers finally got it to work on Windows, Windows fought back and installed spyware, blaming it on Real Player. The whole "DirectX" thing is a sham -- only Microsoft gets to use it.

Re:Common Sense ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948976)

The analogy with the shoelaces is somewhat good, but it lacks the fact that if Microsoft were making shoes with shoelaces they would also own all the rights for making shoelaces to 95% of the shoes in the world. And that's as close as a monopoly as it gets.

Re:Common Sense ... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948986)

But there are hundreds of companies that manufacture and sell shoes. How many companies are the that sell 95% of the operating systems used? Oh yeah, just one.
If MS want to be a monopoly, then they have to expect to be treated differently to non-monopolistic companies.

Re:Common Sense ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949008)

From the article:

Microsoft contends it should not have to do so, saying: "When is it unlawful for a dominant firm to incorporate new components or features that demonstrably improve its finished product?"

I'll take "Illegal monopolies" for $590 million, Alex.

- Tony

Re:Common Sense ... (0)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949042)

So ... once you make a product that is so good, that it gains 90% market share ... you have to stop making it better to let the other guys catch up?!?!

Re:Common Sense ... (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949116)

Do you really, genuinely, truly believe that Windows has the market share it does because it's that much better than competing products? Really?

Re:Common Sense ... (1)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949182)

Yes, especially historically. Let's consider what GUI was around in Win3.1 days .... and the competition to Windows 95 -- OS/2 Warp, which was incredibly developer unfriendly. Still to this day, developers can whip out business info systems for Windows faster than on Linux, Mac, etc.

Re:Common Sense ... (5, Insightful)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949170)

Anti-trust laws were invented not to prevent companies from attaining 90% control of the market but from abusing that position. An example might be an OS company that singles out one market at a time and uses their dominant position to force the other players out of the market e.g. networking, office software, audio playback, video playback, file system compression, system utilities.

They do this by making a loss in this market until such a time as their competition is forced out of the market, then it's time to start making money. They can do this by using their other sections to provide revenue whilst losing money in the other markets...think XBox for a current example.

Microsoft seems to fit this definition to me.

Re:Common Sense ... (5, Insightful)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949024)

You should be modded down for two reasons:
  • because you blatantly ignore the fact that different rules apply for companies in a monopoly position (they have special obligations) - thus forcing ./ readers to explain again and again and again the obvious - very tiresome.
  • IMHO, "Go ahead, mod me down for common sense...." type of disclaimers to avoid bad moderation are very cheap
  • bonus reason: Nice cut&paste job to have a comment at the top as fast as possible, with no substantial (except for your wish to be modded down) content.

Re:Common Sense ... (0, Flamebait)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949083)

because you blatantly ignore the fact that different rules apply for companies in a monopoly position

Good point. Microsoft completely took away the opportunity for you to choose another OS. Linux will only run on Non-Microsoft hardware ... which is impossible to find.

no substantial ... content

It was a courtesy for the /.ers who will never read the MS argument, which is really damn good. What more could I say on that?

Re:Common Sense ... (2, Insightful)

MukiMuki (692124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949049)

Any dimwat can go to their mechanic to replace a part, or go to foot locker and replace a shoelace themselves. Ever try to get someone to use a different web browser, even for SECURITY reasons? Let ALONE another media player. Most people (i.e. non-readers of /. , they do in fact exist) won't be bothered, and it can sometimes have detrimental effects. It's not even a 56k thing; if you already something to do it, why download another program? Maybe if they'd just package the competition and give people a simple wizard-based choice, it'd be all good.

I'm not saying Microsoft should be forced to remove it or anything, but computer applications are a whole 'nother leage than stuff you can buy at Kmart, and including them does kinda stifle competition for possibly *better programs*. To be quite honest, I don't know what a reasonable solution is, barring the wizard-choice one.

Also, I think the Preview button should exist by itself, as a *default*, the first time you try to post, in order to avoid any or grammar spelling mistkes.

Re:Common Sense ... (1)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949121)

computer applications are a whole 'nother leage than stuff you can buy at Kmart,

I don't know about you ... but the Kmart next to me sells computer applications in their Software section. And it's not even a Super-K.

Re:Common Sense ... (2, Insightful)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949089)

Good flame !

Naturally one wouldnt expect to buy shoes without the laces however; shoe laces are easy to remove and there isn't one single shoe manufacturer that (excuse the pun) ties shoe wearers into wearing a particular type of shoe. Also shoe laces from different manufacturers (including manufacturers that dont even make shoes) will work on any pair of shoes without requiring any modification to the leather e.t.c.

Its common sense really!

I'ts not the fact that there is or isn't a market for the built in media player, it is the methods and practices that they use to keep it there that is the problem. For example heres a contorted scenario. The porn industry. Imagine if M$ were stupid enough to make it so that WMP was unable to play porn movies. There would be a lot of pissed of breast worshippers about. The lack of choice and the vendor lock-in and the "we control you" attitude of microsoft is what this is about. Its about microsoft dictating to people should and shouldnt do with something that is essentially theirs.

nick ...

Here we go (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948869)

Who cares what the facts are really? It's time to gather up and trash Microsoft, let's go! Has this ever been done here before? I think we're treading new ground!

HAHAHA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948895)

That's actually a little Funny, even Insightful.

Hehe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948872)

Memo humour. Fp.

Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948877)

I love Friday!

As a web streaming provider (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948880)

I would be appaled if they were forced to rip out media player. It's the #1 player used for streaming media. It's nice to rely on the fact that most people have this installed. The only other competitor, Real, brings only spyware-laden shit to the table. QuickTime is used by no one else commercially except for Apple themselves.

This would be very bad for the Internet.

Re:As a web streaming provider (2, Interesting)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948920)

QuickTime is used by no one else commercially except for Apple themselves.

In addition ... QuickTime pops up every Goddamn time with "upgrade to Pro?" To be fair to Real, they have removed the spyware ... it is still nearly impossible to find the free version to DL though ... but yeah, it's all Microsoft's Fault! Damn them for making a better (or atleast more consumer friendly) product!

Re:As a web streaming provider (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948949)

Not to mention that ASF/WM is THE cross-platform format. It works on Windows (via WMP or any other media player), Mac (WMP v. X), and ... Linux! (MPlayer)

Re:As a web streaming provider (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949044)

i dont se how its more cross platfor than anything else

quicktime works on osx
on windows
and on linux with mplayer

real works on windows osx and linux

so wath makes wmp more cross platform

yeah and the ting with real player being sucky thats true but those companies want to make money
from the media streaming companies.

but reals marketshare sems to be to low to purley make money from the streaming companies so then the have to make some money from the player.

and lets faceit aslong that wmp is integratet in windows wmp will be the only format that streaming media providers can rely on wich means that the marketshare for new companies wont be bigg enuuff to make money without getting some from the player.

Re:As a web streaming provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949085)

No, MPEG is THE cross-platform format. It works on Windows, Mac, Linux, etc, etc...

Re:As a web streaming provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948953)

It's comments like that which shall get you smoted.

Re:As a web streaming provider (5, Insightful)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948977)

It's the #1 player why?

Probably because there hasn't been any alternatives, since Microsoft has been stifling them. User indifference matters here; re Netscape vs. Microsoft.

Try using the free Media Player Classic.

Re:As a web streaming provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949033)

Sorry to piss all over your parade, but "Media Player Classic" is just a wrapper around DirectShow, the Windows Media Player engine. Don't be a dick, my friend.

Re:As a web streaming provider (1)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949137)

Quite aware of that.

The difference is in what they don't do. Windows Media Player also has those links to "buy music" and has the license management/DRM. Media Player Classic plays media, that's about it.

Re:As a web streaming provider (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949129)

>Try using the free Media Player Classic.

or how about VideoLan Client?

http://www.videolan.org/

Re:As a web streaming provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949145)

Why does everyone cry "monopoly!" or something similar when Microsoft has a #1 product. Maybe you can admit once that maybe it's just because they actually have the best product? I don't see Ford complaining to other companies that no one was buying the Pinto and that it was unfair... meanwhile the pinto sucked on a RealPlayer-like leve.

Re:As a web streaming provider (5, Insightful)

xmath (90486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948979)

It's nice to rely on the fact that most people have this installed.

Which is exactly one of the reasons the competitors get no chance and why the EU has made this decision.

BTW, QuickTime works just fine on Windows afaik and I see it used quite a lot by people other than Apple (though often alongside other formats, rather than as the only format)

Re:As a web streaming provider (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949117)

QuickTime also sucks donkey balls on Windows... it's slow as molasses, the browser plugin is buggy, and it constantly pops up that nag screen to "Go Pro!"

Re:As a web streaming provider (4, Informative)

mr.capaneus (582891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948983)

It's nice to rely on the fact that most people have this installed.
Kinda like how it's nice to rely on the fact that everyone uses Internet Explorer. How irritating.

Re:As a web streaming provider (1)

johnkoer (163434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949141)

I have to agree, this is one of the most frustrating things I run into on a daily basis. One funny thing I found was a company we are partnered with told us they were a strictly Java shop and they displayed their hate for microsoft. I went to their website to get more information and the site would only work with IE 5.5 or greater. My boss and I had a field day with that one.

Free download? (2, Insightful)

radionotme (742163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948997)

The worst that would happen though, is that MS would strip the player from the windows CD.
People would still be able to download it from their website for free, just as they have with every successive recent version of WMP.
True, a lot of consumers wouldn't realise and wouldn't bother - at least not until websites and files started telling them that they needed WMP to play the file they're trying to view, but I'd hardly say that it would be a disaster.

If we never had media player... (1)

bangular (736791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949016)

We wouldn't have to deal with Real's bullshit if Media Player didn't force them to go to such steps. There was a time when Real player was spyware and adware free. Anyway, I think this would be a good time to get an official port of mplayer to windows so it could spank them both like a couple of bitches.

Re:If we never had media player... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949056)

Yeah because we all know that mplayer doesn't use illegaly hacked binaries and DLLs from Real and Windows Media.

Re:As a web streaming provider (1)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949047)

I would be appaled if this is a reason NOT to pull it out. "Its nice to rely on thefact that most people have it installed"

Sjees, since when is the internet made to make -YOUR- job easier? How hard can it be to make one for download on your site? Why dont we all just design flash websites, its easy for webdesigners, since -most- people have this installed.

"/Dread"

Actually that IS a valid point. (3, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949062)

Standards are needed - and despite Real's protestations to the contrary, there are two main reasons their "product" has lost market share left and right.

#1, they feel the need to load it down over and over with spyware - especially that Gator crap. And then they put in the constant-nagware messenger of their OWN with that "Real Messenger" garbage.

#2, their encoding schemes SUCK. Compared to the visual quality of Divx encoding, WMF, or even earlier-series Quicktime (which had some real nasty blocking problems), even modern Realplayer blows chunks.

Re:As a web streaming provider (5, Interesting)

ztirffritz (754606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949069)

I think that if M$ had decided upon an open source standard media format, this would have been a mute point, but since they created a proprietary format (for better or for worse), their monopoly of the OS Market puts them in a uniquely vulnerable position. By essentially forcing all Windows users to use WMP whether they want to or not, they have carefully, if not cleverly, created a situation where a monopolistic practice can almost be explained away. I think that we can all agree that Real is destined for the garbage heap. Back before WMP, Real survived because of their accidental monopoly. It is a sad day when even Microsoft can make a product better than yours. Quicktime may become a contender faster than everyone thinks. Apple gives away their Quicktime Streaming Server software for FREE, with unlimited user licenses. They do bundle Quicktime with the Mac OS, but only because the only other medial player available for a long time was Real. I now have Windows Media Player, Quicktime, and Real running on my Mac. The only one that I want to get rid of is Real. WMP for Mac is a very simple interpretation. It only plays the Windows Media format files, but it does it well enough and finally is integrated with the Web browser so that I don't have to download all of the links anymore.

Re:As a web streaming provider (5, Insightful)

Hammer (14284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949071)

And as a consumer it is nice to find sites that require software that I cannot install since I use Linux.
My options are
  1. get a Windoze-box
  2. go to the next site

At a cost of CAD $399 (not including the box) my choice will be #2

Re:As a web streaming provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949195)

Or you could just use Mplayer to view the files, like the population of Linux users with greater than half an ass for a brain.

Re:As a web streaming provider (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949098)

'This would be very bad for the Internet.'

Why is that? Nobody has forbidden the user to install media player if they wish to - or indeed if they have any opinion about the matter.

Re:As a web streaming provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949185)

Nice way to say fuck you to all non-m$ users.

Sometimes I wonder.. (3, Funny)

osullish (586626) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948881)

..about these internal memos, sometimes they're too funny to be true, its like they feel compelled to give us even more ammo!

yes.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948888)

But will it work on linux?

Ha! (3, Funny)

YanceyAI (192279) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948900)

The decision draws on memos, testimony, U.S. court records and much more. It finds Microsoft can "behave to a very large extent independently of its competitors, its customers and ultimately of consumers."

This is news to whom?

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949114)

It seems to be news to legislators around the world!

The usual rationalization goes something like, "Don't worry about Microsoft, market forces will take of any anti-trust problems."

Re:Ha! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949118)


Shhh! The /. dobermans need their daily training on the MS-Attack Dummy.

memo stated teh obvious (4, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948905)

So, the memos point out things we already knew. At least they are smart enough to admit that they don't have a great product. If only they were smart enough to fix it and do right in the future.

Re:memo stated teh obvious (1)

Xhad (746307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949099)

If only they were smart enough to fix it and do right in the future.

Why is that smart? If they can make garbage and still be rich afterwards, isn't that a better business decision than spending more money?

Well It's About bloody time! (2, Funny)

Yonkeltron (720465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948906)

Well It's About bloody time! I feel like it might be the best thing the EU has done for us, what with the Patents and all.
I can't wipe my ass without Micro$oft patenting the technique!

Whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948918)

For a second there, I thought you were talking about "wiping your bloddy ass" -- I figured a little Preperation H would clear that right up, jolly good!

Exactly Correct (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948916)

It finds Microsoft can "behave to a very large extent independently of its competitors, its customers and ultimately of consumers."

This is exactly how Microsoft behaves. This is how I'll describe Microsoft from here on out.

Pricing (3, Interesting)

protonman (411526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948917)

Then why don't make the one without WMP as expensive (or more expensive even) as the one with and let the market sort it out?

Or would the EUC be so bold as to tell some company how their products should be priced?

Re:Pricing (3, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949130)

"Microsoft must not give OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) or users a discount conditional on their obtaining Windows together with WMP (Windows Media Player)...or otherwise, remove or restrict OEMs' or users' freedom to choose the version of Windows without (Media Player),"

That's why. Having MS Windows bundled with WMP offered cheaper than MS Windows alone is considered a discount and such not allowed under the indiction.

Customer Loyalty? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948924)

'It is this switching cost that has given customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy version at times...'

I wouldn't exactly say patience is the right word, how about ignorance? It was very difficult for most computer users to leave the more comfortable Windows enviroment, but then again I learned DOS when I was 6 yrs old to play Montezuma's Revenge. So it cant be that hard.

To the Owners/Managers of Any Company (3, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948931)

> 'It is this switching cost that has given customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy version at times...' Mmm...sexy indeed.

Let me just say, there is no switching cost: you have been fooled. It's not your fault; Microsoft has been fooling billions of people the same way you have been fooled. Offset training and allocation of new resources in your company for purging out Microsoft as being standard operating costs (upgrade costs), not "switching" costs; it's a farce to think otherwise.

Long term benefit in using a reliable system makes any switching price worth every penny. Short term benefits are that you can simply ignore the next bout of viruses, your staff will love you and you can also take credit for the increased profits from operating a tight ship.

Re:To the Owners/Managers of Any Company (5, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948978)

Sure, there's no switching cost as long as you get your ass over here and show my company how to use this damn Linux thing, and you find, install, and train us on business apps that are as good as the ones we have now. And of course, you should be able to train all of us instantly after you do our conversion, since any time spent learnign a new system IS A SWITCHING COST.

Re:To the Owners/Managers of Any Company (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949169)

Sure, there's no switching cost as long as you get your ass over here and show my company how to use this damn Linux thing, and you find, install, and train us on business apps that are as good as the ones we have now.

Simple solution, fire a MSCE and hire a RHCE. And if your company doesn't have support now, why are you expecting it for free for Linux? In order for there to be cost here, you'd have to claim that Linux is MORE expensive to install and maintain, not just that it costs money to install and maintian.

Sure, there's no switching cost as long as you get your ass over here and show my company how to use this damn Linux thing, and you find, install, and train us on business apps that are as good as the ones we have now.

There's only a cost if that time exceeds the amount of time users waste dealing with typical MS problems like Outlook viruses and the like. I expect you might actually see a cost here, but for a large organization, it could probably be offset by the cost savings in maintenance.

Re:To the Owners/Managers of Any Company (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949181)

So Microsoft offeres trainings for the new software versions for free?
Look at it like this: Installing a new desktop, if it's called MS Windows next version or any else, causes training costs. So your argument would be valid only if you are still using that first Windows version you ever installed.

Re:To the Owners/Managers of Any Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949194)

Can't you read? He said that you use the money saved from excessive licensing on training, so the "switching cost" is effectively nullified.

You laughably illiterate cretin!

Re:To the Owners/Managers of Any Company (1)

MikeHunt69 (695265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949131)

Let me just say, there is no switching cost: you have been fooled. It's not your fault; Microsoft has been fooling billions of people the same way you have been fooled. Offset training and allocation of new resources in your company for purging out Microsoft as being standard operating costs (upgrade costs), not "switching" costs; it's a farce to think otherwise.


So there's no switching cost because you use the money you were allocated to spend anyway on upgrading?


er, yarite.

Windows...Sexy?! (1, Funny)

JoeBaldwin (727345) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948932)

Those two words do NOT belong in the same sentence.

Re:Windows...Sexy?! (3, Funny)

Ernest P Worrell (751050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948970)

... and about the only thing that makes Linux "sexy" is the photoshoped "Linux Girls." It's an operating system for cryin out loud ...

Yes they do! (1)

dawg ball (773621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949021)

You just need to insert "is not" between them.

Re:Windows...Sexy?! (1)

bfg9000 (726447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949066)

Speak for yourself, I'm into pain.

Re:Windows...Sexy?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949086)

I see sexy girls undress on the beach through the windows of my house.

ole bill orgot a few (-1, Flamebait)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948935)

The lack of compiling kernels the lack of playing hunt that package the huge libary of games "yeah windows really sucks huh"

before you say at least the EU does something (4, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948940)

Don't forget that in the US MS was convicted as well.

The fact that they are convicted twice won't change a thing until they actually *PAY* the fine.

And in other news... (4, Funny)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948946)

The United States has declared the enforcement of a sovereign nation's own laws to be weapons of monopoly destruction.

And in other, even more relevant news... (-1, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949037)

The U.S. government has declared that Iraqis should be happy to be killed by such a fine nation as the United States. Unfortunately, not all Iraqis agree with that.

Re:And in other, even more relevant news... (2)

jarnhestur (746358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949174)

Fortunately, more Iraqi's then not are happy to be rid of Sadam and are looking forward to ruling themselves.

If I lived under a brutal dictatorship, I'd want someone to intervene on my behalf so my children would have a better life. Maybe that's just me, though...

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949189)

though your motives may have been heroic. Your humor falls short. please resubmit without the stupid pun.

MS execs know ... (3, Funny)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948981)

I've always figured that MS execs were smart enough to know that their products are garbage. This just confirms that.

Re:MS execs know ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949023)

I hate to break it to you guys, but Linux and Open Source have a looooong way to go before they can even hope to compete with Microsoft. Most of the world uses MS based software, and although it comes with its share of problems, it's much more convenient than re-learning or re-training in all new software. Plus, how computer many games can you think of for Linux? :P

Re:MS execs know ... (1)

Hammer (14284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949188)

Plus, how computer many games can you think of for Linux?

This alone should encourage a lot of companies to switch... Think of the productivity gain :-D

Run for your life! (5, Interesting)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948988)

President Ed Black wrote letters to Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, telling them he knew they had been asked to "take extraordinary actions" because of the European decision.

Black urged them not to intervene. He said Microsoft was pressuring the U.S. government to pressure the European Union to ease off Microsoft.


Am I the only European here scared by this snipet from the Reuters article? Are we going to be bombed? Colin Powell is involved, next will it be Rumsfeld? What kind of excuse will he find this time?

Re:Run for your life! (0)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949045)


No you are not ... however, don't worry, the US has no troops sparse, they are all needed in their crusade in Iraq.

Re:Run for your life! (1)

dcordeiro (703625) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949172)

we (europeans) do have WMD !!!

Re:Run for your life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949180)

At least if Europe got bombed it might wake Mr Blair up and help him realise he is leading his country down a dark and dangerous path.

A major rift between the govermnents of Europe and the US administration would seem a disaster in the short and medium term, but could save the world in the end.

Europe should lead by example, not submit to US demands.

Re:Run for your life! (1)

Gzip Christ (683175) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949190)

Colin Powell is involved, next will it be Rumsfeld? What kind of excuse will he find this time?
I think it's pretty obvious to see where this is headed. Powell will declare that the Finnish have been creating Weapons of Microsoft Destruction. It's hard to deny the photographic evidence [kmfms.com] .

Chain of Command (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949198)

He said Microsoft was pressuring the U.S. government to pressure the European Union to ease off Microsoft.

Wow, this sentence really, really needs parentheses. Like this:

He said Microsoft was (pressuring the U.S. government (to pressure the European Union (to ease off Microsoft))).

Also note that this structure is circular; The innermost element is actually the outermost element as well.

Now that's what I call hierarchy.

Score: -1, Insane

Re:Run for your life! (5, Interesting)

sir_cello (634395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949204)


There have been a number of high profile spats over competition law recently, notably the GE v Honeywell merger - accepted in the US, and then rejected by EU competition authorities (but later allowed after GE gave specific undertakings to divest certain business units and so on). Not to mention the banana wars :-).

In general though, the US has been getting a little techy about the growing independence of the supra-EU state. The next biggest issue is the EU's design to create its own defence forces, the US sees this as a worry because it weakens the need for NATO and creates two large divisive superpowers (witness the continentals vs. US wrt. iraq).

There are other good examples (Airbus vs. Boeing a good one for indication of how EU has succeeded in generating huge manufactures; EU space programs another one).

Re:Run for your life! (1)

thechao (466986) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949205)

We don't bomb people: we'll send a peace-keeping misssion to 'explain' that you have to 'listen' or else things could get 'very bad.' Then we use tactical-decision altering devices to change your mind when you get stubborn.

Re:Run for your life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949220)

Am I the only European here scared by this snipet from the Reuters article? Are we going to be bombed? Colin Powell is involved, next will it be Rumsfeld? What kind of excuse will he find this time?

Well right not they're batting 0 on WMD and they'd probably like to change that. We hear you guys actually have WMD, and we hear this from reports that we haven't even been told are false.

Of course if you would just join the coalition to invade yourself, things would be so much easier :)

I know the reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948994)

They don't like anything American.

Slashdot is by Americans, for Americans. You don't like us, we sure as hell don't like you asswipes.

Do us a favour and segregate yourselves.

Huge switching cost? (3, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949063)

'There is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system [as in not Windows],' he [a MS exec] wrote Gates.

This exec spreads fear and dissent. But it is all lies. He lies. Alternatives to Windows for individuals (Customers, if you will) are often obtained for the cost of 720MB of bandwidth, which is often "unlimited" or "unmetered" over the course of a month and already paid for. The only cost involved for an individual to switch is the time and effort to learn the other operating system. The cost for a company will be high since they are expected to compensate their employees for their time. But the cost for individuals to switch is low. If they are a homeless greasy bum with nothing else to do, naturally this cost will be very low.

We will surround their pricey vendor lock-in, and then it will be they who will be surrounded. We will continue to give away our free alternative operating systems for the price of what it costs you to download it, and a shoe.

Re:Huge switching cost? (3, Insightful)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949151)

"Alternatives to Windows for individuals (Customers, if you will) are often obtained for the cost of 720MB of bandwidth ..."

Too sad, that is not true ... their is cost for consumers ... they loose their favourite games, educational programms for their kids, some pieces of hardware where drivers are missing ...

We have still to do a lot work on alternatives, or to be more precise ... on the only alternative Linux.
Linux is ready for a more widespread deployment on corporate desktops now, but it is not ready for the consumer desktop right now.

Win32 API (4, Interesting)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949090)

I really hate to do this, but I have to give the devil his due on this one - I think Muglia's right about the Win32 API. Sure, it has it's quirks, and can get downright clunky at times, but to be honest - as far as API's go, I've seen a lot worse. But, to their credit, they could have done a lot worse, especially when they went from Win16 to Win32. Projects I had to port weren't all that bad, in fact, it was actually a pretty clean process to port Win16 to Win32, and a lot of functions are indentically named. So, they did a good job overall of making your apps port from Win16 to Win32, and since then, Win32 has added more functions (TransparentBlt()), but not typically at the expense of current ones.

And really, MFC gets a bit of a bad rap. Sure, Document/View is horrible, but other parts of MFC are pretty well done. That, and one thing MS has done pretty well is release a good IDE. It's mostly consistent, and yeah, .NET IDE is drastically different at first, but it took me about 5 minutes to get it to behave like VC 6.

Now please just don't get me started on the clusterf*ck known as COM/DCOM or the abomination that is .NET... both of which make me glad I switched to Linux 3 years ago at home.

302 pages (1)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949104)

Well now you can stop wondering. If you aren't up for the full read (it is 302 pages), Although the PDF is only around 1.42 Mbytes. How much space would the same document take up as a powerpoint presentation?

Most people dont care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949111)

About what player is included. People get all worked up because of a built in media player (Mac OSX has one) or built in browser (KDE). Its fine for free software companys to do it because they are sticking it to "The Man" (MS), but if "The Man" does it they freak out. Fare market? Come on people, the world isnt fair. You cant have a perfect world were people all can have a share of the money/market. Is MS a monopoly? Yep. Do people bitch about MS because its the cool thing to do? You bet. MS isnt going anywhere, no matter how much you poke your little Bill Gates voodoo doll, or pray for it to happen. The best thing to do is make that killer alternative, and make everyone want to switch to it. I dont see that happening in the foreseable future.

I use BSD, Linux and Windows and all have their niches. But MS is the major desktop OS, and will be for quite some time.

Mirrors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949143)

Not that I know much about this but
---
The Track Illuminator Laser (TILL) illuminates the body of a missile to determine where to point the high-energy laser.
---

But now if we pack a couple of mirrors on the body, wouldnt that cause it not to illuminate properly? And throw off the tracking ?

hehe random thought.
Can you imagine a bunch of terrorists with glue and mirros ?

That's why (3, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949147)


I have been thinking all week why the NIST [nist.gov] should standardize the windows API.

I think that NIST would be better than ISO/ANSI/IEEE, and they have a working agreement with ANSI. Also the specification would cost less (if at all) than an ANSI/ISO version.

By standardizing the API, you immediately have the government buy the software that uses this standard. It would make our country secure not to be dependent upon one single supplier of an OS (as much as Microsoft thinks otherwise).

It also means that Windows stops being the moving target that it is.

Before you troll me with free enterprise/right to innovate/unnecessary/linux blah blah blah, anything that lessens the cost for everybody is a good idea. The OS is the only thing that has increased in cost as compared to other parts to the computer.

I know linux is free, but the fact remains that the vast majority of computer users use a Microsoft product, and wants to keep their software investment minimal (even though all the software companies want us to continually upgrade).

How to write a memo (5, Insightful)

mwood (25379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949154)

"Inside are more classic examples of what one should never write in an internal memo...."

I disagree. It is sometimes one's duty to point out that one's employer has weaknesses. These are exactly the sort of things one *should* write in internal memos to people who can and should do things about them. *Good* leadership wants to hear about the company's weak spots so that they may be addressed.

Yes, sometimes bearing bad news gets you fired. In the short run that's really bad, but in the long run I'd rather not be working for weaklings and cowards anyway.

AtrolLkore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949162)

more. If you feel Raise or 7ower the

Am I naive? (1, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8949163)

Maybe... but recent steps of Microsoft seem to prove it tries to head in the right direction. Giving up remaining a monopoly at all costs, cost of customer comfort being not the least, and finding a decent, wide niche in the OS market, as one of many, competing with others, but often cooperating too, accepting better solutions than their own without trying to cripple them (see Java VM, crippled Quicktime, forced integration of seriously inferior MSIE 3.x). It seems Microsoft noticed their destruction may be a completely unintended side effect of Linux growth if they don't stop being so evil, and just like IBM who was seen an evil empire, but nowadays is quite liked, Microsoft may try to do the Good Things because even if they don't pay in short term, as direct marketing profit, they will pay in long term, improving their reputation?

Several more kicks in the ass, just like the WMP case definitely help getting there. You might want to see Microsoft destroyed, sure. But would you really mind seeing Microsoft just becoming true Good Guys?

Even MS knows they make crap, etc,etc hahaha (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949164)

umm..this memo is from one guy that may have been in charge of MS's C++. It was written in 1997 and reflects this single person's view of the products MS had released in 1997 and before.

Anyone who claims that Windows 2000 is buggy and unstable is in error. And an idiot.

stock options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8949201)

What's a guy gotta do to see some *BSD is dying trolls in this thread?
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