Beta
×

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

Thank you!

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

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

Microsoft Threatens To Withdraw Windows in S.Korea

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that-won't-lead-to-piracy-at-all dept.

Microsoft 536

RocketJeff writes "South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has been investigating Microsoft since 2001 for violations of South Korea's antitrust rules. According to a Reuters article, part of a recent Microsoft regulatory filing states 'it might be necessary to withdraw Windows from the Korean market or delay offering new versions in Korea.' Basically, Microsoft is threatening to take their marbles and go home if they don't get the ruling they want."

cancel ×

536 comments

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

Good strategy (5, Funny)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897119)

Right...that should convince the South Korean government (and the rest of the world) that they're not an abusive monopoly.

Re:Good strategy (4, Interesting)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897162)

I wonder what percentage of the south korean economy is made up of those internet cafes. Switching OS's won't really be fun for them (if it comes to that.).

Gaming is fairly big in SK also, somehow I think 'it runs on WINE' isn't going to fly.

Re:Good strategy (5, Insightful)

Tester (591) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897211)

Gaming is fairly big in SK also, somehow I think 'it runs on WINE' isn't going to fly.

But it runs on the Playstation probably is.. Its also a huge market for games, so this might make people write/port their games to non-Microsoft operation systems..

Re:Good strategy (2, Insightful)

mlk (18543) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897326)

I guess it depends on how legal said cafes are in the first place.

And how up-to-date they like to be, I don't think MS could stop existing copies of MS Windows from running. And I don't see WinXP++ only games coming out all that soon.

Then finally what about buying abroad?

I don't think it'll be an issue, one way or the other.

Re:Good strategy (2, Informative)

Fiver- (169605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897331)

Why would it come to that? Nothing about this would invalidate existing installations of Windows.

Re:Good strategy (3, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897339)

They won't have to switch. They'll just keep doing what they're doing right now, which is running pirated copies of Windows. Considering how rampant piracy is in South Korea, Microsoft isn't exactly going to lose any money by suspending official sales. They'll probably come out ahead by avoiding legal expenses.

Re:Good strategy (4, Insightful)

Klivian (850755) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897384)

I wonder what percentage of the south korean economy is made up of those internet cafes. Switching OS's won't really be fun for them (if it comes to that.).

Does not really matter, as it's not like MS can reclaim already existing Windows installs. It may create some annoyances for people planing new deployments or upgrades, but existing install will not be affected in any way. It's like if Ford decided to stop making cars, it would not cause all the Fords currently on the road to stop working.

Re:Good strategy (4, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897200)

Right...that should convince the South Korean government (and the rest of the world) that they're not an abusive monopoly.

I don't care what the rest of the world thinks. I would just like to see them do the same throughout the rest of the world. Start threatening to take Windows out of the various world markets and see the wonders it does for OSS alternatives. At the very least people will begin to prepare migration plans and so on.

Re:Good strategy (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897205)

It also would be the best thing microsoft ever did for linux and apple.

Re:Good strategy (4, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897287)

Or it would spark more piracy as people desperate to play Counterstrike and Starcraft download Windows instead of buying it in the stores.

Clause in Longhorn EULA to come (4, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897227)

24. ANTI-SOUTH KOREA PROVISION

Windows may not be used and is not licensed for use in any area of South Korea because they are big doodyheads and we don't like them any more.

Re:Good strategy (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897297)

Exactly. All this would be is a short-term pain for South Korea. In the long-term, however, it would convince companies in South Korea and elsewhere not to place strategic reliance upon a proprietary operating system that can be pulled off the market on a whim.

I have to wonder, is Microsoft's future sales of Windows starting to look so bleak that Microsoft needs to play poker with their customers? I know that yesterday's quarterly report was not the greatest, but I didn't think it was bad enough to start warranting this type of chair-throwing behavior with South Korea.

On a side note, since this news broke, if any CIO manager who is dependent upon Windows is not starting to look for strategic alternatives, that IT mangaer is not doing his or her job.

-1, duckspeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897336)

Just because it's MS doesn't mean they're doing it for the reasons you think they are doing it.

The more copies of Windows that are in South Korea, the more a negative ruling is likely to cost Microsoft. If you were looking at losing your shirt (or in this case, maybe a sleeve), would you keep dumping money in or would you take a "wait and see" approach?

Oh, that's fine! That's fine! (5, Funny)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897122)

Screw you guys! I'm going home!

Re:Oh, that's fine! That's fine! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897394)

How do we get MS to withdraw from the US market? :)

In Korea (5, Funny)

faqmaster (172770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897125)

Only old people use Windows in Korea.

Re:In Korea (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897150)

If you take the windows away, that meme will become 'In Korea, only cold people ...'

In Soviet Russia... (1)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897303)

Windows uses old people!

ROFL (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897126)

Come on, we all know that MS isn't going to withdraw from the South Korean market. This is just silly.

Deep Thought said it best (5, Funny)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897128)

"And who will that inconvenience?"

Their software (5, Insightful)

MrDoh1 (906953) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897130)

It's their software, shouldn't they be able to sell it or not sell it where they wish?

Re:Their software (5, Funny)

filtur (724994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897230)

It's their software, shouldn't they be able to sell it or not sell it where they wish?

Of course not!! (You must be new here)

Re:Their software (4, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897338)

It's their software, shouldn't they be able to sell it or not sell it where they wish?

They should be allowed. That doesn't mean they're not jerks if they do.

Re:Their software (2, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897369)

This also shows a problem with the monopoly position they have. They are one of the companies that can actually make an impact by saying "we're going home" simply because of their influence and their market dominance.

Re:Their software (3, Insightful)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897342)

It's their software, shouldn't they be able to sell it or not sell it where they wish?

This *MIGHT* be true, and I stress "might". But what's to stop S.Korea from buying copies from their neighbors, or heck, legalize flat out piracy of it. Sure Microsoft can pull out but that doesn't mean it's not stupid.

You are 100% correct. (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897368)

You are right. It is. They have the right to do whatever they want with it. If they don't like the terms of dealing with a country they have the right to limit distribution in that country.

Of course this is /. ...

-everphilski-

Re:Their software (5, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897378)

It's their software, shouldn't they be able to sell it or not sell it where they wish?

Nobody said otherwise. (I now take a step back to avoid being hit by the falling straw-man)

It's very simple. Microsoft doesn't have to sell their software in Korea if they don't want to. Although they'd probably not be able to stop it, since it could be imported via a third country.

But if Microsoft does want to sell their product in Korea, they have to follow the rules and laws passed by the Korean government. It's as simple as that. Bitching about (in your mind) unfair laws might be okay if South Korea was a dictatorship, but it's not. South Korea is a democracy. Those laws have the support of their people.

Or are you simply some imperialist who believe you know what's better for them than they do?

Besides which, Microsoft isn't going to get out of Korea. They can't afford to. Not because of the money, but because it would create the incentive for them to switch. There are nearly 50 million people in South Korea. Whatever platform they moved to (Linux, Mac), it would be a huge boost for that platform, which would mean a much larger strategic loss for Microsoft than it would in terms of Windows licenses.

Microsoft needs to sustain it's monopoly to survive. Why do you think they're fighting the OpenDocument format so hard? They need to stop other platforms from becoming viable alternatives. And a large modern nation like Korea certainly has the resources to do so.

And ... (5, Funny)

jmartens (721229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897133)

South Korea prepares a heart felt thank you letter.

Re:And ... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897272)

South Korea prepares a heart felt thank you letter.

Meanwhile, North Korea issued a Cease and Desist letter to Microsoft, claiming unlawful infringement of their strong arm and enigmatic negotiating policies.

Funny, that (5, Insightful)

JudicatorX (455442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897135)

the headline below this is "Why do people switch to Linux?"

Withdrawal doesn't work... (1)

HDlife (714246) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897354)

Didn't your health teacher tell you?

Withdrawal doesn't work. Some little windows will get out and soon you will have lots of illegitimate windows running around.

One question (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897137)

Wouldn't you?

Nothing to see here (4, Informative)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897142)

This is common language in such filings to let investors know of worst case scenarios. For reference, see such filings by SCO on Groklaw.
So no, it's not a threat or a conspiracy

Right... (5, Funny)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897279)

SCO is just the picture of normalcy.

Now if only we could get them to pull their products from the US, I would be happy.

An answer to a question? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897143)

I guess there's an answer here to the question "Linux: Why Do People Switch To Linux?" [slashdot.org]

"So Korea, why did you switch to Linux?"

Korea: "For a variety of reasons. First, Microsoft violated many of my anti-trust regulations. Second, because it is foreign owned and controlled, even it their home country is one of my allies. Third, TCO is very high. Fourth, I have had many security and quality issues with their Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none operating system. Fifth, Microsoft in response to the charges had threatened to slow or not at all release new products. And finally, because they took their marbles and went home."

"Their marbles?"

Korea: "Yes, I'm very disappointed, they had some very pretty catseyes and peeries."

"If the KFTC enters an order requiring Microsoft to remove code or redesign Windows uniquely for the Korean market, it might be necessary to withdraw Windows from the Korean market or delay offering new versions in Korea," Microsoft said in a U.S. regulatory filing on Thursday.
Man. Are these people lazy, greedy or what? An entire country, with a considerably strong economy that DEC, Pr1me, Unisys, etc. would absolutely have sold their souls for. Microsoft can't have it their way so they're going to pull out. Blimey.

i reckon not (1)

conJunk (779958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897195)

Microsoft can't have it their way so they're going to pull out.

it's probably been mentioned in a comment i missed, but there's no way they're pulling out... it's just FUD, trying to pressure SK into the ruling they want... if they don't get the ruling, they'll still seel in that country

Different Tactic (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897215)

it's probably been mentioned in a comment i missed, but there's no way they're pulling out... it's just FUD, trying to pressure SK into the ruling they want... if they don't get the ruling, they'll still seel in that country

Usually Microsoft just comes in with a sweet-heart deal, cutting prices. This doesn't appear that shape of deal at all.

Holy Longjams Batman - No more Korean Windows (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897147)

Wow, - no more korean windows - is this first post :)

Breaking News about George Takei! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897152)

Apparently he is a Mac User! [cnn.com]

I guess you just never really know some people.

It's a bluff (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897154)

Microsoft knows better than to offer a foothold to any kind of competition.

Since the whole point of their bundling was to prevent competitors access to markets, walking away from the market isn't exactly an effective counter is it?

Re:It's a bluff (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897213)

Just release a version with no North or South Korea, just one big People's Republic of Korea.

They'll take the hint.

Man, browsing Slashdot with lynx sucks. Taco, unban me please.

Re:It's a bluff (1)

LoaTao (826152) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897225)

I agree that it is a bluff. If MS withdraws from the S. Korean market they get: 1. Loss of revenue (not just from Windows but Office, etc.) 2. Increased opportunity for the competition 3. Probably more piracy in S. Korea with little incentive for the government to pursue the pirates. I personally see no up side for them.

Re:It's a bluff (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897327)

On top of that, it's not like the South Koreans can't get their friend hackers in China-Taiwan-HongKong to stream them the latest version of whatever OS they want.

The real uptake would be more games designed for linux since gaming is such a large market in SKorea. This would push manufacturers of gaming-grade pc equipment to better support Linux.

I hope Korea calls their bluff (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897156)

It would be nice if South Korea were to decide that they didn't need new versions of Windows enough to justify changing their laws.

That would be great! (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897158)

I can't think of anything that would get Cedega fixed up and ready for prime time faster.

Having fun with Mr. Ballmer (1, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897163)

I'm sure you could get Steve Ballmer to say a few more stupid comments:

http://www.axisofstevil.com/djballmerfresh.swf [axisofstevil.com]

Re:Having fun with Mr. Ballmer (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897333)

I'm sure you could get Steve Ballmer to say a few more stupid comments:

http://www.axisofstevil.com/djballmerfresh.swf [axisofstevil.com] Freaking hilarious --- and it runs under linux !

Best thing that could have happened (2, Insightful)

FunnyLookinHat (718270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897164)

This is the best thing that could have happened... the more stubborn and ridiculous microsoft acts, the more they will have to rely on how good their product is rather than monopolization... and with that, either windows will get better or linux will become more prevalent. Either way I'm happy

Benefit to Linux gaming (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897170)

Barring piracy, given the number of online gamers in South Korea, wouldn't this just encourage game developers to develop for other platforms?

If they had to develop for Linux because that was the only legally available platform that could run on their hardware with gaming support, then game companies would likely have the critical mass they'd need to start really building for Linux.

Even if they just wanted to continue developing for Windows, I'm sure a number of publishers would push a lot more support for Wine development, so as not to lose sales in South Korea.

It's always a bad threat when following through will cause the one threatening more harm than good.

Why Not! (3, Insightful)

andrelix (873009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897171)

I don't want to get flamed too hard here, but why not? I know M$ has done some predatory things in the past, but they also do a lot of good and get constantly bashed for it. In an open market why should M$ have to sell their goods in a Country that constantly hassles them? I say let them, this will allow the open source movement to see how well they can step up to the plate as well. Just my $0.02...

DOH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897320)

Do you really think they will or want to stop selling their crap in Korea?
Geez! Only a duhmerican can be naive like that...

Good strategy by Microsoft (5, Funny)

Monkey (16966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897173)

This is a clever strategy on the part of Microsoft. The Koreans will be brought to their knees when they realize they need Windows to play Starcraft.

Re:Good strategy by Microsoft (1)

demontechie (180612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897393)

No they don't. That's why god made Mac OS. :P

Nothing to see here.. (5, Insightful)

Pudusplat (574705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897184)

"If the KFTC enters an order requiring Microsoft to remove code or redesign Windows uniquely for the Korean market, it might be necessary to withdraw Windows from the Korean market or delay offering new versions in Korea,"


So, if I'm reading it right, Microsoft is saying that they will either not release a "special" version of windows for S. Korea, or that releases will be delayed (presumably to create the modifications required by their Anti-Trust regulations).

This seems perfectly reasonable. They're not even saying they will necessarily pull windows from the market, it might just take them longer to develop the "MS Vista - S. Korea Version" than it would to release the standard. Nothing to see here... more Microsoft non-news.

Plus, if S. Korea is saying "play nice" and they say "no" outright, this is still well within their rights, there is no mandate that they must release software for the masses (In fact, SlashThink directly opposes this). More power to S. Korea if they think they can actually pull that off...

Re:Nothing to see here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897317)

Yeah I don't get it.

On one hand, everyone here hates Microsoft and wants to see them crushed or destroyed. Then when Microsoft threatens to not release software, they get their panties in a wad.

These people really have no actual values, they just have emotions associated with Microsoft and Open Source/Linux.

It's like the flight attendants always say (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897191)

bye. buh bye. bye. bye. bye. buh bye. buh bye. bye. bye. buh bye.

This is Another Reason to Stop Using Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897196)

If my company depended on Microsoft software, and I saw Microsoft repeatedly threatening to withdraw that software (as they did here, and in Europe, and with MS Office for the Mac), then I would immediately start looking for alternatives, such as Linux, BSD, Solaris, or OS/X, along with applications such as OpenOffice, Firefox, and so on.

new business model? (4, Funny)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897197)

1) open mouth
2) insert shotgun ...
$$$ profit! $$$

Re:new business model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897392)

Do us all a favor? Lead the way.

Revoke their copyright? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897201)

Wouldn't South Korea just be able to say, "Very well then, your product no longer enjoys any copyright protection by our laws"?

Copyright is a privlidge governement extends to corperations, after all. It can be revoked. If the software is not available, what do they have to lose?

Re:Revoke their copyright? (2, Interesting)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897267)

Then Microsoft can file with the WTO. Korea is not playing by the rules of the WTO, so Microsoft is perfectly justified in picking up its marbles and going home.

As for all the Linux zealots proclaiming victory, that's just foolishness. There are corporations in Korea that require Microsoft to do their work. Migrating these places would cost millions, if not potentially billions. Think of all the issues. Training users, the actual migration, new support staff, in many cases new hardware. The corporations will never allow it.

Microsoft has not taken the high road, but neither has South Korea. But in this case, it sounds like MS has the advantage.

Re:Revoke their copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897310)

And for all you Windows zealots...

Life without Windows is perfectly possible. Many people and businesses do it everyday.

Re:Revoke their copyright? (1)

Fiver- (169605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897389)

"Microsoft has not taken the high road, but neither has South Korea."

Care to elaborate? The KFTC is asking them to unbundle certain software, not abandon the South Korean market.

OH NO!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897218)

ANYTHING BUT THAT!!!! Het Microsoft, can you pull out of here as well? Thanks!

Tsk tsk tsk (2, Funny)

SandMonkey (926467) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897222)

My my microsoft in hot water again... what a supprise! Microsoft has so much bad PR now that they may ass well just release "Windows Virus Edition" and just get it all over with!

Is this a threat? (1)

andrewbillits (882798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897231)

I would think a better threat would be to say that They (microsoft)plan on stepping up efforts to spead the use of windows in South Korea... I mean, how scary would that be?

S. Korea will pull ahead of the US in another way (0, Flamebait)

geekpuppySEA (724733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897239)

First they're ahead of the US on stem cell research because of the bloviating Christian Right (and our blowhard president who kowtows to them), and now if they give up the stranglehold of MS they'll be way ahead of the US on IT costs...

Good thing they make sucky movies!

Unpossible (1)

NicodemusPrime (836605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897241)

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer already lost their marbles.

Soup Nazi (1)

narsiman (67024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897242)

No outsourcing business for you. Next in line.

Marbles (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897245)

"Basically, Microsoft is threatening to take their marbles and go home if they don't get the ruling they want."

I hate to rain on the Microsoft bashing parade, but I think it's more like Korea saying: "We don't like your marbles, change them." And Microsoft saying:"Fuck you guys, I like my marbles the way they are, take them as is or I take them home."

Well then... (1)

mcsestretch (926118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897246)

"If you don't like the way we play then we'll take our toys and go home!" --Microsoft and every 8-year-old boy at least once.

So what? (2, Insightful)

Mullen (14656) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897251)

Okay, so what's wrong if Microsoft does not want to sell Windows to the Korean market? If I make a product, I don't have to sell it to you.

I think this is a great chance for Linux on the desktop to get a toe hold. All those complaining sound like the people who wish for something, then complain when they get it.

This is the fact: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897253)

It might be necessary for them not to release windows to Korea anymore because of some Korean court ruling, not because they want to. There's no threat/bluff/etc.

Woot! More MMORPG games for Linux ;-) (2, Interesting)

RunzWithScissors (567704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897256)

This would be excellent for us Linux users. The MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) industry sees Korea as a huge market. If they couldn't run their games on Windows, then the game companies would have to port their stuff to Linux to stay in the Korean market. I see this as a win-win all the way around.

-Runz

Let's work together... (0, Troll)

rjstegbauer (845926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897258)

...and see if we can get M$ to make good on the same threat in the USA and the rest of the world for that matter!!

Enjoy,
Randy.

A dash of reality, here (4, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897259)

Oh, please.

MS isn't going to pull out of South Korea. Everyone involved already knows that. The statement is just part of the usual grandstanding that always goes on with this sort of thing. They won't pull out because it's too large a market to just write off, and they don't want another country deciding to go with a competitor nationwide.

War (1)

Sweep The Leg (925950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897261)

All quiet on the Windows NT Parallel (maybe a reboot?). I guess if they cut their relationship with the South, they can finally make Microsoft Kim Jong, the sequel to the beloved M$ Bob.

It's probably just accurate (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897262)

Those are, in fact, things that the South Korean government could demand if they found Microsoft to be a monopoly, and filings are supposed to mention such risks that investors take. As unlikely as it may seem to us, if Microsoft is prohibited by the South Korean government from selling Windows, or required to make modifications to the software before they sell it, they might actually comply with the order.

Steve Ballmer quoted as saying... (1, Funny)

camusflage (65105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897263)

"I'm going to fucking kill [uncyclopedia.org] Korea. I'll fucking bury them. I've done it before, and I'll do it again."

Good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897270)

Good idea! Pulling Windows off of the shelves will definitely stop people from pirating it from other sources!

Pretend it's not Microsoft... (1)

capillary tube (861062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897277)

I know it's easy to assume evilness simply because it's Microsoft, but I don't see it in this case. If a market is potentially going to be hostile to your product in the near future, it's prudent to plan for an adjustment or elimination of your product's presence in that market; if you don't, you stand to overproduce and lose a lot of money. I'd be doing the same thing.

Isn't that their right? (4, Interesting)

MoNsTeR (4403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897290)

If I don't want to sell you something, by what moral principle could you compel me to do so anyway?

The "if you're gonna be a shitty customer, I'm gonna ban you from my store" play seems perfectly reaosnable to me.

The way I see it..... (5, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897299)

There are three possible explanations:

1. Microsoft doesn't make a lot of money in South Korea, so they don't care if they're there or not.

2. This is just a stunt better used by an 8 year old rather than a mult-billion dollar software company.

3. Microsoft is desperate to hold on to its domination of the planet earth. After all, when you control over 90% of the desktops on earth there's nowhere to go but down.

no need for wintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897322)

this will push the gaming market far enough along to where all games will be available for linux which will eliminate the need for everybody's wintendo which will turn into even less cash for ms.

Procrastination ahoy... (1)

enigma48 (143560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897323)

My thoughts on this:

Initially: If Google threatened to stop offering services for France/German users, they can get around those pesky censorship laws. I doubt people would be arguing there. In a millionth of a second, there'd be dozens of replies: it's not the same, killing someone and evading taxes are both 'crimes' but they aren't equal. Microsoft has been convicted and investgated for antitrust issues in multiple countries - I'm willing to go with "MS is bad".

That being said, MS still has the right to decide "You know what? Not worth it guys - see you when the next friendly government comes in." I have a feeling this would probably hurt MS more than SK though.

Without services in Windows (over a medium/long term), companies will switch to non-MS OSes and apps. South Korea is a fairly decent market with some industry heavyweights - if they switch, the companies that support them will have to offer non-MS support.

While MS could EASILY take the hit in profit, they seem to be deathly afraid of Linux/etc getting any sort of a hold. Anywhere. Thinking about moving an arm of goverment over to Linux? We'll give you a BIG discount this year. Now, it seems standard operating practice for many organizations to threaten a Linux shift to get better pricing.

So will MS leave SK? Not likely. The "we may leave the market" statement is a good scare tactic, but like another poster said, is normal to hear in the beginning. MS is just blowing smoke, like any other company. They'll probably tie the antitrust hearing/penalties up in courts for a while, devote resources into getting a better say in government, and wait till it possibly blows over.

Just giving up and saying "Hey linux, you deal with these guys - they don't like our rules" doesn't seem to happen all that often. Hope the SK government knows this and doesn't prematurely get scared.

Flawed assumption? (1)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897328)

Aren't they then assuming that people are actually paying for Windows in S. Korea. What good does it do you to withdraw your product from the market when everyone is just stealing it anyway?

Dude, that's like Matrix 101.

Bye Bye Microsoft (1)

3TimeLoser (853209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897337)

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out...

Finally they (M$) do something right... (2, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897343)

This is the correct response to not getting your way, at least in commerce. When the consumer doesn't like the product as it is and demands that it change before they buy it, the distributor or manufacturer has every right to say "fine, then we won't sell it to you."

S. Korea should invest heavily in Apple and then buy Apple PCs for desktops and use Linux for Servers... that will show Microsoft they aren't the only player on the block. They may have a lot of Marbles, but Apples are perttier and don't break as often when used.... Linux has great Smashers.... they're not pretty but they do the job really well.

As Microsoft packed up and left (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897345)

South Korea said, "that's ok, we'll just use Linux and WINE." Buh-zing Microsoft.

Good for South Korea. . . (1)

mazulauf (137196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897346)

Now, how do we get them to withdraw from the US market?

would be a nice experiment (1)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897364)

I don't think MS will really withdraw Windows from a whole country, but it would be a cool experiment if it did.
Imagine , a country where Windows isn't sold ( and persumably, there's some means to stop people from pirating it). What would they do?
Will they switch to Linux?
Buy Macs?
Have a mix of Operating Systems according to individual requirements?
Develop their own OS?

inquiring geek wants to know :)

Ambiguous (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897371)

You could construe MS's statement as a threat. Or, it could be simply a caveat to investors i.e. - we have legal concerns that may force us to remove our product from Korea or delay Windows Vista deployment. MS has a legal obligation to warn investers of concerns that they know about that could effect the bottom line, and hence the stock price. To do otherwise invites class action suits.

Why not Europe ? (1)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897372)

I always wondered why they didnt try this in Europe.

It would have been a HUGE hit to the EC to say, hey weve got a solution you dont get any MS products anymore PERIOD
While it may have been seen as a bluff , closing a few dozen MS office woulda scared the HELL out of the European Commision.

Right or Wrong there is NO WAY POSSIBLE the EC Could have explained it was doing good when no customer in Europe could upgrade, buy, etc. The people would have dissolved the damm comission.

Antitrust laws: bad for consumers (0, Troll)

Ancil (622971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897373)

Look out: here come hordes of Slashbots to explain why Apple can integrate IM and video [apple.com] into MacOS and it's good for consumers, but if Microsoft does the same thing, somehow it's bad for consumers.

Antitrust laws: if you can't get Socialism, they're the next-best thing.

Microsoft said the same thing back in 2000 (2, Interesting)

zero0w (572225) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897386)

When the Justice Department and other anti-trust parties asked Microsoft to separate IE from the OS, Microsoft said the same thing on withdrawing Windows 98/2000 running out there. Well, back then Desktop Linux wasn't ready to challenge it (remember, OpenOffice.org and Mozilla/Firefox didn't reach 1.0 until 2002).

Now, Microsoft wants to pull the same feat again; should Korean government back down? Hmm, tough call. But if I were to make IT procurement decision for Korean government, it should be a sign that they should NOT upgrade to Windows Vista and instead forming a task force to strengthen desktop Linux development. No government should be prey to a mega-corporation of this type of blackmail. They are already striving to support Firefox/W3C standard in all government websites [mozillazine.org] , maybe it's time to consider go further than that.

Whoopie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897388)

During my tour of S. Korea any store would rent me a extended evaluation copy for $5 (us funds). I am sure they where screwing me on the price but what are you going to do.
In S. Korea I found you can buy anything you want if you have the cash (twice the price if you are a foreigner).
Corruption is the norm.

Now all we need is... (2, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897396)

to make Microsoft withdraw from the rest of the world too...

It makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897401)

Think about it; if Korea gets its way and MS are forced to release a version specifically for them, other governments around the world can use it as a precedent to get the version of Windows from MS that they want. Over time, there's the big chance that it could totally fragment the Windows market for MS - goverments would determine how their products shipped in each country.

Now that's not really on. It isn't good for the consumer (we already have those stupid Windows XP N editions over here in Europe which serve no purpose), and could cause all sorts of weird problems if various bits and pieces are left out of different versions.

I'm also baffled as to how this has never affected Apple. Apple ships OSX with Quicktime, iTunes and iChat AV, and I don't see anyone forcing them to bundle/unbundle their product features. Sure, MS has abused its monopoly with Windows, but you can also argue quite fundamentally that Apple holds its monopoly over its own OS just as well, if not moreso than MS ever has. While it has never abused it, it would be interesting to see how Apple's 'it just works' mentality would function if components such as iLife were missing from OSX. Regardless of abuse of monopolies, unbundling features from any OS is ultimately not benefitting anyone.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>