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Microsoft Windows XP N Flops

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the bad-ideas-follow-bad-ideas dept.

Windows 277

ChocLinux writes "Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu Siemens have announced they have no plans to pre-install Windows XP N, the version of Windows without a bundled media player that Microsoft released to comply with the European Commission antitrust ruling. It is now almost six months since Microsoft released Windows XP N, and the fact that no-one wants to sell it suggests that this antitrust case may be going the way of the US one. Also, the article raises the question - now that RealNetworks has settled with Microsoft, will anyone bother to complain about this? Of course there's a chance that the EC might bring a new antitrust case against Microsoft, but how much more effective is that likely to be?"

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No wonder it failed. (5, Insightful)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069808)

Why didn't the European Union actually solve the problem, by forcing Microsoft to open up Windows Media Video? I think that would be fair instead of unbundling it like this. It does not solve anything, and people who get XP N, will end up installing WMP anyway.
Oh, and what about the 'real monopoly' in Windows? It is also known as Internet Explorer, and only God knows why EU did not do anything about that when they were at it.

Re:No wonder it failed. (4, Informative)

MathFox (686808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069831)

The EC verdict had several points:
1. A fine of ~500 Million Euro
2. Windows without media player
3. Making available documentation for interfaces.

Microsoft is appealing the verdict and dragging its feet with respect to point 3. We'll need to keep up the pressure on Microsoft, the EU and others to have Microsoft open its interfaces.

It is open (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069895)

VC-1 is the name given collectively to the WMV/WMA 9 codecs and it's an open, licensed standard just like MPEG-4 or MPEG-2. It's controlled by SMPTE, so MS can't modify the standard without their approval, and license fees are fixed (same thing as MPEG).

Also what's this IE monopoly you speak of? I'm using Firefox right now in Windows, works great. Windows seems to do nothing to stop it form working, and indeed will make it the default browser, if asked to.

Re:It is open (1)

islanduniverse (925110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069951)

I couldn't agree more with Sycraft-fu on this. I mean -- you aren't forced to use Windows Media Player, or Internet Explorer, or MS Office, or even Windows itself. OpenOffice v2.0 even goes some way to looking a bit like Office 2003 (but not enough that anyone could say they were copying it). If you don't like it, don't use it! Some people actually prefer using Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Microsoft Office etc.

Re:It is open (5, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070095)

you aren't forced to use Windows Media Player, or Internet Explorer, or MS Office,

You are if people supplying or selling the data or entertainment media you want to access only supply it in these proprietary (I include IE here, we all know lots of sites only work in IE) formats. You can use various codecs etc, but when it comes to DRM you have no legal alternative. So this is handing MS a monopoly on downloadable media because they can tell all the vendors they only need to supply in one locked format, paying Bill his tithe for every download. Trying to forestall this is what the whole case is about, not the players per se.

Re:It is open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070117)

You are if people supplying or selling the data or entertainment media you want to access only supply it in these proprietary (I include IE here, we all know lots of sites only work in IE) formats. You can use various codecs etc, but when it comes to DRM you have no legal alternative.

Why doesn't the EU do something about Apple, iTunes, and FairPlay/AAC ? That's where the real danger of DRM monopoly is these days.

They should require all media download services to offer a free alternative, such as Ogg Vorbis.

Re:It is open (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070055)

When I tried making Firefox the default browser on XP, I discovered that IE still got popped open for a lot of stuff (remember the fiasco with virus-ridden help files? Classic example). This was two years ago (have since Gone Linux) but XP never seemed too happy to completely give up Internet Explorer. Kinda like KDE apps always pop open !"£$% Konqueror.

Re:It is open (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070132)

This has NOTHING to do Windows. Instead of the programs you were using requesting the default browser, they just assumed you used IE and opened it.

Re:It is open (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070147)

It has something to do with Microsoft when said programs included their office suite. And I'm sure there were some elements of XP that stubbornly stuck with IE, but I can't remember which they were at the moment so don't quote me on that.

Re:It is open (1)

cyxxon (773198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070113)

Yeah, lots of stuff already works on Windows XP in this regard, but only because of the antitrust lawsuits. Microsoft would not have done it on its own. Plus: this is about not bundling a certain brand of Media Player because it will create a de facto monopoly in the media player business... What other media players does the average Joe jave installed? Maybe Real, if it came with some other stuff he wanted installed, and maybe Quicktime for a movie trailer or so. Additional codecs? Theora maybe? Nope. So, what are the big businesses to do who want you to be able to watch their stuff? Right, not put stuff up in Theora, but in .wmv (or Mpeg1). Great choice now. I know of a customer for an erotic website who revoked his payment because a site I worked on encoded its videos in DivX with a direct link to the installer next to the vids. He even told us that "using some weird shit" would not go well... Well, only this one quit because of this, but that is what it is about: users not knowing anything about what they do, and then bundling exactly one thing. If MS bundled all the codecs, it would be a whole different thing altogether (yeah, I know, Real wants you to use their own player, not just the codecs yadda yadda).

Re:It is open (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070121)

You need to pay attention. It's impossible to install Windows, and nearly impossible to get the Microsoft published updates for their terribly secure OS, without Internet Explorer. It's also nearly impossible to take Internet Explorer out. And any hardware vendor that tried to install Netscape or now Firefox as their default browser or even include it on the desktop as an alternate to Internet Explorer suddenly finds its OEM license prices raised, and threatened by lawsuit if they reveal the predatory pricing. MS got caught repeatedly doing this sort of stunt.

The same sort of monopoly predation just got revealed in court, if OEM vendors produced systems with the Real multi-media software installed instead of or even in addition to the Windows Media players. It's nasty, and it's illegal in most country's anti-monopoly or anti-trust laws. The difficulty is in getting Microsoft all the way through the courts: actually pressing suit against a company the size of Microsoft is no small feat. Unfortunately, judges like Judge White in the most recent US anti-trust case against them are far too willing to ignore blatant criminatlity, even revealed in their own court room, in the interests of "promoting competition".

I urge you to go investigate the courtroom dealings of companies like this over at http://www.groklaw.net./ [www.groklaw.net] The behavior is quite scary.

Re:It is open (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070135)

Firefox lacks spyware integration ;)

Re:No wonder it failed. (1)

spuk (86506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069942)

well, the great big argument was that people just used {ie,msn,wmp} because it was installed by default, no? so... victory for the people! ;]

Re:No wonder it failed. (1)

pstils (928424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069993)

i'm sure the majority of people will have used IE to get firefox. don't complain. if it wasn't there in the first place it'd be harder to replace it.

Re:No wonder it failed. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070144)

Nah, I just use command line ftp to download Firefox. It's kind of easy. Kind of feels nice to be able to install Firefox without ever touching IE.

Frost Pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069809)

Score: 0 (Logged-in users start at Score: 1). Create an Account! To confirm you're not a script,

Come on... (5, Insightful)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069816)

Who didn't see that coming like a mile away? Windows XP N is a hard sell to say the least. Not only does it cost exactly the same amount of money as regular Windows XP, you will probably also get more support calls from angry costumers who say something along the lines of "why isn't video working".

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069851)

Ehm, it wasn't meant to be shiped without a media player, but as a version that could be shiped with an other media player than the one from MS.

Rember, the complaints were brought by companies like Real.

That's a nice sentiment and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069933)

but my Laptop from Dell (Year and a half old) already CAME With RealPlayer, Dell's own Media Center like interface, and DVD Player software. The OEM's have always been free to bundle whatever media player software they want to with Windows.

Re:That's a nice sentiment and all... (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069973)

Exactly, the point of XP N is that it doesn't have Windows Media Player. That's it, that's why it adds no value to anyone at all, and proof that the anti-trust enforcement people in the EU are idiots.

Re:Come on... (4, Insightful)

n0d3 (708403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070075)

Exactly, it costs the same. And for geeks who want a sleek fast gaming only OS, they most likley use Prof and then nLite to strip everything including IE and MediaPlayer. If it where cheaper, then things would surely be different. OEMS would be more interested (saving 20 bux on the OS for example would allready be ok for them) especially since they can put mediaplayers back optionally. Since their versions usualyl come bundled with a whole bunch anyhow. Now, with the same price, what really is the point?

We did what they said but they still do as we say! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069823)

Wouldn't it be nice to believe that Microsoft hasn't asked the major leaguers not to support it?

(Or not as the case may be.)

Re:We did what they said but they still do as we s (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069924)

Wouldn't it be nice to believe that Microsoft hasn't asked the major leaguers not to support it?

Fails to convince me. They would if they so needed. But why would anyone with a sane mind buy something less for the same price of something more ?

This was software designed to satisfy bureaucracy (4, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069830)

... and it flopped. *Big* surprise.

Some fun facts (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069832)

/. chose to ignore:
MS having to offer a version of XP without the media player preinstalled isn't the only outcome of the antitrust case and certainly isn't the most important part, yet /. for the sake of starting a flamewar of course didn't mention anything else.

First off, people should be aware that MS was also fined 500 million euros, quite a lot of money, wouldn't you agree.

Second, and probably most important, the EU found that MS is on pupose hindering interoperability between its products and third party products. In essence, they use their monopoly on the desktop, to also sell server software. To counter this MS now has to disclose technical information to its competitors to enable them to compete on an equal footing.
Now of course MS is trying to give out as little information as possible, but they don't seem to get by with this tactic, which is of course a good thing.

Third, about the media player. I don't think it's that important if companies actually sell the version without the media player, what is important is the fact that it is now clear that bundling more and more desktop apps in order to utilize a monopoly in one area to get market share in an other one is a no-no.

Re:Some fun facts (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069874)

First off, people should be aware that MS was also fined 500 million euros, quite a lot of money, wouldn't you agree.


To you, me and the vast majority of people, yes, it's a lot of money. But to Microsoft it isn't.

what is important is the fact that it is now clear that bundling more and more desktop apps in order to utilize a monopoly in one area to get market share in an other one is a no-no.


And this will do what, exactly? Make them misbehave some other way? Dodge around this particular method of sliminess and right on into some other method?

Microsoft knows, and has always been able to see, what is "right" and what isn't. But like all large commercial enterprises they don't give a flying fuck about right and wrong.

Get caught with your hand in the jar: your hand gets slapped, you pay a relatively minor price, and get to keep the VAST FUCKING FORTUNE YOU GRABBED DOING IT.

Lots of incentive to change their ways, huh?

"Flamebait"? Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069948)

So Steve Ballmer not only has a Slashdot login, he also has mod points!

Re:"Flamebait"? Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069970)

Or maybe some people are getting sick of the continious Microsoft bashing

microsoft bashing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070097)

microsoft bashing? are you serious? THEY WERE FINED HALF A BILLION EUROS (~1 BILLION DOLLARS) by a government that can see through MS's bullshit. this isn't some arbitrary "ms is evil" /. thread, MS was found *guilty* and has to pay half a billion euros, sell xp without wmp, and open up its interfaces.

Re:Some fun facts (2, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070181)

Microsoft knows, and has always been able to see, what is "right" and what isn't. But like all large commercial enterprises they don't give a flying fuck about right and wrong.

Actually corporations are ment to place profit above all else. If the aditional profits likely to result from breaking a law are likely to be greater than the likely losses from fines and lawsuits then they could argue an "obligation" to break the law. Even to treat fines as a "cost of doing business". Note also that lawsuits against a large corporation have little to no effect on their business. Simply the cost of paying some lawyers, not something which will disrupt a business. Whereas for an individual (or a small business) a civil case (as either plaintiff or defendent) may easily mean lost wages or having to shut down a business. Being accused of a criminal matter almost certainly will be disruptive to a person's life.

Re:Some fun facts (2, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070148)

First off, people should be aware that MS was also fined 500 million euros,

The problem with fining a monopoly is that they can simply pass the costs onto their customers. Unless the fine is large enough to cause Microsoft immediate cash flow problems they are likely to laugh it off.

barn door, horse... (4, Insightful)

chub_mackerel (911522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069833)

I suppose there would be no appreciable mass market for a version of windows without IE either.

It would be nice if one these courts acted with clue and actually addressed the problem and not the symptom. Can you imagine if the AT&T ruling had been "offer phone service without long distance"? Instead, a court with balls actually broke up the old company and prevented the "parent" from competing in the market they had abused.

Yes, I know that's a gloss/simplification, but the point is that structural wrongs require structural remedies.

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069859)

a court with balls actually broke up the old company

Do you expect the EC to demand that Microsoft split itelf into smaller companies within Europe?

Since this is an American company the best they can hope to do is annoy them and hope GWB doesn't retaliate by (say) increasing the import tarif on some european product.

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069971)

Of course, if you look what happened to ATT, the breakup served to enormously increase the scope of the markets the new fragments of the company were in. They quickly grew to be as big as the original, and have since started merging back together into a company that will dominate far more of the industries.

Breaking up a monopoly doesn't have the effect a lot of people seem to think -- it briefly opens up the market to greater competition, but a company that is in a monopoly position, unless granted it by the government, didn't get there through purely illegal means. Its pieces represent just as great a competitor in the marketplace, and the odds are pretty good they will, as a collective, still dominate their industry.

Splitting up Microsoft would be no better. It would be huge for shareholders, as the ties that bind versions of applications and operating systems may weaken, more pressure would be on the pieces to be competitive, and instead of one company dominating the industry, there would be two or three.

The two big things that people tend to shout "monopoly" at MS about are the media player and browser -- and it seems people just forget how lousy real players application was, and how much better for web users and developers IE was when it put the nail in NS's coffin. There is a reason so many sites were IE-only in the mid to late 90's -- and it wasn't because of bundling.

MS, for good or bad (and there are those who fall on the good side), is a dangerous beast to mess with caselessly. Forcing them to release crippled versions of thier software, as this demonstrates, won't work -- consumers do not want it. Good or bad, consumers LIKE what Microsoft offers. THAT is why they are in their position of power. And a corporate breakup has the very high odds of making things FAR worse.

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069982)

Not to mention that IE/WMP are tied into Microsoft Update, along with Windows and Office. Yes, a few other companies offer automatic updating of everything (And OS X does the same with all Apple applications), but the fact that by default all the bundled apps are kept up to date without big dialogs going "New version! Update now!" is handy for stopping those bloody family members complaining.

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070080)

Consumers do not like what Microsoft offer they buy it because there is no realistic alternative.

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

Reemi (142518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070038)


In my opinion, they acted with a clue. Forcing MS not stop bundeling the Media Player would have caused lots of confusing with the general public.

The current approach might be much better. It might not hurt MS at the moment, but I'm wondering if they can bring out Vista in Europe with a media player bundled. If this is not allowed and the still do, then the EU will strike much harder (I'd expect)

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

rathehun (818491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070060)

I suppose there would be no appreciable mass market for a version of windows without IE either.

I'd buy it

As long as the functionality (Help, Windows Explorer, etc) worked as well, I could deal with IE not being there.

Re:barn door, horse... (1)

Kippesoep (712796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070176)

Without Internet Explorer, how would the average user get Firefox on his machine? It'd have to be distributed to them on CD. Don't AOL create enough coasters already? People might actually have to use them! We can't have that!

Problem of lazy users. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069836)

The real problem is the legions of lazy users that don't bother downloading alternative software. Everyone I know (even my parents, that are far from tech-savvy) are fully aware that there are alternatives out there. They just don't bother anyway. Should we really ship a completely stripped skeleton of an operating system? That's the alternative to bundling software with an OS. /lars

Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (4, Insightful)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069847)

Also, the article raises the question - now that RealNetworks has settled with Microsoft, will anyone bother to complain about this?

Complain about what?? Is Microsoft to be blamed for companies refusing the carry Windows XP-N? Sometimes I wonder why submissions are worded just to make it through the Slashdot Editors.

I have also wondered why a company should be penalized for including a web-browser and a multimedia player. Every modern OS has one built in. But then, it could be just my biased viewpoint.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069866)

They could complain to Dell, HP et al. and not necessarily Microsoft themselves since as you say, they don't really have much to do with this.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (4, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069880)

> Every modern OS has one built in.

That's not true.

Mac & Windows have them built in, but they are a minority.

Which, pray, is the built in Web Browser for OpenBSD 3.8 ?

How about Solaris 10 ?

What Media Player does FreeBSD ship with ?

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069913)

Which, pray, is the built in Web Browser for OpenBSD 3.8 ?

Alas, the best intention does not get you through here. There is one - hmm, oops, one that can't be removed, even, easily removed at least ;) - lynx.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069954)

oh yeah, i forgot about that. You have to install it in FreeBSD.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069979)

I can remove all of Safari and my Macs keep working just fine. To do the same with IE is difficult, if not impossible.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (5, Informative)

macpeep (36699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069988)

Incorrect.

The situations is exactly identical on Mac and on Windows. On Mac OS X, the web browser (HTML redering) functionality is WebKit and Safari is just a thin GUI shell around it. In the same way, IE is just a thin GUI shell around the web browser (HTML rendering) functionality embedded into the OS.

If you remove the IE shell, nothing will break in Windows. However, if you remove the HTML rendering capability lots of things will break. In the same way, if you remove Safari nothing will break in OS X but if you remove WebKit, tons of things will break. There's a HUGE amount of applications that rely on WebKit!!

Of course Slashdot readers often overlook this fact because they think it's cool to bitch about Microsoft.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069999)

I really didn't know that, thanks! So my comment is nonsense.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

endy64 (891510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070094)

Apple doesn't have a monopoly on desktop operating systems and Microsoft does. This is an important difference because Microsoft use their desktop operating system monopoly to create another monopoly for themselves in other markets by bundling IE / WMP and making sure you can't remove them.

What is needed is a modular operating system where you can pick and choose whatever you like so you can make it as bloated or as streamlined as you need while still retaining all the functionality. That's why I run Linux.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070171)

Well, the whole bitchin n whining is because almost 90% of computers on the net have access to IE's HTML rendering functunality through IE by default. This lets web designers write their stuff for IE with a safe chance they won't loose alot of customers. Unproffesional? Sure. But so are some deadlines. Same thing with wmv: 90% have it, it's fairly good, so alot of sites use it by default. Isn't it funny MS doesn't bundle much of any other codecs? If there were a DivX codec bundeled with media player, chances are most sites would go with that standard so they can reach a wider audience.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069912)

Yah! I agree! Every modern OS has a built in browser.


I say we sue the Linux companies and make them bundle IE with every install!


Yah! Why should we be limited to just firefox, mozilla, lynx, and konquor. Those other browsers have monopoly on the linux platform.


And while we're at it, let's pre-package WMP. We don't need vlc, mplayer, totem, play, display, etc...


A load of BS if you ask me. Bundle IE with linux - Linus!


:D

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (2, Informative)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069931)

What Microsoft should be penalized for with regards to the browser is that, historically, they wouldn't let any other browser be available as an icon on the desktop on a new system. They wouldn't let *anything* appear on the desktop except regular Windows icons. Breaking that agreement would cost a PC manufacturer their cheap Windows licensing deal.

OK, so that's understandable from a support perspective. The Microsoft support desk wouldn't want to deal with any random crap loaded up by the manufacturer, particularly if some of that random crap made the system unstable.

That doesn't make it right, though.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070111)

OK, so that's understandable from a support perspective. The Microsoft support desk wouldn't want to deal with any random crap loaded up by the manufacturer,

Thye wouldn't anyway. OEM installs are supported by the OEM, not MS. You used to get whole Dell desktops on top of Win 3.1, for instance. Usually end up turning most of it off.

Re:Huh! and is MS to be blamed for that?? (1)

S. Ballmer (931150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069974)

Say it like it is son. You will be greatly rewarded as usual...

-S.B.

Well I got my copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069858)

Managed to get a copy off of MSDN but have yet to install it on ANY machines,

Unfortunatly... (2, Funny)

Chr0me (180627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069871)

This just makes an easy out for Microsoft in the future. Now they have the excuse that their partners will not sell equipment without the bundled software (IE, WMP, etc.).

The only possible upside is that this could lead to a stronger argument for allowing the user to actually choose their own OS instead of just between the Home and Pro version of Windows.

What am I thinking? Then the manufacturers would actually have to hire tech support staff to help with more than just Windows. Yeah, that's gonna happen.

Capitalism (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069876)

One small step of Europe towards capitalism one giant flame war for /.

Funny how... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069894)

...when Apple bundle their internet browser (Safari) with Mac OS X no-one threatens an anti-trust case, but when Microsoft bundle their internet browser (IE) with Windows, everyone's up in arms...

Re:Funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069909)

For an action to be an abuse of a monopoly position, you first need a monopoly.

Re:Funny how... (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069937)

> For an action to be an abuse of a monopoly position, you first need a monopoly

Apple does have a monopoly on hardware and operating systems (<1% of Mac users run non-Apple OSes) for Macintosh computers.

Re:Funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069969)

So your saying that 100% of the people who bought a mac have a mac. I'm not sure that's the sort of monopoly we're talking about here.

Re:Funny how... (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069987)

No, I'm saying anyone who chooses to use a Mac has a choice of exactly one supplier - Apple. The GP said Apple did not have a monopoly, I'm pointing out that it does have a very real monopoly, just not one lawyers would get excited about (yet).

Re:Funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069998)

Fine. If you want unnecessary precision in your talking, it doesn't have a browser-relevant monopoly.

Re:Funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070066)

...and I'm saying that my mocking stands.

Anyone who wants to buy a computer has a mac as one of their choices. They have a horrible tendency to lock their hardware, software and anything else they can get their hands on together. If they were the size of MS that kind of behaviour would bring them into the courts, but they don't have a monopoly because the don't have a big market share. I don't consider 'mac' to be a market in which one can have a share.

blah blah blah. I expect my position is clear by this point, take it or leave it.

Re:Funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070172)

Everyone who chooses to drink a Budweiser has the choice of exactly one supplier.
Everyone who chooses to drive a Ford Galaxy has the choice of exactly one supplier.

Are you really that dense? I'm not even an Apple fanboy and I can't believe you're really that stupid!

Re:Funny how... (3, Funny)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070185)

Well yes but someone who wants to drive a Renault has only one supplier, Renault. Yes you can buy cars from other companies but if you want a Renault then Renault seem to have the monopoly on that.

the customers need to... (0)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069878)

vote with their wallets, if they are unsatisfied with microsoft's product just quit buying it & switch to a viable alternative = GNU/Linux --works-for-me, i dont even have Windows installed on any of the four computers on my LAN, 2 have Slackware & KDE and 2 have Ubuntu & Gnome, i even took all my Windows CDs (Win98&2k & Office97/2k) packed em in a shoebox and put em up in the attic...

once enough people do what i did microsoft will get the picture...

Re:the customers need to... (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069919)

i even took all my Windows CDs (Win98&2k & Office97/2k) packed em in a shoebox and put em up in the attic...

For whom, the hell, in the attic - and not where they belong (trash ??)

Re:the customers need to... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070012)

"For whom, the hell, in the attic"
for what, the hell, kind of grammar is this?

Re:the customers need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069930)

Same here. All my PCs are windows free years now. There are little to no problems in interoperability with locked-in people. But then again I as an average-user do not use any windows-only-no-alternative apps so I'm fine. On the other hand, I'm glad MS owns a big percentage of users. People who don't use linux can take the full blow of microsoft's greed while the rest of us enjoy the free world. Never use linux for all I care... Suckaaaazzzzzz!

Restrictions don't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069885)

Clearly, forcing a company todo/not todo something to increase competion isn't going to work. Ever. Especially since Operating System integration is *good* thing. It's a better user experience to have software as seamless features of Operating system rather than independent applications.

So we have customers who don't want the less-integrated version and a vendor who doesn't do a honest effort marketing the less-integrated version. And bureacrats are suprised? shees..

The only proper way to deal with monopolies is to split them. Everything else is just bullshit.

If there where a "Microsoft 1" and "Microsoft 2", both with rights to sell current windows versions, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu Siemens would actually have vendors to choose from. And there could be real honest effort to compete and differentiate..

Wrong target (2, Interesting)

oliderid (710055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069889)

They should attack contracts between Microsoft and manufacturors. All these contracts binding the PC maker to Microsoft OS should be banned.

Then let the market decides which is the best OS. If it is still windows so be it. It simply means that the competitors aren't smarter than the competition from the 80's. When you have a competitive platform crippled with some many security flaws and PC maker free from any exclusivity, it must do the trick otherwise they are simply really bad at business.

Nobody knows how the PC market will involve technically in the upcoming years. But I guess that all OS should have a decent suite of multimedia softwares so clearly it is Microsoft's right to propose one.

For the little story:
I know that the EU commission has an open source plan internally (force subcontractors to code only under an open source license, etc.). It has been discussed for years (first time I've seen it, it was in 2000). It hasn't been implemented yet and worst it isn't part of their call of tenders requirements for web based applications on their Intranet/extranet.

Olivier

Better way ! (1)

burni (930725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069904)

force MS to only sell WinXP-N on the european market,
this would help third party devellopers a bit too.

but what they will rule when ReactOS XP is released ;)

Tax application (application) (2, Informative)

owlstead (636356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069908)

If Microsoft is such a monopoly, why does my (NL) government only provide for a Windows application to fill in my tax forms? 2 years down the lane and they are finally building an Apple version as well. Why have I (and the company I work for) received many documents that can only be viewed by Microsoft software. Thank god most information folders are formatted using Adobe. To get back to the Media Player issue; you would have to install it anyway, since almost all the broadcasts of the (public) TV network are either Real or MS formatted, and Real is not a real option.

Re:Tax application (application) (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070011)

Actually, there are those out there who use something other than Mac/Windows -- and they'd probably need an openly sourced application in order to get anything to work.

Just providing an Apple/MS version is like having protestant/Catholic on a government form, but not Hindu, Satanist, Islam, animist, Buddhist, Ismaili -- due to the difficulty of enumerating what religion a person might claim, you have to provide an "other", otherwise the "other" folks will be peeved.

I didn't even know there was one (2, Interesting)

borud (127730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069911)

I would certainly choose it if I were to buy an XP licence since I really do not want the Windows Media Player. Why? Well, because it just isn't any good. It is a sluggish resource hog and where I run Windows it has been replaced by alternatives that are much faster and less prone to crash.

Re:I didn't even know there was one (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069941)

You may not want the Windows Media Player, which is understandable and fair enough, but you'll still want to see all those funny wmv videos people keep emailing you, so you'll still need the codecs. So you might as well take the normal version of windows, ignore the Windows Media Player and install whatever you want to use instead. Remember, you are not forced to use it just because it's on your hard disk!

Re:I didn't even know there was one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069990)

"you'll still want to see all those funny wmv videos people keep emailing you" No I wouldn't. If *anyone* emails anything like that, I fucking yell at them. I got one from my co-worker a few weeks ago *in my work email* and said to her face "Don't fucking send me spam."

Re:I didn't even know there was one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070037)

Oh. So you're a dick.

Re:I didn't even know there was one (1)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070128)

isnt 90% of the ./ crowd now?

Re:I didn't even know there was one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069943)

just because it is there doesn't mean you have to use it. What you in your ignorance fail to realise is that media player also supplies the "plumbing" that allows many other 3rd party apps to play video and sound. so by do without the media player you actually lose a lot of extra functionality.

What player do you use? (2, Informative)

poptones (653660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070056)

Unless you are using mplayer or Real that third party player you installed is probably a wrapper around the windows media framework, Want to use Premiere? You're going to need WM. Want to use Zoom player? It's wrapped around DirectShow - no Windows Media player, no directshow. No directshow most third party players won't work nor will many games.

Re:I didn't even know there was one (1, Flamebait)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070164)

...So don't use it if you don't like it.

Wow, delete the fucking icon. Stop being a karma whore.

Small fines = big profits (4, Insightful)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069914)

Do the arithmetic. A fine of 500 million euros sounds a lot, but it is a small price to pay when you are making $12 billion in net profits per year and can drag out a case for a good three years meanwhile doing exactly what you want to. Besides, when you make allowances for investment income and inflation, that 500 million shrinks to a smaller figure.

The really important point is #3, interoperability with other platforms. Naturally MS are holding out on this one too. It's likely to become even more important if webservices take off because with their OS Microsoft can act as a choke point between every provider and every end-user.

Microsoft are acting in a predictable way. They are a monolopy, and the way to continue with your monopoly rents is to fight every case with every method available right on until the bitter end. Do the arithmetic. It's a no-brainer. Only jail-time and billions in fines would make a difference.

Re:Small fines = big profits (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069927)

You must be kidding, losing 4% of ones profit is not fun for a company.

Re:Small fines = big profits (1)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069972)

Look at it this way: the cost of preserving monoply profits is 4% of those monopoly profits. Meanwhile you continue to run your monopoly the way you want and, hey, if the lawyers strike lucky you may pay less or nothing at all. It is hardly a heavy penalty considering the benefits. Even if you add up all the fines and settlements Microsoft has had to make, they still leave the company with its monopoly completely intact. Compare them to the financial benefits which have accrued to the company over the past ten years and which are likely to accrue in the next ten years. Nice money if you can get it.

XP "Home" N (1)

fearlezz (594718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069928)

That's not really a surprise. For home-users, having media player is almost a requirement. A media-player-less windows would be much more suitable in a business environment. But unfortunately, XP N is based on XP Home, which is not usable in a corporate network. Besides, both the XP and XP N versions costing exactly the same makes XP N less interesting. The only ones who would be happy with people paying the same for less, would be Real etc.

It's all about the price (2, Insightful)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069946)

Had they dropped the N version price even a few euros below the 'normal' OEM, it would've been a surefire hit. Nobody wants to pay for medial player.

But since there was no price difference, this thing was DOA. Everyone knew it the moment it was announced.

Make it optional (3, Insightful)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069963)

Why not just make it an optional part of the Windows installation process? Or for pre-built machines, allow the user to optionally install it when they first set up windows.

Does this mean that... (2, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069966)

We will see version 2 of Steve's monkeydance [ntk.net] soon?

Off-topic: Raises the question - THANK YOU! (-1, Offtopic)

Animaether (411575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069968)

Thank you, ChocLinux, for not using "Begs the question" where it is has no place

Was never supposed to be anything else ! (0)

udippel (562132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069975)

Come on, people. Don't pretend stupidity.
Nobody ever expected the consumers in Europe to yell for "Windows without Media Player" ! Neither did the commission. They rather took an unworldly bureaucratic way out: Forcing RedMond to *offer* XP without.
Of course, chances are that this will backfire.
But they didn't have the balls to do better; alas.

Personally, I think this is a show at the side. The crucial aspect is, if the EU can force Microsoft to lay the protocols open, for free.
*That* would get us into competition. Just compare phone, electricity.
Imagine, AT&T had had a phone only talking to another AT&T phone. Your power supply only working with ... Tenaga, in my case. Respectively your utility company. Ridiculous; of course. Now apply this to computing. Fortunately, TCP/IP is not proprietary to Microsoft; as everyone will agree.
But now apply this to other protocols: MAPI-Exchange. When your Siemens works and talks to AT&T, why does Microsoft not need to open all their APIs to make Sylpheed talk to the Exchange server just as well ? OpenBSD to AD (if Theo so desires, of course) ?
The current state is not a monopoly, it is quite something more. It is non-interoperability on purpose.
Don't tell me that's wrong. It isn't. I am sitting on a monopoly ISP, Streamyx. There is no alternative. (But to *not* connect.) Though, my monopoly ISP permits me to connect to the Internet, which is something. Otherwise I couldn't write this comment to be seen by you.
Whereas Microsoft tries to render their formats non-interoperable. Some Word document doesn't show properly on my screen. That's nothing to do with a monopoly. A monopoly would be that I can't buy anything but Microsoft in a place. Bush might want to like to decide so.

Am I the only one (3)

Kj0n (245572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070013)

who thought of megacomputers when he read the subject?

Come on: when you read "N Flops", it is about floating point arithmetic, right?

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070033)

who thought of megacomputers when he read the subject?

Come on: when you read "N Flops", it is about floating point arithmetic, right?


And when you read "Microsoft Windows XP", it has nothing to do with super computers, right?

Speaking as a mac user, it pains me to say this. (1)

rdoger6424 (879843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070030)

Wouldn't we come under fire for having iLife with iTunes, and Quicktime bundled on our OS?

Re:Speaking as a mac user, it pains me to say this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070118)

There is a huge difference: You can just drag those to the trash can and they're gone. I'm not sure of this, but I'll bet WMP is bundled just as much as IE is (I haven't *used* used Windows for a very long time... every once and I while I have to at school, though >:( )

Re:Speaking as a mac user, it pains me to say this (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070159)

Actually I'd say Apple should come under fire for locking users into MacOS. I bought a computer not an OS. I want to run whatever I want on my Mac.

Installing things like "yaboot" on a MacMini can be really dangerous. Following the instructions to the T I ended up with a MacMini that I couldn't boot, boot from CD, etc [the lack of a BIOS is really annoying btw]. Fortunately I bought the thing at Best Buy and they allowed me to return a "non booting box" :-)

Point is, Apple is just as guilty as say Dell for forcing users to use one particular OS.

I bought a ***COMPUTER*** not a MacOS box.

Tom

Retail Pricing =/= Major OEM's Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14070104)

Although the retail price of XP N and the standard XP may be identical to you and me, it could be possible that Microsoft are offering the standard XP at a lower price than XP N to the major OEM's, in order to keep people using Media Player...?

Um? (0)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070151)

Why not go after these Dell, Lenovo, etc for only selling wintel machines?

I want a laptop but I don't want to be told what processor or OS I should run. Shouldn't I be able to determine that?

So if the distributors don't want to embrace openness the solution isn't to excuse Microsofts evil deeds, it's to continue punishing those that would abuse their position in the market to continue a train of vendor lockin.

One day laptop parts will be like desktop parts, e.g. go to the store and get a standard 15" laptop "Shell", snap on a standard 15" LCD, put in a motherboard of your choosing, etc... One day. Sadly nowhere in the near future... But when that happens I'll be uber happy.

Tom

Re:Um? (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070184)

"I want a laptop but I don't want to be told what processor or OS I should run. Shouldn't I be able to determine that?"

Yep. I get ya. mobile AMD64 with a current(ish) Nvidia gfx chipset right?

That seems to be the impossible combination this year.

Last year Compaq/hp had them (non mobile 64 though)

Keep looking. Maybe next year.

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