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EU Regulators Open New Microsoft Investigations

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the same-thing-over-and-over dept.

Businesses 64

The New York Times is reporting on two new investigations into Microsoft business practices opened by EU antitrust regulators. The new cases center on the company's positioning of Office and Internet Explorer, and were apparently partially prompted by Microsoft's earlier heel-dragging. "'It would have been preferable if these issues could have been resolved amicably with Microsoft,' said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes. 'But that has not proved to be the case. Therefore we have opened these formal investigations. That does not prove there is a violation. We will only be able to come to a conclusion after investigations.' The legal battle that ended last year involved the bundling of a media player with Windows and the availability of information required to make rival software operate smoothly with Microsoft products. In September, the Court of First Instance, Europe's highest after the European Court of Justice, endorsed the commission's 2004 decision to impose record fines on Microsoft."

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DUPE (1)

__NR_kill (1018116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055204)

already discussed here: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/14/1719237 [slashdot.org]

Re:DUPE (1)

XiX36 (715429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055438)

Slashdot, news for nerds...with Alzheimer's!

Re:DUPE (1)

Pizentios (772582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055698)

yeah, we need somebody that can tag these things as a dupe.

Re:DUPE (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056290)

the dupe tag doesn't appear, but it supposedly lets them know it's a duplicate (for whatever that does).

EU opens investigations into Slashdot Dupes (1)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056242)

The EU Department of Redundancy Department is getting tired of reading the same stories 2 or even 3 times.

News at 11:11.

Re:EU opens investigations into Slashdot Dupes (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056418)

The EU Department of European Redundancy Department is getting tired of rereading the same stories 2 or even 3 times over and over again to the point of exhaustion.
There. Fixed it for you.
Why do I get the feeling I am about to get modded redundant?

Re:DUPE (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056848)

Didn't you see? It's from the same-thing-over-and-over dept.

No, not DUPE exactly.... (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22060690)

The link you posted was to a similar story in the "YRO" section.

It was posted at a date/time design to best suit europeans. This story was posted at a date/time better suited to american geeks after work in the "Politics" section.

It was so done to keep most people happy and docile while the hardcore slashdotters who sit there hitting "refresh" around the clock could grow incensed.

Then people in Oceania and Asia could sit back and have a good belly laugh at all the typically paranoid american comments on the YRO story about how this is all just a political move by an EU who is trying to destroy US business and then sit back and wait for the comedic pragmatism of europeans complaining that the story has been posted to the "Politics" and has a USA flag on the banner when it is clearly a legitimate legal issue.

Looks like it worked a treat!

To say it with Frank Sinatra: (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055414)

Dupy dupy dupe...

The only way to fight bundling... (3, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055418)

Bundling software has been the source of the EU's complaints against MS. The only way to fight bundling is to inform the consumer that they have choices. Until the average consumer understands that there are other programs outside the suite that Microsoft offers, there will be no real competition. Power users are not in the majority. The people that know what vlc, foobar, opera, etc. are are not in the majority. Firefox has proven that is possible to break out and actually compete with MS products, but they had to establish name recognition with consumers. The standard windows package with WMP and IE will cotntinue to strangle the market until people become vaguely familiar with the fact that their are options. It wouldn't hurt for people understand open source support and how it contrasts with closed source support, but that's probably an unattainable dream. However, Firefox has proven that when the stars align, there is a market for non-MS products.

Education is, as always, the great equalizer. It's the only thing that can make a market actually work.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055642)

funny thought just occurred to me: Religion used to come all bundled together in a single package in the form of the Roman Catholic Church. Now we have the King James version of the bible, and also the Church of England as a result of the un-bundling process. Sometimes you need force to ensure that the un-bundling happens! Perhaps it's not good to mention MS and religion in the same paragraph, but I think the analogy is good here. When there is only one official version of the declared legitimate bible, it takes serious effort to show that another version is just as good, or even easier to use etc.

In fact, there was more than one Monarch that was a bit upset to see their countries liquid cash assets going to the ruler of another country. In the EU, there might be more than one reason to not like MS.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056546)

Religion used to come all bundled together in a single package in the form of the Roman Catholic Church. Now we have the King James version of the bible, and also the Church of England as a result of the un-bundling process. Sometimes you need force to ensure that the un-bundling happens!

The Church of England was uncoupled from Rome. But burnt its own Dissenters.

And in 2008 which would you say was the healthier institution, the more influential world-wide?

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (2, Funny)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055892)

is to call it "snuggling."

The user makes the choice (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056300)

Power users are not in the majority.

That says it all, doesn't it?

If you are not a Geek you expect functionality out of the box - and all the better if the bundled apps look native to the system.

If you are not a Geek you have no interest in the bare bones of the OS.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

_Virror_Van (1219738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056304)

"Education is, as always, the great equalizer. It's the only thing that can make a market actually work." pure F%&knig GOLD!!! well said with excelent insight and objectivism. things that are all too much of a rarity these days. i wish everyone would think the way you do.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

Osurak (1013927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056448)

I don't understand how bundling IE into Windows is an issue. Without it, how would normal users get to the Opera website to download what the EU apparently feels is a superior product?

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (2, Informative)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056706)

The OEM can put EXEs of whatever browsers they want on the desktop. Or at the very least they can install the browser that they want to without asking MS.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (2, Informative)

bmartin (1181965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059146)

If I had to guess, I'd say that MS probably offers incentives to companies to *not* have them install another browser or media player, or it might be in their OEM/vendor agreement (which would be a pretty clear exploit of monopoly, IMHO). Otherwise, we surely would have seen another browser installed by default by now.

I've never seen a Windows-based computer come with more a non-MS browser or non-MS media player... unless you count preinstalled AOL.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059666)

OEM/vendor agreement
That's exactly what I understand it to be. Also, I believe this caused some problems with Dell a long time ago when they tried to ship Firefox on their PCs so that they could tout their machines as more secure. MS shut that down fast.

If Opera was bundled, what would change? Nothing. (1)

Osurak (1013927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056752)

As a corollary, what does Opera expect? That IE is no longer distributed with Windows and instead Opera is? How does that improve the situation at all? Distributing Opera with the OS would just be trading one for the other; the same issues would still exist.

If we assume that IE's market share is largest because it's distributed with the OS, then the conclusion is that Opera is just looking to enlarge its own piece of the pie. It's not anyone's (no, not even Microsoft's) fault that random users don't care about which browser they use.

Re:If Opera was bundled, what would change? Nothin (1)

el americano (799629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22061654)

It's not anyone's fault that random users don't care about which browser they use.

That's the typical case: users will use what's most convenient. Microsoft can dictate that IE is most convenient. So there's your problem.

Let any company make deals with OEMs to be the default browser, or in the absence of any deal, let the OEMs choose without pressure from MS what's best for their business.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

Imro Dawson (1195405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066596)

Start -> Run...
cmd
ftp ftp.opera.com
anonymous
email
cd pub/opera/win/925/int
get Opera_9.25_International_Setup.exe

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056660)

Basically, the European union seems to be trying to defend the manufacturer of various products / features over the consumer. When forced to, Microsoft shipped a version of Windows with no media player. Nobody bought it (This was no surprise to anybody). It is trivial to install other media players or browsers on Windows. Indeed, you can also set your prefered search engine in IE to Google, Yahoo, etc. Opera makes a nice browser. It is efficient and capable, but Opera has failed at marketing. Even in the highly anti-Microsoft community in the EU, they still have insignificant market share. This is not Microsoft's fault.

The argument that Microsoft's inclusion of functionality with Windows discourages third parties from making such functionality implies a far different view of OS and applications that is present in the market. Should Apple be banned from shipping their browser? What about their included applications? What about KDE or Gnome? They are add-ons above the basic OS functionality. What about OS utilities for disc management, security tools, etc.?

Microsoft ships an OS with a rich set of functionality, dealing with the demands of the hardware manufacturers for functionality that will motivate users to purchase new systems. This does not preclude third parties from selling or distributing their own versions of this functionality and associated enhancements on the merits of that functionality. Firefox has sucessfully done so.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22057356)

Actually, I think the issue is that MS doesn't release the specs to underlying OS APIs so that competitive browsers and office applications can function at the level of IE/Office. I think it's more of a fight to allow the user to totally replace IE with Opera/FF/Konquerer, file browser and all.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066474)

Actually, I think the issue is that MS doesn't release the specs to underlying OS APIs so that competitive browsers and office applications can function at the level of IE/Office. I think it's more of a fight to allow the user to totally replace IE with Opera/FF/Konquerer, file browser and all.
Probably a lot of truth in that, but then you also have to stop third-party software from hard coding in things like IE, or WMP. For example - I wanted to use AutoTools on Windows. The MingW/MingSys versions run just fine but you run into a problem with Perl - it can't recursively call make because it hard codes the COMSPEC to be cmd.exe (ActiveState's Windows Perl port, btw). So even writing a wrapper shell just to handle the file like Bash does (came pretty close to finishing it too!) didn't work because Perl had COMSPEC hard coded so I couldn't get Perl to call my shell instead. (Yes - I could have gotten the source, fixed Perl, and rebuilt it - but then my code would have been dependent on my fork of ActiveState's Perl, and it would have been problematic to work with other developers since they would now be dependent on my fork too. So no, that was not an option.)

Needless to say, the issue in the proprietary world is even greater when it comes to third parties hard coding the location of the IE executable - or even the name of the IE executable - instead of just relying the Windows APIs to load up the right app - e.g. running "start " to load the correct app against mime-types, or using the internal APIs to do so - which are known or easily replaced (e.g. registry lookup against the extension and then execute). This is also why I have to keep my WinXP installation at work set to IE for the default browser even though I almost entirely use Firefox - because doing otherwise breaks some applications and causes a lot of headaches. Not as bad as what it once was, but its still an issue. (And yes, I'm talking about not being able to change it through "Set Program Access and Defaults" tab in Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs functionality.

So there really is a two fold battle here.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22057380)

Basically the European Union is defending the free market from a monopolist. Using a monopoly to extend your business in other areas is illegal.

Obviously, the existence of a monopoly is bad for the whole economy. Competition is much healthier. The government has powers to correct this situation. That is what is happening.

Apple, KDE, Gnome etc. are not an abusive monopoly. That is why they don't need to be prevented from breaking these particular rules.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (2, Informative)

el americano (799629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22061712)

The argument that Microsoft's inclusion of functionality with Windows discourages third parties from making such functionality implies a far different view of OS and applications that is present in the market.

The problem is that users and, more importantly, OEMs should be able to remove the included versions without negative consequences. Given that windows update requires IE, I'd say Opera and Firefox don't have a level playing field. There is also the issue of releasing full specifications and giving the built-in apps preferred access to the OS.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22064636)

Given that windows update requires IE

What the heck! My computer updates itself every night at 3 am. I haven't seen any IE popups during that time. Is there something wrong with my Vista installation?

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (3, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22057932)

Education matters little.

Even if the average user knows there are alternatives, it is additional work, he is insecure, and MS works hard to make it as inconvenient as possible.

More importantly, corporate IT departments are very reluctant to install any additional software if there is already software of the same kind. They'll support one browser, one office suite, one media player. Guess which ones. Not because those are better, but because those are pre-installed and they have to support them anyways.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059376)

So Microsoft should not be able to include software in Windows because it harms other people's ability to give software away? That doesn't make a great deal of sense to me.

I mean, I remember when you had to have software from your isp or whatever or you wouldn't be able to connect to the internet; that wasn't better than now.

Re:The only way to fight bundling... (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22060668)

"Firefox has proven that is possible to break out and actually compete with MS products, but they had to establish name recognition with consumers."

I dont think that Firefox would own that market share what it currently has if IE6 would not be infected so easily with spyware and Windows would not be so infected by worms. Without all those big security holes, i dont think no one would care what browser their system has.

Firefox came popular by good timing (with luck). IE5 > IE6 were so bad by security that those who first time made sure their computers are safe, changed to better browser and hacked add ons to it. Then these users converted other users to use firefox because of security. That time Opera was under payment and users wanted free as beer because their unsecure browser was "free" too to them.

If firefox would start now competition against IE, it would crush against wall as Opera because Opera ain't coming up because it is secure ("most secure" browser for windows platform) or because it is free. It aint coming up either because it has widgets and it's fast to render. "No one" cares about those things. Firefox just was lucky to be in right place and right time and got good welcome from windows user to save their unsecure internet.

Only thing what matters for users who dont really know what difference is with firefox, opera and internet explorer, dont change internet explorer away because it is already installed. Why they would like to fix something what ain't broken? IE7 in current state is good enough to proof every normal user that they dont need other browser.

If browser would be taken away and first time when user opens PC and gets pop up asking IE, Opera or Firefox, they would need to choose and then it would be just matter of product name, icon and how familiar it is.

If we would like to have every customer to install browser what is good for them, they would only get list of things what browsers brings and they would choose about those options and then in last state, they would know what browser is best for them.

But, we live in this world where Microsoft has monopoly and because internet explorer (and other software) is bundled to windows, normal users dont care unless things gets REALLY bad for them.

All these investigations. (0, Flamebait)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055546)

I honestly wonder sometimes... what are the real motivating factors behind these lengthy government investigations? It seems sometimes that it's just a case of politicians paying lip service to issues they really know nothing about, in an attempt to appear to the public as though they care about the underlying problems. You could also take the "follow the money" argument; how many peoples' jobs depend on efforts to fine companies for perceived wrongdoings? I'm certainly not trying to paint Microsoft in any sort of rosy light; I find a lot of their business practices to be pretty despicable (and have for a long, long time). I guess I'm saying we should be cautious granting trust to any party in circumstance where the stakes, whether political or financial (or both) are high.

No, Don't Start Anything You Can't Finish (4, Insightful)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056054)

Microsoft's problem is that they thought they were beyond reach. They behaved as bastards--thinking they could not be touched. So, Microsoft started this and the EU is pissed and is going to finish it.

Re:No, Don't Start Anything You Can't Finish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22056570)

Actually I think Microsoft's plan is to just start buying countries in the EU until the lawsuits go away. I mean hey their value is more than some of the EU member's GNP isn't it?

Re:All these investigations. (2, Insightful)

el americano (799629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22061804)

Shouldn't you be a little less skeptical given that this was the basis of the original DOJ cases against Microsoft in the U.S.? ... before they mysteriously went away, that is. If you want to suspect that justice is being subverted, you might look instead to why those lawsuits did not follow to their logical conclusion after the initial ruling. It's not hard to follow the money in that case, now is it?

Re:All these investigations. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22062710)

I think you missed my point. I'm pointing to both (1) possible cases of mutual back-scratching, with the public being duped, and (2) the very real possibility that the powers that push these cases may not have the public's best interest in mind, but their own (although the public may benefit in some way, it may not gain the most just outcome). The DOJ may be a government organization, but their employees draw a paycheck based on their perceived performance, just like everyone else in this country.

I'm not condoning Microsoft's behavior, which is frequently detestable. I am saying that people shouldn't blindly put their faith in the DOJ or any other government body to appropriately address bad behavior, and should hold such organizations accountable when they don't push through to completion (as you so aptly noted regarding the DOJ's past antitrust work). It's not hard to follow this logic, now is it?

Re:All these investigations. (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22071132)

Or you could read about what the actual prosecutors had to say. Nawh, that would be 'un-Slashdot-like' wouldn't it?

How about the prosecutors needed Microsoft competitors to press the punishment phase of the trial, but none showed up to the party. That couldn't have anything to do with it, could it?

another one?!? (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055594)

Man, the EU must really be out to get MS. They're opening what, like a new investigation every day?

creators investigation: corepirate nazis finished (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22055736)

they're going DOWn 401 K(aput). let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Time cube crazy mother fucker ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22056228)

Man, the guy posting these things is clearly bat shit crazy.

It reads like the time cube guy -- I have no idea what he's trying to say. I see about one of these per week.

MS pulls out of EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22055786)

And then Microsoft announced it would be delaying the release of all new products to any EU countries by 6 to 12 months along with an internal 10% EU tax increase.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1, Flamebait)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055976)

After all, it's just Europe, no? How negligible do you think the European market is for MS? What's Europe relative size? Say... it must be something like... Kentucky?

In any case, maybe MS should have delayed a bit more the release of its recent products globally, from what I've heard...

Re:MS pulls out of EU (4, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056090)

I don't think you understand how huge the EU market is. If MS doesn't release any software into the EU you can expect a BIG shareprice drop.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059080)

Hmm. I do not think your sarcasm detector is working...

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22060082)

I didn't exactly know if this was sarcasm or not. The fact that I encountered a lot of people with these kinds of opinions made me think you were the real deal. When trying to be sarcastic, never be too authentic, it might seem real.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (5, Informative)

Mantaar (1139339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056320)

Orly?

Are you just joking, or a complete nutjob? I assume it's the former, just for the sake of sanity.

Inhabitants of the EU: 494.8, Millions, that is. Way more than Kentucky. Way more than the US, actually. Over half of the households in Europe are actually using computers. That's one hell of a market, if you ask me. MS can't, just can't afford to lose that market. And it's not only about the numbers - the European market is very innovative, many software companies are producing - well... software. Imagine if their environment wouldn't mostly use Windows as its main OS?

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_statistics [wikipedia.org]
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90781/90877/6314195.html [peopledaily.com.cn]

Re:MS pulls out of EU (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22056702)

Good god, you're a complete ignorant. If idiocy could be measured in kilos, there would be a black hole in your ass already.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (2, Insightful)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22058538)

Wow. I cannot believe 3 people can miss such absurd sarcasm. Wow.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

Mantaar (1139339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059160)

Not only them, but the mods, too. Tough luck, boy...
I was just looking for an opportunity to put them figures in here - you know, Karma and such ;-)

(That was funny. Laugh)

Re:MS pulls out of EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22083394)

I know that gringos are generally stupid, but you're a blatant example :)

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084012)

Hmm, I am not a gringo, for any sensible definition of gringo you can come up...

European market US market (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083560)

Why don't you include the fact that for Microsoft the European market is actually larger than the US? Microsoft takes home a lot more money from Europe than the US! I believe I heard something like 50%+

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22056000)

And then any US company that does business with any EU company would also delay new releases by 6-12 months. MS doesn't have any bargaining chips here.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22057944)

They have a way out of this actually. They can just deliver their products through a warez site. Plausible deniability at work.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059064)

And then Microsoft announced it would be delaying the release of all new products to any EU countries by 6 to 12 months along with an internal 10% EU tax increase.

And then the EU revokes all Microsoft's copyrights, designs and patents.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

jayp00001 (267507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059338)

And then Microsoft announced it would be delaying the release of all new products to any EU countries by 6 to 12 months along with an internal 10% EU tax increase.
And then the EU revokes all Microsoft's copyrights, designs and patents.


I'm not sure they could do that without breaking the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights(trips). I'm pretty sure that their will be a premium placed on EU citizens at some point for all these attacks on microsoft. What I'm waiting for is when microsoft tries to apply these legal theories to their competition, especially since the complaint isn't pricing or business agreements but bundling issues.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22060124)

I'm not sure they could do that without breaking the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights(trips). I'm pretty sure that their will be a premium placed on EU citizens at some point for all these attacks on microsoft.

Well, being a little more serious here, revoking Microsoft's copyrights would be the nuclear option in any such dispute. That's the step they take after they've issued arrest warrants for Microsoft executives but found that they're all in the US and extradition isn't going to happen. Pretty extreme. There are treaties and so forth, but a copyright is considered a form of property, so there's no reason the EU courts couldn't confiscate Microsoft's copyrights as part of a legal penalty and declare them public domain, just as they could confiscate Microsoft's offices in Europe and auction them off.

Microsoft would probably struggle to enforce any kind of premium on EU consumers anyway. What's to stop us importing their completely weightless product from outside the Union?

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

jayp00001 (267507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067888)

That's the step they take after they've issued arrest warrants for Microsoft executives but found that they're all in the US and extradition isn't going to happen. Pretty extreme. There are treaties and so forth, but a copyright is considered a form of property, so there's no reason the EU courts couldn't confiscate Microsoft's copyrights as part of a legal penalty and declare them public domain, just as they could confiscate Microsoft's offices in Europe and auction them off.


Well except for the fact that AFAIK (and IANAL) that particular penalty is unavailable to them according to the TRIPS agreement. They certainly could fine MS and seize their offices (for what good that would do).

I think you are right in that this is the nuclear option for brussels. In my opinion this is some sort of EU money grab from microsoft since the adoption of the EU version of windows vs. the "regular" flavor is so dismal that the EU shouldn't have even accepted bundling as a valid argument - but here we are.

Microsoft would probably struggle to enforce any kind of premium on EU consumers anyway. What's to stop us importing their completely weightless product from outside the Union?


I don't think it would be that hard to do, as with windows-N they would just need to set up a new windows version that is only sold and only activated in the EU, and set up the current server to disallow activations inside the EU. Now you'd have to buy pre-activated PCs from outside the EU. At some point Microsoft has to get to the point where they say, tell us what you want or we're done here.

Re:MS pulls out of EU (1)

MichailS (923773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22061440)

That would be fabulous!

MS Is Just Evil (0, Flamebait)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055854)

The bastards in Redmond deserve everything they get. They steal everybody's ideas and "innovate" very little. I say Bravo! to the EU! Nail the bastards!

Tis a shame (2, Insightful)

clckwrk (1220420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055962)

I wonder if it's Microsoft being a clear example of a company that got ahead and then rested on it's lead or is it cases like this that are bringing it down? Now that they're losing their lead it's hard for them to change because it's so ingrained in their corporate culture that they're ahead. Granted they do put out some new and interesting technology, they are getting smoked in a number of areas.

Meanwhile, /. opens new MS story dupe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22056384)

The New York Times is reporting on two new investigations into Microsoft story dupes opened by Slashdot editors. The new cases center on Slashdot's obsession with the bundling of Office and Internet Explorer, and were apparently partially prompted by Cmdr Taco's earlier heel-dragging. "'It would have been preferable if these dupes could have been resolved amicably with samzenpus,' said Senor Taco, a spokesman for the Firehose Dupe Commision. 'But that has not proved to be the case. Therefore we have opened these formal dupes. That does not prove there is a dupe. We will only be able to come to a conclusion after further dupe stories.' The Slashdot dupes that continue involve the bundling of a media player with Windows and the availability of information required to make rival software operate smoothly with Microsoft products. In September, the Court of First Dupe, Slashdot's highest after the European Court of Dupes, endorsed the commission's 2004 decision to impose record dupe stories about Microsoft."

My local porn dealer... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22060542)

....looked confused at me the other day :

Porn-dealer : You want WHAT?

Me : Neelie Kroes.

Porn-dealer : A pin-up of Neelie Kroes?

Me : Yes.

Internet Explorer (1)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22062216)

The decision which allows Microsoft include Internet Explorer with Windows in the United States is clearly wrong and should be overturned.
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