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Microsoft is not happy

Operating system giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) became the first high profile victim of aggressive European Union antitrust enforcement (but it would not be the last).  Slapped with almost $2B USD in fines, the company was lashed for browser bundling and other tactics viewed by the European Commission regulators as anticompetitive.

Microsoft appealed the fine, but the results were less than what it was hoping for.  The appeals body -- the General Court of the European Union announced [PDF] this week its decision to cut the €899M fine to a mere €860M ($1.1B USD), a reduction of €39 (~$48M USD).

A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters it was "disappointed with the court's ruling."

With the appeals exhausted, it now appears Microsoft will have to pay up to preserve the billions in yearly business it gets from the EU.  The ruling is the latest setback for Microsoft in Europe.  

The company has suffered from plenty of bad PR in Europe in the wake of UK court proceedings which detailed a sexual harassment by managers.  The incident led to several resignations and several civil suits, placing Microsoft squarely in the crosshairs of the EU state's active tabloid industry.

Sources: General Court of the EU [PDF], Reuters



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I think I fugred it out...
By tiro_uspsss on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By tiro_uspsss on 6/28/2012 5:06:38 AM , Rating: 2
*figured


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Manch on 6/28/2012 5:49:06 AM , Rating: 5
Its a money grab pure and simple.

Having IE or media player packed in with Windows is no big deal. Just download another browser/media player if you want something different.

No one craps in Apples cheerios for not offering alternatives to or for including Safari or there movie studio on there MAC's.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By maugrimtr on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By FITCamaro on 6/28/2012 9:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
EU needs cash to keep bailing out its member countries. Pure and simple.

Claiming to protect fairness by being unfair is not only illogical, its downright wrong.

Microsoft does not force anyone to use the other products that it includes with Windows. It provides them as a starting point, the same as Mac.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Kiffberet on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2012 9:52:16 AM , Rating: 5
Okay what the fuck is wrong with you people. Honestly? You're talking jail time for putting a free browser into an OS!? Do you realize how insane that sounds?

I'm so glad I'm not running a business. Knowing people like you and Beenthere are out there would probably put me in an early grave.


By it_aint_subtle on 6/29/2012 8:25:55 AM , Rating: 1
sounds ridiculous doesnt it. Its almost as ridiculous as a $1.1 billion fine.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Mint on 7/1/2012 9:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
I think the ruling is weak, but a one-time payment of $2B is peanuts for Microsoft, just like the $1B+ that Intel offered AMD to settle the antitrust case was nothing, and both benefited over 10x as much through their disputed actions, whether legal or illegal.

Even more so, the EU isn't going to bail out jack with penalty funds if $2B is all the can get from one of the biggest companies in the world.

FYI, the US redistributes about 10x as much between member states as the EU does. That's the biggest reason that the US can live with a single currency but Europe is struggling.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2012 9:41:44 AM , Rating: 1
Nobody is stopping the EU from making their own competing OS. MS doesn't have a monopoly. They have leading market share. There's a HUGE difference.

And this reeks of arbitrary and subjective enforcement to me. Please quote me the exact "law" MS was explicitly breaking by including IE in Windows? And why has it take almost 30 years for this "law" to be enforced?

Calling a bundled OS "abuse" of a monopoly is rhetoric that only a hater could embrace, or a delusional European. Your markets are crumbling all around you. Your "balancing act" has failed.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 4:54:07 AM , Rating: 1
Uhh, sorry...They are a monopoly as stated by the US govt. vs MS. They lost, were guilty, and paid 23 states (if memory serves - probably doesn't..LOL, might have been 25 or something) all 25mil or less to get off. They are the first GUILTY MONOPOLY to get away with it and still be NOT BROKEN up into 3 companies. At the time they were supposed to be broken up into apps, entertainment and OS divisions. But if you pay broke states enough money (isn't that a fine of sorts? 23 x rougly 20mil is like 500 mil or so correct?) you can stay a monopoly.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson pronounced them GUILTY! David Boies (SP?)/Joel Klein represented the Dept. of Justice and KICKED Microsoft's A$$. They then sadly watched as 20 states CAVED and accepted a pittance because they were all sinking in debt and would take bread crumbs to get by...LOL. Unfunded pension plans will do that to you...ROFL. Just look at STOCKTON, CA.

What were they in court for? Precisely the same thing the EU isn't liking. They bundled the browser with the OS and forced Netscape to bleed to death (ours is free, yours is $30 - Your dead - among other EVIL they did).

http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/pops/pop7.4microsof...

I hate wiki but easy to report these facts even for them :) :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Micr...

"Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was called "evasive and nonresponsive" by a source present at a session in which Gates was questioned on his deposition.[4] He argued over the definitions of words such as "compete", "concerned", "ask", and "we".[5] BusinessWeek reported, "Early rounds of his deposition show him offering obfuscatory answers and saying 'I don't recall' so many times that even the presiding judge had to chuckle. Worse, many of the technology chief's denials and pleas of ignorance have been directly refuted by prosecutors with snippets of E-mail Gates both sent and received."[6] Intel Vice-President Steven McGeady, called as a witness, quoted Paul Maritz, a senior Microsoft vice president as having stated an intention to "extinguish" and "smother" rival Netscape Communications Corporation and to "cut off Netscape's air supply" by giving away a clone of Netscape's flagship product for free. The Microsoft executive denied the allegations"

Correction, I guess some wanted them broke up into 4 companies (but I just wanted 3). The court I guess said TWO companies:
"On 2000-06-07, the court orders a breakup of Microsoft as its remedy. According to that judgment, Microsoft would have to be broken into two separate units, one to produce the operating system, and one to produce other software components.[14][15]"

You can google that everywhere on about 100 sites. The judge was CLEAR.

Note that when you make 16bil, and someone fines you 1.5 or 2.0 you laugh and continue to break the law. The USA should have fined the 10bil, and after habitually breaking the laws again and again, the EU should hit them for 15-20bil. You don't stop people from breaking the law if they still make money after it. Where is the incentive? I can tell you if I make 16bil each year and merely pay a fine of 2bil I will break the law every freaking year and bury you and every other company I could to keep it. It's GOOD BUSINESS. Witness apple. Thankfully someone stood up (Judge posner/koh) and said enough is enough. You get a buck if you come back...ROFL. Appeal if you want, I'll be there to smack you down again (posner...they would appeal to HIM and his friends above the court he went into to smack them down)...Justice finally is served...albeit half-a$$ed and far too late to save the damage done to HTC etc. Those border bastards hurt when you're not the one with 100bil in the bank to weather the storm. Sorry reclaimer....The facts just don't support your opinion.

When you pay off enough people it takes [apparently], well, FOREVER to enforce the law. I guess Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson is a "HATER" spewing RHETORIC eh? Jump down off that podium sir. The USA says you're spewing fud and full of shite. :) But yeah, the EU has no idea how to run a govt any better than California et al. On that...WE AGREE.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By maugrimtr on 7/2/2012 9:55:23 AM , Rating: 1
Microsoft is a monopoly. Basic economics should be enough to get you to the correct definition and a good explanation of why monopolies are regulated everywhere. Being unfair to be fair - this is what regulation is all about. It's unfair to the monopolistic entity in order to promote fairness to consumers. Monopolies are inherently inefficient, lead to higher prices, erect barriers to new entry against competitors, etc.

A "free browser" which is reviled by the web programmer community is a great example. It's free but it also contains features no other browser can implement (not least of which is broken HTML standards). Companies who build apps against Internet Explorer find themselves needing IE to run them because other browsers can't (they're not non-standard enough and don't support ActiveX for example). Classic case of an entry barrier.

The EUs solution was, I agree, dramatically outdated and pointless. The market had already started fixing this once Firefox hit the scene and internet access became common (let's time adjust back before we all had broadband to see why the decision was reached) - and later Safari/Chrome as they share grew and people started to figure out that IE was actually the worst browser in existence.

As for quoting specific laws. You're kidding, right? Your sense of smell and feelings are nothing more than a poor attempt to suggest the EU has no competition law (it definitely does - go do a google search before you "suggest" next time).

While the EU markets are crumbling, I hope you don't mind if Europeans go on enforcing their laws and resisting those stupid international ones the US keeps trying to push on them like ACTA. If you bothered checking, you'd have realised that the balancing act has worked out fine for all except Greece. EU problems tend to be the banks that were bailed out, at taxpayer expense which was a massive error. Their debt, from speculative derivative betting and collapsed property markets, is too much for small nations like Ireland to shoulder. Stupid people do stupid things until they are booted out at the next election.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By BZDTemp on 6/28/2012 1:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of companies have been fined for anti-competitive behavior. It does not matter where there from it matters how they do business.

The EU is a union of Democratic countries not some scam system and no laws are being made up like you suggest. And as for the fine the money is like a drop in an ocean compared to the EU budget and it's hardly a major thing for Microsoft either.

Microsoft holds a tight grip of the OS market (to name just one market) and the grip was even tighter back then. They used to grab the Office application market and had they been allowed they would have made IE and Windows Media Player the de-facto standards as well (they came damn close).

Try asking yourself this. Why would Microsoft "give away" a browser or a Media Player "for free" if they didn't stand to gain something. Or maybe you could look up Netscape vs. Microsoft and get informed.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/28/2012 2:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Try asking yourself this. Why would Microsoft "give away" a browser or a Media Player "for free" if they didn't stand to gain something. Or maybe you could look up Netscape vs. Microsoft and get informed.


Listen, I'm not gonna argue about why Microsoft wants to continue development of IE and Media Player and bundle that into windows because there is no way of finding out short of talking to Microsoft Execs.

That said people expect a web browser and media player with their OS. It's what a modern OS offers. Mac OS offers that, most Desktop Linux Distros offer that. It's common practice so whats the point in the fine? What exactly is the lesson to be learned here?


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 5:49:32 AM , Rating: 1
See my other reply to you...MS execs quoted by Intel CEO's UNDER OATH saying they would "cut off their air supply" by giving away a dupe of netscape. Try taking BZD's adivce and GET INFORMED.

No point in arguing. YOU'LL LOSE. Microsoft already cleared it up for you. If they didn't read the FREAKING verdict straight from the JUDGE! Emails were even more damning (from and to Bill G himself, Alchin too...LOL). The lesson is they never should have been allowed to do it, the others just were forced to follow or they'd also die. Thank god google can bleed with chrome as long as MS and IE... :) But for netscape...No dice. Are you really this naive? Say it ain't so.

If it wasn't for businesses, firefox would be dead too. Microsoft continues to dev IE/Media player to keep the barriers high. Meaning you must be able to give your work away for a LONG time to defeat them - that's called a HIGH BARRIER to entry! In case you can't be bothered to look up the definition of a monopoly that HIGH BARRIER is one of the requirements of conviction. Did I mention they were convicted and ORDERED to break up into TWO companies? Ordered to do so by the USA! Like it or not, the EU is just getting their chunk of the same pie the 20 states did FIRST.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/29/2012 12:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand my stance. Microsoft has been guilty of shady practices, I understand that. However I think this is a EU shady practice. They let Microsoft include IE for the longest time, then decided they had an issue with it and charged them with a retroactive fine.


By JKflipflop98 on 7/3/2012 9:26:57 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, I've never read a bigger load of shit in my life.
Good show.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By tynopik on 7/11/2012 10:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's intent DOESN'T MATTER

The actions were either legal or they weren't, whatever MS was trying to accomplish IS IRRELEVANT.

What were the actions? Bundling a browser 'free' with the operating system.

You know, THE SAME THING EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD DOES. Hell, you can't even buy a phone without a browser bundled. People expect computing devices to come with a browser, and if it didn't, they would return it as defective.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 6:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
If you call me a liberal those be fighting words Rec :) While I hate that the EU is capitalizing on this, the reason they're after them is just. We already convicted them ourselves (rightfully so - they did come damn close to making IE/Media player defacto - and still trying - Bing/Silverlight too - using IE to do most of it...LOL).

I'd shout loudly from the rooftops that we should burn all liberals if I thought it would do any good. :) OK, we should at least thrown them all together on some island so they can try to fund their own crap. My taxes should just go to pot holes etc :) The govt needs to get it's foot out of my arse and keeps it's hands off my money. Obama needs to go to jail with Holder (he lied to congress under oath...). Last time I checked lying under oath (worse as the head of DOJ!) was a FELONY. Obstruction of Justice at this level is the same. Obama has tied himself to a felon that got an agent killed (and who knows how many mexicans have died).

No liberal crap here :) But MS needs to go down with Apple and Intel. Understand I don't really want them out of business, just broken up so they're unable to leverage their ecosystems (OS, appstore, billions to ban products, buying up all the supply of memory just to keep others from getting a product out etc..whatever they use to club companies with). I'm not anti-corp (lower taxes you stupid dems - it creates JOBS! and keeps them from leaving for 0 tax elsewhere). We have no nvidia chipsets thanks to Intel. Intel made Asus sell me an AMD board in a WHITE box...No Asus label at all anywhere on the board for fear of Intel. I bought dozens of white no label boards and sold them as asus for months...LOL. Everyone knew what they were, it was clear from the design etc. But to get an AMD board then from ASUS you had to accept a NO LABEL motherboard in a white box. Thankfully AMD was kicking Intel's A$$ at the time so selling them was easy and even requested by customers. "You got that white box Asus in yet?"...ROFLMAO. I watched BEOS die because of Microsoft. That OS rocked! Back then it could play videos on all sides of a spinning cube at once. That was cool. Winblows couldn't touch that back then. Gobe Productive was a pretty good Office competitor until MS crushed it and Beos. That was one TIGHTLY written OS! No bloat just performance. I still have a copy of both I think. It was freaky fast and powerful on even crappy hardware. We got windows instead which had trouble with ONE video at the time. I was a reseller, but sadly it didn't last long. They couldn't bleed money :) They were awesome people too. I think they only had a dozen people coding it to completion. Amazing.

http://www.amazon.com/BeOS-Bible-Gobe-Productive-B...
Read those comments! Microsoft killed probably one of the best OS' ever written!


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 5:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
You might want to have a conversation with Marc Andreessen if he thinks the fines were fair since his company got trashed by the bundling. They're not making it up as they go, they should have done this a LONG time ago. WE DID. :) And it was 20 MEMBER STATES that did it in the USA. So yeah, I'm thinking I can answer that for you. They'd act the same, since the USA already convicted them of being a monopoly:
"Judge Jackson issued his findings of fact[13] on November 5, 1999, which stated that Microsoft's dominance of the x86 based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly, and that Microsoft had taken actions to crush threats to that monopoly, including Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, Real Networks, Linux, and others. Judgment was split in two parts. On April 3, 2000, he issued his conclusions of law, according to which Microsoft had committed monopolization, attempted monopolization, and tying in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Microsoft immediately appealed the decision.[14]"

NUFF SAID? To answer reclaimer - It was the SHERMAN ACT sections 1 & 2! Are we done defending MS yet guys? Digimonkey had a point, but I'd say they were absolutely fricken SMART. 16bil last year, and a 2bil fine. Who freaking cares. That's on top of all the damage and ill gotten gains from whacking netscape etc (one of my favorite companies at the time - I LOVED that browser). SCREW MS, Apple etc. They kill great companies and destroy great innovators. Fortunately Marc has a great mind and ended up successful despite MS. But that doesn't usually happen, as most are just destroyed by crap like this.

MS should be punished more and broken up per Judge Penfield's verdict in the good 'ole USA! If we just ENFORCED the law we'd find there is NO need for new ones that strip us all of our rights (patriot act etc...BS! Odramacare BS!). My care just went down the toilet, as no company will pay for insurance when the fine is cheaper (if they don't just ignore it). Good business (and the dreaded bottom line) says they'll axe my insurance in seconds. Only the senators get to choose from 8-10 docs...Where's the guy that goes postal when you need him? ;) Why aren't they using this system too? Oh, it sucks, and they're better than us lowly peons. My bad, I forgot. You can hate a company for doing it, but it's just good smart business. You can thank Obama :) TWO TRILLION - for this unfunded crapcare. Oh, and it's NOT a tax...HONEST...ROFL. But the court just ruled it a TAX! Umm...White lie dems? Didn't Odrama say my taxes wouldn't go up a SINGLE DIME if this crap passed and I made under 250,000?
IGNORE THE FINES, PAY NOTHING, SCREW ODRAMACARE.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8erePM8V5U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=N...
Obama and Clinton pledge...LOL.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv2VjCw8T_c&feature...
Axelrod...rofl. Uhh..umm...uhh..the uh...lines in sand..uh...um...rofl. Enforce the law, no need for new ones. This is unconstitutional. I'll be fined for having no insurance $780 or so. You're complaining about RETROACTIVE FINES? How about complaining about being fined so some illegal can get free medical. I won't pay for medical when the fine is less...LOL. I won't pay the fine because I don't have to :) But you still have to cover me. Thanks for the handout. See the problem? My insurance costs $4000 a year but the fine is ~$800...LOL. I'll take the $3200 profit right after my insurance gets cancelled by my employer (they're not dumb either).


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Manch on 6/28/2012 7:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
The Ireland utilities argument doesn't hold any water. Those monopolies made where you could only buy there product. MS does not do this with windows. They provide basic components with the OS. You are free to load whatever you want on it. Hell, by bundling IE with it, they gave you a window to the internet sso you can download whatever the hell you want, to include another browser! The Ireland gas monopoly didnt let you buy gas from somebody else to run through there pipes.

And seriously. unfair to promote fairness? If youre American, your definitely a liberal.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By BZDTemp on 6/28/2012 1:37:44 PM , Rating: 1
Not this again. Which part of the word monopoly do you not understand?

Try looking at the market share for OS back when this case was undertaken (or even now if that is to hard). See the difference between Windows and Mac OS?

The majority of people don't download applications to their computers unless they are force to it. They simply don't know how and if Microsoft had been allowed to have it their way IE would be THE browser and Windows Media Player would be THE media player. Which means Microsoft would be controlling what file formats would be used and how video streaming would work. They would get a cut from everything delivered online.

The EU did what the US would have done were it not for lobbyists making the folks in Washington stop going after Microsoft.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By tynopik on 7/11/2012 10:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
So just because they have a 'monopoly' (which is rather dubious at this point and time), they should be forced to cripple their product?

Is that your solution?

Because every other operating system in the world comes with a free browser too.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By inperfectdarkness on 6/28/2012 5:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
If that was the goal, they should have gone after apple...for 2 reasons:

1. Way more liquid assets.

2. Way less burden on the court systems from frivilous lawsuits.


By StevoLincolnite on 6/28/2012 7:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
Except this first happened before Apple was swimming in money...


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Aloonatic on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By fteoath64 on 6/28/2012 6:16:50 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah agreed. The law is the law. Not as if MS has no high-priced ace lawyers arguing this case due to the potential amount in billions of fines they might incur as they started this proceedings.

This is the price to pay for operating in the wrong way on ANY land. MS could have mitigate their way around it but no, they had to be stubborn about this. EU bureaucrats have no patience for arrogant companies be it their own or from other countries.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By StevoLincolnite on 6/28/2012 8:00:57 AM , Rating: 4
OH COMMON! They were fined for bundling a free application with an OS.
Now... Apple does it with both MacOS and iOS, Google does it with Android, Linux does, Palm did it, RIM does it, FreeBSD... So they should all be fined, otherwise the EU looks incredibly two faced about it all. (I.E. It's just a money grab, NOTHING more.)


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By BZDTemp on 6/28/2012 1:51:52 PM , Rating: 1
Go look up "monopoly" and "controlling market share".

When you have like 90%+ of the market you can use that control to grab control of other markets thus tougher rules apply. Non of the examples you mention are anything like that.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Topweasel on 6/28/2012 5:32:49 PM , Rating: 2
So you are saying that a large corporation isn't allowed to do the same thing as these other corporations because their bigger?

Anti-Competitive laws and Anti-Monopoly laws are created to protect consumers. What supporters of this fine are missing is that this actually made the windows experience better and helped out customers. What it doesn't do is protect customers from being to stupid to know their are other free options out there that they can install.

I don't know how any organization can force a company to offer a inferior software then their competitors just to keep companies alive.

Does anyone remember when the EU went after Amazon for offering free shipping to protect the small book stores?


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 7/1/2012 6:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, they were also undercutting those brick and mortar stores or did you miss that part? It wasn't just the shipping. They are so big now they even use the shipping (and free tax) to get you to stay there. Amazon Prime anyone. Free shipping over $25? No small company can pull this off. So eventually all brick and mortar stores will be out of business accept your local food stores.

Even newegg is getting killed by amazon. I haven't bought anything there in the last few years save a USB audio (star tech month last month...LOL) because amazon always beats them with free shipping. A mobo for my dad bought last week saved $6.98 (asus Socket 775 DDR3 board...who knew?). That $7 savings almost paid for the $13 cmedia 108 based usb audio from newegg...LOL They are now like a fry's ad to me instead of the main place I buy. Shipping isn't free very often unless their price is already higher. Amazon even allows you to ad 4 friends to your PRIME membership so they get free 2 day air too! Fair competition?


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By shyhh on 7/2/2012 1:58:38 AM , Rating: 2
That is unfortunately the sad fact of the market economy. You cannot prevent a company from being more efficient. It is not unfair. Amazon is able to do it because they are running on a lower cost and that is why they can offer a better deal. It benefit the consumers which is ultimately what free market competition is all about.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By shyhh on 7/2/2012 3:47:32 AM , Rating: 2
I thought about the argument that the bigger, better company killing the smaller company and what i realized is that they don't. It is us consumer who killed these brick and mortar stores. The bigger corporation merely offer the option, we consumer pulled the trigger. Cos the fact of the matter is, in the end, we all have the choice to purchase from anybody we wanted and at whatever price we like to pay. But in a culture where everyone compare prices before that make a purchase, company like Amazon succeed because they are meeting a demand. And that ultimately, we allow that to happen...


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Solandri on 6/28/2012 5:37:15 PM , Rating: 4
The fine wasn't for bundling a free browser with their OS. The fine was for abusing their monopoly position to stifle competition in the browser market by bundling a free browser with their OS.

After IE successfully vanquished Netscape and hit 90% market share, there was a 13 or 14 month period when no new features were added to IE. The only updates Microsoft released were security updates. That is, once they'd eliminated the competition and they controlled the market, Microsoft ceased putting money into improving the product.

It was this hiatus which allowed Firefox to get its foot in the door. One could argue that that was the just punishment Microsoft deserved for ceasing development. But I would argue that the hiatus never should have happened in the first place. If Microsoft had been prevented from eliminating the competition, competition would have insured continual investment into browser development, and browser technology would be 13-14 months ahead of where it is today.

Basically, the browsers you and I are using today are a little over a year behind in technology because of what Microsoft did. That's why they're being fined.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 7/1/2012 7:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
Spoken like someone who actually read some crap before coming here to post! :)

I couldn't have said it better myself...(not for lack of effort though...ROFLMAO). Very nice Solandri.

I cringed today as i saw the about face Judge Koh did as she's right back to being apples lapdog (didn't she just say she wouldn't be apples B*tch?). Where's POSNER when you need him with that $1 verdict? Step on KOH then apple.. ;) Does anyone do their job these days? Patent office, Judges, senate, etc...All useless bought lapdogs (Posner being the only exception it seems). SCOTUS just passed a TAX that congress hasn't even voted on (not as a tax, they said it was NOT a tax, but judges just passed it as one - aren't they supposed to know the law?). I digress...


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 7/1/2012 6:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
Read my posts. Microsoft killed netscape by releasing their browser as FREE after they charged $19.99 at frys etc (it was in plus pack too if memory serves for $19-29 can't remember). I sold it to customers retail for $19.99 (in a freaking Internet Explorer box separate from the Operating System! For sale at Compusa and Computer City also). Then they went whole hog and gave it away until Netscape bled to death. Get it yet? Look up the case instead of spouting this crap. They gave it away free because they could afford to until Netscape died.

Notice the only thing in your PC that hasn't dropped in price is that $300 OS ($135 OEM, but that's been the same for 20 years too...same as when I sold it back to 1997! for NT pro). This is because there is no competition.

As BZD said, why do you think they spend time developing this and media player for FREE? Are you really this dumb or just work for MS or Apple? They dev it so others have a high barrier to entry and can keep everything on windows. It perpetuates their monopoly.

Again BZD was correct in stating that if most people get something in their OS they just live with it and will only download something else if they HAVE TO. Even then, they usually don't even know how! I can't tell you how many PC's I saw come back for a virus squashing, or OS re-install, or hardware upgrade 2-3yrs later (or just a vacuum cleaning as I offered to MY pc customers for $10 yearly) and only find the exact software I sold them on it. They had NOTHING else but a new version of quickbooks...LOL. That's it aside from maybe a new AV app (but most just kept paying renewals...even afraid to change app vendors...JEEZ!). I can categorically state that BZD is telling the truth after serving PC's to people for 8 years.

I just tried to buy a laptop from Dell with NO OS. I claimed I'd install Linux 3 seconds after I got it in the door and out of the box, and also that I had a Microsoft Action pak subscription (10 lics of everything for $299 offered to all business in cahoots with MS) with a good 4 lics of everything left and had NO NEED for Win7. They said they couldn't strip it because of Microsoft agreements, even if I never intended to even boot windows 7. That's $100 of the cost of the laptop for NOTHING! I really will not use that license. But I can't get out of it. Palm died (can't give away software for free forever unless you're extremely successful at something else...LIKE SEARCH). Rimm - need I say anything about rimm? Toilet. Nuff said. Linux is made by people, most not interested in the money. Redhat makes money on SERVICE because you can't charge a dime for REAL FREE OPEN SOURCE software. You do understand what OPEN SOURCE is right? Windows isn't open source, IE isn't open source - neither was netscape - but charging $29-39.99 for something MS can give away for free until your dead just bankrupts your company.

Name another company worth less than a billion that can create and keep a browser going for free indefinitely. You know it costs to produce IE right? MS/Apple have a lock on their segments (windows/appstore etc). Only a HUGE company can start a browser war (google). Business and customization are the only thing that keep firefox/opera relevant.

See my other posts. Microsoft is a convicted monopoly in the USA as of 2000. They paid 20 states off to get around it AFTER being GUILTY! IT cost them about 400mil. So I guess USA took the money grab first, what you're seeing now is just inflation on the same case we already found them guilty of. It takes YEARS to convict anyone with billions. Guilty, appeal, guilty, appeal etc until the other people are so broke or already dead so you only pay a pittance of what you should. Netscape was dead before the verdict on a case that started in 1994! Well, the real case started circa 1998 (Netscape went from 90% market share to 1%...OUCH. SIX years later is was too late to save them. Heck they were almost dead before it even made it to court! PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND! IIS was used in the same manner. Do you really think a company can give away server software for free forever? Netscape couldn't. I can't remember the name of their app, but IIS killed it for the same reason IE killed Netscape Navigator.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2012 8:19:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They did wrong, they know it


AHAHAHA oh come on. Piss off. How could that be considered "wrong"?

I think if you were fined billions for giving your customers something FREE, you would delay, appeal, and protest too.

Dumbass troll.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/28/2012 8:30:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah there in is the problem. The EU decided something was wrong, didn't really give Microsoft an option to fix it before slapping them with a fine. I'd call it legal extortion but whatever.


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/28/2012 8:30:43 AM , Rating: 2
legalized*


RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 7/1/2012 7:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL, read Solandri's post. When the competition is dead all we get is updates NOT new features. Until firefox got a foot in the door they didn't develop IE at all. Netscape was dead so you got nothing for over a year! Want that again? It's coming. Hopefully google can keep bleeding on their browser since search monopoly supports it...ROFL.

Only fair fight here is a search monopoly vs. OS monopoly...Anyone else bleeds and dies quickly stifling any competition. I can't believe you're defending this crap behavior. While I may not agree with some of your opinions they usually don't seem to come from a head buried in the sand.


Misplaced patriotism
By ZorkZork on 6/28/2012 6:22:27 PM , Rating: 5
It is pretty impressive to see the patriotic remarks in support of Microsoft. Microsoft has a +90% market share in Europe – in essence a monopoly. Thus all references to other desktop operating systems and what they should do is meaningless. Others do not have a dominating market position. Microsoft also has a near monopoly on office applications so look forward to seeing Microsoft in legal troubles if they restrict others (e.g. mobile devices) from accessing Office/Exchange data or start including Windows Phone features in shipped versions of Office. Same thing if they make a Windows Phone Office add-on and prohibit others from making similar office add-ons to support another mobile OS.

Microsoft is using its Monopoly like position to advance its browser market share. It knows that a large percent of the users will use whatever browser they first touch and never think more about it. It doesn’t matter that IE is free. The only reason why Microsoft is investing in IE and giving it away for free is to advance its other business. Price does not matter. Same thing with Google, Gmail is free but still falls under the EU competition laws.

Microsoft has to give its competitors the same ability to distribute their browsers with windows as they themselves have with IE. If IE is in the box, then Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. must be in the box too. The only advantage the OS is allowed to give Microsoft in the browser competition is the “Microsoft reputation”. This is because the court sees a browser as a product separate from the OS (which something we can argue long about is and I believe today it is not clear cut but when the case started it was different). Microsoft is not allowed to use a product that have a dominating market position to leverage another product.

Under EU law (and US) fines imposed must be proportional to the crime and gained advantage. Thus, if bundling IE helped Microsoft maintain their +90% market share in the desktop OS market, then the fine will be in the same ballpark as their profit on desktop OS sale in Europe. There is nothing arbitrary about this. And while fines may be large, they are just a drop in the bucket for the EU (just like in the US).

The whole idea that this is a way of targeting US companies is laughable. Every year there are loads of fines being imposed on EU companies for anti-competitive behavior that the US public hears nothing about. When Microsoft, Intel, etc. decides to conduct business within the EU, then they are subject to the same rules. And given that the EU is the largest market in the world, I expect they will decide to stay and follow the rules.

Lastly, while it is true that certain EU states have excessive debt, the EU public is around 80% GDP while the US debt is at +100% GDP. The economic problems in the EU are mostly centered on a few countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland) while the rest are pretty okay (especially when compared to the US). It would have been pretty easy to save Greece, but the signal it would have sent to other countries would have been disastrous. Thus, Greece will suffer (because they have behaved irresponsible) so that Italy, Spain, etc. knows that they have to make drastic changes to ensure that they do not go the same way.




Get of out of town
By Jay2tall on 6/28/2012 8:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
This is rediculous. If they did not allow you to install other software, it would be an argument. However, there is stockpile of other browsers and media software you can download.

Maybe Microsoft should just stop selling The Windows operating system in that part of the world. Let see who crumbles first considering 99% of all business machines run a Microsoft OS. Then when they are running illegal copies of software pop back in and sue their pants off.




RE: Get of out of town
By BZDTemp on 6/28/2012 1:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
LOL

Microsoft needs the EU - it is a bigger market than the US.

Besides your "99% of all business machines" is exactly why Microsoft must behave differently with their OS than Apple or Linux distros for that matter. When you're in control of a market monopoly laws apply and they rightly need to. How about looking up "United States vs. Microsoft" and then come and tell how that was ridiculous.


Read the ruling
By Khato on 6/28/2012 1:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Please read the actual ruling before commenting. This fine has nothing to do with Microsoft bundling fundamental applications (media player, internet browser) with their operating system. Yes, there were other actions taken against Microsoft for those infractions, but only because Microsoft did not comply with the initial antitrust rulings.

The very title of the ruling states that Microsoft was fined "for failing to allow its competitors access to interoperability information on reasonable terms". Basically, Microsoft could make superior products in adjacent markets due to inside knowledge of how the operating system works. The court found evidence proving this to be the case and ordered Microsoft to release the pertinent information to competitors so that they'd be on a level playing field. So yes, Microsoft was abusing its dominant position in the operating system market quite blatantly and most definitely does deserve this fine.




RE: Read the ruling
By stm1185 on 6/29/2012 9:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
So Microsoft is supposed to intentionally hurt their business by helping their competitor understand their products with detailed knowledge that Microsoft gained after years of software R&D?

That is some communist level stupidity.


Numbers?
By BicUltra on 6/28/2012 8:30:02 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting article, but how does the original fine of $1.4 billion equate to "almost $2B USD in fines"?




LOL @ bundling
By siconik on 6/28/2012 8:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
So how did the premise of "bundling" VS "features meeting minimal consumer expectations" get settled? Look at any modern consumer OS, desktop or tablet/mobile. How many ship without browser or media player? Somehow, I don't recall getting a selection menu process offering alternatives to Safari or Itunes when activating the iPhone.

So while MS gets fined for providing what in the end of the day has rightfully been shown to be the standard of-of-the-box features, I have to wonder what happens to that $1 Billion- I mean, that's like a week worth of handouts to whatever basket case they are trying to keep in the keeling over at the moment...




Microsoft spokesperson
By Stephen! on 6/28/2012 4:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters it was "disappointed with the court's ruling."


It seems kinda redundant to have a spokesperson state the obvious.




EU is retarded.
By stm1185 on 6/29/2012 9:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
If only WMP and IE worked and you had to buy them separately, and MS stopped others from making cheaper software to compete against them I could see that being a reason for a fine, but MS was giving away free software with their OS, and the EU is fining them for it, because it somehow matters which free Browser you use and which free Media player you use.

Microsoft was improving its product for its customers at no additional cost and the EU is fining them for it. I cant think of a word for that more suited then retarded.




It's the American Way?
By hood6558 on 6/30/2012 12:35:00 AM , Rating: 2
Hasn't it always been the American way of business to crush your competitors any way you can, if it's legal or can be made to look legal through loopholes? Looked at that way MSFT is only doing what everyone else is doing, however unethical it may seem. However, when a company's market share becomes large enough, the rules HAVE to change, as anything they do affects the livelihoods of thousands or millions of people. And when your business amounts to controlling the computers which manage every aspect of almost all other businesses, not to mention the personal data of millions, your straight jacket should be even tighter. But apparently Microsoft went way past unethical and used blatantly illegal methods to insure their monopoly, knowing they could easily bribe or extort their way out of trouble. So yes, Microsoft deserved to be fined a lot more than a trifling billion for their crimes, and by all rights should have been and still should be made to break up their company into smaller units; it's only on paper anyway - they can use dummy corporations just like the rest of them and keep making the same money. That's what lawyers and accountants are for. Corporate arrogance is the only reason they resist. Of course, they still have the "nuclear option", stopping support for all their products and see who cries "Uncle!", but that could backfire and open the door for the next monopoly. But let's not forget all that personal data they've supposedly been mining for years; blackmail, anyone?




By shyhh on 7/2/2012 2:12:35 AM , Rating: 2
How many use their computer without the internet these days? Browser are no longer an option but a requirement. Bundling a browser is common sense since how is anyone able to download more browser if they do not already have one in the OS?

Now, in all of these, the consumer has an option. Whether they choose to or know about the existence of another brand of browser is entirely up to them. A company, like Microsoft, has no obligation to inform the consumer of the choices that are available. Very much in the same manner that Mercedes will not include a similar model of BMW in their vehicle catalog. Business isn't an educational institution.

The logic is simple yet some don't understand.




really?
By piroroadkill on 6/29/2012 9:05:13 AM , Rating: 1
€39 is $48m? Shit, I never knew the dollar fell so far...




By arazok on 6/28/2012 9:42:14 AM , Rating: 4
You honestly believe Bill Gates should have gone to jail for bundeling IE in windows?

You’re an idiot. How do you expect to encourage people like Gates, Zukerberg, or Jobs to lead innovative companies if they are constantly fearing jail time for any misstep?


By phazers on 6/28/2012 10:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
"Beenthere" is a known moron who has been chased out of one forum after another all over the web. Nobody pays any heed to his flatulent rantings anymore...

FYI, try using Gmail with IE for any length of time. Google (one of the perpetrators of the EU antitrust action against MS, IIRC) will take 30+ seconds to open up an email, and in the meantime spam you with messages about how much faster it would be using Chrome instead of IE. Since I don't like being forced or cajoled into switching browsers, all this does is encourage me to switch to some other freebie email. While Gmail is certainly not in a market dominating position on PCs, how about Android devices? Maybe MS should countersue now that they are competing in the tablet arena..


By BZDTemp on 6/28/2012 2:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly how is Android in a dominating market position?


By phazers on 6/28/2012 5:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
Not what I meant - Gmail is the default (dominating) email app on Android devices, not "Android is in a dominating market position"..


By TheJian on 7/1/2012 7:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
AS I said before you can't fight a monopoly without another...LOL. Google is just abusing their search power just like MS does it's OS. If they didn't they'd be dead shortly.

MS has been pulling this crap for ages. Instant mess(A)nger used to change their protocols all the time to keep others from getting messages. Just ask Trillian users...If you paid for that product you endlessly chased the changing Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL changes that were merely made to piss each other off. trillian is still the best IMHO. But MS almost killed them also before courts stopped them from changing weekly. It was not fun being a customer of anyone other than MS. Aol/Yahoo pulled the same crap to match them eventually creating a very crappy experience for end users not to mention coding hell for the others.

Media player...Talk to REAL Player etc...Heck I had to fix a bunch of pc's as tech calls came in because they're Real Player stopped working due to MS changing things intentionally. Don't get me wrong I hate RP, but customers wanted it and caused me headaches unless I could get them off of it...LOL. Exactly what MS wanted me to do. I had no choice if I wanted to stay afloat. I couldn't keep troubleshooting their BS forever when I needed to be building/selling pc's or providing actual troubleshooting for REAL problems instead of ones manufactured by MS to squash competition.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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