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Microsoft has lost its appeal in a long-standing case in European courts against the software giant.

Today Microsoft lost its antitrust appeal when the European Court of First Instance ruled to uphold European Commission's ruling against Microsoft.  Microsoft is now expected to have to pay a massive $690 million (€497 million) in fines.

The European Commission accused Microsoft of using underhanded tactics to freeze out its competitors in the media player and server software markets.  In 2004, Microsoft was ordered by EU antitrust commissions to make its media player software compatible with other company's products and to desist in its practice of locking other companies out of its software.

In July DailyTech reported that the EU did not feel Microsoft had complied with the 2004 ruling.  Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes went on the record to state,
"Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct. I have no alternative but to levy penalty payments for this continued noncompliance."

The fine was initially $375.4 million, but Microsoft refused to comply and instead took the case to court.  Because of this the fine was nearly doubled to $690 million.

Microsoft was also ordered to pay 80% of the Commission's legal expenses.  The Commission has to pay a smaller undisclosed amount of Microsoft's legal expenses.

However, the court criticized the Commission's recommendation of employing a full-time, all-access independent monitoring trustee.  The trustee would be able to visit Microsoft premise, have full access to source code and be able to interview Microsoft employees.  The court felt that this provision was not reasonable, but it only went as far as to criticize it on the record.

Microsoft politely stated in a press release today that it appreciated the court's decision and the work the court put into it. With regard to the monitoring trustee issue
Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel said, "We appreciate the court’s judgment on the trustee issue and the monitoring mechanism, an issue where the court agreed with us, and yet I would be the first to acknowledge that I don’t think anyone would say that is the most important part of this case or this decision."

Smith seemed somewhat reserved in the press release; which concluded as, "So, we look forward to continued efforts to implement and comply with today’s decision, we welcome the opportunity for continued discussion to adhere to our duties with the European Commission, and we look forward to hopefully continuing to move technology forward to create more jobs on this continent."

Microsoft said it is not currently sure what its next legal steps will be in trying to comply with EU competition law.  This ruling marks one of the largest against Microsoft and is a major victory for the EU's Competition Commission.


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Is Apple being sued as well?
By phatboye on 9/17/2007 10:35:23 AM , Rating: 5
Does the EU commission have a similar case against Apple?? Their software locks out competitors products as well.




RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
No, because Apple isn't worth much and isn't seen as "A Big Scary Monopoly" oh noes!?!!?

Apple builds a closed system that locks its OS to their hardware and can get away with it. Microsoft builds in extra features to an OS you can load on almost any hardware and is slapped with lawsuits for "competing against other companies".

Just because the EU considers Microsoft a monopoly they apply "special rules" that have no other purpose than to attempt to destroy a business for being "too successful". The EU is socialism at its finest, thats why the most successful corporations on earth don't thrive in socialism environments, they prefer Capitalism or Free Market systems (They are damn near the same thing but the Economics guys would shoot me for the minor differences ;) )


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Maskarat on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Maskarat on 9/17/2007 11:06:36 AM , Rating: 5
So we agree, Socialism is not neccessarily a bad thing. :)

Sure .. in the current scenario .. have 10 different OS's .. not cooperating with each other .. that would be HELL!! But ever notice how openess between the open source OS's helps them to comunicate between each other? Ever notice how for example gcc runs on all different *NIX flavours? Or ever notice how NFS is supported on all *NIX platforms?

Also the EU did not ask Microsoft to not to ask for royalties!! It asked them to open up their protocols. IBM, Sun, Redhat .. these are companies that to some extent invest and reap back from the open source pool. Are they too stifling innovation?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By thebrown13 on 9/17/2007 12:29:48 PM , Rating: 1
Only 5 years back? I think that's understating it.

Microsoft has helped all of us a great deal, and this is how we repay them. And the world wonders why there are no true heroes.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By cochy on 9/17/2007 2:05:50 PM , Rating: 3
lol there are no true heroes because we live in a capitalist society. By it's very nature you must be selfish as an entity to excel in this environment. Heroes would be by definition selfless. As you can see they are more or less incompatible with each other. That being said, no system is perfect.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 9:50:56 PM , Rating: 1
At least under capitalism, someone taking a huge risk with minimal chance of government intervention should it pay off huge you have a chance of someone rolling the dice in a way that also happens to be hugely socially beneficial. In fact, capitalism by extension is the belief that the common good is best advanced when all members maximize their personal utility.

Socialism, on the other hand, produces no extra heroes either; zero incentive. Why bother when government can take care of everything?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By NT78stonewobble on 9/18/2007 3:05:52 AM , Rating: 1
I don't get this one.

So nobodys earning any money in socialist europe?

And did you just magically read the mind of all 6 billion people in the world and found that motivation = $$$.

Becaus that is a sad outlook for humanity.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 7:12:43 AM , Rating: 1
Several countries in europe, people are dieing with less money than they were born with, so yes they are losing money. In europe there is no real motivation to work because the government will take care of you with the social programs. In the U.S. social programs will only get you so far but you will still end up on the street if you don't maintain a steady job.

quote:
And did you just magically read the mind of all 6 billion people in the world and found that motivation = $$$.

You bet, money makes the world go 'round and if you think it doesn't your kidding yourself.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/18/2007 12:46:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Becaus that is a sad outlook for humanity.


Sorry the world isn't Disney Land :P


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By dever on 9/18/2007 6:49:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
found that motivation = $$$. Becaus that is a sad outlook for humanity.
Money is not evil... it can't be, it's not even an entity. It is simply a metric. Money is only a tool that allows us to quantify.

You can be motivated to do good for other people, but the only universally useful metric we currently have to measure that good is money. The amount of money people freely pay you for your service or product is a good indication of the amount of "good" your product or service does for those people -- it's value to them.

If that metric is artificially manipulated, it becomes less valuable, and less good is done.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 2:41:24 PM , Rating: 1
Yes it was more than 5 years, I believe it has been since the dawn of mainframe's that this has been an issue but that was before even my time in this field. Still, case in point, these guys have no idea how easy and structured computing has become under Microsoft.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/17/2007 3:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy in to this whole 5 years back argument. I think you're attributing too much of the natural progress in computing to Microsoft being the dominant software company. At the time Microsoft became popular with Windows, I believe IBM had a competing O/S 2 Warp or some such. And if it hadn't of been that, it would have been something else. Humanity and technology were ready for a revolution in computing and the accompanying software.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 7:15:17 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft was one of the leading development houses behind OS/2, when Microsoft decided to roll with Windows it stopped work on OS/2 and that pretty much killed it. You forget that IBM had contracted Microsoft to build its operating systems.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By tuteja1986 on 9/19/2007 12:34:14 AM , Rating: 2
I have been following this case for a long time. All i can say is that 1st EU court were right then later on in the case went totally crazy where EU court just wanted Microsoft to suffer even after all the changes and stuff were done. Microsoft has done alot but EU now look like they are in it for the money instead of actually trying to slove the problem.

I really don't see Microsoft can make the EU court happy.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By cochy on 9/17/2007 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 1
Your are assuming a great deal in basically everything you've said. Open Source community moving slower than Microsoft is debatable at best, entirely wrong at worse. How much has Windows and Office "moved" along from the first days of XP to Vista? Not a heck of a lot. Look how far Open Source software has come in that same time period and you can quick invalidate your statement.

As for 50 different flavors of *NIX not being able to communicate with each other, well thats completely wrong unless by communicating you mean something entirely different from "talking with each other". They all speak the same language. As an IT professional, I can say administering Linux or BSD based servers is a whole heck of a lot simpler and cheaper than Windows based servers. Once you know Suse Linux you can administer Red Hate Linux or BSD systems with minimal learning curve.

quote:
Computers wouldn't be the mainsteam commodity we have today, and we would be 5 years back.


Right cause you built a machine that was able to transport you to an alternate Universe where this was the reality? Otherwise you're just assuming once more, and remember what happens when you ASSume?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 2:45:40 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
How much has Windows and Office "moved" along from the first days of XP to Vista? Not a heck of a lot.

Ah you need to re-check yourself there.

Let's compare Vista to Windows for workgroups.
Let's compare Office 97 to Office 2007.

Case in point, Microsoft (and other private companies) invest lots of money into moving products forward and ensuring compatability with existing software.

Open Source guys can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and that is a problem. I also have to disagree that BSD and Linux servers are easier to administer, I frankly find Windows servers easier and that is why there is a larger supply of Windows admins than BSD or *NIX.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By cochy on 9/17/2007 3:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and that is why there is a larger supply of Windows admins than BSD or *NIX.


No it's not. The reason there is a larger supply is not because it's easier it's because there's more demand, I won't argue that there are more Windows servers than Linux server at the moment. Supply demand holds true for the job market as well.

I said to compare XP to Vista which is a 7 year period. Pretty long time if you ask me, and I don't see too much innovation in that time. I see newer versions of IE and Media Player. Plus IE was playing catch up game for most of that time.

If you want to compare Vista to workgroups then go ahead but I still maintain that your argument is debatable and certainly not case in point. It would be interesting to actually do a real comparison or point to an existing one than to jump to conclusions.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By FNG on 9/17/2007 10:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
Additionally, it takes almost 3 times the number of admins for our MS server farm as our similarly sized UNIX farm. While Microsoft has made great strides towards administration of Windows both remotely and programatically, it still has a long way to go. It seems that for every upgrade in server version we have to grab another admin or two.

Now, some of this can be attributed to poor initial setup and other factors that did not affect the UNIX boxes. However, we are not looking to cut 66% of the staff, just divert them to other Windows Server duties.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By erikejw on 9/17/2007 7:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
It is a fact that Microsoft and other companies has to obey local laws. If they don't they will get punished. It is as easy as yet.

US laws is not world laws but I know that most of you guys out there don't understand that.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/17/2007 12:00:45 PM , Rating: 4
And why isn't Apple seen as a big scary monopoly? Because it has about 10% of the PC market share and therefore isn't a monopoly. Microsoft essentially has the other 90%.

Microsoft has not been slapped with lawsuits for "competing against other companies", as you simplistically put it. They have been found to be repeatedly and illegally engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

I don't know what planet you live on but do you really think the EU/EC is trying to "destroy a business" with this decision?!?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By crystal clear on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/17/2007 12:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
I read it and it didn't answer my question. I hope they do go after Intel, I've no doubt that Intel has been abusing it's monopoly position too.

I'll ask it another way: what does the EU/EC stand to gain from destroying a business? (to clarify I'm assuming destroying means that the company goes bankrupt)


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Parhel on 9/17/2007 1:14:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'll ask it another way: what does the EU/EC stand to gain from destroying a business? (to clarify I'm assuming destroying means that the company goes bankrupt)


Uh . . . $690 million to start with.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/17/2007 1:19:56 PM , Rating: 1
Do you really think $690 million will put Micro$oft out of business?!?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By FITCamaro on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By rdeegvainl on 9/17/2007 3:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that is exactly what they can do, they can not import an microsoft product. That would certainly put a damper on things now wouldn't it?
That kind of attitude that says they can't exist without microsoft is a problem. if the EU turns completely away from microsoft, they lose a huge chunk of the global economy.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By FITCamaro on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 9:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft cut off all support to Europe there'd be utter chaos. More economic harm would be done to Europe as a whole than what would ever be reflected in MSFT quarterly reports. Don't delude yourself with some fantasy that Ubuntu would ride in and save the continent from the evil capitalist maniacs.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 12:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, without Microsoft support so many business and home users would be screwed in the EU. The EU needs to start try to cooperate with big companies rather than sueing all of them. Microsoft, Intel, who's next on the EU's list?


By NT78stonewobble on 9/18/2007 3:10:26 AM , Rating: 2
A lot easier. And since... You know microsoft didn't have to abide by the law neither did we:)


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By wordsworm on 9/17/2007 8:47:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Tell Microsoft that Windows is now illegal in the EU?
I don't think anyone should take your comment seriously. The EU is bigger than the US. The EU is basically a European united states. Their GDP is #1. There's no way in heck that Microsoft is going to risk losing access to that market. It would be suicide. Someone, some company would move in to fill the void, and chances are pretty good it would be competitive with Windows to the point that it could compete in the USA. Microsoft will pay. Look at how polite MS is being. They're not going to pull the same with the EU like they have mentioned in S. Korea.
The EU is growing in power, and it's only a matter of time before they overtake the US in military superiority as they have recently done with their GDP. The only reason the US succeeded so well was because of the import of 1/2 of Germany's greatest minds in WWII (roughly the other half going to the Soviets), not to mention constantly luring the greatest minds in the world with its Hollywood dreams. Your current president is squandering all the advantages the US has had in the last century over these 2 futile wars and the cap put on importing highly skilled workers. I don't think the US is anywhere near out of the picture, but it's clear that they've lost a heck of a lot of ground in the last 8 years.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 12:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that the EU still doesnt get along with each other and is far from the dominate cohesive unit you see it as, right?

Or are you really that misinformed about politics and economics?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/18/2007 12:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
What does that have to do with my finding the assertion that the EU will ever rival US military power hilarious?

To respond to your non-response, I agree in principle but the trend says your wrong. Sovereign EU nations yield more power to Brussels year by year -- and to their own disgrace, they're doing it now without a popular referendum.


By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 2:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
I meant to respond to the guy who was raving about the glory of the EU not you


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Parhel on 9/17/2007 3:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
No, but it's a good start. $690 million here, $690 million there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 1:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Billions in savings for consumers over the years would be the first target actually.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 1:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
Fines are a reliable source for financing your overspending.

You destroy their markets/revenues/incomes/profits etc.

You exploit them as you like.

You cannot drive them to bankcrupsy-you make life Hell for them.

E.U. GAINS a lot of money from these fines & use these fines to finance your bloated goverments/commissions.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By y7bb6 on 9/17/2007 3:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
It would be funny if Microsoft took operations out of europe and didn't pay the fine. Then Europeans would have to get their copies overseas.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By blackbrrd on 9/17/2007 5:26:13 PM , Rating: 1
They should be able to get a copy of a competing companies program.. But it might be a bit hard because Microsoft is running something close to a monopoly?

Why can't I buy just Windows, why you have to buy the whole bundle. It isn't like you can't create an OS without a web browser, media player, etc, etc.

Personally I like Microsoft Windows - I don't like the media player, the browser etc, etc. So why should I have to pay for them. It isn't like Microsoft developed them for free. So, when I buy MS Windows to get an OS I am subsidizing their development of software I don't want.

It would be fine if you could just get the Windows basic, where they left out all the bits that aren't necessary for the OS to work. Should be a lot cheaper ;) Then they could sell the rest of the applications as just that. Applications. But nooooo, MS has to sell it as a part of the OS.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/2007 6:08:00 PM , Rating: 1
Your argument makes no sense logically, since the price of Windows is not based on the cost of development. It is priced on the perceived total value of the "bundle" to the average customer. Therefore, this price would already factor out the value IE, WMP, etc. for some percentage of customers that don't want to use those programs.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By 16nm on 9/17/2007 7:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Personally I like Microsoft Windows - I don't like the media player, the browser etc, etc. So why should I have to pay for them. It isn't like Microsoft developed them for free. So, when I buy MS Windows to get an OS I am subsidizing their development of software I don't want.
A software company like Microsoft cannot develop a software package just for one person. It would be like you saying you only like MS Word because you can type in it and use the spell checker and you are not interested in all the other tools that come with it because you do not use them. Well, maybe you don't use them, but many others do. It is the same for Windows. You may not use ALL the functions available, but others do. MS can not design Windows around just your needs. Personally, I like several of its added functions. I like Paint, Notepad and IE. I don't care for media player either, but I bet others use it.


By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 8:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
YES FROM CHINA- DAMN CHEAP !


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 9:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
The E.U. is flooded with Chinese goods/products from textiles to electronics to name what you like.

The Chinese have a monopoly on cheap products-just nobody can compete with them,when it comes to prices.

As per your thinking-its unfair competition for other manufacturers (non-Chinese).

So what do you do ?

Impose FINES on CHINA !


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 10:11:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Impose FINES on CHINA !


I know you're sort of kidding, but, seriously, don't know what the Euros are up to, but the Democrats are working on it.


By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 12:19:34 AM , Rating: 1
They Dems want to tax everything


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By crystal clear on 9/18/2007 8:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
Hi there,

Always a pleasure discussing with you-this topic M.S/E.U is as always heated/tense/heavy traffic oriented.

Just see the total comments posted & it still goes on.

As for your comment-

I travel a lot in the region & know one thing for sure-

All is not OK there-however much they make it appear to be.

They are sitting on a heap of explosives issues that makes anybody shiver.
The long term effect will be disasterous-well thats the only way Europe learns-THE HARDWAY & PAYS A HEAVY PRICE...

History reapeats itself.
Ok do not wish to talk politics-not my expertize.


By crystal clear on 9/18/2007 8:31:43 AM , Rating: 2
Should read-sorry typing error.

History repeats itself.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By soydios on 9/17/2007 12:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
Give me sources saying Microsoft has done anything anticompetitive (other than purely existing as a corporation) at any time since the release of Windows XP. Particularly, ask yourself whether Apple hasn't done the same thing.

The EU is trying to reign in Microsoft with this decision. Apple is allowed to bundle all kinds of media software (iTunes, Quicktime, iMovie, iDVD, etc.), and Safari in their operating system. Furthermore, they are allowed to lock it to their hardware only. Why? Because it's a good product, and that's what customers want (though I sure wouldn't mind if I could run it on non-fashion-statement hardware).

So, what happens when Microsoft does exactly the same thing? They get sued six ways to Sunday. Microsoft has been forced to open markets for its competitors, at the cost of its own business and more importantly, to the detriment of consumers. Why do most people say to use OSX over Windows? Because OSX just works, and you don't need to install all those third-party things to get things done. Thank the courts for the hassle of third-part software in Windows.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By danrien on 9/17/2007 1:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
its different because microsoft has a monopoly on the market. once you are considered a monopoly, the rules of the game change.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By FITCamaro on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/17/2007 2:58:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Especially considering they lock you into their system a hell of a lot more than Microsoft does.

You admit Microsoft locks customers into their product yet you don't understand why the European Commission takes them to court and wins the case?
quote:
Merely having a majority market share does not make a company a monopoly.

It does to most people, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly, but merely having a monopoly will not get you taken to court. The reason Microsoft did was because they misused their monopoly to lock customers into their products and shut out the competition.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By FITCamaro on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/18/2007 5:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
LOL.

quote:
Especially considering they lock you into their system a hell of a lot more than Microsoft does.

Do you really not see that by saying that Apple does x more than Microsoft, Microsoft also does x?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 10:29:30 PM , Rating: 1
This is why we don't use wikipedia to base our knowledge on.

First of all, while Microsoft is not a price maker for the market as a whole; some alternatives are much less, others are free, and all reflect the resources taken to produce them more then anything. Prices for software are also inherently much more flexible than those for, say, a car, with massive fixed costs.

Second, what barriers to entry exist in the OS market? None. Any fool with a 386, monitor and keyboard can try to code one. Any individual with access to, say, eBay and attempt to sell one.

Third. MS has many substitutes. Whether or not they are "close" can be debated; market participants suggest by the market share allocated to the others that they are inferior. This is not the fault of Microsoft that its 'ecosystem' as I've heard it called is more developed and easier to operate it.

Fourth. Single seller. Clearly not.

Could a case for MS being a natural monopoly be made? I would say that it could; billions in R&D went in to Vista, billions more will go in to future releases. Only a firm with large market share can afford such expenditures, and firms that can't afford such expenditures end up being nice weekend hobby OS's, like Ubuntu.

What standard definition of monopoly is left to define Microsoft by? Woops. That's right. There isn't one. They're no more a monopoly than Toyota would be if they came out with a car so much more advanced, reliable and low cost that sales of all other vehicle makers dropped to a share comparable to that of OSX. Hmm, or otherwise made a car that was simply greatly preferred for whatever reason.

Another reason to not use Wikipedia as anything to base opinion on is its acute myopia. It didn't at all mention the long history of dealing with monopolies; namely that the earlier presidents that were the first to really deal with them had a philosophical flexibility not found in some modern trolls in that they understood that not all monopolies were against the public good.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By BitJunkie on 9/18/2007 12:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed a very well written post. The first coherent and well constructed arguement I've read in this forum in the Pro-Microsoft camp.

Proof (if it was needed) that you don't need to revert to racial sterotyping and jingoistic rhetoric to prove your case.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By phusg on 9/18/2007 5:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is why we don't use wikipedia to base our knowledge on.

That's an extremely cheap-shot considering I could have just as well have used any definition available, including Microsoft's 'own' definition from http://ca.encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictiona... to illustrate my point.
quote:
What standard definition of monopoly is left to define Microsoft by? Woops. That's right. There isn't one.

Of course there isn't. Every monopoly is unique as every industry is unique, computer software even more so you could say. I'll repeat it once more in the vain hope that someone will actually understand this: Microsoft was not taken to court because they became a monopoly, natural or not. They were taken to court because they misused their monopoly position to lock customers into their products and lock competition out.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By theapparition on 9/18/2007 11:07:17 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Microsoft was not taken to court because they became a monopoly, natural or not. They were taken to court because they misused their monopoly position to lock customers into their products and lock competition out.

Your right, they have completely locked out the competition. They don't let you install any web browser, don't let you install any media application, and don't provide programming tools to the public to create code to work on their syst........err, wait a minute.

How do they "lock" competition out, again? How do they lock customers into thier products? If you mean by giving them to you free, whereas your also free to use any other application that suits your fancy. Answer: They Don't.

That's as dumb as me wanting to sue Toyota becasue they don't offer Alpine stereo's as an option....wait, someone get me a lawyer.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By JoeBanana on 9/18/2007 11:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously you haven't tried to reverse engineer a program.
Just think of how many hours(years) went into stable decryption of NTFS protocol, that could be used elsewhere for product development and all for the sake of limiting competition.
Or have you ever try to code for IE. But the funny thing is, now that firefox is gaining share IE is becoming more standard oriented.

Of course you can install your own apps, but that's not the case. Try to code one that uses some MS indoor protocols.(because of monopoly nothing else exists)

Let them keep the sources just provide handshake info.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By wordsworm on 9/17/2007 12:31:39 PM , Rating: 5
Didn't Apple just announce that they'd start locking out non-iTunes tunes on their iPods? If that's the case, I'd say you can count on the EU stepping in.

quote:
Just because the EU considers Microsoft a monopoly they apply "special rules" that have no other purpose than to attempt to destroy a business for being "too successful".


Are you completely out of it? The US itself, preBush II, was in talks to break up Microsoft because of its practices.

quote:
socialism at its finest

So... you don't like socialism? You don't like public schools, police, welfare, to name but a few facets of socialism.

Apple has been under scrutiny over its iTunes. In relation to its practices with computers, if the shoe was on the other foot, then there can be no question but that it would be Steve Jobs' Adam's Apple on the block rather than Gates'.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By zombiexl on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 2:56:49 PM , Rating: 1
I concur, welfare needs to be abolished. I am fine paying taxes for Schools, Law Enforcement, Military, and Fire&Rescue stuff, but welfare? Nope. Forget it.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By arazok on 9/17/2007 4:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
Schools would be better served privatley with government oversight on ciricculum. The voucher system used in some US disctricts is a good start. Keep it free, but let parents decide the school. Privately run schools would keep the unions out, and competition for students would make schools more competitive.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By darkpaw on 9/17/2007 5:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree in general, privately run schools would never work well in rural areas like where I grew up. My school had the second largest district in NY by area, but only 800 total students pre-k through 12. That definatley wouldn't be anything a private company would be interested in dealing with.

There are too many factors to take into consideration to just say privitize everything. I do support the public/private concepts like charter schools though. When you look at the sorry shape of school distrcits like DC, its obvious that competition is needed in many areas.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By arazok on 9/17/2007 7:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Corporate management of a school will naturally focus on what corporations do best - optimize profit.


Agreed. I believe this is a necessary evil, and easily kept in check. The consumers will ensure quality service by sending their students to the best school in their area. The school owners will be forced to compete.

quote:
School vouchers are also a means to fund churches with taxpayer dollars


Although I don't think school and religion belong together, I don't see a problem with religious schools so long as the curriculum is mandated by the government to ensure they don't become focused on religion at the expense of education.

We fully fund Catholic schools here in Ontario, and with the exception of one religion class per semester, they are identical to regular schools.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By arazok on 9/17/2007 10:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm sure the non-Catholics in Ontario really appreciate that policy


It's a non-issue here (for the most part). The Catholic school board runs about a quarter of all the schools in the province. In some neighborhoods, you send you child to the Catholic school only because it's the closest.

The Catholic schools are generally considered better run then the public schools, but are not much different apart from the requirement of uniforms.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 10:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
You make solid points Tom, but the weight of evidence is that when it's implemented as a competitive compliment to a public school system that before long students in both private and public schools perform better. When parents are given a voucher they still care little about the cost, but they do care about the quality of education that their children receive. That creates competition for the students. Of course, once they have students, private schools then optimize their spending to maximize profit but doing so at the expense of a quality education would destroy their own business.

Unfortunately as long as there is a teachers union there can be no such corporate efficiency in the United States public school systems in general. Break the union, and then hire people to try to fix the system, and just enough people might be motivated by being true public servants to do some good. The huge reforms needed would never be tolerated by the union though.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 11:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I didn't understand you meant out-sourcing the whole thing. Sorry. Yeah.. I see what you're saying then. Also, at least in that situation government schools would be the devil we know and can deal with as voters rather than the devil we don't know and can't change with a cost-plus contractor.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By rcc on 9/18/2007 2:28:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I worry a bit that the profit motive might come at the expense of education quality if other alternatives don't exist.


Corporations understand profits. Tie their payments to grades on those exit tests everyone keeps bitching about. : ) Just make sure the tests are comprehensive.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By nofranchise on 9/17/2007 6:30:11 PM , Rating: 4
Jesus. Thank whatever entity may be out there that I don't live in the US with you guys. You obviously have NO clue what you are talking about considering welfare and the social democratic society. The reason probably being such a system, which has worked incredibly well in Europe - especially in Scandinavia - has never even been tried in the US.

You really SERIOUSLY believe people on welfare are just "lazy"? You believe people CHOOSE and like to be poor and on welfare? If so you seriously need to get out more. I would have thought that as a writer here, Master Kenobi should at least TRY to be a bit objective, but I guess being objective ,informed and tolerant is other woes of ..... *scary noises* SOCIALISM...

Grow up, smell the coffee - do something. Just don't unload this juvenile garbage about how much the world would benefit if we just let Microsoft and the other Fortune 500's run the place.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 12:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
I went to Stanton in jacksonville Florida for those same reasons, they promise good academics to get white kids to go to the black school, yay busing!

I got the same education as the other kids but most of the local kids ended up selling drugs while I am going to a private college for free, why? Because I tried in school, not becaus eI went to a better school.

People need to stop blaming the system and take responsibility for their actions


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Ringold on 9/18/2007 1:01:24 PM , Rating: 1
Yep. Our AP classes and whatnot were open to other people and asides from perhaps 5 girls from the local area that didn't want to drop babies by the age of 16 we typically had them all to ourselves.

America's a land of plenty, the government blows taxpayer money to lay it all out on the table. If people aren't willing to lean forward, reach out with their hands and grab at it why must we feel bad?

I like how I got rated down to 0 for pointing out the obvious truth of the vast majority of inner city problems; not economic, not government, but cultural and individual weakness.


By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 2:03:40 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with you, we should not feel bad for these people, if a teenage girl gwts pregant and drops, isnt that her fault? If students ar ecutting class to smoke pot, arent they to blame? I think that allowing those students to be in our AP classes is our responisbility but it is their responibility to sign up for them and to try and suceed in them


By dare2savefreedom on 9/20/2007 1:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
But not the windows tax?

The irony "Master Kenobi" - only a master of evil.

Welfare is good.
Being on this board means you're a rich boy and should give some money to the less fortunate than you.

There are 2 sides
0: microscam,apple,big corporations, patents, selfish,money, devil.
1: freedom,free software, linux, helping people, RMS, tux, and God.

Which side are you on?
My bit is 1 and u?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 2:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
Wonderful comments. You get a nuclear missile to take out EU headquarters. Congratulations.


By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 2:49:37 PM , Rating: 3
You really don't have a clue about anti-trust legislation or how modern capitalism works, do you?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By ArenaNinja on 9/17/2007 12:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
Bravo! That's what I thought when I saw:
quote:
In 2004, Microsoft was ordered by EU antitrust commissions to make its media player software compatible with other company's products and to desist in its practice of locking other companies out of its software

Per this ruling, Apple could be forced to make your OS compatible with your Dell... Of course, I'm not sure how precedent works in the EU. I know it could be used in the US though.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 2:53:00 PM , Rating: 3
No, it wouldn't, because Apple is not in an OS monopoly position. Seriously, people, at least read (and try to understand) the fundamental principles of anti-trust legislation before posting nonsensical comparisons.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By ArenaNinja on 9/17/2007 4:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
I did RTFA and understood it. I was looking for something more like what Justin Case (below) posted:
quote:
Anti-trust legislation can only be applied when a company has a market share above a certain level (ex., 50%). Even then, it can only be used when the company is using their (dominant) market share in one area to gain an unfair advantage in another.


I believe iTunes is in a monopolistic position.

Edit: You're Justin Case =|

Thanks for that great post. Useful bit of info.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By decapitator666 on 9/17/2007 1:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is not taken serious as a system in Europe.. Its a fringe system for artsy designers that don't mind to pay way to much for cool looks.

Microsoft however is forced upon people that buy a pc or laptop. If you want it or not


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By rcc on 9/17/2007 6:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft however is forced upon people that buy a pc or laptop. If you want it or not


And here I thought that merger with the Jehovah's Witnesses was cancelled. How pray tell are you forced to by MS? Oh, because there is no reaonable alternative? I agree, thats a problem. Sue IBM, Apple, DEC, and a few other companies for not creating a competing product.

The consumer has choices, not good ones, but choices. Now we are back to penalizing a company for it's success.

Maybe we'll get lucky and MS will pull out of the EU, and the EU will subsidize a company to develop a whiz bang alternative that meets their needs. That way they can dictate exactly what an OS should be.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 7:31:09 AM , Rating: 2
That sounds something along the lines of Boeing vs Airbus, yea that should work out real well.....


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 2:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
Anti-trust legislation can only be applied when a company has a market share above a certain level (ex., 50%). Even then, it can only be used when the company is using their (dominant) market share in one area to gain an unfair advantage in another.

The issue with Microsoft is that they have a monopoly in operating systems (which is fine) and they are using that advantage to lock out (or hurt the performance of) competing software in other areas (media players, browsers, etc.). And that is illegal.

Basically the EU said: publish the necessary documents for other people to write software for Windows on an equal footing or pay a fine. Microsoft released thousands of pages of useless information (hoping that it would take the EC years to get through it) but (amazingly) the EC didn't fall for it. They gave MS a second chance, and MS decided to pay the fine instead of actually allowing access to their internal API documentation, which shows just how scared they are of competition (or just how many security holes they know about but still haven't fixed).

I don't think Apple has a 50% market share of anything across the EU, so I don't see how a "similar case" could exist.

There are some lawsuits against Apple for discriminatory practices within the EU (ex., blocking users in France from accessing the Italian site, etc., which is illegal in the EU), and I think a couple of countries have lawsuits against Apple due to iTunes not working with non-Apple players (presumably because iTunes does have more than 50% market share in those countries).

P.S. - It's amazing, reading the comments to this article, how ignorant some people are about anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation (which is actually quite similar in Europe and the USA, although european deputies are apparently not as easy to bribe).


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 2:55:39 PM , Rating: 3
No, its just widely recognized that it is not hard nor difficult to write software for windows that performs as good or better than microsoft software. The EU seems to be the only place that this is a problem, perhaps some formal education in the art of programming might help them?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 3:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps some basic education in law would help you...?


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 7:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
I just disagree with your insinuation that Microsoft is off the hook in the U.S. because they bribed everyone. There are just as many bribes going around in Europe as in the U.S. dont try to stand up on the "were better" platform.


By Justin Case on 9/18/2007 10:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
1. What makes you think I'm an EU citizen? Maybe I'm just one of those (select few) Americans who actually decided to travel around the world before shouting that the USA is "the greatest planet on Earth" (and get so focused doing that they they don't even notice that's not true about most things anymore).

2. No, your posts on this thread (and similar threads) have nothing to do with bribes. Your theory seems to be that the EC has arbitrarily made up this fine because they "hate Microsoft" or "hate America" or whatever, when in fact they are simply applying the law (and BTW, Microsoft is no more "American" than GSK is "English"; both are multinationals, with locally managed branches all over the world).

If you had any clue about anti-trust legislation (in the EU or the US - it's very similar), you'd see that the case against Microsoft is as straightforward as can be, and that the amazing thing is not that the EC decided to uphold the fine; it's that Microsoft managed to get off the hook in the US!

But I guess that is just one more thing in a long list of strange things that have happened in the US recently, and which some people seem to treat as perfectly normal. If only Apple had patented the reality distortion field back in 2000, they'd be richer than Microsoft today...


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By theapparition on 9/18/2007 11:30:05 AM , Rating: 2
Last I checked, Media Monkey was one of the best software players out there, better than WMP, and lightyears ahead of iTunes. And there are plenty of examples of programs being written that are superior to the Microsoft included apps. Take Firefox as an example, 5 years ago almost 0 market share, now I believe around 25%.

So how exactly are they locking companies out??? No one understands this, least of all you. Yes microsoft packages useful utilities in its OS, but to punish Microsoft for bundling those apps is ridiculous.

Perhaps some basic common sense would help.....oh, why bother.


By Justin Case on 9/18/2007 9:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
You may find it ridiculous, you may be unable to understand it, but it's still the law. And I'm pretty sure Microsoft's legal department knew about it (not that it makes a difference; they still have to comply with it).

Here, have fun:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-competitive_prac...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barriers_to_entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coercive_monopoly

If, after reading that, you still can't understand why anti-competitive behaviour by monopolists is illegal in most capitalist countries, I'm afraid I can't do anything else for you. Maybe you could just edit those Wikipedia articles adding "...which is ridiculous!!" to the end of every paragraph.

Oh, and you really need to read up on your browser history, there. Mozilla / Firefox is the "heir" of Netscape, which had close to 80% market share when Microsoft started bundling MSIE with Windows. Also, considering Firefox is 4.5 years old, it's hardly surprising that it had a 0% market share 5 years ago...


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 12:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
They dont need to take bribes when they can sue any big company they want to and then take a ton of money from them.


RE: Is Apple being sued as well?
By Justin Case on 9/18/2007 1:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
You think the salaries of EP and EC members depend on who gets sued and for how much? Are you really an idiot, or do you just play one on the internet?

You're probably right about them "not needing" to take bribes, though. The salaries of EU officials are insanely high. And, at times like these, that can be the difference between applying the law identically to everyone and being "persuaded" to "reinterpret" it in exchange for a shiny new briefcase... filled with small paper rectangles.


By The Sword 88 on 9/18/2007 9:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
No I dont think they get payed per suit, but I dont think with the amou nt of money they bring in their salaries have to be pretty good.


By crystal clear on 9/18/2007 8:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
although european deputies are apparently not as easy to bribe).


Do you deal with them on a day to day basis ?

I do not wish to EXPOSE them-not my job-You live in a fantasy world-wake up.

You do not know what you are writing .


Thieves
By Mitch101 on 9/17/2007 11:03:41 AM , Rating: 3
I feel this is the EU Commission just saying we want a piece of that Microsoft money they make.

This is like when REAL was complaining about Microsoft's media player and saying Microsoft is the result they were being pushed out of the market. I'm sure it had nothing to do with REAL's invasive hiding of subscribing you to a ton of junk during the install process. Same for Quicktime always asking "Do you want to upgrade to Quicktime Pro" every time you tried to play a quicktime video. I also enjoy how they both decided their programs should be loaded all the time in my systems memory and checking for updates then nearly hiding where the option is to turn them off for auto-loading when booting into windows that the average use cant do. Sorry this is why REAL and QUICKTIME from apple does not exist on my machine.

In this case the EU would have sided with Santa Clause as a witness to get a hold of that Microsoft money.

Its not that Microsoft is being anti-competitive its that they are being less invasive.

So I guess Microsoft is left to jack up the price on software in the EU to make the money back. Who loses? Well the EU customers who wont blame their government for the high price of software but instead blame Microsoft. Now you know why the cost is higher in the EU. Thank your greedy government.




RE: Thieves
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 11:09:13 AM , Rating: 3
That would be nice. A big sticker on all the Vista software boxes on the shelves that says "As a result of fines paid to the European Union we have raised the price of our software by $20 per unit to help recover the fines lost."

God that would be classic.... now wheres my photoshop.............


RE: Thieves
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 11:39:12 AM , Rating: 2
Big brother-sorry no ... it should read-

"Sorry we got to charge more" because

"BIG SISTER wants her commission-she control this street".


RE: Thieves
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 9:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
The big sister here is "Madam Kroes"


RE: Thieves
By phusg on 9/17/2007 12:09:55 PM , Rating: 1
I'd rather go for the sticker that says "As a result of our monopoly position we have raised the price of this product by $200".


RE: Thieves
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 2:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather have a pair of brass knuckles stamp on the forehead of people like you the words "Whiny B*tch".

When the base version of Vista costs $200+, you can complain. As it stands now, its reasonable. A bit high, but reasonable.


RE: Thieves
By phusg on 9/17/2007 3:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
Listen 'dude', don't make me come over there and slap you.

When almost every PC you could have bought in the last 5-10 was ~$100 more expensive because of compulsory Microsoftware, I think there's every reason to complain.


RE: Thieves
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 5:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
So despite consumers being able to buy a PC for $300 for the past several years, you think Windows has been a full third of that price tag?

You've been able to buy Windows yourself for $80 for the past 4 years. Now don't you think Microsoft sells Windows to Dell at a substantially lower price than they do to OEM resellers?


RE: Thieves
By rdeegvainl on 9/17/2007 4:02:46 PM , Rating: 3
Internet tough guys, gotta love 'em


RE: Thieves
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 2:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
Only in the EU though. They can then thank their governing body.


RE: Thieves
By eryco on 9/17/2007 11:59:57 AM , Rating: 3
This doesn't make sense. Wasn't the version of "Windows XP N" that came without WMP highly unpopular among EU consumers? How can the EU Commission seriously justify this without looking like thieves?


RE: Thieves
By phusg on 9/17/2007 12:07:14 PM , Rating: 1
The first part is easy. The EU Commission made a big mistake in not stipulating that the version without WMP would have to be cheaper. M$ priced it at the same level and therefore no-one bought it.

The second part I can only answer with a question: how can Microsoft abuse their monopoly position and generate billions of dollars in profit without looking like thieves?


RE: Thieves
By eryco on 9/17/2007 12:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
That still doesn't explain the EUC's reasoning for requiring WinXPN in the first place (which included the "protection" of the very consumers who didn't buy it). MS was smart in pricing it the way they did - more work on their part for less product to the consumer. If the EU consumer really wanted this choice (according to EUC), then XPN would have been more widely received no matter if the price was the same.

I can't refute that MS may have done some questionable things in the past, but this case smells like a large pile of bull chips...


RE: Thieves
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 12:46:19 PM , Rating: 4
XPN should be the only option with WMP being sold or given away. The WMP disc should be placed in stores next to actual alternatives such as Real Player and VLC. This avoids bundling is illegal under EU and American law. You want to stop the case? Change the law.

As for people going on an EU tirade, are you all ignorant or forget that the DOJ had to settle with Microsoft a few years back.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Micr...


RE: Thieves
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 2:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, we can thank Bill Clinton and his DOJ morons for that. Microsoft would be AT&T Part 2. Everything gets weird for 10-20 years then comes right back together.


RE: Thieves
By borowki on 9/17/2007 12:19:10 PM , Rating: 3
If the EU is a thief, then Iowa is worse than Hitler. To recap, the European Union, population 500 mil, is demanding $690 mil. Meanwhile, Iowa, population 3 mil, got $180 mil from Microsoft.


RE: Thieves
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 12:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
Also factor in inflation and recent currency fluctuations.


RE: Thieves
By FITCamaro on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Thieves
By RHiNoX on 9/17/2007 2:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should raise prices on All software sold in the EU an amount to pay for the fine and add in a hedge fund for future fines. The cost of doing business in the EU just went up, so EU customers need to pay for it!

Whether the EU likes it or not... their consumers will pay for the fine.


RE: Thieves
By RHiNoX on 9/17/2007 2:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should raise prices on All software sold in the EU an amount to pay for the fine and add in a hedge fund for future fines. The cost of doing business in the EU just went up, so EU customers need to pay for it!

Whether the EU likes it or not... their consumers will pay for the fine.


Junk Case
By mdogs444 on 9/17/2007 10:40:51 AM , Rating: 5
Personally, I think this case is junk.

Wow, you mean WMP comes free on my system? You means its developed by the same company as the OS? Who cares. No one makes anyone use it. But thats just me. But i can still see a little bit of the point behind this part of the case.

However, If I were MS, i would just pull ALL my business from from europe. I wouldnt give them my source code, just so they can make money off of my software as my rival. Its not like they NEED europe to stay in business. Just to prove a point, make them all go linux, and offer no MS operating system. See how much they like it.




RE: Junk Case
By imperator3733 on 9/17/2007 11:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, If I were MS, i would just pull ALL my business from from europe. I wouldnt give them my source code, just so they can make money off of my software as my rival. Its not like they NEED europe to stay in business. Just to prove a point, make them all go linux, and offer no MS operating system. See how much they like it.


I've been thinking that MS should do that for quite a while. Then, maybe EU citizens would get super mad and make the EU leave MS alone.

If the EU would go and sue Apple I wouldn't have as big of a problem with their lawsuits against MS. There shouldn't be two standards for what is okay for an OS company to integrated into their OS.


RE: Junk Case
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 12:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
This is a precedent setting case. Lawsuits against apple depends on what happens here.


RE: Junk Case
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 12:40:10 PM , Rating: 1
Thats just it. It doesnt come free. The cost of developing WMP is included in the OS price.


RE: Junk Case
By AraH on 9/17/2007 12:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
but then the EU would have no one to fine... they'd would be bankrupt within a year...


RE: Junk Case
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 1:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
Lol you really think $690mn dollars has any effect on the finances of the EU?

Microsoft has revenues of $50bn+ . In the UK the competitition commission can fine a company upto 10% of its turnover. I dont know about EU law but $690m is nothing.

Even if the EU didnt exist individual nations would probably go after microsoft anyway just as the US did (probably with less success).


RE: Junk Case
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 3:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
No, WMP does not "come free". You pay for it when you pay for Windows (you think it's developed by fairies? or maybe freeware programmers, in their spare time?). If you want to use it, that's fine. But let's say you prefer to use "Windows OtherPlayer (TM)". Not only do you still have to pay for Microsoft's WMP, but that money is actually being used to compete against OtherPlayer, which means OtherPlayer sells less copies, which means it ends up more expensive.

Anyway, his case has nothing to do with that. It has to do with Microsoft releasing the full documentation for their Windows APIs so that other developers are on an equal footing when writing software for Windows.

Microsoft is free to have an OS monopoly, but they cannot use that advantage to stifle competition in other areas (office applications, browsers, media players, etc.). It's not a "moral" issue, it's a legal one. Microsoft is subject to the same laws as everyone else (even if their bribes to politicians manage to get them "special treatment" in some countries).

Even if Microsoft sold WMP separately (which, IMO, they should be forced to to, and deduct its development cost from the price of Windows), they would still have to release all the necessary documentation to let 3rd parties develop media players (or any other software) for Windows.

If Microsoft doesn't want to have to deal with anti-monopoly laws, all they need to do is let their OS market share drop below 50% (ex., spin off another company and sell two separately developed and marketed versions of Windows). After that, they can do pretty much whatever they want.

Microsoft is about as likely to increase the price of Windows (let alone "pull their business out of Europe") as George W. Bush is to win the Nobel prize of physics. Even at less than 10% market share, Linux and OSX are already huge threats. If either of them is allowed to rise above 25% or so, the momentum will kill Microsoft in the long run, and they know that very well. That is why they turn a blind eye to piracy in Asia, for example: they'd much rather see 100 people using pirate copies of Windows than 50 using legal copies plus 50 using Linux or OSX.


RE: Junk Case
By TomZ on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Junk Case
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 11:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Software, in fact, could probably drive a savant economist to total insanity, what with no real supply curve.

A socialist earlier posted a link to the Wikibias article on Monopoly. I'd direct Jason there for the chart it provides. WMP, etc, was a sunk cost or a very small part of marginal cost. Cost is set, therefore, based on demand and it's relationship to marginal revenue (1/2) and marginal cost. In any event, whatever price maximizes profit given the likely resultant quantity demanded. WMP or IE development costs, as Tom said, are irrelevant.

You see the same behavior, by the way, in the satellite phone industry. Massive, massive sunk costs in the development of the service, but prices don't even begin to reflect it.


RE: Junk Case
By Justin Case on 9/18/2007 1:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
Does that mean that if I "perceive" it to be zero and you "perceive" it to be $20, I'll pay $20 less than you?

That's where your peculiar "logic" starts to crack, see?


RE: Junk Case
By TomZ on 9/18/2007 9:33:39 AM , Rating: 1
No, of course, but do what you're talking about across a large number of users and average the result, and that's how the price is set. Again, the price is not set based on the cost of production! That's business 101.


RE: Junk Case
By Justin Case on 9/18/2007 8:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
But if you don't give the users the choice of buying WMP (and MSIE, and Outlook Express, etc.) separately, any "average valuation" is just something pulled out of your (or Steve Ballmer's, or whoever's) ass.

Is that really so hard to understand?

How do you "judge the value" of having a GPS unit in your car? Why, by having the option to buy the same car without a GPS unit. And most car makers do this even though they're not required to (because no single car maker is in a monopoly position, and therefore can behave in an anti-competitive way).

I can assure you that I (and about 2/3rds of the people I know and work with) wouldn't even pay $1 for any of those Microsoft add-ons. In fact, I'd probably pay a lot just to make sure those didn't come pre-installed on computers bought by people in my family. Somehow, 90% of the problems they have (and which I invariably end up having to fix) are related to stuff that is not essential for Windows to work, and is only bundled with it because Microsoft doesn't want to compete on an open market.


Uh?
By James Holden on 9/17/2007 9:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
Appealing your case doubles your fine? We don't have that law in the US do we?




RE: Uh?
By colonelclaw on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Uh?
By Akazar on 9/17/2007 10:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
I sued a landlord in philadelphia when I lived there back in 1995. He withheld my security deposit and according to the laws I am able to sue for double the amount. I ended up getting about 1.5 times the amount when we went to a negotiator.

So in some circumstances the law exists.


RE: Uh?
By arazok on 9/17/2007 10:13:52 AM , Rating: 3
No, but it's common in the EU. I know that in Brittan that if you fight a speeding ticket in court and lose, they double the fine. Another reason why I'm glad I don't live there. The government should never attempt to discourage a citizen from seeking justice in a court of law. It just leads to abuse of power.


RE: Uh?
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 3:28:25 PM , Rating: 3
You "know" that? Then I'm sure you'll have no problem posting a link to the relevant law, right? Unless, of course, by "I know" you really mean "I've just made that up".


RE: Uh?
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:15:17 AM , Rating: 4
The main reason they are fined more is because the fine was based on the number of days that Microsoft did not comply with the ruling to make its media player sufficiently compatible (3.9 million a day I believe). As Microsoft chose to instead fight the case in court, for every day they were fighting the case and not complying with the ruling their fine increased.

To my understanding this is fairly standard.


RE: Uh?
By rninneman on 9/17/2007 10:21:04 AM , Rating: 2
The fine went up because for everyday of non-payment, something like an additional 1.5 million Euros was added to the total. I guess that is to discourage companies from fighting EU decisions. That would never happen in the states. Here, if you have a legitimate appeal, any fines are temporarily stayed.


RE: Uh?
By RW on 9/17/2007 11:54:57 AM , Rating: 1
Now u know why Windows Vista cost so much because they have to pay that fucking fine.
Now Microsoft doesn't afford to lower sales on their software because they have to make money to pay the fines aprox 1 billion loses just from recent lost cases in court, this just looks in what cruel and greedy world we all live on where nothing else matters than money that's why all try to take Microsoft's money, but we all lose from that because as I said they now have to keep the prices high to can pay the fines.
Microsoft now has to sell 10 millions Windows copies of 100 $ each just to pay 1 billion to EU and US states that sue them, and that's a fucking amount of copies.
If it was another company they where now bankrupt after paying 1 billion $ just on fines.


RE: Uh?
By decapitator666 on 9/17/2007 1:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have it the wrong way round. The fact you have to pay through the nose for windows is the reason to bring them to court. They are proof of monopolism


Who is the abuser ?
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 12:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
Heres the truth & admission of guilt.....from the guy who started it all.

By telephone from Milan, where he is now president of Bocconi University, Monti recalled that before his decision in March 2004 that Microsoft was abusing its market dominance, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer visited him in Brussels and offered a settlement.

"Although I was very tempted, I did not agree on the settlement proposed by Mr Ballmer," Monti said.

Had Monti agreed to the deal the Commission would have lost control of new issues that could arise the in future, he said at the time. Less than one week after turning down the settlement idea, the landmark decision was issued.

A deal would have been "a nice way out, much less risky for the Commission" but would have failed to provide legal certainty, he said.



http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesti...




RE: Who is the abuser ?
By BitJunkie on 9/17/2007 12:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's not an admission of guilt.

What he's saying is that if he had accepted the deal Ballmer tabled, then he would have compromised the position of the EUC and made it impossible to fight further cases where more harmful abuse of a monopoly position may occur.

He's also saying that it wasn't the path of least resistance for him.


RE: Who is the abuser ?
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 1:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Brussels doesnt lack lawyers who could find ways & means to accept a settlement/deal from M.S. without compromising the legal position of the E.U. to fight further cases where more harmful abuse of a monopoly position may occur.

I quite sure M.S. did not ask E.U. to surrender its rights in a settlement offer.

Trust those lawyer to bash out a good legal document.


RE: Who is the abuser ?
By BitJunkie on 9/17/2007 1:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree, but I was just pointing out that it wasn't an admission of guilt - as you clearly stated.


RE: Who is the abuser ?
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 9:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
He is guilty of gross negligence-he could have closed the matter long time ago-but he preferred to let the matter drag on endlessly-till today.


RE: Who is the abuser ?
By BitJunkie on 9/18/2007 12:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
That post is about as worth reading as all your others.


Another Perspective...
By BitJunkie on 9/17/2007 12:23:31 PM , Rating: 4
I'm a European, but I'm not defending today's judegement. I do however have a problem with a couple of points raised here:

1) "Europeans punish success."
2) "There are no successful European companies"

Both of those points are total bollocks. Look at some of the other multinationals who operate in the EU without punishment. You might also want to google a couple of names such as Shell (properly titled Anglo-Dutch Shell), BP, Maersk, ABB etc etc for an example of highly successful European owned multinationals. This is an issue to do with how Monopolies are allowed to operate within the EU. It's just unlucky for Microsoft that they are at the front of the queue.

As for the EU being Socialist and anti-competative, think again. The whole problem with this case is that Microsoft is perceived to be a monopolist i.e. has control of an entire market. A Monopoly by its definition is anti competative and stifles innovation. The intention is to make sure that there is room within the market for competition to grow and survive without being murdered at birth.

Microsoft being asked to hand over details of APIs is just an attempt at lowering the barriers for entry for comeptition and ensuring that future competition exists and prevents stagnation and a lack of innovation. A company the size of Microsoft should not be fearful of that.

Please remember IF Microsoft had complied they wouldn't have been fined. There's nothing socialist about this, just a desire to maintain a free open market.




RE: Another Perspective...
By BitJunkie on 9/17/2007 1:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
And a couple of other points:

If Microsoft was able to document the APIs as requested by the EUC it probably would have done so by now. The fact is that they didn't, and the reason for that was most likely the shockingly bad state of the code base for key products. Don't forget that the code base for Windows was totally rewritten over the last 5 years (accounting for a large proprtion of the delay in shipping Vista) this suggests that the EUC ruling pushed Microsoft to rework their codebase sooner than may have happened otherwise.

I am happy to argue the point that this process has actually helped improve the Windows product, because even in an environment with a lack of competition, Microsoft has not been allowed to grow lazy and stagnate ;)


RE: Another Perspective...
By RHiNoX on 9/17/2007 2:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should raise prices on All software sold in the EU an amount to pay for the fine and add in a hedge fund for future fines. The cost of doing business in the EU just went up, so EU customers need to pay for it!

Whether the EU likes it or not... their consumers will pay for the fine.


RE: Another Perspective...
By phusg on 9/17/2007 3:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Whether the EU likes it or not... their consumers will pay for the fine.

That's one worth thinking about. Maybe Europe should look in to whether the cost/savings of dropping certain Microsoft products could cover it ;-)


RE: Another Perspective...
By BitJunkie on 9/17/2007 4:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
If the price of maintaining a free market place is that I have to pay for it (and after all, nothing is free) then I am happy to pay it.

Believe it or not, the US has competition laws, so presumably someone (probably better qualified than you or I) thinks they are an important part of the market place in the US as well. The major difference between the US and Europe in how these are being enforced.

I suspect that your loby groups have been particularly effective, so on one level this just show's how susceptible your system is to manipulation by interested parties.


The judgement
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 10:36:35 AM , Rating: 6
You can read the full judgement in this pdf-

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE (Grand Chamber)
17 September 2007 *
(Competition – Abuse of dominant position – Client PC operating systems – Work group server operating systems – Streaming media players – Decision finding infringements of Article 82 EC – Refusal of the dominant undertaking to supply and authorise the use of interoperability information – Supply by the dominant undertaking of its client PC operating system conditional on the simultaneous acquisition of its media player – Remedies – Appointment of an independent monitoring trustee – Fine – Determination of the amount – Proportionality)


http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/eucas...




RE: The judgement
By crystal clear on 9/18/2007 10:29:31 AM , Rating: 2
Additions-These links help you to see the whole picture.

Here are some of the key events in Microsoft's 17 years of legal battles with regulators and private companies from the European Union, the United States, South Korea and Hungary:


http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?typ...

FACTBOX: Microsoft's legal troubles in EU, U.S., Asia


http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?typ...

Following are profiles of some main players in the case, in which the Commission found Microsoft had abused its dominance of personal computer operating systems, hurting smaller competitors:



http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?typ...


Where does this money go?
By rudy on 9/17/2007 2:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to know where the money will be going from the fines? To the other companies?




RE: Where does this money go?
By Ringold on 9/17/2007 11:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
Probably to the EU's general budget -- which will help build bridges with giant signs next to them pointing out how great and glorious the generaous European Union is and how much of a benefit it is the average mans daily life.


The green light for more !
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 11:27:46 AM , Rating: 3
The verdict may be appealed only on points of law and not of fact and may force Microsoft to change its business practices.

It also gives Kroes a green light to pursue other antitrust cases and complaints involving Intel , Qualcomm and Rambus, and issue new antitrust guidelines that were put on ice pending the ruling.



http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUS...

The next high profile case will be Intel !

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith called the ruling unprecedented and disappointing, saying it gave the Commission "quite broad power and quite broad discretion".

Kroes declined to discuss the implications of the ruling for a pending complaint against Vista but said the Commission would have something to say soon.





Retardation?
By DEVGRU on 9/17/2007 11:57:36 AM , Rating: 1
"Microsoft said it is not currently sure what its next legal steps will be in trying to comply with EU competition law. This ruling marks one of the largest against Microsoft and is a major victory for the EU's Competition Commission."

Legal steps? How about changing the f-ing software like the EUC told you to do years ago? MS deserves every cent being sucked out of it. When in Rome, you play by Roman rules. Change your software or leave the continent.




RE: Retardation?
By Strunf on 9/17/2007 1:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
lol MS is more like "Veni Vidi Vici"... too bad (for them) Bill Gates isn't Julius Caesar.


Anti-Americanism
By Rampage on 9/17/2007 3:55:35 PM , Rating: 1
This is nothing more than an assault from the EU on the USA, and an assault on free markets. There are plenty of companies would could take on MS but choose not to. They aren't godlike and can be taken down, it's just that no one wants to.
Proof is apparant, Dell sells Linux powered PCs.
Monopoly by MS? Mmmmmmk.

Maybe in the eyes of an obsolete socialist thinker, or through glasses purely tainted with jealousy and hatred for US companies.




RE: Anti-Americanism
By niaaa on 9/18/2007 8:25:55 AM , Rating: 2
yeah this the work one single man...The president of Europe ! We are so screwed and so poor we need to steal money from M$ to close our budget, who said the cold war is over, europe is communism ! We all live in dirty landwastes and can't stand the success of american companies which are so superior !

This thread is a collection of anti europe opinions, I found it funny at first but now I'm a bit afraid...can't americans think OUTSIDE their country and open their eyes a little bit ?


Euro vs. Dollar
By teckytech9 on 9/17/2007 1:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fine was initially $375.4 million, but Microsoft refused to comply and instead took the case to court. Because of this the fine was nearly doubled to $690 million.

The Euro has gained much ground against the Dollar in recent years. Maybe the current amount is a bargain at todays exchange rates. I wonder who regulates the prices on software especially if a student can get much deeper discounts on Microsoft products?
This ruling will probably equate to a slight increase in prices to everyone and anyone who can't find the product much cheaper.




I retort
By jdsal on 9/18/2007 2:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
"I like turtles."




where does the money go?
By troublesome08 on 9/19/2007 2:11:41 AM , Rating: 2
i just wanna know where all the money goes, really




By SaySomeThingOrDIE on 9/20/2007 2:19:05 AM , Rating: 2
it's about time that money hungry Bill Gate pay his does. A lot of companies close their doors because MS monopoly. 600+ millions isn't enough, more like 20 billion.
statics now shows 1 out of 200 computers per day, running Windows will crash.




Lets hope...
By Screwballl on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Lets hope...
By wien on 9/17/2007 10:17:29 AM , Rating: 2
Of course it doesn't lead to that. Are you mad? All they're required to release is specs for some of their proprietary protocols. You don't need anything else to develop compatible software.


RE: Lets hope...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:38:26 AM , Rating: 4
You know I've never quite understood this. I can go out to the store, pickup a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio .net and program in VB, C# or .net and build excellent programs to work on the windows operating system. I can buy games, anti-virus software, media software, dvd players, educational software, etc..... In fact there is more software available on Microsoft Windows than any other OS by an order of magnitude. So why is it they complain that Microsoft is "not allowing software to compete with it's own". From any perspective of someone even slightly educated into the IT field, the EU's entire lawsuit and basis for complaints have never made any sense whatsoever.


RE: Lets hope...
By crystal clear on 9/17/2007 10:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
Some critics have said the ruling comes too late. The Commission acknowledges that Microsoft's tactics long ago eliminated most of the competition that the Commission decision of 2004 meant to promote.



http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesti...


RE: Lets hope...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 11:06:21 AM , Rating: 1
Like Realplayer? Yea who would honestly want to install that flaming piece of shitware on a computer? I don't hear WinAmp crying......


RE: Lets hope...
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 1:06:45 PM , Rating: 3
Thats because you pay for WMP everytime you buy an OS, and real player can only compete by giving away their software for free. This creates problems in r&d.

Also, there are API problems.


RE: Lets hope...
By zombiexl on 9/17/2007 2:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
He said WinAmp, not Windows Media Player.

To your you pay for WMP everytime you buy an OS argument...
I'm pretty sure XP shipped with version 9 or less (dont remember for sure) and I'm running 11 and haven't paid a penny for an upgrade.


RE: Lets hope...
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 2:40:55 PM , Rating: 3
Its not a direct payment. You pay for the product and then recieve product support which includes updates. Eventually you'll pay for it again when you buy a new OS.


RE: Lets hope...
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 2:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Whats your point? Apple gives away iTunes for free and it comes installed on the Mac. All this type of software is free these days.

As others have said, RealPlayer is free because its crap. I won't install it on my PC. I install Quicktime only because some videos come in it. I'd also love to never have to use PDF again but I don't always get what I want. Maybe I should move to the EU and complain that PDF can't easily and properly be converted to Word or any other document format unless I pay for software to do it.

Oh wait, Adobe doesn't have as much money as Microsoft so its ok.


RE: Lets hope...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 3:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
Office 2007 took care of this problem. It can read/write PDF's natively with an update from the Microsoft website :) Adobe sued in europe so it couldn't be "bundled" so Microsoft made it a freebie downloadable extra. Gotta love it.


RE: Lets hope...
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 4:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Apple isnt a monopoly so its ok. These laws were developed by economists much better than you.

Also itunes isnt free unless youve never bought OS X or an Ipod.


RE: Lets hope...
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 5:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Nope. I have never bought OSX or an iPod and never will.

quote:
Also itunes isnt free unless youve never bought OS X or an Ipod.


By that argument the EU argument that Microsoft is creating a monopoly by giving media player and IE away for free is invalid.

And the point was that media player and internet browser software is given out free by everyone. So what is the problem if Microsoft bundles it with their OS that they write and have every right to choose what software comes with it? If you don't like it, don't use it. The story is the same with OSX, iTunes, Safari, iMovie, iPhoto, etc.


RE: Lets hope...
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 7:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
Lets say microsoft started bundling in their onecare product which you feel they are entitled to do. They increase the price of the OS by $10 to accomodate this. Wont have to be much since they are guaranteed very large sales by bundling it with their OS.

This then crushes the entire antivirus industry. How can it not?

This is what bundling of WMP has done. How can you say this is perfectly acceptable?


RE: Lets hope...
By ghost101 on 9/17/2007 7:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that in this scenario, AV companies would have to give away their products for free to compete since you falsely believe that onecare would be free. These companies arent guaranteed sales like microsoft would be and would therefore have serious problems in developing quality products.


RE: Lets hope...
By Nekrik on 9/17/2007 7:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
The funniest thing to do to the 'Average User' would be a version with no browser. Think of how long it would take them to get on the web. They get home with that shiney new machine, boot it up, and then... where's the internet?

Most 'Average Users' do not have FF, Safari, etc... burned to disk or have the binaries available from any means other then the Web. I'd guess it's also a safe bet that most of the people whining about IE use it to go and download the browser they do want.


RE: Lets hope...
By SaySomeThingOrDIE on 9/20/2007 9:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
How do you like Netscape went to hell, when MS started given out pre-installed Internet Explorer on there Fu---up OS. That piece of crap web browser caused millions of computer to crash.

hell, I've been noticing MS copied Yahoo!'s Widget Engine program for their Windows Vista...


RE: Lets hope...
By wien on 9/17/2007 11:15:00 AM , Rating: 2
This is not about the availability of competing software. This is about Microsoft using their monopoly in desktop OS software to promote their Server OS software.

By using closed protocols like for instance CIFS in their desktop OS they are the only vendor able to implement file sharing that will work reliably on their desktop systems. Others have to reverse engineer their protocols to be able to support Windows desktops out of the box.

If Microsoft had 25% of the desktop OS market this tactic wouldn't be a problem in and of itself, but when you are a monopoly the rules change and using your power in one market to gain an unfair advantage in another market is illegal.

Feel free to protest, but that's the law and Microsoft have to abide by it if they want to do business in the EU.


RE: Lets hope...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 11:20:19 AM , Rating: 3
Doesn't seem to be a problem. I can file share with Red Hat, Fedora, Solaris..... Yea, I just don't see the problem. I don't see Apple giving away their proprietary information, nor IBM, or HP, or Cisco (Refering to IOS), yea I just don't see it. This is why Microsoft is not being sued in the U.S. It's not a crime to be successful, Microsoft is only one of several companies the EU would love to crush.


RE: Lets hope...
By wien on 9/17/2007 11:26:19 AM , Rating: 1
No it isn't a (big) problem because of the massive amount of work put into the Samba project. Work that could be very well spent elsewhere if specs were available and reverse engineering wasn't needed.

As for the other companies you mentioned, none of those are monopolies in their respective markets, hence the same rules don't apply to them. Or, well, Apple are getting some heat because of their iPod/iTunes integration, but I don't think anything has come of that yet.


RE: Lets hope...
By RHiNoX on 9/17/2007 2:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should raise prices on All software sold in the EU an amount to pay for the fine and add in a hedge fund for future fines. The cost of doing business in the EU just went up, so EU customers need to pay for it!

Whether the EU likes it or not... their consumers will pay for the fine.


RE: Lets hope...
By wien on 9/17/2007 3:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, that's one way to do it. That's up to Microsoft really. But considering the amount of money they actually make in the EU, that probably wouldn't make that much of a difference to the retail price. The amount of money flowing in the OS market defies belief.


EU, Get over yourself
By Nik00117 on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: EU, Get over yourself
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:45:28 AM , Rating: 1
The European Union has a thing against being highly successful, if your "too successful" the EU sees a need to knock you down. Notice there are no massively successful european only corporations? Most of them went to Japan or the U.S.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By sliderule on 9/17/2007 10:54:06 AM , Rating: 2
What about Debeers? I think the EU just has a problem with US companies thriving...btw can't stand Microsoft, I use Ubuntu. It's just the hypocrisy by the EU in this case is laughable.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2007 11:00:19 AM , Rating: 2
Debeers has competition from other european and international companies. I'd hardly call them successful on the scale of say Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM, etc....

Side note, not everyone can use Ubuntu. Ubuntu is hardly practical for business applications.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By TheBaker on 9/17/2007 11:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
What about DeBeers? They are headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the diamonds are. That is decidedly outside the EU. Only the holding company is located in the EU, Luxembourg I believe. Maybe the Netherlands.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By gramboh on 9/17/2007 11:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Total Oil, Airbus (forget the consortium that owns it), Siemens, many many banks etc.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 7:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
Airbus? Don't make me laugh. We can see quite clearly what happened to them since the EU stuck their hands in and tried to dictate. Ever wonder why they flip CEO's so quickly?


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By phusg on 9/17/2007 12:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
So silly of us Europeans to not lower corporate taxes to rock bottom, bankrupting the country in the process BTW, and deregulate everything in sight so that the corporations can do whatever they want.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By borowki on 9/17/2007 12:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
Just ask the oil companies. All these European politicans are now demanding this so-called "wind-fall" tax on their successful businesses. Practically highway robbery. And it's shameful the way they attacked the executives personally in the European Parliament, all to win votes back home. If this anti-business populism doesn't end, I'm afraid the likes of Chevron and ExxonMobil will be forced to leave Belgium for the States.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By Zapp Brannigan on 9/17/2007 12:43:05 PM , Rating: 1
Naa man, The EU doesn't give a shit if your successful, Shell, BP and Total are all incorporated in the EU and their combined profits are over $50 Billion and you don't see them running off to america due to the EU's supposed "Anti-Success" policies.

The EU wants competition, it wants some upstart european software provider to become the new microsoft, this ain't ever gonna happen but they are gonna do everything they can to allow it to happen.

This is just the same when bush raised the tariff on imported steel back in '02. This upped the price of the cheaper steel from the asia and europe, in a futile effort to save american jobs. Socialism at its finest.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2007 2:35:59 PM , Rating: 1
How does raising a tariff on imports compare with fining one company hundreds of millions of dollars for not "complying" with the law while simultaneously ignoring the fact that smaller companies do the exact same thing.

This comes down to money. Nothing more. Microsoft has it. Apple doesn't. Microsoft has deep pockets. Apple and the EU don't. So the EU wants to pad its pockets with money from Microsoft because it can. What can Microsoft do other than tell the EU to go f*ck itself and stop selling Windows there which isn't a viable solution (as much as I might like to see it happen). They're the government and they can do as they please and they know it.

A better example would be like the US government fining the largest US based oil company for charging so much for gas while the rest of the smaller oil companies weren't.

I sincerely hope the EU keeps pushing Microsoft's buttons because I think they'll eventually hit the point were Microsoft does tell them where to shove it.

What's the point of doing business somewhere when you're loosing half a billion dollars a year in fines due to your "anti-competitive" practices from bundling your media player with your OS. Or your internet browser. God forbid people just not use the fucking thing and install something else. It's not like that software costs money. Then you have the fines because Microsoft made Vista too secure by locking out the kernel. And included firewall, antivirus, and antispyware with it. How dare they. Oh wait were they also fined because of the security vulnerabilities of XP?


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By nofranchise on 9/17/2007 7:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
I am literally laughing out loud at the ludicrous and utter idiotic comments made by both commenters AND staff here! Wonderfully entertaining... The EU has a policy against successful businesses... You crack me up.

Of course - the EU should be following the example of the grand US companies who are doing their best to suck America dry as fast as possible - and doing a decent job of it I might add.

Take a look back you people, and actually look at what's happening to the US. In fifteen or twenty years the US will be circling the drain, all production will be in Asia, India and South America and who is going to pay taxes in the US? Microsoft? Haliburton? General Electric? Intel? They sure as sheep won't - and that's when the EU will have to send aid westwards. And the EU will do it like you did for them a hundred years earlier.

Hardcore multinational corporations arent out to do good, people, they are out to make profits - and thats just another way of saying they will cheat, steal and lie if they can get away with it - if it makes a lot of money - it's good. And to Hell with the rest of the world.

Sweet future - please come kick some sand in somebody's eyes soon.

On a side note I am again appaled that staff bloggers flaunt completely unsubstantiated garbage without consequence. I can say whatever I want, but I don't have those DT letters either. I'm just saying - it sends weird signals (- and it's not spy signals to the SOoooOooOOOCIALST EU...OOoooOOOoohh.)



RE: EU, Get over yourself
By phusg on 9/18/2007 6:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
Thank god. I was beginning to think I was the only one. DT staff and posters may know their tech, but business, politics and history is obviously another matter entirely. I would have thought that now the truth about Iraq, Enron, Bush, sub-prime mortgages etc etc has came to light it would have opened peoples eyes. Guess these DTers have been too busy O/Cing the latest and greatest to notice...


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 7:57:52 AM , Rating: 2
The ad hominem attacks do you no credit. So what if I am a writer? I am still a human being, still an American, still a tax payer. Do not expect me to say nothing when you deliberately berate and attack the U.S., it's government, or it's companies. Focus on the issue, and let's try to keep it civil yes? Try not to focus on the little icon it's quite small.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By crystal clear on 9/18/2007 9:38:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The EU has a policy against successful businesses... You crack me up.


Correction-E.U. has a policy of using FINES as financial instrument to raise cash for its overspending/inefficiency/bloated goverments/etc.

Dont mock at others-see what goes on in the E.U.-

E.U is flooded with goods/products from China/India/etc.

So you are no better than the USA.

If it was not for M.S./Intel etc who would pay those huge fines to finance your goverments.

Without the Arab oil money invested in the E.U.-you would be worse than you could imagine.

This is not a political discussion,so with that in mind lets stick to the subject line.

What do you do when you are not happy with a site & the comments-YOU LEAVE TO FIND another one.

So the choice is yours ! You would do well in the INQ.....
....your type of people.

Nothing personal-just an observation.....


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By NT78stonewobble on 9/18/2007 3:15:34 AM , Rating: 2
"A better example would be like the US government fining the largest US based oil company for charging so much for gas while the rest of the smaller oil companies weren't."

A better example would be how the US government would have felt if 90-95 % of all their oil came from OPEC.

And opec just upped the price 10 % ... :D


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By nofranchise on 9/18/2007 7:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and Kenobi?

Take a look at this list next time you're talking out of your ass...
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2...

You might be familiar with it - and guess what, 5 out of the ten biggest (and most evil) corporations in the world are American - the other 5 are from the EU and Japan.

We are equally cursed by this. Although I am sure you'll rebuke this with your usual charm.

Oh - almost forgot - Microsoft is number 139 - just below Maersk Shipping, the worlds largest containershipping company, which is Danish by the way - a Social Democratic nation with welfare, free hospital care, taxes at 50 percent, 75% of its labour force are members of a trade union and has the 6th highest GDP per capita in the world. Yikes...

And just to be fair: Yes. I do live there.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/18/2007 8:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I'm going to ask you what logic you used to arrive at the idea that the higher your company is ranked on the Fortune 500 the more evil you are....

Anyways. Since you want to get into it over the european stuff, let me pull some stuff right off the British Embasy in Berlin's website.

Now, I've got nothing against European countries, or people that are willing to work, but I have plenty of beef with the European Union.

I will quote all of it because I agree 100% and I am glad that the British recognize this as I'm sure other europeans do as well.

The following is verbatim from the link here. http://www.britische-botschaft.de/en/news/items/03...
quote:

THE CHALLENGES FACING EUROPE

But for Europe to be a full and equal partner we need to meet the following challenges:

First, we need to get Europe moving again. Less talk in seminars on Europe's future and more work for the working class in new enterprises.

Today the EU produces 20 per cent less wealth each year than the United States. According to the Foreign Office economists that wealth gap will increase to 40 per cent - to Europe's disadvantage by the year 2010.

France's International Insitute of International Relations has just produced an important report 'Le commerce mondiale dans le 21eme siecle'.

It paints a picture of European growth declining to an average 1.1 per cent between 2020 and 2050 and Europe leaving the world stage as a serious economic, let alone politica actor.

Pro-European politicians and I count myself as a passionate pro-European should stop making speeches about European finality and destiny and make effort to persuade employers and trade unions - die Bossen und die Bonzen - as well as all citizens of the need for reform to get Europe´s economy moving again.

The second challenge is to make a success of enlargement. Poland and Hungary are very old nations who will now shape a very new Europe.

Five years after the stunde nul of 1945 we had created the European Iron and Steel Community, the OECD, NATO, the Deutschmark and Germany had its Grundgesetz.

We will have had to wait 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall to see the former communist countries of East and Central Europe enter the new EU on May 1st next year.

Enlargement will pose problems of people movement and of the lower standard of living in the new member states. They will want to maximise their competitive advantage to attract investment and we should not stand in their way.

One of the keys to making enlargement work depends on the third challenge facing Europe - the reform of its budget and clear action to root out corruption. It is becoming more and more absurd every day that out of the 100 billion euros in the annual EU budget nearly half is devoted to one relatively small part of the EU economy and society - namely agriculture.

Each cow in Europe gets a subsidy of 2 dollars or euros a day via the Common Agricultural Policy. At the same time more than one billion of our fellow citizens worldwide have to survive on a daily income of less than 2 dollars a day.

EU budget reform is now a priority not the least because EU agro-protectionism, along with US and Japanese agro-protectionism threaten to derail world trade negotiations so vital to send positive world economic signals.

The fourth challenge is to make a success of the Convention. The new rules needed to make an enlarged EU work are being discussed in the Convention and will be taken forward by the Inter-Governmental Conference. I welcome the work of Giscard and his Conventioneers.

They have to decide soon if they will produce a set of proposals which will be acceptable to the majority of EU governments or whether the insistence on either an ultra-federalist or an ultra-intergovernmental position means all the questions being re-opened by the IGC.

I hope they have the ambition to be modest and to refuse the temptation of making the best the enemy of the good.



RE: EU, Get over yourself
By nofranchise on 9/18/2007 9:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
I am not saying Europe doesn't have problems. I am also familiar with Denis MacShane. He is an ultra liberal democrat, strong supporter of the EU state and vocal against muslims in Britain. He is also right in some ways, although there are voices of reason who do not think the issues are as concerning as he does.

It is expensive to run a country where people are treated equally. Its hard to be competitive when you insist on taking good care of the elderly and the sick, giving your kids good public education, and watching them follow their capitalist hearts and go work in the US.

The EU might be less competitive, but there are worse things than being a bit undercompetitive. An example:

The US has more than 2 million people in prison (http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/aa... The EU average is 88 people in prison per 100.000, the US is 708. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1494726.stm).

Also - Denis MacShanes speech is from 2003 - a lot has happened since then.

Side note:
The EU almost got a really good chemical reform last year. It was eventually screwed up completely by US and European corporations lobbying the EU parliament. The worst though, was when Colin Powell wrote the US embassies in the EU countries, and told them to stop this reform at all cost.

This was a reform called REACH, designed to stop chemical-induced cancers, skin diseases, pulmonary diseases etc. etc. But of course: Theres no stopping those profits, you gotta have those SUV's(even Europeans are driving the idiotic things now) and you gotta love that Strawberry McShake with it's complimentary 57 unnatural flavors. Yum.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By Ringold on 9/18/2007 1:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is expensive to run a country where people are treated equally.


Correction. It's expensive to run a country where people are forced to be equal. It's extremely cheap to run a country where people are treated equally before the law and allowed their personal freedom.

I reference Hong Kong, and America pre-New Deal.

I also quote Sarkozy who said on the campaign trail that the chief consequence of keeping a few from becoming rich is to make everyone poor.

Your post amounted to a bunch of excuses as to why the EU is an economic failure and why by the end of the century could look almost third-world in comparison to other rising and established powers after being confronted with economic arguments. Economists have long since tried to let the rest of the world know that the best way to help the poor is to drive growth.

As far as MacShane and muslims go; hey, I've seen the documentary shows, if you guys continued to get bombed to pieces you can't say nobody warned you.

To be fair, European politicians often admit they know socialism, broadly speaking, is the problem; they simply don't know how to get re-elected after they fix their problems.

For Frances sake, by the Force be with Sarkozy. Master Kenobi, perhaps you can assist our Padawan Sarkozy? :P


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By nofranchise on 9/19/2007 3:54:31 AM , Rating: 2
Forced to be equal? How rich do you need to be? In Scandinavia we probably have the most comprehensive welfare system. It's not like we need money - of course people always want to be able to earn more, but generally the system works. And we are experiencing healthy economic growth.

But let's just end this here - my main argument was against Kenobis ravings under his staff name. This was about MS and the EU fine. This discussion is much more difficult because it is about ideology - and it's biggest problem is ignorance and stubbornness on both sides.

Yup - I said it. I am not omniscient.

Still - you just gotta love that free healthcare and the 800USD a month students get to study. But I guess you wouldn't understand what that is like.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By Nfarce on 9/19/2007 10:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Forced to be equal? How rich do you need to be?


I'll word it another way: America was founded on freedom of the liberty to do whatever you want to do in this nation. If you want to fail, you will do so. If you want to succeed, you will do so. Who are you or anyone else to question how much money I or anyone else should have ?

That said, a government punishing those who do succeed to reward those who choose to sit on their rumps is not what America is about, although the left wing politicians in this nation are hell bent on making it that way.

Look at the communist nations where every one is "equal" - equally miserable. Socialism has proven to be an economic stifler, a burdening ideology on government revenue as mentioned in the above thread to a degree, and most certainly a suppression on individuality and accomplishment.

America didn't become great because of government. America became great because of it's people. Government doesn't provide jobs on it's own any more than it makes it's own money and pays it's own taxes. The only revenue government generates is through taxes and regulation fees. Those come from the people and the companies. The people start companies, the companies do the hiring, and the economy revolves around company successes and failures.

Capitalism has come under increasing assault over the last ten years. The amount of economic ignorance out there astounds me.


RE: EU, Get over yourself
By nofranchise on 9/19/2007 11:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
I am not talking about full fledged socialism. I am talking about modern social democratism. IT has been proven to be a healthy and succesful blend of socialism and capitalism. I never said anything about a people being completely financially equal. Equality can be a good thing - up to a certain point.

This "sitting on your behind doing nuthin'" stereotype just makes me crack up again and again. I have to ask once more: Don't you think there's a reason why these people find it hard to work 80 hours a week? Because people aren't all created alike - created meaning brought up, molded and given the same oportunities of education etc.

Well enough of this. I remain hopeful that the impoverished lower class in America will rise up, and somehow start voting for people who want to change things. The American dream has gotten old, and I for one believe a lot of americans agree with that sentiment.

And by the way: The US should really take a few days to contemplate what the meaning of the word freedom is and should be. Anarchy - or the opportunity to do great things while thinking about the consequences ones actions have for your fellow man.


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