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Print 106 comment(s) - last by PrinceGaz.. on Jul 12 at 7:45 AM

EU raises daily cap to $3.8M USD

DailyTech reported last week that Microsoft is not complying with the European Union's (EU) wishes in regards to an ongoing antitrust battle. Microsoft and the EU have been butting heads since the March 2004 antitrust ruling.

Microsoft has been asked to hand over documentation to its competitors detailing the inner workings of its software applications or face daily $2.6 million USD fines. A report from Reuters today states that the EU plans to raise the cap on daily fines to $3.8 million USD:

The penalty, likely to run into hundreds of millions of euros, comes on top of a record 497 million euro fine the Commission already imposed in its landmark antitrust decision against Microsoft in March 2004. It signals the Commission's determination to force Microsoft to obey its decision as well as a loss of patience after the company has had two years to comply and has used every available legal avenue to spin out the process.

Microsoft has shown no signs of backing down from its position to not divulge what it sees as its prized intellectual property. Microsoft has also stated that every change that it has made to comply with the ruling has met with more roadblocks from the EU.



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none
By TheDoc9 on 7/10/06, Rating: 0
Alternate causality...
By kondor999 on 7/10/2006 2:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe they haven't been bought off like our own politicians. I think they just don't want to see MS dominate their native companies in the way we've allowed MS to do so in this country. Something about stifling competition, etc. If Linus Torvalds was an American, his OS would've been bought by MS and quietly swept under the rug.

And as far as developing their own OS, they already have.

It's called Linux. Invented in Finland. See Above.

PS - No, I'm not some europhile; I'm actually an officer in the USAF, but I can still call 'em like I see 'em.


RE: Alternate causality...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 2:59:57 PM , Rating: 4
> "I think they just don't want to see MS dominate their native companies"

Of course, because Microsoft pays US taxes, whereas EU companies pay EU taxes.

The requirements the EU is setting are just plain silly. The original source code *and* tens of thousands of pages of documentation created just to meet their demands-- and they say its still not enough? That even MORE documentation must be created, or "compatible" programs cannot be written for Windows?

Guess what? Thousands of companies and developers have ALREADY written Windows-compatible software, without the source code and new documentation Microsoft has already provided. Not even Microsoft's own developers had access to this new documentation...its being created SPECIFICALLY by EU Mandate.

And the EU is still saying, "sorry, we want more"...without ever deigning to specify exactly whats required.

Its obvious to anyone with even a room temperature IQ they're simply looking for a massive payout from Microsoft, a move that will be politically popular...and help to make up budget shortfalls all throughout Europe.


RE: Alternate causality...
By Shivian on 7/11/2006 7:10:22 AM , Rating: 2
A few hundred million isn't going to solve a continent's financial problems. Budget shortfalls might be going a touch far?


RE: Alternate causality...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 9:06:04 AM , Rating: 4
> "A few hundred million isn't going to solve a continent's financial problems..."

$3.8M/day x 2 years is nearly $2.8 Billion. While that won't "solve" anything, it certainly will help to fill the budget shortfalls in quite a few European nations.

Furthermore, the real hope is that, by forcing Microsoft to divulge its trade secrets and train Europeans in their use, that it will boost sales for local companies...companies that pay local taxes.


RE: Alternate causality...
By PrinceGaz on 7/12/2006 7:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
US$2.8 billion is nothing compared to the total GNP of all EU countries combined.

The GDP (which is less than the GNP) of the European Union in 2005 was estimated at US$12,180 billion.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ranko...

They're not trying to get two or three extra billion because it will make any difference to the european economy, it is to punish Microsoft for anti-competitive practices.


yeah, right ...
By cgrecu77 on 7/10/2006 3:26:56 PM , Rating: 1
make no mistake about it, the europeans could care less about you (the people that is). They are only doing it because they are afraid that an american company has such a stronghold on a delicate market ... there are numerous examples were eu or european companies behave in an uncompetitive manner that is much more flagrant the what ms does ...


RE: Alternate causality...
By cgrecu77 on 7/10/2006 3:34:33 PM , Rating: 2
plus that to say that ms is the reason why companies can't compete it's pure bullshit .. they are accusing them that they "killed" real network's player by not revealing this internal stuff, but how about iTunes, how come iTunes is so successful ... they are accusing them of killing netscape, but how about mozilla or opera? They are accusing them of monopoly because windows is everywhere, but how about linux, macos? And the list goes on and on ....

The truth of the matter is that ms became a huge behemoth because of decent products at the right prices combined with an aggressive policy against their competitors _ lots of luck ... Nothing illegal about that, but now authorities are facing with a big dilemma, a monopoly that cannot be broken because it did nothing wrong, it became a monopoly by obeying (for the most part) the rules of the open market ...

Until they change the laws they can't do anything about it, or at least anything that is not an utter stupidity like this decision ...


RE: Alternate causality...
By CSMR on 7/10/2006 11:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
Countries naturally have different motives regarding local and foreign companies. You can expect the EU to be more eager to fine microsoft given that it is based in the USA. This difference need not involve "buying off".


RE: none
By Dev17 on 7/10/2006 2:05:49 PM , Rating: 3
lol, what are they going to do, stop using windows?

This is just the Eu's way of trying to stifle microsoft so they can develope thier own OS, or steel Ms's. The EU has been trying to become the dominate world power for years, this is just another step.


You are an idiot.


RE: none
By tk109 on 7/10/2006 2:19:42 PM , Rating: 1
Well it is a bunch of BS. For Microsoft this is like asking the US military to hand over all it's blueprints to it's Stealth Bombers or something. They are asking for way to much. EU has a different agenda going on and should be the ones critisized not Microsoft.


RE: none
By Hare on 7/10/2006 2:37:09 PM , Rating: 5
They are not asking for them to release the complete sources to windows. They are asking for some information to certain APIs. That's like asking Mercedez to tell how you can install a third party fuel injection system.

But nevermind. This is one of those threads were it's pointless to say anything. Every one message with some intellectual content is instantly flooded over with twenty messages with just random nothing-to-do-with-facts-mambojambo


RE: none
By CU on 7/10/2006 3:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
Your car comparison is not a good one. I know companies that develop tunners cannot always get the information they need from the car manufactures and have to reverse engineer it. And I have not seen GM, Ford, etc. fined millions per day for this. Also some libraries for linux have very poor documentation, although who would you fine.


RE: none
By Hare on 7/10/2006 3:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's because Ford or GM don't have >90% marketshare.


RE: none
By creathir on 7/10/2006 3:47:04 PM , Rating: 1
False.
It is like asking Mercedes for information on the manufacturing process.
It would be like going up to a French chef, and asking him how exactly he makes his product. Like going up to an oenologist and asking what exactly went into their release. Trade secrets are trade secrets, and all the EU wants to do is open up Microsoft's trade secrets for all to see.

You pro-EU (really anti-Microsoft) people always accuse the rest of us as not having solid thoughts when it comes to these matters, when in reality it just shows your elitism thru and thru. Our opinions have everything to do with the facts, they just are not to your benefit in the debate.

- Creathir


RE: none
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 3:58:28 PM , Rating: 3
> "all the EU wants to do is open up Microsoft's trade secrets for all to see..."

It's even worse than this. Microsoft has already agreed to give up the source code and all the documentation their internal developers have. The EU wants far more now, however. They want massive amounts of new documentation created, and have even been hinting Microsoft may have to train developers from other companies.


RE: none
By creathir on 7/10/2006 4:04:56 PM , Rating: 1
Out of control I say... out of control...

Imagine the amount of outcry that would occure of the same were asked of say...

Google ?

quote:
This is pure BS... to force a company that is just trying to protect itself and its product... this is uncalled for! Down the the [INSERT COUNTRY NAME HERE} Government!


- Creathir


RE: none
By creathir on 7/10/2006 3:56:55 PM , Rating: 1
Why is it their RIGHT to develop on Windows anyway???
Unless they own the product, they have to play by the rules of the platform you are developing on. Just as in the World Cup, you must play by the rules... or you will be disqualified. (or ejected as the case may be)

- Creathir


RE: none
By Hare on 7/10/2006 6:10:23 PM , Rating: 1
Creathir a.k.a S. Balmer? Take a breathe and calm down. Your analogies are just retarded. This is nothing like what you described. Why is it their right? Because that's what floats MS and Windows. Windows sure would be spanking product without the apps? The applications are the only thing preventing Apple from being the choice of the masses...


RE: none
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 9:09:42 AM , Rating: 3
> "Creathir a.k.a S. Balmer? Take a breathe and calm down. Your analogies are just retarded. This is nothing like what you described. Why is it their right? Because that's what floats MS and Windows. Windows sure would be spanking product without the apps? "

Wow...you start with a red herring and guilt by association, move to ad hominem, then slide stickily into the most muddled excuse for logic I've yet seen in the thread.

Yes, an OS isn't very useful without applications. That, however, does not imply that developing applications for the OS of another company is a moral right, now does it?




RE: none
By creathir on 7/11/2006 1:36:06 PM , Rating: 2
SHHH!!! You're using big words like ad hominem...
Logic is something that many people may not even be aware of...;)

- Creathir


RE: none
By Shivian on 7/11/2006 7:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
lol... short and to the point :)


RE: none
By Aganack1 on 7/10/2006 2:15:56 PM , Rating: 1
I think the EU is being completely irrational expecting Microsoft to hand over their code. Just because they live with a socialist mind set when the government controls industry doesn't mean American companies should be forced into handing away the code they spend millions to develop. As kondor999 so kindly pointed out that they have their own developed OS (linux). If they dont like Windows (as most Linux users seem to) why not just make the school systems to change to it and in 15 years Windows will be the minority in Europe. You dont see SAP having to hand over the code to the databases to their competitors.


RE: none
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 2:32:21 PM , Rating: 1
What the heck does this have to do with socialism??? I love it when people try to bring politics into business...

MS isn't handing away code they've developed - they only have to document their API's. Look at it like this - MS has written a book, and have released the title of half of the chapters (otherwise no one would be able to make apps work in windows). The EU wants MS to disclose the titles for the rest of the chapters as well, so that MS doesn't have an advantage over other companies. MS, obviously, wants to keep this advantage.

Why has this become an issue in Europe and not the US? It's easy.

1. MS is a foreign company, so it is much harder for them to buy politicians and win support. Liberals want to punish a monopoly, and conservatives want to help their own economies by hurting a foreign company.
2. The US has lately attached a stigma to antitrust laws in general, which hasn't affected Europe yet (maybe due to the ascendancy of conservatism here?)


RE: none
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 2:47:04 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with most of your assement how these things end up being political. But the in the next breath you do the same thing yourself..

quote:
Liberals want to punish a monopoly, and conservatives want to help their own economies by hurting a foreign company.


Anyway calling MS a monopoly sounds good, but never seems to be backed by any facts.

Thinking back to not so long ago... when MAC's weren't on x86's I never saw people screaming that Apple was a monopoly.. Considering that Apple's only shipped with a MAC OS that would have been a more accurate argument.

Just because MS owns the market doenst mean people dont have choices. Lindows (or linspire as its now called) was sold on machines at Wal-Mart and couldn't take off, that's not MS's fault it's because people who have only used windows are afraid of anything else.


RE: none
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 2:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, the definition of monopoly seems to be a bit fluid these days. There are monopolies like the ones of old, where they control some resource that no one else can use. Then there are the more modern "monopolies", where they are really just monopolies by convenience. IOW, it would be a huge pain to choose something else, but it is technically possible.

In this case, though, the only definition that matters is the legal one. And legally, MS is a monopoly because the courts have ruled that it is one.


RE: none
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 3:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
Courts can rule whatever they want. It doesnt change the definition or the facts.

BTW which courts ruled that? Just think about it for a minute..



RE: none
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 3:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
The definition of a monopolist is a company that is found to be a monopoly by a court. End of story... The facts of the case seem to fluctuate a lot depending on who you talk to, which means they aren't facts at all, but opinions.

quote:
BTW which courts ruled that?

Hmm, there was a US court ruling...
I assume you are talking about the EU court, though. What exactly did these judges have to gain by ruling MS a monopoly? Do you think they were paid off by someone? Or are you a conspiracy theorist who thinks they are connected at the hip to the rest of the EU government like many liberals in the US think the Supreme Court handed Bush the 2000 election without even looking at the facts.


RE: none
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 3:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The definition of a monopolist is a company that is found to be a monopoly by a court.


I find it funny that of all the definations I can find this is not one of them.


The US court ruling didnt require nearly the disclosure required by the EU ruling.

I dont subscribe to conspiracies and I have no problem with a company being found guilty of anti-competitive behavior. But... as a developer who has written software for windows and Linux I can tell you that its MUCH easier to find info on Windows.


RE: none
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 4:51:58 PM , Rating: 3
Well, obviously that "definition" was a bit of rhetorical nonsense, but my point stands. Once a court has convicted you as a monopolist, then by definition you are a monopoly - occording to whatever the legal definition of monopoly is in that courts jurisdiction. Constantly asking for proof that MS is a monopoly is useless. If you really want proof, go back and read the court transcripts. It is up to you to prove that they were convicted wrongly, otherwise we should just assume that the justice system worked correctly like we do in every other case.

The fact that courts in the US and Europe both came to the same conclusion just makes it even more certain that 1 of them didn't go crazy in their ruling. The fact that the EU's punishments seem to be harsher than the US's is just to be expected. Their antitrust laws are tougher, it's a foreign company, and many people in the US thought MS got off easy over here.


RE: none
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 4:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "Once a court has convicted you as a monopolist..."

No one can be "convicted" of being a monopolist-- there is nothing illegal about monopoly status.

> "The fact that courts in the US and Europe both came to the same conclusion ..."

The US and the EU were two entirely different cases, regarding two entirely different issues and actions. You seem like a reasonable person. Why not take a few minutes and find out EXACTLY what the EU is demanding, how many times they've changed their demands, and what Microsoft has already attempted to do to meet their requests.

Then see if you have the same opinion.




RE: none
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 5:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No one can be "convicted" of being a monopolist-- there is nothing illegal about monopoly status.


Now you are just mincing words. Yes, technically you are right. And linux is just a kernel, not an operating system... But I think it was clear what I meant.

quote:
The US and the EU were two entirely different cases, regarding two entirely different issues and actions. You seem like a reasonable person. Why not take a few minutes and find out EXACTLY what the EU is demanding, how many times they've changed their demands, and what Microsoft has already attempted to do to meet their requests.


I suppose I have been coming off as something of a European apologist. I really have no details about the inner workings of this case and have no real intention of spending all the time that would be necessary to do so. It seems as though the EU has been constantly changing its mind and being unreasonable, but I also have no doubt MS is trying to weasel its way out of everything it possibly can - that's just good business. In my humble opinion, neither side is very trustworthy.

I've mostly been defending the Europeans here because it seems like there are no shortage of MS defenders and the few who don't mostly come off as anti-US or anti-MS wackos.


And for all of those who think a $4 million a day fine is insane, years ago the US justice department was considering splitting the company completely in two - 1 part for the OS and one part for apps. This is certainly far less drastic than that was, and the idea had a fair amount of support in some quarters. These days it seems like anyone who dares oppose MS is automatically deemed corrupt/greedy/anti-american.


RE: none
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 9:14:36 AM , Rating: 3
> those who think a $4 million a day fine is insane, years ago the US justice department was considering splitting the company completely in two - 1 part for the OS and one part for apps. This is certainly far less drastic than that was"

No, absolutely and positively false. Splitting a company is not, in general, an extremely harsh punishment....in fact, many corportations regularly *choose* to do it on their own free will.

Charging a company billions of dollars of fines, AND spend hundreds of millions more to create new documentation AND forcing to to divulge their trade secrets AND possibly even train their own competitors on how to best compete with them...that's harsh. When its being justified by the claim that "people can't develop Windows-compatible software" unless this is done-- its ludicrous.


RE: none
By BladeVenom on 7/10/2006 5:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
They have been proven to be a monopoly in U.S. Federal courts, and it's been proven that they've abused their monopoly position. Not that it matters to the Microsoft employees, and shills.


RE: none
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 3:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
Why dont you blame developers for keeping Windows #1?

But wait, then the EU would have to blame the same people they are claiming to try to help. The entire case is insane. If developers in the EU are too stupid (I don't believe this to be the case) to use MSDN and the MS newsgroups then that's their problem.


RE: none
By TomZ on 7/10/2006 4:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyway calling MS a monopoly sounds good, but never seems to be backed by any facts.

Actually, fact is MS does have a monopoly in many markets, e.g., desktop OS - Microsoft has 95% of market share.

But who cares anyway? There's nothing illegal or wrong with having a monopoly. Heck, where I live (same for most of the US), the government has set up a monopoly for electric, gas, cable TV, and land-line telephone service.

You guys get so caught up in "monopoly is bad" type thinking that all reason and logic goes out the window.


RE: none
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 4:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "Actually, fact is MS does have a monopoly in many markets, e.g., desktop OS"

But the EU action is in the server market, where Microsoft does *not* have a monopoly. Microsoft has a large team working around the clock to meet the EU's demands...here's a less biased story on the subject:

quote:
The [Microsoft team] of 300 people is creating volumes of technical documents required by the European Commission's antitrust decision....European officials say the very fact that Microsoft is still working on the documents shows that it wasn't living up to its obligations...

The trustee in the case called Microsoft's initial versions of the technical documents "fundamentally flawed"...But Microsoft says the commission itself wasn't originally clear enough about what it wanted, hampering the project.

"We are committed to complying with every part of this decision," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said last week. "We always have been."

...The situation appeared to improve in March. Microsoft's Smith credits a meeting in late March where the trustee, computer science professor Neil Barrett, clarified the requirements for the documents....

After that, the company brought in veteran engineers to help meet an aggressive series of deadlines Barrett laid out. Microsoft says it also brought back retired employees and pulled people from products including Windows Vista, the new version of its flagship PC operating system, to work on the European Union initiative....


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/277023_msft...




RE: none
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 7:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
TomZ,
If you call having the majority of the market being a monopoly then by your definition MS is a monopoly. I dont buy that line of thought becuase there are alternatives..

For some background, I've never been an MS shill. I was always a unix/linux person, but then reality set in that most development jobs are for developing for MS platforms. Up until MS let Anders take over and develop .net and c# I was a delphi/c++ builder user when I wasnt forced to use MS's sub par tools.

In fact if you read any of the XBOX 360 posts I've made you will see that I'm pretty upset about the crappy system they released.

My point (and where we seem to agree) is that MS has done nothing wrong this time.


RE: none
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 3:02:15 PM , Rating: 3
> "MS isn't handing away code they've developed - they only have to document their API's"

They ARE handing away their code AND writing tens of thousands of pages of new documentation. Documentation that not even Microsoft's own internal developers have ever had before. The EU is still saying its not enough, under the myth that companies are somehow being prevented from writing Windows-compatible software.


RE: none
By creathir on 7/10/2006 3:54:27 PM , Rating: 1
It is utter rubbish and really torks me off to see this excuse for an organization continue to badger Microsoft. The EU is nothing more than a ridiculous group of elitist that are attempting to claim to be this dominant body on the geo-political spectrum. The fact is, they are nothing more than a group of countries which cannot even agree on a constitution.

This "body" has about as much importance on global policy as does the women's club of Walla Walla, Washington.

Not a whole lot more different than the UN to be honest with you...

Lots of bark... no bite...

If I were Microsoft, I would start to threaten to remove my product s from store shelves.

- Creathir


RE: none
By Hare on 7/10/2006 6:14:17 PM , Rating: 1
Are you an idiot? What would MS benefit from taking the products of the shelf? Maybe give the whole market to Apple on a plate? You sound like a 6-year old kid bashing other kids in the sandbox.


RE: none
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 8:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What would MS benefit from taking the products of the shelf? Maybe give the whole market to Apple on a plate?


Well immediately they'd save 3.8M a day.

Beyond that who knows... Maybe the EU would wake up and realize that the alternatives take time and money to implement, and that about 90% of the software people use runs on windows.


It's simple really.
By Ralph The Magician on 7/10/2006 2:59:56 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft IS a monopoly. There's really no question about it. Some idiot is going to say they aren't, because Windows is SO good, blah, blah, blah.

They were able to get away with in the US simply because they have SO much money and power here. The Europeans saw this, are appalled, and aren't going to be nearly as tolerant.

I think it's a good thing. The barriers are already starting to fall apart. Ubuntu is finally able to at least, on some limited level, compete with Windows and Apple is making a comeback. Will Windows still be a necessity 10 years from now? I hope not.




RE: It's simple really.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 3:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "They were able to get away with in the US simply because they have SO much money "

I love how ignorant teenagers continually toss out accusations of bribery, without a shred of supporting evidence. This is a basic technique of propaganda called the Goebbels Technique...repeat a lie often enough, and people will begin to believe it.

> "Will Windows still be a necessity 10 years from now? I hope not. "

Do you even know what the EU is demanding? It seems you don't. Microsoft is releasing source code *and* writing massive amounts of new documentation...all to allow other companies to better write software for Windows. Not for other OSes.

Although it seems that even this won't be enough for the EU. It appears they're going to demand Microsoft actually train employees of other companies on how to best write software competitive to them.


RE: It's simple really.
By Ralph The Magician on 7/10/2006 4:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
When did I say anything about bribery?

The ultimate goal of the EU legislation is to better allow alternative APIs to be run from other operating systems, and hopefully allow other companies to compete with Microsoft Office more effectively. I'm sure they would love for another company to be able to create a Windows API that can run on another operating system.

When it comes down to it, it's a monopoly issue. It always has been.


RE: It's simple really.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 4:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "When did I say anything about bribery? "

When you toss around claims of a company "getting away" with something due to money, you're insinuating bribery. So support the claim or retract it.

> "The ultimate goal of the EU legislation is to better allow alternative APIs to be run from other operating systems"

Microsoft has already agreed to hand over source code and all documentation their own internal developers have. AND to create still more documentation...thousands of pages of such, far more than they themselves needed to write Windows. The EU is saying thats still not enough, that Microsoft may need to train other companies in how to "best use" the Microsoft code.

No one but a fool would call that a reasonable request.

> "I'm sure they would love for another company to be able to create a Windows API that can run on another operating system..."

Yes they would. And they're willing to force Microsoft to finance the entire project, and train those who will write the competing product. It doesn't matter that their demands are unreasonable and unethical...what matters is that it'll win them votes.



RE: It's simple really.
By RMTimeKill on 7/11/2006 1:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
If there was "evidence" of a bribe... obviously they didnt do it right...


RE: It's simple really.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 1:49:35 PM , Rating: 3
> "If there was "evidence" of a bribe... obviously they didnt do it right... "

Ah, the old saw that "the very absence of evidence is itself evidence" makes its appearance.

The statement is most effective if you wear a tinfoil hat while posting it however.


RE: It's simple really.
By TomZ on 7/10/2006 3:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft IS a monopoly. There's really no question about it. Some idiot is going to say they aren't, because Windows is SO good, blah, blah, blah.

Microsoft has a monopoly in the desktop OS market - 95% market share is a monopoly by any definition. But, so what? There is nothing inherently wrong with that - it just means that everybody decided to by the same OS. The only time you run into legal problems is when you try to do certain things with that monopoly.
quote:
They were able to get away with in the US simply because they have SO much money and power here. The Europeans saw this, are appalled, and aren't going to be nearly as tolerant.

Wrong, the reason that the US government didn't take more serious action is because consumers were not actually harmed, even with some of the actions that Microsoft took. The EU has not proven any harm either, so it makes us wonder why they are so agressively fighting Microsoft on this. It is even more ironic because this battle in the EU is in regards to server OS where Microsoft doesn't even have a monopoly. I'm not an expert in this case, but from the few facts that I can see, I think it is a load of crap - pure political B.S.


RE: It's simple really.
By Ralph The Magician on 7/10/2006 3:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office are still necessities for many businesses and individuals.


RE: It's simple really.
By Ralph The Magician on 7/10/2006 3:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
This was supposed to be posted underneath me. Something is fucked up here.


RE: It's simple really.
By Pirks on 7/10/2006 4:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office are still necessities for many businesses and individuals
Yeah, same for Linux amd Mac OS X - they are necessity for some people as well - so what? Are you guys gonna fine them $100,000,000 or something? No? Why no? Because LESS people need Linux and Mac OS X than Windows? Then how about getting a little less dumb and stop this idiotic bullsh1t with fines, how about developing an EU sponsored alternative to Windows? Can't do that without sucking money from MS? Ha-ha - everyone can see thru this sh1t.

Just look at what Torvalds did. Did he spent his life suing MS and building Linux on this kind of funding? Nope, I don't think Torvalds and his leutenants built Linux on MS funding - they did it by themselves - THEY BUILT A WINDOWS ALTERNATIVE WITHOUT IMPOSING ANY FINES ON MS or anything like that. Apple did the same - built a great OS without ever touching MS.

So EU can't do this? Then screw EU and its fat a$$ bureaucratic morons - let them rot in their socialism, they'll come to USA begging sooner or later if they go the Soviet way - just like Soviets did! I'll enjoy this, from a point of view of former Soviet citizen - I always love to watch commies and socialists eat their own excrements, be it in Cuba, Soviet Union, EU or Vietnam - it's always the same fun for me ;-)


RE: It's simple really.
By RMTimeKill on 7/11/2006 1:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Business speaking, MS has done wonders in bringing the PC world to the masses and to its current levels.

Moraly speaking, MS is going to burn in hell for many of its practices of getting there...

Two wrongs doesnt make a right, but hopefully out of this EU crap they will force DirectX to go open code, if they occomplish this and Linux gets their paws on it, I will switch to linux in a heart beat. The only reason I am still stuck on windows is because some of my favorite games have not been written for linux yet...

And seeing as a vast majority of desktop users are gamers and this number is growing leaps and bounds, the option of a free OS, with free office and game compatability is certian to explode linux popularity among mid-lower class people who dont/cant pay for the exceptionally expensive microsoft liscences.

Not to mention the pain in the arse for the techies who love to tinker in their box and replace stuff. Reactivating windows over x number of times then renders the key virtually useless because you have to call in and argue with MS that YES, you actually DID pay (TO MUCH) for their slow software... Forget that, gimme the volume liscence number from some serials site and not worry about it.

The real Victory here is not for EU or MS, in the end, the code thats being released will definitly help linux to gain more market share, PRIMARILY if directx makes it out. Linux already does most everything else better, and 9:10 times where the original creators anyway...


RE: It's simple really.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 1:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "Two wrongs doesnt make a right, but hopefully out of this EU crap they will force DirectX to go open code"

A rather succinct justification for property theft, eh? DirectX was written by Microsoft; it belongs to them.

> "in the end, the code thats being released will definitly help linux to gain more market share, PRIMARILY if directx makes it out..."

I don't suppose you realize that DirectX isn't even being considered for release. The EU action relates to SERVER APIs only. Sorry, you'll just have to keep using evil M$ products to play your favorite games.




RE: It's simple really.
By Ralph The Magician on 7/10/2006 4:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ut, so what? There is nothing inherently wrong with that - it just means that everybody decided to by the same OS.
I suppose there's nothing wrong with that if you subscribe to the Chicago school of Economics. It certainly doesn't mean that everyone decided on the same OS.

The US Governemnt actully did feel that consumers were being harmed, and MS was forced to stop many of its anticompetitive activities years ago, such as charging vendors for each computer sold, not each copy of Windows bought. Numerous other changes where required by Microsoft, but for the most part, they still have a free ticket to do what they want...they eye is just a little more watchful now.


RE: It's simple really.
By TomZ on 7/10/2006 4:19:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I suppose there's nothing wrong with that if you subscribe to the Chicago school of Economics. It certainly doesn't mean that everyone decided on the same OS.

How do you figure? For Windows desktop, there have always been, and continue to be, other operating systems. Same situation for Windows server (where MS does not have a monopoly). Same situation for Office. Same situation for IE. Same situation for Visual Studio. Do you see a pattern yet? Maybe folks basically like Microsoft products? Or do you want to continue to claim that everyone has been forced to buy them? Go ahead, make the case...


RE: It's simple really.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 4:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "I suppose there's nothing wrong with that if you subscribe to the Chicago school of Economics"

Or the Austrian School. Or the Marshallian. Or pretty much everyone except a few Neo-Marxists and discredited Keynesians.



RE: It's simple really.
By Pirks on 7/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: It's simple really.
By Pirks on 7/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: It's simple really.
By maxusa on 7/10/2006 3:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
In your post I sense a mindset of an oppressed and angry individual that wants to get even. This, my friend, is a slippery slope.

The fact that MS is a monopoly is not being disputed in this particular case. In a nutshell, this case is about the allegation that MS inadequately discloses its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the Windows platform, which fact may have prevented other software vendors to build the most efficient programs for that OS, thereby making MS home-grown programs better. This, allegedly, creates an unfair MS advantage and an example of abusive effect of MS monopoly.

Following the case, and today's announcement of increasing daily penalty, makes me suspect that the ECU has other agenda than to "level" the competitive field. The ECU is on record to change its demands, making their compliance very difficult to practically impossible. This is on top of, what I am firmly convinced, is a distorted view of quality of MS API documentation.


RE: It's simple really.
By Ralph The Magician on 7/10/2006 4:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not angry. I could care less. I was just stating that all this legislation is a monopoly issue.


RE: It's simple really.
By maxusa on 7/10/2006 7:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was just stating that all this legislation is a monopoly issue.
It sounds very much like saying that this case is a legal issue, which it certainly is. Monopoly is a very broad subject that many people would like or do percieve as wrongdoing and/or even something illegal. I can not disagree more with folks who think that a monopoly "deserves" trouble and penalties just because of this status.


Wow ...
By emboss on 7/11/2006 5:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
@ the vast majority of misinformed comments here ... DT isn't help either by misreporting it.

All that MS is being asked to do is document the protocols it uses for client-server communication. They are not being asked to give away their source code, they are not being asked to help competitors develop competing products, they are simply being asked for the protocol documentation.

Ever wondered why Samba couldn't completely do AD (well, still can't do it properly even in the version 4 betas, but it's getting closer)? Because MS won't provide a shred of documentation on the protocol. Wondered why certain features are missing with Samba compared to a Windows server? In many cases it's because there's no documentation. Samba has got to where it is through reverse engineering of the protocol, reverse engineering that had to be done outside of the US for legal safety.

The same thing applies for Exchange, MS's application server stuff (forgotten the names), MS remote access/VPN, and MS's "embraced and extended" versions of DHCP, DNS, and so on. MS does not provide any documentation on any of these, and within the US it's unclear whether reverse engineering these protocols is allowed or not (so most reverse engineering of these protocols is done outside the US).

One of the significant factors in the latest EU decision was the licencing agreements that MS wanted for the protocols. They specifically disallowed publication of the source code of any product that used the documentation. Since the only competitors to MS in the "Windows interoperable" market are open source products like Samba, this made MS's offer nothing more than another stalling tactic. MS's claims that the EU are constantly changing their demands are technically true, because MS's lawyers keep finding loopholes that allow them to keep competitors like Samba from obtaining the documentation. The EU keeps changing the demands in an attempt to make MS comply with the basic objective of the ruling.

While I don't agree with the EU on many things, I'm with them on this one.




RE: Wow ...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 11:21:08 AM , Rating: 4
> "All that MS is being asked to do is document the protocols it uses for client-server communication. "

Yes, documentation Microsoft provided early in the process. The EU claimed the documentation was unsatisfactory and incomplete, despite the fact that this documentation was all Microsoft itself had to create their own products, and despite the fact they had set no clear indications on what specifically the documentation should entail.

Microsoft then offered to share the relevant source code sections, for a small charge, to competitors who needed it. The EU agreed to the sharing principle, but said the code must be freely shared.

So Microsoft agreed to just this, and the EU *then* said that the source code still wouldn't be enough, that new, additional documentation must be created to accompany it. Microsoft asked for the EU for specific requirements, these were provided in March, and Microsoft has, since then, had several hundred people working overtime to accomodate the request. The EU says they're not working fast enough.

That's the situation in a nutshell.


RE: Wow ...
By emboss on 7/11/2006 1:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
The original request from the EU back in March 2004 was for MS to document it's protocols sufficiently for competitors to be able to interface to MS OSes using these protocols. Excluding this latest batch of documentation that they started writing earlier this year (since AFAIK no independent source has actually seen it yet), MS has not in any way provided this. Any half-way sensible software engineer could have told MS two years ago that essentially concept documentation and packet dumps would not be sufficient. They essentially stalled for two years until the EU managed to pin them down with sufficiently detailed requests.

Part of the problem stems from the way that MS has documented the protocol. There is very little "documentation" in the MSDN sense of the word. A lot if it is stored inline in the source code, and a lot is (apparently) stored in the minds of the guys who wrote it. The documentation that MS provided (still under the no-open-source-implementation-allowed license) was just the non-source documentation, which is more or less completely useless if you're wanting to write a program that uses the protocol. Heck, even the guy appointed by MS to say whether MS was providing useful documentation said the documentation was significantly lacking.

As you noted MS's response was to offer access to source code for a fee (with the condition that any implementation based of said source code could not be open source, effectively making the source code offer useless to MS's competitors, but that's another issue). Microsoft has not agreed to free access to the source code (AFAIK, but possibly I missed it so feel free to post links). However, having the source code and being able to implement the protocol without having to reuse the (MS copyrighted) source code are two different things. It's probably only slightly less work to reverse engineer the protocol from source code compared to reverse engineering it from a packet dump. The further documentation MS was asked to provide was to fill in the gaps to get something that more or less complied with the original request.

The somewhat ironic/stupid thing is that the documentation MS has been working hard on for the last few months will likely never be used by anyone since it's (currently) going to be licensed under the same terms as the source code, which prohibit their use in open-source projects (which are pretty much the only guys who need it).

Finally, the latest EU decision has little to do with this latest documentation thing, and is much more about MS's failure to meet the original Dec 15 deadline. Remember that this is a bureaucracy, and any decision has likely been grinding through the process for at least three months :)


RE: Wow ...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 2:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
> " could have told MS two years ago that essentially concept documentation and packet dumps would not be sufficient"

Except that Microsoft itself found it more than sufficient to develop products with. If Microsoft engineers are smart enough to do so, I'm sure others are. They don't need a few thousand additional pages of documentation, and they certainly don't need Microsoft-sponsored training sessions.

> "A lot if it is stored inline in the source code, and a lot is (apparently) stored in the minds of the guys who wrote it."

Applications follow directions from source code...they don't magically perform requests held in the minds of the "guys" who wrote that source.

Microsoft has offered the source code itself, saying it is the ultimate documentor of the APIs. There is *nothing* an application can do that isn't revealed by looking at that source code.

Microsoft has also offered all internal documentation they themselves use, along with the creation of a massive amount of new documentation. The EU says its still not enough.

> "They essentially stalled for two years until the EU managed to pin them down with sufficiently detailed requests. "

A highly misleading and incorrect assessment. The EU didn't need to "pin down" Microsoft to deliver a sufficiently detailed request. They could have done so from the start, or any time thereafter. All it would have required was one registered letter.

Point in fact, the EU refused to do so, in the face of numerous Microsoft requests to clarify the documentation issue. They preferred instead to be in a 'drivers seat' position of receiving continual documentation updates, reviewing them, then eventually calling them unsatisfactory.



RE: Wow ...
By Pirks on 7/11/2006 2:55:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Except that Microsoft itself found it more than sufficient to develop products with. If Microsoft engineers are smart enough to do so, I'm sure others are. They don't need a few thousand additional pages of documentation, and they certainly don't need Microsoft-sponsored training sessions.
They don't need a few thousand additional pages of documentation because they work for Microsoft and, therefore, have all the access to the source code they ever need. Others, i.e. non-Microsoft engineers, may be even smarter than Microsoft engineers, but without source code they are at a disadvantage. Hence they need detailed docs OR the source code, obviously because brain and talent doesn't replace good docs or source :-)
quote:
Microsoft has offered the source code itself, saying it is the ultimate documentor of the APIs. There is *nothing* an application can do that isn't revealed by looking at that source code.
The problem here (according to emboss's statements) lies in the fact that MS doesn't want their source code to be looked at by the open source engineers. EUC, on the other hand, does not want to put open source engineers at a disadvantage, because obviously EU will benefit a lot when Windows source code will be replicated in Linux. This is a pure money interest - how pays whom and how much. I tend to disagree with emboss here. I don't mind Linux guys to reverse engineer MS protocols, but it's pretty stupid to ask MS to give all this away FOR FREE. Of course they won't do that - they sell the product! They make the money this way! Who the hell EUC is to tell MS to part with its intellectual property? Protocol is a property, just like anything else - Apple successfully grabbed the whole MP3 market with their closed iTMS protocol and got the same spanking from French. Just like MS getting it now. Have Apple given up? Nope! So MS will behave the same and will not step back, I'm sure. Apple didn't yield to French Government and MS won't yield to EUC, I'm pretty sure about that.


RE: Wow ...
By emboss on 7/11/2006 3:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't mind Linux guys to reverse engineer MS protocols, but it's pretty stupid to ask MS to give all this away FOR FREE. Of course they won't do that - they sell the product!


It comes down to the whole monopoly (for a given definition of monopoly) thing again - MS using it's desktop OS monopoly to gain an "unfair" advantage in the server OS market, much like MS using Windows dominance to gain an advantage in the browser "market". Which is a topic that has been argued to death just about everywhere so IMO there's no point wasting even more bandwidth on it here :)

Note that MS has been battling the EU about anti-competitive stuff waaayyyy before Apple came up with the iPod.


RE: Wow ...
By Pirks on 7/11/2006 4:38:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It comes down to the whole monopoly (for a given definition of monopoly) thing again - MS using it's desktop OS monopoly to gain an "unfair" advantage in the server OS market, much like MS using Windows dominance to gain an advantage in the browser "market".
While you are certainly right about MS leveraging their OS dominance in certain markets (e.g. desktop PCs) it should always be viewed from the point of view of whether the consumer is being hurt or not. So if MS is too harsh in defending its market share - then consumer might be hurt and courts take action, like this US DOJ case a while ago. Note that in general reverce engineering is not that much frowned upon - MS kind of tolerates it and does not spend time suing every Samba developer and making sure he/she rots in jail for life. Obviously MS understands there are limits to defending one's market share so they are cautious and don't go too far. Same with Apple and Intel and others - they all vehemently protect their IP and the courts only chime in when one can provide hard evidence that CONSUMERS were hurt, like the case with AMD vs Intel.

I believe MS will follow this route and will try to prove they're not hurting their customers - which looks like a sound case. Judging by how well Apple, Firefox and Opera kick MS butt - I doubt EU can make a decent monopoly case... looks like MS's monopoly does not help it much these days.


RE: Wow ...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 4:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "Apple didn't yield to French Government and MS won't yield to EUC, I'm pretty sure about that..."

Except that the EU is a considerably larger market than just France, and Microsoft has considerably deeper pockets to exploit. Microsoft has already yielded on all the salient points, this latest EU action is just trying to prime the pump to not only obtain the code they want, but a fat payout as well.


RE: Wow ...
By emboss on 7/11/2006 3:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except that Microsoft itself found it [concept documentation + packet dumps] more than sufficient to develop products with. If Microsoft engineers are smart enough to do so, I'm sure others are.


MS engineers had far more than concept documentation and packet dumps to work with. They had the source code (see later) with it's embedded source code documentation, and access to to guys who wrote the whole thing in the first place. Any half way decent software engineer can extend an existing product at a high level without having the faintest idea what the (already written) lower layers are doing.

quote:
"A lot if it is stored inline in the source code, and a lot is (apparently) stored in the minds of the guys who wrote it."

Applications follow directions from source code...they don't magically perform requests held in the minds of the "guys" who wrote that source.


Please read in context. I was clearly talking about documentation, not implementation.

quote:
Microsoft has offered the source code itself, saying it is the ultimate documentor of the APIs. There is *nothing* an application can do that isn't revealed by looking at that source code.


While technically true, it's also more or less completely irrelevant. First is that, as anyone who has done maintainence on a massive C project can tell you, source code is next to useless for documentation, especially for networked applications. Even more so for applications that have been evolving for over 10 years. MS's offer was the equivalent of providing Apache as documentation of the HTTP protocol. While you could, with enough effort, figure it out from the source code, it's almost certainly EASIER to do it using more traditional reverse engineering through packet analysis. Also, anyone who sees the code is "tainted" and cannot participate in a clean-room implementation of the protocol. Remember that the EU's original requirement was that a competitor could use the documentation interface with MS's products, not that a competitor could license MS's code to interface with MS's products (which would require documentation of MS's code, not of the protocol).

quote:
> "They essentially stalled for two years until the EU managed to pin them down with sufficiently detailed requests. "

A highly misleading and incorrect assessment. The EU didn't need to "pin down" Microsoft to deliver a sufficiently detailed request. They could have done so from the start, or any time thereafter. All it would have required was one registered letter.


You misread what I was saying. I was saying that it took two years for the EU to get together a request with sufficient detail such that MS couldn't dodge it's way out of it. Note that the "clarification" thing, although somewhat justified at the start (since IIRC the original EU request could be interpreted as requiring MS to provide TCP/IP documentation), was later on added to the arsenal of stalling techniques (spending ages determining whether one particular small detail needed including when it'd take all of a man-day or two to include anyhow, or asking for clarification on technical details that required extensive study of the provided documentation and that MS could have much more easily figured out by themselves).


RE: Wow ...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 4:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "MS engineers had far more than concept documentation and packet dumps to work with. They had the source code with it's embedded source code documentation..."

Which is exactly what Microsoft is offering. Concept documentation, packet dumps...AND the source code with its own embedded documentation.

> "as anyone who has done maintainence on a massive C project can tell you, source code is next to useless for documentation"

On the contrary, developers routinely work on massive C applications, with no other documentation for them than whatever is embedded in the code itself. Sometimes not even embedded comments.

Calling the source code "next to useless" is rubbish. The source code tells you EVERYTHING. It may not do so in the most succinct manner....but it tells you far more than even the most detailed documentation does.

> MS's offer was the equivalent of providing Apache as documentation of the HTTP protocol"

Which, if someone did, would easily allow you to determine how the protocol worked. More to the point, it would tell you even more, such as how Apache itself may differ from the specification, or how it implements ambigous or non-fully specified elements.

For a competitor (remember, this is all supposedly about Microsoft competitors) to write a product which interfaces with a server running AD, the source code of the AD interface on that server is the ultimate documentation. It tells you more than any amount of documentation can.

Furthermore this begs the question. Microsoft isn't just offering the interface code and their own previously-existing documentation. They have a team of 300 engineers, working to create new documentation, engineers working triple shifts since March to provide it. The EU is saying "sorry, you should have started sooner", conviently forgetting that even the dreaded Microsoft is entitled to appeal their decisions, and that it wasn't until March when they provided detailed specification anyway.

When you couple this with the fact that, in the server OS marketplace, Microsoft is a long way from monopoly status, the EU action becomes even more ludicrous.


RE: Wow ...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2006 4:24:50 PM , Rating: 3
> "I was saying that it took two years for the EU to get together a request with sufficient detail such that MS couldn't dodge it's way out of it"

Lol, so in your mind, its reasonable for the EU to spend two years just to tell Microsoft exactly what it wanted...but Microsoft having only four months to answer that request,and create tens of thousands of pages of new documentation-- isn't?

Pass the pipe brother...you're obviously feeling better than anyone else here.


RE: Wow ...
By Hare on 7/11/2006 11:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
Oh dear, now you've done it. You brought facts to this thread. Could it be that common sense might prevail after all? I doubt since in two hours this message will be buried under twenty EU flames "they just want to steal MS property, I don't care about the facts"-yada yada.

Anyway, thanks for writing that. I hope people will read it. I actually wrote a longer reply with couple more points about the whole debate, but dailytech crashed 5 minutes ago and I couldn't send it. Not a big loss...


RE: Wow ...
By Pirks on 7/11/2006 3:04:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
they just want to steal MS property, I don't care about the facts
Oh come on, please just think a little - why Linux and OO.org and others "stealing" MS protocols and/or file formats didn't bother anyone? the answer is simple - because Linux and OO and other OSS people did it themselves (by reverse engineering) with NO involvement from MS. What's the problem with that? If EU want's MS protocol open - let the people to reverse engineer whatever they want. Oh, now you want MS TO HELP those reverse eingineers? Are you EUC people out of your mind? You ever heard of words "trade secret", "know how", "intellectual property"? I'm afraid not! Apple refused to open their secrets (iTMS) to French and MS will go the same route, EUC will just sit there with nothing, grinding their teeth and hissing - I'm sure MS will find the way out of this situation, they're smart - they'll sell their products from out of the EU border via Internet or something :-) And the world will continue the old way - MS will do stuff, Linux will reverse engineer it and so on and so forth...


A little honesty in reporting please
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 2:53:01 PM , Rating: 3
> "DailyTech reported last week that Microsoft has decided not to comply with the European Union..."

This statement is not only untrue, its not even what DT reported last week. The EU has claimed Microsoft is not doing enough to meet their demands; Microsoft says they're doing all possible. Whether or not you believe them, the statement that they've "decided" to not comply is just plain false.




By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 3:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
Looking back at the previous article, I would say you are correct. If I wanted to, I think I could stretch to make it technically somewhat correct, but it is clearly misleading and biased. It is still only 1 sentence, though, and I don't have any problem with the rest of it.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/10/2006 3:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
**Corrected**


RE: A little honesty in reporting please
By maxusa on 7/10/2006 3:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
In your post I sense a mindset of an oppressed and angry individual that wants to get even. This, my friend, is a slippery slope.

The fact that MS is a monopoly is not being disputed in this particular case. In a nutshell, this case is about the allegation that MS inadequately discloses its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the Windows platform, which fact may have prevented other software vendors to build the most efficient programs for that OS, thereby making MS home-grown programs better. This, allegedly, creates an unfair MS advantage and an example of abusive effect of MS monopoly.

Following the case, and today's announcement of increasing daily penalty, makes me suspect that the ECU has other agenda than to "level" the competitive field. The ECU is on record to change its demands, making their compliance very difficult to practically impossible. This is on top of, what I am firmly convinced, is a distorted view of quality of MS API documentation.


By creathir on 7/10/2006 3:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
I would say he is just pre-empting the crazies...
Check out last weeks article...
That is the LONGEST comment section I have ever seen on DT.

Admins, PLEASE let us collapse the comment sections... navigating the things is just about as impossible as could be due to the stacking bug.

- Creathir


RE: A little honesty in reporting please
By maxusa on 7/10/2006 3:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
*** oops, sorry, meant to reply to Ralph The Magician ***


By creathir on 7/10/2006 4:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
Just read your oops.

*Oops, just read your oops*


RE: A little honesty in reporting please
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 4:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
Brandon corrected the source article. All journalists, DT included, certainly have a bias...but DT at least is willing to correct their most flagrant cases, unlike the NYT and a few other choice media sources.


By brystmar on 7/10/2006 4:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
I pointed this out above and was quickly flamed. Glad I'm not the only one who saw the slant in the article.


RE: A little honesty in reporting please
By maxusa on 7/10/2006 3:45:29 PM , Rating: 1
I personally think that DT is an immature and biased publication driven by incompetent journalist wannabes. They not only present information at an "angle," but also often exaggerate (lie) what they themselves reported previously. This is not the first time I see this happening at DT. I am glad there are visitors who can point this out.


By Knish on 7/11/2006 12:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I personally think that DT is an immature and biased publication driven by incompetent journalist wannabes.

When will they add a block list to this site?


By RMTimeKill on 7/11/2006 1:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yet mysteriously you still come here, read the article and posts and even make posts your self...so whats that say about your personality...


Spin starts here
By brystmar on 7/10/2006 2:19:36 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry guys, but this article and post were *clearly* written with a negative bias towards Microsoft. MS has already submitted the information requested, but the EU rejected their sumbmission saying it wasn't detailed enough to their liking -- despite the fact that their demands weren't nearly specific enough to appease the terms of settlement.

Link: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/feb0... (This was obviously written with a pro-MS bias -- it is an MS press release, after all -- but the facts can still be easily extrapolated.)

MS has devoted a TON of resources to comply with the ruling since they obviously don't want to incur a $2-3 million/day fine. The way it was described above makes it seem like MS is skoffing at the EU because they consider themselves above the law, which is simply not the case.

I'm no MS fanboy, but this DT post is just flat out misleading. Objectivity in reporting should be any news site's #1 priority, and DT came up way short here. ArsTechnica's news posting is much more objective and fact-oriented; compare the two for yourself: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060710-7221...
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=3221




RE: Spin starts here
By shadowzz on 7/10/2006 2:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but this article and post were *clearly* written with a negative bias towards Microsoft.
So clearly that I missed it! WTF are you talking about? The article is only 8 sentences long and none of them seem to lean one way or the other.

Or did you just need an excuse to pimp your website?


RE: Spin starts here
By brystmar on 7/10/2006 4:05:59 PM , Rating: 1
How did I know my post would be deleted or 0'd out within minutes of writing it...

My post clearly demonstrated there was vital information missing from DT's coverage which spun the intent of the article negatively towards MS, but obviously nobody here cares about stuff like that. Please forgive me for trying to have an educated discussion about objectivity in reporting.

quote:
Or did you just need an excuse to pimp your website?

My website?! I have just as much affiliation with DT as I do with ArsTechnica in that I read both sites every day; I just felt linking to their news posting would help readers see the difference in objectivity between the sites. Clearly I was mistaken.


RE: Spin starts here
By AmbroseAthan on 7/10/2006 5:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
This article was a quick summary to give the facts; similiar to being in a newsroom and someone said, "write this up in 150 words or less." You just give the fast and current summary.

Fast summary of the article by flow/sentances:
1st: back info.
2nd: more back info with time frame.
3rd/4th: what has happened before/why it is being reported again now.
5th: quote from news source, showing EU's stance.
6th: Microsoft's stance.

It is a quick story. It lacks intense detail on both EU's and MS's sides. If you want more, go research it. Not every news piece is meant to be an indepth look, especially when this is a running story for two years now. As a running story, it is generally assumed we are just gaingin an update, not an indepth study.


RE: Spin starts here
By brystmar on 7/10/2006 5:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
If you will actually READ what I wrote you'll realize how horribly you're missing my point. Nobody here is expecting a full write-up; all I wish is for the reporting to be objective.

Here's my point again in case you still can't read: The article's tone was clearly slanted against MS before it was revised.


RE: Spin starts here
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 7/10/2006 9:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How did I know my post would be deleted

We don't delete comments. We physically can't -- and I run the place. DT staff are only allowed to moderate spam down as well, but they are entitled to moderate whatever they would like up.


RE: Spin starts here
By TomZ on 7/10/2006 4:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or did you just need an excuse to pimp your website?

My nomination for most wrong comment of the day.


RE: Spin starts here
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 2:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
I see:
1 sentence recapping a previous article (which I suppose could be biased).
3 sentences detailing undisputed facts.
1 quote from the linked article, which somewhat explains the EU position - you can't blame DT for bias in a linked article unless it is extremely blatant. This one was not.
2 sentences giving MS's side of the story.

How exactly is this biased?


RE: Spin starts here
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2006 3:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "How exactly is this biased? "

By the heading itself, which claims Microsoft has "decided" not to comply. An obviously fraudulent statement.


RE: Spin starts here
By Inkjammer on 7/10/2006 2:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't feel any sort of anti-Microsoft spin at all.


What's the real agenda?
By maxusa on 7/10/2006 2:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
I suspected that the EUC was becoming less reasonable. This announcement confirms this. Clearly, the EUC is to put the principle of authority before reason. Microsoft's complaints about never being able to meet the EUC demands because of their changing nature make more sense now. Following the case development, it appears there is underlying EUC agenda, which differs from what is being reported as the goal to make Microsoft better document its OS intefaces to "level" the competitive field. It does appear that no matter what Microsoft provides, it will never be adequate.

I must add that, as a software architect who has extensive experience with MS, IBM, and other platforms, Microsoft has by far more comprehensive API information, knowledge bases, and support than others. It is my firm opinion that those who complain about inadequate information that allegedly precludes them to build software for the MS platform are lazy, incompetent, and/or have other agenda, all of which is far from the allegations.




RE: What's the real agenda?
By TomZ on 7/10/2006 2:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft has by far more comprehensive API information, knowledge bases, and support than others. It is my firm opinion that those who complain about inadequate information that allegedly precludes them to build software for the MS platform are lazy, incompetent, and/or have other agenda, all of which is far from the allegations.


QFT. Microsoft has the best API documentation ever produced, IMO. The argument that Microsoft is holding out is just plain crap.


RE: What's the real agenda?
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 2:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is my firm opinion that those who complain about inadequate information that allegedly precludes them to build software for the MS platform are lazy, incompetent, and/or have other agenda, all of which is far from the allegations.


No doubt.. I dont know how many times someone comes to me to ask how to do something and i just pull up MSDN and send them a link.


EU just looking for a free hand out.
By Trisped on 7/10/2006 4:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft has been asked to hand over documentation to its competitors detailing the inner workings of its software applications or face daily $2.6 million USD fines.

Microsoft has shown no signs of backing down from its position to not divulge what it sees as its prized intellectual property. Microsoft has also stated that every change that it has made to comply with the ruling has met with more roadblocks from the EU.
Obviously they have some other agenda, as turning over the “how it works” info is the same as giving someone a blue print to your software. I know EU isn’t the USA, but if you don’t defend a software companies rights then you are going to find yourself without software.

It is one thing to require that a company that has control of a market make it easy for others to provide add-ons, it is another to require one that has nothing more then a strong presence to give away their secrets so their competitors can copy them and hackers can destroy their client base. All that Microsoft should be required to do is turn over an API for basic data transfer and software use. They already have that for Office and IE, what more do they need? Or is it because MS Office docs can’t be easily edited in other systems? You know you can use Office to save it in other formats. You could also do the standard thing and backwards engineer it like a civilized pirate. But no, they just want a free hand out. Well let them have none and see how happy they are! If they don’t like MS then they should make something better! That is what OpenOffice is trying to do, that is what Apple is trying with their computers, that is what AMD did, and many many more before them. It is like someone already said, EU is just looking to help EU companies and they need to be careful or their residents will get burned.




By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/10/2006 5:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I think Microsoft should simply stop showing up to court and send the EU a letter. With two words on it. "Make me." That's all it would take. The EU can impose fines all day long but I think the EU is already becoming a second UN, which makes them just as useless and yellow-bellied.


EU out of control
By Nik00117 on 7/10/2006 4:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
If I would be Bill Gates my only reply to the EU would be "make me"

What if the fines aren't paid? What if Bill Gates says he doesn't need the european market, he doesn't care for it. EVEN THEN poeple will still buy MS products and get them shipped into the EU.

What can the EU do if he refuses to pay? The American gov would have the back this decision to truly enforce, I fail to see why MS just doesn't say STFU this is the OS market, we own it until somthing better comes along.

And what competition in the OS market! Its already a monoply. I do however believe if a company could develope its out OS (based off linux) and make it do everything that windows does, market is properly they could take away a nice % of the market.

EU is overeacting, what can the EU do if microsoft simply says "no"




RE: EU out of control
By Pirks on 7/10/2006 4:56:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If they don’t like MS then they should make something better! That is what OpenOffice is trying to do, that is what Apple is trying with their computers, that is what AMD did, and many many more before them.
Exactly! Very nice point. This is obvious for any technically literate person, but don't you dream of technically literate government bureaucrats - they can't even plug the mouse in their PC themselves, they have special IT person for that - so don't be surprised when they behave live total idiots - absolutely normal for socialist heavily bureaucratic governments, I've seen a lot of that here in Canada and keep reading about this stuff often happening in Europe.


the EU agenda
By werepossum on 7/10/2006 6:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
The disagreement hinges on IP rights IMO. MS has excellent API DevKits, although they have been spanked before when internal developers use tricks (i.e. undocumented function calls) not available to outside programmers without reverse engineering, which is costly and illegal if done by the most simple method of code rebuilding. The EU, or more precisely the developers behind the lawsuit, already have access to the original code through reverse engineering; that's simple enough. They want MS to provide working code as part of the API because that has the effect of placing it in the public domain, where it can be used in their own programs. If you are spared the effort of developing your own infrastructure, you're automatically more competitive because of lower costs.




The collapse of Europe???
By farscape on 7/10/2006 8:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying whether MS is right or wrong in its stance, but gee, maybe they could pull one of those undocumented APIs out and just shut the EU - or part of it (France) right down - no operating systems/software - and charge $10-20 mill a day to give it all back??

A "Make Me" right in their face.





"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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