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Print 157 comment(s) - last by non gay europe.. on Jul 31 at 4:15 AM

Another $634M fine to follow if Microsoft does not comply by July 31st

The European Commission today fined Microsoft a whopping $375.4 million for failure to comply with antitrust rulings. The EU had previously fined Microsoft approximately $634.7 million in 2004 for taking advantage of its monopolistic position in the market.

The EU had previously told Microsoft to open up its code as well as open up its Windows operating system to competitors. The amount of the fine comes from the number of days the EU waited for Microsoft to comply. Having violating the ruling since December 16th of 2005 all the way to June 20th of 2006, the EU fined Microsoft at a rate of approximately $1.92 million per day.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told reporters that "Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct. I have no alternative but to levy penalty payments for this continued noncompliance." According to the EU, if Microsoft still does not comply by July 31st of 2006, it will be facing an heavier fine of $3.83 million per day. Microsoft however, says that the fines are unjustified. The company is currently appealing the decision.

Since then, Microsoft has responded to the EU with a public statement claiming "We have great respect for the Commission and this process, but we do not believe any fine, let alone a fine of this magnitude, is appropriate given the lack of clarity in the Commission’s original decision and our good-faith efforts over the past two years. We will ask the European courts to determine whether our compliance efforts have been sufficient and whether the Commission’s unprecedented fine is justified."

DailyTech previously reported that the EU would raise the daily fine cap for Microsoft if it does not comply. The EU decided today that it would penalize Microsoft anyway for the lack of compliancy during the last several months.


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Good
By Monkmachine on 7/12/06, Rating: 0
Not Good
By qdemn7 on 7/12/2006 7:58:15 AM , Rating: 1
This shows just how far the EU has drifted into Socialism. If I were Gates, I'd tell the EU to F.O. and pull out of the EU completely.

I have less and less respect for the EU every day. They're not embracing the market. The people don't want to work, or else they want the guarantee of a lifetime Government job. They're not even having enough children to replace themselves, yet they still expect their antiquated dinosaur of a social system to keep right on churning out the dole.


RE: Not Good
By Strunf on 7/12/2006 8:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
If MS pulls out it would sure be a problem for a few months but there's countless companies ready to fill the gap, actually Apple and Linux supporting companies would be more than happy for that, and the EU accounts for more people than the US so I really doubt MS would really no to OUR rules.


RE: Not Good
By ghost101 on 7/12/2006 8:23:50 AM , Rating: 1
I wouldnt mind if the MS pulled out. Using Apple's OSs wont be such a burden because software markets will develop to accomodate the huge change is OS shares of the market.


RE: Not Good
By BladeVenom on 7/12/2006 4:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
No, problem. They could all just switch to Apple. That would only cost in the 100's of billions for Europe to replace all their hardware and saoftware.

Then Europe would go from being dependent on Microsoft's software, to being dependent on Apples software and hardware . I doubt most would consider that a good alternative.


RE: Not Good
By segagenesis on 7/12/2006 8:16:57 AM , Rating: 2
While im not gung ho pro-MS I think on the same lines as you, although not to the point I consider the EU to be socialism. I find it stupid that they are arguing over the bundling of media player or IE (or was it just media player?) like it makes a difference on what people use. Netscape lost marketshare to IE because they sat on thier golden pedestal and did nothing for too long and Microsoft did what anyone does in a capitalist market, compete. Remember when you had to pay for Netscape?

Now as entertaining as your solution might be of Microsoft leaving the EU completely it's also rather impractical despite how much we read about Linux or alternatives being picked up... Microsoft depends on sales outside the US to, like any business wants to do, make more money. How much the fines would affect thier bottom line (or rather how they are even managing to enforce this?) I do not know and I imagine if it got to the point that the EU is unprofitable for them then they probably would do an exit, stage right. Quite interested in seeing how this one turns out...


RE: Not Good
By Spoonbender on 7/12/2006 8:43:30 AM , Rating: 3
Oh yes, that was what they fined MS for. For including Media Player. Odd though, that they still got fined even though they delivered an OS that wasn't bundled with it a year or two ago, isn't it?

Good to know that opponents of this fine are so well-informed.
Here's a suggestion, try reading up on what it was they were actually fined for before you comment.

To put it simply though, try making *any* application that interacts with Windows. It may be replacing IE as the built-in browser that's *always* used in some circumstances, it might be providing support for a different file system, or heck, it might just be an app that needs to pull some data from a Windows box. These communication protocols just aren't documented. A lot of functionality for a Windows system is just impossible for 3rd party vendors to deliver, because Microsoft won't open up the relevant API's/protocols/documentation.

"Like it makes a difference on what people use. Netscape lost marketshare to IE because they sat on thier golden pedestal and did nothing for too long"
If that is so, then how come 3rd party browser which are better than IE in every way today still only hold ~10% market share?
Bundling your own product obviously makes it harder for others to compete. Especially because *many* users don't know a lot about computers, aren't aware that alternatives exist.

Another question though, if you think Microsoft is competing fairly, where is my alternative?
Now, by alternative I mean a different product I could use instead of Windows. Where's my other OS that could run my games, MS Office, any other Windows app?

I can buy any brand of car, and it'll still work with the same kind of gasoline, on the same roads.
I can buy an AMD or Intel processor, and still run the same programs.
I can buy any electrical appliance, knowing that it'll plug into the wall socket. I don't need a different phone depending on who I want to talk to.
Every other market is standardized enough that it's possible to compete.
Only on the OS market does competition mean "develop your own damn infrastructure that's incompatible with ours"
Is that fair competition?
(And no, this isn't exactly what they got fined for. It's just an observation in response to the whinging that "Ohnoes, a US company got fined by a non-US entity. that is sooo wrong"

Funnily enough, I didn't notice any outcry when the US government fined MS for abusing their monopoly. Was it becaues the fine was smaller? Or because they were American, so "they're allowed to"?


RE: Not Good
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:00:03 AM , Rating: 3
> "if you think Microsoft is competing fairly, where is my alternative?"

In the Server OS marketplace-- VMS, Open-VMS, MVS, AIX, Solaris, MXS, HP-UX, Netware, OpenServer, IRIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and a thousand different varieties of Linux. And countless others I didn't name.

> "then how come 3rd party browser which are better than IE in every way today still only hold ~10% market share? "

Because they're not *enough* better to justify most people taking the time to install them. If a browser browses...its good enough for the average Joe.

> " I didn't notice any outcry when the US government fined MS for abusing their monopoly. Was it becaues the fine was smaller?"

Primarily it was because a) Microsoft actually had a monopoly in the desktop market, unlike the server market the EU action is addressing. And b) because the DOJ demands were far more reasonable than the EU's "we-wont-tell-you-what-we-want-but-provide-it-anywa y" attitude.


RE: Not Good
By Spoonbender on 7/12/2006 9:06:53 AM , Rating: 4
"b) because the DOJ demands were far more reasonable than the EU's "we-wont-tell-you-what-we-want-but-provide-it-anywa y" attitude. "
That one is subjective at best, isn't it?
As far as I know, their demands have been pretty clear. "Documentation, so that others can use these protocols and API's".

Now, Microsoft has delivered a few thousand pages that might qualify as documentation, but didn't satisfy the latter part, of allowing people to actually use it. In other words, it was lousy documentation that just didn't make it any easier.
Next, they offered to open up their source code, which again doesn't satisfy the requirement. It's not a matter of being allowed to see what goes on inside a Microsoft product. It's simply delivering documentation that makes it possible for 3rd party vendors to deliver server products on an equal footing with Microsoft's own similar products.

And DOJ's "far more reasonable" demands haven't exactly had a big impact, have they?
So maybe they were a bit *too* reasonable?

"Because they're not *enough* better to justify most people taking the time to install them. If a browser browses...its good enough for the average Joe. "
Exactly. So Microsoft wins by default in *every* market. Simply because they have a dominating OS. That's not fair, it's not free market, it's not anything other than preventing competition.
True, it makes it easier for the lazy consumer, but it makes it impossible for other developers to even compete. Because the vast majority isn't going to even *see* their product.
If you look at the browser market again, sure, Average Joe has had his OS bundled with IE6 for ages now. And how much competition have we seen there? How much improvement? How much development?
None. No one can compete with a mediocre browser that's bundled with the de-facto monopoly OS.
Ok, in the last 3 years or so, Firefox has sloooowly been breaking out, but look at the pace, and look at how much time has been wasted with *no* improvements on the browser market. Then try to claim again that it's not a problem.


RE: Not Good
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:50:49 AM , Rating: 3
> "As far as I know, their demands have been pretty clear"

Then you don't know. Their original demand was for "all internal documentation and information". Microsoft provided it. After months of "review", the EU called it incomplete, saying it may not fully document what the source code was doing. So Microsoft offered licensed source code...the EU replied with a demand for free source code, and the creation of a whole new set of documentation.

Microsoft spent a year asking the independent trustee on the case to tell them *exactly* what was required. This was done in March of this year...and since that date, Microsoft has delivered 6 of his 7 required installments, and hopes to deliver the 7th by July 18.


RE: Not Good
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:55:01 AM , Rating: 3
> "Exactly. So Microsoft wins by default in *every* market"

It wins in the market in which browsing isn't critical. Nothing wrong with that...it doesn't hurt the consumer in the slightest. For people that truly want to pay for a better browser...better browsers are available.

Most consumers DON'T want to pay for a browser though. They don't even want to spend 15 minutes installing one. They want one that's good enough, period.

You have to understand a basic tenet of antitrust law. It exists to protect the consumer...NOT to protect competitors. The consumer is not being hurt by a free browser in Windows...not as long as they have the option to replace it with another one.

> "Ok, in the last 3 years or so, Firefox has sloooowly been breaking out"

More proof that competition exists, and is not being stifled. Hell, some people even PAY for Opera.



RE: Not Good
By segagenesis on 7/12/2006 10:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
Sigh. Microsoft and monopoly bring the worst out and people and I see far too many scathing rebuttles...

Since DailyTech doesnt like deeply nested replies I'll have to clarify who im referring to...
masher2
It wins in the market in which browsing isn't critical. Nothing wrong with that...it doesn't hurt the consumer in the slightest. For people that truly want to pay for a better browser...better browsers are available.

Ex-act-ly. Why this is even being argued with such religious ferver is beyond sensibility. You are not being forced to use IE with windows. Everyone can start screaming bloody murder monopoly HELP IM BEING REPRESSED once Microsoft stats disallowing you to run firefox.exe or opera.exe. It's like obese people complaining they are fat because of the food when the food does not just jump into thier mouths.

Spoonbender
So Microsoft wins by default in *every* market. Simply because they have a dominating OS. That's not fair, it's not free market, it's not anything other than preventing competition.

Chill out there, bro. While you are entitled to your opinion I think this has to be the oldest and most worn out excuse one can give. The vast majority of PC users use Windows and continue using it because they do not want to re-learn Mac OS or Linux. Imagine the training costs and productivity losses to corporations if Microsoft disappeared tomorrow. Please, think sensibly here in your arguments... even though it might seem unfair that Microsoft is the dominating operating system its not like the world is ending because of it either. Especially in the case of Linux or FreeBSD or even Mac X Server, it might be able to compete in the more tech savvy field of servers... there is no monopoly here by a long shot.

Linux for a desktop seems unviable as a replacement for Windows to the masses until there is alot more agreement going on between distributions. KDE vs. Gnome and x.org vs. xfree86 and something vs. somethingelse does not help the situation. Where I work if I put Ubuntu on my bosses desktop or anyone elses and said they could not use Windows anymore I would get fired.


RE: Not Good
By Hare on 7/12/2006 12:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
Opera has been free for a while...


RE: Not Good
By fsardis on 7/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: Not Good
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 7:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
> "*clap* *clap* I bow to your ignorance. So tell me the last time you ordered a pc from dell which one did you chose? win xp or win mce? cause still i cant find the linux option.
and i case you didnt know, most people will buy a Dell.
nice free choice eh?

Lol, you totally missed the EU action is concerned with the SERVER MARKET. A point the ill-informed in this thread seem to continually miss.

To further compound your ignorance, even Dell ships servers with several different choices of OS. Red Hat Enterprise and Suse LINUX among them.

Oops.


RE: Not Good
By maxusa on 7/12/2006 3:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
> how come 3rd party browser which are better than IE in every way today still only hold ~10% market share?

This is such a generalization, which is also false. Let me ask you how did you determine that a "3rd party browser" is better than IE in every way? Which ways did you consider?

Let me tell you one particular way that I interact with on a daily basis - software development. Based on my personal and my web development team's experiences, IE6 is "better" in capabilities, interop, integration, and compliance perspectives than most other browsers. There are advantages these other browsers hold over IE, but generalizations like yours are incorrect.


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 8:23:53 AM , Rating: 3
Nah, Microsoft wouldn't do that, after all, they are a business, not a political body.

What Microsoft probably will do, however, is realize there is a higher cost of doing business in Europe, and pass those higher costs along to European consumers. I don't see any reason that Microsoft should absorb these unreasonable costs out of its profits. If the EU wants to fine Microsoft, then it would be fitting if the fines were paid for by EU consumers.


RE: Not Good
By raven3x7 on 7/12/2006 9:03:01 AM , Rating: 2
Difted into Socialism? The EU? LMAO YOu got to be jocking.


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 12:20:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Difted into Socialism? The EU? LMAO YOu got to be jocking.

Whether the EU has drifted into socialism can be debated, but what you can't debate is that the EU is more socialistic than the US.

This fact, taken from the point of view of a typical European, is probably a good thing. But taken from the point of view of a typical American is probably a bad thing.

My point is, you can't argue whether it is right or wrong; it is purely a subjective value judgement from one's own point of view.


RE: Not Good
By Spoonbender on 7/12/2006 9:16:22 AM , Rating: 3
If by "not embracing the market" you mean "not having tens of millions of kids living in poverty", then you're correct. We choose to do that differently than the US.
If by "people don't want to work", you mean that several EU countries have something like the lowest unemployment rate in the world. Much much lower than the US, then you are also correct.
Unless I'm mistaken, the US population is declining too, and in any case, I fail to see how that is a measure of your "respect".

Personally, I'd rather have an antiquated social system than an antiquated complete disregard of the same. A complete reliance on "Oh, it'll probably turn out ok in the end".


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 12:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to debate your views on politics because that is totally subjective, but your supporting facts are mostly wrong.
quote:
If by "people don't want to work", you mean that several EU countries have something like the lowest unemployment rate in the world. Much much lower than the US, then you are also correct.

The EU unemployment rate was around 9.4% for the EU and 5.1% for the US in 2005, so I think your point (whatever it is) is undermined by the actual data. Yes, there are "some countries" in the EU with lower unemployment than the US, but is that a valid comparison? There are some regions in the US with almost zero unemployment as well, but I don't think that gives an accurate picture of the country as a whole.
quote:
Unless I'm mistaken, the US population is declining too

No, it isn't - the population growth rate in the US is just under 1%/year, with 14.14 births/1000 and 8.26 deaths/1000.



RE: Not Good
By Zurtex on 7/12/2006 9:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
That shows your complete lack of understanding in modern European politics, the largest party in the European Parliament is the centre right party.

You seem to lack a concept of quite how big the EU is, it currently consists of:

Luxembourg
Ireland
Denmark
Austria
Finland
Belgium
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Germany
Sweden
France
Italy
Spain
Greece
Slovenia
Cyprus
Malta
Czech Republic
Hungary
Portugal
Estonia
Slovakia
Lithuania
Poland
Latvia

With more countries joining, it is already, and has been for some time, the largest trading block in the world with a higher GDP than any single country. 3 of the member countries are in the top 6 (could still be top 5, I'm not sure where China sits these days) of the biggest economies in the world. The quality of life in many European Union countries are considered to be better than anywhere else in the world.

If Microsoft were to pull out of such a massive place it would be the end of the monopoly for Microsoft on the desktop market. The European Union has such an impact on the rest of the world that if they were having to exclusively use another standard of Operating System then the rest of the world would need to comply with the same standards.

The rest of your comments are complete dribble really and don't merit a response other than you need to do some research before post a string of random words.


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 12:11:39 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
With more countries joining, it is already, and has been for some time, the largest trading block in the world with a higher GDP than any single country.

Wrong, EU GDP in 2005 was $12.18 trillion, and the US GDP was $12.36 trillion. So the best you can say is that all ~25 countries combined have a GDP around the same another single contry, the US.

What is also wrong with your statement is that you imply that all EU nations make up a "trading block," which is not at all true - the EU does not "act as one" in trade or any other decisions for that matter.
quote:
The quality of life in many European Union countries are considered to be better than anywhere else in the world.

Quality of life is totally subjective, and probably nearly every country feels they have the best. You know this already, so what's your real point?

The rest of your comments are complete dribble really and don't merit a response other than you need to do some research before post a string of random words.


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 12:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
The EU is a trading block, thats the whole idea behind it.

Once again, i dont think you understand the purpose of the EU. I would also question your GDP figures. GDP is not something that can be accuratly calculated, especially given the size of the figures involved.

You are correct that quality of life is subjective, you mainly have to look at average life spans etc which vary greatly across the EU. I wouldnt say the rest of his/her comments are drivel though, it just appears that you cant be arsed or, indeed cant, argue against them.


RE: Not Good
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 12:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
> "I would also question your GDP figures. GDP is not something that can be accuratly calculated..."

On the contrary, GDP can be quite accurately calculated. Saying the figures are incorrect is just a kneejerk response to facts you don't like.


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 1:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
no it cant be calculated accuratly. Especially with countries as large as the US. Please get real and stop simply opposing what I say


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
no it cant be calculated accuratly. Especially with countries as large as the US. Please get real and stop simply opposing what I say

I agree that GDP numbers are not exact - they are only very close estimates. But the accuracy is good enough that it doesn't change the conclusion - that the GDP of all the EU countries is about the same as the GDP of the US.


RE: Not Good
By seb2010 on 7/12/2006 1:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
man, i give up. where do you live? The EU has its common currency since 2001


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
man, i give up. where do you live? The EU has its common currency since 2001

Is it used in the UK?


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 1:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
What do you think the euro is then?


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What do you think the euro is then?

Is it used in the UK?


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 4:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
No. This is an exception.


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 5:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
How about Denmark and Sweden? Exceptions also? How about the ten new member states that joined EU in 2004? Also exceptions?

I don't mean to nitpik, but my point is that EU is a work-in-progress and has a long way to go before it can be considered to be a single economy or single trading partner. It may get to that point some time in the future, or it might not (its success is by no means a sure thing), but for now you can't put it in the same category as a country like the US in that respect.


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 5:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
Of course you cant. I never said you could.

And its fairly obvious that the 10 new countries havent joined the EU yet. They only joined in 2004


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 12:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The EU is a trading block, thats the whole idea behind it.

I agree that is the purpose behind it, but do you seriously believe that it is actually executing that way? The EU hasn't even achieved one of its earliest goals of a common currency for example.


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 4:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
it has a single currency and it is also a trade block. Do you live in the EU, as a matter of interest?


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 5:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you live in the EU, as a matter of interest?

What is the relevance of where I live - as long as we are discussing and debating facts and principles?


RE: Not Good
By Merry on 7/12/2006 5:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
No it occurs to me that you have been debating the facts that you have been told. These arent necersarily true.


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 9:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No it occurs to me that you have been debating the facts that you have been told. These arent necersarily true.

You could be right; maybe you could shed some light on the subject.


RE: Not Good
By seb2010 on 7/12/2006 1:34:02 PM , Rating: 1
oh - my - god!

What do you think you are talking about? Are you realy telling me that you should give up all social-aspects for capitalism?? And what does it have to do with socialism anyway. you must be kidding me. Of course capitalism is a fast way to success, but american is the bad example to what it may lead. The EU just does efforts to make the market fair.
An MS should pull out of the EU? How much profit do you think they make in the EU? Its veeeery much. No company with worldwide ambitions can afford pulling out of Europe.
And you have less and less respect for the EU? Because of you, everyone else in the world has more and more less respect for the US. You have to reconsider your self-centred point of view. There are other Unions, outside your country, like said underneath, which have probably higher life-standards and surely higher moral-standards than the US. The market over there is huge. And the fact that the EU consits of so many different countries and therefor has such a high GDP should not be a bad argument. Been able to interact with so many different cultures and mentalities is a gift the United States doesn't have. The others only interact with them because its about money


RE: Not Good
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course capitalism is a fast way to success, but american is the bad example to what it may lead.

WTF are you talking about? What is the bad example? Sorry, I fail to understand the problem. In the US we have a good standard of living, civil rights, opportunities for all, no serious fear of the government, freedom to choose how to live our lives, etc.
quote:
The EU just does efforts to make the market fair.

I don't think you understand the facts of this case. In what way do the EU actions seek to achieve "fairness" (whatever that term actually means)? This case is about protocols and APIs in Windows server, in which market Microsoft doesn't have anything close to a monopoly. So please explain the principles of fairness you think apply here, because I don't understand it.
quote:
There are other Unions, outside your country, like said underneath, which have probably higher life-standards and surely higher moral-standards than the US

Again, what are you talking about? Every country in the world feels they have the highest "life-standards" and "moral-standards." It is totally subjective based on your values. For example, a suicide bomber adheres to his own moral standard, but most of the rest of the world doesn't agree that murder is a reasonable approach to create change.
quote:
Been able to interact with so many different cultures and mentalities is a gift the United States doesn't have. The others only interact with them because its about money

I have no idea what you mean here either. I guess I don't understand anything in your post really.


RE: Not Good
By non gay european on 7/31/2006 4:15:55 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, u have these wonderful utopistic enviroment with more then 13k murders a year reported... :D
Germany has around 81 mil population and 100-200 murders reported a year....
you have to admit, that in States you practise a policy "you can keep what you kill"...
you can never see 2 or 3 mil homeless people wondering around Europe...
you CANNOT see guy hittin mom-and-pops stores and killing people for few worthless papers....
there are many things i can give right now, which are really better about Europe...
as far as i can see, i CANNOT give some about USA...


RE: Not Good
By non gay european on 7/31/2006 3:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
best you´re not...
do you even know what the hell the Socialism word means?
i guess everything not good for you and US is socialistic, right?


People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 8:58:28 AM , Rating: 2
Who are advocating that Microsoft should pull out of the EU are really kidding themselves. Imagine the increase in piracy for one thing. You also seem to forget that many games are developed in the EU, and, more specifically here in the UK. No prizes for guessing who they would develop for if microsoft ever did pull out, which, of course, they wont.

It appears that the EU is trying to reduce the barriers to entry of this particular market, which, in my eyes is no bad thing, in the long term in will be the consumers that benefit. If you look at it in terms of the free market then techically such actions are wrong, however, the free market is not always a good thing. Look at healthcare provision, for example. I believe that simply relying on the free market as a means of the provision of resources is simply outdated and, to some degree too simplistic.


I would like to point out that i am not a Socialist, either. I am a believer in 'Modern Liberalism' and all that goes with it.




Ponder this argument...
By DallasTexas on 7/12/2006 9:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
"..t appears that the EU is trying to reduce the barriers to entry of this particular market, which, in my eyes is no bad thing.."

( below is from another post elsehwhere I made)
Disagree here. The competitiveness of nations will largely be technological. China and India knows this. While all the morons in here celebrate the destruction of large american technology companies like Intel and Microsoft, this is music to foreign governments out build out there own capabilities.

The chinese government will build out their own semiconductor fab capabilities, develop their own Linux OS, there own Google. WHile Bush flushes 1/2 trillion down the toilet a year, these governments are investing in their own future.

France? They hate american companies. The EU is abusing it's power by milking MS to fund their own industry - all this under the cover of "monopoly power". It's an outrageous abuse or goevernment power over a company that already has been fined andpaid up. The US gov needs to get involved here to keep our cornerstone institutions in technology from being destroyed by governments.

While it's recreational to beat up MS, INtel, Google, Dell, etc. The joke is on you (us) in the long run.


RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 9:55:32 AM , Rating: 2
you misunderstand me.

I would not celebrate the destruction of large firms, such as microsoft. It would be a bad thing. I do, however, wish there was more genuine competition in this market, which there currently isnt. I mean i've been trying to find a decent alternative to Windows for a while now and there simply isnt one, with the possible exception of osx, but that involves me having to buy a Mac, which i cant afford.

And yes, it is true that the French dont like foreign companies, hell they're still trying to stop the British from exporting our beef to them, its just they way they work. I dont agree with it and neither does the EU, France has come under increasing criticism from the EU for such practices. There is no way the EU is milking Microsoft either. They dont have to. These fines a small change to them, and they are certainly not out to destroy Microsoft. This isnt a government conspiracy or anything like that. The EU is simply trying to curtail monopoly power, and those in favour of the free market should really be encouraging such actions.

I think the problem (generally) is that US citizens, on the whole, do not understand the EU. This is fairly obvious given the outrageous claims about government conspriacies posted on here and in other threads regarding this issue. It is daft to think its a load of unaccountable fat cats lining their pockets. It isnt the Commission isnt that large, indeed it is vastly smaller than the the BBC, it is also rather naive to think the EU is just out to get US companies. This is not the case.


RE: People
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
You devote a lot of discussion to discredit the motives assumed by many posters here, but you fail to provide a reasonable, logical explanation of the EU's actions/motives. You claim to understand the EU, so please explain to us here why their actions in this case are justified?

Frankly I think you are being naive in assuming that there is not a large political element to what is going on. If what is going on is based on politics instead of principles, then I think it is fair to critize the EU actions.


RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 4:58:25 PM , Rating: 1
you're an idiot, really you are.

I've told you what the reasons are, and thats to reduce barriers to entry in this particular market. There are too many countries in the EU with different interests for it to be anything other than this.

I have been to see the European parliament in action, i have talked to M.E.Ps, they are most certainly not fatcats out to get US companies.


RE: People
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 5:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've told you what the reasons are, and thats to reduce barriers to entry in this particular market. There are too many countries in the EU with different interests for it to be anything other than this.

What barriers to entry exist in the server OS market? There are at least a half-dozen products with a significant market share already. Microsoft does not have a monopoly in this market. So how will Microsoft's providing this documentation and/or paying fines lower the barrier to entry into this market? By making it easier for other companies to steal trade secrets, to study Microsoft's implementation, or what?
quote:
I have been to see the European parliament in action, i have talked to M.E.Ps, they are most certainly not fatcats out to get US companies.

Next you're going to tell me that you trust these politicians, and that you couldn't possibly believe they have political motivations? But I am the idiot?


RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 5:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
What barriers to entry exist in the server OS market? There are at least a half-dozen products with a significant market share already. Microsoft does not have a monopoly in this market.

correct me if i'm wrong, but this is about making programs to run on windows. Not rival operating systems.

Next you're going to tell me that you trust these politicians, and that you couldn't possibly believe they have political motivations? But I am the idiot?

i feel sorry for people who think like this, really i do. Do you even know what an MEP is? They represent a number of different parties NOT a country. Indeed they are seated according to political belief and NOT by country. They represent what their party stands for NOT a country.







RE: People
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 5:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
correct me if i'm wrong, but this is about making programs to run on windows. Not rival operating systems.

Are you saying Microsoft has a monopoly in writing apps that run on Windoww? What are you saying? You talked about barriers to entry - what did you mean? Plenty of companies have competing operating systems, and plenty of companies (lots really) have written programs that run on Windows. What barrier?
quote:
i feel sorry for people who think like this, really i do. Do you even know what an MEP is? They represent a number of different parties NOT a country. Indeed they are seated according to political belief and NOT by country. They represent what their party stands for NOT a country.

Not sure your point - an MEP is an elected politician. Therefore, they are susceptible to all that goes along with it. I'm not saying all politicians are bad, but I am saying that politicians sometimes make bad decisions based on political motivations that may not be in the best interests of their constituents.


RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 6:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying Microsoft has a monopoly in writing apps that run on Windoww? What are you saying? You talked about barriers to entry - what did you mean? Plenty of companies have competing operating systems, and plenty of companies (lots really) have written programs that run on Windows. What barrier?

I wasnt saying that they were. I was just saying that there is a barrier to entry in this market as Microsoft, who has the documentation, can obviously write better programs which can be integrated into the OS, at least thats what reading these articles has led me to believe.

Not sure your point - an MEP is an elected politician. Therefore, they are susceptible to all that goes along with it. I'm not saying all politicians are bad, but I am saying that politicians sometimes make bad decisions based on political motivations that may not be in the best interests of their constituents.

then theres a good few hundred others to vote against them, from all political persuasions and countries.


RE: People
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 6:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
TomZ: Are you saying Microsoft has a monopoly in writing apps that run on Windoww?

Merry: I wasn't saying that they were.


If Microsoft has no monopoly, then the EU commission is clearly in the wrong.

And you're still dodging the primary point, which is Microsoft has already provided *everything* it itself had to develop with...and is furiously working to meet the EU's demands for more. Is it really reasonable to fine them for 8 months of "noncompliance", when the EU only clarified their demands four months ago? If the answer is so complex it takes two years to even ask the question, is allowing Microsoft at least 6 months unreasonable?


RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 6:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 7:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
now i'm being a prune and linked the wrong thing

http://news.com.com/5208-12-0.html?forumID=1&threa...

i think this guy pretty much says what i would given your response.


RE: People
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 9:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
now i'm being a prune and linked the wrong thing

http://news.com.com/5208-12-0.html?forumID=1&threa...

i think this guy pretty much says what i would given your response.

The posters in that thread are pretty much wrong, especially with the assertion that other companies do not have the ability to develop applications like Office because Microsoft is holding back information. That argument is pure bullshit. All you have to do is count up the thousands of other applications written by other companies that: (a) meet their functional requirements, (b) are performant, (c) are high-quality/bug-free, and (d) are commercially successful in the market.

I will even go one step further. Nobody has made it easier to develop applications on Windows than Microsoft. Microsoft not only provides excellent documentation for their myriad APIs and services, but they also provide excellent development tools, supply high-level API's like .NET, etc., and also provide direct support as well as facilitate community-based support. There is no company that helps developers target Windows more than Microsoft. And that should come as no surprise, since Microsoft likes selling copies of Windows.

So if anyone tells you that they can't write apps for Windows because they don't have the information, basically you should assume they simply don't know what they are doing.


RE: People
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 8:57:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
then theres a good few hundred others to vote against them, from all political persuasions and countries.

The problem is that sometimes power becomes concentrated amounst a few select politicians on a particular committee. I suspect this is exactly what is going on with the Microsoft case, where someone in charge of this particular activity has an axe to grind, or has decided to "save the world" from Microsoft.


RE: People
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 5:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "you're an idiot"

Actually, TomZ is one of the most literate and well-informed posters on the board. He's corrected several of your factual errors, and remained civil while doing so. Why not emulate his fine example?

> "Do you even know what an MEP is? They represent a number of different parties NOT a country. Indeed they are seated according to political belief and NOT by country. They represent what their party stands for NOT a country..."

Do you even realize that your statement *supports* his point? A Member of the European Parliament is most certainly politically motivated just as he said...and as you confirm in your post.


RE: People
By Merry on 7/12/2006 6:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
oh dear, another person whose posts i once held in high regard makes himself look just a bit stupid.

TomZ implied that the it was countries and not individuals who were out to 'get' microsoft. This isnt the case. Nor is it the case that individuals are out to 'get' microsoft. There are too many different individuals with different views for this to be the case. You have misinterpreted my original point.


RE: People
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 6:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "oh dear, another person whose posts i once held in high regard makes himself look just a bit stupid."

I suggest you judge each post on its own merits. I've seen posts of yours I agreed with before...your present unreasonableness doesn't change my opinion of them.

> "TomZ implied that the it was countries and not individuals who were out to 'get' microsoft..."

On the contrary, he implied it was individuals, motivated by political reasons, who were so motivated.

> "There are too many different individuals with different views for this to be the case. "

There isn't a single MEP in Parliament that doesn't want to see European companies have a competitive advantage over US firms. Nor are there any that will say no to a free billion in cash extra for the budget...not when it doesn't come out of the pockets of any of their constituents.






Eh???
By bobsmith1492 on 7/12/2006 8:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
How is Microsoft supposed to sell a product if they have to give it away...???




RE: Eh???
By ghost101 on 7/12/2006 8:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the demands are similar to that of the us justice department.


RE: Eh???
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 8:33:11 AM , Rating: 1
> "I believe the demands are similar to that of the us justice department. "

You believe quite wrongly then. The EU is demanding "full disclosure" on APIs in the server marketplace...a market in which Microsoft isn't even a monopoly.

Microsoft provided its own internal documentation-- the EU called it unsufficient. Microsoft offered the full source code for the APIs...the EU still said its not enough. Right now the EU is hinting they may require Microsoft to train its competitors on how to best build products to compete with them.


RE: Eh???
By Spoonbender on 7/12/2006 8:50:14 AM , Rating: 3
Is that so unfair? Keep in mind, you're mixing two different entities.
Their OS and the server products are unrelated businesses.
Shouldn't 3rd party server products be able to use the OS just as well as their own proprietary server products can?

If they use their (unrelated) OS to help them gain market share in the server product market, isn't that a pretty clear-cut definition of abusing your monopoly?
Then their products don't win market share because they're better, but because their completely unrelated OS business withholds information from 3rd party developers that their (unrelated to the OS) server app people are allowed to see?

And full source code obviously wasn't enough when the demand was for *documentation*
Have you tried reading a few dozen million lines of undocumented code? Do you think that makes it easier to compete? Think again. The EC simply wants MS to document the ways *any* program, third party or otherwise, can interact with the OS. Is that so unfair? It doesn't harm their OS business at all.
Does it harm their server business? Possibly. If it makes inferior products. Otherwise not. They can still make equally good/bad products, but now others can too.


RE: Eh???
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:14:54 AM , Rating: 2
> "Shouldn't 3rd party server products be able to use the OS just as well "

Thousands of third-party server products do that today. They run on Microsoft OSes...and run just as well if not better than do Microsoft's own products.

> "And full source code obviously wasn't enough when the demand was for *documentation*"

Microsoft provided all documentation it had, along with the source code. This was enough for Microsoft to build its own server products with...why is it not enough for a third party?

> "The EC simply wants MS to document the ways *any* program, third party or otherwise, can interact with the OS. Is that so unfair? "

When the subject is so complex that it took the EU two YEARS to even clearly formulate their own demands, then they should give Microsoft a reasonable amount of time to obey. The EU clarified their demands only in March...but they're backdating this fine to December...four months BEFORE they even told Microsoft exactly what they wanted.

Is that unfair? Only a fool would even need to ask.





RE: Eh???
By Zurtex on 7/12/2006 9:08:11 AM , Rating: 1
quote:

Microsoft provided its own internal documentation-- the EU called it unsufficient. Microsoft offered the full source code for the APIs...the EU still said its not enough. Right now the EU is hinting they may require Microsoft to train its competitors on how to best build products to compete with them.


To be fair, the guy that Microsoft hired to show the EU that it was complying to EU standards has said that Microsoft's attempt is completely inadequate.


RE: Eh???
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
> "To be fair, the guy that Microsoft hired..."

I believe you're referring to CS Professor Neil Barrett, who was **not** hired by Microsoft. Barrett was hired by the EU. He's the one who said the 12,000 pages of supplied documentation were "inadequate"....and he's the one who took two years to tell Microsoft specifically what the EU was demanding.



RE: Eh???
By Zurtex on 7/12/2006 9:37:56 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm,right, sorry, must of mis-read an article. But would I not be correct in thinking that Microsoft had some part in getting this guy on board in the first place?

I've heard much worse be described about the 12'000 pages of documentation from other people involved in the case, being that I through all the things I've read I haven't seen a single positive comment on them it rather makes me doubt their usefulness.

Any way, to not get facts mixed up I assume when you say "EU" you mean European Commission? And I would be correct in thinking (a nightmare to decipher from the linked article) that the EU Court hasn't ruled in favor of the European Commission of Microsoft yet, right?


RE: Eh???
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 10:01:53 AM , Rating: 3
> I've heard much worse be described about the 12'000 pages of documentation from other people involved in the case

Who else have you heard from, other than Barrett? Barrett calls the preexisting documentation incomplete, not detailed enough, and poorly organized. But that documentation and the source code is all Microsoft itself had to work to develop its products. They managed...why can't some other company? Point in fact, other companies HAVE managed, and WITHOUT that documentation or source code.

Now, I'm sure he's right on the "poorly organized" part. But a billion dollar fine justified because some documentation is "poorly organized"?

Finally, we're skipping the most salient point. Barrett clarified his request in March. Since then, Microsoft has created many thousands of pages of NEW documentation, written to his specific order. 6 of 7 installments, in fact.


RE: Eh???
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Barrett calls the preexisting documentation incomplete, not detailed enough, and poorly organized.

That sounds like par for the course for most software documentation I've encountered throughout my career. I agree with you - it seems that everyone else is able to develop with and interoperate with Windows even without the special information demanded by the EU.

And, as I've said before, MS API documentation, i.e., MSDN Library, is far better than anything else I've seen. I don't see how any reasonable person could conclude that Microsoft has not made a good effort to allow folks to write apps for their OS.


RE: Eh???
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/12/2006 8:27:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yea I'm gonna have to go with Microsoft pulling out of the EU. Sure the EU could switch over to Linux/Apple, but Microsoft still makes money if they go with Apple since even Apple pays to use AppleOffice. Now on the Linux front, the EU would be unable to conduct business since all international companies use Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows as a standard platform, thus allowing things to be shared between companies. EU's businesses would find themselves in a bad position very quickly. See in the USA, its simply a matter of, I hate WMP, *loads Winamp*, in the EU its more along the lines of WTF? We have to load something other than the default? We want choice! Well heres a new concept for the EU........ people are STUPID, choice simply confuses the vast majority. How about give them something that friggin works (Apple has done this since its inception, why the heck is it a big deal with Microsoft), if they posess the capacity to choose something different fine, they can do that, but otherwise stop crying EU.

Now on the other side of the fence, I have seen that in the EU, fairness is really subjective. Because Microsoft is a Monopoly, the same rules dont apply. In the EU, if your a Monopoly, everyone is going to stick it to you, and its alright because your a Monopoly. The RealPlayer fiasco that went around in the EU a few years ago just proves that point. Nobody will ever tell you Realplayer is superior to WMP, Quicktime, or Winamp, heck Realplayer was a POS for a long time, no wonder nobody switched to it? Instead they cry that people arent paying to buy their Realplayer without all the annoying advertisements, and are using the built-in mediaplayer that doesnt spam them to death? Gee let me think about that one for a second.

Welcome to planet DUH! Get off the short bus.


RE: Eh???
By Strunf on 7/12/2006 8:44:51 AM , Rating: 2
"Now on the Linux front, the EU would be unable to conduct business since all international companies use Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows as a standard platform"
hmm since when business needs Office, and to your information the EU exports as much as it imports and I dont see any reason to think that someone that wants to sell us something doesnt comply to OUR rules, if they dont then there's probably countless others ready to do it.


RE: Eh???
By Spoonbender on 7/12/2006 9:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yes, Microsoft will simply abandon 300+ million customers. That's likely to happen.
Especially because it would give competitors a huge advantage.
Apple and/or Linux would explode in Europe. So would Wine or anything else that lets you use Windows-apps (Hey, do you think MS patents would be valid in Europe if they're found breaking European law, and don't compete in Europe anyway?)

So another OS would become *the* standard. And because that OS could be used anywhere, but Windows can't, it would even gain a very strong position in the rest of the world too.
The US government wants a *standard* for their apps and documents? Well, then they'll have to use something other than MS, because MS products are useless in Europe.
A multinational corporation needs to install new software? They sure aren't going to use one product in the US and another in Europe. And since using MS in Europe isn't an option, it'd make more sense to ditch MS elsewhere.

No, Microsoft isn't going to do that.

"See in the USA, its simply a matter of, I hate WMP, *loads Winamp*"
Uh, no?
For the vast majority of users, it's "Oh, WMP comes with the computer. Look, it can play these fancy mp3 things! How clever"
*Uses WMP for a year or two, until some geek relative drops by*
"Look, there are much better programs than WMP" *installs Winamp*
"Oh, I don't know how to use that. Looks sooo confusing. Now I'd just gotten used to WMP." *goes back to WMP*

"Because Microsoft is a Monopoly, the same rules dont apply"
That's true. It's true in the US too. Being a monopoly, and abusing that position isn't considered fair anywhere. The difference is that in the EU, it's much more consistent. In the US, you might be a monopoly, but you can get away with a slap on the wrist if you're careful, do a bit of lobbying, and most importantly, churn out a lot of money.

Preventing competition is bad. I thought Americans were born with a gene for "Free market. What a good idea". Maybe Europe just actively ensures that there *is* a free market, rather than just leaving things be until there no longer is any choice, and no longer any free market.


RE: Eh???
By raven3x7 on 7/12/2006 9:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with what you say. Just a minor correction. Software Patents are invallid in the EU anyway. The EPO grants them but they are not enforcable, infact the EPO is breaking EU law by granting them.


RE: Eh???
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
> "Being a monopoly, and abusing that position isn't considered fair anywhere"

As has already been pointed out, in the server arena Microsoft isn't a monopoly. Nor did it "abuse" its position...unless you consider holding a trade secret as abuse.


I just wonder...
By zaphikel on 7/12/2006 4:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
... if anyone here has actually seen what MS actually delivered to the EU?

just giving away 12000 pages of paper doesn't say anything about the contents.

Maybe its useful maybe not ... but so far I havent seen any independent sources... only statements by MS or the EC.

So for the time being the discussion is pretty pointless, since noone can really tell who of the two sides in this case is messing things up.

MS complains the EU didn't state clearly what they wanted, EU complains MS didn't deliver although they stated absolute clearly what they wanted... so whos right now?

... yeah you all have seen the official documents and read every single page of the documentation...thought so too, so were all experts here. **BLEH***

come on, get serious people... without hard facts most posts here are mere rants - but quite amusing tho... especially the whole US vs. EU thinggy...

keep cool ;-)




RE: I just wonder...
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 4:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Your assumption is that EU has a valid cause to even require the additional documentation in the first place. That is not a foregone conclusion, IMO. The content of the 12,000 pages is irrelevant.


RE: I just wonder...
By zaphikel on 7/12/2006 5:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
since the EC is a governmental body it has a valid cause, since it only executes the rules - in this case the antitrust rules.

it might be you dont like the rules in the first place - thats a different thing tho, as this is your perfect own opinion. the cause tho is valid.

it might be that the EC is executing the rules in a wrong way - that is why there are courts and MS already appealed.

Basically MS has two choices: play the game by the rules or quit playing the game

(or - change the rules...) ;-)


RE: I just wonder...
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 5:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
since the EC is a governmental body it has a valid cause, since it only executes the rules - in this case the antitrust rules.

Interesting view - an objective, non-political government. Never heard of such a thing. It would be a nice ideal, however.


RE: I just wonder...
By zaphikel on 7/12/2006 5:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
to be honest, the EC is some kind of special case, as it is no government in a common sense - but I'm disgressing.

Anyways I'd call it quite objective since it only executes the rules - and in case the commission messes up here, you can call in the courts (as MS did so far with every single decision of the commission).

As I said before, you might question the rules, but the execution of them has been a rather technical procedure so far.

On the other hand, as a sovereign power, the EU has all the right in the world to give itself the rules as it sees fit.

Again, you might not love those rules, call them unjust, whatever... but basically it works this way: as long as you play on my turf i make the rules - love it or leave it.


RE: I just wonder...
By maxusa on 7/12/2006 5:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
I tell you one thing I personally saw in the past, see now, and will keep seeing... solid and quality MS API documentation, dev knowledgebases, dev support, dev usergroups, all of which only gets better over time. Even without seeing the new 12000 pages, I have a very good idea about MS dev documentation.

The discussion is not pointless. It allows people to exchange opinions and, through arguments, strengthen the understanding of the case.


RE: I just wonder...
By zaphikel on 7/12/2006 5:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it seems the Monitoring Trustee Prof. Barrett (appointed by MS and the EC) has a different opinion, so I guess your idea about the API documentation in this case is not fitting.
And it seems MS is working quite well with him :

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Barrett and his team for their hard work over the past few months. With them, we have created a highly constructive process that we hope can achieve resolution on the technical documentation, and also help resolve any future issues. - Brad Smith, Microsoft (source: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jul0...


RE: I just wonder...
By zaphikel on 7/12/2006 5:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
hmm...i forgot a space there...wheres the edit button? anyways... heres mr smith once more:

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jul0...


RE: I just wonder...
By maxusa on 7/12/2006 8:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
zphikel, please refer to the following branch of this thread:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=3266&...

This discussion is growing, and has become hard to follow/read. masher2 addresses your point about Mr. Barrett in the linked branch.


RE: I just wonder...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 6:07:29 PM , Rating: 3
> "Maybe its useful maybe not ... but so far I havent seen any independent sources... only statements by MS or the EC.

So for the time being the discussion is pretty pointless"

Incorrect, for a few reasons. First of all, let's list what we DO know.

a) The original 12,000 pages of documentation and the source code are all Microsoft itself had, and it managed to write many server products with just those resources.

b) Many developers and companies have written fine products without even those two resources, proving its possible.

c) Microsoft is not "refusing" to provide still more information, and in fact has already delivered a huge amount of additional documentation, all of it custom-written to the EU's specification.

The EU is simply claiming Microsoft isn't providing information fast enough, despite the fact that the subject itself is so vast and complex, that it took the EU two years simply to fully document the demand itself. Microsoft received that clarification in March, instantly pulled 300 engineers off other projects, and began delivering new documentation.


RE: I just wonder...
By zaphikel on 7/12/2006 7:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
We'll have to be careful here:

a)
MS claims those 12 000 pages were all they had. Unfortunately we can't prove this claim, so we actually dont know what MS really has. This is a pure statement by MS. (Besides what do you expect? Microsoft saying: we actually got 30 000 pages but we only give you those 12 000...)

b)
why was the monitoring trustee not able to do so?
and its a well known secret that not all ins and outs of the APIs have been documented by MS.(I think a link to a page documenting the "unofficial" API-features was somwhere posted in an earlier comment). And that seems to be the real crux: to level the playing field all competitors need the same infos, and thats all the commission wanted: The Decision ordered Microsoft to disclose, within 120 days, complete and accurate interface information which would allow rival vendors to interoperate with Windows, and to make that information available on reasonable terms (source: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/cas... )

c)
true - but obviously it didn't comply to what the commission wanted. and MS was warned quite some time ago (15th December 2005)


I beg to differ on your last statement. In case you're interested in the commissions view of the case, heres a nice timeline (in addition to the above source):

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/cas...

it doesnt't look to me like the commission needed 2 years to document the case. Actually It rather looks to me like 2 years of legal action and counteraction. (with MS being on the short end for now - but the judges havent spoken on MS appeal yet)

We still have no info on how clear or unclear the demand of the comission actually was, but it rather seems to me that MS needed from March 24th (the day MS first got the decision and knew what was coming its way) until February 15th 2006 (the day of its reply to the statement of objection from the EC) to find out that the demands of the commission were unclear (not bad if you remember that they had 120 days to comply...and now we got July 2006 ... 800+ days and counting :o) )

And finally, for all interested people here, who are wondering what we're actually argueing about, the infamous EC-decision:

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/cas...

(and no, I havent read it and cant be bothered...really...302 pages of legal text... ughhh... but the first few pages are a nice read about what happened since the first complaint by sun in 1998 )


RE: I just wonder...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 7:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
> "MS claims those 12 000 pages were all they had. Unfortunately we can't prove this claim"

Of course we can, as Microsoft's own employees have been interviewed and their records and email system have been examined. Not even the EU Commission is claiming Microsoft didn't release documentation it had.

> "The Decision ordered Microsoft to disclose, within 120 days, complete and accurate interface information..."

There's the crux now isn't it? When you're the person defining "complete" and "accurate", its easy to

Furthermore, Microsoft certainly DID deliver complete and accurate information, in the way of source code. NOTHING can be left out of that. Point in fact, the EU, after receiving the source code, changed their demand to "complete, accurate...and extremely succinct, well-organized, and easy to use". Oh, and provide it all by December of last year, too...

> "it doesnt't look to me like the commission needed 2 years to document the case"

Ah but they did:

quote:
Faced with a series of tough deadlines, one group on Microsoft Corp.'s Redmond campus has been working until all hours...The ad hoc team of 300 people is creating volumes of technical documents required by the European Commission....one of the project leaders, engineer Henry Sanders, [decided] to swear off shaving until the effort is complete, like an athlete in the playoffs...

Whether or not the threat of a fine played a role, the situation appeared to improve after the commission's March warning. 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, to work on the European Union initiative...






RE: I just wonder...
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 9:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and its a well known secret that not all ins and outs of the APIs have been documented by MS.(I think a link to a page documenting the "unofficial" API-features was somwhere posted in an earlier comment).

Here are some facts about the "unofficial" APIs for you.

1. These APIs for the most part redundant relative to other APIs in Win32. For the functionality that is not directly redundant, the same thing can be accomplished with a few lines of code in your application.

2. These APIs are tiny compared to the overall set of documented, public APIs that Windows exposes. These APIs are not documented and not public because they are not useful.

3. Microsoft developers are expressly forbidden to call any of these "unofficial" APIs. They have internal tools that they run prior to releasing application software that search for calls to any non-published API.

Finally, as I've pointed out in another post, thousands of companies have successfully written commercially successful Windows apps with no knowledge of these "unofficial" APIs. How do you think they did that? See points 1-3 above.


How about apple?
By volvox on 7/12/2006 8:24:30 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know if it applies, but shouldn't apple be fined for not letting other computers having their Mac OS x86?
Isn't that monopoly too?




RE: How about apple?
By Strunf on 7/12/2006 8:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently you dont know the meaning of the word "monopoly"...


RE: How about apple?
By Spoonbender on 7/12/2006 9:12:38 AM , Rating: 1
The demand wasn't for "tens of thousands of pages". Quite the opposite, in fact. It was "Make it clear what 3rd party vendors need to do to communicate with your OS".

It's not neccesarily *clear* if it's scattered over 30k pages.
One of the complaints the EC had against those first attempts was that they were too verbose, skirted the issues and just tried to get by with quantity over quality.

Microsoft whined that "Look, we made tens of thousands of pages, isn't that good enough for you?", and apparently, some people bought that argument. But the EC never asked for quantity.

The EC said that right from the start. The fact that MS chose to misinterpret it for the first two years is their own fault. If they were in doubt, they could have asked. And as work progressed on their documentation, they could have asked if they were moving in the right direction.


RE: How about apple?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
> "The EC said that right from the start"

Let's clarify the situation. The EU said "give us your documentation on these protocols". Microsoft did, releasing every single page it had that was relevant. As demanded.

The EU "reviewed" this for months, then declared it unsuitable....without ever saying specifically what was wrong, or what substitute would be palatable to the EU. Microsoft then offered the source code as well. After all, if you have the source code, you know *everything* a product can do...there can be nothing missing or left out.

The EU said that wasn't enough, and said additional documentation would have to be created. Microsoft said fine, just tell us what specifically we need to document, and in what format. The EU finally answered that request in March...but now, instead of giving Microsoft sufficient time to create this new documentation, is backdating fines all the way to December.

It's a farce, plain and simple.


RE: How about apple?
By maxusa on 7/12/2006 4:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
It appears Spoonbender does not read you numerous replies, or ignores them to continue his/her meaningless rant. You sound like a broken record, but this appears the only way to tame Spoonbenders alike. Thanks for doing this.


RE: How about apple?
By emboss on 7/13/2006 5:31:08 AM , Rating: 3
masher2 does sound like a broken record ... a broken record that's stuck repeating many wrong things. Although his tenacity in defending his claims is admirable (though he does do a lot of aguing for argument sakes - see his posts where he argues about API issues instead of simply pointing out that the EU decision has nothing to do with Windows APIs), he has a lot of his facts wrong and flip-flops on others. I've tried to compile a list of them in this post, though quite possibly I've missed a couple due to the sheer numbre of posts he's made.

Also, I don't dispute in the least that MS has put in a massive amount of effort in the last three months in getting the required documentation together. But this fine has nothing to do with this, and is much more about MS missing the original deadline. Remember, this is a bureaucracy - this decision on the fine has probably been grinding it's way through the process for several months.

Now, on to masher2's claims ...

quote:
Primarily it was because a) Microsoft actually had a monopoly in the desktop market, unlike the server market the EU action is addressing


And

quote:
As has already been pointed out, in the server arena Microsoft isn't a monopoly.


and dozen of other similar quotes, all about the EU focussing on the server market. The EU isn't complaining/investigating MS's monopoly (or lack of) in the server market, or claiming MS has a monopoly in the server market. The EU is investigating MS's use of it's desktop monopoly to gain an unfair advantage in the server OS market (for some legal definition of monopoly and unfair).

quote:
Then you don't know. Their original demand was for "all internal documentation and information".


Their original demand was for "complete and accurate" (clause 999 of the original 2004 decision) documentation of the protocols. MS dodged this in the first batch of documentation by providing essentially concept documentation and packet dumps, which although technically were "complete and accurate" documentaion were essentially useless for developers who would want to use the documentation. This went against the main purpose of the decision (clause 1003: "The objective of this Decision is to ensure that Microsoft's competitors can develop products that interoperate with the Windows domain architecture ...").

quote:
The EU is demanding "full disclosure" on APIs in the server marketplace...a market in which Microsoft isn't even a monopoly.


See above two points.

quote:
Microsoft provided its own internal documentation-- the EU called it unsufficient.


Microsoft did indeed provide it's own internal documentation. It was insufficient.

quote:
Thousands of third-party server products do that today. They run on Microsoft OSes...and run just as well if not better than do Microsoft's own products.


Irrelevant to the issue. The issue is PROTOCOLS for communicating with Windows, not API's for running on Windows. Read clause 210 and surrounding clauses of the 2004 judgement.

quote:
Microsoft provided all documentation it had, along with the source code. This was enough for Microsoft to build its own server products with...why is it not enough for a third party?


Because, and this is a point you completely fail to recognise, documentation of the code is only slightly more useful than packet dumps and disassembly when it comes to protocol documentation. It still requires reverse engineering the source code to determine the protocol. Remember, again, that the original requirement was for documentation of the protocol sufficient for a competitor to interface to Windows, not documentation of how to use MS's code to interface with Windows.

This is also a bit of a flip-flop from earlier posts (in the last couple Microsoft/EU debates) where masher2 claimed that the original internal documentation was sufficient for MS engineers to develop with - the point being that the internal documentation PLUS the source code PLUS the source code documentation PLUS the ability to talk to the guys who wrote the code is what the MS engineers had. Internal MS development could work with much less documentation due to them building on existing code rather than reimplementing from scratch. As long as the existing code did what the comments/API documentation said it would do, then there's no need to know exactly what's going on underneath.

quote:
After all, if you have the source code, you know *everything* a product can do...there can be nothing missing or left out.


Irrelevant for two reasons. First, hte request for documentation (see above). Secondly, the exact same argument can be made substituting "compiled code" for "source code". Certainly, if you have the resulting compiled code, you know everything a product can do. You also can, with enough effort, produce protocol documentation from it and use this documentation to write your own program to interface with it. This does not make the compiled code useful as documentation of the protocol.

quote:
When the subject is so complex that it took the EU two YEARS to even clearly formulate their own demands, then they should give Microsoft a reasonable amount of time to obey.


It took the EU two years to get a demand worded in such a way that MS couldn't play for time with clarifications. The early requests for clarifications were somewhat justified, the latter were nothing more than stalling. Of course, it shouldn't have taken the EU that long to pin MS down, but MS should also have been doing some work in the interim towards meeting the original request.

quote:
I believe you're referring to CS Professor Neil Barrett, who was *not* hired by Microsoft. Barrett was hired by the EU.


Technically correct, though misleading. MS provided the EU with a list of people it thought would be good for reviewing the documentation. From that list, the EU selected Professor Barrett. If he was anti-Microsoft he would have never made it onto the list in the first place.

quote:
Microsoft then offered the source code as well.


And

quote:
And for those nimwits who claim the EU wasn't demanding source code:

"In December 2004, Microsoft lost a legal bid to stop antitrust sanctions while it was appealing the ruling that obliged it to share communications code with rivals, ..."


The EU never demanded source code. In fact, the EU has SPECIFICALLY SAID that source code was not required for compliance, and when MS first made the offer, told them that the source code would not necessarily be sufficient for compliance (for exactly the reasons I mention above about the differences between API documentation and protocol documentation). I quote from clause 1004 of the 2004 decision: "This Decision does not contemplate compulsory disclosure of Windows source code as this is not necessary to achieve the development of interoperable products." and clause 999: "The use of the term specifications makes clear that Microsoft should not be required to disclose its own implementation of these specifications, that is to say, its own source code." These statements were repeated when MS's offer of the source code was made.

The sources you have quoted saying that source code was required for compliance are, like DT and many other "technology" news sited, confused about the difference between protocols and source code.

Additionally, clause 1005 says "Microsoft must not be allowed to render the order to supply ineffective by imposing unreasonable conditions with respect to the access to, or the use of, the information to be disclosed." MS has actually had this clause weakened to the point of the documentation being useless by excluding the use of the documentation from open source software (the only remaining competitors to MS who could use the documentation anyhow).


RE: How about apple?
By Hare on 7/13/2006 6:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
I bet it took a while to write that reply. Thanks for your message, much appreciated :)


RE: How about apple?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/13/2006 10:05:36 AM , Rating: 2
> "see his posts where he argues about API issues instead of simply pointing out that the EU decision has nothing to do with Windows APIs"

Untrue, unless you're claiming the API's used by Active Directory, the one used to communicate between Outlook and Exchange, and similar are not "Windows" APIs. They're not the kernel API surely...but they are still API's used by Windows.

> "I don't dispute in the least that MS has put in a massive amount of effort in the last three months in getting the required documentation together"

Glad to see you realize this, as most of the posters here seem to be buying the "Microsoft refuses to comply" line.

> "this fine [is] much more about MS missing the original deadline."

As has already been demonstrated in exhaustive detail, the original EU demand was not for Microsoft to produce massie amounts of new documentation, but rather to disclose what it itself knew of these protocols...its own documentation. Microsoft did so, and-- after a long delay of many months, the EU judged it "incomplete" and "poorly organized". Therein began a long battle to force Microsoft to cough up source code which, once Microsoft agreed, became a battle to cough it up free of charge...a battle the commission only partially won.

Having those victories in hand, the EU then made a very odd pronouncement. Having the full complete source code to all these APIs, along with every single page of relevant documentation Microsoft itself possessed, they then choose to claim this was "not enough" to allow competitors to develop competing products.

Anyone who buys this with a straight face needs a room with padded walls. The fact is that many competitors did just that-- developed competing products...without even this source code, documentation, or free training.

However, Microsoft agreed to rewrite the documentation, according to the EU's demands, and even agreed to train their own competitors-- 500 hours each, free of charge. All they asked was for the EU to document *specifically* what was wrong with the preexisting documentation. A very fair request, givne all the prior waffling the EU had done. What's the point in writing new documentation without specifications, when you're pretty sure that, if you do, it's going to be refused yet again.

The EC refused this request from mid 2005 all the way to March of this year. Once it finally clarified exactly what it was demanding-- Microsoft bent over backwards to comply. A fact you yourself admit.


RE: How about apple?
By emboss on 7/13/2006 12:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Untrue, unless you're claiming the API's used by Active Directory, the one used to communicate between Outlook and Exchange, and similar are not "Windows" APIs.


You really need to read (and quote) things in context. I said "... he does do a lot of aguing for argument sakes - see his posts where he argues about API issues instead of simply pointing out that the EC decision has nothing to do with Windows APIs". For example:

quote:
Thousands of third-party server products do that today. They run on Microsoft OSes...and run just as well if not better than do Microsoft's own products.


This is completely irrelevant to the EC's actions. The EC specifically only talks about communication protocols, which have nothing to do with how programs operate *on* a Windows machine. You could have simply said that the issue was about protocols, not APIs, but instead you go off on a tangent and argue about something completely unrelated to the EC actions. But as I said, this is irrelevant to the topic, so ...

quote:
As has already been demonstrated in exhaustive detail, the original EU demand was not for Microsoft to produce massie amounts of new documentation, but rather to disclose what it itself knew of these protocols...its own documentation.


You have demonstrated nothing of the sort. Instead of quoting confused tech writers, how about you grab a copy of the 2004 ruling and point out where in that ruling it states that MS only needs to disclose what it has written down about the protocols. I've given you the exact clause where it specifically says "complete and accurate" documentation. I'll take the text of the EC's ruling over some journalist any day. Oh, I see you've backflipped on this statement 15 minutes later (see below) ...

quote:
Therein began a long battle to force Microsoft to cough up source code


There was no such battle. MS offered the source code to the EC, despite the EC specifically saying in the original ruling that they were not interested in the source code (an implementation, as opposed to a specification). Again, feel free to quote any official document (or statement from an EC official involved in the case) that states that MS must provide the source code.

quote:
Having the full complete source code to all these APIs, along with every single page of relevant documentation Microsoft itself possessed, they then choose to claim this was "not enough" to allow competitors to develop competing products.


As indeed it is not. It's enough for competitors to use MS's code, but far from usable documentation of the protocol. But you seem incapable of recognising this, so I'm not going to repeat myself again.

And then your usual misintepretation of MS's stalling tactics ... no comment needed there. So, on to the second post, which has a couple of new things ...

quote:
On the contrary. I already posted links to the specific court sessions that dealt with this issue, and with the EU's "redefining" the server market in order to show Microsoft with a majority share.


There was nothing wrong with the EC's definition of the market. A "market" has a very specific legal definition, and the EC showed that "work group server operating systems" is a distinct market. This stood up in court, as you have noted. Saying "nah, that's a too limited definition" holds no legal water, precisely for the reason that once you start down that track there's no way to stop. Why not enlarge to PC OSes in general? After all, the split between a client and a server for a Linux box is not crystal clear. Now wait on, the split between OS and application is a bit vauge as well (which components of Windows/Linux/OSX are applications and which are OS?) so we'd better include all PC software. And you can run a server on a microcontroller so we'd better include non-PC software and firmware as well. That should pretty much cover it, and MS certainly has a pretty small market share in THAT market.

In any case, MS's market share in "work group server operating systems" or "all server operating systems" is largely irrelevant, as you would know if you had read the original EC ruling. Read section 5 of the ruling, which deals with MS having a dominant position in "client PC operating systems". I'm not going to try to summarise it here as it's very spread out over multiple clauses and would require massive butchering to cut it down to a reasonable length to post here. "Work group server operating system" is used as the market MS is exploiting it's dominant position in client PC OSes in. MS's dominance in this market (WGSOS) is of little relevance to the ruling, other than to show that MS's abuse has potentially already caused damage to the market (the degree of which would have some impact on the size of the fine levied - then again, the monetary value of the "server os" market is significantly larger, so MS's smaller success in this market may not have resulted in a smaller fine. Smaller slice of a bigger pie and all that).

For example, clause 526: "Indeed, Microsoft's dominance over the client PC operating system market has a significant impact on the adjacent market for operating systems for work group servers."

Being in a dominant position in a market (no matter how tight or loose the definition of the market) is not illegal. However, exploiting your dominant position in one market to gain an advantage in another market (again, for any arbitrarily tight or loose definition of market) is illegal. The classic often-cited case for this is Commercial Solvents, which had even more tightly defined marketa than MS's case.

quote:
Once again-- a false claim. The original text of the request was "full and complete disclosure".


Once again, you're wrong. The exact text (in the clause I pointer you to which you obviously couldn't be bothered reading) was "complete and accurate": "the term `Interoperability Information` means the complete and accurate specifications for all the Protocols implemented in Windows Work Group Server Operating Systems and that are used by Windows Work Group Servers to deliver file and print services and group and user administration services, including the Windows Domain Controller services, Active Directory services and Group Policy services, to Windows Work Group Networks;"

But good to see that you've abandoned your earlier position (restated not 15 minutes prior to this second post of yours) of claiming that the request was "all internal documentation and information". Through Brownian motion you'll get the correct statement eventually :)

quote:
Even if you're Microsoft, you still have the right to appeal the EC's decisions


Indeed. Which is why MS is appealing them. Your point being ...?

quote:
The EC has NEVER before fined a company for not complying with an order quickly enough.


That's because the EC has never had to deal with a company that can stall like MS can. You do know how long MS dragged out the US version of what the EC's doing, right?

quote:
And they've never fined any firm anywhere near as much as they have Microsoft


Hoffman-Laroche (Switzerland, admittedly not part of the EC) got hit for (hmm, need a Euro symbol on my keyboard, oh well, E will do ...) E462m back in 2001. Inflation-adjusted, E497m in 2004 wouldn't be much different, requiring an inflation rate of 2.5%.

quote:
even when found to be in criminal violation of the antitrust laws (something Microsoft isn't even accused of here).


I'm not at all surprised Microsoft hasn't been accused of criminal anti-trust by the EC. Given such a charge doesn't even exist in the EC and all ...

As for the rest of your points, it's just the same stuff that I dealt with in the earlier post, so no point in repeating myself again.


RE: How about apple?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/13/2006 10:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
> "The EU isn't complaining/investigating MS's monopoly (or lack of) in the server market, or claiming MS has a monopoly in the server market"

On the contrary. I already posted links to the specific court sessions that dealt with this issue, and with the EU's "redefining" the server market in order to show Microsoft with a majority share.

> "Microsoft did indeed provide it's own internal documentation. It was insufficient"

It was enough for Microsoft to write products with. And others have managed even without that documentation. It-- coupled with the source code-- is full and complete. It cannot possibly be otherwise, by the laws of our physical universe.

Now, it may not be the most succinct and convenient form. But developing an AD server with the help of that source and documentation is a HELL of a lot easier than the way Microsoft had to do it. From scratch. It's a huge competitive advantage. Coupled with the new documentation Microsoft has agreed to provide, and the free training for all their competitors-- its a giveaway.

> "First, hte request for documentation (see above). "

Once again-- a false claim. The original text of the request was "full and complete disclosure". A request that, once filled, morphed into "full and complete disclosure, in an extremely convenient, succinct, and well-organized form".

And you're still dodging the primary point. Microsoft has fully complied with the EU's demands on all points. The EU is punishing them for not starting to meet their demands BEFORE Microsoft had its day in court, and BEFORE the EU even clarified those demands. Even if you're Microsoft, you still have the right to appeal the EC's decisions, and stil have the right to have those decisions specified in a manner which allows you to fill them without ambiguity, and in a reasonable timeframe.

The EC has NEVER before fined a company for not complying with an order quickly enough. And they've never fined any firm anywhere near as much as they have Microsoft...despite the fact that many European firms have far larger net reveues, even when found to be in criminal violation of the antitrust laws (something Microsoft isn't even accused of here).

Dodge the issues all you want, but you can't hide the double standard here.


RE: How about apple?
By cybersohi on 7/12/2006 2:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know if it applies, but shouldn't apple be fined for not letting other computers having their Mac OS x86?


Well, I think monopoly isn't the correct word for it, but you do have a point.
Nowadays, apple doesn't have any valid arguments to say that their OS won't work on PCs. In fact, with little modification, it CAN run on PCs. And, if you have better hardware than the one on an iMac, MacMini or Macbook (which isn't very difficult), it will run much faster.

I think that Apple would profit on unlock their OS, specially after the ridiculous quality problems reported by users that bought their Macs. Or at least, they could sell a motherboard instead of the whole pack, allowing users to be creative.


RE: How about apple?
By Hare on 7/13/2006 9:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
Apple has tried licensing their OS maybe 10years ago and didn't like it. You can already install X on a PC if you are creative ;) google will tell you more.


RE: How about apple?
By volvox on 7/14/2006 8:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can already install X on a PC if you are creative ;) google will tell you more.

Well, but there's a problem with that... It's illegal.

If Apple "freed" their MacOS, I think that Microsoft would have some serious competition: No more monopoly...


EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 8:24:31 AM , Rating: 1
The EU is simply looking for a free paycheck, and to plunder some valuable intellectual property at the same time.

Left out of this article is the information that the EU took two years to even tell Microsoft precisely what documentation its demanding, while giving Microsoft only a few months to create it. Also left out is that, since the requirements were clarified, Microsoft has had a team of 300 people working triple-shifts to fill the EU request...but that generating the tens of thousands of pages required (and getting the EU to actually approve them) is going to take many, many more months.

I'm quite sure the EU commissioners will score a few billion out of this, a move which will be extremely popular politically.




RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By fsardis on 7/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
> "Accusing multiple EU countries of theft are we? "

No, just one hidebound, politically-motivated EU committee actually.

> "I believe they need some of your pocket money today to build some road or something eh?"

A billion dollars is not "pocket money", even for the EU.

> "so saying EU does this to get money is just stupid. "

Money isn't their only motivation, I agree. They also want Microsoft to release its trade secrets, which will benefit European companies as well.

> "Lets also not forget that EU is actually losing some money. you think those decisions are made within seconds? time and effort are required and those things cost"

The EU hired one professor to review this...yeah they're really out of pocket on this. Microsoft, on the other hand, has 300 people working triple-time on the request...a cost they're incurring on top of the fines.

> "Personally i dont believe MS has made the slightest effort..."

So...their release of 12,000 preexisting pages, their source code, and the feverish efforts of 300 people, pulled off other projects and paid massive amounts of overtime is "not the slightest effort". Don't be a clown.



RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By fsardis on 7/12/2006 5:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
oh sorry now i get whats going on here. you are confusing EU for the Bush administration and the Europeans for Americans.
Just FYI 1 billion dollars isnt enough for a years toilet paper supplies for all the EU coutries. perhaps you wanna check the conversion rate for euro and maybe the UK pounds?
suddenly it doesnt look as much does it? but you are also forgetting here that things tend to be more expensive in europe meaning again that the 1 billion dollars cant get you really far.
as far as i am concerned and as far as anyone in europe who knows how money works in this part of the world is concerned the statement that this is done for money is absolutely ludicrous and deserves a spot in the 2006 most stupid quo

i also saw that link you provided to MS claims that it provided the documentation. Care to find a few more link? not that i dont trust the source but thats only one site claiming the opposite of what an entire continent claims.


By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 7:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
> " also saw that link you provided to MS claims that it provided the documentation. Care to find a few more link? not that i dont trust the source but thats only one site claiming the opposite of what an entire continent claims"

Never tire of embarrassing yourself, do you?

quote:
Microsoft is slated to deliver Friday the sixth of seven installments of the required protocol documentation to the EC-appointed antitrust-oversight trustee.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20060630/tc_zd/182407

quote:
The Microsoft-EU case will heat up during the next few weeks, starting on June 30, when Microsoft is set to deliver more of the networking-protocol information the European Commission....

Microsoft is slated to deliver the sixth of seven installments of the required protocol documentation to the EC-appointed antitrust-oversight trustee...

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1984153,00.as...

quote:
Kroes added that she hoped the latest technical documentation being delivered by Microsoft would finally bring the company into compliance , "and that further penalty payments will not prove necessary.”

...Microsoft has already delivered six of seven installments of the crucial technical documents, and another is due Tuesday...

http://www.forbes.com/2006/07/12/kroes-microsoft-e...



RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By southernmagnus on 7/12/2006 9:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
> do we believe the claims of some of the most repsectable people in the world that get together and make decisions about an entire continents future

This statement is incredibly naive. Politicians act like any orginization does- in their own self interest, which may or may not be the same as that of the general public. Thats Poli Sci 101, buddy, you should go back to school.

If they're losing money, like you said, why wouldn't they want some more? Especially on a decision that will likely meet with NO baclkash from the citizens. It's called a win/win, buddy, again Poli Sci 101.

Write this down so you'll remember it: governments of any kind are independent organisms whose first order of business is to perpetuate and sustain itself, by any means, right or wrong, needed. Beleiving that they are these brilliant, respectable people acting out of kindness and insight is moronic and naive.

Governments steal and kill all the time, throughout history, FACT. England's empire, anyone? World War II? How about Gulf War 2?

And BTW, Europe, comparatively speaking, is incredibly fscking socialist, that's just a fact. It's gonna be a big pain for you if you're tired of hearing it, because it's true.


By Merry on 7/12/2006 10:34:23 AM , Rating: 2
And BTW, Europe, comparatively speaking, is incredibly fscking socialist, that's just a fact. It's gonna be a big pain for you if you're tired of hearing it, because it's true.

You dont understand Socialism do you?

If you said comparatively left wing (when comparing it with the US) then you would have been correct, however most EU countries are certainly not socialist. Look at how the Labour party in the UK has had to change, for example


RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By fsardis on 7/12/06, Rating: 0
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 7:27:06 PM , Rating: 2
> " try to repeat after me: Politics-POLITICS. P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S. Spelling 101"

You're not gaining points by acting childish. "Poli Sci" is an accepted, well-used abbreviation, used in most universities in fact. Check out http://www.bsu.edu/poli-sci/ or http://www.poli-sci.utah.edu/ if you doubt this.

> "you need to consider though that EU is not a government"

The EU is an organization that holds governing power. It governs, hence it is a government.

> "this thing was indeed unfair for MS dont you think at least one of the other countries would veto the decision?"

Quite obviously they wouldn't. A veto means loss of a significant chunk of change, and the loss of potential tax revenues from European competitors who will benefit from this. Plus they get to "stick it" to a company thats politically unpopular in Europe. Its a win-win situation for them...morality doesn't enter into their decision.



RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By ChronoReverse on 7/12/2006 10:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
masher: You've stated a number of times that MS has been making a concerted effort to provide the documentation specified of them and that they've provided 6/7 installments already.

Can you provide the source for that? I've always felt that MS was getting the short end of the stick in this whole thing, but that really sounds even worse.


RE: EU steals $357M...much more to follow...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 10:39:01 AM , Rating: 3
> "Can you provide the source for that?"

I've read it in several places; here's another source:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700AP_EU_M...

quote:
Microsoft said it has a team of 300 people working full-time on a framework to supply the information. Six of seven installments have already been delivered...

Last week, the Financial Times reported that the EU would make a final decision to fine Microsoft on July 12...The commission refused to confirm this date.

The EU has never before fined a company for failing to obey an earlier order...


And for those nimwits who claim the EU *wasn't* demanding source code:

quote:
In December 2004, Microsoft lost a legal bid to stop antitrust sanctions while it was appealing the ruling that obliged it to share communications code with rivals , offer a version of Windows without Media Player software and pay a record 497 million euro ($613 million) fine...



By ChronoReverse on 7/12/2006 4:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
Great. I've been looking for a source to back this up.


By farscape on 7/12/2006 12:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
If they are looking for a "free paycheck", then they are not alone in this world. Look here right in this country:

Where did all of the Tobacco Settlement Money go - BILLIONS.

Instead of using it for healthcare related issues that it was meant for the states/counties/cities ran through it all like water. Damn - FREE MONEY - golf course water sprinkler systems, new cars, furniture, cell phones, pork barrel a la king. There isn't any left for what it was supposed to be used for.

Something for nothing - it's a universal concept


What the EU wants…
By Strunf on 7/12/2006 9:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
“As regards interoperability, Microsoft is required, within 120 days, to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers. This will enable rival vendors to develop products that can compete on a level playing field in the work group server operating system market. The disclosed information will have to be updated each time Microsoft brings to the market new versions of its relevant products.”

No mention of the source code and it includes windows PCs and not just servers like some pretend.

On the report the also say this

“To the extent that any of this interface information might be protected by intellectual property in the European Economic Area(6), Microsoft would be entitled to reasonable remuneration. The disclosure order concerns the interface documentation only, and not the Windows source code, as this is not necessary to achieve the development of interoperable products.”

Remuneration is accepted… and again they remind they don’t want the source code.

They say that it was SUN who brought the whole deal to them

“In December 1998, Sun Microsystems, another US company, complained that Microsoft had refused to provide interface information necessary for Sun to be able to develop products that would "talk" properly with the ubiquitous Windows PCs, and hence be able to compete on an equal footing in the market for work group server operating systems.

The Commission's investigation revealed that Sun was not the only company that had been refused this information, and that these non-disclosures by Microsoft were part of a broader strategy designed to shut competitors out of the market.

This relegated to a secondary position competition in terms of reliability, security and speed, among other factors, and ensured Microsoft's success on the market. As a result, an overwhelming majority of customers informed the Commission that Microsoft's non-disclosure of interface information artificially altered their choice in favour of Microsoft's server products. Survey responses submitted by Microsoft itself confirmed the link between the interoperability advantage that Microsoft reserved for itself and its growing market shares.”

Now how about deleting the countless posts saying the EU is talking of the server market only…

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:iq9IAHjdKYYJ:...




RE: What the EU wants…
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "No mention of the source code..."

Sigh, how many sources does one have to provide? In addition to the ones elsewhere in the thread, here's another:

quote:
Microsoft on Wednesday attacked the most contentious part of the European Commission's 2004 antitrust ruling against it -- the decision to force the company to share details of server source code .

...The 2004 ruling ordered the company to open up source code for server communications protocols to rivals, in order to allow them to build server programs that work as smoothly with Windows as Microsoft's own software...


http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/04/26/77782_HN...

> "...it includes windows PCs and not just servers like some pretend..."

Your pasted info is correct, you merely misinterpreted it. The EU action is in the SERVER MARKETPLACE. The decision involves opening up SERVER protocols so other companies can more easily build competing SERVER products...products that will, obviously, connect to Windows PCs.

Clear now?

> "Remuneration is accepted…..."

Let's debunk this once again also. Sure, the Commission agrees to licensing in theory. But in practice, what happens? This...

quote:
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union’s antitrust chief says Microsoft cannot charge licensing fees for software blueprints that it is offering to share with competitors unless it can prove the computer code is innovative...


http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11113160/

When the EU is the one defining "innovative", I think its a safe bet they'll conclude its not.

> "Now how about deleting the countless posts saying the EU is talking of the server market only… "

Lol, reread your own link...and understand it this time. It specifically names the market as "work group server operating systems".




RE: What the EU wants…
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 8:02:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don’t care what MS says what I posted is from the OFFICIAL EU report... and It CLEARLY says we don’t want the source code, in what language do you want me to translate it to you…

Why obviously, do you happen to know that MANY servers will NEVER connect to a windows PC...

Work group servers from the EU point of view
“The present case focuses on work group server services, which are the basic infrastructure services that are used by office workers in their day-to-day work, namely sharing files stored on servers, sharing printers, and the administration of how users and groups of users can access these services and other services of the network (for example, applications installed on the client PCs or servers). Work group server operating systems are operating systems designed and marketed to deliver these services collectively to relatively small numbers of client PCs linked
together in small to medium-sized networks. The group and user administration services include in particular ensuring that the users have access to and make use of the resources of the network in a secure manner. This involves various security steps, such as authentication, which is the process of verifying that an entity is what it pretends to be (for example, by asking a user for his password), and authorisation, which consists in checking whether an authenticated entity has the right to perform a certain action (for example, whether a given user is allowed to access a given confidential file).”

So no it doesn’t target the server market but a part of it mainly the servers that are essential for the PC users so it forcefully targets them too, and if the EU is forcing this is cause of the PC dependence on these servers.

I don’t read anything about being innovative or not in the official EU reports what I read is “make that information available on reasonable terms”, anyway that’s besides the point…

Nice too see you completely overlooked the point that it was Sun who started it all, how about now rioting against Sun…


RE: What the EU wants…
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 8:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
From the EU official papers
“Microsoft suggested Professor Neil Barrett as a possible candidate to be the Monitoring Trustee. The Commission accepted Microsoft’s recommendation and appointed Professor Barrett on 5 October 2005 (see IP/05/1215).”

So I don’t know why you guys complain when even the guy MS suggested says MS still has some work to do… and MS is lucky cause in many others countries they don’t even have the choice to suggest who will inspect them…


RE: What the EU wants…
By masher2 (blog) on 7/13/2006 10:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
> "I don’t know why you guys complain when even the guy MS suggested says MS still has some work to do…"

Primarily because Barrett was appointed on October 2005 (date from your own link), and then took several months to adjudge the documentation as "incomplete and poorly organized", and several more months to fully clarify what he wanted to see in that documentation.

Then, instead of giving Microsoft a reasonable amount of time to meet his demands, the EC saw fit to fine Microsoft starting from a December date...four months BEFORE Barrett even gave Microsoft requirements.

The EU has **never** fined a company for not fulfilling a consent order quick enough. And even when companies (European firms larger than Microsoft, even) have been found in criminal violation of the antitrust laws (something Microsoft isn't even accused of), they were never fined anything approaching the massive fine levelled upon Microsoft.


RE: What the EU wants…
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 11:33:50 AM , Rating: 2
No what the EU wanted from MS didn’t change from the very beginning, also the report by Barret concluded that the MS papers weren’t what the EU wanted and that they were made just for the heck of having a lot of pages, actually he even says a lot of what is written is redundant, outdated and even contradictory...

European firms larger than MS care again to put names…


RE: What the EU wants…
By masher2 (blog) on 7/13/2006 10:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
> " don’t care what MS says what I posted is from the OFFICIAL EU report... and It CLEARLY says we don’t want the source code"

Already covered in full detail. The EU first demanded "full and complete disclosure", without specifying those terms. Microsoft provided all its internal documentation. The EU called it incomplete, and pointed out that it might not follow precisely the behavior of the actual source code. Microsoft and the EU then fought a lengthy court battle which eventually required them to cough up the code, and then, another battle over whether or not Microsoft would be allowed to charge licensing fees for that code.

AFTER that battle was won, the EC shifted gears once again, and said the source code wasn't in a form convenient enough to allow competitors to easily use it. And then added to the demand list a full and total rewrite of all existing documentation, made to their specifications. A demand Microsoft agreed to without a court battle, and has, in fact, already delivered 6 of 7 installments thereof.

> "Nice too see you completely overlooked the point that it was Sun who started it all, how about now rioting against Sun… "

What possible relevance is this? Competitors complain about each other all the time...its their right to do so. It doesn't mean politically-motivated kangaroo courts have to listen to them.


RE: What the EU wants…
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 11:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong its CLEARLY written on the report as of 2004:
“To the extent that any of this interface information might be protected by intellectual property in the European Economic Area(6), Microsoft would be entitled to reasonable remuneration. The disclosure order concerns the interface documentation only, and not the Windows source code”

If it was written in French one could argue MS didn’t understood but that’s PERFECT English…

“What possible relevance is this? Competitors complain about each other all the time...its their right to do so. It doesn't mean politically-motivated kangaroo courts have to listen to them.”
Yes they have to listen that’s why the commission and other institutions exist, or do you think they exist just for your viewing pleasure…


EU market-definition shenanigans
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
For anyone interested in fact, here are details on how the EU managed to twist definitions enough to justify a monopoly action against Microsoft in the server market:

quote:
David Evans, an economics professor at University College...took issue with the Commission's definition of the server market. The workgroup server market was worth $5.9 billion in 2004, while the whole market for servers of all kinds was worth $53 billion...

Microsoft had a 72 percent share of the narrower market, but only a 33 percent share of the whole market, according to figures cited in Evans' presentation. By focusing on the narrower market the Commission was making "a gross overstatement of Microsoft's market share,".


In other words, the EU commission created a new market category, "workgroup servers", defined it to maximize Microsoft market share, then declared its slightly-less than 3/4 share as proof of monopoly.

Define any market small enough, and you'll find someone who has most of the market. Are automobiles a market? What about SUVs? What about "compact" SUVs? What about "Subcompact 4-cylinder SUVS available in metallic teal"?

http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/04/26/77782_HN...




RE: EU market-definition shenanigans
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 10:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In other words, the EU commission created a new market category, "workgroup servers", defined it to maximize Microsoft market share, then declared its slightly-less than 3/4 share as proof of monopoly.

Maybe EU should define a new market called "Windows Servers" to strengthen their case even more!


RE: EU market-definition shenanigans
By maxusa on 7/13/2006 3:07:40 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa, thanks for the excerpt! Very revealing, indeed.


RE: EU market-definition shenanigans
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 9:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
And?... it's not the first time a new category is created and to your information I find very little things in common between a lets say webserver, a workgroup server and many others "subcategories" of servers, ya they are all servers but have radically different proposes, and why not to define the categories not by what the machine is build on but by what the machine is intended to do, like we say gamming PC, HTPC and others subcategories of PCs... Also while it may only represent less than 10% of the global server market it still touches 100% of the users , and don’t you guys think that something smells funny when a company that only holds 33% of the server market holds 72% on this particular subcategory, like if the windows servers have indeed an advantage over the competition when it comes to talk to windows PCs…

Categories exist to define something and today saying “server” means little hence why it becomes common to say web server, data storage server and others… and most companies have products that target each of these categories just like if they were indeed independent markets.


RE: EU market-definition shenanigans
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 9:05:34 AM , Rating: 2
*purposes*


RE: EU market-definition shenanigans
By masher2 (blog) on 7/13/2006 11:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
> " I find very little things in common between a lets say webserver, a workgroup server and many others "subcategories" of servers"

Oops, you make my point for me. A web server has very little in common with, say, an email server, agreed. What the EC action did, though, was lump web servers AND email servers (and all other types of servers together) IF they were being used by a small-to-medium number of people. A "workgroup".

So instead of the logical definition of either (a) the entire market for server applications, or (b) the market based on server TYPE, they choose (c)....the market where Microsoft has a majority share. Small to medium businesses.

Look to any specific category of server, and you'll find some company usually has a majority share. And all those companies have private APIs and protocols, they do not document. Unix and Linux-based database servers-- Oracle holds 70%+ of the market. How about ING Group, a European firm far *larger* than Mirosoft...and one with a majority share in many banking and financial services applications? Fact is, if you want to subdivide the server market, you can do so in many different ways, all more logical than the EU chose. And all of which would yield a different set of "monopolists".



RE: EU market-definition shenanigans
By Strunf on 7/13/2006 11:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
No, Workgroup servers according to the EU has NOTHING to do with email or webservers... actualy there's not a single mention of email or web in the definition they put on the report... but feel free to add things...


If MS has any brains, they won't pay
By Xenoid on 7/12/2006 11:23:49 AM , Rating: 1
Why not? Because they shouldn't have to make it easier for competition. It's easy enough as-is. It's not like Ford tells their competition how they made their last vehicle. Ford also doesn't make it easier for their competition to steal/use their base models.

If I was MS I would just keep on trucking like nothing has happened and ignore anything they send. What are they going to do? Arrest all of Microsoft? They can't. Go to hell EU.




RE: If MS has any brains, they won't pay
By Xenoid on 7/12/2006 11:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and for those of you who think MS has a "monopoly". Maybe if you ever become intelligent enough to create a company so good (and public I might add) to have a "monopoly" that everyone, including governments, try to rip it away from you. Because it's only fair, right?

The next time you despise a company, remember one thing. Odds are, they are probably public, and they wouldn't even be there if the majority of people didn't like what they were doing.

If MS dissapears, what do you think I'm going to use? A Macintosh? Please, I'd rather spend my money on a gun and bullets and kill myself. At least I know the gun is going to work properly and not crash.


RE: If MS has any brains, they won't pay
By Merry on 7/12/2006 11:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
I dont think anything is this thread warranted such an ill thought out, and, quite frankly thick post from an indivdual such as yourself. I'm particularly referring to this..

A Macintosh? Please, I'd rather spend my money on a gun and bullets and kill myself. At least I know the gun is going to work properly and not crash.


RE: If MS has any brains, they won't pay
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 12:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously the point is that he/she likes Windows and has a strong dislike of Macs.


RE: If MS has any brains, they won't pay
By Merry on 7/12/2006 12:24:39 PM , Rating: 1
i know many mac owners.


I have never heard them complain about crashes.


By Hare on 7/12/2006 12:30:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
i know many mac owners. I have never heard them complain about crashes.

I've been using macs and pcs maybe two decades and I can say that the OS X is superior to Vista and Macs definately don't crash anymore than windows machines (both don't crash. Windows has gotten it's act together nowadays).

Let the guy get his gun and do what he wants. It's called evolution. One less person to make zero insight comments on public forums.


By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:10:50 PM , Rating: 3
Not complaining about crashes is not the same as not having crashes. Macs crash now and then just like Windows machines. Neither company has perfected the secret formula for perfect reliability yet. Both are obviously improving, however.


By fsardis on 7/12/2006 5:55:44 PM , Rating: 1
i tried to do that myself. but the gun was made from MS....


As amusing as many of you are...
By Archangel122184 on 7/12/2006 2:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
Most of you aren't more than avid gamers or programmers or some other form of computer enthusiest who come here for some honest news... I highly doubt most of you are economic analysts, lawyers, or otherwise politically oriented (except to note that you all have a very strong political opinion).

I of course fall into the former, but much of my family is in the latter... this is quite an interesting situation if anyone would actually look at it from both sides.

First and foremost, Microsoft is a software developer. Beyond the obvious statement that "they make software", Microsoft also has the responsibility to itself to protect is proprietorship. Their software is theirs... why does't Motorolla and LG get sued on a daily basis because their phones don't take a universal charger that can be mass produced by someone else? I know that seems like a completely different situation, however, the only thing that makes it different techonologically is that the chargers are easily reverse engineered and there are a number of very popular alternatives.

Microsoft grew in an environment that they DID NOT create. At the spawning of the Windows system, there were many alternatives that were much better. Because Microsoft franchised and many companies wanted a homogenous system many turned to Windows (which is what every software company wants, but Microsoft had no way at the time to successfully violate anti-trust laws). Because of the homogenized envrioment most application developers programmed for the Windows platform... again not directly as a result of any laws they broke.

Today, Microsoft is getting sued daily (and yes, it is daily, I'll quote my Microsoft techrep if you want) because they do what a software company is supposed to do. Techonologically, Microsoft bundling what ever they want is natural. Obviously this can't happen, but I think it could be arguable that Windows only allowing Microsoft products to be installed is even ethical since it is their own software to begin with (look at VMS, OS360, VAX -- pretty much any mainframe).

Microsoft is getting in trouble because of the economic impacts of privitizing their software. EU companies can't successfully program system level aps [I'm a programmer and I can tell you thats crap.. they aren't looking hard enough for how to do it or they are trying to replace a system component which would be the same as copyright infringment] so they can't really make money off the OS that has 90% of the market. I have to ask... why isn't Apple or SunOS being sued/fined?... their APIs may not be as closed as Microsoft's, but they are no where near as documented as the EU is demanding from Microsoft. I think the simple answer is that it would be the same as using a cruise missle to kill a cockroach, too much work for not enough results. Do remember, this IS an economic issue, the violation of antitrust laws is just the excuse.

There is an interesting thing on its own. Antitrust laws are meant to "...prevent trusts from creating restraints on trade or commerce and reducing competition..." [Cornell U.] Well, if Microsoft keeping their proprietary APIs private creates unreasonable restraints on competition, then lets go talk to all the pharmesutical companies that make a keep private wonder drugs... or why not force Apple to release the iPod interfaces so other software can be written for it... or how about we have Symantec and McAffee release their APIs so you can have plugins replace their components... or hundreds of other rediculous demands that the world won't accept.

The interoperability that we have right now isn't perfect but its a lot better than it could be. These arguments about the M$ leaving the EU are stupid because it can't happen... the market share is too high... but so is the dependance on the windows operating system. I know a lot of you are saying "goodbye Microsoft, hello Linux" but in reality it would cost the EU billions of dollars to convert to an entirely new platform... neither side can afford that avenue... I'm sure both know that too, we'll just have to see who blinks first.




RE: As amusing as many of you are...
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 2:24:27 PM , Rating: 1
...and the point is?

If your point is that we are all idiots (I'm glad you find our views "amusing") and you are the only one present with any true insight, then I truly feel sorry for you - your world must be a lonely one. You might also want to talk to a professional about your problem. Or maybe you just need to grow up.


By Archangel122184 on 7/12/2006 3:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
Of course I wasn't calling anyone an idiot nor do I think I'm the only one with understanding of what is going on. I'm just sick of reading replies to Microsoft posts that go to the extremes. Calling Microsoft a monopolistic demon is just as unfair as calling saying its completely innocent of anything (as the US DOJ would show otherwise). What amuses are the comments that say "Good for the EU" and "Microsoft should pull out of the EU". I suppose as an instant thought one or the other is appealing depending on your feelings for Microsoft, but they are about as uninformed as me talking about genetics.


RE: As amusing as many of you are...
By maxusa on 7/12/2006 4:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
> Most of you aren't more than avid gamers or programmers or some other form of computer enthusiest... I highly doubt most of you are economic analysts, lawyers, or otherwise politically oriented (except to note that you all have a very strong political opinion).

I have been following EC vs. MS case of DT pages for a long time. I have been actively participating too. My background is in economics, management, and finance. I hold 2 bachelors and a masters degree. I consider myself a technology enthusiast and have software development skills/competencies. How does one contradicts the other? What is your point?


RE: As amusing as many of you are...
By Merry on 7/12/2006 5:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
I dont think he makes one, he just draws simple conclusions from proposterous analogies and oversimplifys the arguement.

Then manages to write an essay about nothing


RE: As amusing as many of you are...
By Archangel122184 on 7/12/2006 5:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have been following EC vs. MS case of DT pages for a long time. I have been actively participating too. My background is in economics, management, and finance. I hold 2 bachelors and a masters degree. I consider myself a technology enthusiast and have software development skills/competencies. How does one contradicts the other? What is your point?


I'm regretting posting anything... I never said one contradicts the other nor did I mean offense to anyone. Ecomonics is a little more complicated than the average person would give credit for and I was merely commenting on the assumption that there isn't likely many who have solid backgrounds in both.

quote:
I dont think he makes one, he just draws simple conclusions from proposterous analogies and oversimplifys the arguement.


Acutally, I was trying to go beyond the simiplified arguments and shed light on the fact that its far more complicated than most people are giving credit for. My conclusions aren't simple (perhaps if you have a frim grasp of economics, politics, and technology then they may seem trivial to you) nor are my analogies proposterous. But you have as much right to degrade my post as it seems I have done to others.


RE: As amusing as many of you are...
By Merry on 7/12/2006 5:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
You were basically repeating what has already been said.


whilst i do not doubt your intelligence i do doubt your judgement on this issue.


come on
By whalenapp81 on 7/12/2006 9:31:29 AM , Rating: 2
listen im with microsoft on this one, its their os and they can do what they want with it, the eu is being silly, if u dont like it go buy an apple, and while we are on the "monopoly" issue, why is ms the only one being investigated why isnt apple and google, as well?????, they are trying to make ms and unfair example, and generate revenue for the eu, thats just my opinion, so dont flame me.




RE: come on
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
> "why isnt apple and google, as well?????"

Better to ask why not investigate some of the European companies which, for decades, held massive market shares in the server marketplace, and likewise held private, undocumented APIs on those products.


RE: come on
By Strunf on 7/12/2006 11:04:33 AM , Rating: 2
How about backing up your "some" with actual names...


RE: come on
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 7:28:23 PM , Rating: 1
> "How about backing up your "some" with actual names... "

Deutch Telecom and Siemens would be two good starts.


Mistake in the article
By raven3x7 on 7/12/2006 9:12:00 AM , Rating: 2
The EU never asked MS to open up their source code or their OS.
What it required from MS was that they realese documentation for the Windows API. MS tried to pull a lot of crap, like actually supplying code instead of API documentation, because the code wouldnt be of much use to developers in opposition to the API documentation.




RE: Mistake in the article
By masher2 (blog) on 7/12/2006 9:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
> "MS tried to pull a lot of crap, like actually supplying code instead of API documentation..."

Actually, they releeased all their internal documentation first. The EU-- after reviewing it for months-- called it incomplete, and hinting it wanted the code. So Microsoft offered source code as well, at a small charge to any competitor. The EU said Microsoft had to offer it freely, and that it also needed to create many thousands of pages of new documentation.

Microsoft has been doing so, and in fact has made 6 of 7 required deliveries, with the 7th due July 18. An amazing feat, considering the size of the subject, and the fact that the requirements weren't clarified until March.


EU wants a free market
By Niv KA on 7/12/2006 1:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
I am on a Math team which repersents my school in many world wide math comptitions. With me on the math team for two years now is the daugter of two of the lawers repersenting the EU in this case (both mother and father). I had the chance to speak to them in the End of Season Diner and naturally the topic came up. (This boring paragraph is to give me a foothold in that that I know what I'm saying and that I have personally asked two lawyers involved in the case the exact same question that most people are asking themselfs here!)

The EU is not doing this for money, it is for a free market!
Here in the EU the idea of free market is uch more enforced than in the USA. The only tthing they have to earn is
a) Better OS
b) MAYBE a small profit from that that most of the linux dev. comes from Europe (Linux itself in from Finland or Sweeden I think)




RE: EU wants a free market
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 1:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The EU is not doing this for money, it is for a free market! Here in the EU the idea of free market is uch more enforced than in the USA.

Of course we expect they would feel that way. Who could possibly work in a situation like that where they did not feel justified in their actions? But it doesn't make it right necessarily. I'm sure some criminals feel totally justified in robbing others because their victims don't deserve their belongings.

But what is missing in your explanation, and that of the EU, is first, how the market for server OSs is not free already (since that is what this case involves), and second, how Microsoft's providing heaps of unnecessary documentation and/or paying huge fines actually solves anything.


Income
By Kyanzes on 7/12/2006 10:07:25 AM , Rating: 2
MS has like $150M income per day worldwide, I doubt they are considering a solution remotely close to be pulling out from the EU.




RE: Income
By TTowntom2 on 7/12/2006 10:22:45 AM , Rating: 1
> "MS has like $150M income per day worldwide..."

Closer to $110M/day in revenue...in operating income, they averaged about $41M/day for 2005. So the EU fine cap of $3.8M constitutes nearly 10% of their daily income.


By smitty3268 on 7/12/2006 8:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
MS leaving Europe would be their worst nightmare. People always say they should just leave, but don't seem to realize what a disaster that would be for MS. If it wasn't, then don't you think MS would have done it already?

It would be tough on Europe at first, but OS's can easily last for years and XP is good enough to last many more years while they transitioned to Linux. Right now, the hardest thing about moving to Linux would be all the apps and formats that can only be used in Windows. But if all of Europe were moving to Linux, how long do you think it would take for those apps to be ported? In 5 years or so, all of Europe would be using Linux and MS would only have North America and Japan. Plus some other areas that pirate like crazy. And their hold on those areas would be practically gone, because of the new ease of moving to Linux. It would be much easier to move to an OS that half the world uses than it would be to move to one that has a couple percent of the market. Total disaster.




EU is a joke
By INeedCache on 7/12/2006 3:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
The EU is a joke. Let's not have the same rules apply to everyone, and let's just persecute whomever we don't like. Oh, and we won't worry about the consumers, either. Microsoft should just buy them and then get rid of them. Microsoft is far from perfect, as all big businesses are, but the EU is laughable in their malice.




By MercenaryForHire on 7/12/2006 9:17:39 AM , Rating: 1
... is they're assuming that the general computer-using populace wouldn't immediately bitch and moan.

Yes, it's nice to live in your little fanciful world, where the sky is definitely not blue, and think that all the Joe and Jane users will jump ship to Apple/Linux/OtherOS without trouble. It's not going to happen.

But not like it matters anyways - Microsoft can probably pay this fine out of "Petty Cash" - assuming Ballmer hasn't thrown too many chairs lately. :)

- M4H




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