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The company developed 12 internal principles to abide by

Still feeling the pinch of the EU's decision to fine $357 million, Microsoft this week released a formal pledge, a list of 12 rules that the company said it will abide by, in order to facility healthy competition in the software market. Microsoft said that it will comply by the self-imposed rules, as well as comply with industry and government regulations.

During a conference, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith indicated to an audience made up of industry professionals that his company would be focusing on user freedom, choices and that companies can expect this trend to continue well after Vista. "In the broadest sense, I am here to pledge Microsoft's continued commitment to vigorous competition and vital innovation in the software marketplace -- and to explain how this commitment is guiding our development of the next-generation Windows operating system, Windows Vista," said Smith.

Microsoft outlined the following 12 self-imposed commitments:
  • Installation of any software
  • Easy access for software makers
  • Defaults for non-Microsoft programs
  • Exclusive promotion of non-Microsoft programs
  • Business terms (no retaliation against PC makers that support non-Microsoft software)
  • Disclosure of APIs
  • Freedom of choice in Internet services
  • Open Internet access in Windows
  • No exclusivity in middleware contracts
  • Availability of communications protocols
  • Availability of Microsoft patents
  • Support for industry standards
Microsoft also addressed the issue of net neutrality. Smith said that Microsoft would "design and license Windows so that it does not block access to any lawful Web or impose any fee for reaching any non-Microsoft Web site or using a non-Microsoft Web service." However, Smith admitted that the 12 principles were not entirely comprehensive and that there were a lot of answers still left unanswered.

Meanwhile, the EU has not backed off. According to regulations, Microsoft has until the end of this month to comply with EU regulations or face an increase in fines. The EU stated in a report that it would fine Microsoft double the amount -- roughly $634 million -- it received last week if it failed again on July 31st.


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RE: Eh
By MonkeyPaw on 7/20/2006 7:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
I pretty much agree. If you want to talk monopolistic, it's Apple. They make their own hardware. They make software that will only run on their own hardware. You can't really upgrade or modify most of their systems on your own either. About the only thing you can do to a Mac is upgrade the RAM and hard drive. Of course this changes with Intel's CPUs a little, but there are still more limitations. Apple also makes iPods with non-replacable batteries that last a year, and tell people to just buy a new one when it dies. They have their own music service, with their own rules and absolutely NO support for playing ITMS purchased music on non-ipods. They make notebooks now that get hot, so they just tell people to not put them on thier laps anymore. They have flat-out lied about the performance of thier machines several times. To top it off, they charge a premium for everything, and even show smug, over-simplified commercials implying non-quantifiable superiority over windows.

Believe it or not, I've owned more than one Mac over time, but I can at least acknowledge that Apple doesn't come close to playing fair, and they usually get a free pass. Why? Maybe because Apple is viewed as a successful "small" business, but more than likely it's because they have so little market share that it's hard to prove that the above practices give them an actual business advantage. iPod sales aside, their market share doesn't really suggest that it does.


RE: Eh
By Pirks on 7/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: Eh
By abhaxus on 7/20/2006 10:32:17 PM , Rating: 1
Ferrari has plenty of haters in europe, where they are disliked for their racing tactics :)

I still hate that people picture all apple buyers as noobs. Their OS is innovative, the ipod is ubiquitous, and their actual case designs are always well thought out and tasteful. Plus there is a ton of software that is simply better on a mac: consumer level video and photo editting and graphic design to name a few.


RE: Eh
By bob661 on 7/21/2006 12:16:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Their OS is innovative, the ipod is ubiquitous, and their actual case designs are always well thought out and tasteful. Plus there is a ton of software that is simply better on a mac: consumer level video and photo editting and graphic design to name a few.
All things that only noobs care about. :)


RE: Eh
By Pirks on 7/21/2006 2:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All things that only noobs care about
Exactly, bob, EXACTLY. Techie like most AT/DT readers mostly cares about freedom, freedom to do what they want with their PC. Noob does not care about freedom, coz he/she doesn't even KNOW what it is. What do you know about freedom of piloting spaceship if you DON'T KNOW DAMN THING ABOUT IT, you can't even OPEN FREAKIN COCKPIT DOOR!

So you're noob, keep it easy that's not bad or anything - it's just spaceships and complex computer things are not for you - go buy pinky friendly Mac, it's a marvel of friendliness, just like your mall shopping cart is - no need to study anything or know anything - it's plyg'n'go thing. Well, you want freedom as in your own tuned PC that can do 200% what Mac can do for 50% of its price? You gotta LEARN, sonny!

Sorry, it's life, nasty as it is ;-)


RE: Eh
By Xavian on 7/21/2006 6:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
" pretty much agree. If you want to talk monopolistic, it's Apple. They make their own hardware. They make software that will only run on their own hardware. You can't really upgrade or modify most of their systems on your own either. About the only thing you can do to a Mac is upgrade the RAM and hard drive. Of course this changes with Intel's CPUs a little, but there are still more limitations. "

You do know what a monopoly means right? what you described is merely lack of consumer choice on components but nothing resembling a monopoly.

I agree with the fact that usually Apple gets a free pass on a lot of things, but thats probably because they are not a monopoly in any sector (not even Mp3 Players, which is currently around 40%), but microsoft is a clear monopoly in atleast 3 market sectors and that is why the rules of the game change for microsoft, because monopolies are bad for the market.

An example of an monopoly would be this:

Lets say Apple holds the monopoly, they do all the stuff they have done before however they have a 90+% marketshare in PC's and a small company (lets say microsoft) is there providing a tiny peice of competition. Now you can go to this competition but you'll miss out on the killer apps for the OS with 90+% marketshare, you are basically tied into the OS because it has features you cannot find anywhere else in the market, Apple would also using its monopoly attempt to crush any small competition that could develop into something larger.

Now, lets look at the iPod and iTunes situation. If you dont like the iTunes and iPod combination, you can go to other companies which will provide almost exactly the same thing via either URGE or Napster or somesuch. There is no real killer feature for the iPod, it is merely the result of excellent marketing. Apple in this case doesn't have a monopoly because firstly it doesn't have a 90+% marketshare and secondly you can get the same features on its competitors.


RE: Eh
By Xavian on 7/21/2006 6:34:12 AM , Rating: 2
adding: i hate to defend Apple (i dont like them at all), please dont make me do it again :(


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