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EU hits Microsoft with new fine: €280.5 million

     

engine

11:30 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



The European Union today fined Microsoft €280.5 million for failing to obey a 2004 antitrust ruling and has threatened new fines of €3 million ($3.82 million) a day starting on July 31.

The new fines will take effect unless the world’s largest software developer supplies "complete and accurate" technical information to rivals to assist them in building software that works smoothly with its dominant Windows operating system.

EU hits Microsoft with new fine [business.timesonline.co.uk]

dudibob

12:21 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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that's crazy money, but then again, bill can probably pay for out his back pocket

henry0

12:25 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member henry0 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The link leads to a blank?

so I looked at EU articles

From ZD net.fr
<<< Après deux ans d'attente, Microsoft n'a toujours pas fourni l'ensemble de la documentation sur les protocoles de communication de Windows (Serveurs et Desktop). L'objectif est d'assurer une interopérabilité totale entre les PC et serveurs sous Windows et les systèmes concurrents. >>>

My translation:
Despite waiting two years MS didn’t yet supply server and desktop communication’s protocols in order to allow seamless interoperability between MS PCs and servers and competitors PCs and servers.

Admin note - the link works, but may be slow to load.

[edited by: engine at 1:51 pm (utc) on July 12, 2006]

Iguana

1:13 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't get it. Microsoft has always led the way in allowing their products to be used by other programs. COM, activeX, all those published Object models to IE, Office, SQLServer. They seem to be me to have been more open than many of their rivals.

gibbergibber

2:52 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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-- I don't get it. Microsoft has always led the way in allowing their products to be used by other programs. COM, activeX, all those published Object models to IE, Office, SQLServer. They seem to be me to have been more open than many of their rivals. --

There were two big problems that the EU were concerned about:

1. Microsoft was forcing PC sellers to bundle Windows Media Player with Windows XP, to the detriment of rival media software such as Realplayer and Quicktime. The EU wanted them to separate WMP from Windows XP by either including rival software or else not including any media software, to stop Microsoft using one monopoly to found another.

2. Microsoft was letting their Office development teams see the source code for Windows XP, but wasn't letting rivals of Office do the same, to the detriment of rival software makers.

Neither of these things would be a problem if Windows wasn't running in almost every computer in the world, but it is. This creates a vicious circle where most developers can't afford to create and market software for other OSes because they have so little market share compared to Windows, and most consumers won't switch to other OSes because they have so little software support compared to Windows.

IMHO Microsoft ought not to be making both the OS and the software that runs on it, and if they split the company in two (one for OS development, one for software development) it would be a lot healthier for everyone concerned.

bb_paul

9:03 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Although the fine is for past activities, I think point 1 is also concerning Vista, where they are planning an internet search engine and a PDF-reader to be included. talk about aggressive anti-competition behaviour or what.

kaled

9:24 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



IMHO Microsoft ought not to be making both the OS and the software that runs on it, and if they split the company in two (one for OS development, one for software development) it would be a lot healthier for everyone concerned.

From memory, this was ordered in the states but was successfully appealed.

The core of any operating system is function calls. In addition to documented API function calls, Microsoft developers have complete information on all the undocumented ones, thus placing Microsoft at a competitive advantage. This is not a small thing - XP/NT is said to have two whole layers only one of which is officially documented.

Kaled.

mcavic

3:58 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Microsoft was forcing PC sellers to bundle Windows Media Player with Windows XP, to the detriment of rival media software such as Realplayer and Quicktime.

I don't see the detriment. Realplayer is for playing RealAudio/RealVideo files. QuickTime is for playing QuickTime files. WinAmp is for playing Shoutcast stations, and Windows Media Player is for playing everything else.

if they split the company in two (one for OS development, one for software development) it would be a lot healthier

I think Bill was right when he said that distributing Windows without a Web browser would be like selling a car without a steering wheel. They have a right to sell a full-featured OS.

Novice users don't want to pay $180 for Windows, and not be able to browse the Web or play videos. It's even silly to have to install Acrobat Reader separately. Even if those other apps are free. And for people who care, there's nothing stopping them from using a different browser or media player.

"complete and accurate" technical information to rivals

I agree, of course, that's a necessity.
 

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