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The original ruling was to do with MS linking and bundling its Media Player and Internet Explorer browser with the Windows operating system. The EU feels this gives IE and MP an unfair advantage over rival browsers and players.
[edited by: gibbergibber at 1:40 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]
[edited by: engine at 4:04 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]
[edit reason] fixed symbol [/edit]
Purely hypothetically of course, Microsoft could release a product which is inferior in terms of features, price etc., but due to the fact that it is the only one that can properly integrate with Microsoft Windows, customers are forced to use it because integrating with Windows is essential.
Since competitors are unable to compete, and Microsoft has no incentive to innovate, you get stagnation like IE6 (how many years without an update?).
This sort of abuse is illegal in both the EU and the US, the only difference is that after finding Microsoft guilty of uncompetitive behaviour, the US decided not to do anything about it for reasons best known to Microsoft's lobbyists. The EU isn't giving Microsoft a waiver and is holding them to the same standards as any other monopoly player.
That is certainly how they see it in Brussels. Someone close to the case put it to me like this: “When the Bush administration came in, the Department of Justice chickened out, and let Microsoft off the hook.” By contrast, he explained, Brussels had actually forced Microsoft to change its behaviour, pointing to last October’s statement making it clear that the company would now comply with the Commission’s 2004 rulings.
As for Netscape not having trouble from the move by Microsoft to force users to stop not installing IE (something you could easily do with the original NT, capability removed in some SP (I think it was SP4);
take a second look: AOL folded their cards and stopped production Netscape completely. From having nearly all the market to nothing due to somebody using their monopoly in another area to gain it elsewhere.
Perhaps the US administration should have a second look on how they dealt with past monopolists crippling the market: Ma bell isn't around anymore ... Take MSFT and chop it in a business for OS, one for browser, one for office automation, one for media players, ... It'll set the right price on each of the components instead of forcing a bloated set onto you when you buy the hardware (yet another actionable item against them right there).
Seems the fanboys are active in this thread.
Sorry, but live with it, this is another mark against Microsoft due to their illegal use of a pseudo monopoly.
Convicted, now time to make them stop once and for all and and pay up.
The good news is also that it'll earmark more money so they cannot extend their monopoly into the rest of the Internet by buying Yahoo!
1. The importance to market market in parallel two types of operating systems, a low end OS (DOS, Windows 16-bit) and a high end OS (Xenix, OS/2, Windows NT).
2. Stay away from hardware.
3. Build the first productive GUI apps for the Mac.
Seems you're forgettign the real innovation of a GUI, the concept of a mouse etc comes from Xerox.
4. Move away from character-based apps at the right time.
The time is always right if you have a monopoly. As you control the timing. (And the pricing)
NOW, because of SUCH LACK of vision, Europeans are using THEIR LEGAL SYSTEM to try to catch up with Microsoft. Shame on you!
If you want the political case: look at reverse examples e.g. those that made sure the Concorde wasn't allowed into the US beyond New York. Each time you fly long distance just remember you're sitting in that cramped position at least double the time needed due to protectionism in favor of Boeing.
This case against Microsoft isn't a political one, it's just that their lobbyists don't succeed in doing what they did in the US: let them continue to break the rules. The EU as a basis is an environment that promotes competition, and has been given by member states more and more power to enforce that competition. The EU institutions in fact oversee and fine member states not playing by the rules. I'm glad to see the MSFT lobbyists can't evade the wrath of something used to gnaw on the bones of state leaders.
I'm glad I don't live in Europe.
The Bush administration didn't chickened out!
Rather, the Bush administration didn't accept to be influenced by the same group of businesses that did influenced the Clinton administration.
Because this group of businesses didn't find the right political climate in the US with the Bush administration, it moved its anti-MS operations to Europe.
It seems some European politicians were badly educated by the anti-Microsoft aparatus. Other politicians were probably bought by the aparatus.
It'll be interesting to see what Microsoft does with the sanctions.
By the way, OS/2 was a Microsoft product through version 1.3. IBM was responsible for later versions. See a presentation of Microsoft's O/2 1.21 at [archive.org...]