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Miscellaneous News   Miscellaneous News : EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
   posted by Mikey_C on 24-Mar-2004 12:22:52 (4465 reads)
Microsoft likely to appeal against fine, but may still be forced to open up it's OS.

Read it here on the BBC News site

    

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soft 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 12:55:10
#1 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 205
From: Derbyshire, UK

*sigh* As much as I loath Microsoft, I am adamantly against this. What right have they to force Microsoft to open source? None. That is the company's automatic right. They didn't even cite a reason for this motion. Oh wait, they did, sort of. "Microsoft is really really big, therefore nobody else is capable of competing with it and we must knock them down a size, and let the public raid their private property". Give me a break. This is communist stupidity. Microsoft is the biggest because they deliver what the public want. If the government want to buy another OS, nobody is stopping them. If geeks want to by a different OS, nobody is stopping them. If Amiga users want to by OS4, nobody will stop them (once it's released...).

I think people should buy what they want, and if you think someone is buying the wrong product, tell them. This government vs. Microsoft is ####. They can be competed with, regardless of how big they are. It's just that people are cowards and can't co-ordinate themselves into a force to be reckoned with, they spend their time lamenting and praying to the tooth fairy that Microsoft will suddenly vanish. It's pathetic!

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Bodie_CI5 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:07:06
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 6739
From: Unknown

Hear! Hear! Soft, I am in full agreement... Let commerce take its course naturally.


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ohno 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:12:36
#3 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Jun-2003
Posts: 149
From: The Netherlands

Well.. this fine is mainly set because Microsoft misused their desktop monopoly to push their mediaplayer into the market for free, crushing all competition. (Who is gonna buy/download/install another mediaplayer if Microsoft installs one for free). This is the same thing they did with Internet Explorer vs. Netscape. Ever noticed there hasn't been much innovation in browsers anymore.. simply because Microsoft doesn't need to go through the effort (they already have nearly the complete market in their hands because they shipped Internet Explorer for free with Windows and open-source browsers took years to get to where they are now).
Internet Explorer isn't even a good browser compared to those new up-and-coming open-source browsers and as usual Microsoft ignores web-standards or bends them to its own will, meaning a lot of sites only work on Internet Explorer.

And nobody is forcing them to open-source their product, but they are required to give competing companies the information they need to have something run on Windows propely. As long as only Microsoft knows about the true internals of the OS no-one else will ever be able to compete against M$-products.

I especially liked it that the spokesman for Microsoft said this punishment wasn't fair and that the EU has no right to fine them since they are an American company.. and yet they have sued Lindows.com (an American company) in each seperate country to get the result they wanted, because they have won the name-dispute in America twice. Apparently Microsoft can shop around through all countries until they get what they want... But those same countries are not allowed to judge their wrongdoings?

Regards,

Onno

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Chunder 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:16:34
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 1956
From: The City of Xebec's Demise

AIUI, MS has been ordered to produce a version of Windows that has all of the non-core OS functions (i.e. Media Player, etc.) stripped out, and should provide the information required for third parties to code such applications.

Some of the main issues in areas like this were that the MS default applications would sometimes cripple (or otherwise interfere with) 3rd party replacement software; this should prevent this from happening.

Anyway - at least MS got fined! (Irrational, I know, but thhhhrrrrppp!) Wonder where the fine money is going?


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ohno 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:21:59
#5 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Jun-2003
Posts: 149
From: The Netherlands

Quote:
Wonder where the fine money is going?


Maybe we should suggest a certain possible competing OS currently in development for a certain possible competing platform that could use a little investment.

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csirac 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:33:44
#6 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2003
Posts: 333
From: Australia

Quote:
Microsoft is the biggest because they deliver what the public want.


There are many reasons and that is only one, very small part of it.

They are big and getting bigger exactly because of what we see happening in this case - abusing the position as a monopoly by squeezing out competitors at a whim.

Microsoft have been completely unpunished and unhindered, as far as I can tell, in their behaviour (most penalties I have seen have been quite pathetic).

If Microsoft didn't want all this to happen, they should have listened to the EU's requests years ago to remove their own or include competitors products, AND change OEM licensing to allow competitors products on new machine images.

If you are a monopoly, you have certain responsibilities and obligations in the interests of consumers and business in general to make sure that you don't ABUSE your MONOPOLY. The OEM licenses for new systems is a hilarious example of this abuse. You can't have your cake and eat it.

Quote:
This is communist stupidity.


Ironically, letting Microsoft continue to evolve to be the only consumer software company would also be communist stupidity.

- Paul

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Geomol 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:43:45
#7 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-May-2003
Posts: 214
From: Denmark

More and more often, when these cases get to the media, I hear people around me talking about, how fine it is of Gates to give funds to this and that. To me, it's like, if the mafia gave funds. The money are dirty, "stolen" illegally from competing companies. If the other companies still had their share (from products sold to users), how much of that would have ended up as funds already?

From the news:
Quote:
Microsoft has a cash pile of more than $50bn

That's more than $50,000,000,000 in cash! I'm wondering, how much Gates has in his drawer!?

What do you think about this?

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csirac 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 13:53:03
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2003
Posts: 333
From: Australia

Quote:
What right have they to force Microsoft to open source?


I don't think they are making anything "open source", AFAIK they (Apple, Real) just want the same API documentation the WMP programmers would have had.

Also there is something about an independant "trust" to review the code of the proposed EU version of Windows to make sure MS doesn't deliberately cripple the OS into something unusable and slow like what happend in the U.S. when some states ordered that windows be sold with IE "removed".

I highly doubt we'll start seeing the code for NTFS or the windows start menu...

- Paul

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csirac 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 14:04:02
#9 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2003
Posts: 333
From: Australia

@geomol
Quote:
What do you think about this?


I would agree. The fact he gives away money is irrelevant. Donating to charity does not change the law, and does not make their business and social practices any more ethical.

I say social because being a monopoly influences society. Abusing that monoply harms the "eco-system" that is society. Even when they wriggle past the law (like they have done so many times in the past), how many businesses have they ruined? How much has technology stagnated with Microsoft the only one "allowed" to make money and "innovate"? How many hostile acquisitions and plain "lawyering" have plundered the ideas and IP of small companies and individuals? How many oppurtunities are missed because Microsoft was the only viable solution?

The fact Microsoft are appealing so hard should make everyone realise that this needs to be done. Microsoft is running for cover, they know if they allow competition they'll actually have to work for our money and COMPETE.

- Paul

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mepmepmep 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 14:16:07
#10 ]
Member
Joined: 1-Oct-2003
Posts: 95
From: Sweden

Quote:
Give me a break. This is communist stupidity.

Well, but If Microsoft should be allowed to do whatever they want just because they are big, so should the EU community, right? If EU dont like Microsoft and are big enough to squeeze them then why should'nt they? Let the best man win, atleast that seems to be your logic...

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mbilla 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 14:18:21
#11 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

Quote:
That's more than $50,000,000,000 in cash! I'm wondering, how much Gates has in his drawer!?


With so mauch cash EU should have upgraded the fine to 1000 million Euros!!!
In Finland any fine is build up according to your income.

I know a company which does mobos (without ICs etc.). Normally they throw their chemicals in nearby river. Greenpeace, the Government and police once were at place when they did throw away their chemicals (the whole river was Blue Curacao color). The company was fined for 10000 Euros.
Later the manager told me, we will do that every as long as the Government won't increase to fine to high. For the company it was cheaper this way instead of installing some raffinery.

Fines should work according to incomes.

MS is stealing ideas, don't really invent and with unmoral ideas kills any market!!!

Bill Gates had once 150 bn $$$ but stocks fell and he now only has about 50 bn $$$ he himself.

But with 150bn $$$ he wouldn't be fast enough to sign the checks, if he lived still for 30 years that would be 9645 $ per minute!!!!!!!


_________________
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Bodie 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 14:43:05
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 9-Jan-2003
Posts: 1438
From: Azjol-Nerub

/me shrugs

There are plenty of alternatives out there. If Microsoft has gained such a dominant position it is due to consumers not selecting the (better) alternatives. Microsoft has simply capitalised.

I wonder, would any government fine Apple for including applications such as iPhoto etc. in OSX?

And no, I'm not a Microsoft apologist .

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IonMane 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 15:06:14
#13 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 18-Apr-2003
Posts: 550
From: Adelaide Australia.

Quote:
Microsoft claims that it should not be fined at all because it did not know its behaviour would breach EU law.


MAn I did not get away with this defense in pre school, and this is the best legal argument they can come up with?


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soft 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 15:32:22
#14 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 205
From: Derbyshire, UK

Quote:
Well.. this fine is mainly set because Microsoft misused their desktop monopoly to push their mediaplayer into the market for free, crushing all competition. (Who is gonna buy/download/install another mediaplayer if Microsoft installs one for free). This is the same thing they did with Internet Explorer vs. Netscape. Ever noticed there hasn't been much innovation in browsers anymore.. simply because Microsoft doesn't need to go through the effort (they already have nearly the complete market in their hands because they shipped Internet Explorer for free with Windows and open-source browsers took years to get to where they are now).
Internet Explorer isn't even a good browser compared to those new up-and-coming open-source browsers and as usual Microsoft ignores web-standards or bends them to its own will, meaning a lot of sites only work on Internet Explorer.


Microsoft don't have any power but what the public grant them. You ask who is going to install a mediaplayer if Microsoft has one already? Well, I do for one. I hate Media Player, it has a bug which causes it to consume ploriferating amounts of RAM, into the hundreds of megabytes. Plus, all those extra gadgets suck. My personal taste has always been for software that performs one function and does it well. I hate integration. So, for music, I use WinAMP, for organising my mp3s I use Mp3CAT and for movies I use Sasami2K. And Microsoft haven't stopped me doing this.

For browsing, I use a combination of Firefox, which I don't like that much but it has tabs which I find useful, and Internet Explorer, which is faster but doesn't have the tabs. I generally use Firefox for most browsing and IE to check my online banking which will only allow Internet Explorer to work with it. Microsoft hasn't stopped me doing this either.

Microsoft don't take away people's free will, they just exploit the public's ignorance. They don't have an obligation not to. It's up to the consumer to figure out that their products are lame and boycot them, or use what they perceive is better.

Quote:
And nobody is forcing them to open-source their product, but they are required to give competing companies the information they need to have something run on Windows propely. As long as only Microsoft knows about the true internals of the OS no-one else will ever be able to compete against M$-products.


What are you basing this on? Have you ever programmed for Windows before? The Windows Platform SDK reveals quite enough about the internals to make a program with it. Granted, it would be more insightful to see the source code for the OS, but that's a privelige not a right.

Quote:
Well, but If Microsoft should be allowed to do whatever they want just because they are big


They should be able to do what it is within their right to do as a company. If they want to sell shoddy products that have slacking performance, that's up to them. Nobody is forcing you to buy it.

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Anonymous 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 15:41:18
# ]



Quote:

There are plenty of alternatives out there. If Microsoft has gained such a dominant position it is due to consumers not selecting the (better) alternatives. Microsoft has simply capitalised.


But that is not the case, there is plenty of evidence that Microsoft abused it's position to force it's own software, and agenda upon the market.

Quote:

I wonder, would any government fine Apple for including applications such as iPhoto etc. in OSX?


But there is a difference between the two. Go to apple.com and check out the OS X downloads section, you'll find alternatives to Apple's software listed. I can delete any of the iLife applications I wish easily from the system without any adverse effects. I can delete safari safe in the knowledge that the machine won't refuse to work afterwards.

I can select whatever mail client, or webrowser I wish as my defaults. I can set the system to open any software I wish when I attach my digital camera. The only Apple application in my dock at the moment (out of 12 items not including the finder) is iTunes.

 
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KimmoK 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 15:56:17
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2003
Posts: 5187
From: Ylikiiminki, Finland

Great. A small fine to M$ and a baby step towards preserving the fun in computing.


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// For freedom, for honor, for AMIGA
//
// Thing that I should find more time for: CC64 - 64bit Community Computer?

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Geomol 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 16:17:52
#17 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-May-2003
Posts: 214
From: Denmark

(Removed, double post.)

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Geomol 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 16:18:31
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-May-2003
Posts: 214
From: Denmark

Quote:
Microsoft don't take away people's free will, they just exploit the public's ignorance.


I don't agree! To some extend, they DO take away people's free will. Let's take the dual boot as an example. Why isn't it possible to buy one single computer in the whole World that can dual boot in Windows and Linux? It's easily done, and some companies did that at one time ... for a few days, then they stopped. I shall tell you why. Microsoft makes a contract with OEMs, that sells PCs with Windows installed. In that contract, it says, that the OEM get Windows to a certain price, but the OEM isn't allowed to make the PC dual boot into other Operating Systems. If they do that, the price of Windows goes up to the double or so, and then the OEM won't sell any PCs. So a user, who need Windows for a few programs, but would like to try Linux out, they can't buy such a machine, and so they stick with Windows. The free will is gone. Such a contract is illegal, and nobody really do anything about it ... for different reasons.

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Esquilax 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 16:27:36
#19 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2004
Posts: 136
From: Scotland

Quote:
soft :
Microsoft don't take away people's free will, they just exploit the public's ignorance.


Sad, but true. People buy their pc's and it does everything they want it to do, so don't bother to look for better.

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Geomol 
Re: EU Hits Microsoft with a record fine!
Posted on 24-Mar-2004 16:51:28
#20 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-May-2003
Posts: 214
From: Denmark

Quote:
Sad, but true. People buy their pc's and it does everything they want it to do, so don't bother to look for better.


I don't agree ... again!

I work as a free-lance developer for a software house. Today one of their customers called the support for help with a Word document. They would like to have a table in the document sorted incresingly on the second column, but couldn't get it to work. The support also couldn't, so she came to me. I loaded the 1.06MB document into StarOffice, selected the table, then sorted it incresingly on the second column and saved it back in .doc format - now only 635kB. The support then sent the document back to the customer.

So NO, peoples PCs don't do, what they want them to do.

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