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Thread: Microsoft face another fine.

  1. #21
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by VTPoet View Post
    Well, I'm sure you don't know the answer to that rhetorical question, but in my own area, there are two stores that specialize in Apple computers, while also selling PCs, Best Buy which sells Apples and PCs, and then there's Radio Shack and Walmart which sell only PCs. That makes the representation in our area (Vermont/New Hampshire) about 50/50. And then there's the Internet where you can order just about any PC you want, including a Chromebook or a Linux laptop, but the world wide web is so esoteric. I mean, who's ever heard of the Internet?
    You're being obtuse. Realistically Macs are the only non-PC option people have available. Most people don't even know what Linux is, and few have heard of Chromebooks.

    The bottom line is that well over 90% of PCs sold have Windows. That's a monopoly, and the only reason why IE is the world's number one browser. Think back to when the EU (EC?) brought these charges against Microsoft. Was the version of IE we had in the late 90s/early 00s ubiquitous because it was good, or because it was bundled with the OS on almost every computer? It was becoming apparent at the time that the internet was going to be important, and it was also apparent that IE was going to act like a braking force on development and growth of the internet. Microsoft at the time were so smug about their position that they actually stopped development of IE.

    You could argue that Mozilla did more to change that than the jackbooted legions of Brussels, but eroding IE's dominance has been positive overall.

  2. #22
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by VTPoet View Post
    .. And then there's the Internet where you can order just about any PC you want, including a Chromebook or a Linux laptop, but the world wide web is so esoteric. I mean, who's ever heard of the Internet?
    ...
    You do understand the basis of the latest matter, don't you? It is not based on the current state of affairs but has a history ...

    This last fine, which has not yet been levied AFAICT, is purely and simply because a company gave an undertaking and broke it. It has nothing to do with current market share or whether one can order stuff over the internet.

    IIRC, it was the makers of the Opera browser who approached the EU authorities and asked for the browser choice to be displayed. Binding terms and conditions were agreed upon and subsequently violated by a signatory.
    de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum -- Wiktionary

  3. #23
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    Re: Microsoft face another fine.

    I think it's a good thing that they get to be a bit more cautious but at the same time I think the actual argument as to why they are being fined is a bit retarded.

    Windows =/= PC. Meaning there are other operating systems available, and seeing as how you pay to buy the license to use Windows - I dont see why Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to include or exclude whatever the hell it is they want to. It is their product after all. The OP argument of McDonalds being forced to serve Whoppers is a great example.

    And also, if I was Microsoft I would counter-sue Apple and every other software manufacturer for the same reasons.
    It doesn't matter if Microsoft has a near monopoly or not because PC =/= Windows.

    It's a disgraceful blow against Microsoft. There are far more different venues in which one SHOULD pursue some form of pressure against Microsoft, e.g. their agreements with OEM's and locking hardware from being used elsewhere. But to meddle with the actual OS default programs? WTF.

    For all purposes one might as well sue Canonical for using Unity as default and not asking you on install-popup whether or not you want Unity or one of the other "fine choices around"
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  4. #24
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by vtpoet View Post
    no it's not. It's very easy. I don't want to be in a position of defending ms, but c'mon, it's ridiculously easy to buy a pc that doesn't run windows. What's "impossible" is running firefox, chrome or ie on your iphone. that is impossible.
    +1
    They say the pen is mightier than the sword...but Steven Seagal is mightier than the Pen AND the Sword. http://tinyurl.com/ybnsx2w
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  5. #25
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    This last fine, which has not yet been levied AFAICT, is purely and simply because a company gave an undertaking and broke it. It has nothing to do with current market share or whether one can order stuff over the internet.
    The undertaking they gave to display the browser choice screen was part of the whole anti-monopoly case from years ago that I described in my post above. Turns out they weren't displaying it for quite some time, hence the recent fine.

    Yes, I do understand the basis of the matter. Probably better than you do, if any of this is news to you.

  6. #26
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by Statia View Post
    In case of Burger King: you could eat somewhere else.
    In case of Windows it used to be neigh impossible to go somewhere else for your (business) computing need.
    So Microsoft is to be blamed because they produced a greater OS than what the competition offered at the time and since nobody else can be bothered to create basic software which isn't broken?

    It is by definition impossible for Microsoft to hold a monopoly because they simply provide the OS. They do not force you to use their OS. There's a huge difference between being popular and having a monopoly on the technology at hand.
    They say the pen is mightier than the sword...but Steven Seagal is mightier than the Pen AND the Sword. http://tinyurl.com/ybnsx2w
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by fontis View Post
    So Microsoft is to be blamed because they produced a greater OS than what the competition offered at the time and since nobody else can be bothered to create basic software which isn't broken?
    Nobody is blaming Microsoft for anything, or even trying to reverse their monopoly. If their product (IE) is as good as the competition then there's no reason it's market share should be hurt much by the browser choice window. And it it's not as good as the competition, then the consumer (and the web) wins by being exposed to a better alternative.

    It's a heavy handed bit of bureaucratic meddling for sure, but apart from that nothing to get your knickers in a twist over really. The intention was good, even if the execution was a bit clunky.

  8. #28
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    Nobody is blaming Microsoft for anything, or even trying to reverse their monopoly. If their product (IE) is as good as the competition then there's no reason it's market share should be hurt much by the browser choice window. And it it's not as good as the competition, then the consumer (and the web) wins by being exposed to a better alternative.

    It's a heavy handed bit of bureaucratic meddling for sure, but apart from that nothing to get your knickers in a twist over really. The intention was good, even if the execution was a bit clunky.
    I still dont understand why the EU or the competitors for that matter think it's in their right to decide WHAT default choice of program is bundled with a software (OS) in this scenario? Regardless of how you twist and turn it, it's absurd.

    Mind you, I'm not even a MS supporter.
    They say the pen is mightier than the sword...but Steven Seagal is mightier than the Pen AND the Sword. http://tinyurl.com/ybnsx2w
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  9. #29
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    Re: Microsoft sued by Europe for not providing "Browser Choice"

    Quote Originally Posted by fontis View Post
    I still dont understand why the EU or the competitors for that matter think it's in their right to decide WHAT default choice of program is bundled with a software (OS) in this scenario?
    Well, regulation does have a role to play in the free market. Monopolies are bad for the consumer, and the job of a government (or rather, a rather a weird quasi-meta-government like the EU) is to put the welfare of its citizens first.

    Sometimes the interests of big corporations and the interests of ordinary people don't coincide. There's a role there for governments to occasionally step in and tweak the power balance back to something that'll be healthier in the future.

    Or you could just take the cynical view that it was all down to lobbying by Opera ASA, at the time a major European tech success story, against a nasty mean foreign competitor. Wouldn't be the first time the EU brought in a silly protectionist ruling to help out a European industry. The agricultural policy is legendary for it's mentalness.

  10. #30
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    Re: Microsoft face another fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by fontis View Post
    Windows =/= PC. Meaning there are other operating systems available, and seeing as how you pay to buy the license to use Windows - I dont see why Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to include or exclude whatever the hell it is they want to. It is their product after all. The OP argument of McDonalds being forced to serve Whoppers is a great example.
    No, it's not a great example. It's a bad analogy.
    The correct analogy is the one I gave earlier: if McDonalds was forcing Coca-Cola out of the market by giving "free" Mc-Coke with their burgers. Then they leverage their "burger-monopoly" (not that they have it, but let's say so for the sake of argument) to gain marketshare in the cola market.

    And you can be sure that Mc-Coke would not really be free, it's price would just be hidden in the price of your burger. And since in this example, McDonalds has a monopoly on burgers, you can't go elsewhere for a cheaper burger that comes with Pepsi, or Coca-Cola, or Foo-bar Cola, or no cola.

    Microsoft did the same. They used their (almost) monopoly on the operating systems market to create market share in the applications market.

    To prevent that, the EU forced them to display a browser choice screen in Windows. They did so for a while and then, with newer versions of Windows, the choice screen was suddenly gone. Did they forget? Or was it deliberate?
    It does not really matter. It's like being on probation and not sticking to the terms of your parole: you will be punished.

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