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Microsoft Must Share Code With Rivals

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posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:00 AM
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Microsoft Must Share Code With Rivals


www.physorg.com

(AP) -- Microsoft lost its appeal of a European antitrust order Monday that obliges the technology giant to share communications code with rivals, sell a copy of Windows without Media Player and pay a $613 million fine - the largest ever by EU regulators.

The EU Court of First Instance ruled against Microsoft on both parts of the case, saying the European Commission was correct in concluding that the world's biggest software company..
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
news.bbc.co.uk

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
EU Fines Microsoft $357 Million for Antitrust Violations

[edit on 17-9-2007 by UM_Gazz]




posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:00 AM
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Score one for the people! Bring down the evil empire!

I have been waiting to hear this news for ages. After MS was simply given a slap on the wrist by the US DoJ, I had been hoping the European Courts would not go easy on this evil monopoly.

The Tribe Has Spoken.

www.physorg.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:32 AM
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So a private company is being forced to pay a large fine, sell a copy of their software without all of its normally included components, and give away code, their own property, that they developed themselves with their own time and money?

All because it wanted to start developing software for servers?

Nice work, EU.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:40 AM
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It looks like only the commission will have the right to the full source code. They will only have to share a very tiny amount of the code with competitors, and maybe not even the code, just enough details to enable people to make compatible products.

The EU did the same thing with the media player/internet explorer with w98 IIRC, i think only about 10 people bought that special version though.

The bundling part seems one of the odd ones to me, like how far could it go? Does the fact windows can open .zip files mean they are destroying the competition with other archive programs. Does the fact windows includes a backup program force other backup program makers out of the market?

[edit on 17-9-2007 by bobafett]



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 


I'm sure there are two sides to every case and Microsoft is known to use it's standing. But what's with the over the top post? Rebel without a cause... perhaps. Let's be less dramatic next time and contribute more to the content.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


kinda with ya
i don't undertstand how or why they would be forced to share their code....i just don't get it



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 10:00 AM
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Bull crap! This is a compilation of laziness and jealousy. It is Microsoft's code! They made it and I don't see how a court could rule for them to give it up.
Everybody is jealous of Microsoft because they created something revolutionary. Rivals don't want to put in the work and create something better so they are trying to find a way to be lazy and take it away. Be original people create your own better operating system.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by WestPoint23
 


Yeah I admit, I was a little too enthusiastic there. Lost my level-headedness. But it's not without a cause. I've got family members who are programmers and they tell me of the horror stories they've had trying to create a product that would work with Microsoft's operating system. Mostly because of their unwillingness to release information that would make the product more compatible. Meanwhile, MS releases a similar product. I'm not a programmer so I can't really comment on this part, but I have read elsewhere that this is a standard practice.

But the more you read about Microsoft, the more you would see why it has been dubbed the "Evil Empire", which by the way, I wasn't the first to use. There are too many issues to list, so instead I'll just post links, in the order which I think is relevant and you peruse them at your own leisure should you choose wish to understand better.


Vendor lock-in --Microsoft
-This is the issue my family members had to deal with, so you understand where I'm coming from.

Writing history with Microsoft's Office lock-in
-Similar issues to the one before

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: Three Strikes And You're Out
-This is how Microsoft is probably going to kill the Open Document format (so that people will have no choice but to use the now ubiquitous *.doc format). It's Microsoft's main tactic to kill competition, whenever somebody comes up with a good idea. It's not like people haven't tried.

Google Complains About Microsoft's Vista
-Another Microsoft attempt at killing competition by making rival software incompatible with their product

Warning: Microsoft 'Monoculture'
-Just like how in nature it is dangerous to not have genetic diversity, Wired magazine explains how the MS Monoculture will compromise YOUR computer's security.

Allchin named, as proof of MS email destruction policy is sought
-Microsoft stole a rival technology, then destroyed the proof. MS eventually settled out of court, so make of that what you will.

MICROSOFT'S $8 MILLION GOODBYE TO SPYGLASS
-How Internet Explorer was born, through lies and deception, as well as an $8 Million lawsuit.

Sendo & Microsoft – it all ends in tears
-More stealing of other people's hard work.

Those are just the tips of the iceberg. There a whole lot of other smaller fries that Microsoft has snuffed out with their huge muscle power. Rivals have put in the work, but Microsoft comes along and uses it's enormous leverage to extinguish them.

Do you wonder why people call them "evil empire" or "the Borg"?

As an aside, do you know that one of Google's corporate philosophy is "You can make money without doing evil"? It's true.

Edit: typos, grammar

[edit on 17-9-2007 by Beachcoma]



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by bobafett
The bundling part seems one of the odd ones to me, like how far could it go? Does the fact windows can open .zip files mean they are destroying the competition with other archive programs. Does the fact windows includes a backup program force other backup program makers out of the market?

It's their prerogative. If they can make a program that can, say, open zip files in a way that satisfies the consumer's needs in a way that's better than or equal to the way things like WinRAR and WinZip do, then there's no reason that WinRAR or WinZip have to exist. I use WinRAR personally because I like it much better and because RAR files are quite efficient, so I think it still has a place on the market. But by all means, if something better comes along, I'll use that!
Competition is wonderful.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
I use WinRAR personally because I like it much better and because RAR files are quite efficient, so I think it still has a place on the market. But by all means, if something better comes along, I'll use that!


Off topic: Have you tried 7-zip? Compression is pretty wicked, and it can be opened with WinRAR.

On topic:


Originally posted by bobafett
Does the fact windows includes a backup program force other backup program makers out of the market?


No. But most people would forgo using another software, since they've got the one MS bundled with their OS. Why get another program? This one works. At least, that's how I think it works.

I don't use WinZip, because the bundled-in Windows Zip support works fine. Result: WinZip died. Or is dying. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 12:32 PM
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I would be very happy to see MS just pull out of the EU market. Although it would never happen, it would send a great message. I think the ruling is completely bogus. Im still sitting here trying to figure out what microsoft did wrong?



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
Have you tried 7-zip? Compression is pretty wicked, and it can be opened with WinRAR.

I don't think that 7-zip can write RAR files (though it can open it). I like the .rar format, I think that it's superior to .zip.


Originally posted by Beachcoma
No. But most people would forgo using another software, since they've got the one MS bundled with their OS. Why get another program? This one works. At least, that's how I think it works.

Exactly, no reason to get another program if Windows does it just fine.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
. Im still sitting here trying to figure out what Microsoft did wrong?


The main issue, from what I can tell, is bundling Media Player with Windows, which I think I ridiculous, because if you buy an Mac, you get a media player installed as well, created by Apple.

The real problem, as I see it, is with the computer manufacturers, like Dell and HP, and not MS. If they gave customers the option to have Ubuntu or Fedora preinstalled on their systems, instead of Windows, maybe more people would be willing to give Linux a chance, plus they would save a little cash...



[edit on 9/17/2007 by pstiffy]



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by pstiffy
The main issue, from what I can tell, is bundling Media Player with Windows, which I think I ridiculous, because if you buy an Mac, you get a media player installed as well, created by Apple.


It's actually deeper than that. The Media Player bit gets bandied about a lot because the other issues are complex and deal with something that most regular people wouldn't understand or are too technical for them to care.

Here are a couple of articles starting from the landmark ruling all the way to the Microsoft appeal which was rejected today. Hopefully this puts everything in perspective. It's a long, complicated read, so take your time.

24 Mar 2004 : Monti to Microsoft: Guilty as charged

28 Jan 2005 : Microsoft won't dance with Samba

04 Feb 2005 : Microsoft's EU proposal is monstrous, says Samba

18 Mar 2005 : EU rejects Microsoft's licence offer

05 Apr 2005 : Microsoft struggles to work with open source

11 May 2005 : EC demands Microsoft compliance 'within weeks'

27 Jan 2006 : EC accuses Microsoft of source code song and dance

12 Jul 2006 : Microsoft to appeal EU fine

23 Nov 2006 : Microsoft hits European antitrust deadline

01 Mar 2007 : EC threatens Microsoft with more fines

17 Sep 2007 : Microsoft-EU antitrust decision looms

17 Sep 2007 : EU court crushes Microsoft's antitrust appeal

17 Sep 2007 : Small change for Microsoft


 


Read this if you want an abridged version of what happened up to 24 Apr 2006 : Microsoft vs EC: The story so far

The articles I underlined are recommended reads. Read them if possible.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 04:35 PM
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Honestly, I have a great deal of stuff to do, including college work, so I don't really have time to read all that. Tell me, in simple terms, what laws did microsoft break, and how they were creating a monopoly illegally.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by grimreaper797
 


Ok, I'm just gonna brief you on the important points, because it's late I need to get some sleep.

--EC antitrust laws, for using their 95% operating system monopoly to edge out rivals through bundling software. This is the whole WMP vs. RealPlayer thing.

--Overcharging rivals for licensing fees for parts of the source code required to make it work with their OS. The opponent here is Samba, which provides their products under the GNU open source license. Basically MS is trying to kill open-source with this move. The rivals don't want the whole code, they just want a small part, and they were willing to pay.

--Not providing documentation for communications protocols that would make different server apps interoperable. This is so they'd have an edge with their own server products. Also should be noted is the fact that these protocols were free before, they just embraced it, extended it's features a bit, then patented the whole thing and attempted to overcharge.

--Not delivering the source codes, even after they've agreed to. On top of that, their PR team went around making like they were the victim. So that pissed off the courts.

That's the gist of it, it's a rough approximation as I'm kinda sleepy/lucid already right now. It's all in those links but there may be bits that aren't exactly spot on. Feel free to sift through those links and correct me.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 04:51 PM
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The EU courts are a bunch of muppets with nothing better to do, except legislate how bendy bannanas should be, ban imperial measurements in the UK and try to get money out of MS!

Windows XP N edition was a joke, introduced in the final year of the product cycle, fair play to MS for delaying this for as long as possible.

I asked me mum today what she would do to play videos if there was no media player bundled with windows, and she replied, I dont know!

MS was fairly fined for Windows messenger and IE because you couldnt uninstall them originally, but just because it comes bundled with a media player (that you can uninstall if you so wish), is simply not fair.

Where will the madness stop, I dont think Windows should come with a calculator!!



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 05:20 PM
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Only Microsoft gets yelled at for giving you too much.


We should be thanking them for including Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer for free! I personally don't use either (Winamp and Firefox, respectively), but it's nice of Microsoft to bundle it so the operating systems are capable of using the internet and playing sound/video without installing anything else.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 05:24 PM
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So wait, the problem is that they are including their software on windows? Why shouldn't they? I'm really not getting it, how is what they are doing wrong? Why does microsoft HAVE to make their codes avalible or not be allowed to include their software on their program?

If I make something, and I don't want to sell it to somebody, I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't need to have a reason either. I guess its different over in the EU, so I'm glad I don't own any businesses over there.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
So wait, the problem is that they are including their software on windows? Why shouldn't they? I'm really not getting it, how is what they are doing wrong?

Because by including free stuff in their software, they're hurting the competition that produces that product. Windows Media Player and RealPlayer, for example. RealPlayer, if it can't do anything that WMP can do, is useless, and rightfully so.

How is it wrong? It's not.


Originally posted by grimreaper797
Why does microsoft HAVE to make their codes avalible or not be allowed to include their software on their program?

If I make something, and I don't want to sell it to somebody, I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't need to have a reason either. I guess its different over in the EU, so I'm glad I don't own any businesses over there.

Well, in Soviet Europe...



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