It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Microsoft Must Share Code With Rivals

page: 2
0
<< 1   >>

log in

join
share:
apc

posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 06:08 PM
link   
In a capitalistic society monopolies are inevitable. It is therefore necessary every now and then for them to be forced to compete. MS is not immune to this... thankfully.

If they want to restore the publics faith in their competitiveness, they will provide their OS for free and charge for their bundled software. The price could be the same for all I care, but they would no longer be able to dupe new inexperienced users into thinking what comes with Windows is the only option.

I mean come on... the OS itself has no business having integrated CD burning or a web browser. The purpose of an OS is to manage the interface of software with hardware. That's it!

[edit on 17-9-2007 by apc]




posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 11:11 PM
link   
reply to post by apc
 


I couldn't have said it better my self. Most people are only seeing the "Windows Media Player is free, why should I pay for something that's already bundled in" argument. They're not seeing how in the long run it hampers development of better software.

And then they're just skimming over the fact that Microsoft is resorting to all kinds of unethical tactics to kill off competition. Let me repeat again -- the WMP vs RealPlayer issue is just ONE of the MANY issues this ruling addresses.

Let me just quote from the articles I linked, specifically the ones I underlined in the previous page, since you people are too lazy to go through it.



Microsoft won't dance with Samba

The Free Software Foundation is lobbying the European government to reject the server licence that Microsoft has proposed following the European Commission's antitrust ruling. Microsoft's terms, says the FSF, will mean that open source software such as the widely-used Samba file and print server software, will not be included in the interoperability measures intended by the EU.

[...]

"The conditions are unreasonable and discriminate against free software -- it is impossible for a product under GPL to agree to this licence," said Piano. "We are trying to lobby the commission to change this."

Free software organisations cannot sign the Microsoft licence as it requires royalty payments for every copy sold and stipulates that programs which are built using the licensed information are closed source, according to Piano.

[...]

"The agreement requires a per-copy licence -- any time you sell a product you must pay a royalty," said Piano. "This prevents Samba from accessing the scheme as they have no way to control the number of copies distributed and don't know how many copies have been distributed."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


You people like free software? Well this is Microsoft's way of killing competition producing free software. Continues below:


Microsoft's EU proposal is monstrous, says Samba


Jeremy Allison, Samba co-creator, said on Thursday that the royalty payments required by the licence are so high that they are unlikely to encourage competition, even from commercial vendors, as many software companies will not be able to afford the fee unless they are creating a high-value product.

"The royalty payments are really high," said Allison. "They have been set as if you were creating a premium product such as a Windows 2000 Domain Controller, but imagine if you are just creating a small embedded system that only uses a small part of the Microsoft protocols. There is no flexibility in the monstrous fixed fee you must pay."

[...]

Maintaining interoperability is made more difficult by frequent changes that Microsoft makes to the protocols, said Allison. "They make changes to the protocol all the time," said Allison. "It is usually some new wrinkle placed on top of things we already have working."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


There's no value-added there. Why should people pay exorbitant royalties for something that's basically just a re-upholstered sofa?

Now that's one of the main issues this whole ruling is about. The WMP vs RealPlayer mess I've already explained earlier, but people seemed fixated on the "I get free software" bit instead of looking at it from a broader perspective. Well you like free software? Microsoft is at war with free software.


Free software organisations are also excluded from the Microsoft licence as it requires royalty fees for every copy distributed. The spokesman said he was not aware of any plans for Microsoft to reduce the royalty fees for free software organisations, or to exempt them from it.

Another EC concern is that Microsoft's proposed royalty fees were too high. The licence asked for royalties of up to $1,900 per server product sold or distributed.


Which open source software developer in their right mind would pay those sort of fees? This is per product.

And then, after much negotiations, Microsoft agreed to a compromise. Or so it seemed:


EC accuses Microsoft of source code song and dance

Microsoft may have briefed hacks and others on the elements of source code it is prepared to give its competitors, said an EC representative, but as far as the organisation was concerned it has still not complied with the terms of the agreement

[...]

Jonathan Todd, the Commission spokesman, said Microsoft had put on a song and dance show for the press but still hadn't given it the details. "It didn't think of popping around the corner and popping a copy through the door," he said.

The EC has still not received proof that Microsoft is ready to comply. It wasn't clear that providing source code would allow competitors to make their products compatible with Vole* code. The EC wants the communication protocols and the right kind of technical documentation.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


*The Vole is a nickname for MS given by The Inquirer.

Microsoft's PR guys made a big fuss to the press trying to portray itself as a victim, trying to make it look like they were cooperating, but the EC is being unreasonable, blah blah blah. It's despicable. Look at the time-line from the previous page, the EC has given MS ample time. They continued to delay things.


EC threatens Microsoft with more fines

The EC claimed on Thursday that Microsoft wants to charge too much for interoperability protocol licences that enable third-party software vendors to develop software compatible with Windows servers. In a damning statemement, the EC claimed that the protocols "lack significant innovation", even though Microsoft has been awarded patents on much of the technology in question.

[...]

The Commission said on Thursday that there is virtually no innovation in the 51 protocols in the "No Patent Agreement" where Microsoft has claimed non-patented innovation, as the described features were Microsoft implementations of prior developments by others, or were "immediately obvious minor extensions of prior work".

"Microsoft's current royalty rates for this agreement are unreasonable," said the Commission.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Nasty, isn't it? So you see, it hasn't got as much to do with WMP vs RealPlayer and more to do with Microsoft being a gigantic rectum. By the way, Microsoft settled with RealNetworks out of court October 2005. Make of it what you will.

Real and Microsoft call a truce



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 12:12 AM
link   
Lets put this in simple terms. If microsoft is being unreasonable, don't buy/use their products? You act like some one is forcing these people to make software for windows instead of another OS.

If there is all sorts of better and free software on another OS, I may decide to switch OS's. Until then, I stick with Windows. What they should do is simply stop making products for windows. Then when customers go "Why isnt this program compadible?" and then "This program isn't either" and microsoft starts losing customers, they will adjust without having to involve government.

But alas certain people don't want to be bothered with such logic and would rather take the easier and lazier approach of getting government to handle every little problem that occurs.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 12:18 AM
link   
reply to post by grimreaper797
 


You're not getting it, are you? The whole thing is about Microsoft unfairly stiffling other software makers with their unethical tactics as I have shown in the post above, BECAUSE THEY HAVE A 95% MARKET PENETRATION. It's not about Windows itself. It's not about Media Player. It's not about other OSes.

It's about other software developers trying to make products that will work with Windows. It's about other companies trying to make server apps that will work with Windows. They can't make it work if Microsoft is strong-arming them in the way that only Microsoft can.

Please just read the damn thing and gain a better understanding. Sigh...

Edit to add: Sure, nobody is forcing them to make products that can work with Windows, but which idiot would market something that wouldn't work with 95% of the computers worldwide? Think, McFly, think!

[edit on 18-9-2007 by Beachcoma]



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 12:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by grimreaper797
What they should do is simply stop making products for windows. Then when customers go "Why isnt this program compadible?" and then "This program isn't either" and microsoft starts losing customers, they will adjust without having to involve government.


That argument fails miserably, because the whole reason Microsoft is not releasing codes to make the product compatible is so that they themselves come up with a similar product. And they will bundle it with their OS. Microsoft has done this numerous times in the past, no reason for them not to repeat the tactic.

IE vs Netscape, WMP vs RealPlayer, MS Word vs WordPerfect, Vista vs Google Desktop Search...



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:25 AM
link   
1. the 95% market number I don't know where you got that from unless you are in australia. That is the only place I could find where there is even a mention of microsoft having a 95% market. And the reason for that is computer makers require you to buy windows with the computer.

I recall some one in this thread said that earlier. that manufactors like HP and such give you windows with the computer, which resulted in such a high number of people having it.

2. If the problem is microsoft, don't use microsoft. At the end of the day, it is your choice which product you use. There are other products out there. Microsoft isn't the only business out there selling OS's or media players, or anything like that. Furthermore, if the third parties want to make software, make it for another company then. Doesn't give back as big a return? Well that isn't any one elses fault.

Microsoft is going to improve on a product and resell it? I thought that was kind of the idea. Some one makes something, you find ways to improve it enough to sell it yourself. If it was a great idea, most people will have already bought the original version and most likely not be willing to pay/switch to the improved version unless it is worth it.

If I see a MAC come out with a bunch of software that microsoft doesn't have, or has to wait 6-8 month or more to improve on, Im probably going to switch to MAC. A MAC would then be the better choice since they have innovative software first. Right now, I simply don't see the reason to switch so long as microsoft keeps delivering software that I want at a reasonable cost.

I know people who like MAC better than windows. Personally, I go with whatever came with the computer. Windows came with the computer, and that is the only reason I use it. If a different OS came with my computer, chances are I would be using that rather than Windows. But guess what, I bought an HP, and HP gives us Windows when we buy it.

My point is, that is what A GOOD AMOUNT OF PEOPLE DO. I don't know alot of people who buy a computer and go "Oh, I don't like this operating system!" and go get a different one. Its the manufactors of computers who include it that caused this monopoly, not microsoft strong arming the competition. If all the computer manufactors sold MAC with there computers, we would see a massive change in OS's usage.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:37 AM
link   

Originally posted by grimreaper797
Its the manufactors of computers who include it that caused this monopoly, not microsoft strong arming the competition. If all the computer manufactors sold MAC with there computers, we would see a massive change in OS's usage.


Ever heard of vendor lock-ins? You should read about the concept.

Edit to add: Your other points are all well and good, so long as the person knows enough about computers in general and the options available to them. Most people don't, however. Also most people would rather not learn a new interface. Young people such as you and I are the most likely to try a new interface.

Case in point: My mom is a gamer, so she know quite a bit about computers. However she was absolutely horrified when I installed Linux as a second OS on her computer, because she thought I had removed Windows and she didn't want to learn a new interface.

A lot of other people are like that, too.

Edit again :


Originally posted by grimreaper797
Microsoft is going to improve on a product and resell it? I thought that was kind of the idea. Some one makes something, you find ways to improve it enough to sell it yourself. If it was a great idea, most people will have already bought the original version and most likely not be willing to pay/switch to the improved version unless it is worth it.


Please read the linked articles in the previous post(s) in full, because I'm tired of rehashing the same point. It's not as cut and dry as you put it here.

Also, you might want to read this.

[edit on 18-9-2007 by Beachcoma]



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 10:55 AM
link   
Your arguement as to microsofts strong arming is because they are a monopoly. Why are they a monopoly? Because a majority of computer manufactors won't sell you the computer without windows. I have never had a computer that didn't have windows because windows always came with it. Granted I never bought an apple computer.

If all sorts of software based companies stopped making things for microsoft because they charged too much, microsoft would be forced to lower costs. Why? Because it would mean another company would be getting the innovative software that people want. If people want it when it comes out, and not months and months later, they will switch. There will still be the occassional customer, like me, who will not switch till he buys a new computer. Once I go looking for a new computer, if an apple computer has better stuff on it, I may decide to buy an apple instead on a HP because HP has that crappy windows with no worthy software on it.

I'm very much against monopolies, but I'm 100% more against government intervention in business.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 11:19 AM
link   

Originally posted by Beachcoma
It's about other software developers trying to make products that will work with Windows. It's about other companies trying to make server apps that will work with Windows. They can't make it work if Microsoft is strong-arming them in the way that only Microsoft can. Edit to add: Sure, nobody is forcing them to make products that can work with Windows, but which idiot would market something that wouldn't work with 95% of the computers worldwide? Think, McFly, think!

If nothing works on Windows, there's no reason to use it. The reason that Windows is so widely used is because it is easily the best operating system for the vast majority of PC users.

Things made for Windows don't work on Macs (usually, and without a port), but people still buy them. I'm noticing more and more that companies are making Linux ports, too.
Think, McFly, think!



Originally posted by Beachcoma
That argument fails miserably, because the whole reason Microsoft is not releasing codes to make the product compatible is so that they themselves come up with a similar product. And they will bundle it with their OS. Microsoft has done this numerous times in the past, no reason for them not to repeat the tactic.

So RARLabs should be forced to release the code for the .rar file format that they developed so that WinZip or Microsoft Windows could be compatible with it? Real should be forced to release all their file formats so that Windows Media Player and Winamp could open them?
That's absurd.
Think, McFly, think!



Originally posted by Beachcoma
Edit to add: Your other points are all well and good, so long as the person knows enough about computers in general and the options available to them. Most people don't, however. Also most people would rather not learn a new interface. Young people such as you and I are the most likely to try a new interface.

Right. You've just explained why it's advantageous for people to stick with one operating system (or line of operating systems, as in 98, 2000, XP, etc.) as opposed to choosing different ones. In fact, since Windows is so widely used, it's actually easier for developers to write software - they don't have to worry about porting it to ten different operating systems to release it (even though many still do port it to others like Linux and Mac).
Think, McFly, think!


apc

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 11:43 AM
link   
Your Back to the Future references are about as funny as a screen door on a battleship.

A car analogy...

You buy a Ford (humor me). It can only use Ford gasoline that you buy from a Ford filling station. They told you when you bought it that it could use any station's gasoline. But when you fill it with say, BP gasoline, it sputters and stalls. BP would love to be able to sell you gasoline that works in your car, but Ford won't tell them the formula. Meanwhile, Ford continues to tell you that you can use whatever gasoline you want.

There's also a nifty window tinting feature so whenever you approach a non-Ford filling station, your windows tint really dark so you can't see it.

You'd buy a different brand car, but every time another dealer opens up, Ford surrounds it with Ford dealers so you can't see it.

Finally you look on the Internet for other brands of cars, but there's a Ford sniper outside your window who shoots your computer monitor.

Monopolies artificially inhibiting competition is one of the few avenues of commerce where I expect Government to step in and put a stop to it. The problem with monopolies is they are fairly immune to consumer response because of the dependencies created, so letting the free market fix it doesn't work. A forced correction is required.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 12:31 PM
link   
It took 9 years (since 1998) but that was worth them!Customers will now have optimum products installed in the new pc they buy.

*Hooray, hooray!



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by apc
Your Back to the Future references are about as funny as a screen door on a battleship.

If you're talking about me, I was making fun of Beachcoma's use of it.


Originally posted by apc
You buy a Ford (humor me). It can only use Ford gasoline that you buy from a Ford filling station. They told you when you bought it that it could use any station's gasoline. But when you fill it with say, BP gasoline, it sputters and stalls.

That's already illegal, you could file a lawsuit. Has nothing to do with monopolies.


Originally posted by apc
BP would love to be able to sell you gasoline that works in your car, but Ford won't tell them the formula. Meanwhile, Ford continues to tell you that you can use whatever gasoline you want.

Yup, lawsuit. Nothing to do with monopolies.


Originally posted by apc
There's also a nifty window tinting feature so whenever you approach a non-Ford filling station, your windows tint really dark so you can't see it.

That would be considered a massive safety hazard and is probably illegal already, to have windows tinted that dark.


Originally posted by apc
You'd buy a different brand car, but every time another dealer opens up, Ford surrounds it with Ford dealers so you can't see it.

All the car dealers I've seen were facing the road in some way. You can't build on a road.


Originally posted by apc
Finally you look on the Internet for other brands of cars, but there's a Ford sniper outside your window who shoots your computer monitor.

That's illegal and you could probably get them for attempted murder. Lawsuit and a criminal case.


Your examples are pretty sad, really.

[edit on 18-9-2007 by Johnmike]



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:46 PM
link   
Good post apc. Analogies. Why didn't I think of that? Meh, I was hungry and slightly dehydrated, so I was cranky and wasn't thinking straight.


Monopolies artificially inhibiting competition is one of the few avenues of commerce where I expect Government to step in and put a stop to it. The problem with monopolies is they are fairly immune to consumer response because of the dependencies created, so letting the free market fix it doesn't work. A forced correction is required.


Simple and elegant. I wish those WATS votes still exist. Let me add that in the computer industry, more than others, government intervention is still very much necessary. As demonstrated by some of the responses in this thread, there are quite a few who don't understand the intricacies of software-operating system interactions, much less machine to machine interactions. To go back to the car analogy, it would be like people who know how to drive, but not how the engine and the transmission works. Thankfully (or not?) the only machine to machine interaction between cars is a traffic accident, and everyone knows how that works


So, in light of this revelation lets take this opportunity to learn, shall we?


Originally posted by grimreaper797
I have never had a computer that didn't have windows because windows always came with it.


That's where you and I differ. For the past 14 years all the computers I have had were self-assembled part by part from motherboard to cpu, to the peripheral devices and monitor. All the parts were chosen by me, and put together by me. This includes the OS and the software packages. I didn't program or manufacture them, but I chose the parts from the available selection. Microsoft started out great. I was using DOS 6.0, then Windows 3.1, then Win 3.11 and every version since except Millennium Edition and Vista (heard too many horror stories).

It was kind of a passion, building computers up from custom parts. So as with any passion, you eventually learn more about the whole process. I attempted to learn programming, but I suck at mathematics and don't have the patience to debug. I know a little bit about scripting, but that's the limit of my knowledge (and patience... debugging sucks).

I'm telling you this so that you know where I'm coming from. Even though I don't know programming, I understand how programming components work and interact with each other. If you ask me, personally I think Windows and Microsoft when bad after Win98. At least that's when I started noticing. That's when they became a monopoly, started to stifle competition and stopped innovating as much.


Originally posted by grimreaper797
If all sorts of software based companies stopped making things for microsoft because they charged too much, microsoft would be forced to lower costs.


This would not be the case. Microsoft has legions of programmers. They'll just create the application in-house. Or they'll buy out a small startup and develop the program further in house. Both options they still exercise anyway. And in this particular case, Microsoft was overcharging for codes to the protocols (see below) which resulted in open source software developers being unable to develop compatible programs. This is kind understandable, though. Open source is the biggest threat to Microsoft's current business model (closed source, proprietary codes).

The rest of you post I believe has been answered with what has been said by me and apc. If there is anything else you wish to know, do hesitate to inquire.



Originally posted by Johnmike
The reason that Windows is so widely used is because it is easily the best operating system for the vast majority of PC users.


This statement is true, for the vast majority of PC users merely know how to switch it on, move the mouse, push the keys.

"Things made for Windows don't work on Macs"

And the reason for this is because the interface between the application programs and the operating system is different between Windows, Mac & Linux. The programs that you've used that could work between different OSes without porting was probably written in Java.

"So RARLabs should be forced to release the code for the .rar file format that they developed so that WinZip or Microsoft Windows could be compatible with it?"

Apples to oranges. There is a world of difference between file formats and the codes I was talking about. In this particular case, it was the protocols. File formats are how data is stored. Protocols are how data is transmitted. We can talk about how Microsoft abused certain file formats, but the case in the OP is about how MS abused protocols.

"In fact, since Windows is so widely used, it's actually easier for developers to write software."

It should, but sadly it's not. That's one of the reasons why the the antitrust case happened. Read the news snippet in the posts above regarding protocols (not file formats).

The other reason I've explained in the first page with the WinZip dying example (is WinZip dead by the way?). But the case this time was pushed by RealNetworks, which got a pretty nice settlement from MS out of court. The last time the battle was with Netscape, for the same reason as Real.

Ok, any more confusion I can help clear up?


Edit: fixed links, typo

[edit on 18-9-2007 by Beachcoma]




top topics



 
0
<< 1   >>

log in

join