$690 Million Fine Upheld

  Pesala 10:43 17 Sep 2007

click here

What baffles me about this case is the bit about Windows Media Player.

"Monday's ruling upheld that order, saying it was "beyond dispute" that Microsoft obliged customers to buy its Media Player software along with the operating system."

So? I guess I am also obliged to buy Windows Character map, notepad, etc. Does that stop me buying other products? It hardly seems like an unfair trading practice.

  €dstowe 10:58 17 Sep 2007

- - -and how many copies of Windows without Media Player have been sold since the special version came on the market?


One, or is it two?

  dth 12:09 17 Sep 2007

I would have preferred to buy a copy of Windows without the media player to be honest as I I've never liked wmp to be honest!

I think the case - which dated back from a probe in 2004 - is trying to make the point that ms cannot use it's dominant position as an o/s to give it an unfair advantage with other software.

Where the line is drawn is the difficult issue I suppose. Like should ms have had to include firefox with vista. So that when a person first uses a vista p/c to connect to the internet they are given the choice of which is use as their default browser. Some would argue yes others would argue surely ms has the right to promote it's own software rather than another organisations.

  Riojaa 12:49 17 Sep 2007

Thank goodness we have the European Commission because it is the only one and the only way for beating Microsoft with a big stick.

All power to this cane.

Personally, I use Windows, Nero, MediaPlayerC and VLC media players.

I find that the Windows is the most limited/restricted of them all.

  interzone55 12:56 17 Sep 2007

Anyone told Apple to remove iTunes from Mac OS X, nope, thought not.

  Riojaa 13:06 17 Sep 2007

Yea, but Apple ain't no monopoly, only a small cult figure in the pc market.

Size and domination is important when it comes to collecting a little extra revenue back from the global hydra.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:05 17 Sep 2007

Could anyone enlighten me as to whether Toyota has been ordered to get rid of it's naff satellite system that it puts into new cars...and if Nissan have been ordered to stop supplying cars with their dire sound systems for the musically bewildered? Also, correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think that we are forced to use WMP, there are many alternatives and at the end of the day does it matter?


  Totally-braindead 14:48 17 Sep 2007

This has been argued about before. Both about media player and also about internet explorer.

Now my point of view is as long as the programs do not stop or hinder in any way your use of something else then the fuss they are making is complete and total nonsense.

If you don't like media player or internet explorer then don't use them its as simple as that. Theres nothing to stop you using something else.

I think the European Commission are a bunch of idiots who are creating this case, out of nothing, as a way of justifying their jobs. The bundling of these 2 programs does not in any way restrict you using anything you like so to make some sort of point that it in any way restricts other companies is rubbish.

If they want to really do something that makes a bit of sense then theres other things they could do, try to bring the European prices for Microsoft products in line with what the US are paying as an example, by bring pressure on MS. But to fine them for something bundled as part of windows that many people like and doesn't stop you using anything else is stupidity.

  dth 16:16 17 Sep 2007

I think your examples gandalf are not quite like-for-like as no car manufacturer has a similar market share as ms - although am sure that they would like to.

I agree that it is fairly straightforward - for pca forum users - to replace wmp with an alternative music/video player but I think the EU was factoring in the inertia users.

  Belatucadrus 17:31 17 Sep 2007

Not forgetting that much of this bureaucratic muscle flex was at the instigation of Real Player, a piece of steaming horse poo that isn't getting near my PC no matter what Buggins and his Euro pals decree. If it was the only media player available, I'd rather do without.

  Forum Editor 19:10 17 Sep 2007

as to why the EU Commission has such an obsession about this, and why Microsoft (or indeed any other company that sells operating systems) must be compelled to abandon its intellectual property rights in portions of its code - code that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop - so that competitors may build a media player (for instance) which will be offered to the same market.

It makes little sense to me, and as far as I'm aware it's without precedent; as GANDALF <|:-)> has pointed out, the same principle isn't applied to other manufacturers. A trade secret is a trade secret, surely, and why shouldn't Microsoft bundle its own products with its own operating system? As you said in your opening post, we get other things with Windows, it's happened for years and years - Wordpad, for instance has its competitors.

The whole thing smacks of petty-minded bureacrats doing the very thing they accuse Microsoft of doing - abusing their power. They're doing it because European software houses have come whining about the impact on their businesses. What these companies seem to overlook is that there isn't a Media Player on the market that comes close to WMP - with the possible exception of iTunes.

Personally I hope that Microsoft appeals this decision, and I hope it wins. I see no reason why one successful commercial enterprise should be forced to give a trading opportunity to a clutch of other companies in this way.

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