PC Advisor poll

  Dragon Heart 23:24 21 Jun 2005

"The European Union was right to order Microsoft to open its software to its rivals"

What next, Ford Motor Co to let Rover (what's left of it) have all it's engine secrets ?

It's not just that, as a rival software engineer would you wish to take on someone else's work, warts an all ? If I find a fault in the code do I have to let Microsoft know and how to solve it ?

I for one don't need another Microsoft clone thank you !

  LastChip 10:25 22 Jun 2005

I don't think it was ever the intention to require Microsoft to reveal it's "trade secrets" in total.

The issue was, allow sufficient information to enable other software developers to develop products that would work within the Windows operating system. The courts were against (and I agree) a monopoly situation, where Microsoft were effectively squeezing out genuine competition.

Competition is good for everyone (even Microsoft). You only have to look at the effect of Firefox to see that.

  Forum Editor 23:24 23 Jun 2005

I would strain every sinew to squeeze out genuine competition, and I venture to suggest that my shareholders would fall over themselves to vote me in for another term of office.

Provided the consumer doesn't suffer as a result there's nothing whatsoever wrong with attempting to steal the other person's share of the market. The key issue is that first line of my paragraph....the consumer mustn't suffer when a big company attempts to stop a small company eroding its market share. That's where the trouble starts, and that's what all this fuss has been about. The EU officials say that Microsoft attempted to use its position of market dominance in a way that might adversely affect consumer choice.

Microsoft appealed, and lost. Now it's all a matter of negotiation. Microsoft isn't about to be put in a position whereby it might lose access to the European market (the ultimate sanction), and the EU isn't about to deny its citizens access to Microsoft software in their home markets (the ultimate foolishness).

Both parties have lots to lose, and both parties know it. As always, negotiation is the way forward, and that will save the day for everyone. Microsoft will still dominate the market, we will still be able to buy our software here, in Europe, and competitors will have obtained a medium-sized, and significant leg-up from the European directive being enforced. Make no mistake, this has been a considerable triumph for the EU officials, and one which will stand as a benchmark for the future.

The Microsoft ship will sail on, and the crew will learn from the experience. Don't sell your MS shares just yet.

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