Microsoft Threatens To Take Its Korean Windows And Go Home

from the you-say-monopoly,-fine,-we'll-show-you-monopoly dept

It sounds like Microsoft is beginning to get a bit sick of all of these anti-trust investigations around the world. Now there’s one going on Korea that sounds pretty similar to the recent one in Europe that forced Microsoft to “unbundle” Windows Media Player in a package that no one will buy. However, in Korea, Microsoft is taking a different strategy. They’re threatening to take their ball and go home. They’ve said that if South Korean officials find that Microsoft has violated anti-trust rules, they may just remove Windows from the market there, or at least delay new versions. The statement is written in a financial disclosure form, and is more designed to let people know how this might impact Microsoft’s business. However, it seems quite likely that it’s also there as something of a threat directed at Korea. Sort of like: “Fine, go ahead and punish us, but you might have to go find a new operating system.” Of course, if you were a Korean official, it might be pretty tempting to call that bluff. It’s unlikely that Microsoft really would pull Windows — and if they did, and folks in Korea found viable alternatives that would look even worse for Microsoft.

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Comments on “Microsoft Threatens To Take Its Korean Windows And Go Home”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Good riddance..

in response to ^^^ above comment.

I don’t understand the argument of people being upset with Microsoft. If you don’t like something, don’t use it — but don’t force those who do like something, to change their habits.

Same goes for those persons who want “certain” television programming removed from over-the-air broadcasting. Heck, if you don’t like something, don’t use it.

Im sure there are plenty of websites/programs out there that are offensive to me, or that show content that i am not interested in — I make the choice to not visit/use those websites/programs.

There are plenty of Microsoft “fan-boys”, and you don’t see any of those telling you which O/S to use. So it makes in comparison to those, the Apple/Linux/Other “fan-boys” seem immature and unable to accept that there will be (and are) others who enjoy what they have.

Yes, I understand that you enjoy the O/S you have (by your tone, it’s presumably not a Microsoft product). But please don’t force your belief’s onto me. Because just like you, I enjoy the O/S that i use — because it makes my daily tasks much simpler to perform, than if i were to use any other O/S.

nezromatron says:

Re: Re: Re: Good riddance..

Didn’t mean to start a mini-OS scuffle.. my bad..

I personally don’t see why the Korean govt. is making a big deal of this. Any modern OS comes with streaming video and/or IM these days. (Quicktime and iChat come to mind on the Mac.)

Now I could see the problem if Media Player was causing Real Player to not work or if Messenger was creating havoc on AIMs installation, but I don’t think that is the case.

crystalattice (profile) says:

Re: Re: Good riddance..

I think for most anti-MS people, it’s not a matter of hating MS per se (though many of them do for whatever reason), it’s the fact that, normally, people don’t have a choice. MS software is pretty much all you can buy unless you build your own. If you want something else, you have to hunt for it, which includes Macs since you can’t find them everywhere like PCs.

However, I do agree that people should quit whining and just use/view what they want. Don’t stop other people from using what they want. It’s just like religion; don’t force your views on me and I won’t give you a hard time. (Though trying to find a tolerant religion nowadays is nearly impossible).

R5 says:

Re: Re: Re: Good riddance..

Where were all these people who complain about bundled apps when MS started to include Edit with MS-DOS?
How about all the Solitare, Calculator, Hearts, Pinball, Paint program, Messenger, POP3/SMTP Readers, Magnifier, On screen Keyboard, Backup, Disk Defragmenter, Terminal Emulation developers out there? OMG, what are we going do?
There are still companies out there for all thest other programs that are included with Windows that make apps that people buy and use.
If you don’t like Windows, don’t use it and use Linux or the Mac or download your own stupid media player.

devilsclaw says:

Re: Re: My 2 Cents

the main reason people dont like MS is because they promote poor standards in there os.

example have you ever heard of a virus that is actually the zip file its self. there wasnt one until windows incorperated it into windows xp.

how about in midi files. it was in directx 7 and up but was not found until 2003.

they alot of times use undocumented API’s calls that no one knows about, well besides the people who figure out that there is a hole in that api and exploit it.

then the fact the promote people to be stupid. how many of you really know how to use your computer. i know way more then i like to know of people who get viruses and trojins and spyware. this is due to ignorance one peoples part but the point is, is that the os is built in such a way that people dont seek out any info on it and microsoft does not want people to know to much about there os. because normally once they do, they want something else. i still run windows my self because the gamming market is not aimed for linux. but i did build my own linux distro and enjoy it more then windows.

BH says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

You say that only because you BUY your software at overpriced computer stores. I am writing this on a Linux machine for which I got all of its software for free. To get equivalent software for Windows, it would have cost me several thousand dollars.

BTW, just because you aren’t aware enough to find the Linux software doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There is just as much or more choice in Linux/BSD software for most software categories.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

Except for a couple posts, this has all been stupid.

So what if Windows includes a few apps? WTF is an OS for w/o some basic web browsing capability built-in? And a little email and IM action? Those that give two shits actually do remove those things (email and MSN anyway) and replace it with Firefox, Thunderbird, AIM/GAIM, etc. Those that don’t continue on blissfully.

And yes, Linux has apps. if you can figure out how to install them, or look up what a ‘dependency’ is, or a half trillion reasons why an app or game isn’t working, or why there’s not a working driver for this that and the other thing, and why O&O still, despite trying, isn’t QUITE up to the level of quality of MS Office 2003. Close, but not quite. But those that don’t mind some command line action, sub-quality experience in return for ‘free choice’ and ‘free’ software use it to great effect. At the moment though, with the current standards of things, with Linux, you get what you pay for, unless you’re more skilled than the average joe.

And either way, people are still going to use what they want. Which in most cases is Windows. Evil monopoly or not, it works, and a lot of people like it. Now, if Linux kids would stop being so bitter and focus on finishing something that’s barely beta-testing quality of a desktop OS, maybe things would change.

Steve Mueller (user link) says:

Why The Big Deal?

nezromatron wrote:

I personally don’t see why the Korean govt. is making a big deal of this. Any modern OS comes with streaming video and/or IM these days. (Quicktime and iChat come to mind on the Mac.)

Because monopolies play by a different set of rules. If Windows had shipped with a media player and/or browser from Day One, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

However, both Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player used to be separate from the OS (I know IE was available in the Plus Pack for Windows 95; it wasn’t bundled). When Microsoft saw Netscape as a threat, it started bundling IE in Windows, which removed a lot of incentive for people to download Netscape.

I assume WMP is similar (without the threat of losing relevance). Microsoft saw a huge profit potential in media thanks to Real’s effort. By bundling WMP in Windows, there’s not much incentive to seek out another media player.

Because Apple doesn’t have a dominant market position, they can bundle things in without it being anti-competitive. Developers who don’t like that can decide to produce software for Windows, for example, and possibly make more money. A Windows developer is unlikely to switch to developing for the Mac because he would probably take a huge revenue hit.

Personally, I’m surprised nobody has gone after Microsoft for bundling Windows Movie Maker (starting in Windows ME). I understand that it’s not very good (yet), but it seems just as anti-competitive as bundling IE and WMP.

Tyler says:

Re: Why The Big Deal?

Ok, how abou tthis, you buy a car…wait it has an AC or hell a 6 disk changer…why punish Microsoft for giving you more, that is just as good for free.

I mean seriously if someone wants real player they can download it, it really isnt that hard. If someone wants quick time, it isn’ tthat hard. People just love to hate Mircosoft, get over it, they are doing good, they are smart, let it go. I like IE better than Netscape, I like WMP over real…So why should I get screwed if you have it your way?

People who want change are people who the system isn’t working for…well hate to tell you this but the system is working for a lot more than you and your buddies.

keeponcoding says:

I Agree with MS

I disagree with you Mike–though it doesn’t occur often–in that, I believe that MS leaving Korea will put a kibosh on this for others considering similar suits.
This is simply a lot of people who are upset that MS will not pay them off (either under the table or through PACs and equivalent elsewhere); and so, those BS politicians believe that they are able to threaten Bill ‘n Company. It won?t happen. These are FREE ECONOMIES, it isn?t China folks.
My 2 cents…

The Other Mike says:

Re: I Agree with MS

Agreed w/ keeponcoding.

MS has to make the buck stop somewhere. Where better than a country that more or less has to have it for their entertainment?

Besides, doesn’t Korea have a piracy problem anyway? If that’s the case then why shouldn’t MS pull the plug there and prove two points at the same time?

How many pirated versions of Windows do you think you would find there if they were all in a foreign language and how many politicians elsewhere would bet their careers that MS wouldn’t call their bluff? I think that sound you just heard was the collective butt-puckering of all the US/EU politicians who have been gouging MS even after they have paid the fines. I mean, how much would it cost to retrain 94% (Mac has a 4% market share last I heard) of the computer users in a country? How much to move your business to a different country that you don’t have to retrain and have lower wages?

MS perspective: keep paying huge fines or take a huge one time loss and have it all over with? Which would you choose?

Dragonf says:

No Subject Given

YAY those Korean’s are not going to be botting my NM’s on FFXI anymore. I cant wait!!!

Anyhow – i agree with the posts that say if you do like my software and want me to change it the i just wont sell it to you. I agree strongly with that idea. Just because they are a monopoly and most computers use their OS dont mean that have to do anything. Yes it will make them look bad to some people and yes its kinda like being a bully or whatever but its their OS, everyone complaining about them being a monopoly are the same people that made them into a monopoly. We all buy or pirate their products making software companys make games and software for microsof os. Microsoft is not to blame entirely for how big they are and we all have to share some of the blame in it imo. We are in a world of greed and greed is all around us and in most of our hearts, i think if givin the chance to be in a position simular to microsoft, i belive most people would take it.

I say go Microsoft and for those who dont like it and complain about it then stop using their software and learn another. I did for a while and found that the games and software i used just werent there for other OS’s. I cant play FFXI in my spare time on redhat or any other linux os thats out there.

dorpus says:

Wouldn't surprise me if

the Koreans are demanding that Microsoft remove any mention of Japan, or disable Japanese display ability. They still have laws outlawing the display of Japanese culture — Japanese TV can only be shown at certain times, and Seoul’s subways have drawings by schoolchildren who were told to draw pictures of bombs falling on Japan.

Steve Mueller (user link) says:

More Apps

R5 wrote:

Where were all these people who complain about bundled apps when MS started to include Edit with MS-DOS?
How about all the Solitare, Calculator, Hearts, Pinball, Paint program, Messenger, POP3/SMTP Readers, Magnifier, On screen Keyboard, Backup, Disk Defragmenter, Terminal Emulation developers out there? OMG, what are we going do?
There are still companies out there for all thest other programs that are included with Windows that make apps that people buy and use.

Do you know what an operating system is? It manages system resources (files, memory, networking, etc.), runs applications (multi-tasking, program start and termination, etc.) and provides developers a base to build their own applications on. If Microsoft created a browser API, media APIs, E-mail APIs, etc. without bundling their own applications to do those taks, that would be reasonable for an operating system.

Many of those programs you mention are minor things (Solitaire, Calculator, Hearts, Paint, etc.) or useful utilities for an operating system (Magnifier, defragmenting, on-screen keyboard).

I think that Outlook Express and Messenger aren’t really operating system functions, and they certainly aren’t minor applications, so they shouldn’t be bundled with Windows.

R5 wrote:

If you don’t like Windows, don’t use it and use Linux or the Mac or download your own stupid media player.

This shows your ignorance of what antitrust is about. It isn’t (directly) about what you can download and use; it’s about what effect the bundling has on competitors. Bundling is anti-competitive because it reduces developer incentive to create programs in that space and reduces consumer incentive to look for (and pay for) programs that they’re already getting for free.

If Microsoft made these programs available for download at a cost similar what others charge for those programs, there wouldn’t be any antitrust issues at all.

Steve Mueller (user link) says:

Automotive Bundling

Tyler wrote:

Ok, how abou tthis, you buy a car…wait it has an AC or hell a 6 disk changer…why punish Microsoft for giving you more, that is just as good for free.

What about “anti-competitive” are you having trouble understanding?

By the way, a while back, car makers did get sued by after-market stereo makers for bundling radios in cars. As I recall, the eventual fallout was that auto dealers now have to allow you to specify that you don’t want a radio in the car and charge less for that car.

Carl Crawley (user link) says:

No Subject Given

Ok – here’s my 2cents/1Euro’s worth.

Microsoft Anti-Competitive/Anti-Trust:

As far as I’ve been aware, Windows has always come with a browser, mail client etc since the days of Windows 95. And since Windows 95SE, a media player has been included.

What I can’t understand is why is it wrong for MS to ‘improve’ their software by releasing updates versions of the same software in later releases of the OS?

As far as I can see, MS are simply improving what was a fine concept back in ’94/’95 when 32Bit Windows was first released… the reason that all the law suits have arisen is because ‘competitors’ fundamentally have always produced slow bulky applications which are supposed to ‘compete’ with MS apps. imho, if Netscape was half as good as it should have been back in the day of NS4 etc – then I would have switched then… instead, it was a bloated, slow and temperamental browser which left me pulling my hair out and reaching for IE. Even now, with the large press/publicity about Firefox, I went immediately over to using it… then the ‘vulnerabilities’ and ‘advisories’ started coming out and I just went back to my trusty IE again… I’m sure that when Firefox sort out their issues, I’ll use it again.

Yes, ok – so MS bundling these apps into their O/S does make it easier for the user… but isn’t that the point? MS charge for the operating system and make it extremely simple for you to install… can you imagine the uproar if they charged you for the OS and then told you ‘Oh, by the way – you have to compile everything yourself’…..

I agree, in part with what Steve Mueller says about the definition of an ‘Operating system’ – however, as a dual platform user myself (BSD/Windows), my KDE comes with IRC, Mail, Browser, Photo Editor etc etc – and as with Windows, I can simply choose not to install them if I don’t want them.

Likewise, lets take the Mac situation… you install OS/X and you get chat, mail, browser etc etc – with no option to remove them and extremely limited options for ‘alternatives’…

So how come people aren’t suing Apple for ‘antitrust’? because why would they? only 3-4% of the market use Macs – and there you have it…. the crux of the reason that people sue MS: It will have the largest Impact on the Industry.

It’s the same with Viri that someone touched on briefly…. believe it or not, there are virus out there for Unix/Linux/Mac OS’s as well as Windows – but why don’t you hear about them? because there aren’t as many users of those OS’s to create that much publicity…

devilsclaw says:

Re: No Subject Given

the main reason there are not alot of viruses on linux is because of the crappy API standards since each distro has its own sets of libs and since compiled at different times and revisions patching the os to do things its a bit of a pain..

when linux takes of the new standards that Redhat and a few others have taken up you will see more viruses for linux.

Dizzle says:

Re: Word!

MS is right – this anti-trust shizzle is getting out of hand. I wonder how much money they have had to spend on defending their products, with the number of lawyers they have on these cases, that cant be cheap. Add to that the amount of fines they are now paying, and that number is probably huge. It cant be worth it in a country with an enourmous amount of piracy to keep trying to market a product there.
Like someone said earlier– If Novell were smart, it would attempt to make a significant push in that market.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Are you kidding? Have you tried installing say, Windows NT 4.0 lately? It is hard enough when you install an operating system with like a 1.0 html browser, to then use it to download something. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be to download a competitive product if Microsoft didn’t provide the browser for me to do it with !

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