Microsoft Gives In On Antitrust Claims; Will It Make A Difference?

from the probably-not dept

Just a week after dropping an appeal on an antitrust ruling in South Korea, Microsoft has now agreed to the EU’s antitrust ruling. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Microsoft’s appeal had already been smacked down by the EU courts. While this may appear to be something of a shift from Microsoft’s more common willingness to fight these sorts of things to the end, it really shouldn’t be that surprising. At some point, the company had to realize that things weren’t going to get any better. And, at the same time, Microsoft had really held out for long enough on many of these issues. The remedies (beyond the fines) in the EU don’t appear to be all that onerous and, if anything, should actually make Microsoft’s operating system somewhat more attractive to purchasers in Europe, as it could make it easier for other applications to work well on the Microsoft platform. So, while some in the press are saying that Microsoft “blinked,” it seems more accurate to say that it was able to drag the process out for long enough to serve its own purposes.

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Companies: microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Gives In On Antitrust Claims; Will It Make A Difference?”

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Ding Dong (user link) says:

Let's review this matter again in a few years

Besides the fact that the fine set by the EC is less than what Microsoft was willing to pay in a settlement with Sun, I seriously doubt that Microsoft is actually going to pay a cent. And it seems far less likely that they will document their software so that competitors could seriously use the documents. Perhaps all they will provide is a documentation of MS-Windows 95 for now. In a few years, we will read again that Microsoft complies, kine of, and then they publish a few more documents about MS-Windows eXPee. Needless to point out that those documents are not affordable by small software developers. In the meantime the market shifts to newer version of MS-Windows, leaving the competition always a generation behind.

The EU would be far better served if they would simply use standards, in particular the Open Document Format. Leave the proprietary formats where no Sun shines.

Mark Nelson says:

Enemy of my enemy is my friend

I don’t like Microsoft. Its PC OSs are bloated and slow. Its products are geared toward the technically illiterate. It’s management is composed of all the nerds who got teased in school and now are out for revenge against the cool kids.

That being admitted, I don’t want a bunch of socialist handwringers who can’t compete in the capitalist world telling a US company what they can, can not and must do. The EU pulled that crap with GE and its attempted merger with Honeywell back in 2001.

I think I’ll show my support and buy a copy of XP (Vista is still too bloated) for my next laptop. Up yours EU.

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