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17 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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17. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 17:40 Wowbagger_TIP
 
but by those manufacturers being free entities unto themselves, nothing is stopping them from altering their products to work with alternative OS's and API's except the current lack of such alternatives.
Which is due to the network effects that I mentioned. The more people using certain APIs and formats, the more necessary it becomes for everyone else to be compatible with those. So the EU should be looking there for its remedies, not using such hamfisted methods as they're doing now. What I'd really like to know is who exactly is advising them on these remedies? They need to be given the boot from handling these issues.

The evolution of the web is really the only threat to Microsoft now, and eventually it may help to shake their grip on the industry. That doesn't mean that the various governments should sit on their thumbs, but they do need to be a lot smarter about how they handle things. They should be taking measures such as insisting on truly open formats and APIs to do business with the government. None of this OOXML psuedo-open crap. They can't afford to let Microsoft or anyone else co-opt the formats that we'll be using 5 to 10 years from now. They need to be open to all.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2009, 17:46.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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16. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 16:00 Prez
 
All the hardware in the world is useless without software to run on it. And software is really only useful when you can use it to communicate with others, whether by creating documents, sending messages, or passing data between applications locally. It all needs to work together. When one company is vastly dominant in one area, it becomes rather easy for them to extend that dominance to other areas through all sorts of methods. Microsoft is a master of this.

I don't disagree, but by those manufacturers being free entities unto themselves, nothing is stopping them from altering their products to work with alternative OS's and API's except the current lack of such alternatives. And I certainly agree with what you say about copyright law. I believe the real problem is there.
 
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15. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 13:42 DG
 
A monopoly doesn't have to be literally one seller to many buyers, Wiki has a decent definition:
a monopoly [...] exists when a specific individual or enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.
 
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14. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 11:58 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Ideally competition develops naturally though the needs of the market.
Government regulation is already distorting the natural state of this industry in particular through intellectual property law. These laws create all sorts of bad incentives and barriers to entry for competition that makes it particularly difficult to keep the market competitive against entrenched companies with large patent portfolios. There's also a natural tendency in this market to trend towards a single provider due to network effects. Microsoft exploits this to help take over other markets. That's why I agree that what the EU is doing won't help, but I also believe that Microsoft must not be allowed to take actions to limit or prevent competition, which it does through coercive tactics against OEMs. That's what the EU should be focusing on. If the EU protects OEMs from retaliation by MS and lets them sell systems configured the way they want, then we'll be getting somewhere.

The way I see it, in order for Microsoft's "monopoly" to be anything like that of Oil, they would have to own the motherboard manufacturers, the videocard manufacturers, the cpu manufacturers, power supply manufacturers, all of the software companies that make software to run on Windows, all of the online and brick and mortar outlets that sell all of the hardware, and all of the tech support entities. Even the Geek squad. There is an ocean of difference in my view.
There are completely different forces at work in the software industry than there were with the oil industry. Microsoft doesn't need to own any of that hardware and real-estate stuff. That stuff doesn't generate anywhere near the profits that software does, so they'd be nuts to want to own it. All the hardware in the world is useless without software to run on it. And software is really only useful when you can use it to communicate with others, whether by creating documents, sending messages, or passing data between applications locally. It all needs to work together. When one company is vastly dominant in one area, it becomes rather easy for them to extend that dominance to other areas through all sorts of methods. Microsoft is a master of this.

I've never believed that they should be broken up. I don't think it would help. But I have argued that they should be forced to fully document and reveal all of their APIs and formats so that they are not able to prevent others from successfully inter-operating with their products. That helps competition to survive and keeps software prices (which are already priced under artificial constraints) down to more competitive levels. Microsoft has always played at revealing documentation and formats, but they always hold back critical information. The OOXML garbage was a recent example, but they've always done it with all of their important software. End the games and you allow competition to flourish.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2009, 11:59.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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13. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 10:06 Prez
 
But rushing to Microsoft's defense as if they've done nothing wrong is just ignorant.

Just to be clear, I'm not rushing to the defense of Microsoft; I'm defending the general concept of free market and private corporation. As much as I'd like to see Microsoft get ripped a new one, I worry more over precedent than anything else. We shouldn't arbitrarily just disband and break apart a private company because we don't like them. I'm all for holding MS's feet to the fire for their transgressions; but anti-trust suits have a nasty habit of going WAY beyond that. Even if the goal here truly is what they say; to have multiple browsers embedded in the OS for a user to install, I find the suit to be idiotic and scary in its precedent.

They claim to be capitalists, but capitalists should know that capitalism only works when there are healthy markets with competition.

Well, yes and no. Said competition can't be forced or arbitrarily formulated though mandate and regulation. Which, incidentally, seems to be the goal of most of this litigation. Ideally competition develops naturally though the needs of the market. Of course Microsoft should be kept in check; checks and balances are all the more important the bigger a corporation gets. Microsoft got to be the big kid on the block by burying the competition through good business. If they are over-stepping the bounds of legality by trying to remain the big kid on the block, that's what needs to be addressed. And that can be done without governmental dissolution and harsh regulation.

Anti-trust remedies can be range from a wrist-slap to something much more serious as we saw in the past with the breakup of Standard Oil and the Bells.

The way I see it, in order for Microsoft's "monopoly" to be anything like that of Oil, they would have to own the motherboard manufacturers, the videocard manufacturers, the cpu manufacturers, power supply manufacturers, all of the software companies that make software to run on Windows, all of the online and brick and mortar outlets that sell all of the hardware, and all of the tech support entities. Even the Geek squad. There is an ocean of difference in my view.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2009, 10:44.
 
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12. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 09:32 Wowbagger_TIP
 
But what worries me is how an "anti-trust" suit, which is far more than a run-of-the -mill wrist slap, could end up dictating excessive and over-reaching measures that are just as unethical if not more so. Only this time the shadiness is done with the power of government behind it.
There's almost always government power behind the shadiness. When Microsoft throws its weight around, it uses the power of the law to back it, even if it is doing things that are coercive or illegal in order to prevent competition and distort the market to the point that it no longer functions. Only the government really has the power to fix such situations. Their actions have been ruled illegal several times, and those are just the times that made it that far in court.

Anti-trust remedies can be range from a wrist-slap to something much more serious as we saw in the past with the breakup of Standard Oil and the Bells. When a company monopolizes a market, and worse, uses that power to attempt to control other markets, something has to be done. I just wish the EU would do something useful rather than these moronic remedies which do nothing to address the underlying problem. For that they deserve to be ridiculed. But rushing to Microsoft's defense as if they've done nothing wrong is just ignorant. Too many people have absolutely no idea what Microsoft has done and continues to do to distort and disrupt markets. They claim to be capitalists, but capitalists should know that capitalism only works when there are healthy markets with competition.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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11. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 02:35 Prez
 
So crying for them because they are getting leaned on a bit by the EU is just ridiculous

I am no lover of Microsoft, believe me. I would leap at a real alternative OS that I could game and make music on in a New York minute. I don't know the ins and outs of the anti-trust suits, but it seems that many people confuse "unethical" with "illegal". I have long lamented MS's bullshit and draconian business practices based on how they adversely affect me, but I would stop short of calling them illegal. I'm sure there are times when they cross the line, and because of that I agree; slap 'em around regularly. But what worries me is how an "anti-trust" suit, which is far more than a run-of-the -mill wrist slap, could end up dictating excessive and over-reaching measures that are just as unethical if not more so. Only this time the shadiness is done with the power of government behind it.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2009, 02:37.
 
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10. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 02:08 Wowbagger_TIP
 
With all due respect to my friend DG, I just fail to realize how Microsoft qualifies as a monopoly.
That's because you're ignorant of Microsoft's history. I followed the antitrust trials closely, and even submitted comments to the DOJ when they were requesting them. Microsoft has far more than just a "shady" typical business past. They need to be slapped down on a regular basis.

That said, both the USDOJ and the EU are complete idiots when it comes to devising appropriate remedies. The DOJ remedies were largely inneffective, and the EU remedies don't even address the real problems.

Microsoft is a corporation whose very premise is steeped in capitalism. Basically that's what they are being punished for if you ask me.
Wow. Slow down chugging that kool-aid. Nobody gets punished for being capitalist. Hell, even capitalists aren't really capitalists when it gets inconvenient (witness them begging for bailouts galore). Capitalism is a nifty idea, but just like pretty much every other idea that people come up with, it works a lot better as a theory than it does in the real world. Markets are not perfect, and they can be manipulated rather easily under the right conditions.

Microsoft has long used anticompetitive (note that competition is required for markets to function) and downright illegal tactics for about as long as they've existed as a company. So crying for them because they are getting leaned on a bit by the EU is just ridiculous. The effort would be better spent telling the EU to quit coming up with bullshit remedies like this and just ensure that Microsoft can't use coercive tactics against OEMs so that the OEMs can put whatever the hell they want on the systems they sell rather than just what Microsoft tells them they can.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2009, 02:09.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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9. Re: Metaverse Jun 15, 2009, 01:48 Suddenly_Dead
 
The fact that Linux or Mac OS can't run most of the software that the majority of computer users want is the reason that some consider Microsoft a monopoly. It doesn't matter whether that's directly Microsoft's fault or not. You don't need to actively try to become a monopoly in order to become one.  
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8. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 21:42 Prez
 
With all due respect to my friend DG, I just fail to realize how Microsoft qualifies as a monopoly.

Is Best Buy a monopoly by virtue of circuit city going out of business? Hardly. Just being the lone major provider of a particular good or service does not in and of itself constitute a monopoly. There are other electronic stores like Frye's et al. Sure they are nowhere near as ubiquitous as BB, but is that Best Buy's fault? A monopoly infers that the corporation has exclusive distribution rights and no obstacle to gouging consumers. There isn't a single reason precluding anyone or anything from entering the OS market that can be blamed on Microsoft's "monopoly" of anything. The fact that Linux or Mac OS can't run most of the software that the majority of computer users want to use is not Microsoft's fault.

It is my opinion that the EU has lost perspective on this; Microsoft is a corporation whose very premise is steeped in capitalism. Basically that's what they are being punished for if you ask me.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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7. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 19:42 Narf2029
 
If you need a browser, call the EU! I'm sure they'll mail one out.  
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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6. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 18:04 Narf2029
 
I agree. While Microsoft has some shadiness in its past, so does every other successful corporation on Earth. That is what business is. Nobody got ahead in business by being a wimp, and certainly not by competing with inferior products or strategies. It is not Microsoft's fault that I can count on one hand the number of people I personally know who are aware of other browser options.

This comment was edited on Jun 14, 2009, 18:05.
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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5. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 18:00 f13
 
but if i have no internet browser, how can I go to teh internet and get a browser? *head explodes*  
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4. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 16:30 ldonyo
 
I have never seen the logic behind these anti-trust suits. Can someone explain to me why Microsoft is supposedly obligated to include browser software from their competitors in its OS? What am I missing?

The only thing you're missing is the EU's need to find some way to make itself relevant as a governing body. The only way they seem to be able to do that is to force U.S. companies to spend tons of money on lawyers and fines for whatever seems to strike them as illegal from one week to the next.

This particular lawsuit currently ranks as the most retarded reason to sue Microsoft. I'm sure the EU will top this later this year after Windows 7 is released, but that will take some serious stupidity and/or whining by European companies that can't compete based on product merit.
 
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3. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 16:13 DG
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly  
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2. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 16:02 Prez
 
I have never seen the logic behind these anti-trust suits. Can someone explain to me why Microsoft is supposedly obligated to include browser software from their competitors in its OS? What am I missing?  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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1. Re: Metaverse Jun 14, 2009, 14:58 DangerDog
 
I'll just keep boycotting macs because they bundle safari with them.  
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