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Author Topic: Not that it'll stop them, but......  (Read 2539 times)

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Offline ElviTopic starter

Not that it'll stop them, but......
« on: February 27, 2008, 05:15:08 PM »
......At least it hits them where it hurts....a little bit....

Microsoft was fined a record 899 million euros (681.6 million pounds) by the European Commission on Wednesday for using high prices to discourage software competition in the latest sanction in their long-running battle.


http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080227/tts-uk-microsoft-eu-a8bf950.html

Offline Vekseid

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 05:53:47 PM »
They make something like four times that a year from their Office and Windows lines. I sortof doubt this is sufficient, even for 'just' the EU market, to discourage them.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 05:55:24 PM »
That's why I said 'just a little bit'....
Perhaps if other regions/countries start doing it as well?

We can only hope...

Offline Zakharra

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 01:00:32 AM »
 There goes the free market incentive to make things.

Offline kongming

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 02:13:50 AM »
Well, the fine was in place to attempt to stop Microsoft from discouraging other people from making things. Sure, even that huge amount of money would likely do nothing to hurt MS, and only serve to make the plaintiff a bit richer, but at least it's a start.

So as long as people can keep the giants in check, things still get made - by the little guys, and by the giants (who now need to actually make new stuff, instead of just refusing to play with others).

Offline Caeli

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 07:38:30 AM »
Even if it doesn't do anything now, other countries may eventually follow and do the same. It's always helpful to have a precedent.

Offline Hunter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 09:15:31 AM »
Microsoft is busy killing itself, it's things like this that just help the process along.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 09:34:06 AM »
While I understand the anti-trust laws, I have always had a hard time understanding how we - the US - can pride ourselves on being brave, noble capitalists... and then fine large companies for smart business practices. On the one hand, competition is excellent for the little people. Like me. But on the other hand... capitalists. Smart business practices. It seems just ... odd.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2008, 09:47:27 AM »
Monnopoly is not smart business practice, it's greed.
All that a monnopoly does, is stifle growth and inovation, prevent others, who may have better ways of doing things, from realising that and prevent us, the consumer, from having any right of choice.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2008, 01:20:11 PM »
Its the good old AMERICAN way of business folks.

Is it Greedy, yes, is Microsoft a monopoly, likely- but they are the top of the game and intend to stay there. Don't like it then stop using Microsoft products its always there for the consumer to go and stop using this companies products.

As for the fines its their cost of doing business they will eat it and keep on going.

To me its as silly as the EU if they wanted to fine eBay if they do it better than your companies then it should be on top.

Offline Hunter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 02:07:00 PM »
If memory serves (and probably incorrectly), MS actually signed an agreement that stated they'd allow others to integrate easily with their operating system.  i.e. the very clause that they'd just got fined for not complying with.  That's also the reason that MS produces (or did) a slightly different version of Windows exclusively for Europe.

But then again, if my MMO ran on Linux I'd be a really happy camper and kiss M$ goodbye forever.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2008, 05:34:29 PM »
IF I could run my system AND get onto the internet without Microsoft then I bloody well would do Ruby.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2008, 05:54:01 PM »
Monnopoly is not smart business practice, it's greed.
All that a monnopoly does, is stifle growth and inovation, prevent others, who may have better ways of doing things, from realising that and prevent us, the consumer, from having any right of choice.

Perhaps, but... most companies are run for profit, not altruism, and so many many many companies could be accused of doing what they do for greed's sake. It only automatically makes you a bad person if you are Catholic, and even then there is still confession.

Controlling a monopoly means that your company no longer has to spend money on better, faster, stronger at breakneck pace. It means you can take your time, spend less money, get there slower because you're not racing there. The only person you have to beat is yourself. It means that nobody else can step in and take out your profit. It is the holy grail of independent enterprise. Independent enterprise is the backbone of the concept of capitalism. Ergo... it just seems extremely strange to me that the US (I don't know much about foreign anti-t policies, to be honest) clamps down so hard on them.

On the other hand, you appear to have taken my confusion as support for monopoly-holders everywhere. It was not. My intent was not to comment on whether capitalism, monopolies, or MicroSoft itself is bad, good, or indifferent. My intent was only to point out how strange I find it, and muse on it sort of parallel to your point. That's all. :)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2008, 06:03:23 PM »
So they signed a bit pf paper unless the EU fines them enough to hurt them, and that would likely just force them to raise their prices to pay for it, your shit outta luck unless a serious competitor can take it to them. And Microsoft is very aggressive and securing that is not likely to happen its a good thing we can't have several different approaches to get to the internet its better one company has the overwhelming power. What's the big deal its not like they overprice everything their basic systems are free on computers and their are plenty of software programs compatible with their technology I have two free security programs on my computer from India, that is still a fairly wide open market, applications software. Microsoft just oversees the operating systems and how computers talk to each other if you get right down to it.

And in any case they are not a monopoly unless the US government says they are and they bought them, so again your out of luck unless you can hit them in the US. We won't do that its now a matter of national security its better for us to control the software technology then the Chinese, Indians or even an EU nation.

Like I said you don't like them then use some other software  computer operating system, oh right Elvi you can't. So you EU folks better get practical and leave them alone.

By the way Microsoft still must innovate the new computer hardware required they do so and come out with Vista and will cause more sophistication in the software technology to operate computers, and they still have to work to stifle competition by staying ahead of the pack where they can. But if a system turns out to be much better people will buy it if its superior to Microsoft and people prefer it. Frankly unlikely with the monopoly but according to free market forces its possible.

Offline Hunter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2008, 06:16:02 PM »
So they signed a bit pf paper unless the EU fines them enough to hurt them, and that would likely just force them to raise their prices to pay for it, your shit outta luck unless a serious competitor can take it to them.

And Microsoft has been trying very hard for decades to make sure that doesn't happen.  But expect open source to grow from a niche market to a serious competitor if Vista doesn't improve.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2008, 06:36:33 PM »
Ruby, if you really think that the amount of money I would have to pay to upgrade my PC, is pennies then you really are living on another planet.
And why do I have to do that? Simple, because Microsoft have refused to continue to support the product I bought and pain for.

I find your manner not only insulting to myself, but also to anyone else who isn't 'American', but I will not go into it here.
Why? Simply because it will allow you another platform for your flag waving, which I am not going to encourage.
However, I would ask you not to continue to use profanity when referring to myself, or any other for that matter.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2008, 06:40:35 PM »
And Microsoft has been trying very hard for decades to make sure that doesn't happen.  But expect open source to grow from a niche market to a serious competitor if Vista doesn't improve.

I agree Hunter, Microsoft are sitting back and smuggly looking at their bank balances, doing as little as possible in the way of cuatomer service and product quality, simply because they think there is no alternative.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2008, 06:46:39 PM »
*is American and still found (what she could decipher of) that post insulting*

The problem is that open source has been poised to be a 'breakthrough' like you describe for ... forever. It's like *nix. You have a few solid core agitators and the rest of the population does what's easiest. Look at how horrible AOL is/was for a long time (I'm told the Australian equivalent is BigPond, but I don't know of a strictly european parallel, sorry) and yet how hugely massively humongous they got. Why? It's the path of least effort. Open source software takes no small amount of effort, and OS software doesn't tend to pay people to advertise. Like MicroSoft does. Because they are a business, and that is what they do. They may be sitting fat and happy on top of a massive checking account, but it's ... because right now they can afford to. They might as well plaster a sign in the middle of the 'net that says "Whatcha gonna do about it?" or maybe just "Neener neener neener".

Path of least effort will win out. Always.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2008, 07:08:42 PM »
I agree Trieste and unfortunately service providers do the same.
We have an 'open source' system disc sat here, unfortunately, the internet provider does not support it.
(And what a surprise, BT linked itself up with Yahoo, Microsoft is trying to make a takeover bid for Yahoo...)

So, whether we would like to or not, we are stuck, for the duration of our 18 month contract, with what we have.... 

Edit:
AOL is AOL in Europe, barge pole and that go together as far as we are concerned.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:10:04 PM by Elvi »

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2008, 07:16:21 PM »
Independent enterprise is the backbone of the concept of capitalism.
Actually, I thought the backbone of capitalism is competition.
When two companies are trying to outpace each other it both benefits customers and hastens innovation.

Coincidentally, the biggest problem of communism and state controlled economy is that since the state controls every bussines, no one has to compete with each other and thus services start to suck.

There's not much practical difference between a state monopoly and a corporate one as far as the customer is concerned, IMHO.

Fall of comunism in Poland in 89 left our country with one moloch telecommunication company having absolute monopoly. It took robust legislation to put the bastards in their place and force them trough courts to let other telecom companies on the market. If not for that, I'd probably be visiting Elliquiy on 56k dial-up.

Personally, I think the best choice for EU bureaucrats would be to heap larger and larger fines upon Microsoft. Of course they are able to pay this one. But if they pay it, they might be wary of paying a higher one. And EU interventionism already accomplished much good things for our markets, without turning us into a communist dystopia;)

I find your manner not only insulting to myself, but also to anyone else who isn't 'American', but I will not go into it here.
Why? Simply because it will allow you another platform for your flag waving, which I am not going to encourage.
Hmm Elvi, Ruby mentioned a few times she's a libertarian. American libertarians are sort of idealist anarchist-capitalist movement and they're very much fringe. I don't want to paint all libertarians with the same brush, since I talked to some of them who were cool people(though we disagree on matters economic), but Ruby's libertarianism seems almost caricaturally fanatic. No offense Ruby, but I disagree in 100% and unless you're a major Microsoft shareholder, you're certainly not acting in your enlightened self-interest.:)

(by the way, what kind of libertarianism do you represent, Ruby? Randian objectivism? Right-winged Anarchism? Minarchism?)

Offline kongming

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2008, 07:22:14 PM »
My eyes bled as a result of reading your post, RubySlippers. But aside from that, I'd like to point out that "the basic Microsoft software" is not free. Yes, if you buy a pre-built (most likely crap, for the record) computer from the store, they will most likely put Windows (and even Office in many cases) on it. Some might even give you the installation disk, but even so, you can't put that on another PC (even if you remove it from the first one), and often there's hassle involved just to reinstall it on the same one.

And Microsoft set up a deal with the supplier for that to happen. The supplier gets a sale, because it has a popular OS on it, and Microsoft gets to know that someone basically has Windows shoved onto them and is less likely to look for an alternative. Now that part isn't really such a bad thing - they give you what you most likely want, after all - but it does mean it isn't free.

If you actually want to put Windows on another PC, you're paying out the nose or resorting to piracy. Likewise, Office is on that, yes, but it isn't part of Windows, it certainly isn't free (very expensive to buy standalone, actually), and again, if you need to reformat your PC, then you can't just go and download it for free. Instead, you can pay a lot of money for a new copy.

So it's not free. It's not even cheap.

Offline ElviTopic starter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2008, 07:45:10 PM »
Hmm Elvi, Ruby mentioned a few times she's a libertarian.

yes...I am aware of what Ruby 'is' Celestial, though it does not excuse her post nor the manner in which she gave it.  

Quote
(by the way, what kind of libertarianism do you represent, Ruby? Randian objectivism? Right-winged Anarchism? Minarchism?)

And please Ruby, if you choose to answer that, then do it elsewhere....

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2008, 08:00:13 PM »
Yes, you can PM me, rather than we redirect this thread.
It's my curiosity, not any desire to debate those things(that were already debated thousands of times).

Offline Sherona

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2008, 02:05:08 PM »
Quote
*is American and still found (what she could decipher of) that post insulting*

Have to agree with Trieste here.


That said, frankly Microsoft sucks big time. Its programs are glitchy and full of flaws...but they do not do anytihng to stop this why? Because they have no competition. Capitolism WAS about competitive markets, it USED to encourage business growth and what not, however Microsoft holds a monopoly, and as theperson said before US would be hardpressed to declare it a monopoly because for the moment it needs Microsoft as it is due to the fact that US is lagging behind in much of the technological fields.

Now I am not a brainiac...most of you have me beat hands down in the brains department, but to me it just seems that a little competition for Microsoft would make MICROSOFT better...because they would actually have to try to improve their products.

If I were at all computer savvy I would so dump windows...>.>

Offline Hunter

Re: Not that it'll stop them, but......
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2008, 02:07:53 PM »
If I were at all computer savvy I would so dump windows...>.>

I am computer savvy but my current MMO doesn't work on anything but windows.  Just as a note, WoW does work on Linux.