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Thread: European Union Screws Over Microsoft

  1. #1
    Last-minute talks between the European Commission and Microsoft Corp. have stalled, and Europe now looks set to impose stringent sanctions against the company next Wednesday.

    In a statement, Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said "a settlement on the Microsoft case has not been possible. I therefore intend to propose to my colleagues in the Commission next Wednesday to adopt a decision, which has already received the unanimous backing of member states."

    It is understood that the decision includes a demand that Microsoft make available a discounted version of Windows that does not include Windows Media Player, effectively unbundling the video and audio software from the operating system. The decision may also include provisions to allow some of Microsoft's competitors in the server market access to Windows source code. The EC may also levy a fine on Microsoft of up to 10 percent of its worldwide revenue.

    The announcement came after last-minute talks between Monti and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. According to Monti, the two "made substantial progress towards resolving the problems which have arisen in the past but we were unable to agree on commitments for future conduct." According to previous reports, the company had offered to distribute rival media player software with Windows on a separate CD-ROM, allowing users to install it if required.

    "We worked very hard to try to resolve these issues without litigation," Ballmer said. "Because of the tremendous value we attach to our relations with governments all across Europe, we made every possible effort to settle the case, and I hope that perhaps we can still settle the case at a later stage."

    Microsoft is accused of using its dominant position in operating systems to stifle competition in the growing media player market, as well as using its dominance on the desktop to boost its position in the low-end server market. In evidence given to the Commission last year, Real Networks Inc. claimed that the bundling of Windows Media Player was promoting the product at the expensive of its rivals.

    Source: AP

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    It just keeps getting worse and worse for M$

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    shn's Avatar 3μ|\|(7
    Join Date
    May 2003

    I really do not think this is relevant argument set forth by the European Commission. Windows Media player is indeed crap but for the most part it works with the Windows O.S. pretty well. The only ideal alternative for people in the corporate enviorment would be RealPlayer which is basically on the same level of crappiness.

    And if you really look at the big picture, how many media players besides WMP and Realplayer support password protected streams. Streaming media servers on Intranets are quite common in the workforce and the only players that pretty much can support it are the two. For that, I believe M$ should be able to keep that in their "desktop" o.s., but for their server products it should be removed because it is not needed.

    A default install of Windows Server 2003 does not even have audio enabled. So why would anybody need the player?

    As for home users, sure they can go and download a different player like videolan, bsplayer, hell even winamp if they looked hard enough.

    But like I said before...........none of thoose players support password protected streams.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Shn, with all due respect I think your missing the point. The argument isn't about how good or bad WMP is or whether it can support password protected streams.

    It's about M$ (allegedly) stifling competition by bundling WMP with windows.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    I can sorta see the point of this but image any operating system without a media player by default. This operating system is desgned for stupid people to be able to use as well remember. they really dont wanna have to go around the internet looking for 3rd party media players which they have probably never heard of.

    I think punishment should be to open up a few of the api's so compatibility with other meida players can be improved. Microsoft killed competition in this area by including wmp but to tell you the truth 6.4 is my default media player because it is good.


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