Feeds

Microsoft attacks ‘ivory tower’ expert

Antitrust guy don't know about software, says software outfit that don't know about antitrust

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft yesterday produced a long press release attacking Frederick Warren-Boulton's testimony. But it was notable that there was no attempt to defend the company against the charge of monopolisation, beyond a blanket denial and a vague gesture towards the need to innovate to stay alive. Microsoft instead described W-B as an "ivory tower consultant" with no direct experience in the day-to-day business and competitiveness of the US software industry. It is rather like questioning why Bill Neukom should be chief lawyer at Microsoft if he is not an ace C++ programmer. Microsoft tries to make an argument that "market entry costs are very low and profit opportunities vast in software platform technology" but conveniently forgets to explain why, if this were true, Microsoft has no serious competitor. Microsoft pointed to Netscape and Linux as examples of real threats, which was naive, and at a range of operating systems that are mainly part of history thanks to Microsoft's success. Curiously, the list of 17 OSes excluded Symbian EPOC and Geos, which suggests that at least the former is a real threat (hence Microsoft's Qualcomm deal) and that Microsoft's PR does not wish to give it credibility. The story that Microsoft tells about Netscape's ability to compete are far-fetched: is it really a level playing field if one browser is distributed essentially by default with new PCs and Navigator has to be downloaded and set up? Microsoft claims that Netscape has defaulted on delivering a componentized browser, but in fact AOL agreed that in the then circumstances of AOL abandoning Netscape, there was no requirement for this (although who knows what will transpire from the current talks between AOL and Netscape, which may result in one of a number of realignments as the case progresses). Microsoft makes an interesting claim in its defence, not backed up by a reference to the source, that of 11 US ISP's, only 44 percent used "IE technologies" (as Microsoft is calling its browser). Microsoft also claimed that the ISPs could distribute another browser, but this claim does not tally with the evidence that AOL presented. W-B is castigated for not realising that Microsoft was withdrawing the Channel Bar feature "because customers generally have not preferred it". Microsoft claims, without any convincing evidence, that the Windows "first screen" benefits consumers signing on for the first time by creating "a consistent user experience" - but this could only have relevance if these consumers went from new PC to new PC all the time. So far as the tying issue is concerned, Microsoft is saying that it "has not" tied IE to Windows - they are integrated. The use of the past tense will be its downfall here - because clearly there were two products until Windows 98. A strange letter to the DoJ from Netscape's counsel, and quoted by Microsoft, says (in response to a request from the DoJ for examples of files that could be deleted from Windows 98) that "it is our understanding that it is simply impossible to delete any portion of IE... from Windows 98". If this is really true, it is good evidence that Microsoft has very deliberately and unnecessarily made this the case, to frustrate attempts to delete unnecessary files, if another browser is preferred. ® Complete Register trial coverage

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.