Feeds

Media Player summed up

Day two: MS questions EC data

High performance access to file storage

MS v EC The second day of Microsoft's attempt to overturn the European Commission remedies heard a summing up of both sides on the tying of Windows Media Player - tomorrow we move onto interoperability.

Mr. Bellis, Microsoft's advocate, began by reiterating Microsoft's belief that its Media Player is not a separate product to its operating system. Bellis told the court the Commission had failed to prove there is demand for an operating system without a media player. He said the market had proved there was no demand for XPN, Windows without Media Player, and the Commission had failed to show any demand from OEMs at the time of the judgement in 2004.

He said the lack of price difference between Windows with, and without, Media Player was an inherent part of the remedy – media players are generally free so there should not be a price difference between the two versions. He described the Commission's actions as "It's unlike any other tying case. The action is an iconoclastic attempt to force a drastic change in Microsoft's business model."

Microsoft, with the help of its technical expert witness Will Poole, Microsoft VP, launched a strong attack on the Commission's claim that use of Windows Media Player increased rapidly after it was bundled with Windows. The Commission was accused of using data which excluded WMP version 6, and of ignoring data from outside Europe and the US.

Poole said: "We have discovered important errors at every stage."

The Commission began by quoting a US case which looked at surgery and anaesthetics. The Supreme Court found that the two were separate markets even though there was no demand for surgery without anaesthetic.

He said the integration of the Media Player with Windows in May 1999 was done for no technical or efficiency reason. Tying WMP to Windows provides better distribution, which will increase the likelihood of content providers settling on using Windows formats to stream media – because they can all but guarantee users will have the player on their PC.

He said this was confirmed by market data. He said Microsoft had adequate opportunity to dispute the data earlier in the hearing but had waited until now to do so.

Mr Flynn, for the interveners (supporters of the Commission case), began by addressing the two damning emails from Microsoft executives in 1997 and provided by Real Networks. These referred to repositioning the battle between Real Networks and Microsoft's then media player NetShow. The mails suggested the battle should be redefined as "Windows versus Real Player" rather than "NetShow versus Real Player". He said the Commission does not need to show exclusionary intent to succeed, but the evidence of intent did help.

Flynn said Media Player and Windows were clearly separate products. No code was integrated at the time of the bundling; "They slapped two products together and hid the uninstall function."

Court president Bo Vesterdorf warned attendees to prepare for the possibility the hearing may continue on Saturday morning.

Microsoft's legal chief, Brad Smith, speaking to reporters after the hearing, said: "The questions from the court today showed a deep understanding of the case. I'm pleased we could set the record straight on some areas of disagreement yesterday."®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.