Microsoft hit by two more EC probes
Updated: Stop me if you've heard this one before
The European Commission is launching two formal investigations into Microsoft.
Microsoft is accused of abusing its dominant position by unfairly tying products together - in this case its operating system and its browser, Internet Explorer. Microsoft is also accused of illegally refusing to disclose interoperability information across a range of products including Office, server software and .NET.
The Commission will also investigate whether the software giant's new office file format, Office Open XML, is interoperable enough with competing products. This refers to a complaint made by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS). Microsoft assured the Court of First Instance last year that it would work with competitors to provide all necessary interoperability information.
The unfair tying case was brought following a complaint from Norwegian browser maker Opera. Opera said that Microsoft's tying of its browser with its operating system was especially damaging, because Microsoft has introduced technology into its browser which reduces compatibility with open internet standards. Microsoft will also be investigated for allegedly illegally tying other products like Desktop Search and Windows Live.
The EC statement notes: "This initiation of proceedings does not imply that the Commission has proof of an infringement. It only signifies that the Commission will further investigate the case as a matter of priority."
The Commission has already found Microsoft guilty of abusing its monopoly position in regards to tying its media player to its operating system and its failure to provide sufficient interoperability information relating to workgroup servers.
The EC statement is here.
Updated: Microsoft sent us the following statement: "We will cooperate fully with the Commission’s investigation and provide any and all information necessary. We are committed to ensuring that Microsoft is in full compliance with European law and our obligations as established by the European Court of First Instance in its September 2007 ruling."®
MS or Standards Complaint Software, chose one.
Anyone who thinks the EU is just looking for a easy "winning lotto tix" is not seeing the real droids. MS ties everything to THEIR stuff, buy a new laptop/desktop? get MS Office for 30/60/90 days, Windows Desktop Search? WMP? IE?
Of course every document you save "by default" in the latest version of the trialware of Office is saved as a .docx and not a .doc. (Remember Office is their biggest cash cow)
Who really pays the price?
People who are not smart enough to download OpenOffice and use it.
BUT what about Johnny DimBulb, he doesn't even know what a web browser is and opera is just something else he has never been to.
Firefox? that to them is a hot chick who is perhaps a pyro?
If your in IT, as i am, you know what a "ID ten T" error is, and this is more about protecting them than you, some of you get it and perhaps the rest of you just don't care.
Me? I will fix your windows for money, hell your used to paying for everything anyway... but don't expect me to use it, Mac is ok and so is linux but MS is frankly designed for the
"These are not the droids your looking for"
So to them i can only say this, move to the side and just sit down, remember to pull out your wallets and just happily wait your turn, your software will only be a few years behind schedule.
Wake me when it's over and let me know who won.
Who's got the odds on this one? Personally, I'm rooting for the EU... but then, I've just spent the last week re-installing XP on my desktop. Twice (first time tanked - and I'm in IT). Yay for Opera. Maybe they finally think they've got enough muscle/leg to stand on since M$ lost their last appeal?
Seriously thinking about penguins and big cats...oh yea, I already have a Leopard on this laptop. My bad.
They were talking about desktop search, not web search in firefox... With ubuntu you now use tracker, other linux's support tracker and beagle, the two are pretty interchangeable.
WRT Apple tying in these things... They don't!
Sure the email client uses webkit, and so does safari, you can remove safari and you still have webkit! If you remove IE, trident/mshtml is gone and windows craps out.
Desktop search via Spotlight on a mac isn't heavily integrated or tied in to other parts of the platform in ways that make it impossible to remove, whereas desktop search on vista I am led to believe is.
Its not about them "Bundling" their own apps, its about making it so the platform can't exist without them, its kinda like Xv vs DirectShow, directshow and WMP are heavily tied together, and without directshow you can't access video acceleration adequately, with Xv any app can use it, its part of the X11 API.
After they tie together apps, they then skew them off in a direction which makes it difficult if not impossible for a competitor to reach the same kind of feature parity. This is why microsoft are anti-competitive in software, they are also anti-competitive in business but that's a different matter entirely, and one far more difficult to prosecute without willing victims of microsofts underhanded tactics coming forward.