M$ Still Trying to Stifle Competition

“EU authorities accused Microsoft of failing to offer the "browser ballot" screen to users since February 2011 when Microsoft rolled out Windows 7 with Service Pack 1. More than 28 million European customers who bought the latest copy of Windows with the software patch pre-loaded may not have been given the option to switch browser.”

see Microsoft 'to comply' with EU in browser choice antitrust probe | ZDNet.

Well, now M$ claims it will comply in the future, but it cannot undo its past. This issue shows M$ will take every opportunity to break the law. Extreme diligence is required to make that impossible. Without complaints from OEMs this might have continued for years. It’s time governments did not wait for complaints from OEMs but monitored M$ actively. Certainly Canada needs to get off its ass and do something about the delaying tactics M$ places on restoring competition in software in IT.

The new “openness” of M$ is just a facade. I recommend use of Debian GNU/Linux an OS which won’t try to lock you in to a particular supplier of software. The world can make its own software and you can use it for free.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to M$ Still Trying to Stifle Competition

  1. oiaohm wrote, “They are a serial anti-trust offender.”

    Worse yet, M$ does it deliberately. It’s not accidental or just excessive zeal.

  2. oiaohm says:

    ch by the way Flying Toaster almost gets it right.

    Netscape was acquired by AOL in 1998 3 years after windows 1995 had been released. The reason why AOL could buy Netscape was that their income had dried up as a direct result of Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows and Microsoft deals with ISP’s and the fact particular login option on Windows NT servers would also force usage of IE or you could not log in.

    From 1998 to the start of Mozilla Netscape bit rots but it keeps on developing.

    Anti-trust action can kill a company very quickly. Spyglass that made the trident core of IE was also almost destroyed in the same time frame. Who would buy the Spyglass trident library when you could use the same library for free in Windows and Major Unixs by linking to Internet Explorer. Microsoft was also not paying Spyglass a cent due to the fact they were so called giving Internet explorer away from Zero dollars. In court this was proven not to be the case. Even the Unix ports MS was requiring payment so they were done.

    So this is not just the destruction of one company its the destruction of 2. One for sure is 100 percent illegal action because MS never paid until forced by court for the code they used. We don’t talk about spyglass near enough. We really don’t know how many browsers we would have today if Microsoft had paid for their html engine straight off the bat so spyglass would have been profitable and able to pay its developers to keep on improving its engine. It was more effective to Microsoft not to. Once you get behind in software development it takes massive amounts of development cost to catch up. By having spyglass have to wait for payment by the courts Microsoft was able to get the engine to where spyglass could not compete with what they did. The time delay is highly destructive.

    ch the damage that can be done by a competitor under cutting you is massive and fast. LibreOffice could do the same thing to MS Office in time.

    The reality here Flying Toaster if you post here you might get to the right answer. By the time a company has been acquired and the acquired company is trying to extract as much profit as able it is basically a Zombie at that point you got that correct. Netscape garbage comment comes after AOL acquired and fired key staff.

    3 years is not long to go from a profitable company to one who has to sell out due to lack of income to maintain development.

    Really its the damage to spyglass is why I class that it would be valid punishment to say that Microsoft is not allowed web browser shipping with their product. To send a clear message do not steal other peoples code. Really there is no such thing as enough payment now to repair spyglass from the damage Microsoft non payment did.

    FOSS has proven its ability to bring code bases that have been harmed major-ally by Anti-trust actions back to something functional that remains around. Even if the company that first made the code is long since dead.

    The same issue as spyglass applies to Samba and MS withholding information on how ADS worked. Catching up is very developer time expensive. If you have to go to court to get information you should have been legally given or payment for your code by the time you are paid or giving the information you are non competitive. FOSS is able to live threw a time frame of non competitive where closed source companies go belly up.

    Just when one anti-trust action effect started to run out. Microsoft did another anti-trust action. This is why they are watched like a hawk. They are a serial anti-trust offender.

  3. oiaohm wrote, “What killed Netscape is the fact MS was giving Internet Explorer away for so called free.”

    M$ went far beyond that, making exclusive deals with ISPs etc. to exclude Netscape from the channels. In one case they bought up Netscape CDs to prevent consumers getting them. They also made it impossible for consumers to remove IE, something totally unnecessary technically. This was purely anti-competitive action protecting their platform rather than just pushing a product.

  4. oiaohm says:

    ch –They started to rewrite everything from scratch, meaning they couldn’t deliver any new version for years.–
    Check Netscape timeline. Really that statement of yours is so completely bogus its not funny.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netscape_%28web_browser%29#Release_history

    The rewrite areas from scratch started after Mozilla foundation was formed not before.

    ch you have just stated a myth MS trolls use to try to cover the destruction of Netscape. Release time line shows very regular releases updates and everything else. Even the fact there has only been 3 major core changes in Netscape complete history. None in the time of Netscape. 2 in the time of Mozilla foundation after the parent company had died.

    What killed Netscape is the fact MS was giving Internet Explorer away for so called free. Microsoft for a while release for other platforms like Unix but then it stopped and release Internet Explorer only for windows. Bundled MS was still making income while cutting off Netscape income.

  5. JR says:

    @ Clarence Moon

    Clarence as always your brilliant insight never ceases to amaze.

    “Alternate browsers have been around for almost 20 years now and their effect on Windows sales has been nil.”

    Exactly how would the alternate browsers affect the sale of windows seeing that they need an OS to run on.

    “Perhaps you can take a lesson from this and see why people seem to treat Linux and FLOSS similarly to rat droppings. They have no need for them in daily life and do not bother to pursue their acquisition to any measurable degree.”

    What exactly has this to do with IE, and on behalf of which people are you making this comment.

    This may be of interest:

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/microsofts-settlement-the-end-of-an-era/5035167

  6. ch says:

    “Firefox is from Mozilla that is from netscape that was destroyed by what Microsoft did.”

    Way wrong. Netscape did themselves in by making Mistake No 1: They started to rewrite everything from scratch, meaning they couldn’t deliver any new version for years. Eventually they gave in and handed their code – as it was – to Mozilla.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon remember Firefox is from Mozilla that is from netscape that was destroyed by what Microsoft did.

    So in a lot of ways it would be very justified to say that MS should not be allows to ship IE at all. Thinking the also stolen it from spyglass to start off with. So 2 companies got nuked by illegal actions.

    –Windows sales has been nil.–

    The statements says basically there should be nothing wrong forbiding MS from making a closed source web browser. Since they are not making any profit from it by your claim.

    By your statements the EU would be in there rights to hit harder.

  8. kozmcrae says:

    Posted on wrong thread. Will re-post.

  9. kozmcrae says:

    TM Repository wrote:

    “Way to invent facts based on assumption. Please provide the statistics you’re basing this claim off of.”

    You can’t be serious.

    Why would you even question that Microsoft has a steady flow of security vulnerabilities every month? It’s there, plain as day every patch Tuesday. Here are some statistics via (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin):

    Microsoft Security Bulletins

    Feb. 2012: 9, 4 critical
    Mar. 2012: 6, 1 critical
    Apr. 2012: 6, 4 critical
    May 2012: 7, 3 critical
    Jun. 2012: 7, 3 critical
    Jul. 2012: 9, 3 critical
    Aug. 2012: 9, 5 critical

    For the period Feb. 2012 – Aug. 2012
    Windows: 26
    IE: 5
    Office: 9
    .Net: 5
    Other: 11
    Note, some vulnerabilities affected more than one application.

    All these security holes were there all along as are all the ones yet to be discovered. All the thousands that are there waiting to be discovered (or not) by the good guys. The bad guys aren’t going to tell which ones they know about. You can bet that there are many security holes that are now being exploited that are just waiting to be discovered. Some will be on next month’s security bulletin, maybe.

    Malware is a growing problem for all platforms but no one will ever catch up to Microsoft with viruses, worms and Trojans counted in over a million. Microsoft never put security first so when they fall below the majority in installations, they will still lead in malware infections.

  10. What MS should be doing…

    Is exactly what they ARE doing, I think. Consider that the only reason to put a browser in Windows is to sell Windows and not give anyone a reason to buy something else, which browser goes into the box hardly matters. Microsoft gets paid for Windows and gets nothing for IE. If the folks at Firefox want to bust their pick on some freeware, let them go ahead. Ditto everyone else who wants their browser to install during the initial startup.

    Let the silly geese fight over stuff that doesn’t matter. Alternate browsers have been around for almost 20 years now and their effect on Windows sales has been nil.

  11. ch says:

    This whole no-bundling-of-IE-and-WMP bruhaha has been silly from day one. What MS should be doing IMHO: Put two DVDs in the Windows box, the first containing a completely stripped-down Windows (no apps except Editor), and after install you get the option continue with the second disk containing everything that MS is willing to give away: From Calculator and Paint to Office Starter and VS Express. Should be hard for the EU bureaucrats to fault that, and everybody gets what he wants.

  12. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon
    –So your theory is that the EU is more interested in levying fines than it is in creating equity in the market? I suspected that myself.–

    If EU contacted MS straight away about the issue MS would get to so called correct it. Problem is all the stuff already produced would keep on turning up for a while.

    So the EU might as well wait and have direct evidence of breach Fine and possible force Microsoft to make the offer screen appear as part of windows update.

    Reality getting to the point of major stuff wrong they can have more power to force equity.

    Really if the EU wanted to be effective to prevent MS considering this ever again.

    1 let them do the error.
    2 wait 18 months.
    3 force a full recall and refund to all purchases by Microsoft including the price of the hardware.

    Result Microsoft would never ever make a mistake like this again.

  13. So your theory is that the EU is more interested in levying fines than it is in creating equity in the market? I suspected that myself.

  14. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon as you know legal system does not always move fast. EU is more likely to wait so it can drop a decent fine on MS over it.

  15. That must be a burning issue, Mr. Pogson, if it only took 18 months for someone to notice that it was no longer there! People must not want small, cheap browsers, eh? lol.

    Perhaps you can take a lesson from this and see why people seem to treat Linux and FLOSS similarly to rat droppings. They have no need for them in daily life and do not bother to pursue their acquisition to any measurable degree.

  16. Thorsten Rahn says:

    Is this the best disgruntled Microsoft haters have to offer? The browser ballot screen was a ridiculous solution where no problem existed. Users were free to install any web browser they wanted before this abomination came along.

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