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Software Makers Lobby EU Against Microsoft 324

Posted by Zonk
from the sandbox-diplomacy dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Adobe and Symantec are lobbying EU regulators for action against Vista, the Wall Street Journal reports. Adobe is calling for Microsoft to be barred from building into the OS free software that competes with Acrobat. From the article: 'Adobe and Symantec have told EU regulators that Vista has put them squarely in Microsoft's cross hairs. Symantec is concerned that Vista will direct consumers toward a Microsoft-designed security console, or box that shows what level various security functions, such as an Internet firewall, are set on. The rival company wants to be able automatically to override the Microsoft template with its own design and features, as it has been allowed to do in the past.'"
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Software Makers Lobby EU Against Microsoft

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  • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:34PM (#16154961) Journal
    I couldn't agree more. And seriously
    1) Adobe made PDF an open standard, and now they are mad its being used?
    2) Adobe has been sitting on PDF as a money maker for years without much innovation. Time to shake up the industry!
  • silly, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:37PM (#16154987) Journal
    They must know the words "anti-trust" by now. I just hope that the fine which they are given if they actually go ahead with this actually constitutes more than they made on this. There is no excuse for attempting to keeping rival companies at a disadvantage - they already have all the OS market.
  • by daeg (828071) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:51PM (#16155119)
    And you are free, as a consumer, to not use the bundled products.

    Microsoft programmers have said many times on various MSDN blogs that a lot of the undocumented APIs that Norton and others use will be closed in Vista to be replaced with documented APIs. I believe some of the posts even invited software developers to get in touch with them if they haven't found a suitable replacement for a private API that your software used in the past.

    So basically, Symantec sounds like they are being lazy. "I have to change my APIs that I wasn't supposed to use in the first place OOHH NOOOOES!"
  • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:52PM (#16155135) Homepage Journal

    It's only going to get worse for companies like Symantec and Adobe. Building software on the Windows platform brings the advantages of a large market. The disadvantage is that Microsoft is not in the business of creating a platform for developers, they're in the business of selling software licenses. The licenses get sold because people are addicted to the platform, not because people can protect it with Symantec products.

    And Adobe's complaints really surprise me. OS X has been able to export anything to PDF - a relatively open format - for years, and I can do the same thing on KDE.

    Windows is a shaky foundation to build a business on - albeit a potentially profitable one until Microsoft decides to assimilate your functionality.

  • Not fair (Score:3, Interesting)

    by radu.stanca (857153) <radu,stanca&gmail,com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:58PM (#16155192) Homepage
    PDF is a public format(anyone may create applications that read and write PDF files ), OO.org can export to pdf, why M$ should not be allowed to use it?
  • by molarmass192 (608071) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:04PM (#16155263) Homepage Journal
    Yeah well ... you know what ... screw Symantec and Adobe. They *chose* tie their wares to Windows, they can pay the price as a result. This is what MS does, they've done it in the past, they'll do it in the future. Now they can pay the piper just like Netscape, Real, Corel, Sybase, Citrix, etc ... all had to.
  • by kripkenstein (913150) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:09PM (#16155324) Homepage
    Microsoft is going to have to learn that it needs to try to work with the companies that make software for their systems.

    No. This is a basic fallacy, the "Windows ecosystem", of various ISPs making money off of stuff that runs on Windows. This is not how things actually work.

    What actually goes on, is that Microsoft treats the ISPs as unpaid employees working on 'market-testing' projects. Adobe make money off of PDF stuff? Then Microsoft will add PDF tools to their OS next time around. Somebody has a business model around a web browser? Enter IE. And so forth. Basically, if an app becomes popular, Microsoft create a similar app and bundle it into the OS; if it doesn't become popular, Microsoft never lost any money on development. A perfect win-win for Microsoft.

    ISPs may have a 'window' (apologies) of time to make some money off of proprietary software for Windows before being ousted by Microsoft. But this is a big gamble to make; I'm amazed that people still try this.

    The only sustainable way to make money off of Windows-related software is one of the following: (1) rely on the law to prevent Microsoft from bundling a replacement into the OS (but who can rely on that?), or (2) make a product that Microsoft would NOT want to bundle, but would like to make money off of, separately from Windows (e.g. a database). Yet even in this case, it is clear that your odds are not favorable (witness Wordperfect).

    There is a reason that most popular apps for Windows are either Microsoft-written or OSS (IE and Firefox, IIS and Apache, etc.). If the app can be bundled into the OS, you won't make money off of it. So you can only exist if you don't expect to make any money.

    Adobe, prepare to have to change your business model.
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:33PM (#16155514) Homepage

    So Symantec's tools suck. Fine. But if Microsoft is allowed to integrate an equally sucky version into its OS, it'll win by default, and we'll be stuck with suckiness forever.

    That was exactly my thought. I don't like Symantec's software so much anymore, but at least I still have the choice to go with someone else. If security companies are saying that they've been locked out of Vista, that means I'm stuck with whatever Microsoft puts out, and they haven't been known for their success in security. I'm not hopeful about this.

    Let Microsoft bring out their own software, very welcome! But as a seperate product, sold in a box. If there's special hooks for it in Windows, they should be openly documented.

    In theory that's fine: Microsoft and Symantec both make their software, and Microsoft promises to "play fair". The problem is that Microsoft has shown an unwillingness to play fair. If nothing else, Microsoft can get an edge on their software by having a level of cooperation with their OS-makers that no other company can match.

    I'm wondering if Microsoft needs to be broken up as a monopoly, resulting in one company that's forbidden from making software other than operating systems, and one company that's forbidden from making operating systems. Of course, it's a scary thing to undertake, and the US government doesn't seem to currently be in an anti-trust kind of mood, but I don't see how, given the history, we can trust Microsoft.

  • by RexRhino (769423) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:34PM (#16156616)
    Not only that, Adobe products create PDFs that don't 100% follow the PDF format, just to introduce slight incompatibilites with non-Adobe software. When you create a PDF in an Adobe product, then try to open it in Open Office (which follows the PDF format perfectly), and you find slight changes, most people will think it is Open Office's fault and not Adobe.

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