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Microsoft China

China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the explain-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "China has given Microsoft three weeks to explain "compatibility issues" in Windows and Office that could violate Chinese competition laws. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned Microsoft Vice President David Chen and gave the company a deadline to make an explanation, the agency said in a short statement on its website. Microsoft's use of verification codes also spurred complaints from Chinese companies. Their use "may have violated China's anti-monopoly law", the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday."
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China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

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  • by Shaman (1148) <shaman&kos,net> on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:19AM (#47799869) Homepage

    No government should be forcing its citizens into proprietary software which writes its data in proprietary ways without good, permanent ways to retrieve that data in the far future. Formats like OpenDoc are fully documented and open to public scrutiny. Not to mention the costs and risks of dealing with licensing; working with software that has no source code available.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:19AM (#47799871)

    China is more concerned about free economics than the US? Weird.

    No - both are very interested when it is to their advantage to be so, less interested otherwise

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:33AM (#47799953)

    Um no.
    China is more concerned about actually having to PAY for all their windows instances. This is just an opening blow in that negotiation.

  • by nashv (1479253) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:37AM (#47799979) Homepage

    You seem to believe that the reason people use Microsoft Office is because they are unaware of the more sensible choice. People use Microsoft Office because people resist change, and collections of people in bureaucracies resist change even more.

    Proprietary nature of information storage is considered a plus in bureaucratic circles - because many institutions have more money in their budgets than IQ or technical expertise in their staff. Proprietary means that when it breaks , somebody can be held responsible. It means that when someone doesn't understand something, they can fall back on their pre-existing knowledge of how to use a telephone and call support - thereby also absolving themselves on paper. The reason for work not done can be provided to superiors as "There is a problem with the software. Technical support is looking into it." The alternative would be to actually delve into the thing and try to fix it yourself - but that would involve learning something - which is not their job.

    Neither does it help that when it comes to open formats, the best answer you can expect is "You found a bug? Submit a patch".

    Open source software typically lacks a central authority that bureaucrats can complain to , sue if necessary, when things go wrong. The risk of licensing that you talk of is not even a factor - because the incentive to minimize one's own effort is higher than actually getting the task at hand done.

    This is always going to be a major problem unless mitigated by a Red-Hat like model of doing business. Still, the geek community fails hard at understanding why the typical institutions still use licensed and proprietary software. They are trying to approach the problem from the logical point of view, while what is at play here is human psychology, behaviour, and administrative politics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 01, 2014 @10:32AM (#47800289)

    China doesn't give a rat's ass about free economics. A good example is that any venture on their soil has to be 51% owned by a Chinese interest. Try that shit in the US, and companies will laugh themselves silly, and set up shop elsewhere.

    The issue is more of nationalism. Putting a foreign company up front of a Kafka-like kangaroo court is great for the domestic country's pride, as they have an enemy that stones can be hurled at. This is all the anti-Microsoft "investigations" are.

    At least the EU made it damn clear what they were investigating and what they were charging companies for, even though they do have a tendency to haul MS and Google on the carpet when they need a PR boost (when in doubt, some anti-Yank sentiment keeps the political office secure.) China's anti-monopoly stuff is just plain vague, and appears to be more of an extortion move than actual order of law.

  • by pete6677 (681676) on Monday September 01, 2014 @11:28AM (#47800687)

    LOL, good luck suing Microsoft when Office fucks up and causes you some sort of damages. They are liable for nothing, and might eventually patch the bug if they deem it worth fixing.

  • by Lennie (16154) on Monday September 01, 2014 @12:54PM (#47801301) Homepage

    Do not confuse open formats and open source software. These are 2 different things.

"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par." -- Dave Mack (mack@inco.UUCP) "Yours is." -- Allen Gwinn (allen@sulaco.sigma.com), in alt.flame

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