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Microsoft The Almighty Buck

South Korea Fines Microsoft $32 Million 613

laffer1 writes "South Korea has fined Microsoft $32 million and ordered two new versions of Windows be made. The first version will be stripped of Windows Media Player and MSN IM software and the second must include links to competitors."
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South Korea Fines Microsoft $32 Million

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:29AM (#14201057)
    Here's $40 million. Keep the change.
    • hahahaha, and we'll throw in a free order of intel cpus
    • I'm starting to think that Microsoft has a pre-set budget for these kind of expenses.

      Also, I'm starting to feel sorry for Microsoft. Partially because they didnt steer to avoid this kind of trouble.
      • by moro_666 ( 414422 ) <kulminaator@gmai ... m minus language> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:39AM (#14201100) Homepage
        starting to think ???

        this is just the cheapest campaign that microsoft can get. advertisement is the proper english word for it.

        quite millions of people see news about it on cnn and other tv/news channels, pretty many thousand slashdotters read the article, for 32 millions this is a damn bargain.

        and if they lose the appealing case too, its addition just another free commercial which be banging on the big bell of news channels.

        write: oh we are in court
        think: free advertisement & commercials all over the world.
        • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:19AM (#14201296)
          What campaign? Everybody's already using Windows. What do they possibly have to gain from a marketing campaign?
        • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
          Let's stop this nonsense about judgement being 'free ads' and let me make a two-in-one Slashdot Special : MS and GWB bashing.

          GWB got a lot of free advertisement in the arab world for the iraq war, strangely, I don't think it qualifies as "free ad campain" for Bush's popularity.

          This works the same. A lot of people hear about MS with this in Korea, sure. But MS isn't your typical start-up struggling to be known. 90% of PC owners get a one minute MS add during their computer start up. Their name is known.
      • Re:Microsoft's Reply (Score:2, Informative)

        by Cat_Byte ( 621676 )
        I'm starting to think that Microsoft has a pre-set budget for these kind of expenses.
        Every large company does. Many are even self-insured because it is cheaper to set aside the same amount of funds and just pay out huge sums of cash (not to mention revenue from outgoing lawsuits). I can't name names but I know this for a fact.
        Also, I'm starting to feel sorry for Microsoft. Partially because they didnt steer to avoid this kind of trouble.
        If it wasn't 32M for media player and IM it would have been somet
    • Would people quit saying that miro$oft will just give away money? To people who sued them, what's more. FYI, MS reduced the fine to 1/10 the original, and will appeal. Yes, $32M is a drop in the bucket for MS, but there are only so many drops in the bucket.
  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:31AM (#14201063) Homepage
    Is it because their IM was tied to windows (tied in what way ,
    networking protocol, hidden lockouts for non windows systems or
    only ran on windows?) , or because they bundled this and media
    player with windows?

    Either way I can't help wondering if this is a good thing since
    if Suse or Ubunto or some other linux dist suddenly becomes popular
    overnight, will they get nailed for bundling 100s of apps with it?
    Will a judge know (or care) of the difference between open source
    and MS when it comes to bundling freeware in a distribution?
    • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot&spad,co,uk> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:34AM (#14201077) Homepage
      It's highly unlikely as most distros bundle 2 or 3 of any given type of app with their releases. They can hardly accuse someone of monopolistic behaviour because they're including XMMS & Mplayer with their operating system, can they.
    • by dorkygeek ( 898295 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:35AM (#14201081) Journal
      Is it because their IM was tied to windows...

      No, simply the government wants to get young people to use email again.

    • by XO ( 250276 )
      Yeah, I don't know what the sense in this is. So, now, Microsoft could simply choose to SELL messenger and media player to the people in these places.

        It's on the same vein as forcing them to unbundle notepad from the system, or to unbundle Excel from Word when you buy Office. It's really stupid.

        Force them to provide links to competitors? That's like saying Pepsi must provide coupons for Coke on their packages! wtf?
      • by tpgp ( 48001 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:48AM (#14201151) Homepage
        Yeah, I don't know what the sense in this is. So, now, Microsoft could simply choose to SELL messenger and media player to the people in these places.

        Err, yes - and compete with the other players.

        It's on the same vein as forcing them to unbundle notepad from the system, or to unbundle Excel from Word when you buy Office. It's really stupid.

        Force them to provide links to competitors? That's like saying Pepsi must provide coupons for Coke on their packages! wtf?

        Not its not.

        Imagine if coke was the sole supplier of fridges as well as being a major drink company.

        It would be like saying that coke must allow drinks other then coke to be stocked in coke fridges.

        Its about using a monopoly in one market to unfairly compete in another.
        • Last I looked, Microsoft didn't stop other media players from running on Windows.

          And your analogy fails AGAIN when you realise that Microsoft don't provide all operating systems, but there are competitors, one of them with a FREE product.

          A better analogy would be, Coke making most of the fridges, so they should be banned from providing free cans of coke when you buy one. Or they have to allow Rola Cola to advertise inside them.

          Unbundling media player helps no-one. It just hurts the user as they have to go o
          • by tpgp ( 48001 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:19AM (#14201295) Homepage
            A better analogy would be, Coke making most of the fridges, so they should be banned from providing free cans of coke when you buy one. Or they have to allow Rola Cola to advertise inside them. [emphasis mine]

            *grins* Your second analogy is exactly what people what microsoft don't allow (or didn't before getting their predatory asses hauled through court) - OEMs having Real / Quicktime / etc media players installed instead of Media Player.

            Unbundling media player helps no-one. It just hurts the user as they have to go out and download a media player rather than having it built in.

            Nonsense. Unbundling media player helps the market as it allows all the media players to compete on an even basis.
      • OT: I cannot find the actual ruling just crappy summaries like above. Anyone know a link?

        OK, back on topic.

        Force them to provide links to competitors

        Who decides what competitors to provide links to? How many? Maybe I'm a bit cynical, but for some reason I expect to see langauge in the ruling which will require links to certain South Korean competion (like Daum who originally made these complaints). Not that supporting local companies is bad, I'm just curious what back room deals where made in wor
    • by Depili ( 749436 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:38AM (#14201097)
      Keep in mind, that linux distros usually bundle several apps for the same task, and also that the apps are usually made by different people than the distro itself, so in no way is it helping to create a monopoly.
    • by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:43AM (#14201122) Homepage Journal
      Ya know.... M$ could remove them from Windows and just give cds with them on it away free at the door. With every purchase. Not bundled this way, just a freebee.

      working for corperate america has really taught me how to think like this. to walk the line. Well, time for my coffee and first meeting of the day.
    • The difference here is that MSN messenger wasn't just an app. It was an entire service.

      If I get Gaim with a distro, I won't get an account. I have to go to a third party service, get a Jabber, MSN, AIM or what have you account, then I can use Gaim. With MSN messenger, I have to go to a Microsoft service (MSN), and am indeed persuaded and encouraged to go there. I sign up to their service, and continue to use the client packaged with the OS. There's a clear distinction here.

      I'm not sure how MSN messenger wor
    • If Suse or Ubuntu capture 90% desktop market, no doubt that they they will get sued. It's not something to do with being open source or not. It won't be a case between two open source applications, becuase there's no profit behind it. But even open source applications can make some companies die but also some companies to live.

      The problem is actually exploiting the monopoly position, nothing else.
    • if Suse or Ubunto or some other linux dist suddenly becomes popular
      overnight, will they get nailed for bundling 100s of apps with it?


      That's not going to be an issue.

      Linux distros bundle third-party apps from all over the place.

      Microsoft only bundles its own software.

      Can you see Microsoft agreeing to bundle RealPlayer with Windows?
    • Assuming open-source became the de facto and furthermore Ubuntu for some crazy reason became the monopoly, I don't how that could ever be seen as abuse of monopoly. In the case of Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution, most if not all code is licensed under the GPL. Not only that, but every distro I've ever used offered you the choice of multiple programs which fill the same niche.
    • Either way I can't help wondering if this is a good thing since if Suse or Ubunto or some other linux dist suddenly becomes popular overnight, will they get nailed for bundling 100s of apps with it?
      The difference is that they aren't bundling their own applications and they can be removed very easilly.
  • 32 million? (Score:4, Funny)

    by BAILOPAN ( 694545 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:31AM (#14201064) Homepage
    I wonder if Microsoft will be able to pay this...
  • In Korea (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:31AM (#14201065)
    Only old people sue Microsoft
  • by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:35AM (#14201083) Homepage Journal
    I don't know if there would be this level of complaining and problems with M$ if they innovated, did right by their customers, and honestly tried to put out a good product. M$ has become the GM of the software world. Sure they are big and have moeny for now but there are a lot of unhappy people with their product just waiting for a true viable alternative at the desktop to come along. So, when the Toyota of the desktop computing world finially is ready to step it up they will slowly be able to nick away at M$ and for similar management thinking as GM.
    • by Drinian ( 621383 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:52AM (#14201170) Homepage

      So, when the Toyota of the desktop computing world finially is ready to step it up they will slowly be able to nick away at M$...

      It already has. It's called Apple.

      • Apple isn't a real alternative to Windows, because you have to buy their hardware (which many complain is too expensive).
    • The fact is governments bitch, users don't. The wording of the article makes it sound like Microsoft can only offer the two new versions but if they were allowed to offer the old standard product (like the whole "Windows N" thing in Europe) users would still choose the base product over a stripped-down version, like they did in Europe. Governments might have some pie-in-the-sky ideals but users want bang for their buck. I might not use Media Player and/or MSN Messenger but like hell if I'm buying a crippled
    • I am going to sue GM and get them to make a car that doesn't come with their own branded CD playe, but does inlude product literature for Ford, Toyota, and Vauxhall cars in the glove compartment.
    • I don't know if there would be this level of complaining and problems with M$ if they innovated, did right by their customers, and honestly tried to put out a good product.

      So, you're saying they never innovate, ever? They have no happy customers? They never try to put out a good product? You know that's not the case. Now, how about if they - even by your standards - made a good faith effort to do everything you think they should to make their software more innovative, and better. How about even cheaper!
  • Oh god (Score:2, Insightful)

    Jeeze, can't someone do something about this in a more serious manner? I mean come on, how many times are they sued and 'sanctioned' for not complying to anti-competitive laws etc. Its quite obvious suing isnt doing anything (come on, how much do they earn?) Someone do something that'll harm them! And jeeze, someone give the koreans an ubuntu disc or something *rolls eyes
    • I agree. Start out with a ludicrous sum as the judgement; say, infinity megajillion dollars.

      Then, after the appeals have run their course, it should be back around the billions. And then it'll FINALLY be a swift kick in the nuts to Microsoft. Then they'll actively engage in fair competition. They'll find out that having a field full of competitors will actually protect them from having to deal with stupid law suits about stupid media players and IM clients (or browsers), because then they can package
  • by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:39AM (#14201101) Homepage Journal
    2 Steps to profit and less complaining from the gallery...

    1. Come up with completely open standards that are not controlled or licensed by you. Come up with these standards along with your peers in the industry, working together.

    2. Build software apps and services to smoke the competition in these areas using these standards.

    You have the money. And I would stop complaining cause I would ahve one dope system.
  • Windows XP N (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sarthek ( 114065 )
    This just sounds like a rehash of the rather pointless European rulings. Can't MS just ship Windows XP N out there and be done with it?

    Anyway, it's not like one can't stick alternative bits of software on top of what's already there. Having Windows Media Player installed doesn't stop you from using Winamp any more than having MSN Messenger stops you from using AIM.
    • No but every music player or messenging program on Windows is increased by whatever crap Windows comes installed with (I've tried uninstalling msn messenger, not an easy task for the non-geek). Or the person can just use the default, which chances are, they will. In some places using one virtual monopoly to further other programs in a manner that is unfair is illegal.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:41AM (#14201109)
    Anyone want to join me in a lawsuit? I own an island off the coast of Tasmania and I am really tired of having to look at Windows Messenger and Media Player every time I turn on my PC. I think I will iniate a lawsuit and win. Just look at it as payment for all the innovation and competition that Microsoft has stifled in the programming world.
  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    Whoever it is, forcing links to be placed to "sites that allow one to download competiting versions of such software" is ridiculous. This is basically forcing a business to advertise for its competitors - it makes no logical sense!
    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mallie_mcg ( 161403 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:52AM (#14201172) Homepage Journal
      Whoever it is, forcing links to be placed to "sites that allow one to download competiting versions of such software" is ridiculous. This is basically forcing a business to advertise for its competitors - it makes no logical sense!

      Windows is the defacto operating system for many people. Microsoft placing these pieces of software into the Operating System install (and making them very difficult to remove by end users) gives them an unfair advantage. I am sick of the number of people who use MSN - because it came with windows is invariably the response ditto for WMP (but the use of WMP by people who I want to IM does not affect me, so I care a little less about this) this means that if I want to IM these people and cannot convince them to use a better/different protocol - I too have to use a MSN compatible program etal (sometimes the protocols change and I end up lagging behind, although this has not happened for quite some time). Forcing Microsoft to link to alternatives (for the version that has WMP and MSNIM installed) is certainly not rediculous, the consumer is purchasing an OPERATING SYSTEM not the associated tat that helps microsoft make even more money and build a nice little database about your uses and habits with your computer.

      I have no problem if microsoft were to offer these products for free, or even offer them via Windows Update (optional software section) as people would need to make a concious decision about what program or client they wish to use and would be more likely to research, rather than swallow the spoon fed baby food that Microsoft is shoving down their throat.

      Comparing a distro like Ubuntu to Microsoft in light of this ruling is just silly. Distro's are not operating systems that you are paying for per-se, they are bundles of software packages that can be found all over the net, and as others have pointed out, you get a lot of choice with most distro's. With Microsoft there is no re-packaging available to other companies so there could not be Soupysoft's Rindows made that for arguments sake packaged mplayer and google talk as its IM, while running the NT kernel and shell. If that were the case I doubt that this type of lawsuit would be as it is today.
      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Evil Adrian ( 253301 )
        am sick of the number of people who use MSN - because it came with windows is invariably the response ditto for WMP (but the use of WMP by people who I want to IM does not affect me, so I care a little less about this) this means that if I want to IM these people and cannot convince them to use a better/different protocol - I too have to use a MSN compatible program etal (sometimes the protocols change and I end up lagging behind, although this has not happened for quite some time).

        "Better" is an opinion,
    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:04AM (#14201226) Journal
      This is basically forcing a business to advertise for its competitors - it makes no logical sense!

      Actually it does. Microsoft broke the law. As part of Microsoft's punishment, it has to undo some of the harm it's law-breaking caused. Which according to the South Korean government, is that competitors were unfairly competed with, so now Microsoft has to work to undo that damage, by helping them out.

      It makes perfect sense, when you take into account Microsoft is being punished here. If you follow the law, you don't have to advertise for your competitors. You break the law, you suffer the consequences.
  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:42AM (#14201117)
    I wonder what these courts would do if Microsoft was to actually produce a version of Windows that contained absolutely no 'bundled' software that had a competitor in the market. Imagine a version of Windows with no notepad, wordpad, IE, Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, screensaver, network browser, task manager, disk defragmenter, TCP stack, Instant Messenger, backup tool, cd player, email client, remote desktop, scripting tool, command prompt or shell.

    Imagine an OEM having to supply alternatives to all of these things. Buying the replacements from third parties, or including crippled versions of full products, or using opensource alternatives where they exist. Imagine every OEM doing this, and choosing different products. Imagine sitting down infront of a computer and no longer having a guaranteed set of tools to work with - different browser, email client, file explorer etc.

    Im not actually sure I like this but where does bundling end? Consumers expect a certain minimum level of capability in a computer these days, but what is acceptable and what isn't?
    • Imagine a version of Windows with no notepad, wordpad, IE, Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, screensaver, network browser, task manager, disk defragmenter, TCP stack, Instant Messenger, backup tool, cd player, email client, remote desktop, scripting tool, command prompt or shell.

      I'm liking it so far. Imagine an OEM having to supply alternatives to all of these things. Buying the replacements from third parties, or including crippled versions of full products, or using opensource alternatives where

    • I wonder what these courts would do if Microsoft was to actually produce a version of Windows that contained absolutely no 'bundled' software that had a competitor in the market.

      Celebrate?

      Imagine an OEM having to supply alternatives to all of these things.

      Oh the horror. There would actually be real competition for these products, better products and prices will crop up. It'll be the end of the world as we know it!

      Yes, Microsoft's illegal business practices have created an expectation that people have come t
    • Oh god I can't resist..

      Imagine every OEM doing this, and choosing different products. Imagine sitting down infront of a computer and no longer having a guaranteed set of tools to work with - different browser, email client, file explorer etc.

      You mean the way Linux distributions do? /me runs away from the troll hunters
    • by bombshelter13 ( 786671 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:09AM (#14201251)
      You know, it just sounds like you did a good job of describing Linux. I mean, take away all that stuff you described, and what's left? A kernel, prettymuch... and the 'OEMs' you describe, are, in this case, the distributions. Taking an operating system core with nothing else attached and packaging in all these extra tools you mention is ~exactly~ what the people Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu, and so on do as a matter of course. It's their primary job.
    • by La Gris ( 531858 )
      I wonder what these courts would do if Microsoft was to actually produce a version of Windows that contained absolutely no 'bundled' software that had a competitor in the market. Imagine a version of Windows with no notepad, wordpad, IE, Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, screensaver, network browser, task manager, disk defragmenter, TCP stack, Instant Messenger, backup tool, cd player, email client, remote desktop, scripting tool, command prompt or shell.

      This is not a problem of Microsoft bundling to
    • Imagine a version of Windows where you could actually uninstall messenger, internet explorer, windows media player... or better still, choose not to install it in the first place through a (*gasp*) instalation dialog.
      Actually, you used to have the option to not install messenger, IE and the media player. Until someone somewhere decided it was an 'essential part' of the OS. (Whoops, did that happen at the same time they got competition in that area?)
      Then again, what serious server OS wouldn't install pinball
    • by virtual_mps ( 62997 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:22AM (#14201307)
      Imagine an OEM having to supply alternatives to all of these things. Buying the replacements from third parties, or including crippled versions of full products, or using opensource alternatives where they exist. Imagine every OEM doing this, and choosing different products. Imagine sitting down infront of a computer and no longer having a guaranteed set of tools to work with - different browser, email client, file explorer etc.

      Imaging buying a new car and finding that every manufacturer has slightly different arrangments for the controls. Maybe the radio buttons are different, or the lights, or the windshield wipers. Maybe the window controls are arranged differently, or the cruise control. How would you cope with that? Could consumers figure out how to drive if 90% of the cars on the lot didn't have exactly the same interface?
      • Imagine (Score:5, Funny)

        by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @11:54AM (#14202500)
        Imagine a world where people did not inevitably resort to car analogies when trying to make a point about computers.

        Over the weekend I parked my car next to a shady-looking minivan at the supermarket. I thought I locked the door, but ever since it's been driving itself around constantly, flyering windshields across the neighborhood with V14GRA ads and DDOS-ing the handicapped spaces...

    • Imagine a version of Windows with no notepad, wordpad, IE, Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, screensaver, network browser, task manager, disk defragmenter, TCP stack, Instant Messenger, backup tool, cd player, email client, remote desktop, scripting tool, command prompt or shell.

      Those I can live with. But please don't tell me they'll stop including SOLITAIRE?!!!

    • by strider44 ( 650833 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:35AM (#14201393)
      I don't mind Microsoft bundling stuff with their operating system, but is it really too much to ask that they allow users to be able to not install the things they bundle with their operating system?
  • by gimpimp ( 218741 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:43AM (#14201120) Homepage
    make MS include optional software, perhaps on a second disk, with more important things like Firefox being the default browser on an out of the box install. CD 2 could have things like OpenOffice, or Free instant messengers.
  • by LaughingCoder ( 914424 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:43AM (#14201121)
    This is more bad news. I dread the day when there will be 50 different versions of Windows out there. Some will have MP, some will have IM, some will have IE ... what's a developer to do? We will be forced to bundle all of these service-level applications with our installer. The poor user will end up with 5 different browsers, instant messengers, media players, constantly answering the "Firefox is not your default browser" questions. This type of decision, in my opinion, is very bad for the industry, and especially bad for the end users.
    • what's a developer to do?

      Not create programs that rely on a particular operating system, but instead create programs that can be run on any OS? Whether it be Windows XP, Windows N, Mac OSX or Mandrake Linux.

      [sarcasm]No, no. You're right. Let's allow Microsoft to continue its ethically questionable and illegal activities. I'm sure it's for the best in the long run.[/sarcasm]
    • by arendjr ( 673589 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:22AM (#14201306) Homepage
      I can understand you don't like this situation, but you also have to realize it could've been avoided if Microsoft had at least taken a different approach towards bundling these type of applications. It's true users expect these types of functionality and it is a dream for application developers to be able to rely on a preinstalled component to handle the playing of video's. However, it went wrong because Microsoft just simply preinstalled their own programs, forced OEM's to use their programs and no one else's programs and implicitly forced application developers to come to rely on their programs (I believe this is true for both Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, and it might become true for MSN Messenger as well). That exactly is how they abused their monopoly. If instead they had defined an open API that they themselves had implemented with Windows Media Player, but for which they had allowed competitors to implement the same API as well. If they had not forced OEM's to install WMP, but would have allowed the installation of other players that implemented the API. Then we would have had a situation where Microsoft could bundle WMP, but where OEM's still had the freedom to install other players, where competitors would be given a fair chance to compete and where users could freely choose without loosing the integration between applications they've become used to. Had Microsoft chosen an open approach towards offering this type of functionality rather than pushing their competitors of the edge, we wouldn't have the mess we have now.
      • ...and it is a dream for application developers to be able to rely on a preinstalled component to handle the playing of video's.

        And there is where the operating system services should come handy. Instead of providing a Media Player an Internet Browser the Operating System manufacturer should concentrate in creating a set of tools and APIs that can be used by developers to create END USER software to watch media and navigate internet.

        Think about something like KHTML engine or what DirectX [DirectMedia] is su
    • by Flyboy Connor ( 741764 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:25AM (#14201330)
      I dread the day when there will be 50 different versions of Windows out there.

      But there ARE 50 different versions of Windows out there. Far more, even. Not only do you have different versions for different years (NT4, NT5, W95, W98, ME, 2000, XP), with different patch levels (XP bare bones, XP SP1, XP SP2), but Microsoft also brings out Windows in many different languages, which, unfortunately, all are subtly different. For different languages, the core functionalities will more or less match, but as soon as something "rare" happens (a device error, for instance), you can run into very weird behaviour. And you should, in general, not try to install English drivers on, for instance, a French system. Yes, it will work most of the time, but when it doesn't, your system will be pretty much screwed.

      The most funny language idiocy I encountered with Windows was when it reported to me (translated from the original Dutch): "Undetectable device detected". This was the most amazing thing I ever saw Windows do. Luckily in my fit of laughter I had the presence of mind to make a screenprint, which I still treasure today.

    • Microsoft did a lot of things besides bundling that were anticompetitive, like demanding a Windows license fee for every PC sold, regardless of the OS, specifically targetting competitors to put them out of business, charging PC makers more if they dared to sell PC's with another OS, etc. It's this kind of crap that has gotten them (and us) into this fix we're in. We're all suffering because of their bad behavior.
  • by tannhaus ( 152710 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:43AM (#14201123) Homepage Journal
    The problem was once that these things came bundled with windows. That's not a problem anymore. The problem now is that the average person sees these apps as the primary app for that task. When they think email they don't think Eudora..they think Outlook. That's not going to change even if they unbundle things now and include links to competitors. The customer will simply say "Yeah...that's a link to realplayer, but where's windows media player?"

    That battle has been lost. Instead of concentrating on unbundling, these governments should focus on breaking the perception that email means outlook, that web browsing means IE, etc. Bundling was a way to thrust these apps to the forefront and choke the competition. That's been done. Unbundling now will just make the customer go through extra steps to get the same software back again.
  • Let's think of competitor links that Microsoft should include..

    I'll start off..

    http://www-306.ibm.com/software/os/warp/ [ibm.com]
    Beware.. sales stop at December 23, 2005. So hurry! :)
  • by onion2k ( 203094 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:47AM (#14201140) Homepage
    If they'd bundled Starcraft instead of Messenger/Media Player there wouldn't be any problem.
    • If they'd bundled Starcraft instead of Messenger/Media Player there wouldn't be any problem.

      It sure would be once the University students got ahold of it. Starcraft must have resulted in more students failing than any game known to man. It's also known as GPA killer 3000 in some areas...
  • by OwlWhacker ( 758974 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:50AM (#14201162) Homepage Journal
    Concerning RealPlayer, when it was suggested that Microsoft should add it to Windows, Microsoft said that people could easily download it, so bundling it with Windows was unnecessary and out of the question.

    Now that WMP and Messenger are to be removed, suddenly downloading a media player is such a terrible handicap!

    When it was suggested that Sun's JRE should be bundled with Windows, Microsoft asked why Sun should get a free ride on Windows, and was against adding third-party software to Windows.

    The 'free ride' of bundling obviously does make a big difference. Just because Microsoft owns the operating system, this doesn't mean that it should be allowed to bundle whatever it likes.

    What company is going to suffer as Microsoft has to bundle another product with Windows to entice people to upgrade? Maybe a PhotoShop clone is to be bundled with Vista's successor?

    • Now that WMP and Messenger are to be removed, suddenly downloading a media player is such a terrible handicap!

      When I buy an OS, I expect to have basic functionalty such as a web browser and media player. I would rather they bundle them but give me the opportunity to remove them.

      Just because Microsoft owns the operating system, this doesn't mean that it should be allowed to bundle whatever it likes.

      Uh, what? Why not?
  • by TangoCharlie ( 113383 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:51AM (#14201164) Homepage Journal

    I have trouble keeping up with all the various versions of Windows. We don't want more Windows, we want fewer!

    Seriously, this Windows XP N edition is a complete waste of time, money (truism?!) and energy. If the organisations which have imposed these rulings on Microsoft want to have any real bite, then they must simply ban Microsoft products.

    The key here is (I believe) that they don't want their legislation to have any "bite". They do this to satisfy pressure to be seen to be encouraging open markets and free trade while at the same time bowing to pressure from Microsoft.

    And, $40M, what a joke. I bet MS never even has to pay it. They'll simply do a deal to ignore all those illegal copies of Windows + Office in South-Koreas government offices! Expect an announcement of a new multi-million Microsoft purchasing deal in the very near future.

    • It wasn't even that much! (I'm easily confused!).

      Jeez!
    • by EvilMonkeySlayer ( 826044 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:19AM (#14201297) Journal
      You're going to really love Windows Vista there are 7 editions. Vista Starter Edition, Vista Home Basic Edition, Vista Home Premium Edition, Vista Ultimate Edition, Vista Small Business Edition, Vista Professional Edition, and Vista Enterprise Edition.

      I can't stand Windows/MSN Messenger, what I find infuriating is that if I uninstall it (it can be uninstalled by using an INI file tweak) Microsoft have reinstalled it in "critical" updates. If I want to stop it from running in the background (even after i've told it not to run at start up or in the background using the prefs) I typically have to mess around using either the registry or group policy on the local machine to stop it.
  • What's next? Apple has to stop including iChat and Quicktime Player? Should Apple have to replace Safari with Firefox? As much as I hate Microsoft and their practices, they're not doing anything wrong by bundling these softwares. In Korea, only stupid people are for this.
  • The stupid government decision makers want to be careful how they phrase the judgement here. If I were Microsoft, purely out of spite for such stupid 'punishments' I'd be looking at a way to get away with doing the following:

    5 levels deep in the control panel have a "alternate applications list" menu item. This then opens a page with the following:

    Download rubbish software made by people who have relations with goats here!!!
    http://www.microsoft.com/thecompetition/real/realp layer-v0.5alpha_download [microsoft.com]
    http://ww [microsoft.com]
  • ...if you can just fine them.

    Seems like a cool thing to do. Maybe I should also send a letter to Microsoft, stating that I just fined them $40 million, and would they please transfer it to my bank account. Or rather, leave it in cash, small unmarked bills, in the third toilet booth of the restroom facilities of Sleazy Sam's.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."

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