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Microsoft Faces Korean Deadline 156

nmccart wrote to mention an article on the Yahoo! news service stating that South Korea has leveled a deadline at Microsoft. The deadline is the newest addition to that country's anti-trust ruling against the OS maker."South Korea's antitrust regulator has given Microsoft Corp. the deadline of Aug. 24 to comply with a landmark ruling ordering the world's largest software maker to unbundle some of its products from its Windows computer operating system and pay fines. On Friday afternoon, the Fair Trade Commission said it has sent documents on the punitive sanctions to Microsoft, which was ruled last December to have violated the nation's fair trade laws by tieing its instant messenger, audio, and video software to Windows. The commission also confirmed its order that Microsoft pay 32.4 billion won (US$33.5 million) in the December ruling on the U.S. software giant's unfair business practices."
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Microsoft Faces Korean Deadline

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  • what is the cost of changes to OS to South Korean revenue ratio looking like.
  • Proportionally, I receive harsher fines for speeding and being a day late having my emissions tested.

    Stiffer penalties are needed. Seriously, given the amount of money Microsoft has right now, 33.5 million is not a serious deterrence to bad behavior. While I have not completely thought out the math, that's the equivalent of fining me a couple of dollars for wrong doing.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    In South Korea, only old people use Windows.
    • BTW, You forgot Poland.
      In South Korea, only old people sue Microsoft... except in Nebraska!
      IN DEMOCRATIC KOREA, government sue YOU!
      I for one welcome our new Microsoft sueing overlords.... in Japan!^H^H^H^H^H^HSouth Korea!
      In other news, it's raining chairs at Redmond.

      1) Sue Microsoft
      2) ???
      3) Profit!

      Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
  • I get what some people are saying about out-of-the-box functionality, it does seem strange to expect an OS not to ship with default apps to provide standard functionality for e.g. media playing and IM. Are they going to apply the same principles to Mas OS and Linux?

    Maybe what they should be doing is making Microsoft include alternatives, or even just a link to a web site where people can do a simple process to install and set as default alternative apps for standard functions. Click here to make Mozilla Fir
    • Why not make sure that these bundled apps are not a part of the vendor lock-in? A good media player included with the OS? Sure, but make the video/audio formats open.
    • it does seem strange to expect an OS not to ship with default apps to provide standard functionality for e.g. media playing and IM.

      Actually, to me it seems strange that the OS ships with any apps at all. Whenever I install Windows I always replace the default apps with something better, they're not really worth including at all to me.

      The OS should come with a text editor and whatever other applications to manage OS configurations and OS filesystem but that's about it really.

      • One of the things I like about Ubuntu is that it has a default set of apps. Those apps are maintained by the Ubuntu team, and their compatibility is guaranteed. I haven't yet upgraded to Firefox 1.5 because I'm waiting for the next version which will sort out all the compatibility issues. Finally it gives the OS cohesion since the components are no longer a bunch of separate and random applications but rather are part of a whole, and are optimized and tuned accordingly.

        A lot of people like this about Ubuntu
        • One of the things I like about Ubuntu is that it has a default set of apps. Finally it gives the OS cohesion since the components are no longer a bunch of separate and random applications but rather are part of a whole, and are optimized and tuned accordingly.

          I understand this and do the same with Ubuntu as well. However, Ubuntu can select from many applications made by different developers. Often the many applications they choose from can perform the same function, such as Firefox, Epiphany, Konqueror,

    • The problem is two-fold: they hide the cost of those add-on packages in the cost of the OS, while other software authors have to be added on on top of the OS. We saw similar problems with Netscape's webservers and IIS in the NT 4.0 workstation vs. server lawsuits.

      The other problem is that resellers are prohibited by their licensing from Microsoft from un-installing such components and replacing them with other add-on utilities, or even making the other add-on components the default. Microsoft got caught re
    • The rules are different when you're a convicted monopolist who has already got into trouble for using its desktop monopoly to move into other areas. If MS had only 20% of the market and played reasonably nicely with everyone else this wouldn't be a story now would it. When MS start behaving as if the law is something they have to obey like everyone else instead of treating it as an inconvenient business expense then perhaps they'll lose a lot of their enemies.
  • Microsoft forced to unbundle Explorer from it's Operating System in compliance with international Trade Laws.
  • I don't see why microsoft shouldn't bundle thier stuff? What next, none of the security because Norton don't like it? Or maybee they shouldn't be allowed to include themems, because of WindowBlinds? Madness.
  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ton1c ( 924673 )
    I'm sorry but i think we are forgetting a few key things here.

    Microsoft is the maker of the software, they made it the way they wanted, and they allowed other companies to build software for it.

    Why then should they be forced to not bundle their own software on it? They own the software, not the korean government.

    If they want to make it more convenient for people without internet to use their computers then there should be absolutely no problem with that, they have the right to.
    • I'm sorry, but I think *you're* forgetting a few things.

      They can be forced to not bundle certain items together *in S. Korea* because of a little ol' thing called "sovereignty". Despite the best efforts of transnational corporations, national governments still have certain rights to enforce laws within their own borders. These include anti-trust laws, which is what MS ran afowl of. (And as a side note, yes, anti-trust laws are *very* important in maintaining some semblance of a "free market".) In shor

      • It's easy to take your position to an absurd degree: "I made this child pornography; I own it, not the government! Who are they to tell me what to do with it?"

        I don't agree with your arguement, but what I'd really like to address is how poor this analogy is. It IS easy to take his argument to an absurd degree; you just did.

        What people don't seem to realise is that large companies like Microsoft actually gain, overall, from regulation of industry. With regulation, what you're really doing is stifling
    • You must either be very young or a troll. MS used unfair business practices to establish and expand its monopoly. In essence, it squashed all competition through exclusive business deals and then raised its prices to exploit the cornered market. You should look at the Netscape, Corel, Novel and SCO law suits to see the pattern. MS has been found guilty of these predatory business practices in several countries. Those countries are now using their anti-monopoly laws to redress the issue and restore a fa
    • The rules are different for monopolies - 'nuff zed.
  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @08:30AM (#14799844)
    And also in the news, Microsoft is to create another "special" version of Windows to address South Korean antitrust concerns. This "special" version will be given a lobotomy and ride the short bus to school much like the European "Windows N" AKA "Windows Reduced Media Edition".

    Other third party applications include very advanced technology called an "uninstaller" and have done so for years. This technology is so advanced that Microsoft as of yet is completely unable to replicate it or integrate it in to their Windows OS.

    Uninstaller technology would give users and OEMs a choice of which software applications are installed with Windows. When asked to comment head of Microsoft marketing MS. Bob stated "We firmly believe that users do not need this functionality, any kind of choice is too complicated. Everyone should just use the software we provide them and depend on us." The interview was interruped by the defening sound of a compeditor getting crushed.
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:00AM (#14799931) Homepage
    All Microsoft has to do to avoid antitrust in Korea is to include a Starcraft-clone with every copy of Windows.
  • by krunk4ever ( 856261 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:03AM (#14799945) Homepage
    Is it just me or does anyone else feel all these "governments" view Microsoft as a cash cow and are trying to milk it for all it's worth.

    Honestly, the definition needs to be redifined. What Linux, Apple and Microsoft is selling (or giving away for free) is not just an OS, but a complete package. Would anyone even bother buying an OS that doesn't come with a media player, a internet browser, or internet messenger in nowadays?

    I understand that because of Microsoft's monopoly, it's gives then an unfair advantage of deploying any software they want, but browser, IM, media player are such core software in today's society, I dare you find a modern OS that doesn't have all of them in it. It's not like they're PREVENTING you from installing another software to replace it. By restricting one company from putting these software in, but allowing everyone else to do it, in my opinion, is what's unfair. If they forced every OS to not include a browser, media player, and IM client, I can be more content with that decision.

    Just my rant and 2 cents.
    • Thats exactly right. Nobody disagrees that MS is a monopoly. But govts have to look at today's market and think can MS be competitive without bundling some of these goodies in their OS. Unbundling different items from OS do not offer level playing field. What offers level playing field is stopping MS from making unfair deals with OEMs not to include competitors applications. We all know what a joke EU's ruling about unbundling media player from OS is. I think this needs to stop. US needs to take this case t
    • What the EU and South Korea are worried about is the fact that OEMs have no choice but to bundle IE, MSN Messenger, Windows Media Player etc with their computers which means that competitors in this area cannot compete on a level playing field by having the OEMs bundle their software exclusively. This is the important distinction in the area of anti-trust law. The "exclusively" is the key. An OEM cannot distribute a machine with Windows installed but without IE, MSN Messenger, or WMP. The end user can't eve
    • Oh you mean I could just replace Internet Explorer with anything I want right? I could just go to windows updates then with this new browser and download my updates right? I could install it without having some idiotic messenger icon bugging me every five minutes to sign up right? They use their dominate platform to extend their reach to other markets. This in most countries is illegal and thus the reason they are being fined and being required to unbundle. Yes other platforms bundle software but then again
      • First of all, you CAN remove messenger and wmp completely from your system (Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Components). The only item in question you can't remove is Internet Explorer. But imagine the fact that you can indeed uninstall IE (if it wasn't so tightly integrated with the file system), do you think these government decisions would change? Does the ability of uninstalling IE even help Microsoft's case and what they're being charged for?

        As for you comment regarding updates. Does Apple have "othe
      • You can remove Messenger, and WMP.

        As for IE. No you can't remove it. Its also used as a file browser.
        Can you remove Konqueror from KDE?
        • "Can you remove Konqueror from KDE?"

          I was wondering the same thing, but then I thought the answer is moot. You can replace KDE.
          • You can replace Windows.

            I can open and modify Office documents, chat with MSN users (with no hotmail account), and play wmv files with no Microsoft applications involved.

            I grow tired of the mentality that Windows is irreplacable. We live in an age when Linux distros can install themselves and configure printers and wireless internet with minimal user interaction(good job Ubuntu). As far as I'm concerned if you're still using Windows, its a choice.
            • Sometimes you can configure wireless internet. I have a Dell Inspiron 9300 centrino/Pentium-m laptop with the standard intel wireless. Moving between wireless access points is a right pain in the arse, and regularly requires a reboot. Nothing else seems to allow me to connect to a different access point, and after rebooting it connects to the access point immediately.

              I've been using various unix operating systems for a long time now, and various Linux distributions for over 10, so I don't think it is me.

              • Linux is not a choice for a few things still. Audio is still really quite lacking - while tools such as Audacity, Ardour and RoseGarden (and related packages) offer a great deal of functionality, there is still nothing that can compete with any of the major Windows/Mac applications - eg Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, ProTools, Sibelius, Finale... There is no easy to use quality score writing package, or any thing that can handle midi sufficiently, or any way (or attempt) at integrating these things together in an e
    • "It's not like they're PREVENTING you from installing another software to replace it."

      Except that it is EXACTLY like that for OEMs. PC manufacturers are often forbidden by M$ from bundling alternative products, and nobody is capable of removing the M$ versions.
      • I agree they should not be allowed to prevent bundling of alternative software or give incentive to OEMs for not installing competing software. In fact I find the whole concept where Intel is allowed to give discounts to Dell for not selling systems with AMD CPUs totally wrong and I haven't figured out why the Government isn't getting on Intel's case.

        But this case isn't against them making such negotiations with OEMs. It's against them for including software that comes with their OS which is a very round ab
        • "...and I haven't figured out why the Government isn't getting on Intel's case."

          That one's pretty simple... it's the the government's best (financial) interests not to, most likely.
        • Why not fine both the OEM and Microsoft

          Why would you fine the OEM for being a victim of Microsoft's abuse of monopoly power?

          And as for merely permitting the installation of other software, that is certainly an improvement but it is hardly a useful remedy.

          Microsoft's explicit monopoly strategy is that these other applications are TIED to the operating system and irremovable. They don't mind *too* much if alternatives *can* be installed. That doesn't hamper their tactic for monopolizing the other applications
    • Well, contrary to what you say, it seems that governments are getting tired of MS seeing their citzens as cash cows. And if they need to destroy MS to guarantee the right of people to not be stolen, then, will make it so.

      There are still some governemnts out there that work for the people. Well, probably not all the time, but at least for a few moments.

    • Every Linux distribution I know of ships with the ability to install any of several different media players, or office suites. Linux has inherent choice built in.
      • Every Linux distribution I know of ships with the ability to install any of several different media players, or office suites. Linux has inherent choice built in.

        And yet, most Linux distributions do ship/install with certain apps "bundled." This is especially true for the distributions touted as "newbie friendly." And these distributions -- not to mention legions of /. wags -- make a point of touting all these bundled apps as proof that you can do anything in Linux that you can do in Windows, with the

        • No; where do people get this ridiculous stuff? MS and Windows is singled out because MS is *violating law*. Apple, Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc, are *not violating law*. There is no double standard, and there is no government conspiracy against MS or Windows. As I said, MS keeps getting sued and punished because they continue to ignore the laws of the majority of the countries they are doing business in.

          Distributions do not produce Linux. They also don't usually produce the software that they're shipping as pa
          • As I said, MS keeps getting sued and punished because they continue to ignore the laws of the majority of the countries they are doing business in.

            Indeed. The question is not "should MS be punished?", the question is "is this the right punishment?" Forcing a company to redesign its product -- one that has been hugely successful -- is not the right approach. It is a double-standard. When Apple is forced by some government to license FairPlay to rivals in the digital music business, then I'll believe s

            • I don't disagree with you that this solution is not the necessarily the best possible way. You have to consider what solutions are available, and which of those solutions are possible to enforce. The best way really would be to have an abusive company, such as Microsoft, stop abusing their position. However, is there a way to force that to happen?

              What you suggest as the necessary fix, and the one that you are probably correct in, is really a social problem. The people running the company are willing to
        • I think it's a double-standard. South Korea and the EU are trying to cripple Windows because they don't want Windows to be able to compete on a level playing field.

          Anti-trust regulations exist because a monopoly situation is not anywhere near a level playing field.

          So yes, they could force the playing field to slant, but it'd not be making the playing field un-level; it would (ideally) make the playingfield level, since it wasn't level to start with .

          But don't cripple a product that millions of consum

          • There are a myriad of ways to decouple various Windows components and yet allow for a full end-user experience. Removing Windows Media Player, for instance, need not cripple the end-user multimedia experience, provided Microsoft helps create a framework in Windows to allow other media players to be drop-in replacements (and make full use of their functionality, which means that there needs to be an open standard, not just "do whatever WMP does").

            You're right. The problem is that this is how MS wants Win

    • No, these countries are just taking back some of the money that MS stole from their citizens through unfair business practices and inflated prices.
    • Is it just me or does anyone else feel all these "governments" view Microsoft as a cash cow and are trying to milk it for all it's worth.

      Forget it. Microsoft has been in court for monopolistic business practices for as long as I can remember. They wrote the book on software bundling and how to use it to destroy the competition. Microsoft continues to do this, despite all of the lawsuites and the fines they've had to pay, simply because they've always gained more from this practice than they've ever lost
      • I agree completely - well, mostly :)

        The one thing I do disagree with though (at least in part) is:
        Of course not. If that were the case, Firefox would not be the #2 browser. But it is the reason why the vast majority of Windows users never go looking for an alternative browser or media player or whatever. This is what killed Netscape.

        To be fair, Netscape 4 was a dogs dinner of a browser, and IE 4 was actually distinctly better. It stills pains me to say that though.
        (not an MS fanboy, actually an
    • Is it just me or does anyone else feel all these "governments" view Microsoft as a cash cow and are trying to milk it for all it's worth.

      Honestly, the definition needs to be redifined. What Linux, Apple and Microsoft is selling (or giving away for free) is not just an OS, but a complete package.


      I couldn't have said it better myself. None of what these governments are doing are good for the consumers.
    • Is it just me or does anyone else feel all these "governments" view Microsoft as a cash cow and are trying to milk it for all it's worth.

      It's just you. 33 million dollars is peanuts for Korea's government, hardly worth the trouble. Check out some federal budgets from time to time; what seems like a lot of money to you or me is what they spend on soda pop.

  • Not that im a fan of microsoft, but the last time i looked i was able to run altenative IM clients or browswers. I wasnt forced to use theirs. Sure it was there taking up space, but it didnt hurt me a bit.

    Now, once they start hindering 3rd party options ( again ), then we have a issue...
  • Thirty-five million dollars, eh? Wow, what a horrendous penalty. That'll throw the fear of God into Gates and Ballmer for sure. No doubt about it, their days are numbered.
  • In South Korea...only Microsoft faces deadlines!
    R.

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