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Microsoft To Fight Korean Verdict 139

DocHart wrote to mention a BBC article covering Microsoft's appeal against their recent Korean ruling. From the article: "The KFTC continued to investigate Microsoft's practices, despite the firm paying Daum $30m in November to end their dispute. The ruling of the KFTC echoes a similar 2004 judgement by the European Commission, which also found that Microsoft was abusing its market domination. Microsoft's rivals have since accused the firm of dragging its feet over unbundling its software in Europe, something Microsoft denies. "
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Microsoft To Fight Korean Verdict

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Nothing beats KFC.

    Oh wait, KFTC? Carry on, then.
  • Extortion? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by jasenj1 ( 575309 )
    At what point does extracting money from Microsoft become state sponsored extortion? Is MS really that evil that they are breaking laws all over the world illegally using their defacto monopoly?

    There just seems to be a trend of "let's figure out something to prosecute MS for". I suspect all these countries that go after MS still have MASSIVE installed bases of MS software. Are all these fines just a round about way of getting lower license costs?

    Just a thought.

    - Jasen.
    • ...getting away with their anti-competitive practices for a very long time. The World is just now saying "enough!"

      But Microsoft being the bully it is won't stop without first taking a beating.
    • It's not so much that the EU said "MS abuses its monopoly, so they pay XXX $". The EU court decided that MS abuses its monopoly to curb competition and development, and ruled that MS has to stop abusing its position. In case they do not comply with the court's ruling, they have to pay a penalty.

      Im my books, companies are corporate bodies, and as such, they have to respect the law. Just like I have to. If I break the law, and am considered guilty, I have to pay a fine.

      Why should it be different for corporati
      • by Anonymous Coward
        it's a fine, not a penalty.

        Local councils in the UK are trying to tip-toe around the use of the word fine and trying to convince people that parking fines are 'fixed penalty notices' thereby avoiding that trifling bother of having to get a conviction in a court of law before demanding money from people as punishment for their supposed wrongdoings.

        Don't jumble your words up. A 'penalty' is just a flowery word for a fine.

        Don't let fines become pretty, flowery, everyday things.
    • Well, you can judge the motives these governments have all you want. Short term, you could be right about the motives. But the motives are irrelevant, this is the law. Anti-competetive laws are there for a reason other than extortion of US corporations. These governments have the right and the obligation to provide developers with the same chance of success that MS has. As MS works today, this is not the case. Even the US DOJ went against MS. It's just that the DOJ can afford to be light on MS because it pr
    • Re:Extortion? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Roy Ward ( 14216 ) <royward770@@@actrix...co...nz> on Monday March 27, 2006 @03:21PM (#15005379)
      Is MS really that evil that they are breaking laws all over the world illegally using their defacto monopoly?

      Yes. In many places (including the USA), a monopoly has extra rules it must follow to avoid abusing it's position.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Yes, but in the USA, the rules are overridable if you have the right friends. In other countries, we would call that corruption. In the USA, we call it republican business at work.
        • Well, I was tempted to say something like that in my post, but I don't live in the USA, so you might say that, but I couldn't possibly comment.
    • Re:Extortion? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke ( 6130 )
      There just seems to be a trend of "let's figure out something to prosecute MS for".

      "Hey, why not prosecute them for their illegal abuses of monopoly power?"

      "Brilliant! Have a Guinness."

      What's the conspiracy again? I could believe selective enforcement (provided other companies who appear to be getting away with similar acts), but Microsoft has been found to be abusing their monopoly in the U.S., Europe, and now Korea.

      But in answer to your first question, it becomes state-sponsored extortion at the point w
    • Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Silent sound ( 960334 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @03:44PM (#15005582)
      Is MS really that evil that they are breaking laws all over the world illegally using their defacto monopoly?

      They were convicted of breaking the law in America.

      The court trial in which they were convicted of breaking the law in America never reached the remedy/punishment phase. A new political administration simply quietly terminated the antitrust case with some handwaving before it could complete, with no real-world steps taken to stop Microsoft's existing antitrust violations or prevent them in future.

      So Microsoft broke the law in America, was convicted in a court of law, and no one ever did anything to make them stop breaking the law. So is it that surprising that they're breaking the law in the rest of the world as well?

      I don't see why Microsoft apologists keep falling back on this talking point of claiming that these fines and such are all about the money. If Microsoft would obey the law, they wouldn't have to pay these fines and settlements and whatnot. The power to end these fines is in Microsoft's hands. Microsoft prefers to pay fines and settlements rather than obey the law. What terrible extortionists these horrible statist states are, making Microsoft pay money until they stop doing illegal things. Who do they think they are? They're almost acting like they think they're autonomous countries with the power to pass and enforce laws within their own borders.

      • So, soon we will learn which is more powerful. US government, S. Korean government, or the almighty buck.

        The US conviction and lack of punishment or change by Microsoft showed that the buck is more powerful in the US.

        We will see what S. Korea does...

      • They were convicted of breaking the law in America.

        Except this lawsuit is in South Korea and doesn't have anything to do with the Netscape vs. IE bundling case. The complaint South Korea has filed relates to including Windows Messenger as part of Windows, which a South Korean firm named "Daum Communications" claims is impeding their ability to compete in the IM market.

        The point is, every country on the planet has some little company which makes a product that competes with something inside Windows. S

        • Microsoft may not have known about Daum Communications specifically, but they absolutely knew about other companies in the instant messenger space. AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, etc. Microsoft actively spent time trying to make MSN Messenger interop with AOL in late 1999/early 2000, only to have AOL constantly break the protocol they were using, until Microsoft finally gave up. (This isn't speculation - I worked at MSFT. I ran the Messenger betas that worked with AIM.)

          I'd be hard pressed to believe that bundling Win
          • Microsoft may not have known about Daum Communications specifically, but they absolutely knew about other companies in the instant messenger space. AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, etc.

            How many ways do I have to say this? Those companies aren't suing Microsoft, and this lawsuit has nothing to do with AIM or ICQ or Yahoo, just like it has nothing to do with Netscape. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

            If you can't keep your issues separate, you have only managed to pollute the integrity of

        • Because where does it stop...
          Browser and instant messenger today... what next? Any bundling gives microsoft an unfair advantage, and lets them pedal inferior products while still gaining market share.

          In a few years time, what's to stop windows costing $5000 and come bundled with everything anyone is likely to use, including hardware?
      • If Microsoft would obey the law, they wouldn't have to pay these fines and settlements and whatnot.

        I don't know the exact phrasing, but there is a quote which goes along the lines of "When the law is unjust, the just ones are in prison". Somehow, it seems applicable here. I don't want to seem like a Microsoft apologist (I, too, hate Windows and has been using Linux exclusively the last five years), but I really don't like the fact that Microsoft aren't allowed to decide for themselves what their products

    • Re:Extortion? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 )

      At what point does extracting money from Microsoft become state sponsored extortion? Is MS really that evil that they are breaking laws all over the world illegally using their defacto monopoly?

      At what point does extracting huge gobs of money from every nation in the world on terms they have no control over NOT become corporate extortion and economic subservience?

      Yes, of course they have a defacto monopoly. When 90-95% of all computers run a Windows OS, how the heck is that not a de-facto monopoly? When M

      • Say, country XZY has a small, but thriving software industry. They've got their own XYZ specific IM company, their own XYZ specific search engine, and a whole raft of webmail companies. Microsoft suddenly adds those features to their OS, makes them so they can't be unbundled, and when you install the next version of the OS, it installs itsself as the default and makes it difficult for you to get your XYZ specific stuff back. Effectively, putting the local company out of business, or seriously cutting into

    • At what point does extracting money from Microsoft become state sponsored extortion? Is MS really that evil that they are breaking laws all over the world illegally using their defacto monopoly?

      A man more insightful than I am once wrote: That one should avoid being despised and hated. [adelaide.edu.au] Microsoft has done very little to avoid public hatred and, as such, public opinion greets measures such as these with an overwhelming response of "meh. They had it coming." So when countries take unusually hard steps like t

    • Re:Extortion? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jasenj1 ( 575309 )
      But isn't there some limit to the "bundling hurts others" argument? In this case: "Microsoft is appealing against a South Korean ruling that it must unbundle its media player and messaging service from its Windows software system."

      What's next? Fining them for including Paint, Mine Sweeper, NotePad, and the Calculator?

      - Jasen.
      • None of your suggestions have a net effect - the ability to change another market. IM and WMP both have.

        I guess one can ask if the bundled software pushes a fileformat or a protocoll (controlled by MS), if it is, it probably is a big no-no.

        So, next thing could possibly be some kind of RSS-like-format that is "innovated" at MS (isn't something like that coming to Vista?).
    • Re:Extortion? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom ( 822 )
      I suspect all these countries that go after MS still have MASSIVE installed bases of MS software. Are all these fines just a round about way of getting lower license costs?

      Only in the same way that going after drug dealers is a way to get cheaper sports cars onto the market. In other words: Yes, if you insist on some really convoluted thinking, you can construct that being the case. For everyone who likes Ockham's Razor better, the case is simple close-and-shut: Criminal company breaks law and gets sued.
  • I am by no means a M$ fan, but this ruling seems to have no basis EXCEPT to steal $30 million from M$. That's just like saying that McDonalds should be sued because they bundle salt with their fries.
    • You could order your fries without salt. And I'm pretty sure McD would make it possible.

      If you're a country, you could even rule that McD has to offer its fries without salt, and they'll comply.

      The basis is abusing a monopoly position to kill competition. Back when I was young, monopolies were considered BAD in the US.
      • You could order your fries without salt. And I'm pretty sure McD would make it possible.

        Actually, no. They'd need to have a clean fry tray. They salt the fries in the same heat tray that they store them in before they're packaged. Even if they emptied the fry tray (for your special order), there would still be residual salt from prior orders. And if you think that Mickey D's is going to take on the liability of having some flunky manually trying to transfer your hot, unsalted fries from a dripping fry

        • It has been a lot of years, but when I worked in a McDonalds in the late 80s, you definitly could get fries without salt. It was a relatively simple process to clear a section of the warmer, wipe it down to remove any salt, and dump a fresh batch of fries into the clean section. We did this several times a day for those that didn't want salt. Mind you, at this time we cooked pancakes to order, as opposed to microwaving pre-cooked pancakes, so things might have changed. Heck back then people would call u
      • Re:Totally Unfair (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bill_kress ( 99356 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @06:03PM (#15006889)
        Back when I was young, monopolies were considered BAD in the US.

        Me too. I'm afraid Reagan ushered in a new age of stupidity in otherwise smart people.

        So many of these new "free marketeers" are simply 100% ignorant of the ramifications of their beliefs. They have thought it out, and being otherwise intelligent people have decided that greed makes sense and if everyone would just be completely greedy, we'd have this perfect world...

        It takes a faith stronger than any Christians' to continue to believe in a completely free market in the face of massive evidence that it needs significant controls, so trying to reason with them isn't useful. Also, remember that many of these people are quite smart and used to being right--it's much more difficult for such an individual to recognize when he's got good logic but is working from bad assumptions.

        I think we have to wait for the next reset, probably a massively serious depression, before we swing back to a more worker-based system. Maybe next time we'll pass a few more permanent laws so that the next wave of "neo rich" can't dismantle them so easily.

        Americans (Humans?) have such short memories and are doomed to repeat their mistakes no matter how clearly those who actually understand try to explain.
    • Please stop saying "M$" - it looks stupid.

      - Andrew
    • My God, when will people get it? Okay one more time...
      Microsoft has a monopoly in the PC operating area. If you have a product that you want to sell but Microsoft bundles a similar product into its monopoly product it will kill your product. People will use the bundled product just because it's there.

      Microsoft typically uses their monopoly position to expand into other, non-related areas. If for example they want to control web browsers they simply bundle (and in this case integrate) their browser into
      • It is commonly agreed that Netscape 4.x and the first releases of Netscaped 6 sucked big juicy donkey nuts. I can't imagine them keeping any sort of lead over IE even if MS only offered it as a free download. In fact, they were getting owned by IE4 before Win98 was ever released.
    • Actually, it's funny you compare it to salted fries from McD's. Fact is, each and every time I've ever asked McD's for unsalted fries, I got it that way. Believe it or not, as a company they actually care about whatever concerns the customer. Of course, I'm rarely concerned about it being salted... I'm actually more concerned about it being HOT. Actually asking for "no salt" is just the mechanism I use instead of asking for "please give me hot fresh fries" which would result in at least a bit more resis
  • In Korea... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In Korea, bundled software is only used by old people!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Daum, that's a lot of cash! ...Sorry. :(
  • by Tachikoma ( 878191 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @03:05PM (#15005235)
    seem too MS friendly to be genuine /. posts
    perhaps you are here by mistake?
  • by RandoX ( 828285 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @03:09PM (#15005265)
    Judging by the revolving release date of Vista, I wouldn't say they're capable of doing the unbundling any faster. Let's face it. That's how long it's taking them to do something that they really really want to get finished...
  • From a memetic/cultural perspective. South Korean culture is flourishing ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?stor yId=5300970 [npr.org]), and many people view Microsoft as floundering and reactionary (they change the name of outlook to match Apple Mail, redo large portins of Vista, and are often percieved as not having the consumers best interest in mind, opposed to Google who says 'lets not be evil' [whatever that means]). The hearts and minds of the people and therefore jurors and judges and beurocrats
  • This isn't really news. It's long been clear that Microsoft will fight every ruling against them in Korea or anywhere else using any methods to hand. And if you were sitting on a vast monopoly with gross margins of up to 85 per cent to protect, with captains of industry and heads of government queuing up to kiss your ass, you probably would too.
  • I'm sorry I really don't have any real insight to add to the discussion but had to share the mental image I got when I read the headlines: Microsoft To Fight Korean Verdict of Bill in a baggy karate gi fighting a TKD master. It wasn't pretty.
  • Switch to Linux and never again pay for a service that would be dirt cheap if it weren't run by a bunch of profiteering gluttons.
  • to remove them in the first place. MSN Messenger definitely isn't required for Windows to operate correctly (can be uninstalled via a script). Even so, people want a "Add/Remove" option that does more than delete Messenger shortcuts. WMP isn't, but if you want to view WMP formats you need the codecs atleast. There definitely should be an option to completely remove Outlook Express. IE can be removed and Windows work fine... but forget that you won't be able to use Help and Support (you may not necessarily u
  • ...The KFTC continued to investigate Microsoft's practices, despite th...

    For some reason I really want fried chicken.
  • Design a computer with tcp/ip, http, ftp, etc native onboard with a basic interface. It connects and downloads whatever OS you want and installs it without an OS already being onboard beyond the "super bios" skeleton OS there for doing the aforementioned primary OS download. That ends the chicken and egg argument as to having to have one OS already on there to download the OS you really want. No more "Windows tax", no more preloaded PCs unless you order them that way. Everything is bare.

    DRM? Fine, put it on
  • Did anybody else misread "KFTC" as "KFC" on first glance? I did, and I wondered why a petty peddler of putrid poultry possessed people to pass prejudice on a purveyor of piss-poor programs...

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