Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Microsoft to Allow Competitive Search 153

Aviran Mordo writes to tell us Reuters is reporting that Microsoft is announcing a voluntary policy to help guide the development of Windows in the future. The policy, which Microsoft senior vice president Brad Smith said was 'committed to creating a transparent system that allows open competition,' will start by allowing other search engines like Google to be set by default.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft to Allow Competitive Search

Comments Filter:
  • between the lines (Score:5, Informative)

    by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:47PM (#15746775) Journal

    Not to be overly paranoid, but this is Microsoft we're discussing, and this is Slashdot, but what are the "terms" to allow manufacturers to set any search engine as default? Manufacturers in the past, before the DOJ decision were allowed to ship computers with any operating system they chose. It's just that Microsoft provided strong incentives for them not to.

    While I like Microsoft's "allowance", considering past behavior, I'd rather they stipulate "with no strings attached", which wasn't stated explicitly. I know this post will bring me Flame/Troll mods, but fool me once...

    Fairness UPDATE: From this Seattle Times article [nwsource.com] are the words that bring the clarity I sought (emphasis mine):

    This includes specifics such as the freedom to add "icons, shortcuts and the like to the Windows Start menu and other places used to access software programs"; the ability for manufacturers to set non-Microsoft programs to be used by default; the ability to remove Microsoft programs like Explorer and Media Player and promote non-Microsoft programs exclusively; and business terms that protect manufacturers who go the non-Microsoft route from retaliation.

    This is good news!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I know this post will bring me Flame/Troll mods, but fool me once...


      Don't tempt me ... I have mod points and I'm willing to use them
    • by I'm Don Giovanni ( 598558 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:19PM (#15746908)
      That's all well and good, and I imagine that OEMs will offer the default media player, search engine, browser, etc to the highest bidder.

      However, to be fair, Microsoft should not be prohibited from being one of those bidders. For example, if Google, Firefox, and Real offer Dell millions to make Google, Firefox, and Real the default search, browser, and media player, respectively, Microsoft should be allowed to outbid Google, Firefox, and/or Real to make Live.com, IE, and WMP the default search, browser, and/or media player.
      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:44PM (#15747002) Homepage Journal
        However, to be fair, Microsoft should not be prohibited from being one of those bidders.

        The whole reason that we have these restrictions against microsoft, and judgements that match, is that they are a monopoly. The reason they are getting fined etc. is that they are aggressively protecting their monopoly status. Your suggestion would be a step backwards. We do not treat monopolies like other companies, because monopolies are harmful to the entire market.

        • I don't agree. If they were using the OS to lock-in MS only programs, then yes, I'd agree that they were abusing their os monopoly . If they are one of many bidders, then I don't see the problem.
          • You missed the point. Regardless if you agree or not, Microsoft was convicted of monopoly abuse practices and as such they no longer enjoy the freedoms afforeded other companies without extra scrutiny regarding the company's actions while being punished for said conviction.

            Whether you think it is fair or not is irrelavent - it is what it is under these conditions.
            • Extra scrutiny is fine, the point made was that they should be allowed to place bids. Scrutinize their bids, sure, but let them make the bids.
            • The "extra scrutiny" you refer to isn't at the whim of anti-MS zealots, it's based on the provisions of the MS/DOJ settlement, and those provisions would not preclude Microsoft bidding for contracts on the open market (as long as the bids don't relate to or depend on the "monopoly" status of the "monopoly" product in question). It sounds like you want Microsoft to be precluded from conducting business at all, without your OK (where "your OK" = "the consent of Microsoft haters").

              Oh, and the "convicted of mo
        • Preventing Microsoft from being one of the bidders only hurts OEMs, as a smaller bidder pool results in smaller bids. You would have Dell settle for 5 million from Google, when they could've gotten 6 million from Microsoft, or 7 million from Google having to outbid Microsoft (for example).
          • Preventing Microsoft from being one of the bidders only hurts OEMs, as a smaller bidder pool results in smaller bids. You would have Dell settle for 5 million from Google, when they could've gotten 6 million from Microsoft, or 7 million from Google having to outbid Microsoft (for example).

            Since we're talking about the hypothetical benefit of Microsoft being able to bid here, let's consider the hypothetical harm. If Dell would have gotten 5mil from Google, or 6mil from Ask.com, why would they consider those
            • See, that whole "under a threat" thing wouldn't be bidding, it would be abusing the monopoly. There's nothing wrong with MS bidding, just like everyone else. Remember, you only hold the "moral high ground" if you at least try to be objective. But hey, this is slashdot, who am I kidding.
              • There's nothing wrong with MS bidding, just like everyone else.

                Right, fine. In the equally hypothetical world where Microsoft doesn't make these threats when negotiating partnerships. Keep in mind while you're haughtily praising your own objectivity that they've been found to negotiate in bad faith more than not. Y'know...in the unhypothetical world.
        • And I suppose Microsoft shouldn't be able to sell their software in stores, either, since they're a monopoly and all, right?

          You're going way overboard in my opinion. If a company illegally leverages their monopoly, stop them from leveraging their monopoly and fine them. Bidding in a market, however, is not leverage. It's...a fair market.
        • How is bidding (i.e. competing) to be the default search engine is leveraging their monopoly? I fail to see you reasoning.
        • It depends on how it works. Remember, having a monopoly is not illegal. Using the monopoly to gain ground in another market is.

          So if a Microsoft's competitor approaches Dell and say "We'll give you one million dollars to feature our software" and Microsoft comes up and says, "We will give you one million and one dollars", I think that's fine.

          If Microsoft says, "And the way we'll pay for it is we'll give you one million and one dollars worth of free Windows licenses", BZZT! Thanks for playing!

          Yes, I'd wan
      • by Anonymous Coward
        How about for a change letting the consumer to decide which browsers, office suites, media players etc they want to use? How about providing more than one choice?
      • Its not bidding. Look at it this way?

        Nice computers you are selling I see. It would be a shame if your competitors got Windows Vista and Office 2007 before you did. Think about what that would do to yoru business?

        Before MS used to jack up the price something obscene like %500 if you dared included just one pc without Windows with SCO or OS/2. The doj stopped this behavior but now its standard so ms does not have to worry about this anymore.

        Today ms, can just use the ...last to recieve updates bit. Or if the
      • Remember that the reason monopolies are BAD is that they leverage obscene amounts of money or market control to get something they are not entitled to. You could think of it somewhat as somewhat legal bribing. Lets say you go into a store with four friends. You have $200 in your pocket and they each have $3. There is only one widget left on the shelf.

        Guess who gets it?

        Does it matter that you have 50 widgets at home and your friends don't have any? No. In this case all that matters is who has more mone
      • You mean something like this deal they might offer to Dell et al?

        Google: We bid $15 per computer to have Firefox be default browser
        and Google

        Microsoft: We bid one cent for IE and Microsoft Search.

        By the way, the price of Windows Vista is $195.99 /computer.

        If you also select us as the Winning Bidder, you may get a
        Really Really Big Rebate check worth about $100 or so. Hint hint.
      • God help us if they make Real the default player.
        • OEM's do a horrible job choosing preloaded software. Dell, HP, Sony it doesn't matter. First day I get such a computer, I spend it removing the crap. I don't want to buy a computer like that. I'd pay a bit more to just have a plain Windows instalation with the drivers preloaded and additional software availible on CD, but not preinstalled. Or I'll just continue to do what I always do and just build my own, I guess its just relitives boxes that I have to deal with.
          • You're spot on. Although I would probably never buy a prebuilt computer from Dell, HP, Sony, etc. it might come down to it one day with the amazing prizes and payment plans they offer - especially when it comes to laptops. Shouldn't you be able to add a comment to your order requesting that they do NOT preload all of the software and just provide it to you to use at your descretion on a CD as you said? I'm not sure because I have no experience with ordering from any of the previously listed companies.
      • However, to be fair, Microsoft should not be prohibited from being one of those bidders. For example, if Google, Firefox, and Real offer Dell millions to make Google, Firefox, and Real the default search, browser, and media player, respectively, Microsoft should be allowed to outbid Google, Firefox, and/or Real to make Live.com, IE, and WMP the default search, browser, and/or media player.

        Isn't this exactly where the logic was behind splitting Microsoft into two companies, before that idea was quashed by

      • Place your pinky to the corner of your mouth and repeat after me: sixty billion dollars!- this is the amount of cash Ballmer is sitting on right now. The U.S. Government would be hard pressed to win a bidding war against this company.
      • However, to be fair, Microsoft should not be prohibited from being one of those bidders

        Yes, they should be, since they have a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest often mean that we forbid individuals or companies from doing things that are perfectly alright for other companies to do. Forbidding certain actions because of conflict of interest is not ideal, but it is still more fair than the alternative.

        Ideally, Microsoft should break up; that's the only way in which we would get back a truly competi
        • I'm curious what you think the "conflict of interest" would be in allowing Microsoft to compete in open bidding with other vendors.
          • I'm curious what you think the "conflict of interest" would be in allowing Microsoft to compete in open bidding with other vendors.

            Come on, get real. In reality, Microsoft isn't just bidding, they are still controlling the process, and they will still be the sole provider of search on most desktops.

            But, to answer your question: where is the conflict of interest if the same vendor provides both the desktop OS and ties to on-line web sites? Simple: the company then has an interest in modifying the desktop O
      • Would the hardware manufacturers necessarily ask for bids for default browsers, search, etc? Is it not at least thinkable that they might choose the programs that they think offer the best functionality to their users? If MS locked up Dell with IE, isn't there a chance that (say) HP would offer Firefox as a differentiator? If you're selling 1 million PCs a year, and you think that offering a different set of apps might help you sell more PCs, wouldn't that more than balance out a $5 or $6 million offer to
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:43PM (#15746998)
      That they use terms like "allow" still shows their arrogance, and that they really have not learnt how to play nice, and they really do need to get a smack down by the EU and DOJ.

      If they really want to show that they have learnt then they need to soften their position, as well as say things in a way that sounds at least half genuine.

      • disclaimer: I am not a Microsoft supporter.
        It is their operating system. I remember back in my days of using Windows downloading WinAmp immediatetly for my media player, and downloading, Avant browser (had tabs and used it while firefox was still in beta). Even KDE and Gnome have their own complimentary line of products like Amarok, etc. KDE even integrates its web browser into its file manager. To me, they're exhibiting similar behavior.
        Microsoft built the better model for selling their software and
    • Not to be overly paranoid, but this is Microsoft we're discussing

      I would emphasize that this is not Microsoft we are talking about. We are talking about Windows. If you read Microsoft's document [microsoft.com] you'll note it is titled "Windows Principles".

      I've read the document carefully, and I see no indication that this philosophy extends to other products. Take for instance the Mappoint web services. A company can use the service to geocode data for use in the Mappoint desktop application. However, the license str
  • Oh my! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:50PM (#15746785) Homepage Journal
    "If a manufacturer wants to set competing search services ... by default, they can do so," Smith said in a speech at the New America Foundation, a Washington public policy institute.


    They're allowing OEM builders and end users to change some basic settings on their own computers? Oh my, how thoughtful of Microsoft! What's next, "allowing" system builders and users to install competitors' web browsers and office suites? "Allowing" system builders and users to change their wallpaper?

    I'm sorry, I just don't see anything groundbreaking in this "news." I read it more as spin on the fact that if they don't allow such settings to be changed, they'll find themselves in the antitrust hot seat again.
    • Re:Oh my! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by McFadden ( 809368 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:59PM (#15746836)
      >I'm sorry, I just don't see anything groundbreaking in this "news."


      I disagree. While it may be true that 'they should have been doing this all along', the fact that Microsoft (may) be allowing more free and open competition, including the actual removal of their own applications like IE, is pretty significant. You may be cynical about Microsoft, and rightfully so, but if Microsoft genuinely walks the walk, it would be a major redirection for their business strategy which up until now has thrived on exclusivity deals.

      • You make a good point; if this is genuine act, and it does carry through as suggested, we should praise Microsoft. It won't excuse them from any wrong doing, but we should commend them for actually doing things right. For some, it won't be enough until Microsoft ceases to exist, but I certainly don't toe that particular line.
      • Re:Oh my! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by marcello_dl ( 667940 )
        Sure it is a major redirection, pity that it doesn't likely come from mr. Gates waking up one morning and realizing his enterprise behaved just like the mafia, but from antitrust and competition. Even if it takes years to complete, this is a tactical, not a strategic move. BTW, granparent doesn't deserve negative moderation.
      • Re:Oh my! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by megaditto ( 982598 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @08:19PM (#15747121)
        fact that Microsoft (may) be allowing more free and open competition, including the actual removal of their own applications like IE, is pretty significant.


        Exactly as significant as a prison warden allowing the inmates to request an uninstall of toilets and beds from their cells!

        Absolutely no 'good will" on Microsoft's part; they are just electing the lesser evil: open up a little, or lose customers to KDE/Gnome and get sued to boot. What IS significant here is that Microsoft apparently feels threatened.
        • What IS significant here is that Microsoft apparently feels threatened.

          Agreed, and I think this is the truly significant news here. Microsoft has shown their total disdain for every legal measure taken against them. They do not fear the law, but they seem to be showing some fear for the market.

          They have shown reaction before, they are always ready to offer rebates when someone talks about adopting open source, but at this time they seem to be "proactive", they are talking about opening up without a specifi

    • Re:Oh my! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tcc3 ( 958644 )
      MS has done enough shady stuff in the past without you laying on the FUD. MS has never kept users from installing a 3rd party browser, office suite, or change their walpaper. Your sensationalism brands you a blind MS hater and actually weakens your argument.
      • MS has never kept users from installing a 3rd party browser, office suite, or change their walpaper.

        On the other hand, they do keep users from installing third party themes.

      • I did nothing of the sort. Sorry, but you're apparantly wearing Microsoft Fanboy-brand glasses if you don't see this as anything spin.

        Sure, you could change it in the past via registry hacks or third-party utilities like xteq's xsetup (for the "? keyword" in the location bar feature) but to announce that they are going to "allow" system builders and users to set the search engine to their preference reeks of political anti-antitrust spin, because to not allow that would be leveraging a legal monopoly in one
  • It has stopped raining chairs.
  • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:59PM (#15746835)
    Microsoft: Yeah, you can take this shortcut through our guildhall to the Orc Camp.
    You: Cool
    Microsoft: Now just sheath your sword and look straight ahead...
    You: Okay (starts walking)
    Without warning, Microsoft stabs you from behind!
    Microsoft massacres you with incredible force.
    Microsoft massacres you with incredible force.
    You are bleeding to death...
    • And for the MUD version

      "You have been eaten by a grue"
    • Awesome. Another Tsunami player....
    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:39PM (#15746984)
      > Microsoft: Yeah, you can take this shortcut through our guildhall to the Orc Camp.
      You: Cool
      Microsoft: Now just sheath your sword and look straight ahead...
      You: Okay (starts walking)
      Without warning, Microsoft stabs you from behind!
      Microsoft massacres you with incredible force.
      Microsoft massacres you with incredible force.
      You are bleeding to death...

      Or it could go this way...

      Microsoft: Now just sheath your sword and look straight ahead...
      You: Okay (starts walking)
      Gates: Right. Stick to the plan.
      Ballmer: Embrace, enbalm, extinguish.
      Darl: All right chums, I'm back! Let's do this! LEEROOOOOOOY JEEENKIIIIIINSSS!!! [runs into you with a lawsuit]

      You: WTF?

      Gates: [incredulous] ... Oh my God he just ran in. [provides more capital] Ballmer: Oh jeez, stick to the plan. Penrose: [shoots self] Penrose down. Penrose down. Gates: Oh man. ValleyGirl: [shoots self] I'm down. Val down. Baystar: RBC, rez us! RBC, rez us! RoyalBank: RBC down, sorry Baystar. No more funding. RBC down. Baystar: Oh God. Yarro: Oh God.
      You strike the Windows installation with a penguin. Microsoft is bleeding to death...
      Gates: Why you do this shit Darl?
      Ballmer: Darl, you are just stupid as hell.
      SCO: 'Least I have chicken.

    • I think the scariest part was you got massacred twice. As if you weren't dead enough already.
    • You forgot to add shield hearth into your example. And then the forum post where you complain that ms should be nerfed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:59PM (#15746837)
    Microsoft Announces Principles to Guide Future Development of Windows
    Twelve tenets to continue to apply after major parts of U.S. antitrust ruling expire.
    July 19, 2006 1:45 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, July 19, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Recognizing the important role the Windows(R) operating system plays in the global information economy, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) today announced a set of voluntary principles to help guide the future development of the Windows desktop platform worldwide, starting with Windows Vista(TM).

    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTL OGO [newscom.com] )

    In a speech hosted by the New America Foundation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said these principles will continue to apply after major parts of the U.S. antitrust ruling expire in November 2007.

    "Our goal is to be principled and transparent as we develop new versions of Windows," Smith said. "These voluntary principles are intended to provide the industry and consumers with the benefits of ongoing innovation, while creating and preserving robust opportunities for competition. The principles incorporate and go beyond the provisions of the U.S. antitrust ruling."

    The principles, which consist of 12 tenets, are divided into the following three general categories:

    -- Choice for Computer Manufacturers and Customers. Microsoft is committed to designing Windows and licensing it on contractual terms so as to make it easy to install non-Microsoft(R) programs and to configure Windows-based PCs to use non-Microsoft programs instead of or in addition to Windows features.

    -- Opportunity for Developers. Microsoft is committed to designing and licensing Windows (and all the parts of the Windows platform) on terms that create and preserve opportunities for applications developers and Web site creators to build innovative products on the Windows platform - including products that directly compete with Microsoft's own products.

    -- Interoperability for Users. Microsoft is committed to meeting customer interoperability needs and will do so in ways that enable customers to control their data and exchange information securely and reliably across diverse computer systems and applications.

    Smith told the audience that the principles do not supplant the continued application of antitrust law or the important role of government agencies and the courts in applying those laws.

    "Microsoft is committed both to full compliance with antitrust law and to an ongoing and constructive dialogue with governments and others in the industry -- both in the United States and around the world," he said.

    In addition to the 12 tenets Microsoft announced today, Smith acknowledged that other issues remain that still must be addressed by regulators, both now and in the future.

    "We're not suggesting that the Windows Principles will address every question raised by regulators and competitors," Smith said. "However, the fact that there are unanswered questions shouldn't impede the adoption of a broad set of principles in those areas where there is clarity and consensus."

    Smith said he believes it is critical for Microsoft and regulators to engage in open and constructive dialogue with a goal of resolving issues during product development and before the release of new products.

    "We have a responsibility to bring information about new technologies to regulators, so we can pursue an open and constructive dialogue before the launch of these new products," he said. "Given the global nature of the information economy, we recognize the importance of providing this information on a global basis."

    To ensure that the 12 tenets announced today reflect technological, business or legal developments going forward, Smith said Microsoft intends to review its Windows Principles at least once every three years. To ensure transparency, any changes wil
  • Quick! Someone give Microsoft a halo!
  • Saying is one thing and actually taking steps to ensure is another.
  • by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:14PM (#15746890)
    Unfortunately, this article seems to have only hit the tip of the iceberg. The full list of commitments is at an official MS site [microsoft.com]

    Now, I'm as realistic as the next guy, but these look pretty nice. The big ones are 5 and 9, which make it look like MS won't hit back against any manufacturer for bundling Linux on a desktop. It also allows for OEMs to remove WMP11 and IE7 from Vista if they'd rather bundle something else, or just bundle both, at no extra cost.
  • This is done in fear of the European Union. While i disagree that it is enough its a small step in the right direction. Next would be to attack the contracts that punish OEM that sells anything other than Windows.
    • The other tenets they published today handle that too (Read them here [microsoft.com]). I agree that it is done to appease the courts, but I'm worried that since it's voluntary, in 2-3 years, they can start fudging/revising these "tenets". So I'd strongly suggest someone mirror that page in a hurry, lest they pull an Animal Farm on us.
    • You clearly didn't read the full story (which is much larger than the BS slashdot summary regarding search engines), which includes "no punishment" to OEMs. (Not that there's been "punishment" for OEMs bundling other OSes; there were "incentives" (i.e. discounts on Windows) not do so in the past.)

      As far as the EU, I don't think Microsoft "fears" the EU, though they are sick of their bullshit, and want to be done dealing with them. That said, I don't think it has much to do with the EU. For the EU, Micros
      • Just to follow up on my own post (though it's bad form to replay to one's self lol), you can see in Microsoft's official statement:
        Windows Principles: Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition [microsoft.com] that they cite the USDOJ and the provisions of the US antitrust settlement again and again; never do they cite the European Commision's Kafka-esque kangaroo court.
      • It's good to see that the Microsoft PR offices obviously do not block viewing of (and posting to) Slashdot.org.

      • Re:Fear of the EU (Score:4, Informative)

        by virchull ( 963203 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @08:21PM (#15747130)
        The EU has recently floated comments that Microsoft might not be allowed to launch Vista at all, if it comes "out of the box" with a default preference for Microsoft search. It is interesting that within days, MS has softened their position about search. My own interpretation of this and other EU events is that MS has no respect for the USDOJ, but a billion dollars later in fines, they are starting to get the message that the EU means business in changing Microsoft's business.
    • MS sells OSs. It gives WMP and IE among aother software away. If MS will get more sales and or greater embracment due to these "allowances" than it is a good move for them. Money is all that business is about. Otherwise it's a hobby. =) SC
    • Hah. They've already lost to the EU courts, but still fail to admit it. From here: [microsoft.com]

      "Communications protocols. Microsoft will make available, on commercially reasonable terms, all of the communications protocols that it has built into Windows and that are used to facilitate communication with server versions of Windows. To facilitate this, Microsoft will document protocols supported in Windows as part of the product design process. We will also work closely with firms with particular needs to address interope
  • 12 step process
    1. We admitted we were powerless over open source. (They seem to have given up the hard fight)
    2. Came to believe that a community greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Has this happened?)
    3. Made a decision to turn our license over. (Shared Source is a start)
    4. Use a searching engine better then ours as default on IE. (This is where they are)
    5. Admitted to Open Source Community, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have Open
  • Even after 2007? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "In a speech hosted by the New America Foundation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said these principles will continue to apply after major parts of the U.S. antitrust ruling expire in November 2007."

    Oh, I get it. They want to show everyone they have actually reformed, before major parts of the DOJ ruling expire, probably to head off the (distant but still scary) prospect that the rulings might be revisited, extended, or expanded.

    Soooo, they're going to p
  • ... mail order guarantee .

    If you order from us now we will give you a 30 day money back, no questions asked, guarantee...

    When teh fact of teh matter is that it is law that states they must give consumers 30 days to return .....

    and in this case it is anti-trust suits that are requiring M$ to open up.

    They are not doing this out of their own heart.

    Nor it is a news worth story as it is presented,
  • Spyware... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    As great as this sounds, I just know that a year after Vista comes out 9 out of 10 computers running Vista are going to have some form of spyware running their searches.
  • MS only has a few moves in its 20 year old play book.
    Embrace, extend and extinguish is one of them.
    Re read it as
    "committed to creating a transparent system that allows us to extinguish the competition"
  • by intrico ( 100334 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:36PM (#15746973) Homepage
    I think it would be perfectly logical to see Microsoft gradually move away from the closed-source model. I would not be surprised if they announce a decision to make Windows open-source a few years from now, seeing as how the entire economics of the enterprise software industry is moving towards consulting and support as a primary source of revenue (e.g., Oracle, Red Hat, Sun and others). (After a complete change in leadership of course, with gates and others moving out of the picture.) The basic economic forces of supply and demand in a highly competitive enterprise software market dictate that they logically should not be able to rely on revenue from software licensing for very long into the future. Their monopoly days are over.
    • And with the basis of your utopia being that consultation is worth more than development, don't be surprised when consultants are making big buucks while programmers have to take jobs on the side. Also, don't be surprised when programs are intentionally made difficult to use, so as to drive up the necessity for consulting/customization and the fees incurred from that.
      • Isn't this already happening today?? Coding jobs are being outsourced overseas, and Oracle in particular comes to mind, when you speak of "programs are intentionally made difficult to use, so as to drive up the necessity for consulting/customization and the fees incurred from that".
  • this was in IE7 Beta2, i know, as i used it. its just a simple xml standard that allows anyone to create an xml file that descripts their search engine and its capibilitys and how to use them.. and IE7 adds it to its engine list. and it also allows you to set ANY as the default engine.
  • Open for whom?

    The policy, which Microsoft senior vice president Brad Smith said was 'committed to creating a transparent system that allows open competition,'

    I can't write my own device drivers anymore.
    I can't download bug fixes for DX9 without WGA being enabled, yet I own over twelve Windows Licenses.
    I can't benchmark programs and publish results.
    I can't take any legally purchased WMA's and play them under Linux.
    I can't have drive space for my own stuff because of Windows bloat.
    I can't have my money back
    • From your cited article:

      Mac sales were up 12 percent compared with last year, during what was considered a poor quarter for the PC market. Apple said 75 percent of all Macs sold during the period used Intel's chips.

      Yes, I am using my new MacTel to type this, but I fear you have taken this statistic out of context. Apple, *NIX, et all still have a LOT of catching up to do.
    • Why can't you write your own device drivers anymore? Nothing stopping you.
      You can't rebuild your linux kernel without turning on the PC, so?
      I see tons of benchmarks being published everyday. Granted, there are a few licenses that don't allow this, mostly beta products, and only then because they probably are representative of the final product.
      I can't take a legally purchased linux binary and run it on windows.
      When hard drives are like $40 for a 200GB drive, cry me a river that windows takes up 1.5GB of d
      • What are you a Microsoft stockholder?

        Why can't you write your own device drivers anymore? Nothing stopping you.
        Its called no more unsigned drivers. You need to purchase a certificate. If you wanted to talk to your computer (hardware) directly, you can't without purchasing a yearly license. Where would BG be if IBM did that for him back in 1981?

        You can't rebuild your linux kernel without turning on the PC, so?
        Your not very good at expressing yourself are you?

        I see tons of benchmarks being published ever
    • But hey Microsoft, I just want you to know that I am happy to be a part of Apples 12% Mac increase this quarter.
      Yeah, we know how Apple will allow you to use any search engine in Safari that you want to...
    • >Open my Ass.
      Ummm, no, it's OK thanks. Thanks for the offer though.
  • Thanks Microsoft! You have saved me the 4 seconds that it takes for me to go to my.yahoo.com and set my home page...
  • #8 makes me wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @09:18PM (#15747295)
    "8. Open Internet access. Microsoft will design and license Windows so that it does not block access to any lawful Web site or impose any fee for reaching any non-Microsoft Web site or using any non-Microsoft Web service."

    What did they have planned before?
  • In a jovial press conference, Microsoft CEO Kevin Turner just announced...

    "I was thinking about things over breakfast.. you know.. about life, and what's important, and business, and so on.. and I came to thinking that we've got so much stuff at Microsoft, that we can afford to share it around a bit more. First thing we're going to do is allow Google to compete in corporate search. We'll be announcing other give-aways shortly"

    There is some speculation that Microsoft will make Windows Vista free, and o
  • I think its pretty interesting that Microsoft has announced a beta product on the homepage. I don't ever remember Microsoft taking an open source branded move like this. If they are taking a move towards accurate product labeling and a larger popolution of testers, all the better!
  • I just know the desasterous communication from Brad Smith in Brussels. Surely this move is also related to antitrust policy and the EU competition orders. He is a guy who burns soil and funds unsound lobbyists. The other side of the medal is that their lobbying cowboys trash Microsoft's reputation because they do adapt.

    It remains important to inform antitrust agencies about Microsoft's abuse so that they could react.

    Then we will see search engine competition etc. etc. etc.
  • "allowing other search engines like Google to be set by default"

    I see, Microsoft allows me to set the default search engine on my own computer and that's enough for a whole article.
  • This is not about MS allowing anything. This is about the EU not allowing the MS to continue their practice of misusing their monopoly on the desktop to dictate other markets.

A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author. -- S. C. Johnson

Working...