The Microsoft I$$ue

First, no, I am not talking about Microsoft making money… Notice the ‘$’ sign is not in Microsoft’s name :D

After a landmark ruling by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) against Microsoft Wednesday, speculation is rising over whether the firm will go through with its threat of pulling the Windows operating system out of the local market.

I’m not going to bother going into the specifics, there is Google and CNN for that… But in short:

  • South Korea wants Microsoft to either remove all Windows Media Services & Instant Messaging from Windows XP, sell them separately, or package (in their words) “competing products” with Windows!!
  • $. Korea has fined MS $32 Million for violation.
  • South Korea claims that “As a result, programs such as open-source Linux, which has been choked by the predominant status of proprietary Windows, will be able to carve out a niche” he added.
  • In late October, Microsoft threatened it might stop servicing Windows here or delay the release of new versions should the FTC require it to remove code or redesign Windows uniquely for South Korea.
  • Microsoft Spokesman Kwon Chang believed that the ruling does constitute a request to “remove code or redesign Windows uniquely for Korea.” But he said the firm will try to appeal it via litigation instead of pulling Windows out of South Korea.

I think it is a ridiculous scam to get money, to take advantage of excellent software at reduced rates while still having domestic competition bringing in the cash, plus the money from the fines. The logical reasons why this lawsuit is ridiculous:

  • The main point of these anti-trust lawsuits is packaged software.
  • Apple (which, granted does not have a huge market share) packages iTunes, iMovie, iChat, iPhoto, iDVD, and more in there “iLife” suite, which is the single biggest reason people by the OS.
  • Each Linux Distro comes with its “alliances” of software.. Why don’t they package every single Open-Source application in their distros?
  • Microsoft ships an OS. Do you know what OS stands for? Operating System. I personally do not consider something to be “Operational” unless it comes with media support, a web browser, a basic word processor, an imaging suite, a CD-burner. And what’s a PC without an Email Client or an IM? I’m looking for all of that and more; I want as much bang for the buck as possible.
  • The applications bundled with Windows are not necessarily the best, but not a single one does not allow you to replace it with another as the default. Hell, if you feel like it, you can replace explorer.exe! I personally only use MSN Messenger (which BTW does NOT ship with Windows), Internet Explorer (7), and WMP. Everything else is 3rd party without any issues.
  • While you’re at it, Microsoft now has a bluetooth client, network manager, and rumors say, a P2P client in Vista… Let’s take those out too… And it has a sound recorder? That’s competing with Adobe Audition… Paint? I’d rather use Fireworks, let’s have Microsoft remove that too then. It comes with WALLPAPERS? I don’t want Microsoft wallpapers! And that Windows Address Book (how many of you have turned it on? Ever?)!! Windows Backup? System Restore? Chkdsk? Firewall? Oh Noes!
  • The programs in question (Windows Media Player, Windows Image Viewer, Windows CD Burning, Disk Defragmenter, Internet Explorer) can all be hidden. Who cares if they are not removed? Windows uses them to work. So long as you do not see them, why complain?
  • Windows-N, the WMP-stripped version to please the EU, simply ships with Windows Media Player hidden by default and deactivated, but the code is there just the same..
  • According to CNet, there was no demand for Windows-N in Europe….
  • Microsoft may be a “monopoly” but they started off like (actually, below than, dollar-wise) everyone else; and built up a company under competition.

Well, Microsoft promised to pull out of $. Korea but I highly doubt that will happen. In all likelihood, Microsoft will take the beating if the appeal fails, pay the fine, ship out Windows-P, and continue to deliver, because that’s what Microsoft does.

Source: The Korea Times

One thought on “The Microsoft I$$ue

  1. And, I’m just shell-shocked to think it took them 5 years to realize that Windows XP has an instant messaging client……
    Prolly it took them this long to gather enough crap to build the lawsuit on!

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