11.11.07

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Rebuttal to: “Eight Years Later, Is Microsoft Still a Monopoly?“ (PCWorld)

Posted in America, Antitrust, Bill Gates, Courtroom, Dell, Europe, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft at 12:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopoly has money

A misinformed article from PCWorld seems to insinuate that Microsoft may no longer be a monopoly that requires government oversight. In other words, it’s an indication that Microsoft has changed its way, which it clearly has not. It only hides its anti-competitive actions slightly more effectively. From the article:

But whether because of the antitrust suits or because of other market factors, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be using its power to muscle competitors off the desktop. The very fact that Dell is selling Linux machines at all is one example. And when I recently bought a Dell desktop for home use, it came preloaded with products from two of Microsoft’s most formidable competitors–Google’s desktop search service and Mozilla’s Firefox.

This is of course escaping all the main issues. Come to discover what Microsoft has been doing to Dell since the previous ruling (and during its probation period). Behind the scenes, Microsoft sabotaged Dell's attempts to sell GNU/Linux.

As we pointed out some weeks ago, the Department of Justice is still in Microsoft's pocket (surprise, surprise! The government is not truly honest). A couple of days ago came this article:

US Justice Department objects to states’ effort to extend Microsoft oversight to 2012

“There is no basis for the court to order a five-year extension of the final judgments,” the Justice Department said in a court filing Friday, citing a lack of evidence provided by the states that such oversight is justified.

To avoid repetition, you are urged to read our previous post on this topic and learn more about the DoJ-Microsoft link. It sheds light on the issues that misinform articles such as the one from PCWorld.

Of course Microsoft still abusing and bullying the market. Need one go further than the Mandriva story that was mentioned yesterday? Even the Managing Editor of LinuxToday called it bribery.

So, even as Microsoft claims superior quality over Linux, they act as if they don’t even buy their own FUD. If they really believed that Windows was superior to Linux, they wouldn’t have to bribe people with “marketing help” to get them to choose Windows.

Speaking of Microsoft ‘bribery’, you’ll find more examples in the following recent stories:

  1. Green Party slams Microsoft OLPC involvement
  2. Bribing Bloggers
  3. Microsoft Hires Programmer to edit Wikipedia Entry For OOXML
  4. Interview with Dr Andrew S Tanenbaum (mind the “book story”)

These are just 4 among many more examples.

The government (and DoJ especially) chooses to turn a blind eye to some real issues. It wasn’t long ago that the following story, which involves the FTC, grabbed a lot of attention.

Microsoft trying to derail Google/DoubleClick deal by lobbying congress

Microsoft has hired lobbying firm Patton Boggs LLC to do work on “competitive issues surrounding Google/DoubleClick [sic] merger.”

That is monopoly abuse. Plain and simple. Microsoft was willing to pay twice as much for DoubleClick, but apparently the company’s stakeholders rejected Microsoft (they leaned from history). It is just one among a very long series of articles about Microsoft’s lobbying in American and Europe. This time, Google is the victim, not GNU/Linux. If we go a little further back, then we also find this:

Gates blackmailed Danish government

Microsoft boss Bill Gates threatened to kill 800 Danish jobs if Denmark opposed the European Computer Implemented Inventions Directive, reports today’s Danish financial daily Børsen, quoted by NoSoftwarePatents.com.

That fits nicely with our coverage on software patents and the lobbying (manipulation and sometimes bullying, bribery, extortion, and blackmail) that is used to change the law in Europe.

Not much was said specifically about the PCWorld article, but don’t the stories above answer its headline? Judge for yourselves…

Eight Years Later, Is Microsoft Still a[n abusive] Monopoly?

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3 Comments

  1. Jim Powers said,

    November 11, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Gravatar

    It is true that MS is still an abusive monopoly, no doubts there. Because of many voices around the world, you folks included, more and more are willing to stand up to this bullying and are becoming aware that freedom translates to economic opportunity much more than the alternative.

    Economically, eliminating MS does not maintain economic status quo: some will lose their jobs, companies will fail, that’s life. The needs that these companies satisfy will be filled by those who can, and we encourage those seeking software for their needs to choose FLOSS as it not only benefits them and others, as well as adding to the overall shared bank of human knowledge, but is a really cheap insurance policy against lock-in and single-vendor-related risks.

    Microsoft will eventually fall (or, more likely be transformed into a TRUE FLOSS company, I simply cannot believe that with the brain-trust that MS employs that they would choose business suicide over adapting to market demands), but the question is how much damage they will do during their fall: this fall/transformation is still probably a decade away. Alas, the vast brainwashed herds of the public awaken slowly, and FUD works.

  2. Jim Powers said,

    November 11, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Gravatar

    On another note: Have you guys seen this:

    http://www.news.com/8301-13580_3-9810024-39.html

    Based on the whole Office-Lockin XML format fiasco I cannot help but feel that this is another “bad thing” in the works. I’m all for new image standards, but not patent-encumbered ones. My guess is that there is a whole minefield of them here.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 11, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Gravatar

    See this discussion about HD from last week. Stephane Rodriguez says it’s not harmful although I still have my doubt.

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