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01.24.08

Quick Mention: Is Microsoft Begging for Another Antitrust Slap?

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watch this latest scoop.

Microsoft memo: Windows 7 and Windows Live to be even more tightly joined at the hip

[...]

But it’s all about the future of Windows Live — and how Microsoft’s family of Windows-complementary services are going to get a lot more cozy with Windows and Internet Explorer.

If you take a quick glimpse at the links at the bottom, you will find that none of this is particularly new. Nonetheless, it’s anti-competitive and there will probably be lawsuits over this in the future. Companies like Google suffer in this case, not just Web services other and applications. As Google ought to have discovered by now, the Department of Justice won't help here. The same type of tricks (bundling – integration – compatibility – exclusion) apply to other areas such as Web browsers and virtualisation. More on this topic in the next post…

Related articles:

Connecting the dots on Windows 7

I would have asked one more follow up: Was Gates hinting that Microsoft will build more of its currently standalone Windows Live services right into the operating system?

Where Should Vendors Stick Their Services?

Wondering if you noticed the news over at Microsoft Watch this week that Microsoft has done what many considered inevitable: Started using Windows as a way to hawk Windows Live Services?

It’s not too surprising to me that Microsoft is splashing all over its Welcome to Vista screen (at least in one of the latest Vista test builds, No. 5506) promotional links, inviting users to download Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live OneCare, Windows Live Mail Desktop, and more. But I was surprised the Redmondians would be so bold as to actually embed Windows Live Messenger into Vista. After all the antitrust lawsuits Microsoft has been slapped with here, there and everywhere — many of which have focused on its “innovative integration” (a k a, bundling) strategies, you’d think they’d be a little more cautious.

With the actual Windows Live Messenger code (not just a download link) being integrated right into Vista, I think Microsoft might be really going out on a limb. When backed into a corner before about its integration strategy, Microsoft’s defense was that removing any of the integrated components (Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, etc.) would break the OS. But if Vista test builds have been working just fine (well, middling, maybe, based on some not-so-happy tester comments) without Windows Live Messenger, how can Microsoft make a case for it being part of Windows?

Microsoft broke anti-trust agreement,’ prosecutors claim

It’s claimed Microsoft’s engineers used at least 500 undocumented APIs to ensure Microsoft’s applications worked better with Windows than those of competitors.

Microsoft rivals file second European complaint

…Microsoft was preventing access to Vista’s programming interfaces and hindering the development of compatible products, thus repeating anti-competitive violations the commission had identified three years ago in a previous operating system.

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3 Comments

  1. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 24, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Gravatar

    I think it’s premature to follow this Windows 7 shit stream.

    This is pure PR and aimed to IT people who have to take a decision to go for Vista or non-Microsoft OSes.

    Have you noticed the Vista SP1 is just around the corner, and it’s known that IT people never consider operating systems before SP1 ships ?

    Perfect timing, heh!

    As for the coupling of their Live services with Windows, I would also suggest to not worry too much about it. The stupid game that Microsoft is trying to play with their internet enabled services that require all the latest Microsoft software in order to work, will fall back on their face since people out there could not care less.

    Internet is so little in their DNA (for them it’s just a marketing channel) that they will manage to screw themselves with their bloated crap.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 24, 2008 at 3:16 am

    Gravatar

    Have you noticed the Vista SP1 is just around the corner, and it’s known that IT people never consider operating systems before SP1 ships ?

    There’s that factor too, of course.

    The stupid game that Microsoft is trying to play with their internet enabled services that require all the latest Microsoft software in order to work, will fall back on their face since people out there could not care less.

    I really don’t believe we should underestimate Microsoft in that regard. Watch some Comes vs Microsoft exhibits to remind yourself of how far they are willing to go (even breaking laws) in order to gain market share and crush competitive threats. Then, look back at Google’s complaint to the DoJ. It pretty much backfired because the DoJ couldn’t care less (an insider defended Microsoft).

    I have just read about another staff exodus at Microsoft. On the face of it, at least 15% of the XBox team ‘ran away’ in 2007. This is part of a broader trend (we don’t cover this here because it’s considered “bashing”) and the more threatened Microsoft feels, the more aggressive it will become. Prepare for Microsoft to boast some high figures this week, backed by its broad buybacks plan and some bucket-shuffling. I really think we should beat the ODF/OOXML as loud as possible because it’s only that one cash cows that saves Microsoft from sinking along with many of the other failures (e.g. Windows Mobile, Zune, XBox360, Soapbox, MSN/Live search, WHS).

  3. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 24, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Gravatar

    “I really don’t believe we should underestimate Microsoft in that regard. Watch some Comes vs Microsoft exhibits to remind yourself of how far they are willing to go”

    The big difference now is that Microsoft’s biggest enemy is themselves. They have to force their install base to move but that install base does not care anymore. We are not living in the 1995-2000 days anymore.

    Sure, Microsoft is threatening democracy daily. In France, every single week, you can read about Microsoft France investing in this and that (places, people, orgs that sometimes have nothing to do with IT). You can smell there is a huge political lobbying going on. But the return on investment is less guaranteed than in the past.

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