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06.24.08

US Government: Microsoft Deliberately Stifles Interoperability

Posted in America, Antitrust, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Standard at 1:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The more things change, the more they stay the same”

A few days ago we showed that Microsoft continues to disobey demands and requirements imposed by the United States Government. To make matters worse, it was almost as though this disdain could be characterised as patronisation. A story we told here a very long time ago is about Novell’s foolishness — believing that it can actually change Microsoft’s ways and receive what was promised.

The latest development is rather astonishing but not particularly surprising. Regulators seem to suggest that Microsoft deleted interoperability documents, proving that it continues to recklessly abuse its dominant position and probably break the law too.

Microsoft Deleted Windows Interoperability Documents, Feds Say

[...]

Microsoft has stopped publishing some of the technical documentation that rival software makers may need to make their products interoperable with the Windows operating system, according to a court-mandated committee overseeing Microsoft’s compliance with a federal antitrust settlement.

Should anyone be surprised?

In case it is not obvious why interoperability — preferably attained through open standards — is important, have a look at this good new post from Brendan Scott.

The lack of interoperability is an enormous problem because interoperability is a precondition to competition. When software lacks interoperability it is a symptom that there is no competition in the market. As competition in a market decreases not only do the costs of products in the market become artificially inflated, but the quality and diversity of the products simultaneously decreases. Lack of interoperability means that a customer cannot avail themselves of self help to implement features that they want in a product or remove dis-features (1) (2) from a product. As we mentioned above, unless your requirements are shared by a substantial proportion of the target market, you will be unlikely to be able to have specific features implemented – even if you are willing to pay the cost of implementation.

To sum up, Microsoft not only fails to deliver or produce necessary documentation. It’s claimed to already got possession of it. If the supposition and evidence is compelling enough, then Microsoft shreds it, essentially destroying what’s already available to satisfy the market wacthers’ commands. How’s that for being cooperative? Microsoft never changed its ways. Never. It learned how to pretend though.

“We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.”

Bill Gates

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A Single Comment

  1. RyanT said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Gravatar

    I think by changing behaviour they mean double backing on every fair thing they’re forced to do.

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