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02.23.09

Quick Mention: Microsoft Could Grab ITV Like It Grabbed BBC

Posted in Antitrust, DRM, Europe, Microsoft at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IN THE last short report about mischievous BBC-Microsoft overlap, the issue of insiders was discussed and also shown. This latest development is actually covered in a few more places such as this and this, but they totally miss the point about media control and exclusion of GNU/Linux due to Microsoft corruption. It only gets worse over time.

There is another new report suggesting that Microsoft might attempt to do to ITV (another British television entity) what it did to the BBC. To quote:

Microsoft says it has no plans to revive the Kangaroo online video joint venture planned by British broadcasters but blocked for being anticompetitive. It follows a report that Ashley Highfield, the former chief executive of the Kangaroo, now at Microsoft, was talking to broadcasters about possible partnerships. A joint venture between MSN and ITV would be an interesting option.

Italy’s public television too has been ruined by Microsoft. It’s rendered partly obsolete by excluding GNU/Linux users due to the channels’ use of Microsoft technology.

How can this illness be ended? As the financial crisis serves to show, the ‘free’ market does not work because it assumes the honesty and goodwill of participants. In the cases above, what observers tend to find is a group of people serving personal interests or interests of other companies.

There is an interesting new article about a man who wrote a book in support of stronger antitrust action. Portions of it refer specifically to Microsoft.

When the full history of Silicon Valley is written, attorney Gary Reback will occupy a spot halfway between a modern-day Tom Paine and Paul Revere. Nobody was more responsible than the 59-year-old Tennessee native for the legal assault on Microsoft a decade ago.

[...]

Reback was there for almost all the key battles — defending Apple in its fight with mail-order merchants; holding Borland’s standard against Lotus before the U.S. Supreme Court; persuading the government to question the Microsoft-Intuit deal, and of course, persuading Justice Department officials to sue Microsoft as a monopolist.

Mote regulation is certainly needed. Without regulation, there is anarchy. Additionally, only transparency keeps people honest and only open standards keep information accessible. Corrupting standards bodies, as as Microsoft so arrogantly did, is grounds for antitrust action too.

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5 Comments

  1. Linux said,

    February 23, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Gravatar

    Fresh news with regard to MS’ monopoly:

    http://www.euractiv.com/de/informationsgesellschaft/eu-zwingt-microsoft-angebot-anderer-browser/article-179659

    “To this end, Microsoft will be obliged to design Windows in a way that allows users “to choose which competing web browser(s) instead of, or in addition to, Internet Explorer they want to install and which one they want to have as default,” Todd explained. A possible solution could be to present Windows users with a so-called “ballot screen” from which they would choose their browser.”

    :-)

  2. Jose_X said,

    February 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    These games aren’t even funny. You can’t force Microsoft go give the same kind of tender loving care to other browsers as they give to IE (eg, performance, stability, and defense against malware — and I am talking about cases where the problem might or might not be fed to the browser).

    I would not be surprised if Firefox takes extra precautions for the sake of defense on Windows. Precautions that slow it down and would not be necessary on Linux but which the Linux version still has coded into it (based on design not re-adapted to Linux).

    Let’s consider a loophole: The other browsers will lack surely enough when you consider these can’t handle all the proprietary formats and crap that Microsoft will throw at “a browser”. Microsoft can exploit this (leading to IE becoming the default again for everything “browsing”).

    One attempt at a better solution would be to define what these other browsers can handle and then always use those browsers to handle those functions but use whatever else Windows has to handle the functions those browsers can’t handle. In other words, you need to partition by functionality of browsing or else you will end up with the same tie-in issues where IE will be used since it’s the only that can handle everything.

    I expect Microsoft to give you many opportunities to change your defaults, eg, when you open IE for any task because Firefox couldn’t handle something that a “browser” normally is supposed to handle on Windows.

    It’s also sad that we are still talking about browser tie-ins after all of these years. There are still other antitrust issues since the 90s that have not been given their due.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Gravatar

    You could base this on experiences with Google (desktop/Web search). Attempts to enforce choice were a farce because Microsoft disregarded the rules, sometimes thanks to its DOJ cronies like Barnett.

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-02/ff_killgoogle

  4. Doug said,

    February 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Gravatar

    “Microsoft says it has no plans to revive the Kangaroo online video project .. follows a report that Ashley Highfield, the former chief executive of the Kangaroo project, now at Microsoft, has been talking to broadcasters about possible partnerships”

    Will Microsoft be reporting itself to the competition

    http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/press_rel/2009/feb/pdf/05-09.pdf

    “Incidentally, Sharon Baylay, previously general manager of online services for Microsoft UK, has meanwhile been appointed as director of marketing, communications and audiences at the BBC”

    “The ITV Player, as its online video offering is now called, happens to use Microsoft Silverlight technology”

  5. Jose_X said,

    February 25, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Gravatar

    http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2009/02/24/ec-list-of-potential-principles/

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