Bonum Certa Men Certa

Impact of Windows XP Getting Banned for Microsoft Misconduct

"It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not."

--Bill Gates



Summary: China demands that Windows XP should not be sold, but in a state where Microsoft turns a blind eye to counterfeiting the impact will be low

THIS morning we wrote very briefly about the verdict which bans sales of Windows XP in China. "Microsoft ordered to halt Win XP sales in China," says news coverage that we cited earlier.

Microsoft has been ordered to stop selling Windows XP in China after a court ruled that certain fonts in the operating system infringe on a Chinese firm's intellectual property.


The following newer article says that "China orders Microsoft to halt some Windows sales"

Microsoft Corp has been ordered by a Chinese court to stop selling versions of its Windows operating systems that include fonts designed by a local company, citing a violation of licensing agreements.


So what will Microsoft do? Well, over in China Windows gets copied more often than bought (Microsoft reportedly sold just 244 copies of Windows Vista in its first two weeks, despite a huge population size), so the impact will be small regardless of appeals and reversals. Microsoft is actually happy to see people who illegally copy its software. Homer/Slated put it as follows earlier in the day:

In fact Microsoft do benefit from piracy, in exactly the same way they benefit from dumping "products" (i.e. licenses) at a loss (assuming it is even possible to make a loss on something so ethereal, which can be reproduced virtually for nothing, as "permission to use"). The purpose of dumping (and the benefit of piracy) is market saturation, which has the short-term effect of excluding competition at a loss, but the long-term effect of ensuring market dominance, which assures the continued survival of the company, increased profits, and little need to rely on marketing or product improvement, in the absence of any competition.

It's a deeply cynical business development method that favours attacks on the competition over self-improvement. Why improve oneself when one can simply destroy others, thus becoming "improved" by default?

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else" ~ Jeff Raikes, former Microsoft Business Group president.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=198000211

"As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours." ~ Bill Gates.

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-212942.html

"[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don't make any money, either." - Bob Cringely.

http://blog.businessofsoftware.org/2007/07/cringely-the-un.html

All that remains is to maintain that dominance, by suppressing others' attempts to (re)enter the market. Microsoft accomplishes this in three ways: Lobbying, propaganda, and exclusive contracts. In this way their monopoly is protected by a closed-shop system, comprising partners and other paid agents persuaded to exclusively promote the Microsoft stack ... criticising and rejecting everything else. The result is consumers are inundated with pro-Microsoft propaganda on the one hand and denied access to competing technology on the other. IOW, Microsoft is engaged in racketeering, and is tolerant of those who don't pay the protection money, because non-payers nonetheless help support the ecosystem which protects Microsoft's racket.


For improved perspective, also see [1, 2].

Misconduct

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