Bonum Certa Men Certa

European Commission Should Also Fine Microsoft for Using Skype to Further Harm Interoperability

Money rules the world



Summary: Microsoft already ruins interoperability between Skype and other software (which is based on Free/open source software) and this comes amidst important hearings and fines in Europe

Skype never used standard protocols, but there were at least some links one might call "interoperability" and there was cross-platform support, even if it was poor. Speaking for myself, Skype never worked for me as webcams that worked perfectly using SIP clients simply failed in Skype. The program was necessary because of the network effect, which meant that many people would not be contactable through any program other than Skype. Techrights prefers SIP and Free software.



Well, guess what? Microsoft already uses Skype to shaft GNU/Linux and Free software users on the face of it. "Microsoft kills Skype for Asterisk," informed us one reader (in IRC). "Need to get the word out that SIP clients can talk to each other, not just to the same model."

He adds that "people that were advocating FOSS skype clients have been shown that option is dead. SIP is the way forward for softphones" (I personally have a SIP phone connected to my hub at home).

“Just two short weeks after assuring us Skype was safe in their hands, Microsoft seems intent on cutting its link with Linux.”
      --Simon Phipps
Mr. Phipps from the OSI writes: Just two short weeks after assuring us Skype was safe in their hands, Microsoft seems intent on cutting its link with Linux."

He continues: "Having suspended disbelief for as long as I could, my ability to take Microsoft at their word over Skype was shattered yesterday on hearing the announcement by Digium, sponsors of the widely-used Asterisk VoIP project, that they have been told they can no longer sell their Asterisk-Skype interaction module after July 26. That means it will become impossible for this VoIP PBX to connect to Skype."

Will the OSI help complain like it did regarding CPTN? Maybe it ought to.

So anyway, why is this important? At this very moment Microsoft is under fire in Europe for stifling interoperability. This cannot help Microsoft's case, can it? In fact, regarding the hearing which the FSFE mentioned and we wrote about yesterday, here is the summary from the FSFE. It is titled "FSFE in Samba case: Microsoft's defiance backfired" and it says:

The problems date back to the Commission's 2004 decision that Microsoft should release interoperability information. After that, the company played for time and waited three years to comply with the Commission's demands. Explaining the significance of Samba for a competitive software market, Chamber President Forwood said: “Samba is the funnel through which the effects on the market will be produced.”

Microsoft contended that the information it had to provide was valuable and innovative, and originally sought to charge high prices for it. Tridgell demonstrated that the valuable information had already been revealed by Microsoft in research papers and other public fora. By contrast, the information that Samba team needed to interoperate with computers running Microsoft Windows was neither original nor innovative.

“Microsoft didn't keep this information secret because it was valuable; the information was only valuable because it was kept secret,” Piana told the Court on behalf of FSFE. He said it let Microsoft preserve its dominant position, because no other software was able to talk to the company's systems. “The company used these three years to further entrench its dominant position in the market.”

“Microsoft is acting like a gambler who doubled up on a losing bet, and now wants his money back,” said Nicholas Kahn, the representative of the European Commission. By waiting three years before complying with the Commission's decision while the clock on the fine was ticking, Microsoft set the stakes very high – and finally lost.

“In this case, Europe's competition regulators have shown their bite. We hope that the court will uphold the fine and make it clear that companies in Europe have to play by the rules,” said Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. “FSFE does many things to help foster the growth of Free Software. We're proud to help make the case for Free Software in a forum such as this, where we believe we are providing a public service.”
There are also some news reports about it [1, 2]:

The world’s largest software company told judges at an appeal hearing today that the 2008 European Commission fine was “especially unfair” because the regulator failed to give it sufficient guidance to avoid the fine. The court should annul the “unnecessary, unlawful and totally disproportionate penalty,” Microsoft lawyer Jean-Francois Bellis told the court.

Microsoft is the only company in more than 50 years of EU competition policy to be penalized for failing to comply with an order. Today’s case is the last remnant of years of disputes with the commission that resulted in fines totaling 1.68 billion euros. Microsoft agreed to a settlement in 2009 in a bid to repair the company’s uneasy relationship with the EU regulator.


Groklaw thinks it is "[r]ather sad if a company's goal is to establish it isn't "as bad" as you thought. Here's Microsoft's appeal." Well, Microsoft thinks it is above the law and it uses PR to try and brainwash the public and daemonise those who penalise for true crimes. It's all propaganda, just like the current propaganda about Vista 8. As Renai LeMay put it, "it's too soon, Microsoft". To quote:

To most consumers, Windows 8 will likely look and feel pretty similar to Windows 7, which in turn looked much like Windows Vista.


Exactly. And this is why we call it Vista 8. Imaginary hardware features is all it has (or doesn't have). But going back to the original point, Microsoft is lying about interoperability. Microsoft is not playing nice, it is just trying to dodge fines.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

An "Efficient Windows 11 Experience" is Removing a Text Editor (Less than 5 Megabytes in Size) and Adding Chatbots That Require a New PC/Datacentre
Vista 11 24H2 update removes WordPad
 
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part II - Scaring People Who Produce Videos in Support of Stallman
There are allegations of threats, defamation, and censorship
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Wife
In my view, it is a form of overt sexism
[Chart] Chromebooks in Micronesia Grew at the Expense of Microsoft Windows
As of today...
Linus Torvalds Mocked "Cloud Native" in His Latest Talk (Arguing It's Just Hype), 'Linux' Foundation 'Research' (Marketing) Chooses Proprietary Software to Query Its Adopters
The name "Linux" is overused, abused, even grossly misused
Links 29/05/2024: More Arrests of Regime Critics and Hate Crimes
Links for the day
Brittany Day (linuxsecurity.com) Now Leverages Microsoft Chatbots to Promote Microsoft Propaganda Disguised as "Linux"
What Brittany Day does is an attack both on the Web and on Linux
[Meme] Don't Trust Users to Boot Their Own PCs?
UEFI 'secure' boot
Links 29/05/2024: Hack The Box, Why I Left Healthcare, and Chatbots as Health Risk
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/05/2024: BESM Retro Second Edition and Itanium Day
Links for the day
Azerbaijan: Microsoft Falls From 99.5% to Almost Nothing or Less Than 20% (Windows Down Sharply, GNU/Linux Surges)
Based on statSounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 28, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part I - Two Canceled Talks in a Row?
RMS has left Europe, so the concept of "delayed" talk is facetious or deeply cynical
On Desktops/Laptops in Andorra Windows Fell to Less Than Half, 20% If One Counts Mobile as Well
And this is a European country
[Meme] 3 Years Later
If you're going to start a fight, make sure you can handle it
When You Leave a Bad Employer and Move on to Better Things
Perhaps my main mistake was not resigning from my job sooner
No, Your Site Likely Does Not Need WordPress
I was one of the first users of WordPress
GNU/Linux in Cameroon: Rising Steadily While Windows Falls From 99% to Just 6%
If one also counts mobile (mostly Android)
Monkey See, Monkey Share
on deprivation of users
From 0.17% to 10% or More (GNU/Linux in Dominica)
Dominica isn't well known, but it does seem to have embraced Chromebooks in recent years
Links 28/05/2024: Tensions in East Asia, UK Mandatory National Service
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: NetCrawl and Living in Lagrange
Links for the day
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused