Bonum Certa Men Certa

Antitrust Concerns Over Microsoft's Dumping Techniques Against GNU/Linux

"I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good."

--Adam Smith



A couple of days ago, news sites began to be filled with articles sparked by IDG, which broke the news about nearly-gratis XP for crippled laptops. Rather than invest in development of better products Microsoft seems to have gotten itself preoccupied with eliminating competitors, in which case the quality of its products is irrelevant (because there's no choice). Computer World UK raises an important question and suggests that such moves from Microsoft will not help its attempt to escape the fines and scrutiny from the European Commission.

There's another issue, though: does this latest move amount to (yet another) abuse of Microsoft's dominant position in the operating systems market? Some would say “no”, pointing out that price reductions of this kind are precisely how capitalism is supposed to work. But others would say “yes”, because it seems to be exactly the same behaviour that got the company into trouble with the antitrust authorities last time.

Now, I'm no expert on the niceties of this or any other kind of law, so I won't try to sort that one out. But one organisation that certainly does have plenty of legal eagles is the European Commission, which is already looking at other aspects of Microsoft's business practice, particularly with regard to open source and open standards. So I'm sure that it is now having a think about this latest move against free software.


It turns out that Jeff Raikes, a departing senior executive (president even) from Microsoft, is joining the 'Microsoft division' which writes the very big checks and encourages dumping, political manipulation and other means of self-serving glorification that harms rivals. For those who are new to this:



The 'best' type of charity is that which has a good return on investment. It makes it not a charity as much as business as usual, even a tax evasion mechanism.

Let them eat Vista

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