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I still don't understand this!

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Tommy B, 12 Jul 2006.

  1. Tommy B

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5171126.stm

    Why the hell do the EU think they have the right to do this?

    What harm are MS ultimately doing to the general public in not providing such information? To be honest, if MS decided to pull out of Europe we would be stuffed.

    It seems to be just another futile, "We've got nothing better to do than waste lots of money" EU case.

    Someone care to educate me on this matter?
     
  2. Vonhelmet

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    Microsoft have unfairly used their superiority in one market to leverage their position in another. They are then hindering development of rival software by not providing specs for their system, so people can't use competing alternatives but instead are forced to use MS' product.
     
  3. Jambo

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    I have just read it as well and think is rather unfair.
     
  4. Tommy B

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    In all honesty, apart from the OS, Office is the only MS programme I have actually bought. I don't see how they are damaging competition in other respects, especially as Office has become the software suite of choice around the world.

    I just think the amount they are getting fined is stupid, and the money is going back to the EU - Not the people who they are supposedly damaging. Great, now the EU can waste it on more pathetic rulings like keeping Algerian terrorists from being deported.
     
  5. crashuk

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    i dont use windows office now use openoffice why i find it better and its free.
     
  6. Dolph

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    The EU see a cash cow and care more about money raising than consumers.... (Witness windows XP broken edition or whatever it was called)

    The EU is also seeking to force creation of de-facto standards forcing everyone else to start using MS standards rather than trying to create their own.

    I have very little time for the EU's bullying tactics where MS are confirmed.
     
  7. Vonhelmet

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    That's because you're not a business, and as such you don't have to care about the myriad of other areas that MS are forcing their way into.
     
  8. Tommy B

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    Care to expand on this?

    I'm not insulting you, I'm just curious and was hoping you could provide a few examples :)
     
  9. nige

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    I detailed why I agreed with the 2004 judgement on here when it was originally made but it has been lost in the various purges since. If this thread has much interest I'll argue the case again, though it'll take me a while.
     
  10. Tommy B

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    If you've got the time, please go ahead.
     
  11. Tommy B

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  12. Dolph

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    Well, if you believe that state governments should fix prices irrespective of any market conditions...

    As with the whole bank charges fiasco, all this will mean is that prices increase in other areas...
     
  13. Ex-RoNiN

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    A pattern emerges - every time I hear you debate on such issues, you always always overprotect the business. It's almost as if you want to give businesses a blank cheque for their operations! You're not related to Adam Smith perchance, are you? ;)

    Fact is, though, that the "traditional" European model is that businesses are not above the state, they are subservient to the state, just like any other citizen. In other words, the state states the limits under which they are allowed to operate...and that is that. They go beyond those limits, they get punished :)

    In my opinion, this makes a lot more sense than the idea of letting businesses run rampant to do what they want. So I agree that the restriction on markets and businesses are necessary. I certainly don't want to be surrounded by businesses doing what they want, I as a consumer want to be protected from being abused by an oligarchy of companies - and the EU does this a lot better than any national legislation on competition rules IMO.
     
  14. Dolph

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    It's my personal considered belief that people are best served by a genuine free market (bar legitimate restriction on genuine monopolies, for which neither microsoft nor mobile phone companies qualify), I don't call that overprotecting the businesses, although of course you're entitled to your opinion.

    The other 'fact' about the traditional European system is that it's not been as economically successful as the more liberal markets of the UK and the USA. Unemployment is higher, costs are higher, red tape is higher...

    I have very little time for the EU and their red tape for businesses, because as can be seen from economies like Germany and France, it's not actually good for the people.
     
  15. Shackley

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    I don't think that is likely to happen.

    Care to mention Microsoft's major competitors? Even one would be nice. :D

    I guess that on the basis of this assertion, you believe that the people of the UK and the USA have it better than all others - or at least than those of France and Germany?
     
  16. Slam62

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    The eu are possibly trying to deliberately handicap ms to encourage competition

    Maggie the queen of the market, did the same thing to bt only more blatantly to allow the cable co's a start but it really did was handicap bt for a few years.

    At the end of the day, the europeans hate the yanks and everyone hates being dominated by a big brother so they are trying to sort it out, but it will be next to impossible at this stage.
     
  17. Dolph

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    Linux, OSX (via Apple), any other operating system you care to mention. The fact that alternatives exist (irrespective of their success) suggests that Microsoft are not a true monopoly. An example of a true monopoly would be someone like South West Water (or any other water company) in the UK, where you simply have no choice over whether to use them or not.

    Of course, the State can define what is a legal monopoly at their convience, but simply because the government says some company is a monopoly doesn't necessarily make it true.

    Than those in france and Germany, yes I do in an economic sense. This country has a lot of problems of it's own, but they aren't generally caused by poor economic policy, unlike the problems currently plaguing much of the rest of europe.
     
  18. Ex-RoNiN

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    I'm sorry, but this is plain wrong. A monopoly is not defined by the equation competitors = 0, it is defined by marketshare. Traditionally, this is thought to be 25%, which is why Tesco is being watched closely every time they swallow a smaller company, as they creep closer and closer to that magic 25%.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, enjoys over 85% market share in the market for intel-compatible home computers - it hardly gets more monopolistic than that, bar the old trains/phone/electricity setups of the 20th century that is.

    Economics says its market share, and Microsoft is way beyond the limit for a monopoly - either way, the fines are completely unrelated to Microsoft simply being a monopoly, they are related to Microsoft abusing their monopolistic position :)

    The problems of Germany and France that you keep referring to are completely unrelated to the governmental regulation of the "free" market. On the contrary, Germany is a very competitive environment, more so than the UK. Germany's problems stem from the fact that the switch from manufacturing industry to service industry is very slow and sluggish (compounded by the fact that some manufacturing is extremely lucrative, e.g. AMD factories, cars), ancient labour market laws, inflexible labour force, extreme union powers and very conservative consumers.
     
  19. VIRII

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    Surely SW Water isn't a monopoly either if we use your definition as there are other ways of getting water and sewage dealt with than via the water board.
    They may be vastly more expensive and clunky and cumbersome but alternatives do exist.
     
  20. Shackley

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    Thank you, that is my understanding. I seem also to remember something about 'barriers to new entrants' which I guess would cover Microsoft disclosing details on file layouts, how to interface to their OS and application suites and removing parts of their functionality (i.e. MSIE & Media Player, etc.).

    I have a lot of time for Microsoft - they ended the era where the OS was owned by the hardware manufacturer and you couldn't easily migrate between IBM, ICL, Unisys, DEC, etc. However they once gave more weight to technological innovation than marketing, nowadays they are almost entirely marketing driven - they end up stifling development.