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  1. ny_yankees's Avatar
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       #1  
    AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Union has fined Microsoft€561 million ($733 million) for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company's flagship Windows operating system.The penalty imposed by the EU's executive arm, the Commission, is a first for Brussels: no company has ever failed to keep its end of a bargain with EU authorities before.
    In 2009, Microsoft Corp. struck a broad settlement with the Commission to resolve disputes over the company's abuse of the dominance of Windows, which had spanned more than a decade.
    Back then, the company agreed to pay €860 million and promised to give Windows users the option of choosing another browser rather than having Microsoft's Internet Explorer automatically installed on their machines.
    But Microsoft failed to stick to the deal for some 15 million installations of Windows 7 software in Europe from May 2011 until July 2012. The company admitted the failure last year, adding that it was a mistake.
    Read the entire story

    EU fines Microsoft $733M for breaking browser pact - Yahoo! News

    Well this very strange and interesting
    -Verizon HTC 8x Blue
  2. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
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    #2  
    Now, hopefully it investigates Google and Apple too. Help dispel/confirm all the rumours flying around about them. Those guys actually have the balls to do this sort of thing.

    "Fortune cookie said: 'Outlook not so good'. I said: 'Sure, but Microsoft ships it anyway'."
  3. ny_yankees's Avatar
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       #3  
    Care to elaborate more? Because I don't see how it is Microsoft's job to promote third party programs over their own in their own OS
    -Verizon HTC 8x Blue
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  4. ny_yankees's Avatar
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       #4  
    (Reuters) - The European Commission imposed a $730.78 million fine on Microsoft on Wednesday for breaking a pledge to offer European consumers a choice of web browsers.
    Here are some key events in Microsoft's relationship with EU antitrust regulators:
    1998 - The European Commission opens an investigation into Microsoft over operating system interoperability issues, after a complaint from Sun Microsystems.
    2000 - The Commission begins investigating the tying of Microsoft's Media Player with its operating system.
    2004 - Regulators impose a 497 million euro fine on Microsoft for not making data available to rivals and for tying Media Player to its operating system.
    2006 - The Commission levies an additional 280.5 million euro fine for Microsoft's failure to comply with the 2004 EU order to provide data to rivals.
    2008 - Regulators open two new investigations, one into interoperability issues, and a second intobrowser choice.
    2008 - The Commission imposes a 899 million euro fine, its second additional penalty, after Microsoft again fails to comply with the 2004 EU order.
    2009 - Microsoft settles the 2008 investigation into browser choice with an offer to allow access to rival products.
    2012 - Europe's second highest court reduces the 2008 fine to 860 million euros from 899 million euros, on appeal by Microsoft.
    2013 - Competition regulators impose a 561 million euro fine for not complying with the 2009 promise on web browser choice.
    Sources: European Commission, Microsoft
    ($1 = 0.7677 euros)
    Timeline: Microsoft's battle with EU antitrust regulators - Yahoo! News

    Looks like those pension cuts for Spain and Greece aren't going to happen after all
    -Verizon HTC 8x Blue
  5. aniym's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Paladinleeds View Post
    Now, hopefully it investigates Google and Apple too. Help dispel/confirm all the rumours flying around about them. Those guys actually have the balls to do this sort of thing.
    The EU has been investigating Google since 2010 for using its position in search to alter search results. A settlement is expected sometime this year..

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  6. aniym's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by ny_yankees View Post
    Timeline: Microsoft's battle with EU antitrust regulators - Yahoo! News

    Looks like those pension cuts for Spain and Greece aren't going to happen after all
    Right, 250 billion in loans, grants and debt forgivenes couldn't save Greece, so the EU had to think of a clever multi-year plan to squeeze 700 million out of Microsoft.

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  7. squire777's Avatar
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    #7  
    The EU must think that the masses are completely computer illiterate if they feel that people can't install their own software. I don't see why MS should not bundle its own software like Media Player or IE with their own OS. I personally don't use those and just install my own stuff after installing Windows.
  8. ny_yankees's Avatar
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       #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by aniym View Post
    Right, 250 billion in loans, grants and debt forgivenes couldn't save Greece, so the EU had to think of a clever multi-year plan to squeeze 700 million out of Microsoft.

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    Im sorry I forgot to put "sarcasm" and that you took my statement seriously
    -Verizon HTC 8x Blue
  9. ammarmalik2011's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Paladinleeds View Post
    Now, hopefully it investigates Google and Apple too. Help dispel/confirm all the rumours flying around about them. Those guys actually have the balls to do this sort of thing.
    This isn't about Google or Apple. This is about Microsoft breaking a pact. Unfair or fair isn't the point. If it was unfair Microsoft could have appealed or something. But they went ahead and agreed to do it, and then they didn't do it.
  10. alpinestars1z's Avatar
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    #10  
    microsoft.png

    Alt-text: Facebook, Apple, and Google all got away with their monopolist power grabs because they don't have any 'S's in their names for critics to snarkily replace with '$'s.
    Phone History (hopefully in order): Samsung SGH-D407 > AT&T (HTC) Tilt > Sony Ericsson W580 > Blackberry Curve 8900 > Sony Ericsson C901 > HTC Touch Pro 2 > Blackberry 9700 > iPhone 3GS > Motorola Defy > Blackberry 9650 > iPhone 4 > Nokia E71 > Dell Venue Pro > HTC Titan > HTC Titan II > Lumia 900 + Samsung Galaxy Exhibit > Nokia Lumia 920 + Nokia Lumia 521 + Motorola RAZR V3xx
    Last updated: 05/13/2013
  11. ninjaap's Avatar
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    #11  
    This. Is. Stupid.

    Everyone knows how to download another browser. Although, I wonder if this will cover Windows RT?
  12. aniym's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by alpinestars1z View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	microsoft.png 
Views:	100 
Size:	20.6 KB 
ID:	30174

    Alt-text: Facebook, Apple, and Google all got away with their monopolist power grabs because they don't have any 'S's in their names for critics to snarkily replace with '$'s.
    As I've posted previously, Google is currently under investigation by the EU for abusing monopoly power by manipulating search results.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9100CT20130201

    The EU also forced Apple to offer micro-USB adapters with the proprietary Lightning adapter that came with the iPad 4 and iPhone 5.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57...nly-in-europe/

    Finally, Facebook was also forced to stop recording facial features of its users in Europe because it violated EU privacy laws.

    http://www.zdnet.com/facebook-forced...rs-7000004697/

    Xkcd is funny but it's not right about everything. The EU don't go after corporations out of the blue, or because they have a vendetta. They have to be alerted to potential violations of EU law by the public. In Face book's case, a group of Austrian students had to threaten a class action lawsuit before the EU noticed and launched an investigation.

    The DOJ didn't launch its antitrust case against MS in the 90s out of the blue. They were alerted to the issue because Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) filec a complaint.

    if you think Apple should offer a browser choice for iPads in Europe, by all means, file a complaint.

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  13. ny_yankees's Avatar
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       #13  
    Well we found the real Culprit to why this happened

    According to a report from the Financial Times, the Commission was tipped off about Microsoft’s violation by rivals Google (GOOG) and Opera, both of which would have benefited greatly from the mandatory browser selection screen Microsoft failed to display in Windows.
    http://news.yahoo.com/google-reporte...163557333.html
    -Verizon HTC 8x Blue
  14. squire777's Avatar
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    #14  
    Pretty much par for the course in terms of Google's scummy ways.
  15. ag1986's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by squire777 View Post
    Pretty much par for the course in terms of Google's scummy ways.
    Right, and MSFT is any better with that ridiculous Scroogled campaign? Don't tell me MS wouldn't have narked on Google if the situation was reversed. Also, there is enough information out there showing that MS is pouring big bucks into lobbying for government investigation on Google.
  16. ag1986's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by squire777 View Post
    The EU must think that the masses are completely computer illiterate if they feel that people can't install their own software. I don't see why MS should not bundle its own software like Media Player or IE with their own OS. I personally don't use those and just install my own stuff after installing Windows.
    Yep, and so do I. Not everyone does, unfortunately, and the world is worse off for it. I, like you, install Chrome, FF and VLC first thing after building a new machine. For someone like my dad, he got mad at me cos I installed Chrome on his laptop and he "couldn't find the Internet".

    Also, if I remember right, MS didn't just bundle IE with Windows, they actively took steps to break other browsers.
  17. abel920's Avatar
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    #17  
    No worries, pocket change for Microsoft. They'll be fine.
  18. WinFan1's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by ny_yankees View Post
    well that figures. i dont understand how the US finds nothing wrong with Google, and EU is taking forever to come up with a ruling. if both rule that google is doing nothing wrong, im sorry just they have to be complete morons.
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”- Plato

  19. power5's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by ag1986 View Post
    Yep, and so do I. Not everyone does, unfortunately, and the world is worse off for it. I, like you, install Chrome, FF and VLC first thing after building a new machine. For someone like my dad, he got mad at me cos I installed Chrome on his laptop and he "couldn't find the Internet".

    Also, if I remember right, MS didn't just bundle IE with Windows, they actively took steps to break other browsers.
    You mean like how Nvidia continues to disable features in games that were designed to work better with nvidia hardware? If you have an AMD card, you are not allowed to enable physics even if you have a way over powered CPU that could very easily process the physics engine. Pretty sure Nvidia has never come under fire from the EU. Oh wait, you think no one in Europe knows about that sneaky tactic. Wait, how about how intel skews the x86 architecture for intel CPUs compared to AMD cpus? I guess because intel owns x86 and can do what they want. But again, no one knows about that either. Especially in the EU.

    So MSFT has to include every other internet browser available with its OS so end users can decide which they want when installing the OS? So who is responsible for any problems that may arise from one of those other browsers not working properly?

    How many browser choices are there to choose from when installing OSX? Ubuntu? Chrome laptops?

    Nah, no bias here at all.
  20. Cleavitt76's Avatar
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    #20  
    What many people don't consider is that MS was in a monopoly position (and still is in the desktop OS world) at the time of the original ruling. Companies that are considered to be a monopoly are held to a different standard than companies with actual competition. Also, at the time, the Internet was not as big as it is today. A browser was still considered an optional piece of software and so was an Internet connection. MS was looking to the future and trying to be innovative by incorporating the ability to use Internet technology such as HTML help files and other documentation into the OS, but again, they were a monopoly so it was viewed as unfair to competing browsers.

    Today we have Apple suing everyone for technology that they didn't even invent and locking customers into their services. We also have Google intentionally breaking what are supposed to be "open and free" Internet services (Google maps, YouTube, Google email via EAS) for specific competing devices (windows phone). However, those companies are not considered monopolies in the current tech economy and therefore, by law, it's just considered normal cut throat competition.

    Is it fair? No, but the idea behind anti-monopoly laws isn't to be fair. The idea is to limit or cripple the big guy to prevent them from completely crushing any remaining competition at the consumer's peril. Having said that, I think 733 million dollars is more than a little excessive for this situation.
  21. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
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    #21  
    I wonder what would be said if Microsoft got sued for not allowing other browsers on their windows phone (and actually lost it too), despite having less than 20% market share, what would that be considered as then? Not saying it is going to happen, but just food for thought.

    "Fortune cookie said: 'Outlook not so good'. I said: 'Sure, but Microsoft ships it anyway'."
  22. Rich White's Avatar
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    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by Paladinleeds View Post
    I wonder what would be said if Microsoft got sued for not allowing other browsers on their windows phone (and actually lost it too), despite having less than 20% market share, what would that be considered as then? Not saying it is going to happen, but just food for thought.

    Combine the EUs nonsense with The Apple and Samsung Tablet wars in the courts blocking distribution of tablets and you have Surface. There's more to the Surface initiative than meets the eye. Microsoft had to change distribution models to avoid patent trolls attacking third-party tablet vendors and regulatory politics like the EU.
  23. aniym's Avatar
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by Paladinleeds View Post
    I wonder what would be said if Microsoft got sued for not allowing other browsers on their windows phone (and actually lost it too), despite having less than 20% market share, what would that be considered as then? Not saying it is going to happen, but just food for thought.
    It's food for thought in the same way that Swaziland colonizing China would be food for thought; it is beyond the realm of possibility. You yourself point out that WP has 3% market share and that alone would be enough to have such a lawsuit laughed out of court.

    The reason the DOJ case was successful was partly because of timing. The internet was the new paradigm of computing in the mid 90s and there were plenty of powerful companies lobbying hard to ensure no one company became too powerful in that space. MS also screwed themselves because of the very public way they squeezed out Netscape Navigator with Internet explorer.

    Don't forget that at one time both the DOJ and the EC wanted Microsoft split up entirely. MS should have offered to quietly settle the case and make IE optional from the get go. instead they let the case drag on for years, with testimony about anti competitive behavior splashed all over the news, which gave them a highly tarnished reputation among consumers. Enterprise and Wall St wasn't too bothered of course...at the height of the tech boom MS was the world's most valuable company by market capitalization.

    It certainly didn't help that IE6's 90pct plus market share gave them an excuse to let IE6 stagnate between 2001 and 2007. Enterprise may have been locked into IE6 to ensure compatibility with various SaaS applications, but there was nothing stopping MS from developing an updated version and marketing it for home use. I remember downloading Firefox in 2004 and thinking, this is fantastic. Younger people might take tabbed browsing as a given today but back then it felt like the future and made MS look like a dinosaur.

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