March 18th, 2004


Previous Entry Next Entry
jimbojones
12:53 pm - GO GO GADGET EU!
The EU is going to stick Microsoft with a fine somewhere in between 100 million and 1 billion euros for monopolistic abuse. Microsoft president Steve Ballmer refused to split Windows Media Player (among other applications) out of the core Windows product, nixing the idea of a "Windows XP Euro Edition" that would have averted the fines. His decision to refuse was probably a wise one, given that doing so would have opened up Microsoft's previous American anti-trust issues with a vengeance. (In the US DOJ lawsuits, Microsoft swore time and again that it was impossible to remove Internet Explorer code from Windows 98, in spite of the fact that a couple of completely unfunded college kids had done so in their spare time, creating the immensely cult-popular "Windows 98 Lite" patch kit.)

However, the intrinsic question of what happens when Microsoft continues selling their products in the EU in what has now been ruled an abusive fashion hasn't been settled. The next step, hopefully, would be for the EU to simply ban Microsoft's operating system altogether since they have refused to comply. This would be a rather larger blow to Microsoft than it would seem at first glance. While being prevented from "collecting the Microsoft tax" in all the countries comprising the EU would obviously be a significant loss of revenue, in the long term what would really hurt MS is the inevitable large-scale adoption of Open Source / Free software to fill the void.

The biggest advantage to Open Source isn't necessarily the obvious one either - undoubtedly, a lot of that missing Microsoft revenue will get funneled into funding new Open Source development, and that's a very good thing. But in the long run, the critically important gain would be the addition of millions and millions of users to the desktop as well as the server side. Open Source development is aided by cash, but it's truly fueled by the presence of users and developers-who-use - the presence of lots of software "itches that need scratching", in the words of Eric S. Raymond and many others.

 
Current Mood: jubilant
Current Music: Kool and the Gang - Celebration

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:



 
From: ex_littlede
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 11:09 am
  (Link)


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 03:09 pm
  (Link)
Sadly, Ballmer has considerably better business sense than you do.

Let's just stipulate that the European Union needs Microsoft as badly as you think it does, and then imagine that Microsoft were to refuse to sell the EU their products. What's the next step - will the Microsoft Armed Forces invade Europe to prevent them simply ignoring licensing and installing whatever they need until they're done with the transition period?


 
From: ex_littlede
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 03:54 pm
  (Link)


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 04:10 pm
  (Link)
"Creating replacements for Word and Excel"? Already taken care of: http://www.openoffice.org

Seriously, have you ever used OpenOffice? I *stopped* using MS Office in favor of OpenOffice. It's faster, cleaner, free, and - ain't this a larf - does *more* than Office does, like read .pdf's natively, export presentations to Flash, etc.


 
[User Picture] From: fakie1080
Date: March 19th, 2004 - 02:09 pm
  (Link)
I am currently trying out OpenOffice.

Could you tell me how to get it to recognise and open pdf files plz?

I am too lazy to fuck around with it at the moment.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 19th, 2004 - 05:03 pm
  (Link)
Sorry fakie, I misspoke myself - it doesn't *open* PDF's natively; it *exports* to PDF natively.

I'm guessing it refuses to read them for DMCA type reasons - nobody wants to be another Dmitry Sklyarov, sigh. Does a dandy job with writing them, though.


 
[User Picture] From: fakie1080
Date: March 20th, 2004 - 05:02 am
  (Link)
Ahh. I see. I'm still mightily impressed with everything else in OpenOffice. Why can't Word have such a simple interface? Or have a better way of formatting that OPENS WHEN THE DOCUMENT DOES?

I am now one step closer to being Microsoft free. Any reccomendations for an email client? Eudora does my head in and I am getting sick of Outlook Express...


 
From: (Anonymous)
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 04:27 pm
  (Link)
And this from the man who used to say, "Let's face facts, Linux is for cunts"..or words to that effect ;-)

To put the benefit to open source another way, this is news. Not front page, but the memories and disappointments of the US anti-trust business with MS are fresh, and now refreshed,in ordinary user's minds. I hope we'll begin to investigate the alternatives. Me, I'll carry on with MS because most of what I want my PC for is gaming, but dual-booting for mail/browsing looks like a fine idea.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 04:30 pm
  (Link)
::winces:: yeah, I know, I was an MS whore. Dammit, they weren't always this evil - or at least not this *obviously* evil.

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't trust even the "less evil Microsoft of yesterday", but hindsight is 20-20.


 
[User Picture] From: fishpig
Date: March 18th, 2004 - 04:50 pm
  (Link)
Ocasionally rose tinted, but always 20-20. (that was me before BTW)
So, unregulated capitalism is evil, huh? In other news The Pope...and bears.....


> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com