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Monday saw the long-awaited verdict to Microsoft's appeal of European anti-trust action. On all major points Microsoft lost its appeal, although the commission's imposition of a monitoring trustee has been overturned. It's not necessarily the end of the road - if Microsoft can find a legal basis it could appeal to the final …

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Anonymous Coward

So much for home computers as 'devices' then

So how will this ruling affect embedded systems such as the plethora of network-based media players? Should they enable people to replace the built-in media player?

What about more traditional computers used in this role, particularly Vista Media Centre edition?

More about the ruling and a link to the actual court documents here:

http://veroblog.wordpress.com/2007/09/17/microsoft-lost-appeal-to-the-european-courts-over-anti-competitive-practices/

(tiny version in case it splits: http://tinyurl.com/2s39b9 )

The "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" ads that ran over the last year included one which implied that the [Windows] PC was ridiculous because it came with lots of separate applications for everything including web browsing, media playing, movie making etc. Whereas the smug Mac just said "I come with Life". Maybe this ruling will wipe the sanctimonious smile off his face, if providing applications as part of the operating system is no longer fashionable - not 'PC', you might say.

select * from rack where coat=mine

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when is bundling allowed?

AdamV's comment about PC/Mac strikes a chord with me.

I remember thinking at the time that this all kicked off that it seemed unfair for MS to be penalised for bundling MediaPlayer software with Windows, whilst there was no mention of unfair practices by Apple for bundling, for example, an Apache web server with their OS. Does Apples' bundling not unfairly discriminate against other HTTP server manufacturers?

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Anonymous Coward

Tired of monopolies

Don't have nothin against MS putting their own programs on their windows, however I do believe they should allow others to do the same, not hide codes etc to stop competition.

And if these companies are found to use their monopolies to stop OEMs from using competitive products such as Intel has been accused of dealing with AMD ( i believe they should jail the ceo's.)

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RE: when is bundling allowed?

Quite simple really: when it's not done by a company with a monopoly in one market (not illegal as such) leveraging the position to gain a monopoly in a different market (illegal in EU and I believe in the US as well). So now you know.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple

Quote: "Does Apples' bundling not unfairly discriminate against other HTTP server manufacturers?"

Not in antitrust terms, no. Apple has between 3 and 6% market share so it can't influence the demand for Apache server software over other server software in the **OS** market. If it had 90 to 95% of the market like Windows, then it would and Apple would be in the same place as MS (especially if they had abused that position by forcing OEMs to only take their software like MS did). People need to realise that this isn't simply about bundling software, it is also about the influence that the company's market share has on other software and on the hardware suppliers.

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Anonymous Coward

It's all about the 'buy in' and 'up sell'

As a part of the foundation of the complete system, there is an ethical responsibility to not show favoritism towards other software.

If the OpenOffice developers came to Microsoft and ask them to make a change in the windows kernel, that would improve the functionality of their software, they would be rolling in the isles at Redmond. But if Microsoft wanted to extend their office product with a windows kernel patch, we would all be subject to the new improvements(vulnerabilities) and features(bugs) even if the office product was not installed.

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Anonymous Coward

its the leveraging.

The sticking point was not so mush that MS provided a Media Player, but it used the Mediaplayer installed on everyones machine to get content providers to use MS server software to deilver the content to the PC, the mentality being that "IF we did Real, then they would have to install it, but if we did MediaPlayer the user does not need to install anything"... so this was MS using its large hold on desktop to get a large hold in servers and serice software.

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