Perhaps this gets sorted when...
...Microsoft offers Chinese State Security their own set of NSA Keys
China's antitrust regulator has given Microsoft 20 days to hand over a written explanation of how the Windows OS works together with the bundled Office software suite as part of its probe into the firm’s alleged monopoly activities. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) said in a statement (translated by …
My own thought isn't that I consider that the Chinese are being too harsh on Microsoft. It's that more countries haven't done this. Perhaps this will be the catalyst that finally starts to reign in the corporate excesses of certain Merkan one-percenters.
I'm not holding my breath though.
It is quite funny though.
Step 1.The US starts off ignoring Chinese piracy because it gets them using US software and watching Hollywood films.
Step 2. It starts trying to enforce its trade rules on other countries via the WTO (Washington Trade Organisation).
Step 3. The other countries say "OK, we will introduce the same regulations you have."
Step 4. The other countries start to enforce the regulations - against US companies. "But...this is what you wanted us to do".
Forcing Microsoft to divulge APIs and document formats worked for a time. But, they have already fallen into their bad old ways. You try and get detailed information on their Outlook 2013 OST format! We've spoken to them several times, progressed to senior levels and then whole conversation shut-down.
This might just give them a little reminder to play nice.
> You try and get detailed information on their Outlook 2013 OST format! We've spoken to them several times, progressed to senior levels and then whole conversation shut-down.
Back in '89 or so you could phone up their customer support line and get all those kind of details (like, system call parameters, interrupts, and so on) straight from the guy who picked up the phone, who back then was a proper engineer.
I stopped using Microsoft software around '94, never having used Windows either personally or at work (to this day I haven't), but I very much have a feeling you won't get an engineer on the line these days, no matter how hard you try.
The problem isn't that Microsoft is making Office work nicely with Windows, the problem is HOW they are making it work nicely with windows at the detriment of other office suites. Of course they have done this kind of underhanded tricks before going back to early windows days when they made 3.1 more unstable or even not being able to run on anything but MS-DOS. Thus leveraging themselves.
I may be a bit slow, but as a developer I am struggling to think of any office feature that requires anything resembling a secret undocumented API call. The inputs are all keyboard, mouse and filesystem calls. The outputs are all canvases (screen/printer). The functionality whilst broad in reach with a feature set as long as your arm is not complex at any functional point that I can see.
It is fair enough to criticise their not so open document formats but this argument about hidden APIs doesn't seem to hold a lot of water.
Of course it's okay to make their Office work with their Windows, that's never been up for dispute, what is up for dispute (and yet to be proven this time, hence the investigation) is if Microsoft are using underhanded tactics to make sure that any other office suite has the same advantages as their own brand.
>If you own both the OS and the application, it is possible to make the OS work for the application.
As a generalisation I agree, but this would hold more water if it was say windows media player being able to use hidden optimisations to improve framerates or reduce battery drain, or SQL server getting some unique filesystem priority levels not adhered to for other dbms, but we are taking about a productivity suite. If you think about its limited technical requirements, there isn't a whole lot of ways to cripple their APIs that would benefit Office without the commensurate disadvantage to other products Microsoft need to maintain a viable desktop ecosystem.
In terms of their Corel lawsuits that was quite a different story. The windows API was under active development and decisions could be made to drop or otherwise make specific calls suboptimal, and they could publicise them late in the development cycle for Corel for maximum interruptions and to give their own products an advantage. Completely unacceptable behaviour if true. But in 2014 I can easily write** an office competitor using Win API, .NET or Java and achieve a level of functionality and performance that Microsoft would prefer wasn't possible.
** actually, I couldn't, lacking the will, money, patience and expertise to undertake a project at that scale, but the point is that no magic API would ms office a measurable advantage.
It doesn't have to be a big difference for it to be anti-competitive. It might be as simple as loading the program or opening files more quickly or quicker previews inside Explorer.
I don't believe that anyone is claiming that there is some specific, insurmountable, hurdle for third party providers of 'productivity' software, but anti-competitive behaviour is anti-competitive behaviour and shouldn't be tolerated. After all, if it's happening with Office, why wouldn't it be happening with other, more important software?
Anyone for Phorm?
Like 'Sure, Right.'
The Chinese are going to let Phorm install DPI kit with Phorm Written and Maintained Software in their networks in order to intercept communications.
Damn these genetically modified orange, purple and pink striped flying elephants. I will have to get my XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL large butterfly net out again.
> Russia says Polish potatoes are suddenly unhealthy
To be fair, they might not be unhealthy, but sure as fuck they're rubbish (same as their export beef), which is why people from Kaliningrad just drive across the border to buy the real stuff.
The Poles reciprocate by buying Russian petrol, at less than half the price in Poland.
It has come to the attention of our legal department that your laws infringe upon the ability of Microsoft to lock your users in and screw them over. This will never do, and as a result, we are rescinding your ability to exist as a nation. You are required to turn over the keys within 7 days and leave the territory, except for those workers who are grinding out wireless mice and Xboxes. Failure to do so will require stern measures.
I stumbled across the free e-book THE BITE OF THE DRAGON by JF SUSBIELLE a few days ago. Although I doubt the consequences of banning Windows in China ever being so dire, the currency and topicality of the novel (written in 2007, pre-Snowdon no less) made for a fun read on a rainy day. I am surprised that nobody in this thread has recommended it yet... maybe in another, earlier thread then?
You can find it here... https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3853
Microsoft has built a large intertwined software ecosystem that works best (and ONLY!) with Windows. Not only is there Office (in all of its flavors), but also SharePoint and all the little bits of software that lock you into the Microsoft way. All that Active X, DOT NET and Sliverlight stuff gets the unwitting company who uses it tied very tightly to the rest of the Microsoft products and their corrupted version of a web browser.
Then you get to the bizarre restrictions about running older apps on newer operating systems, and newer apps on older operating systems.
Stir in the unceremoniously dropped XP (except for "point of sale" and banking ATMs), and one can easily conclude that Microsoft is jerking all of us around.
I'm sure this has nothing to do with China's announcement of a home-grown OS that they expect everyone to use instead of Microsoft products. If you can't make a better product, just ban the competition!
...have tried to get MS to divulge all before.
The implied application of the administrative version of Chinese water torture on MS is one thing, but the Chinese are trying to roll that water uphill in this case. I sincerely doubt they will succeed where the others failed.
So SAIC in China are going to be disappointed when they have to read the 1000+ specifications published on the Microsoft Web site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd208104.aspx
That would be how Windows and Office works together along with all the file format specifications.
Oh and that is before they get to read all the API documentation.
Maybe the software from China is just inferior ...
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