Bill Gates sums up Microsoft’s abusive history

Note/update: For those too lazy to read the whole thing, this is about Microsoft's history. It shows their history of consciously anti-competitive behavior. It is aimed at those who have little knowledge of Microsoft's history. To learn more, read this document by ECIS: A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm

It seems that some people are still doubting that Microsoft has consciously sought to undermine competition by abusing their position in the market. In fact, some are outright denying any wrongdoing on Microsoft's part, and if there was any wrongdoing then it was surely unintentional.

Sadly, such history revisionists are creating confusion about what actually happened, but this quote from a Bill Gates memo to the Office product group in December 1998 sums up Microsoft's attitude:

One thing we have got to change in our strategy – allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company.

We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.

So as you can see, Microsoft has a history of anti-competitive behaviour. You can agree or disagree that it is necessary to get the Government involved to deal with antitrust cases (Microsoft itself certainly thinks so, and they have filed their own antitrust complaints, e.g., against Google), but what you cannot deny is Microsoft's attitude and behaviour through the years.

And yes, this has continued even in recent years.

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50 thoughts on “Bill Gates sums up Microsoft’s abusive history

  1. Sad but so true. I work for a company who also competes with Microsoft and I completely agree with you – MS attitude towards the competition could be "upgraded" πŸ™‚ .Edit: I've read provided links, and I wonder: where is ECMAScript now? I know that Mozilla provided a new version of their VM supporting new language constructs, but do others do it? Does Opera and WebKit have these features? And where is the new standard heading? Will it fix the weird problems with variable scope and peculiar bugs with semicolons? And above all, what's so wrong with the prototype-based object model? As a C++ programmer I've found about it only two years ago and I find it much easier to understand and work with.

  2. Originally posted by palotasb:

    First, what you mention was more than a decade ago.

    Ha ha, you blinded fool! Microsoft managers are still there and they are the people taking decisions. Microsoft tactics of fighting competition dirty by abusing ties to their established products is alive and kicking. Wanna proof? Just go read MSDN about their precious Hyper-V !

  3. Microsoft managers are still there

    Indeed they are! Steve Ballmer started at Microsoft in 1980! He is part of the anti-competitive culture at MS.The ignorance of these trolling Microsoft astroturfers is amazing!

  4. Originally posted by palotasb:

    First, what you mention was more than a decade ago. This mentality is now gone, thanks to antitrust rulings.

    :lol:You really think antitrust rulings are going to change the mentality? NOPE! All they are doing is to force Microsoft to stop acting like d*icks. But if you actually bothered reading the text before commenting, you would know that they are keeping up their nonsense! They destroyed ES4, and cripled the CSS WG!

    Office now supports the Open Document Format.

    πŸ˜†

    Second, their browser and almost anything related sucks. That's because they don't care.

    That's a moronic statement considering that Microsoft STILL tries to cripple open standards! They DO care because the web is a THREAT to Windows!

    They don't make (or lose) money on it.

    Ignorance is bliss! If you don't understand why Microsoft would want to keep IE the dominant browser, you should keep your mouth shut.

    Accusing them of consciously undermining competition in this case is a silly* thing.

    Nice one. You just ignored the Bill Gates quote which PROVES that they DO consciously undermine competition! Lame, lame, lame.

    Third, about _free_ market. Most of the world believes in it because it's benefits are better than anything else humanity has invented. Using legal practices to force a company to advertise your product and artificially inflate your market share is a disgusting abuse of this free market.

    MORONIC STATEMENT ALERT!Microsoft broke the law. Antitrust laws PROTECT the free market from predators like Microsoft!

    If someone told me a year ago that this can happen in the European Union in 2009 I would have laughed at them. Now the same company is accusing Microsoft of abusing this same market. Opera Software ASA, shame on you.

    Why are you posting this drivel without reading the blog post? It clearly states that Microsoft has been filing antitrust complaints against other companies, so WTF are you whining about?Antitrust laws are globally accepted, as the FREE MARKET needs laws to protect it!

    Should I laugh or cry?

    Cry at your own ignorance and dishonesty?

    No, you are just simply wrong.

    Says the Microsoft shill who ignores the facts that are shoved in his face, and proceeds to whine about things he has no clue about, such as the "free market".Do you really think FREE MARKET means "no laws" or "no rules"? ROTFL.

  5. First, what you mention was more than a decade ago. This mentality is now gone, thanks to antitrust rulings. BillG has retired. Office now supports the Open Document Format. Get over it.Second, their browser and almost anything related sucks. That's because they don't care. They don't make (or lose) money on it. Of course they could be much better. Of course they could hire the best programmers. Of course they could push the development of web standards forward. Of course–they don't. Why would they invest money in it? They are not a charity organization, they don't make money on it, therefore they don't care. If you want to develop something better, go ahead. They won't stop you, but don't expect them to help either. Accusing them of consciously undermining competition in this case is a silly* thing.Third, about _free_ market. Most of the world believes in it because it's benefits are better than anything else humanity has invented. Using legal practices to force a company to advertise your product and artificially inflate your market share is a disgusting abuse of this free market. If someone told me a year ago that this can happen in the European Union in 2009 I would have laughed at them. Now the same company is accusing Microsoft of abusing this same market. Opera Software ASA, shame on you.Should I laugh or cry? (Hint: I laugh at you while using Firefox.)* "Spreading FUD" is what some people would say. I refuse to put it this way because I believe that accusing somebody of spreading it is in fact spreading it. No, you are just simply wrong.

  6. Originally posted by palotasb:

    All Office formats are patent-free open specifications, meaning that any Linux, Mac or other software vendor may choose to implement support for those file formats.

    Laughable. You are clearly so deeply ignorant about this matter that your brain is unable to connect even the most obvious dots.

  7. Originally posted by Purdi:

    You really think antitrust rulings are going to change the mentality?

    They are a profit-oriented company. If they feel the fines they got were high enough (they were, google "browser ballot" for evidence), they won't do anything illegal. But it won't change the for-profit mentality (and believe it or not, that is a good thing).Originally posted by Purdi:

    They destroyed ES4, and cripled the CSS WG!

    We seem to disagree on this. I think it makes more sense that they just ignored them. They didn't stop anyone else from doing whatever they wanted, that would be illegal.Originally posted by Purdi:

    Microsoft STILL tries to cripple open standards

    Choosing not to implement them is a simple business decision, nothing demonic. If it's something their users want, they'll implement it. But they are not a charity organization to invest in every "standard" they ever meet.Originally posted by Purdi:

    Why are you posting this drivel without reading the blog post?

    I though it was clear that I was _disagreeing_ with what Opera Software is doing. I have read it and I disagree. Is that clear now?Originally posted by Purdi:

    Antitrust laws are globally accepted

    And they shouldn't be abused to _inflate_ your market share artificially. (Artificially means "by violating the rules of the free market", in case you were wondering.)Originally posted by Purdi:

    WTF are you whining about?

    You don't really get the concept of arguing about something, do you?

  8. Originally posted by coffeegroup:

    You've created a classic straw-man argument:"It seems that some people are still doubting that Microsoft has consciously sought to undermine competition…" blah, blah, blah…Bull. Get a life.

    You've demonstrated a classic trolling Microsoft astroturfer straw man method.Actually, palotasb is denying that Microsoft has done anything wrong. He keeps whining about the free market, which he obviously doesn't understand (he seems to think that "free market" means "anarchy"). palotasb is one of those people the blog post is referring to, who are either deeply ignorant of Microsoft's history and other facts, or who are dishonest astroturfers, like you.YOU get a life, lying Microsoft astroturfer.

  9. palotasb There are site that browser sniff and there is no reason to do so anymore. Try using Silverlight(look at the browser requirements and then compare it to how many browsers there are) , Live Mail, or any other Microsoft product in a non Microsoft approved browser. (Chrome, Safari, and Opera and others have to hack the page just to get in). They are trying to kill other browsers like they did to NetscapeImagine Your on a Linux or Mac computer, and the Office documents can only be opened on a Windows machine running IE, you are screwed as you can't open the file because Microsoft does not want anyone else to be able read ithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft

  10. Originally posted by palotasb:

    They are a profit-oriented company.

    That doesn't justify breaking the law.

    We seem to disagree on this. I think it makes more sense that they just ignored them.

    You disagree because you are ignoring the facts. Ignorance or malice?

    Choosing not to implement them is a simple business decision, nothing demonic.

    Again, read the damn blog posts. It's part of a pattern.

    I though it was clear that I was _disagreeing_ with what Opera Software is doing.

    You are not. You are displaying an amazing ignorance of the facts, and jumping to conclusions based on your own ignorance.

    And they shouldn't be abused to _inflate_ your market share artificially.

    Microsoft abusively and illegally inflated its market share.

    You don't really get the concept of arguing about something, do you?

    You don't really get the concept of facts, do you?

  11. You've created a classic straw-man argument:"It seems that some people are still doubting that Microsoft has consciously sought to undermine competition…" blah, blah, blah…Bull. Get a life.

  12. Chas4, nobody is forcing you to use Silverlight. It is a competitor to Adobe Flash, not the Web.If Hotmail does not work in common browsers, that's bad for Microsoft because people will rather use a different–service. I use Google Mail for example. I am free to do so. Nobody is forcing Hotmail on me.Originally posted by Chas4:

    Imagine Your on a Linux or Mac computer, and the Office documents can only be opened on a Windows machine running IE

    This would be a terrible thing. But this era is over. No need to fear. All Office formats are patent-free open specifications, meaning that any Linux, Mac or other software vendor may choose to implement support for those file formats. Also, as I've said, ODF documents are support by the latest version of Microsoft Office.

  13. No one said that being profit-oriented is evil. Breaking the law and illegally ruining competition is.The quote by Bill Gates is not just an opinion. Microsoft's recent behaviour in the CSS WG or ES4 is not just an opinion.Microsoft has continued to break the law. Opera is not hacking the system. Opera reported Microsoft's crimes.You are the one acting like a jerk by lying and trying to rewrite history with your ignorance and dishonesty.

  14. Dear Purdi,1. I never said that anything justifies breaking the law. You probably won't get it this time either but for the record: I said that being profit-oriented is not an evil thing. Try looking up countries where profit-oriented companies and the free market didn't exist.2. Facts? You haven't read the disclaimer on the linked blog posts. They are just the _opinions_ of Haavard. Either you, Haavard or someone else prove that the accusations are true (i.e., they are facts) or I'll just disagree with your opinion.3. Microsoft was punished for breaking the rules of the free market. Opera is hacking the same system and applauded for doing so.+1. You are free to disagree with me young lady, but stay cool. Acting like a jerk is not helping you.

  15. Originally posted by Purdi:

    Microsoft's recent behaviour in the CSS WG or ES4 is not just an opinion.

    Do you really not understand what I am writing or are you intentionally misinterpreting me? [No! Rhetoric question, don't even consider answering it!]The way you and Haavard interpret this behavior is an opinion. That opinion is what I disagree with, understood?Originally posted by Purdi:

    Opera is not hacking the system.

    What would you call legally (legally as in using lawyers, not as the opposite of illegal) forcing Microsoft to advertise Opera's product and thus probably inflating their market share? You know what I am talking about, right? [Yes! Answer this question! If you don't, I'll have to believe that you are jumping to conclusions without knowing what the argument is about.]Look Purdi, being a jerk means calling names on the person you are arguing with. Which one of us has been doing this since the first reply, honestly?

  16. Originally posted by coffeegroup:

    Get a life.

    Someone should get a life for quoting Microsoft?Also, you fail at understanding the concept of "straw men". Moronic indeed.

  17. Well, you've got people talking Haarvard! :up: As well as the comments here, this post is also on the front page of Reddit, with 428 comments as of the time I posted this comment (up from 411 in the time it took me to come back here to type this, then go back there to double-check).

  18. Guys there's a very fine line to walk. Consider this: Opera the Browser has nice ties with My Opera the site. And this is to be expected, they are both developed by a same company as complementing products. But the site works equally well in non-Opera browsers. Try this with MS-owned sites – they outright break competitors *by serving them purposedly broken CSS*Example 2: A modern OS cannot exist without a browser, nobody argues this. But is it right for other MS applications to explicitly *require* IE instead of working with the user's chosen one? And yes, this happens *right now* on my brand-new Windows 7 lappy.

  19. Originally posted by palotasb:

    The way you and Haavard interpret this behavior is an opinion. That opinion is what I disagree with, understood?

    No. The quote is very clear. As is Microsoft's behavior. Educate yourself instead of shilling for Microsoft.

    What would you call legally (legally as in using lawyers, not as the opposite of illegal) forcing Microsoft to advertise Opera's product and thus probably inflating their market share?

    Opera never did anything of the sorts, so stop it with the insane Microsoft shill lies already.The only thing Opera did was to report Microsoft's crimes. Apart from that, there is nothing Opera can do at all. It's all up to the EC. Opera has no authority what so ever, and is not in a position to force Microsoft to do anything.Also: Opera did NOT sue Microsoft. Opera's lawyers are NOT involved in the actual case. All Opera can do is to offer its opinion, just like Mozilla, Google and others are doing as well.Again, stop lying. Start educating yourself.Also, this is not a discussion about the antitrust case, it's a discussion about the fact that Microsoft has a history of conscious abuse.

    Look Purdi, being a jerk means calling names on the person you are arguing with. Which one of us has been doing this since the first reply, honestly?

    Wrong, being a jerk means lying, deceiving, ignoring the facts, and generally being an ass and refusing to accept reality.

  20. Originally posted by palotasb:

    You don't have a clue about basic laws of arguments. No, really. You don't. Evidence above, posted by you.

    I haven't posted any evidence. I have merely pointed it out to you. But as the Microsoft shill that you are, I bet you are denying even the Gates quote! Pathetic.

    I just wanted to counter the opinion presented here originally.

    You did so by lying and ignoring the facts. Good job! Typical Microsoft strategy.I notice that as all trolls, you ignore my points and start trying to change the subject. Again, pathetic.

  21. Originally posted by Purdi:

    understood?

    No.

    Great. πŸ™‚

    You don't have a clue about basic laws of arguments. No, really. You don't. Evidence above, posted by you. Things like respecting others as educated people do, not accusing them of saying things they never said, not accusing them of lying when they are expressing opinions or intentionally misinterpreting them are concepts unbeknown to you. I don't care about your excuses or ad hominem attacks. Why would I care about you anyway? You wouldn't dare say the same things face to face, therefore I can't take you seriously. Capiche?

    Just have a sleep to calm yourself and reread your comments afterwards. If you still feel like calling other people morons, liers, ignorant asses, you are a very unfortunate person and I am happy that I will probably never have to encounter you again. Otherwise let's just say that you said what you said in the heat of the argument.

    Either way, I consider this argument just a pointless array of characters on a random website.

    I just wanted to counter the opinion presented here originally. Mission complete. Really, that is all I wanted to do. I thought that defending my opinion would be a good idea. I made a mistake.

    I never wanted to really get into an argument with a jerk like you. At first I thought that you were a normal person. I made a mistake. I am out of here, not answering any more of your replies. You might interpret this as if I had given up. No, the case is that I don't like talking to jerks, it makes me feel sad. This is a fact. The reason I am leaving. Don't argue with it. Arguing, well that is what I intended to do. What we have done, thanks to you, was just a waste of time for both of us.

    But interpret this message as you will, please, not as I intended it to be interpreted. That's what you were doing anyway. If that makes you feel happy, go ahead. I will feel happier when I'll talk to normal people again after this. Godspeed.

  22. There are a few sites that are based on silverlight and you can't use flash (I would think plug-ins would work in any browser) The NBC Olympics site used silverlight for one of the yearsWhen I got my Mac most of the web would only allow IE user (Windows Only) so I was out of luck if a site says you do not meet the only browser we support.the cost of monoculturehttp://www.kanai.net/weblog/archive/2007/01/26/00h53m55s

    This nation is also a unique monoculture where 99.9% of all the computer users are on Microsoft Windows. This nation is a place where Apple Macintosh users cannot bank online, make any purchases online, or interact with any of the nation's e-government sites online. In fact, Linux users, Mozilla Firefox users and Opera users are also banned from any of these types of transactions because all encrypted communications online in this nation must be done with Active X controls.

    So that could happen if Microsoft had its way with the web you must use their browser to use the web (monopoly)

  23. Originally posted by palotasb:

    If you want to develop something better, go ahead.

    You mean … the Opera Browser? :whistle:

  24. Id like to be able to fully use my netflix acct i cant use the streaming feature because there is NO silverlight plugin for linux the only way to get it is wait YEARS for people to reverse engineer it. Just an example how non-open standards ruin things for everyone. And the funny thing is ms is always CHANGING their not documented "standards" so what works today probably wont work tommorrow ie .doc ooxml now silverlight and everything else they make. They pay off politicians they fill standards boards with their own people and if that fails they make up their own associations. Just look at their new standard for sd cards the sdcard association IS microsoft go figure that they have made it so all new cards will use the ms only proprietary exfat fs too bad no mac or linux ppl will be able to use their devices that need SDXC. We could do this all day posting examples.

  25. Originally posted by drBawlz:

    Purdi, you are a moron.

    Not compared to Microsoft shills like you, I'm not.

  26. I think the topic is pretty much exhausted in previous talks. It is perfectly fine for those who disagree with antitrust laws that a company will try to maximize its own profit. They dont bear those anti anti-trust views because they think the corporate world is made up of angels.

  27. Yep, the topic is exhausted, and deadHarlequin has been caught repeatedly lying.Disagree with the laws or not, there's no question that Microsoft broke the law.Some people of course think "Capitalism" equals "Anarchy", but rational, knowledgeable people know that there need to be laws to protect the free market.Only ignorant kids will argue that we shouldn't have any laws what so ever.

  28. Haavard, thanks for the update. Reading the ECIS report made me think about the issue a little more. Let me further express my opinion on the different aspects and clear a few thing that some people (not necessarily you) might have misunderstood. In case you were wondering, my mind hasn't changed significantly about what I have written in the first three points.Fourth. Any organization using legal, contractual or any type of pressure to force the adoption of various products is inexcusable. Be that Microsoft forcing OEMs to not bundle third party software with Windows or the European Commission forcing Microsoft to advertise them. I find both of these unacceptable, first, because I believe in the freedom and power of consumer choice, and second, I believe in the right for any company to make sovereign business decisions as long as they respect the first rule.Fifth. As long as the consumers have the freedom of choice in the first place, any company is free to offer products that cannot interoperate with other vendors' products. Consumers choose proprietary solutions because other benefits outweigh the lack of interoperability. Consumers are the ones who risk being locked in. They are free to choose another solution in the first place. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this as long as they are aware of any potential risks when they choose any solution in the first place. Consumers making a bad decision might yield unfortunate results but I have to note that the market takes care of vendors who alienate their paying customers. No vendor should be punished for a specific product if people have chosen to use it.Sixth. The facts they state in the ECIS report are probably true, every Microsoft action they refer to has probably happened. But most of it is past tense history, just like Haavard has emphasized and just like I have noted in my first point. Microsoft is no longer doing anything as harmful as it has purposefully done in the previous decade (see fourth point). I cannot agree with accusations of doing anything illegal of that sort lately. Of course they have done nothing that helps any of their competitors, but no other company still in business is stupid enough to do so either. Don't be naive. Not helping your competitors is not a charitable thing, but it's not a crime either. Nor is creating proprietary solutions (see fourth & fifth points). This is what competition is about, all that matters is what consumers choose. This is what the free market is about.Conclusions and closing thoughts.I'm a liberal, I don't believe in over-regulating the market. The problem I see with antitrust views/laws is that they try to define what "harming the competition" is. In fact, this is ridiculous. Every single profit-oriented company in this damn world is seeking a way to harm the competition. That is how competition is defined. Some companies are just more successful. There is nothing I find unacceptable with some companies going under. It's a fact of the market. With today's antitrust laws and in most people's minds there is a very fine line between being competitive and harming competition, don't mistake one for the other. Being competitive is a good thing. Trying to circumvent the market, the choice of the consumers, is what I find unacceptable.You might wonder: do I think that everything Microsoft has done is legal? No, the answer is definitely no. The problem is actually that they tried to circumvent the market by bribing decision-makers in other companies or extorting them. These are crimes and Microsoft was punished. Case closed. Just don't expect them to act like a charity that does everything to help their competitors.Posting disclaimers is cool.I am happy to discuss things with people who are mentally able to participate in friendly discussions, otherwise you will be ignored. The view herein are my own, and do not necessarily represent those of You. Live with it.

  29. Originally posted by palotasb:

    Any organization using legal, contractual or any type of pressure to force the adoption of various products is inexcusable. Be that Microsoft forcing OEMs to not bundle third party software with Windows or the European Commission forcing Microsoft to advertise them.

    You are WAY OT here. It doesn't matter if you think violations should be punished or not. The blog post is about Microsoft's behavior, whether you think it is punishable or not.BTW, Microsoft does force OEMs. And the EC has the authority to do whatever it takes to restore the free market.

    I find both of these unacceptable, first, because I believe in the freedom and power of consumer choice, and second, I believe in the right for any company to make sovereign business decisions as long as they respect the first rule.

    Microsoft did not respect the first rule, and that is why they are being punished.

    As long as the consumers have the freedom of choice in the first place, any company is free to offer products that cannot interoperate with other vendors' products.

    Microsoft's monopoly meant that they could take away that choice. By your own admission, Microsoft did something inexcusable.

    Consumers choose proprietary solutions because other benefits outweigh the lack of interoperability.

    In this case consumers didn't have a choice, and even if they did try to choose they would encounter all sorts of problems and be forced to go back to MS anyway.

    No vendor should be punished for a specific product if people have chosen to use it.

    There was no choice.

    But most of it is past tense history

    Yes, that's the purpose of the paper. To show Microsoft's HISTORY. That doesn't mean that they stopped doing it.

    Microsoft is no longer doing anything as harmful as it has purposefully done in the previous decade (see fourth point).

    So if I murder someone today, I can wait until tomorrow and I won't be punished because I wasn't caught the same day I murdered someone?

    Not helping your competitors is not a charitable thing, but it's not a crime either.

    Straw man.

    I'm a liberal, I don't believe in over-regulating the market. The problem I see with antitrust views/laws is that they try to define what "harming the competition" is. In fact, this is ridiculous. Every single profit-oriented company in this damn world is seeking a way to harm the competition.

    But Microsoft did it using illegal and immoral methods.

  30. Microsoft should not be forcing OEMs any more, you are probably no longer correct about this one. EC does have the authority, but the browser ballot is ridiculous.Originally posted by geekyhats:

    Microsoft's monopoly meant that they could take away that choice.

    Monopoly doesn't mean that users have no other choice. It means that most of the users choose the same product. If someone abuses their monopoly/political/etc position to influence the choice of someone else, that is illegal. Microsoft was doing this, but has remained seated lately.Originally posted by geekyhats:

    that is why they are being punished.

    Yeah, that's exactly what I said in the sentence preceding the one you have quoted.Originally posted by geekyhats:

    In this case consumers didn't have a choice

    If you are talking about Microsoft forcing OEMs to unbundle third-party products, you are right. But I was referring to using non-standard file formats. In this case, the users do have the option to use a different office suite instead.Originally posted by geekyhats:

    There was no choice.

    I am repeating myself. Again, I was talking about proprietary software in general. You can always download OpenOffice.org and use it.Originally posted by geekyhats:

    That doesn't mean that they stopped doing it.

    It's the fines they got that deters them from doing it. Believe me, repeating themselves would be a stupid move considering that they have been already payed more than a billion dollars. They are not stupid, ergo they probably won't repeat their mistakes.Originally posted by geekyhats:

    So if I murder someone

    Short answer: don't kill anyone πŸ™‚ Anyway, I hate repeating myself. Microsoft did illegal things. Microsoft got punished. Microsoft decided not to engage in this type of activity any more. Are my words clear enough, my friend?*Originally posted by geekyhats:

    But Microsoft did it using illegal and immoral methods.

    Did I mention that I don't like repeating myself? I acknowledge this despite the fact that it has nothing to do with what you quoted from me.Don't misinterpret what I said, and don't reply if you have nothing to add apart from "OT" or "straw man" because I don't really care and you make you replies unnecessarily long.* I just want to be clear. You don't have to agree with me. Just try understanding what I say. Anyway, thank you for replying politely.

  31. Is Sun a monopolist?Didn't think so.This isn't about "genuinely good". It isn't about "goodness". It's about the fact that your ignorance and dishonesty keeps being put on display.

  32. But Microsoft did it using illegal and immoral methods.

    Openoffice dependency to java isnt an illegal and immoral method? Which is the genuinely good company by you standards really, google? The whole story about the "goodness" of a company is more or less a marketing thing.

  33. Originally posted by palotasb:

    Microsoft should not be forcing OEMs any more, you are probably no longer correct about this one.

    I probably am. Just look at what they are doing.

    EC does have the authority, but the browser ballot is ridiculous.

    No, and it was Microsoft's proposal.

    Monopoly doesn't mean that users have no other choice. It means that most of the users choose the same product. If someone abuses their monopoly/political/etc position to influence the choice of someone else, that is illegal. Microsoft was doing this, but has remained seated lately.

    Indeed, monopoly does not mean no choice. But abusing a monopoly does, and that is what Microsoft did and does.

    If you are talking about Microsoft forcing OEMs to unbundle third-party products, you are right. But I was referring to using non-standard file formats. In this case, the users do have the option to use a different office suite instead.

    No, they do not, since they will have to use MS Office to view MS Office documents. Lots of reverse-engieering and the government forcing Microsoft to open up still hasn't solved this problem. Lots of documents generated with MS-Word still require MS-Word.

    You can always download OpenOffice.org and use it.

    Not if you actually want to interact with other people, because they will be sending you documents you can't open. Believe me, I do this every single day.

    It's the fines they got that deters them from doing it. Believe me, repeating themselves would be a stupid move considering that they have been already payed more than a billion dollars. They are not stupid, ergo they probably won't repeat their mistakes.

    But they have.

    Microsoft did illegal things. Microsoft got punished. Microsoft decided not to engage in this type of activity any more. Are my words clear enough, my friend?*

    Microsoft did not get punished severely enough, and continued breaking the law.

    I just want to be clear. You don't have to agree with me. Just try understanding what I say.

    The problem is that what you are saying is factually wrong.Microsoft broke the law. They have not been punished for this yet. This is evident from the fact that they are still up to the same things, so the market was not restored.

  34. If you tried to use a browser in the early 2000's you were stuck with IE 6, You could not do much on most of the web as most web devs wrote IE only codeMost user did not have a choose as they did not even know that there were even other choices in the browser they use

  35. Notice how deadHarlequin avoids the actual issue. It's the typical dishonesty from Microsoft shills.Is dH really incapable of telling the difference between Sun's position in the market and Microsoft's?

  36. @chas4 I first tried Opera at ver 3.6 and I m using it as my default browser since version 4, my first alternative browser was an IE shell called Neoplanet(hated Netscape). Browsing in the early 2000's, the spamless days of google and with Opera as a waterboard, was probably my best surfing period. I dont feel MS restricted me personally in any way in choosing my browser. Yes I was aware of MS tactics, but I was mostly blaming the particular web site devs. Yes I m not an average user, most users arent aware of the choices they have but that's their problem for their own ignorance. …and of course part of Opera's problematic marketing, because either didnt have the capital or the correct strategy to promote their browser. And IMveryHO, it was mostly the latter, I see it even today, Opera's 10 headline was "with turbo" a feature which is useful to what, 20% of opera's users on the 10% of the days of the year?Firefox success proved there was an opportunity and you missed it. That's OK everyone does mistakes, but it proved in my opinion that the lazy web devs were not an important reason for the single digits of opera's market share. Firefox success simply forced web devs taking firefox into account.(literally because of the clients they were losing)And as a web dev, you will probably know better than I do, that complex sites generally need an IE mode, a firefox mode, a webkit mode, and a generic mode. MS is the one who needs open standards the less, the underdogs bear a big part of the blame for the current state of the web. You were bashing Silverlight above, where is the open alternative, SVGs together with javascript?But anyway the issue is political, I just believe antitrust laws do more harm than good(that is because of the difficulty defining the harm and the good), it's not just me there is a school of thought that supports that view. I m glad haavard acknowledged that in his post.

  37. Originally posted by deadHarlequin:

    Yes I m not an average user, most users arent aware of the choices they have but that's their problem for their own ignorance.

    And that's the problem. Your views are based on theoretical nonsense with no basis in reality. In your world, humans do not behave like humans.Rational people will realize that Microsoft abused human traits in order to illegally take over the market.

    …and of course part of Opera's problematic marketing, because either didnt have the capital or the correct strategy to promote their browser.

    BS. Opera 10 had more than 10 million downloads the first week. Clearly there is something else going on.And guess what, it's Microsoft's abuse which has prevented independent browsers like Opera from competing by consciously using a strategy to make the web incompatible with anything but IE.It took a non-profit organization relying on donations and free labor to do anything about it, and that proves that Microsoft illegally destroyed the market.

    And IMveryHO, it was mostly the latter, I see it even today, Opera's 10 headline was "with turbo" a feature which is useful to what, 20% of opera's users on the 10% of the days of the year?

    Your ignorance is astounding. Most of the world is actually NOT on broadband. It is now clear to me why you say the things you do: You reject reality and facts, and replace them with your own misconceptions!

    Firefox success proved there was an opportunity and you missed it.

    No, Firefox proves that the market was broken, as Mozilla clearly explained:"When the only real competition comes from a not for profit open source organization that depends on volunteers for almost half of its work product and nearly all of its marketing and distribution, while more than half a dozen other "traditional" browser vendors with better than I.E. products have had near-zero success encroaching on Microsoft I.E.'s dominance, there's a demonstrable tilt to the playing field. That tilt comes with the distribution channel – default status for the OS bundled Web browser."

    You were bashing Silverlight above, where is the open alternative, SVGs together with javascript?

    Nonsense again. The reason we don't have alternatives is that other browsers have had to spend most of their time emulating IE bugs and working around proprietary crap. It's Microsoft's fault that open web standards have screeched to a halt. If other browsers had to spend less time reverse-engineering IE bugs and working around Microsoft's illegal tactics, we would already have all these things.

    But anyway the issue is political, I just believe antitrust laws do more harm than good

    That is because of your profound ignorance, which you have now repeatedly demonstrated.

  38. Oh, here is a little something I have created. The most common words used by our dear friend, Purdi, in her comments on this blog post.http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/1311592/Purdi%27s_comments :)Interpret it as you wish. My interpretation is that she is using words like "ignorance," "ignorant," "ignoring," "moronic," "lying," "dishonesty" and "nonsense" way to often. I strongly recommend you all ignore her comments.

  39. Originally posted by geekyhats:

    Not if you actually want to interact with other people, because they will be sending you documents you can't open. Believe me, I do this every single day.

    That is called network effect. It can cause natural monopolies, but don't be mistaken by the name. Calling it "illegal" or "wrong" would be a big mistake as it is a natural law of economics that natural monopolies come and go.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effecthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_monopolyThe "bad" monopoly (in fact in most cases it is a government-maintained monopoly for the benefit of consumers–it is only bad for competitors) is called coerced monopoly where–let me quote:"A coercive monopoly is not merely a sole supplier of a particular kind of good or service (a monopoly), but it is a monopoly where there is no opportunity to compete through means such as price competition, technological or product innovation, or marketing; entry into the field is closed."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coercive_monopolyMicrosoft products have competitors, therefore the company has no coercive monopoly, the only thing it has with a handful of products is a natural monopoly. Since it is a natural monopoly, I (and many other people) believe that there should be nothing done about it. (Obvious competitors are Google Docs, OOo, Firefox, Opera, OS X, Linux etc.)(If you disagree with the general laws of free-market economics, you wouldn't be alone. But be warned, most countries where the market was controlled artificially are less-developed than where there was minimal intervention.)In fact there is an interesting piece I found on the Wikipedia page:"Advocates of a laissez-faire economic policy are quick to assert (barring private criminal conduct) that a coercive monopoly can only come about through government intervention, and defend these situations as non-coercive monopolies in which government should not intervene. They argue that competition with these monopolies is open to any firm that can offer lower prices or better products β€”that competition is not excluded. They claim that these monopolies keep their prices low precisely because they are not exempt from competitive forces. In other words, the possibility of competition arising indeed affects their pricing and production decisions.[5] A coercive monopoly would be able to price-gouge consumers secure with the knowledge that no competition will develop. Some see the fact that prices are low as lending evidence to the assertion that a monopoly is a non-coercive monopoly."Now I know what economic school I belong to. Laissez-faire. This is almost exactly what I have already said: Microsoft is not doing anything illegal by not embracing standards as consumers still have the choice to use something else if they think prices are too high, find standards more important or generally encounter a better service.(But I also have to note that I still think bribery/extortion/etc. are bad things and Microsoft is not completely innocent either.)

  40. Originally posted by palotasb:

    That is called network effect. It can cause natural monopolies, but don't be mistaken by the name. Calling it "illegal" or "wrong" would be a big mistake as it is a natural law of economics that natural monopolies come and go.

    Microsoft created a fake network effect with illegal methods. It is not a mistake to call illegal, anti-competitive activities illegal. You admitted to their illegal activities earlier.

    "A coercive monopoly is not merely a sole supplier of a particular kind of good or service (a monopoly), but it is a monopoly where there is no opportunity to compete through means such as price competition, technological or product innovation, or marketing; entry into the field is closed."

    This describes Microsoft. Microsoft has no real competitors because you are forced to use Microsoft products whether you want to or not, and that is because Microsoft's conscious strategy was to prevent competition by using illegal methods.

    Microsoft is not doing anything illegal by not embracing standards as consumers still have the choice to use something else if they think prices are too high, find standards more important or generally encounter a better service.

    No, they do not, since Microsoft has illegally prevented competition. And as this blog post shows, using illegal methods to prevent competition is a conscious strategy on Microsoft's part.

  41. Dear Geekyhats,There is no such thing as a "fake network effect."Google it.No results.Think about it.It makes no sense.You are making things up.To support your flawed argument.Do you really expect me to reply to a comment like that?Post another comment if you really have something to say.Your dear friend,Palotasb

  42. It is a fake network effect when the reason for it is illegal methods like bullying OEMs, illegally locking users to one's own products, etc.I don't expect you to reply to comments you don't have valid arguments against, no.

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