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Posted May 31, 2012 18:31 UTC (Thu) by thumperward (guest, #34368)
Posted May 31, 2012 20:57 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
So if you had a store and you were selling BeOS systems and Microsoft decided that they didn't like it then you would not only have to pay more for your Microsoft software you would get it later then your competitors which put you at in a potentially significant disadvantage.
Personally I think that they should of just let Microsoft do whatever they wanted. The whole lawsuit was just one fairly evil proprietary software company fighting against another fairly evil proprietary software corporation.
The difference between Microsoft and it's failed competition was not due to Microsoft being evil or monopolistic practices. They were all immoral. Microsoft was simply better ran company which sold cheaper software.
Posted Jun 1, 2012 12:01 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
Whether such practices are enforced overtly or through "incentives" is not a distinction that should automatically determine whether a regulator should take action or not.
Posted Jun 1, 2012 17:04 UTC (Fri) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205)
It is, though, for the following reason:
"Incentive" implies some sort of trade-off (for example, Microsoft's bullying makes their software less useful and them less trustworthy, and they know they can only go so far before OEM's find it profitable to start selling no-OS or Linux systems).
It also requires the trade-off to be sustained for as long as Microsoft wants people to produce computers with their keys. So if Microsoft were to become a much smaller player in the market one day -- and looking at Windows 8, I expect this to happen soon -- they would be forced to stop pulling this crap.
To contrast, your example of us paying media companies for blank media, has none of the above. It was imposed by regulators (congress/parliament), working for a cabal of other regulators (RIAA/MPAA) with no trade-off, no choice, no accountability and no time limit. The fact is that the record companies would have failed years ago with such a poor business model, and the only reason they are alive today is because of regulatory capture.
Posted Jun 1, 2012 19:43 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
If vendors refused to follow any rules laid down by Microsoft, then Microsoft might deny them the ability to bundle Windows (technically or contractually), and that would potentially force them to look elsewhere for business or to complain about it to a higher power. However, since most vendors are heavily dependent on being able to provide Microsoft products because of the retail climate being distorted in the company's favour, most would be likely to go along with almost anything.
Offering incentives instead of making threats allows Microsoft to look like the good guy whilst making the transaction look like a positive thing, even though the effect of not taking up Microsoft's "generous" offer will result in relegation to a disadvantaged position for any vendor not wishing to play along.
And my example about blank media was concerned with per-processor licensing fees. The "justification" for this was that people would always be running Windows but might refuse to pay for it bundled, and that Microsoft should therefore get a guaranteed fee as compensation for all those "pirates" who couldn't possibly want to run anything else. The regulators put a stop to this, but then Microsoft went and integrated DOS and Windows shortly afterwards, so it was merely a tactical retreat to prevent more serious regulatory measures being imposed that might undermine that very strategy.
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