Does it matter?

Damian responds to my previous post on the EU’s fining of Microsoft.

Firstly, I must wholeheartedly concur with Damian’s points on the software in question – I dislike the Real Player with a passion (I refuse to install it on my work PC, and only begrudgingly have it on my Mac, partly because it has far less issues on that platform). And Quicktime for PC has always been a dog (the latest version is getting much better though).

With regards to bundling and the Mac OS: I too am concerned about Apple’s practices, especially with regards to Safari upgrades tied to OS releases. For decades Apple have had a really bad habit of stifling independent third-party developers by rolling functionality into the OS, and more recently bundling products, that compete directly with third party apps.

But there’s two differences in the Microsoft case – one is Microsoft’s strong-arm and legal tactics to force OEM vendors to bundle certain products such as Media Player and not allowing OEM vendors to choose which products get bundled. Secondly, Microsoft is in a monopoly position (last I checked Apple had less than 4% of the market) which makes the world of difference in terms of both the Justice Department and EU rulings.

This, of course, does not excuse Apple or any OS vendor from anti-competitive practices. And IMO it doesn’t negate the OS vendor’s right to include bundled products – the vendor just can’t force OEM vendors to not accept other products in their place, which is the charge levelled at Microsoft in both the US and EU.

As for the Clinton reference – which board? I was able to find lots of rumours about Clinton joining Oracle, but this didn’t seem to eventuate?

Oh, FTR I use iTunes on Mac and PC 😉