More on the EU ruling

Frans Bouma: “It’s not about some crappy player vs. some other crappy player program. It’s about the difference between integrating a program into an OS and shipping a program with an OS.” [via Damian]


That interview I did for Technology & Business magazine is in the print version as of Monday. It’s pretty short and according to those who have read it I don’t sound like a dick. Phew! It should hit the website soon…

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 😉

Not good enough Windows issue ‘not a concern’ for EU.

Seems some congressmen have got their nose out of joint about the EU sanctions against Microsoft’s abuse of monopoly behaviour. It seems the EU feels, along with most of the technology industry, that the anti-trust settlement in the US fell well short of what was required to halt the abuse of monopoly power by Microsoft. If I remember correctly, the EU waited until the US had determined the case before it persued the matter itself.

The congressmen perhaps should instead look at why the US case was so massively weakened after the Bush administration took office, because if the Justice Department had have done a more thorough job in the first place, the EU likely wouldn’t have acted.

Blog Errors – Fixed?

I think I worked out why my blog has been doing strange things on publish (like missing the sidebars and not fully publishing entries). I exceeded my storage space of 50MB. That, I must admit, was unexpected. So, I’ve upgraded and hopefully it won’t be so problematic. Onward!


A damning article in the Guardian on the Howard government. Very biased, but I can’t say I disagree with the point the author makes 😉

Open Notebook

Mitch Ratcliffe has posted a few interesting things over the past few days.

Parallels can be drawn between Kerry vs. Everyone in the Left and what’s happening in Australia, and the risk we run of letting little Johnny back into the lodge. So much for balance of powers is dumbfounding – I’m sure the comparisons Mitch uses are not employed lightly.

He has another earlier post on US refusal to sign a key land mine treaty. It should be said that while the US has been touting nuclear non-proliferation as its goal with strong-arm tactics with Iraq, Libya, Iran and North korea, it has gradually been pulling out of non-proliferation agreements. Just one more double-standard.

BBK @ Newtown

Amy comments on Friday night’s Blue Bottle Kiss/Big Heavy Stuff gig at the venue formerly known as Newtown RSL (or Goldmans for a while if I remember correctly).

Indeed the experience was far better than previously, especially the lack of prickly security guards and arcane decor. The sound was great, but better closer to the stage for BBK.

The many drinks and diversion to the Townie after the gig was a blast too. A night to remember (for more than the damage to my liver and bank account!).