What will Microsoft's loss in Europe mean to customers?

Word is out: Microsoft has lost its appeal of the European Commission's antitrust decision. So now what?

There's no word yet if Microsoft will appeal again, which it has two months to decide whether or not to do. If it doesn't, the company will be forced to pay the $700 million fine, plus a big chunk of the EC's court costs. It also will have to finally find a way to make all of the server communications protocols and related documentation that it has been ordered to provide available fto its competitors.

(Sun and Novell — now both staunch Microsoft allies — were among those server vendors who were insisting on Microsoft making these protocols publicly available. Now that they're enmeshed in patent/interoperability alliances with Microsoft, I wonder if they care anymore.)

My biggest question in all this is how will the Court's September 17 ruling affect customers in Europe and elsewhere?

View: Full Article @ Mary Jo Foley's' blog

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16 Comments

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They should have funds to cover this. They should probably pay up, and start saving for the next fine, it seems violations are inherent in their position.

My question is who will actually see this $700 Million? Of-course the appeal was denied. Would you in your right mind turn down $700 Million?

To any American reading this and shaking their head, please remember:

1) The US economy is bankrupt, and needs foreign currency to keep it afloat (a little longer!)
2) Microsoft products cost almost nothing to reproduce, so they want to sell it to everyone!
3) Microsoft makes lots of money from the EU (how much software is sold to India or China?)
4) Microsoft choosing to enter EU markets COULD HAVE COMPLIED with EU conditions and Laws
5) Microsoft could have listened and learned from Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rulings.
6) Microsoft knows that if open source becomes popular, they is doomed!
7) I could go on...

Microsoft deserves all it gets, for too long they have been a bully boy. Ripping off customers, maliciously
and deliberately destroying competition. Microsoft still has "Fanboys" they also have many bitter enemies.
They are now paying the price for their actions.

Please... "Wake up America!" Your once great country is in serious trouble!

The suggestion was Microsoft pulling out of Europe, don't see a whole lot about the US economy, though some previous posts on the subject hopped the US government would retaliate

I understand you're head over heels for Ron Paul, but you're not "informing the uninformed". You're simply annoying those who've already read your posts...

I'm going to ignore the political part of your post since it has nothing to do with this topic. But since you are clearly new to IT (information technology) you should keep in mind:

2. Microsoft products DO cost a fortune to reproduce because you have to develop the thing you are reproducing and that cost is factored into the price of each copy of the product. If you think Windows is cheap to make then you really need an education.

3. Yes Microsoft makes money in Europe. That fact alone is no reason to punish them.

4. Microsoft DID comply with the conditions and laws. Do some research.

5. See #4 above.

6. Microsoft is not "doomed" because open source is not geared at the masses the way Windows is. Even if this changes Microsoft's job is to make an attractive alternative and then the customers decide where they spend their money. It is up to Microsoft whether they succeed or fail. Changing conditions (ie: whether open source becomes "popular") just changes the market in which Microsoft competes.

7. Please don't.

boho said,
1) The US economy is bankrupt, and needs foreign currency to keep it afloat (a little longer!)

Uh.. what? The US has the highest economy in the world.

Nightwind Hawk said,

Uh.. what? The US has the highest economy in the world.

I assume you mean biggest, that is ignoring the EU which this thread is about Its 27 economies, of which 23 are highly integrated - same currency, same central bank, that is 1 huge economy.

Its also quite meaning less the US has one the largest populations on earth and is the only really large nation to have developed, thats about all that can be credited to it.

The point is the US economy is largely based on debt and buying from China, who have large pot of dollars ready to dump and watch the US dollar fall to record lows. This would make your imports of tech from Japan and crap from China, more importantly oil from Arabia, all the more expensive - the government would be bankrupt and the people, a hell of a lot poorer.

C_Guy said,
I'm going to ignore the political part of your post since it has nothing to do with this topic.

This whole discussion and original post is not political ? :confused:

Microsoft should not waste it's time selling to the EU, and should concentrate
selling in China to get back some dollars. Unfortunately they make little
money form anywhere outside the US and EU. :cheeky:

I think Microsoft should boycott Europe completely until the EC starts using their brains and stops its excitable bullying of the largest software company on earth.

alsheron said,
I think Microsoft should boycott Europe completely until the EC starts using their brains and stops its excitable bullying of the largest software company on earth.
Good to see that ol' favourite line come out again. Why is it perpetually used when the chances of it ever happening are between none and zero?

Could you even begin to imagine the fuss caused by the MS shareholders if MS suddenly declared that they would no longer sell in Europe? Such a notion could only ever be suggested by an individual who doesn't have the first clue about global economics, and business as a whole.

Let me guess, your second favourite line is "It's my ball and I'm going home"?

alsheron said,
I think Microsoft should boycott Europe completely until the EC starts using their brains and stops its excitable bullying of the largest software company on earth.

the people will stave and be forced to use paper and pencil again.

I don't think it'll affect users much. After all, this is/was a problem with their protocol documentation, not how Vista is built or anything. It may positively affect certain companies in the software business though. It's not a decision that Microsoft should have to remove something, but add something, namely things like open protocol specs.

I agree. This isn't so much a "technical/product" issue, but a "documentation" one. Microsoft might even be able to come up with the documentation and get the fine waived (maybe, or maybe not on that).

The odd part of the article is how it said Sun and Novell were "now both staunch Microsoft allies". Maybe they have partnered up in a way, but they are still very much competitors. Microsoft still wants to "smile and pull the trigger" on Novell. I am sure they don't feel much warmer toward Sun.