EU orders Microsoft to comply

By Derek Sooman on December 22, 2004, 3:10 PM
Microsoft has been ordered to comply with EU remedies which are intended to tackle antitrust issues with the company. Microsoft will take immediate steps to provide secret server communications protocols to competitors, and will be releasing a version of Windows that does not have an integrated media player.

Microsoft's first step will be to publish a Web site on Wednesday offering competitors access to communications protocols specified by the Commission.

Microsoft will also begin distributing a version of Windows without an integrated media player to EU PC manufacturers. Using this software, manufacturers could choose to offer PCs without any media player, or possibly incorporate media players from competitors such as Apple Computer Inc. or RealNetworks Inc.

However, Microsoft is keeping the option open to make a further appeal with the European Court of Justice. If it wishes to do so, it must do so within the next two months. That is Microsoft's only hope now of reversing these decisions.

User Comments: 9

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Phantasm66 said:
I don't think that anyone will want to buy a version of windows xp that does not have media player bundled in it. I doubt it will be much cheaper, anyway. It will just be provided for legal reason, and I don't think anyone will buy it.
Crazy said:
I would rather see the options to remove integreted software, like IE/Windows Media Player and several other things.But getting a winXP without Windows Media player is enoying for ppl that are unexperianced in the world of computers. Or even for ppl without internet. You'll have to get 3rd party software ect, what isn't easy for ppl that know nothing about the world of computing.
Knight said:
I don't see how lack of Windows Media Player being bundled is a bad thing. It only takes 10-20 seconds to download it if you want. Just another way of giving the user more control over what's installed on their system.
Phantasm66 said:
You should be able to decide on installation whether IE and Media Player and so forth should be included in the install or not. They should still be bundled with all versions of Windows, in the same way that Firefox is bundled with Fedora Core 3 Linux.
Knight said:
Would QuickTime or RealPlayer be on that Windows install list of media players? Not likely. The whole point is to not be thrusting only WMP as the displayed media player. They should either place all the main players on the optional component list or just make it a download. It's the fairest solution to all parties.
Phantasm66 said:
I think that Microsoft should be able to offer Windows Media Player as a free install to people who use Windows as their OS.I don't think they have any obligation to provide other media players or browsers from other companies.Where they do go too far, however, is when they make those media players or browsers meshed into the OS in a way that they cannot be uninstalled - that is wrong. You should be able to choose not to install IE or Media Player with Windows.But I don't believe that Microsoft have any obligation to also provide software that can be optionally installed from third parties. Its up to third parties to supply those. So no, I don't think that QuickTime or RealPlayer should be on that Windows install list of media players. No.They are just providing THEIR media player for free. Where they go too far is where they mesh it into the OS in a way that it can't be easily uninstalled. But they have no obligation to provide anything from any other company.
Crazy said:
Like I said before, it should all be optional. Making it so that WMP can't be removed(or IE) is a pain in the ass. I would love to uninstal IE.But saying that it shouldn't be bundled anymore is a bad thing , like Knight said, make it a download. And who said everyone has broadband?. I still know allot of ppl with dail-up or without internet, for those of you that have used a 56k modum... you'll get my point :).Windows is great for ppl that are still getting started in the world of computers, or simply those ppl that don't care how things work. They just have to install windows(buy a pre´nstalled pc) and they are good to go.If everyone had to install Linux and get started with that... would be allot harder.(ok linux has become more user friendly then it used to be, but still)Oh well, i say, make it all optional!
Julio said:
I have to agree with P66. Microsoft should have no obligation in bundling competitor products with its OS and should be free to distribute its own media player, browser, etc. at no cost if they wish to do so... probably that's part of the reason Windows holds the crown after so many years. Not everything has been positive about them but a large part of it has been and I give them credit for that.In the other hand, making their products essential part of the core of the OS or claim they are so that they can expand and push everyone else out of business is plain wrong and should be punished.
Knight said:
We are "power users", and we know how to uninstall various components. This ruling is geared towards the average/n00b users who will simply use whatever comes with the system, because they don't know any better. The other guys simply can't compete with that.I like Windows Media Player fine, and use it often, but it's a fact that a large number of users will simply overlook the other guys because of that first exclusive WMP appearance.
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