In a separate survey of 12,000 US business people, Microsoft's "brand power" dropped from number one in 1996 to number 59 in 2008. That precipitous drop doesn't bode well, obviously:...[A] decline in and of itself is not indicative that a company is losing its mindshare or reputation among customers. … Read more
There is a tragic (but rich) irony in the news that Microsoft failed in its appeal to throw out Novell's decade-old antitrust lawsuit against it. On one hand, you have Novell arguing (rightly) in court that Microsoft unfairly bullies competitors:
"Microsoft specifically targeted WordPerfect and Novell's other office productivity applications because they threatened Microsoft's Windows monopoly," according to the Novell court filing quoted by the Bloomberg news service.
In its case, Novell also said that Microsoft withheld technical information to make WordPerfect work with Windows 95.
On the other hand, we see Novell supping at the feet of Microsoft to revive its Linux business, conveniently forgetting that what Microsoft giveth, Microsoft taketh away the minute a competitor becomes inconvenient. But the irony gets better as we dig into Novell's complaint with Groklaw:… Read more
I read this article on European Commission chief Neelie Kroes last night, and Tuesday morning woke up to news that the European Union is set to levy even more fines against Microsoft. Why? According to Bloomberg News:
European Union regulators may fine Microsoft Corp. for failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust order to charge "reasonable" fees for patent licenses on operating system software, three people familiar with the matter said. The fine may be announced as soon as February 27, said the people, who declined to be identified because the decision isn't public. Microsoft said in … Read more
The devil is always in the details, but it is the European Commission and the open-source community pushes Microsoft to live up to its pledge that it will do so...kicking and screaming at times, … Read more
Microsoft and Novell have a weird passive-aggressive relationship. In the latest bit of news from the Odd Couple, Microsoft is asking the Supreme Court to throw out Novell's multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Microsoft for anticompetitive practices. "Novell's case asserts that Microsoft maliciously withheld technical information about Windows 95 to give Microsoft Office an advantage over rival software," reports The Register.
And how! Here's just a taste:… Read more
Here we go again. This time it was New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo who ceremoniously launched an investigation into monopolistic practices by Intel.
"Our investigation is focused on determining whether Intel has improperly used monopoly power to exclude competitors or stifle innovation," Cuomo said in a statement.
The competitors in question are AMD, AMD, and of course, AMD.… Read more
Microsoft desperately needs some European friends. Fresh from its first defeat in Europe, the American software giant is under the gun again from the European Commission. The stakes are much higher this time around, and the focus much more pertinent to true Microsoft monopoly power.
Microsoft got hit by a $734 million fine the last time around for preventing interoperability with Sun's computers and for bundling its media player. This time, Microsoft's Office file formats and its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows are under fire. The EU's favorite whipping boy is almost certain to end up coughing up a lot more cash this time:… Read more
It's really hard to be a monopolist these days. That's what Microsoft found when Monday the European Union slapped down its appeal to an antitrust decision made several years ago. Apparently there are a few places on earth where money can't buy Microsoft happiness. I'm glad that one of them happens to be an enormous market like Europe. According to a story on Vnunet.com:
Microsoft is now facing a record 497 million Euros fine as well as having to pay 80 percent of the legal costs of the case.
The software giant will also have to assist its rivals with third-party integration through documentation and support, and strip its media player software from a version of Windows.… Read more
JBoss developer Loopfuse co-founder [I must have been very, very tired when I called Roy a JBoss developer] Roy Russo wonders if all open-source companies are de facto monopolistic. Like many others that I respect (Dave Rosenberg, Lonn Johnston, President Bush, Oscar the Grouch), Russo says any market ultimately has room for only one purveyor of free software. He writes:
(Open-source software) companies focusing on proprietary competition win out in the end, but if history is a guide, they also manage to squash their own OSS competitors by doing so.
So much for peace, love and open source.… Read more
Remember back in the '90s when that PC-game version of Monopoly was released? I didn't follow its progress too well, but I can imagine that board game enthusiasts were probably up in arms that one of their favorite titles was adopting an electronic form. It must have been like Jedi defecting to the Sith, except for the fact that the Monopoly computer game didn't seem to catch on like its cardboard-and-fake-money predecessor had.