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EU Set To Charge Microsoft Over Ruling Breach 254

New submitter quippe writes in with some bad news for Microsoft. "Microsoft Corp will be charged for failing to comply with a 2009 ruling ordering it to offer a choice of web browsers, the European Union's antitrust chief said on Thursday, which could mean a hefty fine for the company. U.S.-based Microsoft's more than decade-long battle with the European Commission has already landed it with fines totaling more than a billion euros ($1.28 billion). The Commission, which opened an investigation into the issue in July, is now preparing formal charges against the company, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said."
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EU Set To Charge Microsoft Over Ruling Breach

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  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @03:16AM (#41485661) Homepage

    If they want to really make any pressure on MS.
    If I fail to pay the fines to city police, they seize my car until I pay.
    The law should be equal to everyone.

  • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @03:32AM (#41485703) Journal

    Nah, what would make a bigger impact is to revoke Microsoft's copyright in the EU and splash MS software downloads all over the governments websites.

    And that might have the "unintended" consequences of hurting sales of Apple's shiny-shitty (not exactly a disaster), hurting adoption of Linux and LibreOffice (sad, but not affecting very many), and slightly boosting the sales of anyone making software for Windows (the biggest tragedy).

  • by metacell ( 523607 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:01AM (#41485815)

    How do you figure? Microsoft clearly violated the terms of the ruling, which resulted in a fine. Are you objecting to

    a) the court's interpretation of the law?
    b) the anti-monopoly laws in effect in the EU?
    c) anti-monopoly laws in general?

  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:05AM (#41485825)

    So, you still honestly think that linux has a snowball's chance in hell on the desktop?

    The mass shift from PC to Mac by many users show conclusively that the fabled "lock in" and "path dependence" with regards to consumer operating systems that you guys have always used as your excuse for why linux wasn't doing well was more myth than fact. The simple reality is that linux on the desktop, as it is now and certainly as it was in its heyday when it was on the cover of major magazines as the "next big thing" has been judged by the market and has been found wanting. If you're giving it away and still find adoption rates are near zero, at some point it's time to realize that your product just isn't as good as alternatives out there.

  • by ThatsMyNick ( 2004126 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:14AM (#41485855)

    Ignoring a court ruling would land most people in jail for contempt of court. I think the EU should start fining corporations percentage of revenues for contempt of court (a billion is a start, but it should be higher if it has to have any effect on microsoft)

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:18AM (#41485863) Homepage

    A billion dollars for a browser choice dialouge? It is beyond my comphrension how this could be considered rational or acceptable in any way.

    It's proportional to the company profits. All the big number means is that Microsoft earns a lot of money.

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:54AM (#41485959)


    Market share of Microsoft's Internet Explorer in Europe has roughly halved since 2008 to 29 percent so far this year as it has lost clients mostly to Google's Chrome.

    Chrome controls 29.3 percent of the European browsing market, while Mozilla's Firefox has 30.3 percent of the market, according to web research firm Statcounter.

    That's 90% of the market equally shared over three browsers. With the other 10% for the rest. Well I'd call that a rather healthy situation, and a great progress from 90%+ for IE.

    Browser selection screen or not, the dominance of IE is obviously broken without any other browser becoming dominant, and that I'd say is good. Very good. The next step is a proper html standard, and a standard interpretation/rendering of that standard.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:03AM (#41485995)

    The fine is set so high because Microsoft repeatedly and willingly ignores what the EU tells them to do, not because what Microsoft is doing wrong is worth a billion.

    If you keep parking your car in a no-parking zone and just pay the low fines because you can afford them at some point the police will just impound your car and haul you in front of a judge. This is the corporate equivalent.

  • by cripkd ( 709136 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:41AM (#41486111) Homepage
    What the FUCK is "desktop" anyway?

    I keep hearing people like you saying linux isn't prepared for the desktop and here I am using it for years.
    * I do web development at work and I have everyhting I need on Ubuntu. I've used it on desktop and laptops without issues.
    * My wife and my kids use it at home (my kids are 6 and don't even know what Windows and Linux is, or care, they just use the browser for flash games). My wife uses it for browsing and for document editing (at a level where google docs would suffice).
    * I use it at home for web development, browsing, soemetimes even RAW image editing (for which I admit I boot to a 3 years old XP install I only need for Lightroom/Photoshop)

    What does "the desktop" mean ???
    Audio editing, CAD, 3d modelling (blender?), video editing?

    Aren't those too "niche"? Not beeing able to run Avid or Maya to build the next Avatar movie disqualifies it as usable for the desktop?
    In MY opinion that's not "the desktop", sorry. That's a niche you need specified hardware and software anyway.

    I do run into issues sometimes, but SO DO I ON Windows XP!

    Otherwise I'm perfectly able to:
    plug my DSLR and download images off it,
    i can play dvd's,
    I can create dvd's,
    I can capture DV video of a handycam,
    I can quickly edit images in GIMP (crop, resize, a bit of contrast, etc, light stuff),
    i can write documents, I have a choice of great music players/managers and had them when windows had ... Winamp 3.x or something,
    I can connect to ftp servers
    I can use .torrent links/sites
    I can write code, debug code, install and use a web server

    and most of all I can do ALL these AND OTHERS from the first second I installed Ubuntu. Try all of the above right after installing Windows XP or 7

    What the fuck is wrong with linux on the desktop?

    I can't play games, but then again, I never was a gamer. Is that reason to dismiss it? Are gamers like 80% of the desktop market? If yes, then we're screwed!
  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:51AM (#41486145) Homepage


    Multiple-convicted monopolist company with assets on a par with the entire EU annual budget, seeks to avoid legal redress by failing to implement agreed-to legal measures (or only implementing them half-assedly) and claim they didn't know, nor bother to check, they were working for several YEARS, after already being fined half a billion Euros and made to implement those measures in the first place (after ANY NUMBER of appeals and legal arguments failed because the evidence was just so overwhelming).

    It's all in the spin, really, and it's hard to have sympathy for the convicted monopolist worth more than a lot of EU countries combined, when they are basically here because they can't be bothered to instruct one person within their company to keep an eye on their half-a-billion-pound + expenses mistake and the complementary obligation they were legally required to implement over several years.

    If you wanna do business in the EU, you have to stick by EU law, no matter how ridiculous you think it is or how much you disagree with its application. If that's a problem, don't do business with it. And if you don't want a repeat of your half-a-billion-dollar-plus-expenses blatant disregard for that law, maybe you should have one of the many very expensive lawyers, or even just someone involved in implementing the solution, keep an eye on it once a month, say, for the duration of your punishment.

  • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @06:37AM (#41486291)

    You're wasting your time. You're talking about people who are too stupid to download Firefox or Chrome without government involvement.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant