EU forces Microsoft to Adopt Changes
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Although Microsoft tried to make it sound as if they are doing the right thing on their own accord, people that know a little about the EU vs. Microsoft lawsuit know better. The EU is forcing Microsoft to make these changes, although most of them will have a negative impact on Microsoft's customers in the EU (take away free stuff previously bundled with Windows), but he, we people that live in the EU know all about how logical their decisions are right?
Microsoft is calling these changes "Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition." In a speech hosted by the New America Foundation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said: "Our goal is to be principled and transparent as we develop new versions of Windows. These voluntary principles are intended to provide the industry and consumers with the benefits of ongoing innovation, while creating and preserving robust opportunities for competition. The principles incorporate and go beyond the provisions of the U.S. antitrust ruling."
It is beyond the scope of this newsletter to list all these twelve points, you can check them out on the Microsoft Press-Pass Web site.
Basically Microsoft is promising that Computer makers are free to add any software to PCs that run Windows, promote non-Windows operating systems, and applications, add icons, shortcuts and the like to the Windows Start menu and other places used to access software programs and change defaults to set non-Microsoft programs to operate by default. All of this - Microsoft promises - will not result in Microsoft 'retaliation' (by cutting discounts on software). To provide transparency on this point, Microsoft will post a standard volume-based price list to a Web site that is accessible to computer manufacturers, as it has under the U.S. antitrust ruling. Windows royalties will be determined based on that price list, without regard to any decisions the computer manufacturer makes concerning the promotion of non-Microsoft software.
The most interesting tenet (and one of the few that is something new/previously unknown) is listed under #7: Internet services. Microsoft will design Windows Live as a product that is separate from Windows. Customers will be free to choose Windows with or without Windows Live.
This means that Windows Vista won't ship bundled with a number of Windows Life-based products/services; something that was previously expected.
For the most part these twelve tenets just seem to be a PR exercise; coming less then a week after the EU slapped Microsoft with a $357 million fine for failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust ruling.
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