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European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes is touring the United States this week. Her visit comes during a nasty spat between the commission and Microsoft that could seriously hurt technology businesses and consumers. Microsoft is planning to launch its new operating system, Windows Vista, in November for corporate clients and in January for consumers. Before launching in Europe, it hopes the EC will explain if there is anything in its software to which the commission seriously objects.
This piece is so one sided that one has to wonder how it got by the editors. Both sides in this are villians. the EC is just like any government beast on either side of the pond (they are mostly missinformed and tend to act like the're in charge of the second coming). Microsoft may or may not have crossed the legal line of being a monopoly but they do work hard to get the benifits and avoid the problems of being one.
"Consumers are better off when companies add new features to their products,a truism that even antitrust officials in the United States acknowledge." - dumbest line of the week
first the antitrust officials she seems to be talking about are just the same as their european counterparts. Second they are the same dummies that let Microsoft off on the slam-dunk case in the states. Third sometimes added features are just dumb (ala video devices in the front of your car). In this case one of the features that the're talking about is a firewall . Its a good feature but most of the people I know run Hardware firewalls they should be able to get rid of Microsofts (or anyone elses) with the click of a button.
Lastly her fear mongering about the effects on Europe - if they don;t get vista immediately - are wrong. Vista is clearly designed for the next generation of machines and is clearly not ready for prime time. No business in its right mind is planning on switching until Vista proves itself in action.
The "OS" world is in terrible shape. it seems to think in the terms of "one size fits all". I expect better from all of them. Currently we have two choices 1. Microsoft which is too monolithic 2.apple/linix which are based on 40 year old ideas. There are people/companies out there with new fresh approaches but there is no way to overcome either the market share or FUD problem and this is a clear indication that governments have to take some kind of action if we are to move to the next level.