Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Microsoft is in less trouble today than it was yesterday.

The software maker has been in hot water with the European Union because Microsoft integrates a browser with its operating system. To avoid costly litigation, the firm has “settled” with European regulators and agreed to “offer customers a choice” of browsers in addition to its own Internet Explorer.

In the annals of crime, coupling operating systems with web browsers ranks right up there with uxoricide, armed bank robbery, and using the wrong fork with your salad. But the prospect Microsoft faced if it didn’t cave to the EU was pretty serious. The firm has already shelled out more than two billion dollars in fines to the Europeans as a result of previous bogus antitrust litigation.

Neelie Kroes, who fills the post of “European competition commissioner,” says millions of European consumers “will benefit” now that they have a “free choice about which Web browser they use.” But every online computer user has always been free to compare browsers and pick a competing one. You surf. You click. You download. Not hard.

So what’s the deal here? Big target, deep pockets. Competitors without scruples willing to enlist government guns to force Microsoft to do their marketing for them. Nothing to do with justice or anyone’s legitimate rights.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


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  2. Joe says:

    So, is the EU hoing to do extensive, exhaustive data collection to see how the EU population has benefited with their Microsoft “victory”?

  3. J B Conroy says:

    This scam is like everything else- Microsoft doesn’t HAVE to sell in Europe. They sell plenty here, and perhaps Canada, to make billions of dollars per year. Simply stop selling in Europe. The socialists can’t- yet- MAKE you sell in a certain country, or any group of countries. The screams from the European consumers for Microsoft products, over a couple of years, would put an end to this odd form of EU government extortion.

  4. Max Kessler says:

    I think you need a history lesson here. Back in the 1990’s, Internet users routinely chose Netscape over Internet Explorer, even though it was twice as expensive. Microsoft couldn’t get a foothold in the browser market to the point where Netscape threatened Microsoft’s supremacy.

    In response, Microsoft started bundling IE for free as a kamikaze attack to sink Netscape. Even then, people still chose Netscape. Hardware vendors, including one of the largest at the time, Compaq, recognized this demand and bundled their systems with both browsers pre-installed. Microsoft threatened to terminate their license to distribute Windows altogether, unless they stopped bundling Netscape.

    This was before Linux was ready for public consumption, so Compaq was forced to choose between selling computers with Windows (without Netscape) or going out of business. It would have been suicide for them to sell computers without Windows, so Microsoft could legally force another company to bundle its products and no others.

    Should Microsoft have the power to kill a hardware company? I thought capitalism and the free market were about competition. How can you support allowing one company (any company, not just Microsoft) to have enough power to squash all of its competition (and prevent any new competition from starting)?

  5. Aneisha says:

    If you wrote an atirlce about life we’d all reach enlightenment.

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