Yesterday, it seemed like a great thing that Microsoft got swatted by the European Union on antitrust grounds. Today, questions are emerging. The Wall Street Journal has two good articles that deal with the fallout from the ruling. Unfortunately, Microsoft may not be the only one that loses in the judgment.
An emboldened IBM challenged Microsoft's desktop application dominance with the introduction on Tuesday of IBM Lotus Symphony, a suite of free desktop applications.
Lotus Symphony is made up of three applications--word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs--which IBM already ships as part of Lotus 8.
The offering is in beta and is available as a free download with "community support" from IBM's Web site. IBM is considering other support options, according to a company executive.
The name Lotus Symphony is recycled; it was the name … Read more
Google Presentations, which is free, is part of the company's online office suite, Google Docs.
Right off the bat, you will notice that Presentations has some of the same basic functionality as Microsoft's PowerPoint. It does enable you to create some really basic presentations, with themes, but the lack of features and slide show polish are real turn-offs for me.
Yes, there are nice collaboration features, just like the other Google Docs applications, but if the final product isn't on par with what … Read more
Microsoft is killing off a feature in Office 2003 that the company said helped save time, but also ran the risk of exposing confidential information.
As part of Service Pack 3 of Office 2003, which will be available Tuesday as a free download from Microsoft's Web site, Microsoft is disabling Word 2003's "fast save" feature, which works by saving the changes made since the last save, rather than rewriting the whole document to disk.
"While the Fast Save feature speeds up the document-saving process by saving only the changes made to a document, the saved … 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
The European Union's Court of First Instance handed Microsoft a major defeat on Monday, slapping down the software maker's appeal in three significant areas of the historic antitrust case brought by the European Commission.
In the closely watched case, which has dragged on since March 2004, the Luxembourg-based court upheld the Commission's findings that Microsoft abused its dominant position in the market.
Interoperability. The court agreed with the Commission that Microsoft was stifling competition by withholding certain technical specifications, or protocols, from rivals. The court also agreed that the Commission wanted Microsoft to share only the system protocols, and not its source code. After all, not everyone wants to be "like" Microsoft.
"The court rejects Microsoft's claims that the degree of interoperability required by the Commission is intended in reality to enable competing work group server operating systems to function in every respect like a Windows system and, accordingly, to enable Microsoft's competitors to clone or reproduce its products," the Court of First Instance stated in its decision.
Silverlight may be Microsoft's new media platform, but with its latest video game campaign, it's not showing it with a new marketing site that runs using Adobe's Flash. It's part of a massive campaign to get people to buy the third game in the Halo series, but even if you're not a video game fanatic, or familiar with it, the site is really worth taking for a spin. It revolves (literally) around a massive diorama of some intense futuristic battle. You're given control to roam back and forth using your mouse and arrow keys, … Read more
Yesterday I wrote that Windows is malware. I said this because:
Microsoft can and will update your copy of Windows whenever they feel like it, regardless of your wishes. And, they feel no obligation to tell you what they've done. Your computer is just a zombie to them.
Defending yourself against Microsoft involves turning off automatic updates and that's what this posting is about.
At first glance, turning off Automatic Updates seems simple enough. In Windows XP, you go to the Control Panel, then System, then the Automatic Updates tab and click on the radio button to turn … Read more
Or so says Microsoft's Craig Mundie in an engaging interview with APC Magazine. You've got to give Microsoft some credit: the company spends a lot of time thinking through strategic issues in technology like few others. This interview reveals that.
I found Mundie's comment on Google particularly insightful:APC: So do you feel that is a major competitive advantage over Google for example? That you have the desktop software expertise along with online services?… Read more
Microsoft is big on interoperability, Apple. Try entering into a(nother) patent agreement with the company. That seems to do the trick.