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Can MSFT still discourage HW manufactuers?

I don't want to start Yet Another bozonic Microsoft flamewar, but I'd like to know what to expect -- Can Microsoft still discourage companies like Dell from distributing other OSes through price increases or other actions?

And can they discourage the Dells from bundling apps within Windows, or customizing it, like licensing Winamp as a replacement for Windows mediaplayer?

In both cases, I'm sure it's possible that the Dells might not do this because of insufficient customer demand. It's just that I'd been reading High $takes No Prisoners again, and wondering how things had turned out; all I found so far was stuff about MS opening up some api's. Thanks.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Wednesday, June 9, 2004

nah, after the huge pounding they took during the antitrust case in the US they wont dare do anything like that again.

they've really learned their lesson now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Well, the European Union fined them $613,000,000 a couple of months ago for doing what you describe. Draw your own conclusions.

Anony Coward
Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Microsoft will try and find another way of accomplishing the same thing.

However they cannot charge companies per mobo, nor stop them installing other OSes on a second partition, or stop them shipping with a second partition.

To see the way they react look at how WinXP Home can't be a member of a domain unlike any other kind of Windows. The reason is that they are worried about losing lucrative client access licenses to Samba, which now does a good job of being a PDC, so they get their money another way.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Thanks. Stephen, can you tell me where to find sources on this? I'd like to read more about it, since it could disrupt low-R&D guys like Dell, if hardware players can differentiate their stuff.

Incidentally for anyone interested, the High Stakes book makes the case that the monopoly may have been beneficial to consuemrs initially, since it forced commoditization of hardware. A Gnu/Linux advocate can't be too angry. But then he explains there's a point that we've probably passed where it's more harm than good because you have nasty products like RealPlayer which eke out miserable ad existences, because there's no investment or support for innovation. And hardware guys which provide MHz.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, June 10, 2004

The EU fine is for bundling Media Player, not for having bundling agreements with motherboard manufacturers or PC manufacturers that penalised other OS suppliers because they had to pay the MS licence as well.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, June 10, 2004

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