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Re: Madness. Complete and utter madness

Phil Da Lick! wrote:
> High Plains Thumper wrote:
>> Phil Da Lick! wrote:
>>> http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/350722/judge-bans-sales-of-microsoft-word-in-us
>> [quote] Judge bans sales of Microsoft Word in US Posted on
>> 12 Aug 2009 at 11:01
>> Microsoft has been ordered to stop selling Microsoft Word in
>> the US, after finding itself on the wrong end of patent
>> infringement suit.
>> The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
>> sided with technology company i4i, which alleged that
>> Microsoft had wilfully infringed a patent relating to the
>> creation of custom XML documents. [/quote]
>> Oh, the irony.
> MS' whole empire was built on taking existing technology and
> improving on it.

No, rather, they built their monopoly by squelching the
competition maintaining it.  Microsoft has a long history of
creating barriers to entry by its non-competitive practises:

18. Microsoft's anticompetitive contracting practices described
below significantly increase the already high barriers to entry
and expansion facing competitors in the PC operating system
market. These practices reduce the likelihood that OEMs will
license and promote non-Microsoft PC operating systems, make it
more difficult for Microsoft's competitors to persuade ISVs to
develop applications for their operating systems, and impede the
ability of a non-Microsoft PC operating system to expand its
installed base of users.

Microsoft's Exclusionary and Anticompetitive OEM Licenses
Foreclose Access to the OEM Channel by Microsoft's PC Operating
System Competitors

19. In 1980, IBM agreed to license the original version of MS-DOS
from Microsoft for IBM's PC, which experienced considerable
success. Other OEMs also used MS-DOS in order better to emulate
the IBM PC. Microsoft quickly dominated and gained a monopoly in
the market for PC operating systems. It then entered into a
series of exclusionary and anticompetitive contract terms to
maintain its monopoly.

20. Because of Microsoft's monopoly position in the marketplace,
OEMs believe that they must offer MS-DOS and Windows to their
customers. Profit margins in the computer hardware industry are
very thin and OEMs want to obtain MS-DOS and Windows at the
lowest possible cost. Microsoft has induced many OEMs to execute
anticompetitive "per processor" contracts for MS-DOS and Windows,
even though many would prefer to preserve their freedom to offer
PCs with non-Microsoft operating systems.

Microsoft's Licenses Impose a Penalty or Tax Paid to
Microsoft on OEMs' Use of Non-Microsoft PC Operating Systems

21. Microsoft's licenses impose a penalty or "tax" paid to
Microsoft upon OEMs' use of competing PC operating systems. "Per
processor" licenses require OEMs to pay a royalty for each
computer the OEM sells containing a particular processor (e.g.,
an Intel 386 microprocessor) whether or not the OEM has included
a Microsoft operating system with that computer.

22. Microsoft's per processor contracts penalize OEMs, during the
life of the contract, for installing a non-Microsoft operating
system. OEMs that have signed per processor contracts with
Microsoft are deterred from using competitive alternatives to
Microsoft operating systems.

The Contract Length of Microsoft's Anticompetitive
Per Processor Contracts Magnifies Its Exclusionary Effects

23. Microsoft further impedes PC operating system competitors by
executing long-term contracts with major OEMs, and by requiring
minimum commitments and crediting unused balances to future
contracts, which effectively extends the contract term and makes
it economically unattractive for an OEM to install a non-
Microsoft operating system.

24. Microsoft's exclusionary licenses are often for a duration of
three years or more -- a period of time equal to, or exceeding,
the product life cycle of most PC operating system products.
Microsoft often extends the term of its OEM licenses through
amendment. Thus, Microsoft's anticompetitive per processor
contracts can extend to beyond five years.

Microsoft's Exclusionary Contracts Foreclose
Other PC Operating System Vendors From a Substantial
and Critically Important Segment of the Market

25. Access to the OEM channel is critical to the success of a
competing operating system. The overwhelming majority of PCs are
sold with a pre-installed operating system. Thus, to reach the
ultimate consumer of an operating system, it is important that
competitors have access to OEMs. Operating system vendors, as
well as OEMs, confirm that successful entry is extremely
difficult in the absence of "proper support" in the OEM channel
in the form of public commitments to sell a new operating system.

26. Since 1988, Microsoft has induced major OEMs to execute per
processor contracts, many of which extend for several years.
These OEMs are critical to the success of a new operating system
entrant; it would be virtually impossible for a new entrant to
achieve commercial success solely through license agreements with
small OEMs that are not covered by Microsoft's per processor
agreements. According to Microsoft, in fiscal year 1993, per
processor agreements accounted for an estimated 60% of
Microsoft's MS-DOS sales to OEMs and 43% of Windows sales to OEMs.

27. Competing operating system developers, finding the largest
OEMs contractually bound by Microsoft's exclusionary licenses,
are disadvantaged in their efforts to bring to the consumer less
expensive and/or better quality operating system products.

28. The effect of Microsoft's licensing practices has been to
exclude competitors by unreasonable and anticompetitive means and
to lessen competition in the relevant market. Microsoft's
practices deter OEMs from entering into licensing agreements with
competing operating system providers, discourage OEMs who agree
to sell non-Microsoft operating systems from promoting those
products, and raise the price of computers sold with competing
operating systems, thereby depressing the demand and restricting
the output of these products. Microsoft's licensing practices
have effectively foreclosed a substantial share of the relevant
market; they are exclusionary, anticompetitive, and not justified
by legitimate business considerations.


Microsoft still continues its anti-competitive practises against

It is a well detailed summary of the anti-competitive acts of
monopoly maintenance by the Microsoft Corporation, authors of the
Windows brand of OS software.  It outlines the anti-competitive
acts against Linux including patent FUD, which is found on Page
23 of the document:

In an apparent escalation of its patent FUD strategy, Microsoft
sued the navigational system vendor, TomTom, for patent
infringement at the end of February 2009. Three patent claims
related to Linux are included in the lawsuit.[135] At least two
of them are related to highly questionable patents on long file
name support in Windows, which have been partially invalidated by
an EC patent court on the grounds that Microsoftâs patent claims
were ânot based on inventive activityâ.[136] While Microsoft has
publicly claimed that its action is not directed against Linux or
open source, and the case was settled in March 2009 pursuant to a
mostly confidential agreement, this represents an aggressive
development of Microsoftâs use of spurious or highly questionable
patent claims to intimidate and eliminate competition from Linux
in order to maintain or strengthen its dominant position in the
OS market.

135. See Bruce Perens, Analyzing Microsoftâs TomTom Lawsuit,
DATAMATION.COM, Mar. 1, 2009, available at
and Richard Hillesley, TomTom â The drums of a patent war with
Microsoft? ITPRO.COM, Mar. 5, 2009, available at

136. See, e.g., Federal Patent Court declares FAT patent of
Microsoft null and void, HEISE ONLINE, Mar. 2, 2007, available at


> Now they're finding it difficult to do that anymore [due to 
> patents amonsgt other things] their products are starting to
> suffer quality wise. Perhaps this was what Bill Gates was
> referring to in his infamous 1991 email memo.

No, rather, now Government such as the EU are trying to level the
playing field, so that true competition can be fostered and that
their industries may be able to fluorish without Microsoft's
anti-competitive behaviour, as described above.


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