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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Monopolist and the Oligarchy

Microsoft has come to an agreement with the EU on how it should name the versions of its Broken Windows XP bereft of Media Player.
Microsoft has bowed to pressure from the European Commission to name a new version of its Windows XP software, Windows XP Home Edition N.
Unlike many Bloggers who have commented on this story, I am no fan of Microsoft, so this battle is between two behemoths that I dislike. That said, I am begrudgingly on the side of Microsoft, as the right to trade freely is a fundamental right that all individuals and companies should have.
Microsoft's dispute with the Commission last year centred around it using its dominant position in the desktop operating software market to limit competition in related areas, such as in audiovisual software.
The pace of change in the IT industry is so rapid, that by the time changes are forced through, the game has moved on. Apples i-Tunes is rapidly becoming the new standard, due to the success of the i-Pod. This trumps anything that any court or government can do. If the commission would only focus on those things that really limit competition, like government monopolies (EDF anyone) then their attack on Microsoft would seem more reasonable. As it is they seem like jealousy or anti-capitalist ideology.

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