It's a real pity that the classic American sitcom Diff'rent Strokes never got broadcast in Luxembourg. If it had, I could almost see the judges at Microsoft's antitrust hearing right now, declaiming: "Whatchutalkinabout, William?" (Gates, that is.)
Over in Luxembourg, Microsoft
The Commission focused particularly on Microsoft's practice of "bundling" different kinds of programs into its operating system, a practice that the Commission deemed unfair to competitors such as RealNetworks
On that score, Microsoft says it will comply with whatever decision the European Court of Justice's Court of First Instance requires. However, the company complains that doing so would cause it "great harm." And it's that argument that I think will bring about Microsoft's Diff'rent Strokes minute. For Microsoft is already, and of its own accord, designing and selling "abridged" versions of its Windows operating system -- namely, the Windows XP Starter Edition being sold preinstalled on machines marketed in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
As described by fellow Fool Alyce Lomax back in June (read her article here), Microsoft designed the Starter Edition to combat the twin threats to its international sales posed by (a) pirated versions of its software and (b) legitimate copies of the Linux operating system, which is repackaged and marketed by companies such as Red Hat
For more Foolish news and commentary on both these Microsoft stories, read:
- Microsoft Heads Down Market
- Microsoft Strips Down
- Microsoft's Punishment Delayed
- Microsoft Strikes Back
- EU Takes a Bite of Microsoft
Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article.