1118: "Microsoft"

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Arariel
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Arariel » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:28 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
SirMustacha wrote:I mustache you a question.

Arariel wrote:SirMustapha appears to be talking about...

This is not the Sir you're looking for.

Move along.


Ah, I should've noticed the avatar (or lack thereof). And the pun. Silly me.

Whatev
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Whatev » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:12 am UTC

Max™ wrote:
Whatev wrote:
Spoiler:
Max™ wrote:
Whatev wrote:
Max™ wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:The market was explicitly defined in the legal proceedings to ignore PowerPC-based Apple computers. Some monopoly there. PC makers bundle Windows because people prefer Windows to the alternatives, at least for now (and then). They tried putting Linux on some of them, and people didn't really buy them.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/10/23/13219/110

http://www.itworld.com/small-business/7 ... osoft-lies

It's not quite as simple as that. In cases where an OEM could install linux without losing their windows license, yes, that is a failing of linux advertising and so forth to give people a reason to boot a system and go "oh good, linux" instead of "what the hell happened to windows" as they did for the most part.

That doesn't even account for a tiny fraction of the real reason other OSes never had a chance with the OEMs that sold windows.

Et cetera...


Given that this is illegal, shouldn't this, ipso facto, make a large number of other things including:

-console exclusives
-exclusive deals between soda companies and restaurant chains
-exclusive recording and broadcasting contracts
-nearly all athletic contracts

also illegal?

Can a company which sells a product which is bundled/included in another product force the second company to sell only products with the first companies bundles/software/etc?

If another company made a game system and wanted to have Sony or MS games on their system, could Sony or MS require that they not sell games from the other companies for those systems?

Could they go further and require it not be obvious that you can play games other than Sony/MS licensed copies?


There are two levels here, MS would not allow a system which was openly dual-booted from the OEM, and MS would not abide by OEM manufacturers selling systems with a non-Windows OS installed. Sure, MS had a contract to that effect, and a non-disclosure clause, does that somehow make it ok?


You make Whatev Brand widgets, I make Max Brand widget software, I'll give you a license to sell Whatev Brand widgets with Max Brand software, but I won't allow you to sell widgets with any software besides my own without revoking your license, though such software clearly exists and offers a viable alternative.

Is that ok?


I don't think you've answered my question.

I know, because your question was asked about something unrelated to the post you quoted, so I tried to explain why your examples aren't really related to what I brought up.


How is it not related? You admit that MS had a contract to that effect, but you argue that "it's not okay" for them to have a contract to that effect. I point out that exclusive contracts--contracts that prevent one party from doing business with anyone other than the counterparty--are PERVASIVE. If it's not okay for MS to have a contract like that, it ought to follow directly that it's not okay for anybody else to have a contract like that. Do you, or do you not, agree that this is the case?

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Max™
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Max™ » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:48 am UTC

Whatev wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Whatev wrote:
Spoiler:
Max™ wrote:
Whatev wrote:
Max™ wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:The market was explicitly defined in the legal proceedings to ignore PowerPC-based Apple computers. Some monopoly there. PC makers bundle Windows because people prefer Windows to the alternatives, at least for now (and then). They tried putting Linux on some of them, and people didn't really buy them.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/10/23/13219/110

http://www.itworld.com/small-business/7 ... osoft-lies

It's not quite as simple as that. In cases where an OEM could install linux without losing their windows license, yes, that is a failing of linux advertising and so forth to give people a reason to boot a system and go "oh good, linux" instead of "what the hell happened to windows" as they did for the most part.

That doesn't even account for a tiny fraction of the real reason other OSes never had a chance with the OEMs that sold windows.

Et cetera...


Given that this is illegal, shouldn't this, ipso facto, make a large number of other things including:

-console exclusives
-exclusive deals between soda companies and restaurant chains
-exclusive recording and broadcasting contracts
-nearly all athletic contracts

also illegal?

Can a company which sells a product which is bundled/included in another product force the second company to sell only products with the first companies bundles/software/etc?

If another company made a game system and wanted to have Sony or MS games on their system, could Sony or MS require that they not sell games from the other companies for those systems?

Could they go further and require it not be obvious that you can play games other than Sony/MS licensed copies?


There are two levels here, MS would not allow a system which was openly dual-booted from the OEM, and MS would not abide by OEM manufacturers selling systems with a non-Windows OS installed. Sure, MS had a contract to that effect, and a non-disclosure clause, does that somehow make it ok?


You make Whatev Brand widgets, I make Max Brand widget software, I'll give you a license to sell Whatev Brand widgets with Max Brand software, but I won't allow you to sell widgets with any software besides my own without revoking your license, though such software clearly exists and offers a viable alternative.

Is that ok?


I don't think you've answered my question.

I know, because your question was asked about something unrelated to the post you quoted, so I tried to explain why your examples aren't really related to what I brought up.


How is it not related? You admit that MS had a contract to that effect, but you argue that "it's not okay" for them to have a contract to that effect. I point out that exclusive contracts--contracts that prevent one party from doing business with anyone other than the counterparty--are PERVASIVE. If it's not okay for MS to have a contract like that, it ought to follow directly that it's not okay for anybody else to have a contract like that. Do you, or do you not, agree that this is the case?

Yeah, this isn't just an exclusive contract issue, I know those exist, but how is it not a monopolistic situation when you write a contract specifically intended to prevent end-users from even knowing there are alternatives to a given product?


You listed:
-console exclusives
-exclusive deals between soda companies and restaurant chains
-exclusive recording and broadcasting contracts
-nearly all athletic contracts

If Nintendo was the only console around and set up contracts to prevent games from being made for other systems as well as preventing other consoles from being sold in the same stores as Nintendo systems, that would be similar to the situation I describe. Even closer would be if Nintendo was the main company making games for several different systems (and the only one well known to the general public), and it actively prevented other companies from selling games with those systems by threatening to withdraw it's licenses from the offending console manufacturer.

None of the others are remotely comparable.


"Yeah, you can have a computer, oh, but sorry, gotta have this OS installed or you're on your own... in fact we won't even sell you a system to install your choice of OS on, assuming you can do this, Mr. or Mrs. Typical Computer Customer."
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Dubjectivist » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:25 am UTC

"XKCD causes yet another clever him/thick her moment" (posted by her)"

10:37 <@her> http://xkcd.com/1118/ *chuckles a lot*
10:39 <@him> Yep :P Indeed indeed
10:41 <@her> Then again, we didn't let "one" company amass that much power. It's two.
10:48 <@him> how so?
10:49 <@her> Google and Apple
10:50 <@her> i'm not sure if you've lost the point, or i have
10:50 <@him> Rather than having MS with IE browser dominating MS Windows OS, we have Safari browser dominating Mac OS and Chrome browser in Chrome OS
10:51 <@her> yeah but that wasn't the point
10:51 <@him> What was it?
10:51 <@her> the point was that we all slagged off MS and let apple, google and facebook get away with it - any "it" that they did, browser or otherwise
10:52 <@him> Yep, but that point is brought out through a specific example, which is browser integration
10:53 <@her> and promptly mitigated by mentioning facebook which doesn't stand up to that comparison
10:53 <@her> you see? give a techie joke to a techie peep and he'll totally overanalyse it
10:54 <@her> the strip coulda started, "remember back when microsoft..." (enter your version of "did anything at all" here)
10:54 <@him> :P My comment on it being two rather than one was a laconic quip at what the person on the left says
10:55 <@him> And the browser integration is totally integral to that strip because of it being the specific example in it
10:55 <@him> Anyway, lunch time
10:55 <@her> well, here's a free dumbing down clue okay? put your laconic quips back in their box and chill the flip out with the over-thinking !
10:56 <@her> but the use of facebook, as a further specific example, counteracts that! Oh me yarm, go for lunch!
10:56 <@her> enjoy lunch!
10:56 <@her> and take care
10:57 <@her> go, make up some more crazy lacony (if that's even a word)
10:57 <@him> larceny?
10:57 <@her> just go.

JJH
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby JJH » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:41 am UTC

ijuin wrote:
orthogon wrote:
ijuin wrote:
orthogon wrote:
Salt wrote:[...] and basically cow-tow to MS demands.

Anybody else have a mental picture of a bovine hitched to the back of a pickup truck? Maybe one with bull-bars on the front? Sorry, couldn't resist.

"Kowtow" is more properly pronounced with both syllables rhyming with "row" (as in rowboat). It is a transliteration of a Japanese word that might be better rendered as "kohtoh". It is composed of the kanji "koh", meaning "to descend/make low" and "toh". meaning a person's head. Thus, "kohtoh" literally means to bring your head as low as possible, as in the "kissing-the-dirt" sort of bowing to the ground. In feudal Japan, bowing like this was a gesture of unconditional submission to the person (or deity) for whom one was bowing, as contrasted against the bend-at-the-waist standing bow used in greeting.



I had assumed it was Chinese, and the internets seem to agree with me. Presumably the Japanese word came from Chinese, and the Japanese kōtō uses the "on-yomi" (Chinese readings) of the characters.
Having said that, there seems (according to Google) to be more than one spelling / pronunciation in Mandarin (磕頭=kētóu and 叩頭=kòutóu). My Chambers dictionary gives "k`o t`ou", which looks like Wade-Giles to me. I have only an occasional hobby interest in such things and only know about 20 characters so if there is a scholar of Chinese on the forum I'd welcome an explanation!

My degree is in Japanese Linguistics, so that is where I got the etymology from.


Most definetly not an expert, but…
Kowtow is indeed a Chinese word. Both ketóu (磕头) and kòutóu (叩头) are appropriate as multiple spellings are frequent in the Chinese language. I have to say it adds yet another layer of difficulty to it. Sigh. You might want to look at for example http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?page=worddict&wdrst=0&wdqb=kowtow it gives you a sample pronunciation, though not a particularly good one.

Apparently the Japanese equivalent practise is called “dogeza” (土下座), though kowtow (叩頭, こうとう, kōtō) is also present. If there’s a difference between the two I don’t know.

J Thomas
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:44 pm UTC

Whatev wrote:.... You admit that MS had a contract to that effect, but you argue that "it's not okay" for them to have a contract to that effect. I point out that exclusive contracts--contracts that prevent one party from doing business with anyone other than the counterparty--are PERVASIVE. If it's not okay for MS to have a contract like that, it ought to follow directly that it's not okay for anybody else to have a contract like that. Do you, or do you not, agree that this is the case?


Thank you for being so clear.

Enron did accounting fraud. No company's accounting is entirely accurate. Shouldn't every company be prosecuted for accounting fraud?

No, the differences matter.

For myself, I say that we need to do something about restraint of trade when it's important. When it's important, we should do something effective, which may not involve lawsuits which after all tend to be utterly ineffective at getting desired economic benefits.

Coca-Cola has tried to coerce companies that manage soda fountains not to sell Pepsi. That's bad. Imagine that Shasta Cola tried to do the same thing. "You can't use Shasta sodas unless you boycot Coke and Pepsi!" No reason to go after them. They're only hurting themselves. Go after Coca-Cola? Not for that. They're selling soft drinks. It's supposed to be unimportant. They are selling an addictive drug, but the whole industry does that. By blind taste tests, people can't tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. There are some people who can, but for every person who does better than average telling them apart there's one who does worse than average. Coca-Cola has some sort of effective mind control technique, and we ought to both make it illegal and figure out how it works and teach citizens how to resist it. What if it got used for something important?

Apple sells a closed product. In theory you should not have any incompatibility problems because they try hard to prevent them. That's part of what you get when you pay them extra. You know it's a closed product when you buy it. "I knew it was on fire when I lay down on it." If that isn't what you want you can buy something cheaper and more plentiful. I don't see that it's an important problem that this option is available. But we ought to figure out how their mind-control technique works and both make it illegal and teach citizens how to resist it.

US sugar companies achieve various sorts of restraint-of-trade. They lobby Congress for that and it works, maybe because they probably get a lot of backing from the HFCS industry. (Expensive sugar means more high fructose corn syrup sales.) Is that important? Not very. There's some reason to think that eating a lot of HFCS is worse for you than eating a lot of sugar. If we want to do something about that, a high tax on HFCS would be better than deregulating the sugar industry. A more-efficient sugar industry is not very important and might be a curse in disguise.

Banking. The banks are getting more consolidated. This is a terrible thing for the economy. We need to fix that. Possibly set up a lot of small banks, each mostly owned by the government? The profits go to help pay off the national debt? For a mere $100 billion, what we pay for Afghanistan in a year or two, we could have 100 small new banks, each with $1 billion starting capital. Also we could set up a progressive tax on banks, the bigger they are the more they pay. We don't need to get the lawyers involved.

Oil. Oil used to be a vital national resource and it was important not to let monopolies control it. Now it is a declining industry. If we had alternative fuels ready to take over, and somebody managed to control the oil market and take the price of gasoline to $10/gallon, would that be a bad thing? They would be helping us manage a quick changeover. Maybe a fair deal -- they get to squeeze the last profits out of a dying concern, and we get a clean new start.

Google. They have search engine secrets. Trade secrets. They are increasingly rich and powerful. They are creating a world where people who pay them can get more information about you than anybody could get before. The world will probably change a lot. People argue that they deserve to have special privacy, and Google can make that completely impractical. When those secrets get out, what then? Maybe we need some sort of controls on Google, but I'm not clear what.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

jpers36
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby jpers36 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

Arariel wrote:Let's go through the monopoly checklist:


Where did you get this checklist?

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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote:
Arariel wrote:Let's go through the monopoly checklist:


Where did you get this checklist?


When I asked myself that, I checked Wikipedia which often includes information believed to be common knowledge.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly#Characteristics

They provided exactly those 5 items. Unfortunately, that whole section had only one source, an undergraduate economics textbook which might be a source for only one sentence there. Presumably whoever wrote the article thought this was common knowledge that didn't need references.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby bmonk » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
Whatev wrote:.... You admit that MS had a contract to that effect, but you argue that "it's not okay" for them to have a contract to that effect. I point out that exclusive contracts--contracts that prevent one party from doing business with anyone other than the counterparty--are PERVASIVE. If it's not okay for MS to have a contract like that, it ought to follow directly that it's not okay for anybody else to have a contract like that. Do you, or do you not, agree that this is the case?


Thank you for being so clear.

Enron did accounting fraud. No company's accounting is entirely accurate. Shouldn't every company be prosecuted for accounting fraud?

No, the differences matter.

For myself, I say that we need to do something about restraint of trade when it's important. When it's important, we should do something effective, which may not involve lawsuits which after all tend to be utterly ineffective at getting desired economic benefits.

. . .

Banking. The banks are getting more consolidated. This is a terrible thing for the economy. We need to fix that. Possibly set up a lot of small banks, each mostly owned by the government? The profits go to help pay off the national debt? For a mere $100 billion, what we pay for Afghanistan in a year or two, we could have 100 small new banks, each with $1 billion starting capital. Also we could set up a progressive tax on banks, the bigger they are the more they pay. We don't need to get the lawyers involved.


My suggestion: if banks are "too big to fail," then we can bail them out to save the economy. But part of the bailout would be a division of the bank into smaller pieces that are no longer "too big to fail."

This should have probably been applied to GM and Chrysler too.

Another thing we could have done--and still should do: part of the bailout of banks was an agreement that they should refinance mortgages to help homeowners who are in trouble. Instead the banks sat on that money, used it for other purposes--and stonewalled the refinancing. Require it be repaid, or go after the banks big time to get their butts moving on refinancing so the housing market can recover.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

Arariel
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Arariel » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:50 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
jpers36 wrote:
Arariel wrote:Let's go through the monopoly checklist:


Where did you get this checklist?


When I asked myself that, I checked Wikipedia which often includes information believed to be common knowledge.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly#Characteristics

They provided exactly those 5 items. Unfortunately, that whole section had only one source, an undergraduate economics textbook which might be a source for only one sentence there. Presumably whoever wrote the article thought this was common knowledge that didn't need references.

Yes, unfortunately, it was from Wikipedia; I do not have my copy of McConnell/Brue/Flynn on hand, sadly, but everything there is about the same from what I recall.

However, it's quite easy to show Microsoft is a monopoly purely because every company owning copyrights or patents own monopolies.

Ben-oni
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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Ben-oni » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:33 am UTC

This comic has bothered me since I first read it. I think now I can put my thoughts together coherently.


"Imagine the future we'd live in..." Randall thought he was being snarky by showing that had events been otherwise, we might have looked with dread upon the world we have today.

This month, I saw that future, and I resent it. I don't think my situation is particularly unique, and therefore think that everyone else who is so blithely ignorant of these injustices deserves to hear what happens to the rest of us.


Last month, I was forced for one reason or another to take a job at a local call center. The center uses Windows XP exclusively, and most applications run overtop Internet Explorer 7. The company took this stance deliberately: the client companies all use Windows, and their software is always compatible with IE7 and ActiveX. The developers for both my company and the client companies therefore develop solely for IE7 (at least for internal facing applications). (I will not insult the reader, of course, by enumerating the host of bad programming practices exercised by the developers who wantonly ignore style, convention, and common sense.)

Unfortunately, this has had implications: my company's employee portal, where we check our schedule, manage our HR information, sign up for overtime, etc, is only written to work on Internet Explorer. Despite the fact that this site must be accessed from home, it will not work on any browser other than IE running on Windows. Browser spoofing is insufficient: it has to be IE.

But I use a Mac exclusively. I don't own a PC because I don't enjoy using Windows. My employer has forced me to purchase a copy of Windows, just so I'll know when I need to go to work.

Microsoft, using their deep penetration of the PC market, bundled IE into every operating system, therefore ensuring that companies would continue to use it in precisely the manner I have described, and forced me into this situation where I must acquire their product.

Of course, blame does not lie entirely with Microsoft. My own employer could have chosen to support more browsers. But it's cheaper for them to focus on only IE. I resent them as well.


Can you imagine a world where people are forced to purchase a product they do not want from a company they do not like? Poorly done, Randall. Poorly done.

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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby Hafting » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:42 pm UTC

pushingrobot wrote:Yep, it's important to keep in mind a few things:

  • Monopolies aren't illegal. Using a monopoly to invade a separate market and kill your competition is illegal.
  • [[/list]


I always had the impression that monopolies were illegal at least in the U.S, they call it "antitrust laws".

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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby bmonk » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:52 pm UTC

Ben-oni wrote:Can you imagine a world where people are forced to purchase a product they do not want from a company they do not like? Poorly done, Randall. Poorly done.

And yet, as you noted it happens. And some governments intend it to happen a whole lot more.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby codeborker » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:11 am UTC

sardia wrote:
JetstreamGW wrote:Of course the difference (regarding Facebook and Apple anyway) is their consistent failure to REALLY corner the market. I can't speak to Google but he's probably right about them.


Either way, Facebook is hated as much as it's loved and Apple is starting to revert to its usual niche market as other products begin to compete.

Lol, Apple is raping the US smartphone market, and the tablet market doesn't exist. There is only the ipad market as it sits atop the skulls of other tablets.


So... how is that working about for Apple 4 years later? iPads are outsold 3:1 by MS army of hybrid computers, and the iPad has seen year over year drops in sales of around 20% for the last 8-12 quarters?

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Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:43 pm UTC

Pretty damn well? It's easy to lose market share when you've been dominating forever. Now they're merely the best instead of the only one worth mentioning.


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