Wait a minute, I can hear you saying after reading this headline. The EU has just fined Microsoft 500 milllion euros and has demanded that they open certain API’s to other software makeres. Actually the monetary fine is negligeable. Microsoft scoffs back $32 billion per year. This amounts to less than two per cent of annual revenue for a fine which covers almost a decade of miscreance. The equivalent is of a factory owner pouring contaminants into the communal revenue who prefers to pay the small fines and keep doing his dirty business. The only positive aspect of the ruling is that by compelling Microsoft to open up some of these API’s and protocols to other software makers that future predatory practices will be staved off. But those Microsoft apologists who think that Microsoft is finished annihalating competition and trying to control the entire IT sphere are simply wrong. If you don’t believe me, check out what Steve Balmer has to say about search:
people sometimes say Microsoft wants to do it all. This is a case where we actually didn’t do it all. Shoot, I wish we had done it all.
The one sector where they had not eliminated all competition is where they want in now (Google adwords no doubt awoke them to the sad fact that somebody besides themselves were making money in IT). So with this tiny fine, Microsoft wins again, the EU loses and so does humanity. But they must shed crocodile tears and bleat how it hurts. Window dressing and play acting. Pardon the pun. Strangely, the US Department of Justice doesn’t agree with the settlement. One of the largest contributors to Republican coffers, on and off the playing field. Government corruption at the highest level. Anything but protect the interest of the common man or the consumer. The only way for Microsoft not to win is to get their products off your computers. Fortunately, apart from the Microsoft funded SCO suit, Linux really seems to be coming around the corner this time. Imagine a world of secure operating systems, transparent code and reliable operation. And no US governmental security holes to spy on you. That world is here now. Disclaimer: I am writing this epistle on an Apple computer, another American company. Why? I work with video and there is no suitable software – yet – on Linux. So for the moment, I cannot move to Linux myself. From what I can tell, Apple is not working with US security agencies to leave hidden doors into the OS and logging perpetually all of one’s email communication. The day that becomes apparent I will no longer use an Apple computer. And I think Apple knows that a huge proportion of their users would leave the platform in this case.