EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.08.09

Microsoft Breaks the Law in Germany and Gets Convicted, Fined

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Microsoft at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crime scene

Summary: Collusion charges against Microsoft lead to hefty fines

THIS JUST in via The Register:

The German competition authority, the BundesKartellamt, has fined Microsoft €9m for colluding with retailers to set the price of “Office Home and Student 2007″.

There are more articles in German and in English.

It is worth emphasising that Germany fined SCO for its slander of Linux and it can probably do the same to Microsoft.

Since Germany is determined to punish for collusion, the authorities should also take a look at EDGI schemes and the “<OEM> recommends Windows” scheme. There are many more examples of ill or illegal business practices.

Related readings:

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. spartan2276 said,

    April 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy you should try to look into what MS is doing to US retailers, for some reason all the Linux netbooks have vanished from big name sales stores such as Frys and Best Buy. I remember you could buy a netbook with linux on best buys website and at any best buy store, but now no longer the case, I have read a couple of blogs about people complaining about it. And also on ZDNet, although I can’t remember the link.

    To me this seems like MS has paid these retailers/Distributers/Manufactures to only sell XP netbook versions. Why can’t I go an get an HP Mini with XP but not with the Customized Ubuntu interface at best buy, yet they are both from the same manufacturer. So the Coke / Pepsi analogy goes out the window.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Gravatar

    spartan2276,

    I don’t have any ‘smoking gun’ memos, but I suggest you read:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/07/26/asus-possibly-sells-out/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/07/27/asus-express-gate-visibility/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/12/21/asus-shafting-linux/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/11/asus-express-windows/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/10/manipulation-by-proxy/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/07/28/pressure-to-stop-selling/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/08/19/oem-tactics-beos/

    It would be helpful if there were confirmed leaks, but we have none about sub-notebooks, except:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/05/10/leaked-memo-dumping-laptop/

  3. pcolon said,

    April 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Gravatar

    The only Linux netbook available @Best Buy, in Rochester, NY, is a dusty eeepc701. The others (eee1000, Acer Aspire one and HP) are XP.

    Seems like if you want a Linux netbook you either pay the MS-Tax or import it.

  4. Dan O'Brian said,

    April 10, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Gravatar

    To me this seems like MS has paid these retailers/Distributers/Manufactures to only sell XP netbook versions.

    …OR… the retailers got a lot of complaints/returns from customers who bought the Linux-based netbooks and so they stopped selling them and are now only selling the XP-based netbooks.

    Let’s not do any research before whipping out the conspiracy theories, eh?

  5. Ed Landaveri said,

    April 11, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Gravatar

    Spartan sounds correct. I haven’t seen any netbooks at Fry’s, or MicroCenter in Orange County, CA. It wouldn’t surprise me if MS have paid the retailers and manufactures for doing so. I found a student that bought one but had to pay the MS tax ’cause she couldn’t find the ones with Ubuntu.

    They’re trying to hide the fact that these devices exist, and the regular users have their hands tied when choosing what to buy. It also influences the fact that for example when given to choose two netbooks the one that comes with Ubuntu have lower hardware spects that it’s XP counterparts. I want a netbook that have the hardware same hardware specs than the XP ones. It seems like discrimination and collusion between the OEM’s and MS.

    Another question I have maybe someone can help: What can be done against this? How can we force the OEM’s to spell out the price you pay for the Operating system everytime you buy a laptop or computer here in the US? I know somewhere in Europe they were forced to do this. What can we as consumers can do about this? It would be the first step towars getting the choice of OS every time anyone buys the computer or at least consumers know how much they are charged for buying the piece of crapware that comes preinstalled with those machines? Last year I talked to the a Dell representative about getting a laptop without Windows, he told me that they’re offering Ubuntu on some systems, I told him I wanted something with higher end hardware and I could install my own, but he replied that that’s the way they do it. All of my boxes are custom build (no brand) because I didn’t want to pay the MS tax but I needed a laptop for my daughter. They push MS crapware whether you like it or not! This have to be stopped. Thanks

    pcolon Reply:

    System76, Emperor Linux have GNU/Linux laptops & desktops. Don’t know if they also have what MS likes to call “naked PCs”, that is, computers without an OS.

    Here, in western NY, we have a couple of small computer stores that are selling unbranded PCs and eeePCs with GNU/Linux. They also sell some of them with XP but they usually get returned primarily because hardware configs are the same for windows as it is for FOSS (4 & 8gb SSD).

  6. Dan O'Brian said,

    April 11, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    “Keir Thomas has responded to the recent raft of news stories pointing out that Linux’s share of the netbook market isn’t as rosy as it used to be. Thomas thinks the problem boils down to a combination of unfamiliar software and unfamiliar hardware, which can ‘push users over the edge.’ This accounts for the allegedly high return rates of Linux netbooks. In contrast, although far from superior, Windows provides a more familiar environment, making the hardware issues (irritatingly small keyboard, screen etc.) seem less insurmountable; users are less likely to walk away. ‘Once again Microsoft’s monopoly means Windows is swallowing up another market.’”

    Ya don’t say…

    Well, I guess that just goes to show that you guys are too eager to shoot first and never ask the question later.

    As I suggested above, it turns out I was right about the # of Linux netbook returns and that’s a much more likely reason for the retailers having stopped putting them on shelves.

    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/11/000245

    Being pro-Linux doesn’t mean you guys need to attack everyone who isn’t and theorizing about conspiracies.

    I’m pro-Linux, and I don’t do that. IMHO, the best way to advocate Linux is to make the FLOSS software the best software out there. The best products usually win in the end (the only time they don’t is when the company that makes said software goes out of business, but FLOSS can’t go out of business).

    You guys hurt FLOSS more than you help it buy reinforcing the idea that the FLOSS community are a bunch of tin foil hat wearing nutjobs.

    Luckily it’s only the vocal minority that are the tin foil hat wearing nutjobs, but it still gives a poor impression to the majority of people who aren’t F/LOSS converts.

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/6/2018: Qt 5.11.1, Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 33, HHVM 3.27.0, Microsoft Helping ICE

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Extremists Are Unable to Find Federal Circuit Cases That Help Them Mislead on Alice

    Patent extremists prefer talking about Mayo but not Alice when it comes to 35 U.S.C. § 101; Broadcom is meanwhile going on a 'fishing expedition', looking to profit from patents by calling for embargo through the ITC



  3. What Use Are 10 Million Patents That Are of Low Quality in a Patent Office Controlled by the Patent 'Industry'?

    The patent maximalists are celebrating overgranting; the USPTO, failing to heed the warning from patent courts, continues issuing far too many patents and a new paper from Mark Lemley and Robin Feldman offers a dose of sobering reality



  4. The Eastern District of Texas is Where Asian Companies/Patents/Trolls Still Go After TC Heartland

    Proxies of Longhorn IP and KAIST (Katana Silicon Technologies LLC and KAIST IP US LLC, respectively) roam Texas in pursuit of money of out nothing but patents and aggressive litigation; there's also a Microsoft connection



  5. EPO Insiders Correct the Record of Benoît Battistelli’s Tyranny and Abuse of Law: “Legal Harassment and Retaliation”

    Battistelli’s record, as per EPO-FLIER 37, is a lot worse than the Office cares to tell stakeholders, who are already complaining about decline in patent quality



  6. Articles About a Unitary Patent System Are Lies and Marketing From Law Firms With 'Lawsuits Lust'

    Team UPC has grown louder with its lobbying efforts this past week; the same lies are being repeated without much of a challenge and press ownership plays a role in that



  7. The Decline in Patent Quality at the EPO Causes Frivolous Lawsuits That Only Lawyers Profit From

    The European Patent Office (EPO) will continue granting low-quality European Patents under the leadership of the Battistelli-'nominated' Frenchman, António Campinos; this is bad news for science and technology as that quite likely means a lot more lawsuits without merit (which only lawyers profit from)



  8. What Battistelli's Workers Think of His Latest EPO Propaganda

    "Modernising the EPO" is what Battistelli calls a plethora of human rights abuses and corruption



  9. Links 19/6/2018: Total War: WARHAMMER II Confirmed for GNU/Linux, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  10. More Media Reports About Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    What the media is saying about the letter from Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner whilst EPO communications shift attention to shallow puff pieces about how wonderful Benoît Battistelli is



  11. Beware Team UPC's Biggest Two Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Claims that a Unified Patent Court (UPC) will commence next year are nothing but a fantasy of the Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, who keeps telling lies to French media (some of which he passes EPO money to, just like he passes EPO money to his other employer)



  12. Diversity at the EPO

    Two decades of EPO with 16-17 years under the control of French Presidents (and nowadays predominantly French management in general with Inventor Award held in France almost half the time) is "diversity at the EPO"



  13. Orrin Hatch, Sponsored the Most by the Pharmaceutical Industry, Tries to Make Its Patents Immune From Scrutiny (PTAB)

    Orrin Hatch is the latest example of laws being up for sale, i.e. companies can 'buy' politicians to act as their 'couriers' and pass laws for them, including laws pertaining to patents



  14. Links 17/6/2018: Linux 4.18 RC1 and Deepin 15.6 Released

    Links for the day



  15. To Keep the Patent System Alive and Going Practitioners Will Have to Accept Compromises on Scope Being Narrowed

    35 U.S.C. § 101 still squashes a lot of software patents, reducing confidence in US patents; the only way to correct this is to reduce patent filings and file fewer lawsuits, judging their merit in advance based on precedents from higher courts



  16. The Affairs of the USPTO Have Turned Into Somewhat of a Battle Against the Courts, Which Are Simply Applying the Law to Invalidate US Patents

    The struggle between law, public interest, and the Cult of Patents (which only ever celebrates more patents and lawsuits) as observed in the midst of recent events in the United States



  17. Patent Marketing Disguised as Patent 'Advice'

    The meta-industry which profits from patents and lawsuits claims that it's guiding us and pursuing innovation, but in reality its sole goal is enriching itself, even if that means holding science back



  18. Microsoft is Still 'Cybermobbing' Its Competition Using Patent Trolls Such as Finjan

    In the "cybersecurity" space, a sub-domain where many software patents have been granted by the US patent office, the patent extortion by Microsoft-connected trolls (and Microsoft's 'protection' racket) seems to carry on; but Microsoft continues to insist that it has changed its ways



  19. Links 16/6/2018: LiMux Story, Okta Openwashing and More

    Links for the day



  20. The EPO's Response to the Open Letter About Decline in Patent Quality as the Latest Example of Arrogance and Resistance to Facts, Truth

    Sidestepping the existential crisis of the EPO (running out of work and issuing many questionable patents with expectation of impending layoffs), the PR people at the Office choose a facts-denying, face-saving 'damage control' strategy while staff speaks out, wholeheartedly agreeing with concerned stakeholders



  21. In the United States the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Which Assures Patent Quality, is Still Being Smeared by Law Firms That Profit From Patent Maximalism, Lawsuits

    Auditory roles which help ascertain high quality of patents (or invalidate low-quality patents, at least those pointed out by petitions) are being smeared, demonised as "death squads" and worked around using dirty tricks that are widely described as "scams"



  22. The 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) Hype, Propped Up by Events of the European Patent Office (EPO), is Infectious and It Threatens Patent Quality Worldwide

    Having spread surrogate terms like “4IR” (somewhat of a 'mask' for software patents, by the EPO's own admission in the Gazette), the EPO continues with several more terms like “ICT” and now we’re grappling with terms like “AI”, which the media endlessly perpetuates these days (in relation to patents it de facto means little more than "clever algorithms")



  23. Links 15/6/2018: HP Chromebook X2 With GNU/Linux Software, Apple Admits and Closes a Back Door ('Loophole')

    Links for the day



  24. The '4iP Council' is a Megaphone of Team UPC and Team Battistelli at the EPO

    The EPO keeps demonstrating lack of interest in genuine patent quality (it uses buzzwords to compensate for deviation from the EPC and replaces humans with shoddy translators); it is being aided by law firms which work for patent trolls and think tanks that propel their interests



  25. Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius &amp; Partner Find the Courage to Express Concerns About Battistelli's Ugly Legacy and Low Patent Quality

    The astounding levels of abuse at the EPO have caused some of the EPO's biggest stakeholders to speak out and lash out, condemning the Office for mismanagement amongst other things



  26. IAM Concludes Its Latest Anti-§ 101 Think Tank, Featuring Crooked Benoît Battistelli

    The attack on 35 U.S.C. § 101, which invalidates most if not all software patents, as seen through the lens of a Battistelli- and Iancu-led lobbying event (set up by IAM)



  27. Google Gets Told Off -- Even by the Typically Supportive EFF and TechDirt -- Over Patenting of Software

    The EFF's Daniel Nazer, as well as TechDirt's founder Mike Masnick, won't tolerate Google's misuse of Jarek Duda's work; the USPTO should generally reject all applications for software patents -- something which a former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO seems to be accepting now (that such patents have no potency after Alice)



  28. From the Eastern District of Texas to Delaware, US Patent Litigation is (Overall) Still Declining

    Patent disputes/conflicts are increasingly being settled outside the courts and patents that aren't really potent/eligible are being eliminated or never brought forth at all



  29. Links 13/6/2018: Cockpit 170, Plasma 5.13, Krita 4.0.4

    Links for the day



  30. When the USPTO Grants Patents in Defiance of 35 U.S.C. § 101 the Courts Will Eventually Squash These Anyway

    Software/abstract patents, as per § 101 (Section 101) which relates to Alice Corp v CLS Bank at the US Supreme Court, are not valid in the United States, albeit one typically has to pay a fortune for a court battle to show it because the patent office (USPTO) is still far too lenient and careless


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts