[ubuntu-uk] ubunto in college, was Re: Women, LinuxWorld, Stuff

Eamonn Sullivan eamonn.sullivan at gmail.com
Thu Sep 21 14:06:19 BST 2006


On 9/21/06, Alan Helmore-Simpson <ubuntu at ingeniouscorp.com> wrote:
> >> We had a college IT teacher in the
> >> hacklab once, he explained that even if he wants to teach some free
> >> software he can't, they are locked in a contract with microsoft by which
> >> they can not install any other software on the machines.
> >
> > Is that legal? I would have thought it was anti-competitive. Maybe
> > there can be another European law suit, anyone know what happened with
> > the last one btw?
>
>
> MS used to offer very significant discounts to educational establishments,
> and NGO's (Essentially its almost free), I would guess that they could
> attach conditions to that 'discount' if they wanted and thereby get around
> the antitrust laws.
>
> BTW I am not suggesting that is WHAT they do, merely that they probably
> COULD.
>
> The European antitrust case is still running in part, I seem to recall that
> they were ordered to de-bundle some stuff (Was it media player?), and fined
> a shed load of money, but think they have several more shed loads of money
> (See Bug #1 - https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1)

My day job is editing news stories on this (and others). MS was
required to sell a version of XP that didn't have a media player,
which no one bought, unsurprisingly. They were also fined about a
half-billion euros and another about 280M more recently. (All of that
amounts to about two-three weeks of cash flow for the company, btw.)

Microsoft was also told to document their network protocols
sufficiently to allow competitors to essentially replace XP on some of
its network services. A bone of contention in this is whether FOSS
developers can benefit. Microsoft, at the moment, is allowed to charge
royalties, which makes it impossible for anything open-source to use
the material.

The decision is still working its way through the courts and will keep
me gainfully employed for another few years. I've been covering
Microsoft v antitrust regulators since the early 1990s, in one form or
another.

-Eamonn



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