Despite previous fines handed down by the EC to Microsoft, both parties continue to fight over competition issues – this time over the bundling of the web browser with the operating system. The history so far:
March 2004: EU fines Microsoft 497m euros and orders it to release key Windows code to rival software developers
February 2008: EU imposes 899m euros fine on Microsoft for defying sanctions
January 2009: EU warns microsoft over bundling a web browser with the windows operating system.
What needs to be considered however is the read across from this – where does it start and where does it finish? This is about a single component, the browser, of which there are several other suppliers on the market.
Lets think about SAP for example and its acquisition of Business Objects. It will be providing aspects of this product bundled in future SAP releases. Is that a competition issue? Take APO for example – we all know how well that links with the core ECC product, but is that a competition issue for any other planning tool?
SAP would argue there are no competition issues here, look at what we have done with SOA and how we’ve opened it up for other solutions, but isn’t this exactly what Microsoft have done with .net?
So what is the difference? Might it be as simple as “the pond” that sits between the two organisations!