Water under the bridge…
2004 at 04.45 am posted by Veerle Pieters
As you may have heard, yesterday Microsoft got fined $613 Million/497 Million Euro by European Union. Media Player is the center of all this.
“Consumers ought to be able to choose their media player, not Microsoft,” Mr. Monti said at the news conference. “Media Player is a separate product. There is a separate demand for media players.”
According to the ruling Microsoft now has to make two different versions of its Windows operating system, one with the player and one without in Europe.
This is all water under the bridge and will change nothing in my humble opinion. Let’s assume for arguments sake that Microsoft will comply and that there will be two versions of Windows, how will those customers choose do you think if they see on the box “movie player included” or “not able to play movies”. That’s easy the one with the player. It’s a bit like going to a garage and buying a car without seats.
Do you honestly think that the store clerk will help people in understanding that there are other players out there, I don’t see this happening anytime soon. Most of those stores don’t know what they are talking about. Perfect proof of that was the story that was on Canvas (Belgian TV) yesterday about this Microsoft thing. The guy of the store mentioned that you have to pay for the other players on the market if you want to create movies with it. But these players are for free and are just to “play” movies not to “create” any, huh ? You can’t create movies with any free version, including Windows Media Player last time I checked (unless I’m a Windows idiot?).
Microsoft has a huge cash pile so this fine is only peanuts for them and as we all know this will go to court in Luxembourg. Most analists think that the court case could last from 4 to 7 years. End conclusion, just as the case in the States this will change nothing. Microsoft also needs this delay because of there plans to launch a Windows Music Store where Media Player will play an essential role.
Information is the key factor here and that’s where Apple also fails sometimes. Most potential new buyers haven’t got any clue that there is an alternative to Windows. In fact I would go even further, some people don’t even understand the difference between office and Windows. I’ve experienced this in real life when testing a cd-rom for a client and there was going something wrong on their PC. I asked which version of Windows are you running and the reply was Office!!!.
Apple and the Linux manufactures haven’t got the cash pile to advertise and make buyers aware that there is more out there. And that’s just where the strength of Microsoft lies they can afford pretty much everything. Sad but true.