[News] [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software - Linux

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  1. [News] [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    E.U. Snubs Microsoft on Office Systems

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the past four years,
    | accusing the U.S. software giant of defying her orders and fining the company
    | nearly $2.68 billion for violating European competition rules. But the speech
    | was her strongest recommendation yet to jettison Microsoft products, which
    | are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run
    | computers.
    |
    | “I know a smart business decision when I see one — choosing open standards is
    | a very smart business decision indeed,” Ms. Kroes told a conference in
    | Brussels. “No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a
    | closed technology over an open one.”
    `----

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/te...in&oref=slogin

    Being open about standards - Neelie Kroes

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleases...guiLanguage=en

    EU pushes for open-source standards as 'smart business'

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | The EU's top antitrust official on Tuesday called for governments to favor
    | open-source software for their own use, taking aim at Microsoft Corp.
    | for 'locking in' customers to their proprietary technology.
    `----

    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/...n-Software.php

    Microsoft sucks 8,136,000 EUR each year out of the European Commission

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Commission pays Microsoft each year 226EUR for its office infrastructure.
    | Commission has approx 36,000 users. Make the math. Commission makes
    | also "open" tenders which prefers Microsoft products.
    `----

    http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum...ean-commission


    Recent:

    EU: Europarlement testing Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox

    http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/7565
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  2. Re: [News] [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    "Roy Schestowitz" schreef in bericht
    news:2636975.UCgru1PfgO@schestowitz.com...
    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    > Hash: SHA1
    >
    > E.U. Snubs Microsoft on Office Systems
    >

    Your post is off-topic in this group, your violating
    [comp.os.linux.advocacy] FAQ and Primer for COLA, Edition III
    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/

    * The trespasser has come to COLA in order to vent his dislike of
    Microsoft and/or Windows. For that purpose several newsgroups have
    been created.
    * alt.crimehip.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.emircpih.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.flame.ms-windows
    * alt.h.i.p.c.r.i.m.e.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.h0pcr0me.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.h1pcr1me.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.h2pcr2me.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.hh.ii.pp.cc.rr.ii.mm.ee.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.hipclone.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.hipcrime.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.microsoft.crash.crash.crash
    * alt.microsoft.sucks
    * alt.os.windows95.crash.crash.crash
    * comp.misc.microsoft.sucks
    * microsoft.sucks.
    * sk.sux.microsoft
    Fsck you arsehole troll
    *PLONK*



  3. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's ProprietarySoftware

    On Jun 10, 11:07 am, Roy Schestowitz
    wrote:
    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    > Hash: SHA1
    >
    > E.U. Snubs Microsoft on Office Systems
    >
    > ,----[ Quote ]
    > | Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the past four years,
    > | accusing the U.S. software giant of defying her orders and fining the company
    > | nearly $2.68 billion for violating European competition rules. But the speech
    > | was her strongest recommendation yet to jettison Microsoft products, which
    > | are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run
    > | computers.
    > |


    Here's some further quotes from groklaw's article on Kroes's speech:


    Standards bodies do important work in difficult circumstances. But
    like all of us their rules need to keep pace with the changing
    commercial environment. If they need help in tightening up their rules
    to avoid being manipulated by narrow commercial interests, or to
    design the right ex ante rules, then they have my support. My door is
    always open.


    Hmmm. "Narrow commercial interests." I wonder who she could be
    referring to? PJ adds the following:


    Well, in the case of ISO, just formulating some required rules would
    be nice. You know, rules that can't change in the middle of the game.
    In my schoolyard, we called that cheating. I have a suggestion. How
    about a rule that a vendor proposing a standard can't stack committees
    trying to decide whether or not to approve it? No? Too simple?


    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?s...08061009003111

  4. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    nessuno@wigner.berkeley.edu wrote:

    > Here's some further quotes from groklaw's article on Kroes's speech:
    >
    >
    > Standards bodies do important work in difficult circumstances. But
    > like all of us their rules need to keep pace with the changing
    > commercial environment. If they need help in tightening up their rules
    > to avoid being manipulated by narrow commercial interests, or to
    > design the right ex ante rules, then they have my support. My door is
    > always open.
    >


    Worth reading the full speech (10 June 2008)
    http://tinyurl.com/6mtzgp

    (I had trouble with the HTML - try the pdf)

  5. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's ProprietarySoftware

    bbgruff wrote:
    > nessuno@wigner.berkeley.edu wrote:
    >
    >> Here's some further quotes from groklaw's article on Kroes's speech:
    >>
    >>
    >> Standards bodies do important work in difficult circumstances. But
    >> like all of us their rules need to keep pace with the changing
    >> commercial environment. If they need help in tightening up their rules
    >> to avoid being manipulated by narrow commercial interests, or to
    >> design the right ex ante rules, then they have my support. My door is
    >> always open.
    >>

    >
    > Worth reading the full speech (10 June 2008)
    > http://tinyurl.com/6mtzgp
    >
    > (I had trouble with the HTML - try the pdf)



    Reference: SPEECH/08/317 Date: 10/06/2008
    SPEECH/08/317

    Neelie Kroes
    European Commissioner for Competition Policy

    Being open about standards

    OpenForum Europe - Breakfast seminar
    Brussels, 10th June 2008

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Credible competition policy requires competition law enforcement. Cartel
    cases, merger cases, abuse of dominance cases.

    But competition policy is not only about cases.

    It is about putting in place the conditions for companies to deliver
    better goods and services to consumers. So it must be informed by more
    than the individual cases.

    If markets are not delivering as they should, then I want to understand
    the problems, and find solutions. That may mean enforcement, advocacy,
    or specific Commission or national government policy initiatives.

    In technology markets, I think it means all three.

    We all know that the Commission has found competition problems in at
    least some technology markets. The Commission has never before had to
    issue two periodic penalty payments in a competition case... And there
    are other cases of alleged unlawful conduct pending.

    As an enforcer, I act only where there is a proven breach of the
    competition rules. But as a policy maker I take the knowledge I gain as
    an enforcer, and apply that more generally. If the proposals I come up
    with are grounded in the reality of markets, they will help to make
    markets work better, whether or not there is a breach of the competition
    rules in the particular case.

    What does that mean in the technology sector? Standards are clearly more
    important than ever. They often facilitate economies of scale but their
    real impact on technology markets is with interoperability.

    The development of electronic communications networks has seen a rise in
    the importance of interoperability between equipment used, between
    services provided, and between data exchanged. Interoperability
    encourages competition on the merits between technologies from different
    companies, and helps prevent lock-in.

    Standards are the foundation of interoperability.

    Standards may, of course, be proprietary or non-proprietary. Much
    excellent technical development has been driven by non-proprietary
    standards the internet is awash with acronyms for non-proprietary
    standards: HTTP, HTML and XML.

    Many standards bodies express a preference for non-proprietary
    standards. Non-proprietary standards avoid the need for licence
    agreements and royalties. They avoid the need to ask permission if you
    want to use or develop the technology follow-on innovation may be
    easier. They avoid subjecting the future development of the standard and
    the technology to the commercial interests of the technology's originator.

    Of course, proprietary technology development is vital to reward R&D
    investment and innovation that would otherwise not be made. The patent
    system is a tremendously effective mechanism to create incentives to
    innovate, and reward successful innovation.

    Proprietary technology is at the heart of Europe's success in second and
    third generation mobile technologies, for example. Intellectual property
    protection for technology will always be necessary to give just rewards
    for investment in R&D. There will always be an important place for
    proprietary technology and formal proprietary standards.

    Standards may also emerge, de facto, from markets: a particular
    operating system for example, or a particular document format.

    Standards emerging from the market can be a good thing if they emerge as
    a response to consumers' expressed preferences. But they may also be
    problematic, having none of the safeguards of disclosure that standards
    bodies typically require.

    The patent system, too, has some inherent safeguards:

    * Disclosure: helps avoid unintentional infringements, and makes it
    easier to innovate around the patent.
    * In some exceptional circumstances, patent systems even provide
    for compulsory licensing.
    * And of course, patents are limited in time.

    However, it is now common to hear criticism of how the patent system is
    used:

    * There are so many patents, whose scope is sometimes less than
    crystal clear, that it can be harder to know what patents read on a
    particular technology.
    * There are also concerns that patents are now often used
    strategically and no longer primarily to protect innovation.

    In addition, the growing importance of software means that copyright
    and, in particular, trade secret protection is often just as important
    as patents, if not more so, in technology markets. But:

    * Laws on copyright and trade secrets rightly do not require
    disclosure of software source code before protection is granted.
    * Trade secrets are not limited in time and in effect, as far as
    technology is concerned, neither is copyright.
    * And of course copyrights and trade secrets may not be
    technologically innovative.

    Where interoperability information is protected as a trade secret, there
    may be a lot of truth in the saying that the information is valuable
    because it is secret, rather than being secret because it is valuable.

    This raises the possibility of perpetual exclusion, based on technology
    which is not even innovative.

    Clearly we can do better.

    Having worked in business for much of my life, in government for part of
    it, and now serving as the Commissioner for Competition, these
    considerations draw me to a simple conclusion.

    We need an approach to standards that is based:

    * on evidence;
    * on economics; and
    * on experience.

    It is simplistic to assume that because some intellectual property
    protection is good, that such protection should therefore be absolute in
    all circumstances.

    It is simplistic to assume that because standardisation sometimes brings
    benefits, more standardisation will bring more benefits.

    It is simplistic to assume that if the best approach is sometimes to
    base a standard on proprietary technology, then that is always the best
    approach.

    And it is simplistic to assume that we can fix on a standard today,
    without paying attention to the risk of being locked-in tomorrow.

    So what does this mean in practice?

    First, we should only standardise when there are demonstrable benefits,
    and we should not rush to standardise on a particular technology too early.

    Second, I fail to see the interest of customers in including proprietary
    technology in standards when there are no clear and demonstrable
    benefits over non-proprietary alternatives.

    Third, standardisation agreements should be based on the merits of the
    technologies involved. Allowing companies to sit around a table and
    agree technical developments for their industry is not something that
    the competition rules would usually allow. So when it is allowed we have
    to look carefully at how it is done.

    If voting in the standard-setting context is influenced less by the
    technical merits of the technology but rather by side agreements,
    inducements, package deals, reciprocal agreements, or commercial
    pressure ... then these risk falling foul of the competition rules.

    In addition, if we are to include proprietary technology in a standard,
    then ex ante disclosure may help those involved make a properly informed
    decision. Competition law should not stand in the way.

    This will almost always entail ex ante disclosure of the existence of
    essential patents. And it may increasingly entail ex ante disclosure of
    maximum royalty rates. Both can increase the effectiveness of the
    standard setting process, lead to more competitive solutions and reduce
    the risk of later antitrust problems. Standards bodies could very often
    require disclosure without fear of competition law intervention.

    Standards bodies do important work in difficult circumstances. But like
    all of us their rules need to keep pace with the changing commercial
    environment. If they need help in tightening up their rules to avoid
    being manipulated by narrow commercial interests, or to design the right
    ex ante rules, then they have my support. My door is always open.

    Fourth, if we extend intellectual property protection for technology,
    then we should only do so when it is justified under intellectual
    property principles, i.e. on the basis of evidence that such extension
    will lead to more innovations and will therefore promote consumer welfare.

    Finally, if standards develop through customer preferences, most of the
    time, we should do nothing.

    That stance may surprise you. But it is often wise to resist the impulse
    to regulate. If the proprietary technology initially appears to harm
    consumers more than it helps them, often the market will find a way out
    of the problem.

    Of course, although I am a great believer in the market finding the
    right result, I am not nave. Sometimes intervention will be necessary.

    When a market develops in such a way that a particular proprietary
    technology becomes a de facto standard, then the owner of that
    technology may have such power over the market that it can lock-in its
    customers and exclude its competitors.

    Where a technology owner exploits that power, then a competition
    authority or a regulator may need to intervene. It is far from an ideal
    situation, but that it is less than ideal does not absolve a competition
    authority of its obligations to protect the competitive process and
    consumers.

    In essence the competition authority has to recreate the conditions of
    competition that would have emerged from a properly carried out
    standardisation process.

    There seem to me to be two possibilities and, depending on the case,
    either or both may be necessary.

    First, the de facto standard could be subject to the same requirements
    as more formal standards:

    * ensuring the disclosure of necessary information allowing
    interoperability with the standard;
    * ensuring that other market participants get some assurance that
    the information is complete and accurate, and providing them with some
    means of redress if it is not;
    * ensuring that the rates charged for such information are fair,
    and are based on the inherent value of the interoperability information
    (rather than the information's value as a gatekeeper).

    In addition, where equivalent open standards exist, we could also
    consider requiring the dominant company to support those too.

    Better, much better, than trying to sort out these problems, is
    preventing them from arising. And we all have a responsibility to ensure
    that this type of perpetual lock-in does not happen, and, where it does
    happen, we have a responsibility to minimise the damage.

    Here I am not speaking of my role as the Competition Commissioner, but
    as a purchaser of technology.

    What can purchasers do? Quite a lot.

    Look at Apple. Over the last couple of years there have been some calls
    to regulate Apple in particular to ensure some interoperability
    between competing music stores and its iPod music players, and between
    competing music players and music from the iTunes store.

    The issue arose because first, the music labels insisted that Apple used
    digital rights management technology, and then second, Apple's iPod was
    a tremendous success. But now the major labels have licensed other music
    stores to provide music in MP3 format, a format that can play on the
    iPod and on other players. So pressure from consumers, and possibly
    concern from the major labels about over-reliance on Apple, looks to
    have led to a timely market-based solution.

    This is important. If consumers can avoid lock-in to a single vendor, by
    exercising influence through purchasing behaviour, they may be wise to
    do so.

    As purchasers, we need to be smart when we buy technology. We need to be
    aware of the long term costs of lock-in: you are often locked-in to
    subsequent generations of that technology. There can also be spill-over
    effects where you get locked in to other products and services provided
    by that vendor.

    That is just bad purchasing.

    And that is why the Commission has committed that:

    * for all future IT developments and procurement procedures, the
    Commission shall promote the use of products that support open,
    well-documented standards. Interoperability is a critical issue for the
    Commission, and usage of well-established open standards is a key factor
    to achieve and endorse it.

    This policy, adopted last year, needs to be implemented with vigour.

    There is much to learn from other public bodies such as Munich - and I
    am delighted to have the Mayor of Munich here this morning to tell us
    about his experience. But Munich is not alone: there is also the German
    Foreign Ministry, and the French Gendarmerie. The Dutch Government and
    Parliament are also moving towards open standards.

    The Commission must do its part. It must not rely on one vendor, it must
    not accept closed standards, and it must refuse to become locked into a
    particular technology jeopardizing maintenance of full control over
    the information in its possession.

    This view is born from a hard headed understanding of how markets work
    it is not a call for revolution, but for an intelligent and achievable
    evolution.

    But there is more to this than ensuring our commercial decisions are
    taken in full knowledge of their long term effects. There is a
    democratic issue as well.

    When open alternatives are available, no citizen or company should be
    forced or encouraged to use a particular company's technology to access
    government information.

    No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed
    technology over an open one, through a government having made that
    choice first.

    These democratic principles are important. And an argument is
    particularly compelling when it is supported both by democratic
    principles and by sound economics.

    I know a smart business decision when I see one - choosing open
    standards is a very smart business decision indeed.

  6. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    Homer wrote:

    > Verily I say unto thee, that bbgruff spake thusly:
    >
    >> (I had trouble with the HTML - try the pdf)

    >
    > It's just plain HTML4 AFAICT.
    >
    > Did you try scrolling down (there's a big gap for some reason)?



    AAARRRGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    Thanks Homer:-)


  7. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    ____/ Homer on Wednesday 11 June 2008 15:12 : \____

    > Verily I say unto thee, that bbgruff spake thusly:
    >> Homer wrote:
    >>> Verily I say unto thee, that bbgruff spake thusly:

    >
    >>>> (I had trouble with the HTML - try the pdf)
    >>>
    >>> It's just plain HTML4 AFAICT.
    >>>
    >>> Did you try scrolling down (there's a big gap for some reason)?

    >>
    >>
    >> AAARRRGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
    >>
    >> Thanks Homer:-)

    >
    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >
    >
    >
    > Yeah, that one stumped me too ... the first time.


    Same here. I was gonna skip it before scrolling down.

    --
    ~~ Best of wishes

    Roy S. Schestowitz \ Spread Mozilla Firefox.
    http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/
    http://Schestowitz.com | GNU/Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
    Swap: 1510068k total, 381472k used, 1128596k free, 30916k cached
    http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

  8. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    nessuno@wigner.berkeley.edu espoused:
    > On Jun 10, 11:07 am, Roy Schestowitz
    > wrote:
    >> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    >> Hash: SHA1
    >>
    >> E.U. Snubs Microsoft on Office Systems
    >>
    >> ,----[ Quote ]
    >> | Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the past four years,
    >> | accusing the U.S. software giant of defying her orders and fining the company
    >> | nearly $2.68 billion for violating European competition rules. But the speech
    >> | was her strongest recommendation yet to jettison Microsoft products, which
    >> | are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run
    >> | computers.
    >> |

    >
    > Here's some further quotes from groklaw's article on Kroes's speech:
    >
    >
    > Standards bodies do important work in difficult circumstances. But
    > like all of us their rules need to keep pace with the changing
    > commercial environment. If they need help in tightening up their rules
    > to avoid being manipulated by narrow commercial interests, or to
    > design the right ex ante rules, then they have my support. My door is
    > always open.
    >

    >
    > Hmmm. "Narrow commercial interests." I wonder who she could be
    > referring to? PJ adds the following:


    Yeah, don't we just wonder :-)

    >
    >
    > Well, in the case of ISO, just formulating some required rules would
    > be nice. You know, rules that can't change in the middle of the game.
    > In my schoolyard, we called that cheating. I have a suggestion. How
    > about a rule that a vendor proposing a standard can't stack committees
    > trying to decide whether or not to approve it? No? Too simple?
    >

    >
    > http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?s...08061009003111


    I really wonder whether ISO will not have to be re-built from the bottom
    up. In fact, perhaps this is time to address the WTC, too.

    --
    | mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk |
    | Cola faq: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/ |
    | Cola trolls: http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/ |
    | Open platforms prevent vendor lock-in. Own your Own services! |


  9. Re: [Rival] Neelie Kroes Takes a Shot at Microsoft's Proprietary Software

    On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 15:14:10 +0100, Mark Kent wrote:


    > I really wonder whether ISO will not have to be re-built from the bottom
    > up. In fact, perhaps this is time to address the WTC, too.


    Do you stay awake nights conjuring up these deep thoughts Mark Kent?

    You aren't capable of addressing an envelope.


    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

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