EU 1 - 0 Bill Gates
Looks like Microsoft has backed down in is attempts to claim that it doesn't hold a monopoly on PC software, which goes against various EU regulations. A Microsoft spokesman has apparently agreed that "Rather than seeking to suspend the Commission's remedies, Microsoft's focus now is on working constructively with the Commission on their full and prompt implementation".
In other words, Gates' massive company is going to have to release details of the Windows code to competitors to enable them to better produce compatible products, as well as release a pared down version. This will be available "in the coming weeks".
The basic complaint was that the bundling of MediaPlayer with Windows (a key part of Microsoft's strategy according to this interview with Gates) is buggering up Quicktime and RealPlayer's attempts to compete. Speaking as someone who has to use a Mac at work, it sounds fair enough, as .wmv files seem incapable of playing on my machine. then again, this could just be because I know nothing about technology...
Either way, monopolies are annoying. Especially when the product is so riddled with problems as much of Microsoft's stuff is. What happened to Acorn, eh? They were always good... But then again, I do love my xbox. Hmmm...
Meanwhile, to remind everyone what a nice chap he is, Bill gates has announced he is going to donate £400 million for child vaccines in the third world, and has praised Gordon Brown and Tony Blair for their efforts to promote the cause:
"I have spoken with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown about their commitment and I am very excited about the leadership they are bringing.Bill Gates owns in the region of $29.5 billion of Microsoft shares, so that makes his pledge about 3% of his approximate worth. I could point out that he could probably manage a tad more (I mean, who needs THAT much money?), but that would just be petty...
“The Prime Minister has talked about Africa as one of his big priorities and I think it is pretty novel that a world leader of a developed country is giving so much visibility to these issues.
“The idea that governments could do a pretty dramatic step-up in their health spending is something I am very excited about."
By the way, today is my birthday and I want praise. Offers of money to the usual address... Or vote for this blog - it's currently losing out to Ceteris Paribus, Versac and Crooked Timber in the Best Political Weblog category, and to Perfect.co.uk in the Best UK Blog one. Which is probably fair enough - BUT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, DAMN IT.