Tuesday, January 25, 2005

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.

“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."
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...

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.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a good 'un! And I'll keep fingers crossed for you with the AFOEs. Since your post you seem to have come along. Neck-and-neck lead with Ceteris Paribus (I think the French lot have peaked early - or so I hope!)on the political blog and second in the UK category. Blinder!

James

1/25/2005 04:47:00 pm  
Blogger AnotherToby said...

A couple of things: Acorn's operating system still lives - see here, here, here, and here.

If you want to play wmv files on mac os I have had quite a bit of success with mplayer OS X... you may have already tried it, but just in case!

1/25/2005 05:15:00 pm  
Blogger Toby said...

I would like to point out that the above "Toby" is not me! (I'm Toby of Straight Banana, and he isn't.) Is there another Toby in the EU blogosphere?

1/25/2005 05:52:00 pm  
Blogger Robin said...

Happy Birthday! And good luck in the Best Political Weblog category....

:)

1/25/2005 06:07:00 pm  
Blogger AnotherToby said...

Erk! I thought that I was lucky to get Toby if blogger gave uniq ids... I wonder if I can try it.

I'm not a blogger a such, more a lurker who is trying to better understand Europe. Apologies for purloining your name... will now return to lurking and try to change my id!

1/25/2005 06:19:00 pm  
Blogger Guy said...

Hey, happy birthday! And good luck on the AFOE awards, you deserve it.

Guy

1/25/2005 08:56:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Ta all. Much appreciated. And I'm glad the multiple Toby confusion has managed to sort itself out. That would have been a tad freaky - nearly as bad as the "multiple anonymous posters none of whom give any name by which to differentiate them" scenario...

1/25/2005 09:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Europhobia v Perfect in tussle for UK WebLog crown

Should the result go against you, fear not. I bear witness to the fact that some creative electioneering is being undertaken by your opponent. Suffice to say, I fall into the 'friends who have been asked to vote' category.

I did try to post to this effect on the Perfect site but it was removed - so much for free speech.

1/26/2005 04:46:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Heh - that's pretty much par for the course with these things from what I can gather. Generally speaking with these if you wipe your cookies you can vote multiple times anyway, so if anyone can actually be bothered they're fairly easy to rig.

It could also be pointed out that any European blog award that misses the likes of big-hitters Bloggerheads, Samizdata and the like off the list is hardly representative anyway... Perfect's been going longer than this place and links here relatively frequently to boot, so it sounds fair enough.

However, if there was a prize involved this would mean war...

Ta anyway!

1/26/2005 05:08:00 pm  
Blogger Robin said...

As if I would do such a thing...

1/26/2005 05:37:00 pm  

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