May 16th, 2003 11:39 AM
Under NO circumstances lose against Linux
A European Microsoft memo was leaked that implies that Microsoft has a budget or a fund to allow them to sell their products at a deep discount, or even free, rather than lose marketshare to Linux.
"Under NO circumstances lose against Linux," Ayala said in the July memo.
The memo is pretty old- July of 2002 it seems. But, supposedly Microsoft drastically cut prices for Windows CE in direct response to some handheld platforms switching to Linux
Microsoft of course defends the practice as the normal cost of doing competitive business. However:
Is this Microsoft using "unfair" practices to get and maintain marketshare. OR, is Microsoft using commonly accepted business practices, but just being forced to play by different rules simply because they are dominant?
Steep discounts such as those detailed in the leaked memos could run Microsoft afoul of regulations in Europe, the Herald Tribune report mused. Under European law, companies that have a dominant position in a market are prohibited from offering discounts designed to hinder competition.
It seems unreasonable to say that a company NOT in the dominant position can discount or give away their product in order to win some of the marketshare while prohibiting the market leader from doing the same to maintain their marketshare.
Is Microsoft supposed to follow different rules until one of their competitors passes them in marketshare and only THEN can they implement such programs in order to regain the lead?
Here is the full article
May 16th, 2003 12:51 PM
It doesnt realy matter what price they sell microsoft products at does it? Lowering the price doesnt improve the product. I admit I am running windows XP but mainly because of reason. My isp (cable) doesnt work with linux as far as i can tell. I know several people that have tried connecting to them with linux and no sucsess. I can live without the games that i play that are windows based, and if i could get linux connected to the net i know i can find replacements for all the programs i use.
If microsoft wants to try and buy thier way into the hearts of the general public so be it. The average user would rather have a crash prone widows box than a linux machine were they actualy have to put forth a little effort to make it work. no matter what microsoft charges for its product it will still be dominant in home and small office use. simply because on the surface its a little simpler to deal with. Im not trying to bash linux when i say this. Untill a fatefull lightning strike about 6 months ago i had a 500mhz dell i had mandrake 8 on. linux is a lot better once you get used to it but your average user doesnt want to take the time and effort to learn it.
I dont really think discounting their product will help microsoft sell more but in the mean time if i can get stuff cheaper from them i will.
May 16th, 2003 01:48 PM
I agree that so far Microsoft has very little to fear in the home and small office markets. Until you start seeing Dell, Compaq, Sony and others offering Linux as an OS on their new systems its pretty much a non-issue for Microsoft (although there have been cases where people have gotten refunds from Microsoft for Windows OS that came with a system when they didn't want it).
However, I think they CAN influence some corporate or government sales by deep discounts or giveaways. Even governments and corporations would rather not go against the grain or get into a situation with a learning curve.
Some are looking at Linux simply to be rebels against the Microsoft "monopoly", but many are looking at Linux or StarOffice or whatever free and cheap alternatives they can primarily for financial reasons.
If I have Windows NT and I can't afford to upgrade my servers to Windows Server 2003 I might start looking at Linux as an alternative. However, if Microsoft comes along and tells me they'll GIVE me Windows Server 2003 in order to not lose my business you can bet I would more than consider staying.
Without getting into debates about which is more secure or technically superior, it is just easier to go with what you know rather than completely switching technologies. The cost of migration, the learning curve of the new platform and hiring people with the knowledge to administer the new platform all have to be considered above and beyond price or technical superiority.
Based on those factors I would say that Microsoft can very much influence decisions. I just question whether that tactic should be banned or not. Or, why the playing field would be tilted in favor of the underdogs with a different set of rules for the leader.
May 16th, 2003 02:09 PM
Microsoft would only cut prices if they were seriously concerned about competition from Linux, as would any other business in the same situation. MS are unlikely to give away their software for free, although they might say 'if you already have NT/2000 and you purchase one of our other products, we will give you a free upgrade to 2003'. There will be a catch to it somewhere, after all MS still have to make money.
May 16th, 2003 02:25 PM
My biggest gripe against Microsoft is I have to use their products in one form or another. I don't know linux well at all and I still get aol for free so I just minimize it and launch explorer.
Microsoft's practices will always be suspect. But I would install the RH8 version I have right now if I could use it to connect to the internet with my current provider. In fact I would leap at a chance to do this. However, a little while ago when I had a little bit of money I called an isp and asked if they supported linux and their response was " i think so" and if that is the kind of support the services provide I will stay with XP until something better comes along, or at least something that has mainstream support.
Now what company is going to heavily invest in a product that only a handful of people are competent to run? I am not saying M$ has a great product or there is more competent support but the sheer volume of options to take with M$ products has to make it attracrive to business.
the only way to fix it is to flush it all away-tool
May 16th, 2003 02:32 PM
w000t yet another "helloween document"
I realy like to read those !!
ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.
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