Microsoft does not have a monopoly. But with 95 per cent of market-share, it is not far off.
Europe’s top competition regulator wants to see a significant drop in that number, so that the software giant will not have quite so much weight to throw around in the marketplace.
The court’s ruling confirms that Microsoft must offer a version of its operating software without an embedded copy of Windows Media Player, in effect to allow other software companies a better chance to sell their video and music platforms.
Ben Van Rampuy from the Institute of European Studies said:
“The figures show almost no consumers have bought this version without Windows Media Player, so you can ask yourself: was the Commission action really for the benefit of the consumer because apparently consumers have no interest in this version.
But on the other hand, you could argue that the fact that consumers don’t use the Windows version without the Windows Media Player is in itself an illustration of the anti-competitve conduct of Microsoft.”
The European Consumers Organisation has wholeheartedly welcomed the court’s decision to make Microsoft unbundle its products, saying Microsoft’s argument that they offered convenience was disingenuous.
Jim Murray is the director general.
“I think that you will find also that sellers, people that are selling computers they would deal with this problem of convenience and they will find a solution to it,” he said, “for example simply market a computer as including mostly Microsoft but also including what they think is a better media player.”
The software giant also has to share information so that rival companies’ office servers can work smoothly with Windows.
Rivals have welcomed the EU court decision, saying it’s a signal that authorities do not intend to allow Microsoft to pursue anti-competitive practice with impunity.