Strange as it may seem, I think that Microsoft is being unfairly treated when it’s asked to unbundle parts of Windows in order to comply with European monopoly law. How would we, as Mac users, feel if the next version of Mac OS X contained no compression software, no web browser, no DVD player or even Quicktime?
That isn’t to say that Microsoft shouldn’t be slapped down firmly for being monopolistic, but the E.U. lawyers should work out exactly why Windows has a monopoly. It has a monopoly because important bundled applications or frameworks – like Windows Media Player, .Net etc. only work on Windows and on no other platform. Similarly, the forthcoming Zune will work only with Windows computers.
iPod may currently be dominant, but it isn’t a monopoly because it will work just as well on Windows as it does on the Mac. Quicktime works exactly the same on Windows as it does on the Mac – DRM and all. Mac OS isn’t a monopoly because, even though it only works on Apple hardware, it doesn’t lock the user into using a particular operating system to use the files it generates.
I sincerely hope that the E.U. spots Zune and forces Microsoft to make it work with the Mac – DRM and all, or forbids its sale.