*countable infinities only

Jay Sulzberger jays at panix.com
Tue Jun 19 21:49:15 UTC 2012

On Tue, 19 Jun 2012, Gerald Henriksen <ghenriks at gmail.com> wrote:

> > On Tue, 19 Jun 2012 11:15:34 -0700, you wrote:
> >On Tue, 2012-06-19 at 12:03 -0400, Jay Sulzberger wrote:
> >
> >> Adam, just a short bald claim:
> >> 
> >> In the United States and Europe there is a large body of statute
> >> law, regulatory rulings, and court decisions which say that yes,
> >> a large powerful company cannot take certain actions to impede
> >> competitors.  In particular entering into a compact to make
> >> Fedora harder to install on every single x86 home computer sold
> >> is not allowed.  Or once was not allowed.  Recently neither
> >> regulatory bodies, nor courts, have enforced these old once
> >> settled laws and regulations.
> >
> >I'm aware of this. So are Red Hat's lawyers, I'm sure. I am inferring
> >from the stuff posted by Matthew so far that they believe there is no
> >basis for a legal complaint in Microsoft's behaviour in this area. I
> >certainly can't see one myself, though of course I am not a lawyer; as
> >I've already noted, it's very hard to characterize Microsoft's behaviour
> >as 'impeding competitors'. They have done nothing at all to prevent
> >anyone else from complying with the Secure Boot specification.
> >-- 
> Thinking about it, I would go further and say that even if Secure Boot
> could not be disabled, and 3rd parties could not get keys, would not
> violate the law.
> Microsoft got into trouble for 2 things - including IE as part of
> Windows, and their agreements with OEMs that made them exclusively
> Windows.
> On the web browser, I think it is safe to say history has sided with
> Microsoft.  Every OS or Desktop Environment now comes with its own web
> browser, because a device connected to the Internet without a web
> browser is useless for most people.
> The trickier issue was their OEM agreements, which likely were a
> violation of the law, which forbid the OEMs from selling products with
> competing products if they wanted to sell Windows.  It is obvious that
> these clauses no longer exist, as for example Dell has sometimes sold
> machines with Linux.
> Requiring Secure Boot for Windows 8 certification thus wouldn't be
> anti-competitive, even if it could not be disabled, because Microsoft
> is not forbidding anyone from producing and/or selling an x86 (or
> otherwise) product without Secure Boot.  In fact, Microsoft's legal
> standing is likely strengthened for the time being by the fact that if
> Dell for example were to sell a machine at Christmas without Secure
> Boot the machine would be able to run Windows 8 (whether Dell could
> ship it with Windows 8 installed, or the end user would have to
> purchase a copy and install it themselves is unknown and not
> relevant), the only definite restriction is that Dell could not market
> that machine as Windows 8 ready.

Henrik, I will respond to your claims, if you will answer me one
question first:

  As you know, for over a decade Microsoft included in every EULA
  for its home computer OSes, a "Refund Clause".  The clause
  stated that if the buyer of the computer never booted the
  already installed Microsoft OS, that the buyer would get a
  refund for the unused Microsoft OS.  For all that time Microsoft
  refused to give a refund when the claim was made.  Indeed a few
  people got refunds, but in most cases, people who complied with
  the terms of the Refund Clause did not get a refund, due to
  Microsoft's direct refusal.

  Do you condone, or consider as negligible, this long continued
  abuse by Microsoft?


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