Underwhelming as it is, Windows Vista might be the last decent version of Windows — available in Europe, that is. Read:
Microsoft lost its appeal of a European antitrust order Monday that obliges the technology giant to share communications code with rivals, sell a copy of Windows without Media Player and pay a $613 million fine – the largest ever by EU regulators.
The EU Court of First Instance ruled against Microsoft on both parts of the case, saying the European Commission was correct in concluding that Microsoft was guilty of monopoly abuse in trying to use its power over desktop computers to muscle into server software.
It also said regulators had clearly demonstrated that selling media software with Windows had damaged rivals.
I’m hardly the world’s biggest Microsoft fan. Their constant delays in shipping Vista, and the fact that they kept stripping it of valuable features, finally pushed me into the Macintosh camp. But what the EU has done is just plain stupid. If innovation is going to cost MS serious money, then why offer any new features to EU customers? And if Microsoft has to give away code to rivals, then why develop any new code?
Welcome to the new Europe, where they’ll forever be computing like it’s
UPDATE: The Times agrees.