News Comments November 19, 2005

I haven’t written anything about the things going on around the world, outside of my life in quite a while (almost two months) so I decided I’d put something down today. Mind you, I’ve found many articles which I’m found either interesting, infuriating, or plain hilarious, but I’ll cover the ones I’ve come across recently here.

IT workers dubbed ‘worst dressed’

This one really hits home hard since I’ll soon (actually very soon, like after Christmas) be joining the IT workforce. don’t claim to have an impeccable sense of fashion, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing black socks with shorts anytime soon either. It’s really quite funny because when you think about those tech geeks, you definitely can see them dressing abysmally. This article only goes to affirm that stereotype. After all, stereotypes usually have some basis in truth. Seems like this one is totally true.

Still ‘no demand’ for media-player-free Windows

Now to understand the irony of this article, you really have to have some understanding of the background of this case. Okay, so Microsoft is definitely not a new name when it comes to anti-monopoly or lawsuit cases. So it shouldn’t be shocking to hear that the European Commission decided last year that Microsoft should have to:

  1. Release documentation on their operating system(s) to companies who wish to create competing products for their OS.
  2. Release a version of Windows XP which unbundles the included Windows Media Player.
  3. Pay 497.2 million Euros for abusing its near-monopolistic position in the European Union.

Ok, well the first point there probably sounds legitimate and it is slightly unfair of Microsoft to essentially give themselves a huge upper hand when it comes to developing applications for their operating system.

But, the second point is what this article I’m writing about really puts to shame. Basically the European Commission made Microsoft release a new version of Windows XP, called Windows XP N with the Windows Media Player so consumers can choose what they want, not what Microsoft imposes. Okay, I’m sorry to say it, but when you buy a computer from say Dell, you get a crapload of random media players forced upon you by Dell anyways. I really don’t think that’s what the consumer wants either. Really, it’s replacing one evil with another. Personally, I don’t mind Windows Media Player at all. In fact, I find it a very nice music player. I’ve been using it almost exclusively for playing music and recently videos once I installed a few codecs. Only since my iPod got here have I been using iTunes more for music. I still use WMP for videos.

And this article blatantly shows that consumers generally don’t mind having Windows Media Player on their systems. It’s not a though it’s impossible to install another media player if you were so inclined on a Windows XP system. So who was the European Commission really trying to help and protect? It doesn’t seem like they were doing this in the aid of consumers at least.

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