24 April 2006

Further proof of competition argument

No sooner had I posted the articles on Apple and Microsoft no longer competing than I came across this story reported at TGDaily today.

Essentially, Microsoft attorneys in front of the EU's Court of First Instance used the success of iTunes to argue that competition for it does exist.

Now, you may argue that blows away my argument that they're not competing. But I believe it just confirms my thoughts - that Apple's success is beneficial to Microsoft in allowing it to argue to be free of restrictions being placed on it in terms of what it can do in the marketplace. As Apple's success now only tangentially affects Microsoft (and barely, if at all, revenue-wise), it is going to milk these opportunities as much as it can to boost it's ability to compete against those it really needs to be fighting.

Incidentally, I think their claims are a bit disingenuous. Windows Media still has the largest marketshare of any of the players, despite iTunes/Quicktime success. And Apple succeeded in this not because of Microsoft restrictions but because they took their eye off the ball and missed this (iPod) market completely. The other primary competitor in this area - Real Networks - has already, of course, taken close to $1bn of Redmond's money in settlement (no blame admitted!) of claims. What is ludicrous of course is that because this has taken so long to sort out, technology has started to make the argument even more obscure and show how ineffectual the EU has been in achieving meaningful actions.

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