When Microsoft bought Skype it was to deal with a couple of issues. One of the big ones was to remove a competitor in the communications market and the other was to make sure they were not going to get sued for the direction their own communications services were taking. Microsoft had been floundering in the consumer market despite the multiple changes they tried to make to their messenger product. While their enterprise messaging software was complicated and expensive to maintain and to properly integrate with other messaging services. To combat this Microsoft was already looking to make their messaging services much more like Skype than they were.
During the Samsung V Apple patent trail we briefly covered some of the requirements that Apple has if you want to sell their products. These requirements include a minimum purchase order, marketing material, special cabinets and displays for Apple products and more. These tactics make it seem almost impossible that anyone would be confused about what they were buying (unless the sales person was not honest). Our coverage was more about the ridiculous claim that Samsung and other Android tablets were creating marketing confusion, but we also talked a little about how these marketing requirements were a little anti-competitive.
Under the guise of a fair practices organization (Fairsearch Eurpoe) Microsoft, Nokia Oracle and a few others are trying to make a case against Google and Android. What is interesting is that they are using “predatory pricing” as their main argument. Microsoft is complaining (through Fairsearch) that Google is undercutting their sales by giving away their operating system and asking that companies bundle Google apps in return. Microsoft and their pals say that this gives Google an advantage over all of the other players and is an abuse of their (Google’s) dominant position in the market.
When you think of Privacy issues two names come to mind; Facebook and Google. For some reason both of these companies feel they have the right to mess with their users’ right to privacy. In some cases, like Facebook, you see services that are set to opt-out suddenly popping up or a collection and use of personal data that is not clearly defined (like the use of personal pictures in ads). For Google this has been an ongoing issue and one that has gotten them into a great deal of trouble in the EU. Not that long ago Google was asked to fix this and it seems that they have not only maintained their course, but have also made things worse by their inaction
Danish authorities have launched an investigation against Microsoft in connection with their takeover of Navision in 2002. To be more precise they are worried about Microsoft not paying appropriate taxes on their profit subsidiary which currently operates under the name of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources "familiar with the thinking mobile operators", U.S. AT&T is considering expansion into the European market. The expansion of the company, if they decide to, should come to an end this year, sources said.
Google is not exactly looking good right now. It appears that despite being ordered to delete the data that they illegally captured from people in the UK through WiFi sniffers it put into its street view cars back in 2010. Google originally tried to claim that they did not collect any data. Then after it was proven they did that it was all due to a rouge programmer that did everything without authorization. This excuse did not hold up either when it was shown that people in management not only knew, but approved the collection.
Ok, so I have this truck that I designed it is about 20 feet long and a little over 10 feet tall. The truck weighs 4 tons and comes only in black. I want to sue you because you built a sub-compact car that has four tires. This is the equivalent of what the “High” court in Germany has done by banning the Galaxy Tab 7.7 claiming that it resembles the iPad. The court’s reasons? Well they seem to think that the Tab 7.7 has sides and a back that looks like the iPad which makes it an infringing product and warrants a complete ban on the product throughout the European Union. Makes sense right?
Microsoft is in a bit of trouble over their decision to grant users in the EU the right to choose their browser upon the installation of the Windows operating system. Now I know you are thinking that they have already been in trouble for this before, so why are we bringing it up again? Well the issue is that with the launch of Windows 7 Service Pack 1… Microsoft just stopped allowing for the browser election. Yup, any new system shipped with Windows 7 SP1 would boot up just like the good old days (for Microsoft). Well the European Union would like to talk to them about it.
There is good news for consumers, but some pretty bad news for content owners as the High Court in the European Union has declared that it is legal for someone to sell their software licenses to another person. The caveat is that they (the original purchaser) must uninstall or otherwise deactivate their copy first. This is sure to annoy many software companies that felt the resale of these items was a violation of their copyright (as it cut them out of the resale).