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August 25, 2006

IPI's George Pieler on Microsoft's software principles and the EU

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One of IPI's Senior Research Fellows, George Pieler, has a great commentary on CNET News today entitled "New Vistas for Microsoft, so why not Europe?"

George's point, that the EU's fines and regulations aimed at Microsoft not only make no sense but also are not even in the interests of European consumers.

In fact, there is a staggering statistic about how few copies of the EU-mandated stripped version of Windows have sold. I've heard the statistic, but I'm still hunting it down.

I found it. It's astonishing. Here's the fact sheet from Microsoft. Over 35.5 million copies of "full" Windows XP were sold in Europe during the period of comparison, but only 1,787 copies of "stripped" Windows XP N were sold, and many of those probably are sitting in warehouses rather than being purchased by consumers. No PC manufacturers in Europe have purchased or installed Windows XP N on their machines.

Here is commentary on the failure of Windows XP N on arstechnica

Oh, definitely, one can see how the EU is in touch with the desires and needs of European consumers.

The reality is that the EU is simply a willing and stupid pawn being used by Microsoft's competitors. Their greed, combined with the EU's economic stupidity, creates a hospitable forum for attacking the success of Microsoft, but has done absolutely nothing for EU consumers.

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