Why today’s EU ruling is good for Windows Live and its users

By ScottIsAFool | Posted September 17, 2007 5 comments

So there is a lot of talk going on about the EU anti-competive ruling today that upholds almost the entirity of the previous EU ruling. Here’s my three point summary why this ruling has been good already for Windows Live and its users:

  • Windows Live has to increase market share by innovation and new features, not by being “bundled” with Windows. If this ruling hadn’t been made in the first place, Windows Live would have surely had a much greater presence in Windows Vista than it does now (mainly a few links on the welcome screen).
  • Windows Live is constrained less by the Windows development schedules and requirements. We all know internet services develop much more quickly than Windows does, increasing the separation between the two parts means there is less risk of Windows Live development/shipping slowdown (sure there is still some, this isn’t a perfect world).
  • Just as nobody likes the closed social networks that have emerged (Facebook is the one getting the most criticism recently), Windows Live has moved towards a much more open platform compared to its predecessor MSN. Sure the developer side to Windows Live has grown slowly, but as we saw at Mix UK, its definitely picking up steam.

There are other benefits to Microsoft as a whole as well, and of course there are disadvantages too. Here’s a few other opinions on the ruling. 

Official Microsoft statement:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/sep07/09-17Statement.mspx 

Other bloggers:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=719
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/121933.asp
http://www.hunterstrat.com/news/2007/09/17/eu-court-rejects-microsoft-antitrust-appeal/

In other news, would anybody have predicated 4 years ago at the original ruling that today would see Microsoft having its own brand of wine? Probably not – that’s progress for you. Congratulations to Hugh and Steve (they get a mention as Steve has a sticker on his laptop.)

Posted September 17th, 2007 at 4:40 am
Category: Opinion
Tags: Windows Live
  • BrianGroth

    Chris, as a Microsoft employee, I have to say thanks for the positive outlook on the ruling. I honestly don’t know anything about the ruling, but I do agree with your point that Windows Live should win via innovation and new features. The upcoming versions that have been explained on LiveSide.net point towards and that are now out in beta versions speak to that.

  • randalllewis

    I too believe the EU ruling- while not the outcome MS would prefer- in the end won’t hurt the company significantly. The move towards Windows Live is one of those reasons. So far I have migrated from Vista’s Windows Mail to Live Mail and Photo Gallery to Live Photo Gallery. I expect to do more. I am impressed with the relative speed by which Live features are developed. This type of software development and distribution will soon demostrate that heavy handed government regulation of tech industries is antiquated.

  • CalumJR

    To be honest I would have thought even if Windows Live came bundled with Vista, wouldn’t they still do as many updates??

    E.g. they have always updated Windows Media Player in the past when it was included in Windows didn’t they? So putting Windows Live Messenger, Mail, Writer, etc in Windows would surely see updates as well??

    I would have loved for Windows Live to have been bundled with Vista as it allows many of the public who are unaware of WL software such as Mail and Writer to become aware and start using it – hence more users for the whole of Windows Live (including eventually Hotmail, Skydrive and even Live Search – users coming away from Google :P)

    I have a strong opinion on this, but what do you guys think to my opinion?

  • Chris

    Opinions are more than welcome so don’t be afraid to say what you think :)

    Notice that WMP tends to get large updates at the same time as major Windows releases. If this was the same with Windows Live, you’d be down to perhaps 1 major release every 12/18 months, compared to say every 6 months now. Internet Explorer is in a similar situation.

    Yes bundling increases public awareness, but isn’t it better for MS to win those customers rather than forcing them to join WL?

  • o2mcgovem

    I’d prefer it if Windows Live was integrated with Vista. I don’t think programs should be “bundled” because a lot of the programs under the Windows Live name are like upgrades to the programs in Vista.

    But I think it’d be cool if they could integrate Windows Live more in Windows. Kinda like .Mac. It’d be good if you could see Windows Live SkyDrive in Computer like iDisk integrates with Macs and stuff.