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:
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.)