Microsoft Brings EU Fight to Web

In many legal battles, we get highlights of what lawyers on both sides want us to hear. Those who know how to work the courts and have an unusual interest in the case can scare up court documents. Microsoft is saving us some of this trouble by posting a 78-page response to the European Union’s antitrust charges online. The EU is demanding that Microsoft release what could be millions of lines of source code (especially given the way Microsoft writes software!). Instead of Ambien, read this document to get to sleep.

Microsoft Goes to the Mat with South Korea
The South Korean government wants to chop apart Windows like a brick in a tae kwon do tournament. Citing antitrust concerns, South Korea wants Microsoft to yank out Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger (I guess Internet Explorer is safe for now) -- more than other governments have asked for.

Microsoft struck back, claiming the country has plenty of IM and media alternatives.

Is There No End to Censorship?
Some have complained that this newsletter spends too much time on politics. But politicians and the all-too politically correct are using technology (blocking and filtering) to restrict what we can view through technology (a little thing called the Internet).

Here’re the latest goings-on: In what is clearly a case of self-censorship, Yahoo reportedly banned the use of the name Allah in an e-mail address, but not Moses, Krishna, Jesus or Buddha. (The company reversed its decision soon after the story broke.)

In another self-censorship move, Google in Europe is blocking violence. Violence portal Ogrish.com is being blocked by Google in Germany. The German government has worked to block racist speech and Holocaust deniers because such things are illegal there, but last time I checked there is no law against looking at dead people. But the Germans had been working to block Ogrish, and it looks like Google succumbed to the pressure. Not cool. Tell me where I’m wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Here’s the Ogrish report (clicking beyond this page is not for the squeamish).

The Press Was Right About Vista All Along
Last week we told you about press reports detailing six versions of Vista, all based on information mistakenly posted on the Microsoft Web site. This week I have news for you -- the reports were exactly right! There is a super low-end version for the Third World, a low-end home version for more well-to-do cheapskates, a high-end home version for folks that like to mess with video, photos and making their PCs into entertainment systems, and a version of this version that includes business-class features dubbed Vista Ultimate (if this thing ain’t stable, Redmond will take a lot of ribbing over that name!).

On the business side, there’s a standard business edition and a souped-up enterprise rev sold only to those with the funds to buy Enterprise Agreements or Software Assurance. Is this too many versions? What will you run at home or work? Tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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Bandwidth for the Highest Bidder?
U.S. carriers recently went before Congress to lay out their vision of a future Internet, one where big telcos are guaranteed big profits, big customers are guaranteed big bandwidth, and the rest of will fight over the scraps.

Expensive private networks are on the outs like a washed-up pop star, leading to more and more corporate traffic traversing the public Internet. Big corporations like GM and Coca-Cola hate not knowing when their data will arrive and are willing to pay for premium service. But if those with the fullest pockets hog all the bandwidth, the rest of will wait longer for our e-mails, podcasts and Web pages to load.

What do you think? Should the big telcos be able to add more and more private lanes that run through the public Internet? Tell me what you think at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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