I’m getting a little sick of the European Union extorting money from Microsoft.
I’m the last person to be a Microsoft apologist – I’m a Mac person through and through, as anyone who follows my blog knows.
But what the EU is doing smacks of a witchhunt. Worse, I’m getting the feeling that there’s more than a small amount of anti-Americanism in this whole legal shakedown. Not to mention a big slice of European protectionism.
(Note: I say that as both a proud Canadian and the son of European immigrants.)
I totally affirm the concept that a very successful company should not abuse its success to crowd out competitors through sheer bulk and ability to completely undercut a smaller enterprise’s business model. And I think that’s partially been what has happened in the US.
But in the EU case, the Europeans actually want Microsoft to not just avoid competing unfairly with other companies. The also want Microsoft to give those companies a friendly helping hand – a boost.
I think that’s unfair. How does that provide for free and open competition? Microsoft has to spend money – big money – stripping down to its skivvies and parading around in public so that its competitors can put them under a microscope and find all their weak spots? Microsoft has to do a big chunk of its competitor’s product development?
I also think that the Europeans keep setting the bar just a little higher, and in effect, are demonstrating that their minds are made up: they want to punish – they want to humble – Microsoft.
Perhaps they’d even prefer to legislate Microsoft out of existence.
It’s not fair. Not ethical. Not European.
Shame on them.