[Wolves] MS tightens the screw

Peter Cannon peter at cannon-linux.co.uk
Fri Apr 7 09:45:41 BST 2006

On Thursday 06 April 2006 20:15, Shane M. Coughlan wrote:

> I believe that Microsoft would like nothing better than to be able to
> close people out of choosing alternative platforms.  However, I doubt
> that they can legally get away with anything like that anymore,
> especially in the European market.

I'm not legally qualified and I doubt anyone on this list is either, to argue 
the finer technical legal issues. However if a manufacturer says "look you 
can become a reseller of my product but you can only sell my product" that 
may be restrive practice but I would have thought the defense was "Look they 
don't have to sell our product if they don't want".

The big mistake we all make is allowing situations to happen in the first 
place, ultimately, its a reverse type of greed, I for one am very worried 
about Dell not just from a business point of view, yes they are killing the 
white box builders, but more importantly the market share they have.

It is exactly the same business strategy that Microsoft have. End users are 
running around slapping each other on the back saying "Cor aren't I clever I 
only paid 27p for this super server" yes you are clever, yes you did get it 
cheaper, yes you got a bargain but! what happens in two or three years time 
when the only choice you have or feel you have is Dell and they have put the 
price up or put some other restriction in place to hopefully make you stay 
with them? isn't that what a lot of businesses are saying about MS? "We don't 
have a choice"

Both companies are doing, in my opinion the same thing, they know the vast 
majority has their product, watch some television tonight see how many 
programs have a Dell machine lurking around, they will both make sure nobody 
else can muscle in.

> > Dell and HP are probably in the fortunate position to temporarily hold
> > off any potential pressure by MS but I bet if push came to shove we both
> > know the outcome.
> I think Dell are being exceptionally careful, but their move into Linux
> (for the second time) is significant.  It really does present MS with a
> challenge.  

True but at the moment Linux is only available on their servers. Evesham 
computers had the same trouble a few years back when they started selling 
Linux boxes they had to pull them for a while due to pressure but I believe 
they are back on the shelves again now.

As a side note I had an interesting email yesterday, Red Hat are changing 
their reseller policy as of April 2006, they now want full contact details on 
the *true end user* so that, supposedly, they can command better customer 
loyalty by "issuing renewal notifications and other vital services which you 
as the supplier will benefit from"

Sounds a little like *Same sauce, different gravy* to me, or at least starting 
to sound like it anyway.

Peter Cannon
FC5 & SuSE10
Jabber:highwayman.turpin at gmail.com

"There is every excuse for not knowing
 There is no excuse for not asking"

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