Okay, so today Microsoft was fined a record €500 million for being naughty. Ouch, that’s the equivalent of 1% of the amount of cash they have in the bank. Or, to put it a little differently, it’s around a year’s worth of interest on a normal savings account based on the present US interest rates, should all that $50 billion they have be in a normal savings account.
I guess they’re just mildly amused at the outcome. They’re complaining bitterly to the media circus that they will appeal, and I’m very sure they will. As long as they are in court, the fine is extended, so basically if they keep it in the courts for another year, they’ll make the fine back in just interest on their money and then some!
The other side of the coin is the integration of Windows Media Player into the operating system. This sounds like Java all over again. In just half an hour I discovered two websites that only run in Internet Explorer and the Java Virtual Machine. That’s not Microsoft’s fault! Sun’s Java engine for Windows just plain sucks!
My solution to Microsoft is simple: remove Windows Media Player from the operating system, but offer it either as a separate download, or throw in a second CD into the packaging, or even include it on the Windows CD but not in the primary Windows installation. And keep the appeal in court until you’ve earned enough interest to pay your fine.
My consulting fee is 5%. You can deposit the $25 million into a bank account of my choosing. Contact me for my banking details.