CyberTech Rambler

October 27, 2005

Microsoft Media Player Blunder : Innocent Mistake? It goes deeper than that

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 11:15 am

The judge overseeing Microsoft compliance under the infamous antitrust settlement had chided Microsoft over a license presented to portable music player manufacturer which will effectively stop them from using anything but Microsoft Media Player on their devices. That license had since been withdrawn.

When the news first broke about a week ago, I took no notice about it and actually accepted Microsoft explanation that this is a honest mistake done by a newly hired, low level employee. After reading about the judge’s dismay on the issue, and taking into account that the US Government believes it needs to discuss with Microsoft about its legal training for employees, and lastly but most importantly, putting my conspiracy hat on, I think this issue is not that simple.

While it may be true that sending the license to manufacturers is an innocent mistake by a “insignificant” employee, the fact that the license even exists is and should be the source of concern. The employee blamed for this incidence could not had wrote the license himself, as he is, in Microsoft lawyer’s description, a ‘business person’, low ranking and himself a new addition to Microsoft empire. The persons who should be placed in front of a firing squad and described to journalists, US government and the judge are the lawyer(s) who dared to draw up the license, and the manager(s) sanctioning the drawing up of the license and its distribution. They are the real culprits, not the poor employee offered up as a sacrificial lamb.

I hope this does not mean that Microsoft had not changed its behavior after the antitrust Settlement was signed. If so, I hope the US government manage to rid Microsoft of this pandemic. Otherwise, the future is bleak. Worse, it is not that far away (late 2007 to be precise as this is when the constrains on Microsoft’s business practice under the settlement is lifted.)


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