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More on Microsoft's "reasonable" discrimination differences with ItsOurNet

Wired has an interesting article on how Microsoft's new Vista operating system has had to make some tough and restrictive design calls that some could misread as "discriminatory".

  • The Wired article by Michael Calore, explains how Microsoft restricts or "cripples" users ability to use virtualization technologies to get certain content and how Microsoft's Defender will search for spyware and in some cases automatically delete applications.
  • it looks as if Microsoft has legitimate business reasons for this blocking, degrading and impairing of certain content and applications.  

Why this is relevant to net neutrality and Microsoft is that:

  • Microsoft has 90% share of the Internet browser market which is a potential Internet access technology bottleneck and gatekeeper that net neutrality proponents conceptually fear;
  • Microsoft as explained in this Wired article is clearly exercising its freedom to:
    • discriminate against users to force them to buy a higher priced product if they want to do certain things; and
    • design its product and service as it sees fit.
  • Microsoft clearly wants to preserve its right to differentiate and to control its product/service, something we at NetCompetition understand and support.

 Why this is relevant to Microsoft's departure from ItsOurNet is that Microsoft evidently understands that regulation can be "unreasonable" and "unjust" as I explained in a previous post.

  • I surmise that folks at Microsoft connected the dots and realized that there were a whole host of Microsoft business decisions embedded in the Vista upgrade that could be problematic if highly rigid net neutrality language is passed like ItsOurnet is proposing.
  • I surmise that Microsoft knows there is enough complexity in managing such a herculean worldwide operating system upgrade and shift without regulators adding another level of regulatory uncertainty and rigid requirements that Microsoft could not possibly meet.
  • Could it be that Microsoft leadership may have taken my open letter to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer  to heart and realized that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones?