2009-12-08

Microsoft is Now a Legal Monopoly in Germany

As it seems, the German government is setting up a hotline for (Windows) computer users' malware issues.
This. Is. Bad.
In a continent (the EU) that is wary of monopolies and has taking strict measures against Microsoft to reduce their monopoly status (e.g. make a "browser ballot" in a Windows installation to allow users to choose their preferred browser(s) (and the order must be random (i.e. IE cannot be the top choice each time))), this is a huge, terrible reversal.
Many posts talking about this describe this as just a subsidy for Microsoft to produce shoddy code and not improve upon it (as the government will cover that cost, essentially).
That's not the biggest problem.
Let me be clear: the German government is basically legalizing Microsoft's monopoly.
Now there will be almost no incentive to get products other than those of Microsoft, as the government will always help the users and Microsoft will reap the (larger) profits (and no longer bear the burden of fixing code).
Why, oh Germany, why?
If you happen to live in Germany, tell your elected officials to repeal this bill.
Microsoft has for the longest time been a de facto monopoly, but never in my memory have I heard of this sort of official government support for Microsoft's monopoly. This basically flies in the face of everything free-market.
Please, stop the madness.

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