Microsoft opens as the UK closes

Posted on Fri 22 February 2008 in software.


Microsoft has made a step (ish, sorta) to providing interoperability documentation available, and supporting standards. Whilst MS finally getting its backside into gear (its only taken them 4 years to start to adhere to the EC’s ruling) is good, many many people have noted they’ve said this before, and the EC in particular remains sceptical (the Commission notes that today’s announcement follows at least four similar statements by Microsoft in the past on the importance of interoperability).

I’d be happy if MS actually released useful documentation. I’d be even more happy if they follow through with adhering to standards; not MS defined de facto standards, but ISO standards. W3C standards. The ones everyone else in the computing field have agreed to and use.

Whilst this possibly good news happened, possibly bad news occurred here. Our government is suggesting that legislation be brought in to force ISPs to cooperate with the MAFIAA, err, sorry, “creative content industry”.


The music/film industries’ current model is broken. The government should in no way, shape or form be supporting it. This bleating about “lost sales due to piracy! WAAGHH!” is bullshit.

For example, Joe Public spent, in the past, £100 a month on movies and CDs. Joe Public now has a Wii. He enjoys playing Wii games with his kids, and so buys more games. He still only has £100 a month to spend on entertainment, so he’ll have to cut back on the CDs and DVDs. Net result? The movie/music industries see lower sales.

Do they just not see that? People enjoy games more. They therefore spend more money on games, not buying as many CD/DVDs as before. Thats simple economics.

People have also woken up to the fact that most of the “content” the industries put out isn’t worth it any more. The money either goes to the wrong people (the middleman rather than the creative person) or its so bad and bland it just simply isn’t worth the cost any more.

I look forward to the first disconnection. I also look forward to the ensuing legal battle for the wide variety of offences caused by the ISP/BPI/HMG.