Microsoft Antitrust Probe by China Ramps up Against Explorer and Windows Media Player
It seems like China suddenly has found a dire need to scrutinize international companies that are doing business in their markets. While they are still probing Mercedes Benz and Qualcomm, the government has now taken Microsoft into questioning over the country’s anti-monopoly regulations and their potential infringement by Microsoft’s products that came bundled with Windows XP, and now the Microsoft antitrust probe has taken the authorities to the company’s doorsteps.
A Chinese antitrust regulator, Zhang Mao, the head of country’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has said that the Redmond based company’s sale of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows Media Player has been ‘problematic.’ Point to be considered here is that the time period that the probe is referring to was over a decade ago i.e. the time of Windows XP.
Windows XP remains the most popular operating system to date although it has been replaced by multiple newer versions developed by Microsoft itself. Moreover, at the time that is being referred to in the investigation, Microsoft also led the software market being leaps ahead of the rest.
Coming back to the probe, new developments have been noted and they don’t paint a very cozy picture for the country’s Microsoft office. Mao didn’t really elaborate much but said that Microsoft had not shown ‘willingness to cooperate’ with the authorities in the ongoing probe due to which their office in China had been raided.
On the backdrop, another matter is being highlighted by the media. China is also gearing up to launch its own operating system that will be aiming at not only competing with Microsoft, Apple and others, it will also aim at ousting them from the market. The platform in question is Linux based. Now, if you look at it this way, the legitimacy of the Microsoft antitrust probe does look questionable.
Moreover, China has been highly skeptical over the western companies especially those related to IT ever since the disclosures of Edward Snowden regarding the role of NSA in the infringement of basic human rights of people. That is also being cited as the primary reason why China wants to turn to domestic products, software and services instead of imported ones.
Being the largest population in the whole world, no one would want to be at the receiving end of such antitrust issues. After all, the number of potential customers is too great to ignore. This brings us to the question that how exactly does the company plan to respond to probe being made into the policies that they had in the past.
Do you think that the Microsoft antitrust probe is legitimate and not just a farce being used to shun the company out?