Let me tell you something about Windows Media Player. I am not only a user, but I've encoded for it.
Having been there, I don't think it is the business of any court to order Microsoft to sell a version of Windows without Windows Media Player.
Not only do I like the integration with Windows, but its not that this integration has thwarted rivals like Adobe's Flash technology, Apple QuickTime, and RealNetworks' RealPlayer.
Yet try telling that to a bunch of judges- most of which, I'd bet, wouldn't know what a Flash or QuickTime file was if it bit them in the assignation.
But some of these judges somehow feel the law is on their side.
The Commission had found three years ago that Microsoft needed to sell a version of its Windows platform without Windows Media Player, as well as to share information with competitors that would ensure widespread office server interoperability with Windows.
Counting supplementary "non-compliance" fees, Microsoft's cumulative fine is now 970 million Euros. That's be around $1.345 billion U.S.
Microsoft is no mellow competitor, but why should they be forced to unhook Windows Media Player from Windows? It's not that the bundle-in gives them a huge advantage. Flash and QT are so ubiquitous, that virtually any Web user attempting to access Flash or QT will quickly run into a prompt, and link, to download Flash Player or QT to view the content.
OK. The judges have spoken. I've spoken. Now's your turn.