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EU Plans To Make Apple, Adobe and Others Open Up 389

FlorianMueller writes "After pursuing Microsoft and Intel, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes is now preparing an initiative that could have an even greater impact on the IT industry: a European interoperability law that will affect not only companies found dominant in a market but all 'significant' players. In a recent interview, Mrs. Kroes mentioned Apple. Nokia, RIM and Adobe would be other examples. All significant market players would have to provide access to interfaces and data formats, with pricing constraints considered 'likely' by the commissioner. Her objective: 'Any kind of IT product should be able to communicate with any type of service in the future.' The process may take a few years, but key decisions on the substance of the bill may already be made later this year."
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EU Plans To Make Apple, Adobe and Others Open Up

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  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:51PM (#32759138)
    Will the customers of Apple and Microsoft in the USA also benefit from openness and interoperability?
  • Re:Great News (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:04PM (#32759344)
    "...To create anything for any of their platforms, you need to use Apple tools..." I wasn't aware Apple wrote the GCC thanks for enlightening me. I'll let the writers of Code::Blocks and Eclipse know they are owned by Apple as well. It might come as a shock to them.
  • by SkunkPussy ( 85271 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:12PM (#32759482) Journal

    Non-interopability is holding back mankind's progress and preventing a free market in the provision of IT services. Creating a free market, by preventing artificial barriers to entry or competition, should enable more innovation and cheaper prices.

  • Re:Great News (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:19PM (#32759604)

    I make stuff on the Apple platform without using Apple tools, so by "anything" you mean "some things, like iPhone apps".

    I make music on my Apple using non-Apple products, burn CDs using non-Apple products (open source even!), browse the web with non-Apple products, write documents with non-Apple products (sometimes even Microsoft products!), write HTML with non-Apple products.

    So, unless you include the OS, I do the majority of my content creation on this Apple with non-Apple products. So, your "anything" really is.... nonsense.

    (Oh, and even the OS on my other Apple is Ubuntu, so anything I create on there is.... you guessed it, using non-Apple products).

  • Re:NOT great news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:23PM (#32759672) Homepage

    There is one obvious exception here.

    Price discrimination should be certainly banned in certain circumstances. The most obvious example is Windows and Office.

    A dominant vendor should not be able to use price discrimination to coerce the rest of the market.

  • Re:NOT great news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:32PM (#32759836) Homepage

    Government fucking with free markets is not as bad as a single company becoming too powerful and gaining the ability to fuck with the market...

    If you can lock sufficient numbers of customers in to your proprietary products, such that it is unreasonably costly and/or damaging to switch away then the market is far from free. It is simply controlled by a large company instead of the government. Competition becomes extremely limited in such situations, competitors have an unfair burden of having to reverse engineer proprietary formats and protocols, and are always playing catch up to the market leader. The end result is that it's simply not commercially viable to compete with an entrenched player, so the competition either gives up or moves into niche markets.

    It's like playing strategy games, once you're past a certain point your resources outstrip the opposition so badly that barring a colossal screwup on your part, your victory is inevitable.

  • by agent_vee ( 1801664 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:53PM (#32760252)
    Would I be able to sync my iPod without having to use iTunes? Or access my iTunes share with any DAAP client??? Would this stop Apple from preventing the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes?
  • This is great.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Duncan J Murray ( 1678632 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:43PM (#32761244) Homepage for people who appreciate freedom.

    It will mean that I, as a Linux user, will be able to read and write MS Word documents correctly, connect to an exchange server, and buy and use an iphone with my music player (should I want).

    I think it's ridiculous at the moment for me to need Microsoft Windows plus MS Word just to be able to collaborate on a MS Word (or Powerpoint) document - I don't even want to use the software - just to be able to save in .doc would be a huge boon, and open up the Word Processor market to many competitors who cannot compete at the moment because of MS's dominance and closed nature.


  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:50PM (#32761418)

    Apple uses open formats!

    By your definition, so does Microsoft.

  • Re:NOT great news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oatworm ( 969674 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:56PM (#32761518) Homepage

    Everyone needs to eat, but demand for any particular set of food products is generally not inelastic - there's no cartel keeping people from substituting butter for margarine.

    Actually, there historically was such a cartel. When margarine first came out, it was illegal in many states in the US to sell yellow colored margarine because dairy lobbies felt that yellow margarine looked too much like butter. Consequently, if you wanted yellow margarine, you had to buy a yellow coloring pack and mix it in.

    Most of those restrictions were phased out or ignored after World War 2.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger