Is the EU Barking up the Wrong Antitrust Tree?

Opinion: What Microsoft is bundling into Vista should be the least of its competitors' and regulators' worries; there are much bigger integration fish to fry. (Microsoft Watch)

When Microsoft watchers talk about "deeply integrating" or "tying" (or insert any other "bundling" euphemism of choice here), they almost always use it in reference to desktop Windows.

Bundling Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and other sundry Microsoft technologies into Windows has gotten Microsoft in antitrust trouble all around the globe.

And already, the European Unions antitrust commission is itching for its next fight with Microsoft over Windows Vista, and allegedly is looking toward the companys plans to integrate Internet search, its "Metro" PDF-like technology and anti-spyware technologies Microsoft is planning to bundle into Vista as potential problem areas.

/zimages/3/28571.gifWill Windows Live be Microsofts antitrust savior? Click here to read more.

But what about the rest of the Microsoft product line?

Has anyone noticed that Microsoft is bundling more and more previously stand-alone technologies into other products?

And in those cases where it is not outright bundling, the Redmondians are more "innovatively integrating" technologies from different Microsoft product units, in the name of working "better together."


Windows Live services: Microsoft is launching new Windows Live services almost every day.

But peel back the covers and it becomes clear that many of these services embed elements of other Windows Live services.

Microsofts plan is to incorporate Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Identity and Windows Live Storage (currently known as MSN Storage, we believe) into almost all of its Windows Live properties.

It also is moving toward embedding Windows Live Search, AdCenter, presence, mapping and mobile services in its individual Windows Live point products.

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