Israel Slams the door on Microsoft

In a bold assertion of independence, Israel has thrown the full weight of its antitrust legislation at Microsoft.

The Israeli Ministry of Commerce has suspended all governmental contracts with Microsoft, and indicated that the ban will last throughout 2004. The de facto suspension means no upgrades for the duration, at a time when Microsoft is looking to roll out its Office 2003 upgrade; and the Ministry is said to be examining OpenOffice as an alternative.

It’s a consequence of a much-anticipated legal verdict: Israeli Antitrust Authority director general Dror Strum has finally acknowledged that Microsoft is a monopoly.

It’s a result of MS not supporting Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu and other right to left languages in their non windows OS. Mac in particular. Can we expect to see Dubya’s administration put the clamps on Israel to change their mind?

Can you name a non-windows OS that Microsoft does own? What do you mean by this? Last I looked Mac is not developed by Microsoft.

Typo or whatever. It’s about MS Office which does exist on the Mac. The Mac OS supports Hebrew but MS Word for the Mac doesn’t, apparently.

What does any of that have to do with the quote. It’s like this entire conversation requries a number of missing footnotes.

I even clicked on the link and still can’t figure it out. Why don’t these Israeli’s sell their Apples and purchase PCs, so they can load a version of Office that does support the r-l text? My god, wouldn’t it be easier to upgrade than hassle with a law suit?

How many Hebrew Mac users are there, anyway?

Heh, good question… I guess one of the two must be the prime minister or something. :P

I meant to say MS applications.

Yes, we should all trade our computers to PCs, and use only MS products to ensure maximum compatibility.

Yes, we should all trade our computers to PCs, and use only MS products to ensure maximum compatibility.[/quote]

You would rather litigate before you install the MS product? You’re just not making any sense, son.

I don’t understand your point. I am sure that the Israeli Antitrust Authority director general Dror Strum doesn’t view this as his personal Mac problem, but is doing his job preventing monopolizing.

More power to Dror Strum. I just don’t see how litigation is going to help anyone read from l-r on their Mac.

The Israeli Ministry of Commerce has suspended all governmental contracts with Microsoft, and indicated that the ban will last throughout 2004. The de facto suspension means no upgrades for the duration, at a time when Microsoft is looking to roll out its Office 2003 upgrade; and the Ministry is said to be examining OpenOffice as an alternative.

They are not passing any legistlation, they are suspending contracts. BTW, a free hebrew version of open office was released some time ago by the government.

free hebrew version of open office was released some time ago by the government.

Does it run on a Mac?

It runs on Windows, Linux and Solaris.

So their trying to force MS into shoring up support for their Macs. This is my problem with this. They ought to get rid of their Macs and upgrade to Linux if they don’t want to feed Uncle Bill’s pockets.

I don’t see how this has much to do with MS being a monopoly. It’s just sad, IMO. I imagine there are some decent business reasons for not upgrading Office for Mac. How many copies are going to be sold, for example. If there are other programs out there that offer l-r support–and it sounds like not only are there other programs, there are other programs available that are not even developed by Microsoft–and the program you’re using doesn’t offer this support, you should just upgrade like everyone else. I suppose if you are a country and you really want support for your Mac, you just play the monopoly card becasue you don’t have a more reasonable argument to make.

Who are these “they” you are refering to? I am quite sure that the government doesn’t use Macs. Look, its not as if they made some special rule regarding Microsoft. There were existing antitrust laws, which the Israeli Antitrust Authority now decided to uphold regarding Microsoft. These antitrust rules are used troughout the world. Whether Microsoft is really a monopoly is a different question, and I don’t have all the data used to decide upon the matter, but disqualifying the whole idea of antitrust laws doesn’t seem in place.

The “they” refers to whomever the Israeli govt. feels they are protecting with this shift in policy.

Antitrust laws are not intrinsically bad. But they should be used appropriately. For example, MS leverages market share of windows to nuke an independent browser company seems like an appropriate forum for antitrust law. However, this thing with l-r text on Mac office does not, especially since their seem to be clear alternatives.

I do agree that the original report seems fubar, so maybe there are circumstances I just don’t understand.