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Microsoft Blocks Desktop Linux in the Netherlands

Microsoft Blocks Desktop Linux in the Netherlands

A press release issued this morning by contends:

A judge in the Netherlands today granted Microsoft a preliminary injunction against desktop Linux vendor Inc., a decision plans to appeal. The ruling will deny the Netherlands the cost- savings that desktop Linux currently offers to approximately 18 million people worldwide, leaving vulnerable and expensive Microsoft software as the only option for computer consumers in the Netherlands.

Michael Robertson, CEO of Inc, made no bones about it, as usual: "It's clear that Microsoft is using their army of hundreds of attorneys and billions of dollars as a battering ram to destroy any company that promotes desktop Linux," he said .

"They were unsuccessful in the U.S. with this tactic," Robertson continues, "so now they're resorting to picking countries where they will find a sympathetic court."

"Today," he concluded, sounding a warning note to Dutch consumers, "U.S. customers can purchase computers pre-installed with desktop Linux and are saving millions of dollars when compared with expensive, virus-prone software from Microsoft. This ruling may delay the day when Dutch customers receive those same savings, but I can assure you that we will continue to battle to bring the benefit of choice to the Netherlands."

The official statement by Inc states: will abide by the terms of the ruling, but will appeal the decision that deprives Dutch consumers of the cost-savings that desktop Linux users worldwide have experienced. products have enabled $199 PCs and $699 laptops to be widely available in the United States, where courts twice denied Microsoft's requests for a preliminary injunction against ( ). The exclusivity of Microsoft products in the Dutch computer market results in consumers paying inflated prices for vulnerable software.

Despite the March 1, 2004 trial scheduled in the United States, Microsoft has been opening multiple fronts in Europe in an attempt to drain the resources of competitors. The software giant has threatened resellers and brought legal action against in several countries of the European Union, including France, Sweden, and Finland. The moves prompted the launch of ChoicePC, a rallying point for supporters of choice in European countries that was met with overwhelming support ( ).

Details of the continuing litigation between Microsoft and are available here. And those interested in attending or receiving updates on the March 1, 2004 trial in Seattle, Washington, are invited to register at


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SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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Most Recent Comments
beng 03/04/04 04:54:50 AM EST

Well it's a bad decision from the court,
but . . . NOT a "block"
because Linux on the desktop has plenty of options
example fedora is easy to install, cheap and has
all the usual applications you'd expect on a desktop.
imho: don't waste time on just a name or a button,
it's the application tha matters.
Suggestion to lindows team:
Just change the name in holland to ramen-os
Ramen is dutch word for glass windows to look throug.

Leo Gruijters 02/02/04 04:00:17 PM EST

I am sorry to have to admit that I am Dutch...
Holland will always lag behind in new technologies.
The Dutch are traders and manipulators, not innovators.
Don't expect courage and rapid acception of new technologies in the Netherlands. The new countries (Brazil, China etc.) will lead the Linux revolution.

Tom Britton 02/02/04 02:41:53 PM EST

What an appallingly bad piece of reporting! The Dutch court decision to grant Microsoft its injunction is bad news for Dutch consumers, true, but it doesn't "[leave] ... Microsoft software as the only option for computer consumers in the Netherlands.". Apple still sells there, and Suse, Red Hat, Mandrake etc are all still available. I didn't think Linuxworld engaged in tabloid-like exaggeration and misrepresentation.