A Real Lawsuit Against Microsoft

By Deane Barker on December 18, 2003

RealNetworks files antitrust suit against Microsoft: I guess I saw this coming, but I find it hard to have sympathy. Real Player is the most annoying piece of software ever devised. It’s like an over-eager puppy, jumping up on you every time you do something — system tray icons that flash at you all the time, start-up processes, animated ads all over the player, etc. Microsoft or no, Real Player’s entire approach doomed them to failure, even if they had been the only player in the market.

Streaming media provider RealNetworks on Thursday sued Microsoft on antitrust charges, accusing the software giant of illegally using its Windows monopoly to limit consumer choice in digital media.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif., alleges that Microsoft has “pursued a broad course of predatory conduct over a period of years…resulting in substantial lost revenue and business for RealNetworks,” according to a statement from RealNetworks.

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Comments

  1. Actually I think the whole thing is greed and money on the part of Real Networks. I have read the actual text of their lawsuit on ZDnet. First they want $1 Billion from Microsoft. Secondly they are claming that because Microsoft Distributed Media Player for FREE a player that has all the features of Real Player Plus, they are claming that Microsoft is engaging in illegal below cost sales. I feel that they are using this as some kind of ploy so they can get rid of the FREE Real Player completely while forcing Microsoft to do the same with theirs. Its sort of like forcing your competition to match your price if their product is out-selling yours. There is a catch however, they cannot prove that Microsoft was a “Loss Leader” because BOTH products were offered for FREE initially.

  2. I dont think that they will get rid of the free player. They just want Micro$oft to stop offering a player with the same features as Real Player Plus. You see all Micro$oft has to do is offer the limited version of WMP because thats what Real was providing at the time the suit was filed. They are greedy, but not that greedy. The object of preventiong Monopolies in the first place is so that corparations cannot overcharge consumers.

  3. I dont think that they will get rid of the free player. They just want Micro$oft to stop offering a player with the same features as Real Player Plus. You see all Micro$oft has to do is offer the limited version of WMP because thats what Real was providing at the time the suit was filed. They are greedy, but not that greedy. The object of preventiong Monopolies in the first place is so that corparations cannot overcharge consumers. Real Networks is simply standing up against Micro$ofts bundling of WMP into Windows.

  4. Fark.com has the best headline for this story:

    “RealNetworks sues Microsoft for … buffering …buffering …antitrust violat …buffering…”

  5. Hey, they built it, people will come. So what on Real Player. I tried to use it and the use of it sucks. I don’t like any of its interfaces. I will use either WMP or Music Match JukeBox, and nothing else. No matter if WMP and MMJ both cost $100 each. I would not care. Cause those are the ones I like. I will admit that in my strongest opinion that Real Player should cut there losses and leave the market.

  6. RealPlayer sucks. You can’t actually create playlists on it (the version i have) and yes all those system tray icons are annoying. WMP has always been my default media player because its been bundled with all the windows packages, but so what? If it wasn’t there, i’d buy it anyway over RealPlayer – i dont think thats whats in question, but i just say real sucks.

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