Print 16 comment(s) - last by Beenthere.. on Dec 20 at 5:00 PM

Microsoft made the policy changes on October 19

Microsoft just can't catch a break from the European Commission.

The EU now plans to investigate the tech giant's recent policy changes and how they may affect the privacy of its users. The policy changes were in regards to Microsoft's Internet services like Bing and Hotmail.

According to EU privacy regulators, Microsoft's Internet products will be formally reviewed to make sure that the policy changes meet European standards and allow users a choice of different services.

The EU wrote a letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Microsoft Luxembourg letting the company know about the upcoming review:

“Given the wide range of services you offer, and popularity of these services, changes in your Services Agreement and the linked Privacy Policy may affect many individuals in most or all of the EU member states,” wrote Jacob Kohnstamm, who leads the association of EU data protection commissioners.

Microsoft made the policy changes on October 19.

The EU has been after Microsoft for years now, and for various reasons. It started in March 2004 when a European Commission high court found the company guilty of using tactics to freeze out its competitors in the media player and server software markets. It was fined $690 million.

Back in 2008, the EU fined Microsoft $1.4 billion for refusing to comply during its legal feud with the EU between July 2006 and October 2007. Microsoft was charged $3.83 million a day for each day of non-compliance.

Jumping ahead one year to 2009, the EU went after Microsoft again for tying Internet Explorer to Windows, and by doing so, Microsoft is "stealing" a unique and unfair advantage.

The EU has been on top of Microsoft throughout this year as well, with most problems stemming from browser choices in Windows 7 and more browser issues with Windows RT.

Source: Bloomberg

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Stop doing business there
By dgingerich on 12/19/2012 5:15:04 PM , Rating: 1
If I were a decision maker at Microsoft, I would simply stop doing business in Europe. There's far more of a chance to lose money there with the government acting that way. Leave, see how they feel. Then if they start apologizing, come back, but not before. Plus, the longer they take, the longer it would take to reconsider the decision to pull out.

That's how I've been with my jobs, and 9 of my 12 employers over the last 16 years have been sorry. Only two really apologized, though. All of them but one had to hire 3 people to replace me. That one didn't because they quit doing what I was doing for them. They went to just equipment sales and server support. (That company also went bankrupt less than a year after I left, too.)

Imagine what Europe would have to do to recover from Microsoft bugging out. They'll either have to live with Linux and Apple or develop their own OS. That would be humorous to see. Europeans would be dropping off the internet right and left if that happened.

RE: Stop doing business there
By muhahaaha on 12/19/2012 7:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! 12 jobs in 15 years? And I should trust your opinion?

RE: Stop doing business there
By ZorkZork on 12/19/2012 7:18:08 PM , Rating: 3
Giving up 30% of revenues doesn't seem like a smart move. Even worse for Microsoft, it would create a huge market for systems built on non Microsoft tech. Those 500 mill. people in Europe would finance development of software for the world - it would be a huge boost for Linux, Apple, etc.

RE: Stop doing business there
By faust_67 on 12/19/2012 7:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
Europeans would apologize to Microsoft if they leave? I don't know if I should laugh or cry for your stupidity. Well, actually it's a good idea. Let's get rid of Microsoft and then of Apple. Let's develop our own software industry, it is time to get rid of American dominance in that field. I personally use Linux as much as I can and advocate Linux for new projects (I am a developer).
Also, 12 employers in 16 years? Really? If you were a consultant or self-employed it is OK, but that's not what you seem to say. The way you seem to think of yourself would be just a reason to fire you no matter how talented you are. Actually, if you are so talented, why are you working for others? Create your own business and have others working for you.

RE: Stop doing business there
By StevoLincolnite on 12/19/2012 9:03:32 PM , Rating: 1
Let's develop our own software industry, it is time to get rid of American dominance in that field.

Getting rid of Microsoft and Apple and using Linux won't solve this particular issue.
The Linux kernel was originally written by Linus Torvalds. - Who funnily enough, is American. (Albeit of finnish decent, but most American's have descended from somewhere.)

RE: Stop doing business there
By faust_67 on 12/19/2012 11:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well actually my point was beyond getting rid of American dominance in software. I should have been more clear. My real concern is being locked into a closed system as those offered by Microsoft or Apple. I am a user of Linux (but forced to use Windows at work :( ) and I think its openness is a drive for innovation and freedom. I have no problem with Linus Torvalds being a US citizen (I am myself a Frenchman married to a US citizen and living in Florida for 10 years), so it is not a question of national proud. I would just appreciate some more developments coming from Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. and to do that I think open source like Linux (which is now far more than just the kernel) are a good starting point because you have access to valuable resources (which are not available with Windows or iOS). I hope my comment is clearer now.

RE: Stop doing business there
By kmmatney on 12/20/2012 2:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
Well, there is Google chrome now (another U.S. company...). If that can't gain a foothold as another viable OS, it's hard to imagine anything else breaking through.

RE: Stop doing business there
By maugrimtr on 12/20/2012 8:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
Linux became a US Citizen in 2010 - so American dominance in software, via Linux, is fairly minimal ;). In any case, being open source, Linux is the closest thing we have to a globally produced operating system.

RE: Stop doing business there
By ElConquistador on 12/19/2012 11:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
Linus Torvalds. - Who funnily enough, is American. (Albeit of finnish decent, but most American's have descended from somewhere.)

Oh, really? AFAIK, Linus Torvalds was born in Finland, and lived there for the first 24 years of his life. He only became an American citizen a couple of years ago.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/20/2012 10:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
Which really doesn't make him any less American does it?

RE: Stop doing business there
By BZDTemp on 12/20/2012 7:18:17 AM , Rating: 1
You and everyone else should be glad the EU is keeping a close watch of Microsoft. It is all about making sure Microsoft does not abuse it's market position to compete unfairly or abuse the data from the many users.

The EU is doing the same to all companies and the protection of individual freedoms including the right to privacy is very high on the agenda.

RE: Stop doing business there
By michal1980 on 12/20/2012 9:03:57 AM , Rating: 2
because bing and hotmail have any sort of market dominance?

RE: Stop doing business there
By cboath on 12/20/2012 9:10:45 AM , Rating: 1
Hardly....they're in it for one thing, and one thing only: $$$$$.

The EU simply see's MS as deep pockets it can gouge.

Google's now on their radar as well. Again, more deep pockets.

They're after money and don't really care about fair play.

The browswer bit, especially, is hypocritical. Netscape was the first popular browser, that's true. However it gained it's position by being the first graphical browser (surpassing lynx) and being free. They then decided to sell it, but even then, a lot of schools had deals making it free to students still. MS comes along and uses the same tactic and their evil for it.

If the EU held others, like apple, to the same criteria as MS, they'd be found guilty as well. Seeing as the deepest pockets - by far - belong to apple, it's stunning they haven't made a move that way yet.

RE: Stop doing business there
By Aloonatic on 12/20/2012 10:06:49 AM , Rating: 3
MS comes along and uses the same tactic and their evil for it.
So Netscape were giving their browser away for free with their operating system, which was coded to be a part of the OS as opposed to a stand alone program were they?


Yes yes, the EU are just after Google and MS for the money, of course they are.


"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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