DailyTech reported last week
that Microsoft is not complying with the European Union's (EU) wishes
in regards to an ongoing antitrust battle. Microsoft and the EU have been butting
heads since the March 2004 antitrust ruling.
Microsoft has been asked to hand over documentation to its
competitors detailing the inner workings of its software applications or face
daily $2.6 million USD fines. A report from Reuters
today states that the EU plans to raise
the cap on daily fines to $3.8 million USD:
The penalty, likely to
run into hundreds of millions of euros, comes on top of a record 497 million
euro fine the Commission already imposed in its landmark antitrust decision
against Microsoft in March 2004. It signals the Commission's determination to
force Microsoft to obey its decision as well as a loss of patience after the
company has had two years to comply and has used every available legal avenue
to spin out the process.
Microsoft has shown no signs of backing down from its
position to not divulge what it sees as its prized intellectual property.
Microsoft has also stated that every change that it has made to comply with the
ruling has met with more roadblocks from the EU.
quote: This is pure BS... to force a company that is just trying to protect itself and its product... this is uncalled for! Down the the [INSERT COUNTRY NAME HERE} Government!
quote: Liberals want to punish a monopoly, and conservatives want to help their own economies by hurting a foreign company.
quote: BTW which courts ruled that?
quote: The definition of a monopolist is a company that is found to be a monopoly by a court.
quote: No one can be "convicted" of being a monopolist-- there is nothing illegal about monopoly status.
quote: The US and the EU were two entirely different cases, regarding two entirely different issues and actions. You seem like a reasonable person. Why not take a few minutes and find out EXACTLY what the EU is demanding, how many times they've changed their demands, and what Microsoft has already attempted to do to meet their requests.
quote: Anyway calling MS a monopoly sounds good, but never seems to be backed by any facts.
quote: The [Microsoft team] of 300 people is creating volumes of technical documents required by the European Commission's antitrust decision....European officials say the very fact that Microsoft is still working on the documents shows that it wasn't living up to its obligations...
The trustee in the case called Microsoft's initial versions of the technical documents "fundamentally flawed"...But Microsoft says the commission itself wasn't originally clear enough about what it wanted, hampering the project.
"We are committed to complying with every part of this decision," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said last week. "We always have been."
...The situation appeared to improve in March. Microsoft's Smith credits a meeting in late March where the trustee, computer science professor Neil Barrett, clarified the requirements for the documents....
After that, the company brought in veteran engineers to help meet an aggressive series of deadlines Barrett laid out. Microsoft says it also brought back retired employees and pulled people from products including Windows Vista, the new version of its flagship PC operating system, to work on the European Union initiative....
quote: What would MS benefit from taking the products of the shelf? Maybe give the whole market to Apple on a plate?
quote: Microsoft IS a monopoly. There's really no question about it. Some idiot is going to say they aren't, because Windows is SO good, blah, blah, blah.
quote: They were able to get away with in the US simply because they have SO much money and power here. The Europeans saw this, are appalled, and aren't going to be nearly as tolerant.
quote: Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office are still necessities for many businesses and individuals
quote: ut, so what? There is nothing inherently wrong with that - it just means that everybody decided to by the same OS.
quote: I suppose there's nothing wrong with that if you subscribe to the Chicago school of Economics. It certainly doesn't mean that everyone decided on the same OS.
quote: The US Governemnt actully did feel that consumers were being harmed, and MS was forced to stop many of its anticompetitive activities years ago, such as charging vendors for each computer sold, not each copy of Windows bought.
quote: Will Windows still be a necessity 10 years from now? I hope not.
quote: I was just stating that all this legislation is a monopoly issue.
quote: Except that Microsoft itself found it more than sufficient to develop products with. If Microsoft engineers are smart enough to do so, I'm sure others are. They don't need a few thousand additional pages of documentation, and they certainly don't need Microsoft-sponsored training sessions.
quote: Microsoft has offered the source code itself, saying it is the ultimate documentor of the APIs. There is *nothing* an application can do that isn't revealed by looking at that source code.
quote: I don't mind Linux guys to reverse engineer MS protocols, but it's pretty stupid to ask MS to give all this away FOR FREE. Of course they won't do that - they sell the product!
quote: It comes down to the whole monopoly (for a given definition of monopoly) thing again - MS using it's desktop OS monopoly to gain an "unfair" advantage in the server OS market, much like MS using Windows dominance to gain an advantage in the browser "market".
quote: Except that Microsoft itself found it [concept documentation + packet dumps] more than sufficient to develop products with. If Microsoft engineers are smart enough to do so, I'm sure others are.
quote: "A lot if it is stored inline in the source code, and a lot is (apparently) stored in the minds of the guys who wrote it."
Applications follow directions from source code...they don't magically perform requests held in the minds of the "guys" who wrote that source.
quote: > "They essentially stalled for two years until the EU managed to pin them down with sufficiently detailed requests. "
A highly misleading and incorrect assessment. The EU didn't need to "pin down" Microsoft to deliver a sufficiently detailed request. They could have done so from the start, or any time thereafter. All it would have required was one registered letter.
quote: they just want to steal MS property, I don't care about the facts
quote: I personally think that DT is an immature and biased publication driven by incompetent journalist wannabes.
quote: but this article and post were *clearly* written with a negative bias towards Microsoft.
quote: Or did you just need an excuse to pimp your website?
quote: How did I know my post would be deleted
quote: Or did you just need an excuse to pimp your website?
quote: Microsoft has by far more comprehensive API information, knowledge bases, and support than others. It is my firm opinion that those who complain about inadequate information that allegedly precludes them to build software for the MS platform are lazy, incompetent, and/or have other agenda, all of which is far from the allegations.
quote: It is my firm opinion that those who complain about inadequate information that allegedly precludes them to build software for the MS platform are lazy, incompetent, and/or have other agenda, all of which is far from the allegations.
quote: Microsoft has been asked to hand over documentation to its competitors detailing the inner workings of its software applications or face daily $2.6 million USD fines.
Microsoft has shown no signs of backing down from its position to not divulge what it sees as its prized intellectual property. Microsoft has also stated that every change that it has made to comply with the ruling has met with more roadblocks from the EU.
quote: If they don’t like MS then they should make something better! That is what OpenOffice is trying to do, that is what Apple is trying with their computers, that is what AMD did, and many many more before them.