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The company developed 12 internal principles to abide by

Still feeling the pinch of the EU's decision to fine $357 million, Microsoft this week released a formal pledge, a list of 12 rules that the company said it will abide by, in order to facility healthy competition in the software market. Microsoft said that it will comply by the self-imposed rules, as well as comply with industry and government regulations.

During a conference, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith indicated to an audience made up of industry professionals that his company would be focusing on user freedom, choices and that companies can expect this trend to continue well after Vista. "In the broadest sense, I am here to pledge Microsoft's continued commitment to vigorous competition and vital innovation in the software marketplace -- and to explain how this commitment is guiding our development of the next-generation Windows operating system, Windows Vista," said Smith.

Microsoft outlined the following 12 self-imposed commitments:
  • Installation of any software
  • Easy access for software makers
  • Defaults for non-Microsoft programs
  • Exclusive promotion of non-Microsoft programs
  • Business terms (no retaliation against PC makers that support non-Microsoft software)
  • Disclosure of APIs
  • Freedom of choice in Internet services
  • Open Internet access in Windows
  • No exclusivity in middleware contracts
  • Availability of communications protocols
  • Availability of Microsoft patents
  • Support for industry standards
Microsoft also addressed the issue of net neutrality. Smith said that Microsoft would "design and license Windows so that it does not block access to any lawful Web or impose any fee for reaching any non-Microsoft Web site or using a non-Microsoft Web service." However, Smith admitted that the 12 principles were not entirely comprehensive and that there were a lot of answers still left unanswered.

Meanwhile, the EU has not backed off. According to regulations, Microsoft has until the end of this month to comply with EU regulations or face an increase in fines. The EU stated in a report that it would fine Microsoft double the amount -- roughly $634 million -- it received last week if it failed again on July 31st.

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By MonkeyPaw on 7/20/2006 4:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this pretty much implying that they broke all of the above sometime in the past?

"Now that we're on the ropes, we've decided to play nicely."

RE: lol
By Strunf on 7/20/2006 4:06:26 PM , Rating: 1
That’s what I thought too…

They are just pleading guilty expecting to fall on the good grace of the jury :D

RE: lol
By stmok on 7/21/2006 12:23:32 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly. They admit guilt to all past doings, because they have been cornered. They know it, I know it, SOME of the people around here know it. They always let their Marketing Department twist it a bit, so they come out as the good guy.

Companies like Microsoft don't suddenly change because its good for all mankind, that's just marketing bullshit. They do it because their hand is forced, and they know its not good for their future.

Publically, they keep saying they're doing it for good, but those of us that have been using PCs since the DOS days (pre-Windows era), are still weary of their past actions and their potential. We're still cautious if they're actually gonna say what they're gonna do.

I don't know about you folks, but this recent sudden change in Microsoft is very noticeable. They've backed off publically criticising open-source in recent weeks, and they've even partnered up with XenSource...They know they cannot beat open-source, and its obvious.

But still, doubt lingers. Us old computing folks are still weary and cautious. We know they do this because they have no choice...What if they weren't cornered or punished by fines?

They can talk the talk, but is that all? Are they gonna really change? So until Microsoft actually do what they're gonna say, I'm treating this announcement with a grain of salt.

Simply put: "I believe it, when I see it".

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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