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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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RE: Eh
By bob661 on 7/21/2006 12:16:57 AM , Rating: 2
Their OS is innovative, the ipod is ubiquitous, and their actual case designs are always well thought out and tasteful. Plus there is a ton of software that is simply better on a mac: consumer level video and photo editting and graphic design to name a few.
All things that only noobs care about. :)

RE: Eh
By Pirks on 7/21/2006 2:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
All things that only noobs care about
Exactly, bob, EXACTLY. Techie like most AT/DT readers mostly cares about freedom, freedom to do what they want with their PC. Noob does not care about freedom, coz he/she doesn't even KNOW what it is. What do you know about freedom of piloting spaceship if you DON'T KNOW DAMN THING ABOUT IT, you can't even OPEN FREAKIN COCKPIT DOOR!

So you're noob, keep it easy that's not bad or anything - it's just spaceships and complex computer things are not for you - go buy pinky friendly Mac, it's a marvel of friendliness, just like your mall shopping cart is - no need to study anything or know anything - it's plyg'n'go thing. Well, you want freedom as in your own tuned PC that can do 200% what Mac can do for 50% of its price? You gotta LEARN, sonny!

Sorry, it's life, nasty as it is ;-)

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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