Feeds

MS tells EU it's always pushed standards, interoperability

Like it ain't done till Lotus won't run?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

MS on Trial Microsoft has responded swiftly to the antitrust action the European Commission launched earlier today, claiming in a statement that it already provides all the information its competitors need in order to have their server software interoperate with Windows. The Commission has served Microsoft with a "statement of objections" claiming that it doesn't, and that it gives unequal access to information, depending on whether companies are friends or foes.

Competition commissioner Mario Monti also claimed that Microsoft did so under the spurious smokescreen of copyright.

Microsoft's readiness to share vital technical information with its competitors will come as news to many of them; not least Sun Microsystems, whose complaint to the Commission started this antitrust process. It will also no doubt surprise Apple, which had to kick and scream before it could get beta code a few years back. Apple's "technical information" problems with QuickTime also figured in the US trial, and RealNetworks' Rob Glaser seemed to have similar problems - ah, how soon they forget...

Microsoft's statement, apparently written by Pinochio, claims the company has a long history of actively developing and implementing support for "hundreds of industry standards across its product line," and that it encourages the use of these standards "to ensure interoperability of systems."

But the pay-off line in the statement is that Microsoft doesn't believe the law requires it "to share its secrets with direct competitors." Sun argued, successfully, to the Commission that Microsoft's monopoly position on the desktop obliged it to provide greater disclosure than it was prepared to make, and Microsoft is - somewhat shortsightedly, given Monti's comments - reverting to the copyright bolthole.

The Commission appears to be leaning to the view that Windows is what would be termed in the US an "essential facility," and should therefore be subject to broad disclosure, while Microsoft is sticking to what it perceives as its right to manage disclosure, and to discriminate between its partners and its competitors. Right or wrong, given what the Commission said this morning Microsoft is displaying cloth ears.

But some things don't change. Although Microsoft came back at the Commission speedily, it's only a provisional response. Microsoft EMEA director of law and corporate affairs John Frank describes the initiation of the action as just a part of a long legal process that Microsoft will win, once it's supplied the Commission with all the information it needs. We're opening a book on the date of the first delay request. ®

Related Stories:
EU goes legal against MS - company should open up Windows

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.