Feeds

MS responds to Europe's move to open up Windows

But we're still in the slow phase of this antitrust 'trial'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft filed its response to the European Commission's "statement of objections" on Friday, but both sides are keeping quiet about the case, and it could be months before the next move is made. The Commission can move fast if it wants to, and Microsoft can request an aural hearing to support its defence, although it has yet to do so. But if neither of these things happen within the next couple of weeks, the European antitrust action will stay in the shadows into next year.

The Commission's action stems from a complaint by Sun, and has potentially serious implications for Microsoft for a number of reasons. It covers claimed attempts to leverage a monopoly of desktop operating systems into a server monopoly, and discriminatory practices claimed to lock rivals - like Sun - out. The Commission has the power to impose huge fines, and Competition Commissioner Mario Monti has shown signs of wanting his very own nuclear button, the power to break companies up.

That one would be a major diplomatic incident if he intended to impose it on Microsoft, but he's already indicated a more immediate threat - forcing Microsoft to disclose its APIs, perhaps even forcing Microsoft to licence Windows source. That's potentially far more serious than any fine, and is an age-old concern of Sun's, appropriately enough. The Register by coincidence found its Sun WABI coffee holder just this past weekend...

The Commission also doesn't have to go through anything like the tortuous US legal hoops in order to pull the trigger. So far progress on the complaint has been fairly slow, and depending on political conditions and progress of the action in the US, that could carry on being the case. But if Monti wakes up one morning and sees the US action deep in mire and unlikely to make progress this side of Windows 3000, it could all happen very fast indeed.

Which in itself might be a major diplomatic incident, whichever US administration finally gets in... ®

Related Stories

Europe extends deadline for MS' antitrust probe response
EU goes legal against MS - company should open up Windows
MS tells EU it's always pushed standards, interoperability

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.