Microsoft meets most EC demands

Getting closer to agreement

globalisation

Microsoft has accepted most of the conditions set by the European Commission to bring the software vendor into compliance with last year's anti-trust ruling.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, told the FT: "There were 26 areas where the Commission wanted changes to be made and we were able to say yes to 20 of those requests. Even on the remaining six, significant progress was made. I am hopeful that we will get closure within the next two to three weeks."

Smith said the firm was still trying to balance protecting its intellectual property with giving open source developers the access they need to create applications which will work with Microsoft servers.

Microsoft sent us the following statement: "Microsoft has undergone a thorough re-examination of the program to identify areas where the company can make changes to address the commission's concerns.

"Of the 26 areas where the Commission had concerns, we have accepted or offered proposals to address their concerns for 20 of these issues. Of the six that remain, it is a matter of working our way through them with the Commission as soon as possible.

"Since receiving the Commission's feedback, Microsoft has been working around the clock, and has been able to make significant progress on a number of major issues in this short period of time. We continue to work at full speed on the outstanding issues and remain committed to moving forward with the implementation process as quickly as possible."

The Commission is still concerned that open source developers have been excluded, or priced out of, Microsoft's licensing programme. It wants lower license fees and longer evaluation periods.

Microsoft offered to lengthen evaluation times from two days to eight days and dropped fees to €500 per day rather than €5,000 for one day and €7,000 for two days, according to the Seattle Times. The paper also reported that the software giant is prepared to consider flexible or customised licenses.

Microsoft is also struggling to find a way its API's can be distributed with open source products without revealing Microsoft code, according to Infoworld.®

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