Feeds

Microsoft makes nice before the law

It's all sweetness and light in Brussels

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Microsoft and the European Commission's competition police are getting on like a house of fire, apparently.

They've been squabbling over some technical documentation that is supposed to tell people who write server software how to make it communicate with Microsoft's omnipresent operating system (OOS).

The idea is that Microsoft was obstructing market forces by producing documentation that is difficult to read. It's not pretty. Every time Microsoft submits another set of documentation for the EC's approval, some poor bugger has to take it home for the weekend to decide if its a good read.

Microsoft has not missed an opportunity, in the run up to its two-day hearing with the Competition Commission's OOS technical documentation for server software case team, to strut its case against the EC, which basically consists of that tiresome old technical documentation writer's cuss: RTFM.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief legal officer, had to stay schtum this morning on the details of the hearing. The EC did the same.

But Brad did slip out a statement about how famously the old rivals are getting along now: "We had a very constructive dialogue yesterday. In fact, I wish we could have had this type of dialogue earlier in the process."

"As we head into the second day I'm optimistic that we will be able to resolve this issue with the commission," he said.

This is a serious matter for Microsoft, because if the EC decides at the end of the hearing today (it might run over to the morning) that the OOS firm is guilty of writing turgid technical manuals it will retaliate with fines of €2m a day, backdated to 15 December.

If Microsoft maintains its belligerence in the face of Brussels law makers, the fine could be upped to as much as 5 per cent of its total word-wide revenues.

There is no magistrate, judge or jury who will decide if Microsoft is complying with its anti-trust orders. It's the EC case team that are hearing the hearing. Hence, Microsoft appears to be telling them what they want to hear.

Brad will be facing the music again later in April, at the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg this time, to present its appeal against the 2004 anti-trust ruling.®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.