Feeds

Microsoft makes nice before the law

It's all sweetness and light in Brussels

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
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?