Feeds

Microsoft makes nice before the law

It's all sweetness and light in Brussels

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.